If you’re coming to St. Louis for a consultation, surgery, intensive, or follow-up, this page will guide you through your hotel/accommodation options. Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list of options, and it’s just a baseline guide; it’ll be impossible to keep this completely up-to-date, so rates and features may vary. Always verify rates and other important information prior to booking! Also note that medical and SDR discounts often don’t apply in May due to graduation ceremonies, and rates may vary depending on the season.
Rate estimates are in US dollars. To my knowledge, all of these places offer an SDR or medical discount; be sure to ask before booking.
(Also check out the list of lodging options that St. Louis Children’s Hospital has created: https://www.stlouischildrens.org/conditions-treatments/center-for-cerebral-palsy-spasticity/housing-options. The options listed on the page below are just the most popular ones, so you’ll see options on the St. Louis Children’s list that aren’t mentioned here!).
At a Glance:
- LEAST EXPENSIVE: Haven House, Ronald McDonald House, Airbnb
- CLOSEST TO HOSPITAL: Parkway, MetroLofts (30+ day stay only)
- MOST UPSCALE: Chase Park Plaza, Orion Apartments (30+ day stay only)
The most popular option for international families is probably MetroLofts. The second most-popular option is probably the Chase Park Plaza.
The Parkway is probably the most popular hotel option for families who are coming to St. Louis from within the United States. Even international families, who come for a month, sometimes stay here. From what I’ve seen, people tend to be happy with it. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s convenient and clean.
- Connected to the hospital. This is the biggest benefit of the Parkway! It is connected to St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Barnes-Jewish Hospital via an indoor skywalk. The walk is a little long (and it can be hard to find where to go at first), but you can get to and from the hospital without having to leave the building. This allows family members to quickly shower, nap, and switch off during the hospital stay. It’s also nice when the weather is rainy or snowy, and it’s convenient if surgery is early (some people have 5:30 am check-in times!).
- Connected to an Applebees. Applebees is a family restaurant, for anyone who might not be familiar! Very kid-friendly, and you can also request takeout.
- Complimentary shuttle to the zoo and other areas around Central West End.
- Free breakfast snacks and popcorn.
- A bit expensive. Call or email for the medical rate; they don’t offer a rate specific for SDR. As of January 2019, the medical rate was about $129/night ($140/night including tax) for a room with a king bed. (And as of January 2019, a 2-bedroom suite was $295/night at the medical rate.) The price may be worth it for the convenience, but the Chase at the SDR rate is around the same price, and the Chase is much nicer. The Parkway rate may be lower for 30+ day stays.
- No kitchens. This may be an issue for international families, who stay for a month. There is a mini-fridge in the room though!
The Chase Park Plaza is the hotel I stayed at when I came to St. Louis for SDR, my 4-month follow-up, and PERCS. We really enjoyed it each time!
- SDR discount is pretty generous, and it’s probably the most upscale hotel in St. Louis, so it’s a beautiful place to stay.
- Amazing staff!!!! The entire staff was friendly, but there were a couple of people who truly made an impact on us. If you choose the Chase, look for Brenda and James; they’re often right outside the dining area. Their kindness and prayers meant the world to us!
- Outdoor pool open in warmer months (not sure of the exact month) all the way through November. (However, keep in mind that after SDR or PERCS, you’ll have to wait 2 weeks to swim again.)
- Movie theater. (You don’t have to be staying at the Chase to go to their movie theater, but it’s pretty magical to be able to walk down to the theater from your room. 🙂 In the days after SDR, it was uncomfortable for me to sit up for long periods of time, so we ordered really delicious popcorn from the theater concession stand and brought it up to our hotel room to eat while I watched Netflix in bed. Before PERCS, we actually watched a movie in the theater, and we had almost the whole theater to ourselves!
- Washer and dryer down the hall (or in-room if you choose their apartments).
- Pretty close to St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. It was about a 10-minute walk for my mom (who doesn’t have CP); slightly longer for me (mild CP, can walk independently), a total of eight-tenths of a mile. The shuttle ride to and from the hospital was available upon request and was about 5 minutes, but sometimes there was a wait. Also note that you should probably tip the shuttle drivers a small amount each time, although it’s not required.
