Set right in the heart of the state of Iowa, Des Moines is easily one of the most underrated cities in the US. But take some time to explore this revitalized Midwestern gem, and you’ll find a thriving arts community, a buzzing nightlife scene, and a whole slew of nationally recognized restaurants!
Outdoor lovers will fall head over heels for Des Moines. Located at the confluence of the Raccoon and Des Moines rivers and surrounded by parks and green spaces, you’ll find endless outdoor adventure in Des Moines. When the weather is nice, you can easily spend your days kayaking down the Des Moines River, going hiking in Raccoon River Park, or going biking on the city’s epic system of trails.
But if you prefer to stick to indoor activities, you’ll have world-class museums to peruse, farm-to-table restaurants to dine at, and all sorts of cool craft breweries to try. And with annual festivals like the Iowa State Fair and the Des Moines Arts Festival, there’s always something exciting happening in Iowa’s capital city, no matter what time of year you visit.
With so much to see and do, you’ll want a nice hotel room to return to each evening. Luckily, Des Moines is brimming with all sorts of historic boutique hotels, luxurious riverside retreats, and amenity-packed all-suite hotels. So many, in fact, that you might have a hard time choosing the perfect one. So we’ve created a list of the 12 best hotels in Des Moines to help you plan your perfect getaway!
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Where to Stay in Des Moines
As the largest city in the state of Iowa, you’ll find plenty of cool places to stay in Des Moines. If this is your first visit to the city, you can’t go wrong with one of the many luxury hotels in the bustling downtown area.
This is where you’ll find the city’s top breweries, restaurants, and attractions. Plus, the unique 4-mile skywalk system connects 55 downtown buildings, so you can get where you want to go in the dead of winter!
For something a bit more unique, book one of the many riverside hotels in the historic East Village neighborhood. Located on the east side of the Des Moines River, this is where you’ll find the spectacular Iowa State Capitol building, as well as attractions like the State Historical Museum and Simon Estes Amphitheater.
West Des Moines is another one of the most popular places to stay in Des Moines. Not only will you find some of the best luxury hotels in this area, but you can shop till you drop at the Jordan Creek Shopping Center, the largest mall in Iowa!
If you’re on a budget, there are quite a few chain hotels clustered around the Des Moines International Airport. Most of these places offer complimentary airport shuttles, which is always a perk. And the best part is downtown Des Moines is just 5 miles away!
The 12 Best Hotels in Des Moines
1. Surety Hotel
With its mid-century modern style and high-end amenities, Surety Hotel is easily one of the coolest hotels in Des Moines. This gem is housed in a former bank building dating all the way back to 1913, so expect to find nods to the building’s storied history throughout. Style aside, you’ll be right in the heart of downtown, near all of Des Moines’ best bars, restaurants, and attractions.
Even the Standard Rooms are nothing short of spectacular and boast plush beds with leather headboards and luxury linens, 55-inch flat-screen TVs, and magazine-worthy bathrooms with Grown Alchemist toiletries. You’ll love the curated mini-bar, which is stocked with local products – from Mo Crack Pretzels and Almost Famous Popcorn to Des Moines IPA and Revelton Liquors!
For something more substantial, head downstairs to Mulberry Street Tavern. This place is a local favorite serving up “worldly tavern” dishes and excellent handcrafted cocktails and local brews. If you prefer to drink and dine alfresco, Surety Courtyard offers shareable bar bites, a cocktail menu, and live music in the summer months.
2. Hotel Fort Des Moines
Set right in the heart of downtown, Hotel Fort Des Moines is set in a 1919 red-brick building awarding it a place on the National Register of Historic Places. This place is pet-friendly, making it one of the coolest boutique hotels in Des Moines if you’re traveling with your furry friend!
You’ll love the rooms, which feature neutral color palettes, dark wood furnishings, and quirky retro touches. You can keep up with work thanks to the large workstation and free Wi-Fi. Or, if you prefer to kick back and relax, you can watch premium channels and HBO on the large flat-screen TV.
You’ll be surrounded by a range of excellent restaurants. But if you don’t feel like researching where to eat, you have great options on site. Proudfoot & Bird serves up locally sourced dishes in its elegant yet casual dining room.
For something a bit more laidback, HobNob Coffee and Wine Bar is the perfect place to mix and mingle with friends over a glass of award-winning wine and a few shareable plates.
3. Hilton Des Moines Downtown
Hilton Des Moines Downtown is one of the best Des Moines hotels if you want to make sure you have all the creature comforts of home without scrimping on luxury. Plus, this hotel offers a complimentary airport shuttle service, which is ideal if you don’t plan on renting a car during your stay.
The revamped rooms are thoughtfully outfitted with ultra-comfy beds with 250 thread-count linens, large workstations, and cozy sitting areas with city views. You’ll love having movie nights with the 50-inch flat-screen TV and being able to enjoy your morning cup of joe with the in-room coffee maker.
If you’re in town for a special occasion, upgrade to the Skyline Suite, and you’ll be spoiled with a lavish living room and dining room, as well as a spa-like bath with a deep soaking tub. The views from the wraparound floor-to-ceiling windows are spectacular!
