Kansas might conjure up images of fantastical yellow-brick roads, magical wizards and wicked witches, but the reality is a state which prides home and hospitality above all else. Its history – which is both complex and at times dark – is now well documented in its many museums, allowing visitors to understand the role Kansas played in both slavery and the resettlement of Native American Tribes.
Despite being the second most common state to experience tornadoes (Texas is the first), visitors are more likely to remember Kansas for its nicknames of “The Sunflower State” and “The Wheat State”, thanks to the rolling fields of amber grains, which cover so much of the land.
Accommodation ranges from the authentic, including rustic cattle ranches and barns, to the luxurious, with something for everyone’s taste and budget. Here is our choice of the best resorts in Kansas.
1. Clover Cliff Ranch
Surrounded by the romantic Chase Country Flint Hills, Clover Cliff Ranch offers guests the chance to step back in time to the elegance of 19th century accommodation.
The impressive family run ranch features incredible panoramic views of the rolling hills, and access to some of the best hiking trails in the area.
Rooms are lavishly decorated in Victorian-era style, with modern amenities including Wi-Fi and TVs, or for a little more space and privacy, guests can also book one of the resort’s three houses.
Food is a hearty, fresh affair – with big breakfasts and an excellent choice of local restaurants nearby.
2. Courtyard by Marriott Wichita at Old Town
Built during the 1930’s for warehouse use, The Courtyard Wichita at Old Town has been redeveloped into one of Wichita’s most modern accommodations, providing visitors to the city’s old town with stylish and modern rooms and amenities.
The loft atrium, with its grand clock tower, is just a taste of the building’s charm. Rooms are designed for both leisure and business travellers, harmoniously blending spaces to work and rest.
The Courtyard’s Old Town location makes a great base for exploring the most historical points of the city, as well as the best restaurants, bars and theatres.
3. Cedar Crest Lodge
The award-winning Cedar Crest Lodge, located just an hour away from Kansas City, is one of the best resorts for a nature-inspired vacation.
Set on over 100 acres of land, guests at Cedar Crest Lodge can spend their days following the walking trails through the trees, hiking amongst the certified wildlife habitat or relaxing in the onsite, outdoor pool.
Dining is a true farm-to-table experience, with most of the produce grown on-site. As well as delicious breakfasts and dinners, guests can enjoy tailor-made picnic baskets, which can be taken with you as you explore the local area.
4. Hyatt Place Topeka
Families looking to explore Kansas’s capital city will love the location and comfort of the Hyatt Place Topeka. Just two miles from the Topeka Zoo – were you can discover animal exhibits such as Discovering Apes, and Lion’s Pride – three miles from the popular Children’s Discovery Centre and six miles to historic Old Prairie Town, you’ll have plenty to keep the whole family entertained!
At the end of an action-packed day, return to your room knowing that you’ll be sleeping in a comfy Hyatt Grand Bed®, with a state-of-the-art media and free Wi-Fi. Foodies will love the 24/7 access to the delicious Gallery Menu, and don’t forget to try out the free hearty breakfast, complete with Starbucks coffee, each morning.
5. Barn-Bed & Breakfast Inn
If an authentic country stay, with a home-like feel, is your dream Kansas vacation, look no further than The Barn – located between Topeka and Atchison, in North East Kansas’s rolling hills.
The beautifully renovated property was originally designed, as the name suggests, as a working country barn, complete with horse stanchions and a milking parlour.
Rooms are traditionally decorated, and feature king-sized beds and baths, with Wi-Fi and access to the resort’s heated indoor pool and hot tub. There’s also a fishing pond, fitness room and 9-hole disc golf course to keep you active, or if you’re looking for relaxation, book one of The Barn’s massage therapy appointments.
6. Prairie Band Casino & Resort
Just a 15-minute drive from Topeka, the Prairie Band Casino and Resort offers guests the chance to stay, play and indulge in great Kansas dining, all under one roof.
Owned by the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, the resort’s gaming facilities have more than 24 tables and over 1000 slots, as well as regular live entertainment in the Great Lakes Ballroom.
Dining takes place in one of the Prairie Band’s three restaurants, where you can find delicious local meals and a huge range of drinks.
The luxurious rooms are individually designed, with every modern comfort. Guests can also relax in one of the resort’s two hot tubs, or enjoy a round of golf on Kansas’s No.1 course.
7. Great Wolf Lodge Kansas City
At the heart of Great Wold Lodge Kansas City is the huge indoor water park, a favourite with both kids, and big kids, alike.
Splash around for hours with water slides, water-tipping treehouses and indoor rivers. For younger children, there are also gentle rides and shallow pools, including the Cub Paw Pool.
Water-activities aren’t the only form of entertainment at Great Wolf Lodge – there’s also a fitness centre, spa and range of shops for all of those souvenirs or forgotten vacation items.
Suites comes in a range of sizes for all families, with each kitted out in a traditional lodge style.
