St. Joseph, MO - Holiday Inn Riverfront Hotel
Address: 102 South Third Street Phone: 816-279-8000
Location/ Directions: FROM I-229N, EXIT EDMONDS STREET. FROM I-229S, EXIT FELIX STREET.
Average Price (Checked Nov 2013): $85.73 AAA Rated: YES Stars: ***3***
About Hotel: 6-Stories, 169-Rooms, Interior Corridors, Microwave-refrigerator units in rooms with two-queen beds and king beds, Cable TV, Work desk with lamp, 2-Line phone with voice-mail, High-speed Internet Access, Hairdryer, Coffee & Tea Maker, Individually Controlled Air Conditioning, Iron / Ironing Board, Unstaffed Business Center, High-speed Internet Access, 24-Hour Health and Fitness Center (On-site), Sauna, Whirlpool, Indoor Pool, On-site Guest Self-Laundry Facilities (washer/dryer), Ice Machine, Dedicated Lounge (or 24 Hour Lounge), Pets Allowed, Restaurant on site.
Railroad View: Good View for watching trains, not as good to photograph due to utility components at a power station located behind the hotel. Ask for a room on the 5th or 6th floor facing the river (rear of building), higher floors are best. Lower floor room view maybe blocked by the power station. Most train's consist of coal (or empty hoppers), oil, grain, or just regular freights. Trains no longer blow their horns for the grade crossing behind the hotel, so you need to keep an eye out the window. Windows do not open. At night, trains can be seen, but not very well.
Railroad past Hotel: BNSF Railway, Expect around 40 trains during a 24-hour period.Picture Comments: My second visit made me update completely update this page. My visit in 2009 had a clear view of the railroad. My 2013 visit still sports a good view for train watching, but not as good for photography. The power station behind the hotel was rebuild with new components that increase obstacles fouling the once clear view.
Middle Photo: A photo taken from room # 527, the front of a westbound empty hopper passes the hotel. The power station behind the hotel limits photo opportunities. As a matter of fact, there is not a way to photograph even a single train car without having something getting in the way of a clean shot. Most obstructions are limited to poles.
Bottom Photo: The rear DPU locomotive on the same empty hopper train shoving west (map north) past the motel. This photo was taken with a light zoom (55mm lens). If there were just a few less poles, maybe a clean shot could be taken, but no chance during the current landscape.Many of the trains on this line have DPU's on the rear. The hotel markets a river view; well, you are looking at it! The river can be seen just under the lower highway bridge. That elevated highway is Interstate-229 (I-229). One direction on top, another on the bottom. The fact that I have to point out where the river is; makes me wonder why why they call themselves "Riverfront Hotel".
RailfanMotels.com - Reviewed October 2013