The Tiger Hotel Review: Best Hotel in Columbia, MO

Last updated on September 18th, 2023 at 04:48 am.

I recently took a road trip to Columbia with my mom to visit her Missouri college town. My mom, Penny, attended Columbia University in the 1960’s when it was an all girls school called Christian College. We were excited to see her alma mater, take a peek at her dorm building and of course we needed the perfect hotel for our weekend getaway. Our quest led us to voco The Tiger Hotel, a Columbia gem that promised to make our trip truly special.

This article focuses on our stay at the Tiger Hotel, but stay tuned because I’ll be posting another article about our time in Columbia and my mom’s and my favorite things, adventures and food.

voco The Tiger Hotel in Columbia, Missouri

voco The Tiger Hotel

Upscale modern meets historic architecture for a unique boutique hotel experience.

Voco The Tiger Hotel marries historic charm, heritage glamour and modern comfort. Set in a 1928 building and located in the heart of downtown Columbia, it is renowned for its famous neon Tiger Hotel sign that adds a touch of nostalgia to this college town.

The Tiger Hotel is within walking distance to a variety of the city’s most important attractions including the University of Missouri, sculptures and pillars at Boone County Courthouse and downtown Columbia.

There are also countless restaurants and shops within walking distance on 8th & 9th, Cherry and Broadway. This all adds up to voco The Tiger Hotel as my pick for the best hotel option in Columbia, Missouri.

A Stay at voco The Tiger Hotel: A Blend of Luxury, history, and Local Charm

The hotel embraces its past with classic décor (maple wood paneling, original chandeliers and original terrazzo inlaid floors), yet gives a contemporary hotel experience with it’s updated rooms and touches like Jacuzzi tubs and next-level bed design.

An on-site coffee shop, taproom, speakeasy, and restaurant round out the upscale experience, so you can indulge in a variety of delicious food and drink options throughout your stay.

Tiger Hotel History

US letterbox

The Tiger Hotel is the only historic hotel in Columbia. It is a red brick building with terracotta embellishments and considered Flemish in architecture.

In 1928, the illustrious Tiger Hotel graced Columbia’s landscape as an opulent building crafted by the Simon Construction Company. Designed by Alonzo Gentry, a prominent architect from the Statler Hotel team, this hotel stood as the pinnacle of luxury in its era. Notably, it proudly held the distinction of being the first skyscraper located between Kansas City and St. Louis.

Tiger hotel historic marker sign

The iconic Tiger sign, perched upon its roof, quickly became, and remains, the unrivaled symbol of Columbia. In recognition of its historical significance, The Tiger Hotel earned a nomination from the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 and was included as one of Boone County’s top ten notable landmarks in 2000.

sculpture on banister at Tiger Hotel

Over the years, the hotel changed hands but maintained its commitment to preserving its rich heritage. In 2011, a monumental renovation breathed new life into the building, seamlessly blending modern guest room amenities with the timeless allure of the original lobby. The preservation of the chandeliers and the intricate terrazzo inlaid floors stood as a testament to the hotel’s dedication to retaining its historic charm.

In December of 2020, The Tiger Hotel joined the esteemed IHG Hotels and Resorts family under the voco™ brand, becoming only the fourth voco hotel in North America.

Voco is an international hotel brand owned by the InterContinental Hotels Group. Since launching in 2018, voco has opened hotels in the UK, Australia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. The name voco comes from the Latin word meaning ‘to invite’ or ‘to come together’.

voco The Tiger Hotel Review

Tiger hotel lobby

voco The Tiger Hotel At a Glance

Voco The Tiger Hotel is a 4-diamond hotel and has a 4.5/5 rating of excellent on TripAdvisor. The 9 story hotel has 62 rooms. The hotel has a coffee shop, a taproom serving BBQ called Twain, Glenn’s Cafe that offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch and Vault, a lounge with a speakeasy vibe.

Spacious, Well-Appointed Rooms

Tiger Hotel king guest room

The guest rooms at voco The Tiger Hotel are modern and upscale with elegant ambiance. The beds are incredibly comfortable and feel like they have a plush pillow top mattress. The double stacked pillows offer both squishy and firm pillows; a great touch!

desk in king suite at Tiger Hotel

The rooms have big windows with electric window shades that are adjustable from a bed-side switch. Our room had a sitting area with a table and two chairs as well as a desk that was in a partitioned space behind the bed.

