Best Hotels in St. Louis to Get Ready In
Updated: Jul 24, 2021
As a wedding photographer I get asked time and time again, where should we get ready? Typically all my brides are after those glamorous getting ready shots with their bridesmaids and I seriously don't blame you, these shots are so fun!!! Even the guys, who may dread this process, usually end up having a blast warming up to us, putting faces to names so they know who we are, and just get to see how we operate on a wedding day as your photo team. I find this part of the day essential to the rest of the day flowing nicely, it's like the ice breaker of the day.
After being in the city the last 3 wedding seasons and going in and out of just about every hotel in St. Louis area for countless weddings, I have decided it's time to share some of what we have learned!! We have done our very best to round up our favorite getting ready worthy hotels in St. Louis. We have compared rooftops views, natural light, decor in the rooms, and amount of getting ready space all to compile our list of top 7 hotels to consider booking for your getting ready space.
We see a lot of couples getting ready at their actual wedding venues these days, and we understand that can be arguably more convenient in terms of transportation, we love the concept of an offsite location to get ready as it provides diversity in your day from our perspective. It also allows for you to stop at an offsite bridal party photo location or first look location somewhere within the distance between your getting ready spot and your wedding venue too. While getting ready at a hotel is not for everyone, we wanted to round up our top picks for couples looking to achieve those perfect getting ready photos in one of these awesome Saint Louis area hotels. From luxury details to uniquely designed spaces you are sure to find the perfect fit to achieve the absolute dream wedding photos you have in mind with one of these spots.
1) Hotel Saint Louis : 705 Olive Street St. Louis, MO 63101
Our favorite hotel all around is by far Hotel St. Louis. Located right in down town on Olive Street, this hotel provides a fairly accessible option for down town getting ready with tons of perks. What we love most is the design of the hotel. Coming from a photographer perspective we are always looking for locations that make our job easy. This hotel does just that. Big windows in all the room make for amazing natural light in these rooms. The decor is glam but neutral enough it makes an amazing backdrop for getting ready no matter what your colors are. The rooms have these soft shimmery wallpaper designs that take your getting ready robes with mimosas photos to the next level with that extra element of luxury feel. You'll find record players in each room. The bathrooms are marble and white with amazing lighting, some bathrooms even have windows depending on the room selection. This blue, gold luxury feel carries into the lobby where the check in area is open to the second story and gives it that very grand feeling upon entry. The elevators, chandeliers, bar area, staircase all worthy of photos. I could go on and on about how this hotel is entirely Insta worthy at any angle but the point is, it's stunning. A few other things to note, the outside of the hotel walks out to Olive which would be fine if you wanted inner city style photos with some good architecture. I personally love this street but it's not for everyone. On the positive side the rooftop makes for an amazing first look spot. It is a smaller space, but the view is incredible looking into Busch Stadium and all the way to the river. There is no view of the Arch but the other buildings give this dreamy skyline backdrop that makes you feel in the heart of the city and we love it. You might be able to get away with some bridal party photos up here but again it's a small space with a pool so I think it's better for first look or couples photos.You are fairly close to the freeway which makes it accessible to head off to your next location. A little word of warning the only downside is parking for your crew. If they are all booking rooms they could use the hotel's valet or the garage is around the corner of the street so there is not technically in house parking but it's not too far. There is available street parking that is pay to park which is the option we usually take and it's nothing crazy and usually you can find some on the same block.
2) The Last Hotel : 1501 Washington Ave, St. Louis, MO 63103
A top contender we really love is The Last Hotel. Located on Washington Street this hotel is arguably in the center of all the action as far as restaurants and bars. Word of warning, this street has attracted some crime in the last few months so I would not wander around Washington alone at night. I love the feel of this street, so many cool shops, but locals love to race up and down this road at night and it can be loud and attract some level of danger if you're not smart. Just keep your head about you though and this spot is worth checking out. If you're just getting ready here, it wouldn't be an issue as this area seems chill during the daytime as opposed to late at night (12 am +). Alright, let's get to why it's worth it even after that warning. First and foremost these rooms are uniquely styled. The building was originally the International Shoe Company in 1909 and they have done what they can to preserve the feel while upgrading the finishes. You'll find metal chandeliers, exposed brick, and other textures/designs all over. They aimed to give it the feel of the city in that the diversity feels intertwined. You'll find floor-to-ceiling windows in the rooms which allow for tons of light. The walls behind the beds tend to be a deeper color, mainly grey, but sometimes brick depending on the room. The bathrooms are cute, but on the smaller side compared to other options. A huge plus to this Hotel and why it makes it to the top 3 is definitely the rooftop. This rooftop bar/pool is expansive enough for group photos! The view from the top is stunning and overlooks all the city (minus the Arch). You get sunset from one direction and stunning views from another this nearly 360-degree view feel is worth it!!! Imagine first looks, bridal party photos, family photos, basically anything you want to get done prior to the ceremony or maybe after depending on how close your venue is, this spot is worth it. I even had a bride who rented the space out during Covid to host her reception in the enclosed bar area looking out to the patio and pool and it was STUNNING! 10/10 recommend for smaller groups! Parking for this hotel is directly across the street or on the street depending on availability. It is just about 1.5 ish miles from the freeway and pretty accessible.
