Hilton President Hotel

Design by Blue Bouquet

History doesn’t really repeat itself.

No other hotel, new or old, is quite like Kansas City’s historic Hilton President. When I was little, my siblings and I played an old board game called Hotels. The game was very similar to Monopoly. The goal was to own as many hotels as possible, and the absolute “King of the Mountain” hotel was called the President. It had its own golf course, 3 swimming polls, and the rates started at $750 per night.

Entrance to the Hilton President Hotel in downtown Kansas CityWell, the Hilton President in downtown KC is also a “King of the Mountain” hotel, and even more, it has significantly better rates than the President hotel in that old board game.

There are three things about the President that I think make it great for weddings and events.

  • It is located in the heart of downtown Kansas City’s new Power & Light District.
  • It is nicely stylized – a historic hotel with a hip vintage, art-deco feel.
  • The President’s staff are amongst the best we here at Blue Bouquet have worked with.

Location, Location, Location

This last wedding season, we did several weddings in the famous 12th story Congress ballroom. The 4,500 square foot is adorned with mirrored walls and gorgeous chandeliers. It also has windows from ceiling to floor and offers a great view of many of Kansas City’s downtown buildings, including the new Sprint Center. The P & L district with its “Get Turned On” anthem is one of Kansas City’s newest developments. The “talk of the town” region will eventually host many restaurants, shops, concert venues, bars, boutique shops, movie theatres, and even condos. The district is set to fully open in the Spring of ’08. The Power & Light District creates a happening background for your wedding or event at the President.

The History

The Main Lobby of the Hilton President Hotel The Drum Room in Kansas CityThe hotel was originally built in 1926 and hosted the National Republican Convention a couple years later. Its nationally known Drum Room nightclub has had a plethora of famous entertainers through the years, from Frank Sinatra to the Marx Brothers to The Great Houdini. Simply walking through the lobby makes you feel like you’re about to go to a Duke Ellington concert after a long day’s work at the WWII machinery factory in KC’s old warehouse district. The President was the first hotel in the city with the ability to make ice on premise, making 8,000 pounds per day. The Hotel was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

The President recently went through a complete $45.5 million renovation, cutting the room number from 453 to 213. However, the Lobby, Congress Ballroom, as well as the Drum and Aztec Rooms have all been restored close to their originals. You will be overtaken by the stunning décor. From the leaded glass windows to the lobby’s two story columns to the original terrazzo floors, history is bursting forth from the President.

The People

Whether you can believe it or not, the best part of the Hilton President Hotel is its staff. Jill and her team of chefs, caterers, planners, and servers go above and beyond to take great care of their customers and brides.

During one particular wedding at the President this last fall, in lieu of the bride’s wedding planner being busy, Jill directed the timing and march out of the ceremony herself. Of course, Drue was busying herself too, giving the bride a bottle of water and making sure the bride’s dress was perfectly straight before the ceremony.

Downtown–The lights are much brighter there. You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares. So go downtown, things’ll be great when you’re Downtown – no finer place, for sure… – Frank Sinatra (T. Hatch)

In another recent wedding that we did at the President, the bride and groom held both their ceremony and reception in the Congress Ballroom, and Jill’s staff (with us in tow) flipped the room faster than any other room we have yet to see flipped. And where did the guests go while we flipped the Congress Ballroom, you ask? Well, the famous Aztec ballroom, of course—a perfect room for enjoying cocktails, hor d’oeuvres, music, and friends while waiting for the reception to begin.

Here at Blue Bouquet, we love Kansas City’s President Hotel. And we know you will too. Just take a walk through Power & Light District. When you see the famous President sign and twelve stories of beautiful brick and concrete design, we know that a smile will come to your face and the lyrics of the old Sinatra song, Downtown, will come to your mind!

Quick Facts:

Keep in mind that this info is accurate as of April, 2008; but it will likely change from time to time.

  • Address: 1329 Baltimore, Kansas City. Phone: 816-303-1636
  • The Congress Ballroom is on the twelfth floor and features 4,500 sq. ft. of space, mirrored walls, and a stunning terrazzo floor.
  • For receptions and events, all food must be catered by the President’s Kitchen staff.
  • If a minimum order is reached, the room rental is included in the per guest fee.
  • There are two main packages: a full meal wedding package, starting at $90 per guest, and a Dinner Buffet package (with a minimum of 20 people), starting at $45 per person.
  • The Reception Package includes a cocktail hour with hors d’oeuvres, bar service, and a full meal for each guest with a salad, a duet dinner entrée, rolls and butter, Champagne, and Truffles. On top of that, they President staff will also serve your cake! The Package offers many varieties of salads, from Wild Mushroom and Brioche Salad to Artisan Pasta and Frisee Salad, as well as many varieties of entrees, from Artichoke and Gruyere Crusted Chicken Breast to Kansas City Strip Steak.
  • The Buffet package includes the same possibility of salads, and you can choose from various Poultry, Seafood, or Beef Entrees.
  • A taxable service charge of 20% and sales tax of 9.35% will be added to all food and beverage charges
  • You can choose multiple entrees but you must order a minimum of 25 of each.
  • Parties with 10 or more rooms can get discounted rates at the hotel
  • The Aztec Room is on the second floor and has 1,440 of sq. ft. space

More Photos

Walnut Room at the Hilton President Hotel in Kansas CityDrum Room in Kansas CityThe Congress Ballroom at the Hilton President. Photo by Matt Nichols.The Congress Ballroom at the Hilton President Hotel in Kansas CityDetailing in the Walls of the President's Congress Ballroom.Chandeliers in the President BallroomChandeliers in the Hilton President Ballroom in Kansas City

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