- Walking distance to Whole Foods, Straubs, restaurants. The Chase is within close walking distance to a grocery store called Straubs, which is pricey, but has really good prepared meals. They have excellent mushroom-Swiss quiche and prepared salads, which were useful when we didn’t want to go out for dinner, especially when I was back in the hotel after my SDR hospital stay. Other nearby places include Jeni’s (a gourmet ice cream shop — we loved it! May be slightly fancy for young children’s tastes.), a delicious cupcake shop called The Cup, and a natural-foods grocery store, Whole Foods (pricey, but high-quality food).
- Not the closest to the hospital. It’s about a 10-minute walk or a 5-minute shuttle ride, and sometimes the shuttle rides are delayed. The delays are usually short (about 10 minutes, if the shuttle drivers just left to take someone to the hospital), but sometimes they can be up to 30 minutes, and we almost missed a therapy appointment because of that. If you need a closer hotel, consider the Parkway (connected to the hospital) or MetroLofts (if you’re staying 30+ days).
- Shuttle isn’t the most accessible. There’s a fairly large step up to get into the shuttle. The shuttle drivers provide a stepstool to make the step easier, but it may still be challenging for many people. I have mild CP and was able to handle the step 5 days after SDR with someone’s help. However, I couldn’t do it the day after double hamstring PERCS, so my mom had to take me back to our hotel in my wheelchair, which wasn’t the easiest ride. This is less of an issue for small children; parents could just lift them in and out.
- Only apartments have 2-bedroom suites. Their rooms could accommodate 2 to 4 people (4 in the larger rooms, assuming 1 person takes the sleeper sofa, you request the roll-away twin bed, and 2 people take the king bed). If you need a larger room, some people have booked 2 rooms next to each other (ask the hotel about your options), but otherwise you should look into other options. The apartments may work if you’re staying longer, but these are pricier.
- Smaller rooms have no kitchens. If you’re staying for a month (i.e., if you’re international), you may need to book the most expensive room or a Chase apartment (see below for link) so you can have a kitchen.
• Chase guest room: one bed in room, desk: $119.00 + tax per night ($139.74)
(This was the room we chose when I went for SDR. The bed was a king bed, so it slept two people, but the room was quite small. It was fine during my SDR since my mom and I spent a lot of our stay in the hospital, but I would recommend upgrading to the next biggest room if you can afford it; it’s much roomier, and the more expensive rooms seemed to come with mini fridges, which is useful for storing groceries and leftovers.)
• One Bedroom Suite: one bedroom with king bed, living area with sleeper sofa: $129.00 ($151.49)
(This was the room we chose when I went back for my follow-up; my brother came along too, so it was three of us. The living area was quite spacious, and there was a mini-fridge in one of the cabinets, which was useful. To us, it was definitely worth the ~$10 price increase. With the free roll-away bed, this room could accommodate about 4 people if 2 share the king bed.)
• One Bedroom with Kitchen: one bedroom with king bed, living room, kitchen with all dishes, pots, pans: $139.00 ($163.23)
• **They can add a roll-away bed at no charge. It is actually a twin bed on wheels. It does not fold in the middle.
The Chase also has apartments available for longer stays (not sure of the rates; email and ask for the SDR rate). These include in-room washing machines and dryers.
I managed fine in a non-accessible room, even after SDR, but for those with more involved CP, request an accessible room.
MetroLofts is an apartment complex. Usually, only international families stay at MetroLofts because they require a 30+ day stay. This is probably the most popular option with international families because it is so close to the hospital! The costs depend on the month, but I saw 2019 costs that ranged from $108 to $116 per night.
- Directly across the street from the hospital (about a 5-minute walk from the apartment to the therapy room!).
- Washer/dryer in apartment.
- Full kitchen.
- Bakery down below.
- May be noisy. Some of the bedroom walls don’t extend all the way to the ceiling. This may be an issue they address in future renovations.
- Exposed concrete flooring.
