Morgantown, West Virginia is best known for the university—WVU. Tailgate parties and ladies’ nights occupy Morgantown’s city center during the fall season—and truth be told, a huge chunk of the Morgantown population is owed to college students. But beyond the sports memorabilia exists am Appalachian town worth exploring…at least for a few days. Nature lovers can rejoice in the rolling hills surrounding the city, the river that snakes through the valleys, and the shining Cheat Lake only a few miles from one of my favorite hiking spots, Cooper’s Rock. There are shops for antique and vintage admirers, mom and pop music stores, coffee shops and music venues suitable for mid-sized touring bands, and thankfully there’s also a classy non-chain hotel sprawled out in front of the Monongahela River for your stay.
The Waterfront Place Hotel is, without a doubt, the place to stay while visiting Morgantown. But you might not have known that before reading this piece. Plenty of well-respected chain hotels with impressive star ratings tucked under their belts sit in the town. They fill up with visitors seeking a safe bet on a clean bed while the Waterfront Place Hotel is situated down by the river, only steps away from the bike-ready Rail Trail, not begging for any visitors—they’re not the begging kind.
Upon entering the lobby of the hotel, the prisms from the chandeliers and the smooth black of a grand piano catch my eye. Lavishly decorated from the get go, this hotel succeeds in immediately separating itself from the cookie cutter chain hotels sprinkled across the region.
I took the elevator up to the 11th floor and found my way to my room. Noticeably spacious, tasteful and minimalistic in design, and with a wall of a window allowing for a vast view of the river and hillside, I was without that feeling of gut-wrenching disappointment we all fear when unlocking the door to any unchartered hotel room territory. The bathroom was huge with a shower separate from the bath tub and the bed was unfathomably comfortable—which is exactly what I always expected from Tempurpedic beds based off of the commercials, but this was my first time sleeping in one. Parking in the garage next door is free for guests (you wouldn’t believe how many hotels don’t offer this…it’s ridiculous), the staff were polite, and scary movies combined with a pizza at this hotel was the perfect ending to my Halloween night in Morgantown. All in all: you should stay here if you visit Morgantown. And you should visit Morgantown.
By: Elizabeth Seward, Photos by: Ben Britz