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A Retro Escape Inside: No Vacancy 


Article by Randah O'Doherty

Photography by Randah O'Doherty; Impressive Spaces Photography

Have you ever done a staycation? Me either. Until recently.

My husband, Finnian, and I are homebodies—especially now more than ever—but wanted a change of scenery. We thought about a few different options. Perhaps Branson? Somewhere else in Missouri or Kansas? Nothing at all? Then I remembered. There was an AMAZING, eclectic hotel that I had seen on Instagram. A staycation, we thought—what a neat idea! We had never done anything like that before, so we took the plunge and were so glad that we did! What better way to rediscover our great city!

As we were gearing up to have a nice wee break to ourselves for the holiday season, I had mentioned how nice it would be to travel somewhere near (and safe) for a night. We had been wanting to go to Branson back in September for our anniversary, but plans had changed, and we thought we should just stay home as usual.

Then I thought of this wild idea to stay in this really neat hotel located in the heart of Kansas City: No Vacancy.

I had seen previous guest's photos of this funky local hotel that I knew had recently opened in the Crossroads in downtown KC. My husband agreed to try it out, and here I was wasting no time choosing my room on their website! So many great choices! They have 8 unique guest rooms available, which all have slightly different vibes, but a very consistent, vibrant aesthetic. This makes it tough because it would be cool to hop from room to room to try them all out (which you are totally able to rent out the entire hotel—maybe someday). After much consideration, I went with my gut and chose Studio Four, which grabbed my attention from the beginning. A gorgeous modern archway, bright natural ceiling light, big comfy burnt orange chairs, a modern glass coffee table, crushed velvet mustard couch, an incredible tapestry wall hanging, a sculptural Byzantine-inspired canopy bed and dreamy views of the aesthetically pleasing courtyard! Whoa!

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We stayed in early January, which made it quaint and quiet with a fresh, crisp breeze in the air. We started our night out by checking in at the hotel. We could hardly wait to arrive! We had our contactless check-in, which was convenient, and when we arrived, we were met with striking cheetah print carpet leading up to the elevators. Loved it! When we got to our floor, there was a retro-inspired font that read "No Vacancy" and a guestbook to sign. Because this hotel has only been established in summer 2020, we were honored to be apart of some of the first guests to sign. Ah, we were finally here. The hallways were lined with incredible artwork by Carlos Lima and beautifully long vintage rugs.

Our room door had Studio Four hand-painted on it along with cute lil' palm trees. The whole aesthetic was just spot-on. When we arrived at our room, it was immaculately cleaned and even better than the pictures! I am a graphic designer—for City Lifestyle, actually—and an avid thrift/antique shopper and collector, so I appreciate a really great retro-inspired aesthetic matched with beautifully curated furniture and decor.

It was just a dream.

Studio Four Room Image by: Impressive Spaces Photography

After getting all checked in and feasting our eyes to all of the wonderful retro-inspired decor, we were off for a literal feast. We had booked ahead at a restaurant that we had never tried before, Rockhill Grille on Grand Boulevard in the Crossroads. We have been very mindful about not dining out; we are always ordering to-go, eating at home and trying to avoid going out if we don't have to. We maintained social distance and wore our masks when not eating. We had heard a lot of great things about Rockhill Grille, so we decided to take the plunge.

OMG, we were NOT disappointed. We started with the soup of the day, a nice tomato basil soup that was so mouthwatering. For our main course, I decided to get the crab cakes, which were accompanied by sautéed kale, tomato and lemon butter sauce that was to die for, and my husband got the Rockhill Rib-Eye with rustic mashed potatoes and broccolini. They were both absolutely AMAZING. It was the best dinner we had in a long time! We were stuffed but decided to treat ourselves to dessert: homemade apple crumble—so YUM! We had also tried some of their red wine and cocktails, including the Rockhill Collins, which includes Tito's vodka, blackberry cordial, fresh lemon and house ginger beer. It all was a fantastic experience, and we can't wait to go back someday.

The following morning consisted of discovering and photographing the beautiful courtyard, which we had a view of right through the window of our guest room! Fun fact: Studio Four is the only studio that you can see the courtyard from! We also were able to take better pictures inside the main lounge because of the natural lighting.

All around, it was a fantastic stay! We got a great rest on the comfy bed in our guest room and were not bothered by any noises or the sound of other people. It was relaxing and a nice little getaway–also not too far away! Checkout was very easy– again, it was contactless, so no key or card to try to return in the morning. Super convenient! Spencer Sight, the owner of No Vacancy, even allowed us to stay a little later than our designated checkout time, which was very gracious. He had been more than accommodating and informative throughout our entire booking process and stay! We will definitely be back again!

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Our trip ended with a fantastic breakfast from Mildred's, which was only a block or two from the hotel. We had a nice brisk walk down the quiet downtown streets to get some brunch! We had actually never been to Mildred's before, so we were really looking forward to it. Of course, the ever-popular sausage-gravy biscuits were sold out, so I got a delicious breakfast wrap with an iced chai latte, and my husband got the Cuban sandwich and a coffee. We were blown away by how great the food and drinks were. Although Verdant, a new plant shop that recently opened right next door to No Vacancy, was closed for winter break, we will absolutely be back to explore this fun neighborhood in the Crossroads.

Who knew that we would discover more things to love about our city?
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For more information about booking your next staycation, visit

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