Email contact: JoAnne@vipcorporatehousing.com
The Orion Apartments are luxury apartments about a 10-minute walk/5-minute drive from the hospital (they’re very close to the Chase Park Plaza, and they are attached to the Whole Foods). They are an option for international families (who stay a month), but most US families don’t stay long enough to be able to rent them.
As of 2018, the cost was about $150/night (including taxes) for a 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom suite.
- Pretty close to St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. (About a 5-minute drive/10-minute walk).
- Washer and dryer in apartment
- Whole Foods (grocery store with mostly natural/organic food) is downstairs.
- Rooftop pool when weather is warm.
- Not the closest to the hospital. It’s about a 10-minute walk or a 5-minute drive. If you need a closer hotel, consider the Parkway (connected to the hospital) or MetroLofts (if you’re staying 30+ days).
- No shuttle. It’s within walking distance to the hospital, but if you need a ride there or need a ride to other places, you’ll need to get an Uber/Lyft or rent a car.
Contact Arch Interim Housing to book an apartment here.
Orion photographs provided by Carly King.
Haven House is a nonprofit built for families who are receiving medical treatment. If costs are a problem for you, consider Haven House. Aside from Ronald McDonald House, Haven House is probably the least expensive option on this list, and they welcome all families who are 25 miles away or farther. Note that you’ll need a referral from a medical professional or social worker to stay here; the hospitals in St. Louis can provide this for you. They recently moved to Staybridge Suites.Website: https://www.havenhousestl.org/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/HavenHouse-St-Louis-151829398184176/
- Very inexpensive. About $60/night for a room with a private bathroom.
- Free breakfast, dinner, and snacks.
- Free shuttle (but not on-demand; see below).
- About 30 minutes from the hospital.
- Shuttle runs at scheduled times, about every 3 hours. Not on-demand.
The Ronald McDonald House is a free option (but suggested $15/night donation) for families whose child is in the hospital. Just as with Haven House, you’ll need a referral from a medical professional or social worker to stay here, and St. Louis Children’s Hospital can provide this for you. However, be aware that you cannot make a reservation for the Ronald McDonald House. Therefore, if you choose this option, you’ll need to arrange a backup hotel option in case they’re full.Website: https://rmhcstl.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/rmhcstl/
- Free (with a suggested, but not required, donation of $15/night).
- Washer and dryer available (community laundry room).
- Free dinners every day, free breakfast on weekends (usually).
- Some shuttle service to hospital and grocery store.
- No reservations. You can request to be put on a (long) waiting list, but even this does not guarantee you a spot. You won’t know if there’s a room available for you until the day before you arrive.
- Washer and dryer available (community laundry room).
- Free breakfast.
- Free shuttle to hospital, which is 1 mile away.
- Indoor accessible pool (but keep in mind post-op swimming restrictions!).
- Mini kitchen.
- Not really close to stores/restaurants.
- Can accommodate larger families more easily.
- Indoor pool and hot tub.
- Complimentary breakfast buffet, free dinner 3 times per week.
- Recently renovated.
- Free shuttle to the hospital and any other place within a 3-mile radius.
- 10-minute drive to hospital, and there’s sometimes heavy traffic.
- Long waits for the shuttle (according to some people’s experiences) and it’s too far to walk to the hospital if the shuttle is running late.
- Shuttle is not wheelchair accessible.
Airbnbs can be fantastic, but they can also be risky. If you choose this option, you really need to do your research before booking.
- Often much less expensive than other options.
- May offer more space and more comforts of home compared to a hotel.
- May more easily accommodate larger groups.
- Often have a full kitchen, washer, and dryer.
- May be in a dangerous area. Many neighborhoods in St. Louis are unsafe, even near the hospital. You should look at crime maps and thoroughly research the area before booking.
- May be a scam. I have heard of families who booked what appeared to be a fully furnished apartment, only to arrive to an apartment with no furniture at all! Check the ratings before you book.
- May be farther from the hospital. You may have to deal with significant traffic, and you’ll have to arrange your own transportation, like Uber or a rental car.
- May not be accessible. You may need to verify that the doorways are wide enough to accommodate walkers and wheelchairs. Other details to consider: Are the bathrooms accessible? Is there a step (or steps) to get into the house?
The Affton (This one has been used by several families!)