Tiger sign at Voco hotel

Travel Tuesday: Voco The Tiger Hotel Review (Columbia, Missouri)

This past weekend, my wife and I found ourselves in Columbia, Missouri. Located about three hours away from our home in Springfield, COMO is home to the University of Missouri (better known as Mizzou), which rivals our own Missouri State University. As our Saturday drew to a close, we realized we needed to book a hotel room for the evening. So, I checked some of my favorite travel sites to look at options. That’s when I found one that stood out from the pack: Voco The Tiger Hotel.

Funny enough, after booking, I turned around and noticed I could actually see the hotel from where I’d been standing all day. So, once our day was done, we headed to The Tiger Hotel to lay our wearying heads.

But what makes The Tiger Hotel unique β€” and does “unique” also mean “good?” Let’s take a look at our stay and experience.

The Tiger Hotel (Voco) Review: Columbia, Missouri’s Best?

front desk at Voco The Tiger Hotel

Booking (and how I booked)

If you’re wondering about the somewhat odd name of Voco The Tiger Hotel, I’ll save you some trouble by explaining that Voco is a brand, while The Tiger Hotel was the historic name of the location before it was purchased. As for Voco, it’s part of IHG Hotels & Resorts. In turn, you can book your stay at The Tiger Hotel on IHG’s site and even get a discount as an IHG One Rewards member.

However, that’s not how I booked my stay. While I originally found The Tiger Hotel on the HotelTonight app, I ultimately decided to book via the Bilt Travel Portal. That’s because I had some Bilt Points to redeem β€” and the 1.25Β’ per point valuation you get when redeeming points on the travel portal is certainly attractive. Interestingly, while the base rate displayed on Bilt seemed higher than on HotelTonight, the grand total (before my points were applied) was the same. I was too tired to dive into this discrepancy, but I didn’t worry about it too much since the result was the same anyway.

Between the main room rate, taxes/fees, and pre-paid parking (which was $20 for valet), our total for our Saturday night stay came to $246.25. I redeemed 6,364 Bilt Points to knock $79.55 off of that, bringing my cash total down to $166.70. With a few taps, we were all set for our stay.

Voco The Tiger Hotel key cards

The history

I don’t usually include a history segment in these reviews β€” but it’s also not too often that the hotels I stay at include this type of information on their key card folders. As the story goes, The Tiger Hotel was the first skyscraper built between Kansas City and St. Louis. Now, by today’s standards, “skyscraper” is definitely a stretch, but I could see it being the tallest building between those two major cities. In any case, the neon sign atop the building (the one that I spotted from behind once I realized the hotel was a couple of blocks away from me) remains one of the most prominent parts of the Columbia skyline.

Looking on Wikipedia, I learned a bit more. Apparently, the original hotel closed many years ago and the building was used for other functions. But, it was converted back into a luxury hotel earlier this decade and was purchased by IHG within the past few years. It’s also worth noting that Voco The Tiger Hotel is the only AAA 4-Diamond hotel in the city.

In addition to this history lesson on the key card sleeve, the cards themselves also celebrated the hotel’s history with some classic art depicting the property. These made for great souvenirs that I’ll definitely be adding to my travel shadow box.

view from the street of Voco The Tiger Hotel

Location

As promised in the listing, The Tiger Hotel is found right in the heart of Downtown Columbia β€” just steps away from the Mizzou campus. That also puts the hotel close to several parks, walking trails, dining, and much more. In other words, it’s a prime spot for your visit to Columbia, Missouri.

Elevators

Although I’ve made mentioning and grading hotel elevators my thing, I swear I wasn’t going to do it this time. That was until I stepped into the notably tiny lifts at The Tiger Hotel and, as we ascended, had my elevator mates mention the chance of the doors not opening properly on our floor. I thought they might be joking but, when we got to floor six, there was a pregnant pause before we were mercilessly let off. Before that opening happened, the pair instructed us to hit our floor number again β€” with this button press happening to time-up perfectly. However, after further trials, we discovered that this was a coincidence.

In other words, yes, the elevator doors at The Tiger Hotel are slow to open. Yet, we didn’t have any issues with them not opening. So, I suspect it’s really a matter of patience.

Speaking of patience, despite the small size of the elevator cars (which I’d say hold a maximum of four people), I never had to wait when looking to head up to my room. Moreover, that initial ride was the only time we shared an elevator with anyone during our stay. So, while the slow door opening isn’t great, I still give The Tiger Hotel’s elevators a passing grade.

digital display outside room at Voco The Tiger Hotel

The room

Before we even opened the door to our room, the first thing I noticed was the digital “do not disturb” sign. More accurately, this screen could display one of five messages: Welcome, Do Not Disturb, Housekeeping, Tray Pickup, and Turn Off (which just displays The Tiget Hotel). This could be switched via a control just past the entryway.

