The state of Iowa is home to several luxurious, historic and distinctive hotels worthy of a weekend visit.  Many of the featured hotels have taken an architecturally significant downtown building and given it new life. Others are luxury built specifically to serve Iowa’s evolving landscape or urban areas, lake destinations or riverside grand casino hotels.

  • Des Lux Hotel – Des Moines
  • Graduate Hotel – Iowa City
  • Hard Rock Hotel – Sioux City
  • Historic Park Inn – Mason City
  • Hotel Blackhawk – Davenport
  • Hotel Julien – Dubuque
  • Hotel Grinnell – Grinnell
  • Hotel Renovo – Urbandale
  • Hotel Winneshiek – Decorah
  • The Blackhawk Hotel – Cedar Falls
  • The Hotel at Kirkwood Center- Cedar Rapids

Des Lux Hotel – Des Moines

Courtesy of IG @belengaul and @maggiephoto

The 51 room hotel Des Lux Hotel (pronounced deluxe) is located in the heart of downtown Des Moines.  The five story building was renovated into a hotel in the early 2000s, but the building is nearly 110 years old.  The hotel design incorporates much of the original architecture but completes the look with modern, eclectic furniture, wall hangings and design touches.  Property staff are very willing to accommodate guests looking for information about Des Moines or with services inside the hotel.  Des Lux Hotel offers a variety of room configurations including king or two queen executive rooms for individual or family travels and six upgraded executive or suite rooms.


Free Breakfast In Room Dining Free Wi-Fi
6,000 sq. ft. Fitness Center In Room Coffee Maker In Room Refrigerator
Spa Services Available Hotel Bar

Nearby Attractions: John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park, Gray’s Lake Park, State Historical Museum, Principal Riverwalk, and Science Center of Iowa

Nearby Restaurants: 801 Chophouse, Django, Centro, Malo at the Des Moines Social Club, Fong’s Pizza and Exile Brewing

Graduate Hotel – Iowa City

Part of a hotel brand placed carefully near college campuses, the Graduate Hotel celebrates the university vibe and the specific region of each hotel.   The Graduate Hotel in Iowa City does this with a library themed lobby, wallpaper featuring pigs and corn, vintage room decor including references to Iowa wrestling and the Iowa State Fair.  The Graduate Hotel Iowa City offers a variety of room configurations for individuals, couples or families with King and Queen Suites, Family Suite featuring bunk beds, and specialty suites for Hospitality or wedding party use.  Guests will love the location in the heart of downtown Iowa City and adjacent to campus on the city’s Pedestrian Mall.


24 hour gym access Bike loan program Pet stays for $25/night
Loan LSTN Headphones 70s themed restaurant & bar Onsite coffee shop
Free Wi-Fi In room refrigerator In room safe
Docking stations Discounted parking garage

Nearby Attractions: University of Iowa, Englert Civic Theatre, Hancher Auditorium, and City Park

Nearby Restaurants: St. Burch Tavern, Molly’s Cupcakes, Joseph’s Steakhouse, and Bread Garden Market

Hard Rock Hotel – Sioux City

Photo courtesy of IG @ladypy

If you’re not from the West side of Iowa, you may be surprised to learn there is a Hard Rock Hotel in the state.  The rock n roll themed hotel is settled into a 54 room downtown former Battery Building.  Upon entering their room, guests will notice the mixture of bright colored upholstery, soft leather, and rock star details like speakers as decor and musician related wall hangings.  Guests won’t have to go far to find food and entertainment with the onsite casino, live music performances and multiple restaurant and bars on the property.  Rooms are configured with one or two queens or kings and some suites that are sure to live up to your rock n roll dreams.  If you want to feel like a rock star without leaving Iowa, this is your opportunity!


Free Wi-Fi Dry cleaning and laundry service Casino with 100s of games and 28 tables
24/7 Body Rock Fitness Center Rock Shop gift shop Outdoor Pool
Multiple onsite dining options JBL Bluetooth Radio Keurig Coffee Maker
In room refrigerator

Nearby Attractions: Stone State Park, Palmer Candy, and Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center

Nearby Restaurants: In addition to the onsite restaurants, you may want to visit Table 32, Kahill’s Chophouse, and M’s on 4th

Historic Park Inn – Mason City

Photo courtesy of IG @aaaaraonanderson

Did you know the last hotel designed by world renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright is located in Iowa?  The 1910 Prairie School style building resides in what was originally a hotel and bank building.  After several renovations and eventual rehabilitation, the Historic Park Inn opened just over a century later in 2011.  You can read the entire history at this link.  A variety of room styles include one queen or king beds with an optional pullout sofa upgrade.  Guests can also choose a historic room with period style furniture and a claw foot tub.  The hotel design creates several nooks to enjoy time with friends or listen to the player piano.