8. Acorns Resort
Set against the beautiful backdrop of Milford Lake, in Farnum Creek, Acorns Resort is the ideal retreat for nature enthusiasts. Considered the “The Fishing Capital of Kansas”, Milford Lake offers fishers the chance to catch Spotted Bass, Blue Catfish, Whitebass, and Channel Catfish amongst others.
For those who prefer to stay on dry land, the resort has 98 acres to explore – with miles of walking trails, sandy beaches for swimming and picnic areas.
Guests can choose from a range of accommodations, including nine lodge guest rooms and 20 custom-designed cabins. Each cabin comes with a fully equipped kitchen, BBQ and outside deck, whilst rooms have comfy queen beds, microwaves and refrigerators.
9. Boot Hill Casino & Resort
Step back in time and visit the Wild West, at Boot Hill Casino in world-famous Dodge City. Designed to evoke the spirit of 1870’s western history, the resort has been finished to a luxury standard, and offers visitors the chance to stay, play and dine in high style.
Those looking to win their fortunate will find endless options in the casino, with almost 700 slot machine, 18 tables and a high limit room.
Accommodation is in one of the resort’s two partner properties – the Hampton Inn & Suites or Towneplace Suites – each of which provide comfortable and spacious rooms.
10. Rock Creek Marina & Resort
Relax in the peaceful surroundings of Lake Perry, at Rock Creek’s full service resort and marina. Adjacent to Perry State Park, the resort offers something for both land and water lovers alike.
Activities include fishing, sailing, hiking, horse-riding and swimming, and for those who bring their own boat, you can make use of the marina’s skilled technicians to handle any repairs, installations and services.
Basic accommodation is available at the “Floating Motel”, or choose one of the Hill Side Cabins for more space, and all the comforts of home.
11. Senate Luxury Suites Hotel
Built in the late 1920’s and still retaining much of its historic charm, the Senate Luxury Suites are set amongst many of the oldest landmarks in Topeka.
Rooms are individually decorated, with private balconies and impressive city views. Those looking to add a little extra touch of luxury can check in to the decadent Hot Tub Suite – with a king bed, dining room, sitting room and full size, free-standing hot tub for two.
Stick to your exercise regime at the on-site fitness centre, or enjoy a soak in the jetted tub. Don’t forget to indulge in a little early morning breakfast at the complimentary buffet.
12. Four Points by Sheraton Manhattan
Whilst Manhattan, Kansas, might not have the same city appeal as its name-sake in New York State, it does offer an excellent arts and entertainment scene, as well as easy access to some of the state’s beautiful scenery.
The Four Points by Sheraton Manhattan, located on the city’s west side, is the perfect base for exploring what this interesting college town has to offer. Enjoy a visit to the nearby Flint Hills Discovery Center and the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, or catch a “big game” at the Bill Snyder Family Stadium or Bramlage Coliseum.
With comfortable rooms and a beautiful atrium-style, indoor pool with hot tub, you’ll find The Four Points by Sheraton Manhattan a relaxing resort to return to at the end of a busy day in the city.
13. Hotel at Old Town
Combining luxury accommodation and a rich, fascinating history in the heart of Old Town Wichita, the Hotel at Old Town is one of the best resorts in Kansas state.
Each room features turn-of-the-century style décor, with modern amenities including flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi, as well as a fully-equipped kitchen and giant two-poster beds.
If you can tear yourself away from your grand room, enjoy a work out in the fitness centre or order a cocktail from the Keen Kutter Piano Bar.
It’s central Old Town location makes it the perfect base for exploring the city, with the Performing Arts & Convention Centre and Orpheum Theatre just a short walk away.
14. aloft Hotel Leawood Overland Park
Just 25 minutes from Kansas City, the aloft Hotel Leawood Overland Park provides stylish accommodation and a range of amenities for a great Kansas vacation.
With several dining options, an indoor pool and the super stylish W Xyz Bar, the aloft Hotel Leawood Overland Park has everything guests need for a relaxing stay. Rooms are equipped with flat-screen TV’s and Bliss bath amenities, as well as comfortable beds and coffee-making facilities.
Keeping the kids entertained couldn’t be easier, thanks to Camp aloft – the resort’s program for 2-to-12-year-olds, which includes games in the re:mix lounge and fun mealtime snacks.
15. Drury Plaza Hotel Broadview Wichita
One of Wichita’s most historic buildings, the Broadview Hotel first opened on the banks of the Arkansas River in 1922.
Having undergone a massive renovation, which preserved some of the hotel’s original masterpieces such as its grand chandeliers and the Crystal Ballroom’s beautiful mosaic mural, the stylish resort offers luxury rooms and first-class amenities.
Enjoy the relaxing indoor pool and hot tub or make use of the 24/7 fitness centre. If you’re feeling hungry, the resort’s on-site restaurant AVI Seabar & Chophouse – which is known as one of Wichita’s premier dining destinations – serves up delicious fresh food daily, and for a quick snack, Stop by the mezzanine for free soda and popcorn every day from 3–10 p.m.