Loews Hotels are a relatively small player in the highly competitive hotel and hospitality industry. However, in the past few years, Loews Corporation––the parent company of Loews Hotels, has slowly but surely, expanded into new markets. In April 2019, the hotel chain opened its first Live! by Loews property in Arlington, Texas. Live! by Loews is a new, highly anticipated luxury hotel concept with a focus on sports and events. Less than a year later, Loews Hotels has opened its second Live! by Loews property. The second property is located in Downtown St. Louis, MO, just steps from Ballpark Village and the iconic home of the St. Louis Cardinals, Busch Stadium.
The College Points founder Max Prosperi booked a room on opening night, February 26th, to see if this new luxury hotel lived up to the expectations many locals had for the area’s newest hotel. In addition to staying overnight in one of the hotel’s stunning guest rooms, Max Prosperi visited Bourbon & Clark, the hotel’s restaurant, to see if the restaurant could compete with nearby dining. While The College Points tried to avoid baseball-themed puns, we can’t help but say that Loews Hotels really hit it out of the park with their new Live! property in Downtown St. Louis. Here’s why the Live! by Loews is a true home run in the heart of St. Louis.
The entrance to the new Live! by Loews St. Louis hotel.
Live! by Loews St. Louis Location and Atmosphere
The newly opened Live! by Loews St. Louis is located just steps away from the gates of Busch Stadium. Overlooking Busch Stadium, the new luxury hotels sits adjacent to one of St. Louis’ premier entertainment districts, Ballpark Village. Additionally, the hotel is located just a few blocks away from one of the busiest highways serving the St. Louis area, interstate I-64, or as it’s known locally, highway 40. No other hotel in Downtown St. Louis or the St. Louis area is more conveniently located for visitors rather they be tourists, sports fans, or business travelers. The Live! by Loews St. Louis is also positioned to be one of the areas top party and entertainment hotels with an upbeat and inviting atmosphere.
One of the aspects of the new Live! by Loews St. Louis that I appreciated the most was the hotel’s atmosphere, especially throughout the lobby, the bar, and the restaurant. While the hotel is upbeat and conducive to a lively night out on the town, it’s still an upscale property.
The lobby area is warm and inviting. Bespoke designs can be found throughout the lobby and in every guest room. The designers embraced the hotel’s location, making it feel somewhat like a shrine to Cardinals baseball. Yet, the lobby, bar, and the restaurant didn’t feel like your average sports venue-adjacent hotel or venue. Instead, it was apparent I was in a luxury hotel. From the baseball-themed bar and lounge to the inviting restaurant and the upscale whiskey tasting room, the atmosphere felt like less of a hotel and more of an entertainment venue. It was clear that Loews looked to embrace the idea of a hotel as an experience.
Phenomenal Service Even on Opening Night at the Live! by Loews Hotel St. Louis
Though it was the first night of operations, service at the Live! by Loews St. Louis was truly phenomenal. When I went to check-in, I was asked if I would like assistance with my bags, doors were held open for my guests and me, and I received a warm welcome at the front desk. While there was a minor first-night hiccup, those working the front desk provided continuous updates as they worked through the hiccup. In a matter of minutes, I had received my room key.
With my room key in hand, I proceeded to the elevators and made my way up to the 8th floor.
Tasteful Yet Unique Guest Rooms at the Live! by Loews St. Louis
Before reaching my room, I navigated a baseball-themed hallway. Nearly every aspect of the hotel was designed with baseball in mind. Room numbers were etched into the carpet to resemble the markings found in the outfield to provide an idea of how far a ball was hit on a home run. Cardinals logos and artwork lined the walls. I was constantly reminded that I was just a few steps away from one of the most iconic ballparks in all of baseball.
Premium Two Queen Stadium View Guest Room
I booked a premium guest room with two queen beds overlooking Busch Stadium. The hotel might not provide most guests with a view of the field. Nevertheless, I did receive a room with a fantastic view of one of the entrances to Busch Stadium, including the iconic red letters that sit atop the stadium. My guests and I were enamored with the view, taking a half an hour for an impromptu photoshoot using the stunning view as a backdrop.
The room felt more inviting and warm than rooms found at other luxury hotels. Many hotels feature guest rooms that, while luxurious and upscale, feel very sterile and cold. The Live! by Loews St. Louis, however, did not feel this way. This was partly due to the bespoke design elements, including even more baseball-themed wall accents and artwork.
One of the more noticeable baseball-themed accents found in my guest room was the massive baseball diamond outlined on one of the room’s walls.
The room featured a desk, something that is increasingly less common as well as ample closet and storage space. One notable feature was Chromecast integration found on the room’s massive TV. This Chromecast integration allowed me to play music via Spotify and watch Narcos: Mexico on Netflix via the TV without having to bring my own streaming device.
The entire room was beautifully decorated. Even the bathroom felt inviting and was elegantly designed. While not full of amenities, my guest room still exceeded my expectations providing me a comfortable night’s sleep and a place to enjoy a drink with friends.
Dinner at Clark & Bourbon at the Live! by Loews St. Louis
I booked a “Grand Slam” promotional rate, which came with $50 in food and drink credit. This credit could be used at any of the hotel’s restaurants, bars, for room service, and at the grab-and-go market. I treated myself and some friends to dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, Clark & Bourbon. While hotel restaurants are often the butt of a joke for being extremely underwhelming, often serving up basic takes on standard American cuisine, Clark & Bourbon exceeded my expectations. Clark & Bourbon at the Live! by Loews St. Louis could be one of the best restaurants in Downtown St. Louis.
First off, though it was the first night of operations, the service we received was outstanding. The host and our server were very welcoming, friendly, and informative. It was quite evident that the restaurant ensured its staff was familiar with the menu as our server provided us with recommendations and his own feedback on menu items. Overall, the service we received greatly exceeded my expectations with my guests, remarking about how much they enjoyed their interactions with our server.
Dinner was also exceptional, with each dish exceeding our expectations. I had the lamb while a friend ordered a chicken dish. Another friend with dietary restrictions ordered two side dishes, which she thoroughly enjoyed. While I had hoped to save room for dessert, the appetizer and our main plates left us satisfied and full.
The Go-To Hotel for Cardinals Fans This Season
While Cardinal baseball in St. Louis is still a few weeks away, the Live! by Loews St. Louis opened at an ideal time. With the St. Louis area busiest during the summer months, these next few weeks should provide the hotel staff with a lull that will allow them to perfect their already near-perfect service and operations. However, come Cardinals baseball in St. Louis, the Live! by Loews St. Louis will be the go-to hotel for Cardinals fans and visitors.
One area of the hotel that had yet to open as a result of the cold winter weather was The Bullock, an outdoor deck that features a full bar and views of Ballpark Village. The Bullock provides guests with a comfortable and unique place to kick back and relax or celebrate a Cardinal’s win. This area will inevitably become the go-to place for Cardinal’s fans looking for an upscale outdoor venue to watch games with friends or family.
Overall: Live! by Loews St. Louis
The Live! by Loews St. Louis definitely exceeded my expectations. While the property is much smaller than the massive Live! by Loews Arlington, the hotel’s designers did a fantastic job using every inch of the space available to them. There is very little dead space with plenty of space for guests and visitors. The Live! by Loews is the perfect addition to Ballpark Village.
Additionally, it’s yet another much-welcomed addition to the St. Louis area, which is currently experiencing a massive revitalization throughout the region. However, one thing that St. Louis had always lacked was a selection of luxury hotels. The Live! by Loews St. Louis looks to fill that void providing visitors a more upscale experience in the heart of Downtown St. Louis