Photo courtesy of IG @aaaaraonanderson


Free On-site Parking In Room Keurig Coffee/Tea Heated Bathroom Floors
On-site Restaurant & Lounge Fitness Center Free Wi-Fi

Nearby Attractions: Stockman House, Lime Creek Nature Center, and Charles H. MacNider Art Museum

Nearby Restaurants: 1910 Grille (onsite), Birdsall’s Ice Cream, The Quarry and  Prime and Wine

Hotel Blackhawk – Davenport

Although Hotel Blackhawk celebrated its 10th anniversary in late 2020, the building has been around since 1915 and has an impressive past.  The Marriott Autograph Collection property has 130 rooms that vary from single King or two Queen rooms to expansive two bedrooms suites complete with kitchen and living room.  With the onsite dining and entertainment options, you wouldn’t have to leave the hotel, but the surrounding downtown Davenport area will entice you to explore.  Hotel Blackhawk has preserved many historic aspects of the building while offering modern, luxurious rooms including fun extras like in mirror bathroom TVs.  Don’t miss out on the indoor pool with floor to ceiling windows and views of Davenport and the Mississippi River.


Free Wi-Fi Free online New York Times Business Kiosk
Free On-site Parking On-site Barbershop and Salon Full service spa
On-site Restaurant On-site Cafe On-site Lounge
Pool Fitness Center On-site Bowling Alley
Laundry & Dry Cleaning Service Pets permitted for fee

Nearby Attractions: Figge Art Museum, Adler Theatre, Vander Veer Botanical Park, and Village of East Davenport

Nearby Restaurants: Me & Billy, Armored Gardens, Half Nelson, and RAW

Hotel Julien – Dubuque

The Hotel Julien sits in a very prominent point in downtown Dubuque as it is highly visible to visitor entering city from Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin as all highways enter the city at the same point.  A hotel has sat in this location since 1839 and has hosted Abraham Lincoln, Buffalo Bill Cody, Mark Twain and even Al Capone.  The interior design of the current Hotel Julien is a luxurious mix of upholstered, patterned furniture, muted wallpaper, and modern touches.  Hotel Julien offers room varieties from the one King or two Queen beds to suites with upgrades like separate living, kitchen, whirlpool and even a Capone themed suite.  A visit to this local landmark will leave guests refreshed and feeling pampered.


Fitness Center Indoor Pool On-site Spa
Free Wi-Fri On-site Restaurant & Lounge Free On-site Parking
Room Service Safe Deposit Boxes

Nearby Attractions: National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, Fenelon Elevator Co, Eagle Point Park and Mines of Spain

Nearby Restaurants: Caroline’s (onsite), Vinny  Vanuchi’s, 1st and Main, and Pepper Sprout

Hotel Grinnell – Grinnell

Steps from the campus of Grinnell College and originally built as a junior high school in 1921, Hotel Grinnell has always been connected to education.  This connection is evident from the youthful, collegiate theme tied into the Periodic Table Lounge, basketball gymnasium ball room, in room chalkboards, “hall pass” key sleeves and the “Not Now” ties used as privacy door hangers.  Hotel Grinnell’s owner poured years of effort into funding and designing the final product which include 300 pieces of original artwork, restored maple floors from the original school and local materials used for the shower glass and steel bed frames.  The style, although fun, also incorporates luxurious upholstery and linens alongside modern decor elements.  Choose from 45 rooms with single King or two Queen options including the signature suite, loft style, premium upgrade or canopy bed.  They also offer a bunk room and a penthouse suite.