3) Hilton Ballpark Village: 1 S Broadway, St. Louis, MO 63102
We love the location, the possible use of bar 360 which has panoramic views of the city, and the rooms themself are pretty decent for the price point. You won't find the upscale glam of Hotel Saint Louis here, but you will find a good backdrop, natural light, chic lobby, and the ability to walk to the Arch grounds in 3 minutes for photos here. The rooms are spacious enough. We recommend asking for the tower that is newer when requesting your room as these are bigger and more updated. But you can't beat the access to the highway (less than half a mile) and the access to the Gateway Arch Grounds. Not to mention if you're a baseball fan you're all of one block from Busch Stadium and could easily head to the Ball Park Village for some first look or bridal party photos easily. After living in One Cardinal Way, the building directly across for half a year we can say this area is loaded with cute spots for photos, especially being so budget-friendly. Be forwarded on a game day I would NOT recommend this as it would be packed.
4) Four Seasons St. Louis: 999 N 2nd St, St. Louis, MO 63102
Ahhhh Four Seasons... can you ever really go wrong with the timeless elegance of a Four Seasons? I think no personally, but the price point for some might be a turn off. An immediate perk I want to start with is the rooftop. This rooftop has an insane Arch view making it one of the best hotels to get ready for your wedding day in. This is probably the only rooftop in the city that gets this exact view of and proximity to the St. Louis Arch. It's a little more neutral vibe than rooftops like the Last Hotel which has a checkered ground and hippo statues everywhere. It has the high end feel with all the fire pits, string lights, and greenery alongside the pool. It's a notorious proposal spot for obvious reasons, it truly has that romantic feel. The rooms are spacious, with great natural light, and are high end. Some of the suites have floor to ceiling windows for a full wall facing the Mississippi River and Arch and make for amazing photos.The lobby has the same panoramic view vibe and a very cool multi-story staircase with glass window encasing so you could shoot photos from outside looking in. There is a full parking garage and lot which makes this hotel very accessible for guests not staying in the hotel. You're right near the waterfront, Lacledes Landing, and the Gateway Arch Grounds if you wanted to head there for photos. You're also connected to Lumiere Place which is another hotel and casino so you have endless places for photos.
This local gem is definitely worth adding to your list of places to consider checking out and bump it even higher in your search if you are spending any part of your day at Forest Park. This Hotel basically borders the park so if you wanted to do bridal party photos, first look, family photos, or if your wedding is somewhere in the park this hotel is for you! It has a modern luxe feel similar to Hotel St. Louis. You could almost close your eyes and think you're in NYC. I love that the lobby is stunning. With grey, gold, blue and black finishes you could definitely take photos in this lobby on a rainy or overly hot day. Some people even host their wedding here in one of their many ballrooms and I can see why if you are looking for the convenience of doing everything onsite with that all-inclusive feel. I love the European feel to the architecture surrounding the pool and would definitely utilize this for a photo spot too. It almost feels like you're at a Ceasar's Palace with the European architecture and palm trees and we love that about this spot. The rooms get good natural light, have a tiffany blue color scheme, and are a good mix of homey + high end. I wouldn't say they are luxury but definitely upscale and very photogenic. There is an attached parking garage and this hotel is right on Kingshighway off of 64 making it super accessible. You don't get that downtown feel but you get the classic Central West End vibe which makes it an amazing hotel to get ready for your wedding day in. You are fairly close to Tower Grove Park as well and not far from lots of the downtown area venues.
6) Angard Art Hotel : 3550 Samuel Shepard Dr, St. Louis, MO 63103
I want to start by saying this hotel is super unique. It is in no way a neutral getting ready backdrop so make sure to check this one out and also request a room color that works best for you and your vision for your day. But this hotel is such a treasure. Let's start by location, I adore the location of this hotel. I wouldn't say it's super accessible but with the location being right off of Grand Blv you find yourself super close to the Fabulous Fox Theater which is a stunning backdrop for photos. If you are into the vintage vibes this hotel has all the right feel. The rooms themself vary in Blue, Green, Red, or Yellow theme and they really go all out. As I mentioned before you would probably want to chat with your photographer to see what vibe fist best with your day. But between the room and other unique spaces and staircases, this hotel has some seriously cool spots for photos. Another reason we love this hotel is the rooftop. It has a pulled-back view of the skyline that is dreamy. It feels romantic and sweet with string lights and a full skyline view vs being inside of the skyline you see it as a whole, pulled back. You find yourself in close proximity to Washington University which is loaded with gorgeous photo spots. This area is also loaded with stunning churches. As I mentioned all the vintage vibes with this one.
7) Ritz Carlton St. Louis: 100 Carondelet Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63105
The Ritz Carlton St. Louis, much like Four Seasons is a swanky, upscale hotel. The rooms are clean, crisp, high-end, with great natural light. The rooms are spacious and the bathrooms are very chic feeling. The lobby has a high ceiling up to the second story with an exposed brick oversized fireplace that would make for some very "luxury lodge" feeling photos. Think Whistler chalet retreat vibes. Even the restaurants in this hotel are stunning with unique light fixtures and geometric-shaped hardwoods. If you are into the chalet/lodge feel there is also a wine tasting room sure to make for some cool getting ready photos. This intimate size space is stunning, with an old-money feel. This hotel is all around luxury from the lobby, the hotel rooms, the wine room, ballroom, restaurants, and more, it's all a very upscale feeling. Though the price tag might turn you off initially if you are looking for a splurge and the location being closer to Clayton/Central West End is best then this is the spot for you.