Midwest Living Review
The concept struck us as a little odd at first -- a hotel that celebrates British literature and hospitality in a city known for its jazz and blues? But for the most part, The Cheshire works, in part because it's located near the graceful Washington University campus and across from Forest Park, a haven for some of the city's most impressive museums. The 107-room property has seven specialty whirlpool rooms and 11 mini suites, and on the door to each guest room, you'll find a plaque honoring a particular British author. A framed essay in each room gives a quick bio on the author and rundown of their important works. On our visit, we checked into the Robert Browning room (though his name is misspelled on the door plaque) and found that housekeeping hadn't cleaned the room from its previous occupants, with the beds still disheveled and piles of towels on the floor. The front desk staff was apologetic and quick to settle us into the Joseph Conrad room (located across the hall from the Agatha Christie "Death on the Nile" suite). Our two-queen room offered plush linens, soft beds, a small but strategically designed bathroom with a corner sink and bedside tables that came with handy outlets tucked into their sides. Modern touches include a large flat-screen TV, recessed lighting, granite counters and huge leather headboards on the beds. A word of warning: The walls and windows are thin (we could hear a man's phone conversation in the alley below outside, as well as the rambunctious kids in the room next door around bedtime). But as fans of British literature ourselves, we enjoyed the thick red accent rugs, the dark wood antique furniture, the ATM machine located in an old-school red British phone booth and the roaring fire in the lobby decorated to resemble a British hunting lodge. Coffered ceilings, framed oil paintings, porcelain vases and stylish vignettes using pewter trays all add to the hotel's classy British vibe. We also enjoyed the extra touches: free Wi-Fi that worked on the first try, free Continental breakfast in the morning and free parking in a well-lit, spacious underground garage. Rates start at $159 and seem reasonable for the amenities, the location and the quality of service you'll receive, especially if you're a bookworm.