Tiger hotel robe

Room amenities include a safe, stocked mini-bar with for purchase drinks and snacks, as well as complimentary tea and coffee. Rooms also have an iPod docking station, robes, slippers, body lotion, shampoo, conditioner and body wash.

bathroom at Tiger Hotel

All rooms have a separate bath (many are Jacuzzi tubs) and walk-in shower or a bath shower combination.

The Views

We had a great view from two huge windows in our room and there are also beautiful views from windows on each floor near the elevator. Some of the views are of the downtown skyline, the famous pillars at the courthouse and some of the taller buildings at Mizzou.

Art a la Dali

La Conquete du Cosmos by Dali

There are three Salvador Dali (1904-1989) pieces at Voco The Tiger Hotel and one is an original. La Conquete du Cosmos I & 11 (1974) is one of 12 color drypoints with lithograph, embossing and collage pieces and hangs in the upper foyer of the hotel.

Drinks at Twain

Cocktails at Twain bar at Tiger Hotel
Twain: the perfect spot for a pre-dinner drink

Twain: Missouri BBQ and Taproom takes its name from one of Missouri’s most iconic literary figures, Mark Twain. Situated on the hotel’s first level, this bar is a haven for those seeking a taste of Missouri’s finest offerings. My mom and I loved the bar. It was comfortable and the bar staff was excellent.

Twain taproom at Tiger Hotel

Open for both lunch and dinner, Twain goes the extra mile by preparing everything in-house. Every sip and bite is a celebration of Missouri craftsmanship. The bar proudly pours beers, spirits, and wines that all hail from the Show-Me State.

With an ever-changing selection of 10 local Missouri brews on tap, including beers from Hannibal’s own Mark Twain Brewing Co. and handcrafted spirits from S.D. Strong Distilling in Parkville, as well as Columbia’s very own Restless Spirits Distilling Co., Twain’s commitment to showcasing the state’s libations is evident.

Twain offers four signature cocktails, including ‘the midwestern,’ featuring rye, orange, sugar, and bitters, served over smoked ice. Beer enthusiasts can enjoy beer flights for just $10, making it easy to savor a variety of Missouri’s best brews.

Twain also shines with its house-smoked meats, prepared fresh each day, complemented by their unique spice blends and from-scratch sides. Twain’s menu is BBQ focused, with options ranging from mouthwatering pulled pork sandwiches to hearty platters featuring options like beef brisket or ribs. The menu also includes delectable sides like baked beans, house-cured pickles and authentic southern collard greens, as well as freshly baked bread.

Twain Bookclub

Every first Tuesday at 6:30 Twain hosts a monthly book club in conjunction with Skylark Bookshop. All books are Missouri-related titles. If you happen to be in town for a first Tuesday, it’s a great time to stop by and meet some locals and learn about Missouri authors.

Glenn’s Café

Glenn's Cafe dining room

Glenn’s Café has a history that dates back to 1939 when it started as a gas station diner along the then-Highway 40. Glenn Purdy and his wife Tilley were the proud owners, and they ran the place for over four decades in that same spot.

Today, the restaurant pays homage to Glenn and Tilley’s legacy by offering a menu brimming with Southern comfort dishes. They also have the original Glenn’s neon sign.

You can find Glenn’s Café at the Tiger Hotel and located at the corner of 8th & Cherry. They serve breakfast lunch, dinner, and a weekend brunch.

Beyond the main dining room, there is an oyster bar in a separate room with a few tables for a more intimate setting, and an outdoor space with café style seating. There is also a small section of booths in the dining room that offer a more romantic setting.

They have a selection of 24 wines available by the glass, and they’ve become renowned for their extensive collection of Bourbon, Scotch, Whiskey, and Rye. It’s a place where history and culinary excellence come together to create a truly unforgettable dining experience.

Dinner at Glenn’s Café

We had a fabulous dinner that started with a complimentary small glass of sparkling wine. Our waiter told us, this was a tradition offered to all guests so that every meal started out special.

We began our meal with appetizers and a glass of Conundrum Red Blend from Napa Valley. For my mom; Nouvelle Cakes, a take on a crab cake and made with shrimp, crawfish and crab and topped with a creole lemon aioli. I had the Deviled Eggs made with Creole spice and topped with chives and bacon dust.

