Travel Tuesday: Hotel Vandivort Explorer Suite Review
No, your memory does not deceive you: I have reviewed Hotel Vandivort before — twice, in fact. However, with my wife and I recently celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary, we saw it fit to pay a visit to our local luxury hotel. This time around, however, we opted to try the King Explorer Suite. Additionally, we had a chance to check out some other aspects of Hotel V we hadn’t experienced before.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at our latest stay at Springfield’s own Hotel Vandivort.
Hotel Vandivort Review (Explorer Suite)
For this latest stay, I booked directly via the Hotel Vandivort site. Part of the reason for this will be mentioned in a moment while the other part was because they offered a AAA discount. With this, the base rate was $206 for a Sunday night in an Explorer Suite, while taxes added another $31.
Bringing a pet
Even though this stay was meant to celebrate our anniversary, we couldn’t leave our pup behind. Luckily, Hotel Vandivort is a pet-friendly property. However, there is a $50 per stay fee.
On the hotel’s website, it states that there are limited rooms for pets and implores guests to call. When I did so, I was informed that I could book any room and just put a note that I was bringing a pet. So, that’s what I did.
Upon arrival, the staff was thrilled to see Rigby and even gave her a treat. As for the paperwork, there was just one short form to fill out — which mostly consisted of providing a phone number they could reach us at if there was an issue with the dog being left alone in the room (which she never was).
One potential issue I questioned before booking was where exactly we’d take the dog for bathroom breaks. Picturing downtown Springfield, I didn’t see many grassy areas nearby. But, as it turns out, Vandivort provides a pet area right next to V2 (across the alley), which even supplies bags. This was super convenient and made taking her out much easier.
Thankfully, Rigby was a good girl for her entire stay and we were happy to have her with us.
The Explorer Suite has caught my eye every time I’ve looked at Hotel Vandivort’s room options. That’s because the photo used (seen above next to the Booking section) has an interesting layout where there’s an angular style to the room and the bed is next to a window, looking out. Alas, I’m not sure exactly which Explorer Suite this photo is from but it wasn’t ours.
Instead, our suite was on the second floor of the main Vandivort building. I thought it was just on the opposite side of the floor from the balcony suite we previously stayed in, but I guess that one was also one floor up. Either way, the two rooms also had some similarities… minus the balcony, of course.
When entering our Explorer Suite, the bathroom was to the left ahead of the rest of the suite. In the corner was the bar, which included a mini-fridge, sink, microwave, coffee maker, and two chairs. Turning around, there was a couch and coffee table followed by a nightstand then the bed. Across from the bed, there was a nice little desk. Finally, a television was placed on the same wall as the desk and was about halfway between the bed and couch in terms of view.
Perhaps my favorite part of this particular Explorer Suite was the view. Specifically, having the sign for The Order just beyond our window felt cool to me. Being able to see down and across Walnut was also nice — although I’ll admit that the awesome but badly-named Stick in Your Ears record shop might not be everyone’s favorite thing to see outside their window.
Like the balcony room, the Explorer Suite had nice, high ceilings. Additionally, the room was equipped with controllable curtains (sheer and blackout) — that were a little hit or miss. While they mostly worked, a window or two might get stuck. At least all of the blackout curtains fully worked and worked well.
Speaking of fun features, the television audio is piped in through an overhead speaker, which creates a unique experience. Also, if you want to listen to the television while in the bathroom, that can also be arranged thanks to a speaker and controller in there.
I’ll save my final thoughts on the Explorer Suite until the “Final Thoughts on the Explorer Suite” section — but I wanted to mention a couple of other aspects of our experience first.
With this stay marking a special occasion, I also decided to try out one of the special add-ons Hotel V offers on their site. Specifically, I opted to pre-order some truffles for our stay.
Although I was tempted to inquire about them at check-in, I decided not to as to not spoil the surprise for my wife. To my relief, upon entering the room, I noticed a note that mentioned a special gift was located in the mini bar fridge. Sure enough, our truffles were carefully wrapped and placed in the fridge for cooling.
As a bonus, the wording of the note led my wife to believe the hotel had just gifted them to us for our anniversary — but, for whatever reason, I copped to ordering them. In any case, all six truffle flavors were delicious and were a perfect treat to join our nightly tea (which was also made possible via the in-room Keurig with tea options). These also joined the mini Askinosie chocolates we were given at check in, further making our stay a little sweeter.
On past visits to Hotel V, we’ve dined in at The Order and placed an order for takeout respectively. This time around, we decided to try the room service option (which is, of course, provided by The Order).
To start with a room service request, we were able to tap or scan a little sign in the room. This not only brought up the menu and ordering interface but also already knew our room number. From there, we could select what we wanted and check out.
I’ll start with a positive, which is that the price you see actually includes tip and delivery fee. This was very surprising to me since most room services menus seemingly want to pile on as many fees as possible and bury the details in fine print. With that said, I didn’t see a place to leave an additional tip in the interface nor did I have cash on me. So, while gratuity was technically included, I felt bad that I wasn’t able to offer more.
Another minor negative that’s largely specific to me is that the interface didn’t have any place to leave notes. In my case, while I did really enjoy my burger, I would have loved it more if I could have requested that they hold the aioli.
In any case, the food arrived in a timely manner, complete with plates and cloches for the full experience. Both of our dishes were great as was my wife’s cocktail (cleverly titled the Peanut Butter Jelly Thyme). Considering that we hadn’t tried it before, were looking to relax, and had the dog with us, this room service offering literally delivered for us.
Final Thoughts on the Hotel Vandivort Explorer Suite
Overall, we were happy with the Explorer Suite even if it wasn’t quite as unique as I was anticipating. As for how it compares to the Balcony Suite, I think I’d be inclined to go with the Explorer given the price difference (the Balcony Suite was $30+ more). In the future, I’d also be curious about staying in a V2 Explorer Suite, so perhaps I’d request that.
In general, however, I definitely recommend checking out the Hotel Vandivort should you find yourself in Springfield, Missouri. Even better, if you have a pet with you, they’re welcome too! For those reasons, I expect to spend many future special occasions at the Hotel Vandivort.