We ended up in a corner room, which was great. When entering, the restroom was to our left while the closet was to the right. Past that, on the right was a desk area while a minibar β€” complete with a Kerurig machine β€” was in the right corner of the room. On the other side was the king bed, which was flanked by a floating nightstand on each side. In the middle of the back wall was the television, with two chairs and a small coffee table found below it.

bed in a room at Voco The Tiger Hotel

While the room wasn’t very large, I really appreciated this layout. I also enjoyed the view of Columbia and liked that I could look out the windows while watching television. The bed itself was also quite comfy and the plugs located above the nightstands came in clutch.

Moving to the bathroom, the first thing we noticed was the deep soaking tub. The second observation we had was that this tub had dimmable lights above it (very romantic). Alas, we didn’t end up taking a soak in the tub and settled for showers instead. Thankfully, these were still quite enjoyable as the water was hot and the pressure was good. Just be careful as you exit the tub since its depth means a more demanding step out β€” or maybe that just applies to me after driving three hours and then walking in the sun all day. Anyway, before we leave the restroom, I also want to give a shoutout to the waterfall sink that I thought felt quite elegant.

As we settled in for the night, we did wonder how to go about closing the shades. The answer, as it turns out, is by flipping one of the switches near the bed. These lowered and raised the shades automatically.

view at night of the Voco The Tiger Hotel

Finally, as someone who’s often annoyed by noisy hotels, I was quite surprised by how quiet our room was. This not only applies to the interior but also to the exterior. While I did eventually hear a few loud cars just before I fell asleep, the road noise we endured from our room was quite minimal (and we were only on the sixth floor). Plus, I literally didn’t hear a peep from any of our fellow guests. Perhaps this was an anomaly but it was a welcomed one for sure.

Dining

As you might expect, Downtown Columbia boasts plenty of dining options. But, The Tiger Hotel is home to some of its own. On one side is Twain, which offers classic smoked BBQ and local brews. According to the card that came with my keys, there’s also a nearby speakeasy called Vault. Lastly, the other side of the hotel’s lobby leads to Glenn’s cafe. Serving modern Southern comfort food, this is not only a seemingly popular brunch spot but also provides room service for the hotel.

Unfortunately, given our schedule, we didn’t have a chance to try any of these delicious-sounding options. But, I can tell you that the Chipotle down the street will hook you up with an oversized burrito at 4 p.m. when you haven’t had a bite all day. Should I return to the Tiger Hotel in the future, I’d definitely want to give Glenn’s room service a shot as well as venture over to Twain. As for the speakeasy, while I want to find the entrance for myself, I’d probably leave it alone otherwise.

Final Thoughts on Voco The Tiger Hotel

All in all, I really loved our stay at The Tiger Hotel β€” and wish it had been longer. Between the great location, impressive lobby, and comfortable room, I had nothing to complain about. Plus, the historic nods and touches really enhanced the whole vibe and made it feel special.

Funny enough, during our stay, my wife and I both made reference to how much The Tiger Hotel reminded us of another special location: Springfield’s own Hotel Vandivort. Not only are both properties luxury hotels based in historic buildings but are also the lone 4-Diamond hotels in their respective cities. There were smaller connections as well, including the switch-operated shades, elements of the room layout, and more. I mean this comparison purely as a compliment to The Tiger Hotel and, quite honestly, I think it helps explain why we enjoyed it so much.

Based on our experience, if you’re headed to Columbia, Missouri, I’d put Voco The Tiger Hotel at the top of your list.

Per FTC guidelines, this website may be compensated by companies mentioned through advertising, affiliate programs or otherwise. (Note: advertising relationships do not have any influence on editorial content. Advertising compensation allows Money@30 to provide quality content for free. All editorial opinions are those of Kyle Burbank.)

Author

Kyle Burbank

Founder ~ Moneyat30
Kyle is a freelance writer - including being the head writer for Fioney.com. He also serves as editorial director for the Disney fan site LaughingPlace.com and the founder of Money@30.com. In 2015, Kyle and his wife Bekah moved from Los Angeles to Springfield MO in pursuit of greater financial freedom. Together, the pair enjoy travel, coffee, and spending time with their dog Rigby. Additionally, as of 2023, they become first-time homeowners.

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