Get away for the weekend to one of Iowa’s most unique, intimate and historic boutique hotels. Experience both relaxation and adventure without the extensive travel itinerary as these beautiful destinations across Iowa offer everything from outdoor adventures and Main Street shopping to a soothing spa day and a quiet evening by the fire.
Make plans to visit these six Iowa lodging properties and read about what they’re doing to keep guests safe during this time.
Classic chic meets contemporary comfort at Hotel Grinnell. The adaptive reuse project transformed Grinnell's historic 1920’s junior high school building into a luxury boutique hotel in 2017. The school’s original maple floors were restored and refinished, along with the soaring ceilings in the guest rooms and the original scoreboard now hangs in The Periodic Table bar and lounge.
No detail was overlooked in the design of this 45-room hotel, including beautiful fixtures, tiled showers and more than 300 pieces of unique artwork. Guests’ favorites include the individual fire pits on the spacious patio and the hotel’s complimentary bike rentals to explore downtown, the numerous bike paths and Rock Creek State Park.
Nearby Attractions & Dining: Within three blocks of Grinnell’s downtown hotel, you’ll find unique local restaurants and shops, Grinnell’s historic movie theatre, Grinnell College, a nine-hole golf course, art galleries and the Grinnell College Museum of Art. A few local spots to check out during your stay include Solera Wine Bar, Grinnell Craft Brewhouse, Prairie Canary and Pagliai's Pizza.
As a top staycation destination in the late 1960s and 1970s, The Highlander Hotel in Iowa City is a retro revival of an urban resort following its reopening in the fall of 2020. The Highlander Hotel is the perfect stay for parents, college students, families, travelers with pets and anyone with the independent bohemian spirit.
The lobby is a bohemian dream with record players and a vintage vinyl and board game lending library. New guest rooms feature balconies and patios overlooking the pool, hot tub and modern outdoor courtyard area. The pool features a snack shack and ping pong and the courtyard offers outdoor yard games and cozy firepits to keep warm through the changing seasons.
Nearby Attractions & Dining: Iowa City is best known for high-performing athletics and world class health sciences, however it’s also the mecca of arts and culture of the Midwest. Located right off Interstate-80, the hotel is just a short drive to the new Xtream Arena as well as the University of Iowa, Big Grove Brewery, art galleries, boutiques and restaurants. Iowa City is also a popular destination for walking and biking trails, including those at the Devonian Fossil Gorge and Lake MacBride State Park.
Escape for the weekend at The Inn Hotel in Okoboji. While not affiliated with the Original Inn Resort, this new and improved hotel pays homage to the original property with art deco accents throughout, original memorabilia, elegant interior design and an impressive gallery wall. The spacious rooms include luxurious amenities, high-end art, deco-inspired furnishings and room service provided by The Beach Club, the onsite tropical, Cuban-inspired restaurant offering seafood, steak, pasta and pizza.
During the winter season, the hotel features a quaint fireplace in the lobby and bicycle rentals for guests to explore the surrounding lakes and enjoy the fresh air.
Nearby Attractions & Dining: Take a stroll through Okoboji and visit the Maritime Museum in Arnolds Park for local history. On a nice day, head out by the water and enjoy a picnic on the beach. Explore the local shops in Queens Court or Historic Hill Avenue by Spirit Lake. The Inn is the perfect spot to relax, unwind and enjoy a peaceful getaway.
Constructed during the Gilded Age, The Warrior Hotel has illuminated the Sioux City's skyline for the last forty years. After a complete renovation, this architectural landmark reimagines its luxurious Art Deco history with a rich palette, elegant furnishings and refined details. Reopened in November 2020, a grand staircase and ornate architectural elements are restored to their original glory and complement the consciously modern design. A glamorous and distinct Midwestern destination, The Warrior Hotel embraces its celebrated past to create an inspired 21st century experience that is “Simply Sioux City.”
The Warrior Hotel is so much more than a place to visit, guests can also experience the Midwestern charm all within a beautifully appointed space. Whether enjoying a delicious meal at Woodbury’s American Steakhouse, bowling at War Eagle Lanes, grabbing at drink at The Crown rooftop bar or being pampered at Two Finches Spa, The Warrior Hotel has something for everyone.
Nearby Attractions & Dining: Located in the heart of Sioux City, step outside the hotel and enjoy local restaurants and breweries, including Sugar Shack Bakery, Jackson Street Brewing, Brightside Café & Deli and SoHo Kitchen & Bar. Within just blocks, visitor’s options are endless. Enjoy views of the Missouri River, experience the Sioux City Art Center and the Sioux City Convention Center or spend some time at the Launchpad Children’s Museum and the Sioux City Orpheum.
5. The Merrill
The Merrill Hotel in Muscatine is located just off the Mississippi River with views unlike any other. Since opening in 2018, the hotel has been recognized as the Best of the Best in 2020 by Tripadvisor and the top hotel in Iowa by U.S. News and World Report.
The Merrill Hotel has 122 guest rooms and suites sure to delight guests with thoughtful details. The hotel has several activities for the family to enjoy including grabbing a bite at the Maxwell Restaurant, enjoying the lounge area and green space, freshening up at the spa and taking in the hotel’s extensive art collection, all created by local Iowa artists.
Nearby Attractions & Dining: Downtown Muscatine has something for everyone. Just a short walk from the hotel, guests can explore local shops and restaurants, the Muscatine Art Center and the National Pearl Button Museum, where they will learn why Muscatine is known as the Pearl Button capital of the world. On a nice day, guests can also explore the picturesque city by exploring the miles of bike trails that run parallel to the great Mississippi River.