For our main course, Penny chose the Salmon filet served with a creole mustard tartar sauce, braised leeks, fingerling potatoes, and a fried leek nest. I had several gluten-free options, but opted for one of the signature dishes that dates back to the original restaurant menu; Blackened Redfish with a secret spice that is served with cheesy grits.

The chef-driven menu has a nice variety of choices that were truly hard to choose from. The food was delicious and felt like very elevated Southern comfort food. Our dishes had great depth of flavor that made the meal not only tasty, but memorable.

Beignets

They have a lovely selection of homemade desserts and sticking with the Southern inspired menu, Penny tried the Beignets with a chicory Camacho coffee ganache. I couldn’t indulge, but Penny confirmed they were authentic and delicious.

Breakfast at Glenn’s Café

omelet at Glenn's cafe in Columbia

The breakfast menu at Glenn’s Café offers a nice option of classic dishes, healthy choices like an Acai Bowl or Avocado toast as well as a few Southern items like Cheesy Grits and Biscuits and Gravy.

The breakfast menu also has several gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options. They serve Camacho Coffee from a locally owned coffee roaster. The coffee is air roasted to create a smooth cup of coffee with less acidity.

Vault Speakeasy

Vault Speakeasy

Nestled beneath the chic ambiance of voco The Tiger Hotel, you’ll discover Vault, a contemporary speakeasy that has garnered acclaim for its exquisite cocktails and relaxed lounge atmosphere. Whether you’re in the mood for a post-dinner libation or seeking a late-night rendezvous (after all, it is a college town!), Vault has a charm worth checking out.

Among their roster of drinks, the standout is undoubtedly the Dirty Money cocktail—an adult indulgence akin to a velvety milkshake for grown-ups. Picture this: a blend of ripe bananas, pineapple, creamy coconut, a generous pour of rum, a dash of Kahlua, all crowned with a drizzle of chocolate, a dollop of whipped cream, and a cherry on top.

Coffee Shop: Love Coffee

Love Coffee

For those in need of a quick pick-me-up or a tasty treat, Love Coffee is located on the first level of the hotel. Indulge in freshly brewed Camacho coffee and mouthwatering pastries, making it an ideal place to kick-start your day.

Common Spaces

Lobby of Tiger Hotel

There are seating areas in the main lobby as well as areas up one set of stairs from the lobby that seem more like a cozy living room with couches and chairs. This upper area also has great views of the street below and is a fun place to people watch.

red piano, art and seating at Tiger Hotel

Celeb Sightings

Meeting Shaq at the Tiger Hotel

During our stay, my mom and I ran into Shaquille O’Neal aka DJ Diesel at the Tiger Hotel. He was in Columbia for his 2023-24 DJ tour and we just happened to arrive the night of the show!

Full disclosure: this is not the best photo of me or my mom, but when you get a photo with Shaq, it’s a must to share it!

Tiger Hotel Customer Reviews And Testimonials

The Tiger Hotel is a 4-diamond hotel and has a 4.5/5 rating of excellent on TripAdvisor with over 400 reviews. It has a 8.5/10 rating of very good on Booking.com with over 70+ reviews and Hotels.com gives it a 8.8/10 fabulous rating with 1,000+ reviews.

TripAdvisor review of Tiger Hotel
Hotels.com review of Tiger Hotel

Book Your Stay at The Tiger Hotel

The Tiger Hotel is located at 23 S 8th St, Columbia, MO 65201. Check out their website or find pricing and reviews at Booking.com or Hotels.com.

A stay at voco The Tiger Hotel is an exceptional way to experience local charm, luxury, and a piece of Columbia history. From the thoughtfully decorated rooms to the delicious dining options, the hotel promises a memorable stay.

The Tiger Hotel FAQ

What is the closest hotel to Mizzou?

The Tiger Hotel is just .02 miles from the 8th Street Circle entrance to the campus and .04 miles to the iconic columns on Francis Quadrangle and Jesse Hall.

Is there parking at the Tiger Hotel?

Yes, there is a self-parking garage across the street from the hotel and valet parking is $18 per night.

What is the Tiger Hotel cancellation policy?

Reservations must be canceled by 4:00 PM local time, 72 hours prior to arrival.

Disclaimer: We were guests of the Tiger Hotel. However, all opinions and views are mine in this review.

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