May 2, 2016

Where To Stay If You’re Going To Worlds Of Fun

For my family’s recent Worlds of Fun overnight getaway, we needed a place to stay overnight near the park.

It also needed to be kid-friendly.

What we found was Kansas City hotel Courtyard by Marriott at Briarcliff, and in every aspect, it suited our needs and then some. Our stay was hosted by Visit KC.

In a city known for its fountains, Courtyard by Marriott at Briarcliff can brag about the one near it.

In a city known for its fountains, Courtyard by Marriott at Briarcliff can brag about the one near it.

The rooms

We were in a room with two queen beds with a south-facing window. You’ll want that side of the building too for a view of downtown KC and the courtyard.

Check out the view from our room at the Courtyard!

Check out the view from our room at the Courtyard!

You can go for more spacious accommodations in one of the suites: Executive suite (one bedroom with king bed and a sofa bed), and two different types of two-room suites (one with king bed, sofa bed, plus whirlpool and balcony with city view; the other with two queens, a sofa bed and a whirlpool).

Rooms have everything you’d expect at a hotel – coffee pot, large shower, comfy beds, huge TV – plus a small fridge, good for leftover barbecue. Which we had a lot of…it is Kansas City we’re talking about here.

Hotel Amenities

The pool, as always, was my children’s favorite feature. It’s only 5 feet deep, which is great for my little ones.

The pool at the Courtyard is only 5 feet deep, which is fine by me since my children aren't strong swimmers yet.

The pool at the Courtyard is only 5 feet deep, which is fine by me since my children aren’t strong swimmers yet.

For me, the whirlpool was the best part of the fitness area, especially after a full day walking around Worlds of Fun.

Windows face south and west, so if you time it right, you’ll get a view of sunset from the whirlpool.

Sunset view from the hotel's small whirlpool. I'll take it after a full day of walking around Worlds of Fun.

Sunset view from the hotel’s small whirlpool. I’ll take it after a full day of walking around Worlds of Fun.

There’s also a fitness room.

One unexpected feature were the balconies off the pool area and the Bistro. By the pool, there were loungers to unwind on.

The back patio of the Courtyard is divided by wall, separating dining tables and a fire pit from the lounge chairs by the pool entrance.

The back patio of the Courtyard is divided by wall, separating dining tables and a fire pit from the lounge chairs by the pool entrance.

Off the Bistro (the hotel’s bar/restaurant), there were tons of chairs, tables, and my favorite, a fire pit.

If you’re traveling kid-free and staying there, picture yourself out there with a drink in your hand as the sun set over the skyline of KC. I lived vicariously through the adults I watched below our window. Not for long, mind you, because I didn’t want to be a creeper.

Anyway.

Location

The hotel has a good location for those looking to spend time at both Worlds of Fun and heading south into downtown Kansas City or one of the other cool areas like the Crossroads.

It’s also near the airport, and looked like a hub for airline travelers, given the departure sign in the lobby.

There isn’t a whole lot within walking distance of the hotel except for Briarcliff Village, which is a shopping and dining center under development. If you’re a walker or runner, there is a nearby trail that passes a manmade waterfall and a pretty fountain.

Further down the road, less than a mile, is a grocery store.

Some of the nearby attractions include:

Sprint Center – 5 miles

Kansas City Power and Light District – 6 miles

Worlds of Fun – 8 miles

Shoal Creek Living History Museum at Hodge Park (FREE admission) – 12 miles

 

Dining at Courtyard

The hotel has a the Bistro, which I saw used by guests especially for breakfast. They serve Starbucks coffee there.

However, and this might be appealing after a long day at a theme park, they also sell beer and wine in addition to entrees.

That’s where the outdoor patio comes in handy, amiright?

After a long day of exploring Kansas City, who wouldn't want to settle into a big chair by the fire pit with a drink?

After a long day of exploring Kansas City, who’d like to settle into a big chair by the fire pit with a drink?

Near the front desk, you can also purchase snack items, some frozen dinners and a variety of beer and wine to take up to your room, for those not feeling as social as the Bistro.

The Courtyard's lobby shop sold snacks, frozen dinners and beverages.

The Courtyard’s lobby shop sold snacks, frozen dinners and beverages.

Nearby restaurants

The immediate area around the hotel is not a hot spot of activity, so you’ll only find a handful of nearby options, including Trezo Mare (seafood), Piropos Restaurant (Brazilian) and Philly Time (sandwiches), about a half-mile away.

We knew we didn’t want to take the kids to a sit-down restaurant after a day at Worlds of Fun, so we ordered takeout. We almost got delivery – and there are several that will deliver; just ask the front desk for menus.

If you want a classic KC dinner, two recommended nearby options were fried chicken from Stroud’s Oak Ridge Manor or barbecue from Smokehouse BBQ. Barbecue won out. Both restaurants are fairly close to the hotel – Stroud’s is about 6 miles and Smokehouse is even closer at 4 miles.

About two miles away is a fantastic breakfast spot, Corner Café.

The Corner Cafe near the Courtyard by Marriott Kansas City was the ultimate comfort food spot for breakfast.

The Corner Cafe near the Courtyard by Marriott Kansas City was a pleasant comfort food spot for breakfast.

It’s your standard diner fare, but it has a following and for good reason: The food is good, the service is speedy and they serve tasty cinnamon the size of a young child’s head.

Which is an unappealing description of a pastry – I’m sorry – but I will say you won’t be disappointing ordering it, just be sure to share.

If you go

Courtyard by Marriott Kansas City at Briarcliff

Where: 4000 North Mulberry Drive, Kansas City, Mo.

Website

Cost: Most one-night stays will be below $150, depending on the season you visit.

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