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Best Hotel 

Chase Park Plaza

If sheer elegance and beauty are your benchmarks, there's no better place in St. Louis than the landmark Chase Park Plaza. Considered the most expensive hotel ever planned when ground was broken 83 years ago, it still lives up to its boastful late-1950s advertising slogan: "The Chase is the Place." This was back in the days when the Chase headlined such entertainers as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bob Hope and Jerry Lewis. The location, of course, is perfect, at a key portal to the Central West End, adjacent to Forest Park and just a short drive to downtown. But why bother with all that when you can live it up without leaving the hotel? Wander through the grand corridor with its high, arched ceiling, or gaze out from the oversize windows adorned in velvet draperies, or just sit back over a drink in the Chasers Lounge and watch the bellhops scurry. With room rates starting at $209 a night, the Chase has much to offer: a pool, a movie complex, spectacular views from the silver-glittered Starlight Room on the eleventh floor. Then there's the darkly exquisite Tenderloin Room, Café Eau (where Sunday brunch is a two-hour gastronomical adventure), the Eau Bistro (a body-to-body meat market on a Saturday) and the Marquee Café, which features a photo gallery of visitors from yesteryear, including Ronald Reagan, Bing Crosby, Lucille Ball, Johnny Cash and our own Phyllis Diller. Yesiree, the Chase is the Place.

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