Free Wi-Fi In room coffee In room refrigerator
In room yoga mat Pet friendly for a fee Fitness Center
Massage available Free bike use On-site Lounge
Room Service Concierge Free On-site Parking
Laundry and dry cleaning available Luggage storage

Nearby Attractions: Grinnell CollegeWalking ToursJacob Krumm Nature Preserve, , and

Nearby Restaurants: Periodic Table (onsite), Pagliai’s Pizza, Relish, and the Prairie Canary

Hotel Renovo – Urbandale

Photo Courtesy of IG @quintaggart

Hotel Renovo is part of the larger Heart of America brand, but has a boutique feel and boasts a 4.5 star rating.  Open in 2015, the hotel capitalized on the urban farmhouse design trend to their 102 rooms with nine different layouts including two queen, one king, a king plus sofa bed, loft style suites, and larger suites perfect for accommodating a group or business meeting.  The hotel provides onsite entertainment in the form of a bocce court, fire pit, bags game, and ping pong table.  Positioned in the popular Des Moines suburb of Urbandale, Hotel Renovo puts guests in the middle of many restaurants and entertainment options.

Photo Courtesy of IG @courtneynicoleharden


Fitness Center Indoor Pool Shuttle Service
On-site Lounge Outdoor Games Free Wi-Fi
Business Center Laundry and Dry Cleaning Coffee and Tea Station

Nearby Attractions: Living History Farms,  Buccaneer Arena, Bestland Park, and Jordan Creek Mall

Nearby Restaurants: Machine Shed (on same property), Jethro’s BBQ and Bacon, Table 128 Bistro & Bar, and Cool Basil

Hotel Winneshiek – Decorah

Hotel Winneshiek sits in the center of Decorah’s quaint downtown on Water Street.  Although the site has been home to some type of inn since the mid 1800s, the current Beaux Arts style building was completed in 1905.  Decorah is proud of their Norwegian heritage and Hotel Winneshiek played an important role as hosts of the Crown Prince and Princess of Norway in 1939.  Today the hotel offers a variety of queen and king rooms with whirlpool available.  They also offer a few styles of suites to indulge or make space for a group stay.  Visitors to the hotel will appreciate all of the historic details including rich woods, stain glass, and floor in lays. Hotel Winneshiek also has the unique distinction of having its own opera house event space.  A visit to this distinctive hotel also opens guests to the unique college community of Decorah with its many outdoor green spaces and trails to visit.


Free Wi-Fi Free Parking Fitness Center passes
In room coffee Room service On-site lounge
Pets allowed for a fee

Nearby Attractions: Vesterheim, Toppling Goliath Brewery, Dunning Springs, and Trout Run Trail

Nearby Restaurants: Rubiyat, Don Jose Family Mexican, Sugar Bowl, and La Rana Bistro


The Blackhawk Hotel – Cedar Falls

Photo Courtesy of IG @deweymonster

The Blackhawk Hotel has the distinction as the oldest continually operating hotel in the country with its original opening in 1853 and operating under its current name since 1914.  This independently owned and operated hotel is part of the greater college community of Cedar Falls, home to the University of Northern Iowa.  The 43 rooms, a mix of original and modern, are filled with charm, soft, period furnishings.  Owners have incorporated additional amenities by partnering with other downtown businesses to offer fitness center, business center and salon/spa service access.


Free Wi-Fi Complimentary breakfast Pet friendly for a fee
Local coffee and tea station On-site lounge Minibars with local goodies
Fitness Center access Concierge Business Center access

Nearby Attractions: Riverwalk Loop, Downtown Cedar Falls, Big Woods Lake Recreation Area, and Ice House Museum

Nearby Restaurants: The Brown  Bottle, Whiskey Road, Montage, and The Stuffed Olive

The Hotel at Kirkwood Center- Cedar Rapids

A unique concept of a luxury teaching hotel on the campus of a community college has created a successful award winning, experiment and opportunity for the 350 students in the hospitality program.  Located with easy access to downtown Cedar Rapids and the Cedar Rapids airport, the Hotel at Kirkwood Center offers guests a great spot for a visit or business stop to their community.  The onsite Class Act restaurant has put the hotel on the map serving fine dining version of Lunch, Dinner and weekend Brunch.  The hotel offers a variety of standard room and suite layouts with plush beds, blue and gray upholstery and linens, modern furnishings, and smart Chromecast TVs.


On-site restaurant On-site Lounge Room Service
Free Wi-Fi Free On-site Parking Shuttle service
Dry cleaning available Concierge Fitness Center
Complimentary bikes Business services

Nearby Attractions: Czech Slovak Museum and Czech Village, Brucemore, Paramount Theatre, and Indian Creek Nature Center

Nearby Restaurants: Class Act (onsite), Cobble Hill Eatery, Lion Bridge Brewing Company, and Need Pizza

Get out there and discover an Iowa hotel for yourself!