Why You’ll Love the Moonrise Hotel in St. Louis

Written by Lisa Waterman Gray

September 15, 2017
Home >> Travel >> Why You’ll Love the Moonrise Hotel in St. Louis

On a steamy late afternoon, our group entered the Moonrise Hotel in St. Louis’ highly walkable Delmar Loop neighborhood. The AAA Four Diamond property is known for its unique attributes. After all, the world’s largest man-made moon rotates slowly atop the roof. Inside, ever-changing back-lit risers bedazzled us as we entered the lobby.

Moonrise Hotel

Stair risers in the Moonrise Hotel lobby are an ever-changing kaleidoscope of color. Photo by Lisa Waterman Gray.

A graceful yellow and white glass sculpture by renowned artist Dale Chihuly hung above the stairs. Rare space memorabilia and lunar-focused playthings filled multiple display cases and moon images of all sizes hung everywhere. Bright colors and classic contemporary furnishings filled the space.

Chic décor continued throughout the Moonrise Hotel. Our guide showed us several of 10 Walk of Fame suites that honor famous St. Louis locals. Outside the Betty Grable suite, a large plaque described her illustrious career. In the front room, brilliant lime walls complemented a turquoise, chaise-style sofa and a multi-hued trio of Grable pinups.

Moonrise Hotel

There’s an information plaque mounted outside of each celebrity suite. Photo by Lisa Waterman Gray.

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Colorful paintings and black-and-white photos of actor Vincent Price decorated a suite bearing his name.

We saw several ‘boutique’ rooms as well, where soothing earth tones complemented colorful walls and pillows, tall padded headboards and cut glass lamps. The hotel doesn’t charge for Wifi and Wolfgang Puck Estate Grown Coffee accompanies each coffeemaker. Hypoallergenic duvets top every bed while natural and eco-friendly Aveda hair and body care products complement rain-head showers.

Moonrise Hotel

Standard king rooms feature soothing earth tones and lunar images. Photo by Lisa Waterman Gray.

Green Focus at Moonrise Hotel

Aveda is only the beginning of green features at Moonrise Hotel, where there’s a recycling bin in every guestroom. More than 100 solar panels installed across the roof power the rotating moon, the rooftop bar and the indoor/outdoor Twilight Room. The solar panels also power the entire floor below rooftop level, and a portion of the floor beneath it. There’s also a vehicle charging station for electric cars.

Moonrise Hotel

Solar panels power the world’s largest man-made moon, mounted on top of the hotel. Photo by Lisa Waterman Gray.

Partially used guest soap finds new life through the Global Soap Project, while leftover food goes to Operation Food Search. Certified by the Green Dining Alliance, the hotel’s Eclipse Restaurant emphasizes seasonal, locally-sourced, organic ingredients, many of which come from nearby growers and farmers. Eclipse and the employee break room compost their food waste, while an onsite glass crusher reduces bottle waste from the bars. In addition, the hotel has a cardboard recycling dumpster.

Moonrise Hotel Welcomes Pets

Pet-lovers also appreciate Moonrise Hotel, where furry guests receive souvenir Moonrise collar tags and pet bandanas as well as their own beds (plus a litter box for cats) and house-made treats.

The hotel web site posts a link for “Things to do with your dog around St. Louis”. There are more than 25 neighborhood shops and boutiques on the site that welcome dogs—including several restaurant patios (dog-friendly logos alert guests regarding where pets may visit).

Sips and Bites at Moonrise Hotel

While Eclipse Restaurant serves modern American cuisine for breakfast, lunch, dinner or weekend brunch, this isn’t the only spot in Moonrise Hotel where you can satisfy your appetite. Order room service, or savor premium cocktails that complement small plates at The Twilight Room while enjoying beautiful rooftop views.

After the room tour, our guide led us to the open-air Rooftop Terrace Bar, where mixologists created handcrafted cocktails and poured premium wines.  Servers passed appetizer trays and lively music poured from an exceptional sound system. Bright decor surrounded us and a partial roof shielded us from the blazing sun.

Moonrise Hotel’s Dynamic Owner 

Soon after we arrived at the Rooftop Terrace Bar, Moonrise Hotel owner Joe Edwards greeted us. Laid-back and charming, he chatted easily with each of us before leaving us to our libations and snacks.

Moonrise Hotel

Moonrise Hotel owner, Joe Edwards, greeted our tour group at the Rooftop Terrace Bar. Photo by Lisa Waterman Gray.

Edwards’ numerous neighborhood businesses have sparked a massive revitalization along The Loop, which the American Planning Association has called “One of the 10 Great Streets in America.” Edwards’ nationally recognized neighborhood restaurant and music club, Blueberry Hill, kicked off the businessman’s neighborhood projects.

He beautifully restored the 1920’s Tivoli Movie Theatre and then created the nonprofit St. Louis Walk of Fame. In addition, Edwards owns The Pageant, a concert nightclub, and Pin-Up Bowl. Today, record shops, boutiques and restaurants operate here as well… many inside historic buildings that he renovated.

Our group had terrific views of the popular neighborhood on this clear summer night at Moonrise Hotel, where Edwards continues to make his mark. You can book your own stay with this one-of-a-kind property at the Moonrise Hotel website or call 314.721.1111.

Be sure to check here on Wander for other green hotels when you travel.

Note: As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with a meal and a tour,  for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.


Written by Lisa Waterman Gray

A Kansas City-area resident, Lisa Waterman Gray has savored Quebec’s finest cuisine, ridden in a pickup before a Kansas buffalo herd, and toured natural Arizona landmarks with Native American guides. In June 2011, 18 months of driving, research, and writing ended with national publication of Lisa’s book, An Explorer’s Guide: Kansas. During October 2014, she was a U.S. delegate for Terre Madre and Salone del Gusto in Turin, Italy – a conference for Slow Food International. Lisa has written for Dreamscapes Travel & Lifestyle (a Canadian magazine), USA Today.com, Midwest Living, four AAA magazines, and other clients. Visit her online at http://www.lisawatermangray.com/.

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