When you’re not lounging around your room, you can work up a sweat in the fitness center or swim laps in the indoor pool. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head over to Park Street Kitchen for a hearty meal with a regional twist. Or, if you’re feeling lazy, order from the in-room dining menu and enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner in the comfort of your bathrobe!
4. Wildwood Lodge & Suites
Located in Clive, just 15 minutes west of downtown, Wildwood Lodge & Suites is easily one of the coolest boutique hotels in Des Moines. Step inside the rustic-chic lodge-style lounge, and you’ll immediately feel right at home.
One of the best things about staying at the Wildwood Lodge & Suites is all of the freebies. You can fill up on the free hot breakfast every morning, stay caffeinated with the 24-hour coffee and tea station, and get some work done with the high-speed internet. Plus, you can keep up with your routine with the heated indoor pool and the fully outfitted fitness center.
You can choose from a variety of different room types. Opt for the Standard King, and you’ll get a comfy bed, a large work desk, and a modern ensuite. For something a little more special, book the Fireplace & Whirlpool Suite, and you can spend your evenings soaking in the tub and getting cozy by the fireplace.
5. Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel
With its stylish rooms and downtown location, there’s a lot to love about the Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel. Plus, this place is connected to the Des Moines skywalk system, so you’ll have easy access to Wells Fargo Arena, the Iowa Events Center, Court Avenue Entertainment District, and more!
You’ll love the newly-renovated rooms, where new mattresses, 49-inch flat-screen TVs, and Keurig coffee makers come as standard. Upgrade to a Historic Suite, and you’ll be spoiled with 600 square feet of space, including a living area with a giant 55-inch flat-screen TV.
If you’re feeling peckish, you can order room service 24 hours a day. Or, if you prefer to dine at the hotel’s restaurant, Scopri serves up seriously good Italian food. For after-dinner drinks, head over to the on-site Coda Lounge for speakeasy-style cocktails and shareable bites.
6. AC Hotel
AC Hotel is one of the best Des Moines hotels if you prefer to be based in the East Village area. This gem of a hotel is just two blocks from the Des Moines River waterfront and the magnificent Iowa State Capitol building. Plus, you’ll be able to walk to a wide range of bars and restaurants if you ever feel like dining out.
You’ll love the polished rooms, which feature plush platform beds, sleek wood floors, comfy leather love seats, and 32-inch flat-screen TVs. There’s also a large workspace and free Wi-Fi in case you need to do a little work during your trip.
If you’re in town for a special celebration or just feel like splurging, book the City View Suite. You’ll get a living room with a tufted L-shaped couch, a kitchenette, and a breakfast bar, plus a partitioned bedroom with a sitting area and a huge flat-screen TV.
The hotel is also home to The Republic on Grand. This outdoor lounge on the 6th Floor is perfect for those nights when you don’t feel like going far for dinner and drinks. The hotel also boasts a state-of-the-art gym, as well as a complimentary airport shuttle.
7. Des Moines Marriott Downtown
If you’re looking for cool hotels in Des Moines that are right downtown, Des Moines Marriott Downtown might just be the perfect pick. This hotel is connected to some of downtown’s best restaurants and attractions, thanks to the convenient skywalk system. So you can go wherever you want, no matter what the weather is like outside!
When it comes to room amenities, everything has clearly been thoroughly thought through. You can enjoy Starbucks coffee in the morning with the in-room coffee maker, have Netflix nights with the giant 55-inch smart TV, and get refreshed with the Bath and Body Works toiletries in the bathroom.
If you want to upgrade, the Club Level rooms offer sweeping city views, as well as access to the exclusive Concierge Lounge. Whichever room type you choose, you’ll get freebies like high-speed internet and daily newspapers.
In addition to the well-appointed rooms, the hotel offers an indoor pool and a 24-hour fitness center. If you’re feeling peckish, Rock River Grill & Tavern serves up hearty American breakfasts, while Mash + MARROW is the place to go for modern American dinners and stiff cocktails!
8. Holiday Inn Express and Suites Des Moines Downtown
Holiday Inn Express & Suites is an excellent option if you’re looking for an affordable yet modern hotel. You’ll be right on the outskirts of downtown and just 4.2 miles from Des Moines International Airport, so the location is super convenient.
Freebies include a daily hot breakfast buffet, parking, and high-speed internet. Plus, you’ll also get access to the indoor pool and hot tub, as well as the fully outfitted gym.
You can choose from a traditional room or a spacious suite. Either one you choose, you’ll love the comfy beds with crisp white linens, the spacious workstation, and the modern ensuite. Plus, all rooms are outfitted with a mini-fridge, microwave, and coffee maker, which is always appreciated.
While there is no on-site restaurant, you’ll be within walking distance of plenty of options, including a Starbucks, a pizza place, and a taproom. Plus, the heart of downtown Des Moines is an easy 15-minute walk away!
9. Revel Hotel
When it comes to unique hotels in Des Moines, it doesn’t get much better than the Revel Hotel. Tucked away in Clive, you’ll be a quick 5-minute walk from the Living History Farms open-air museum and a 20-minute drive from downtown Des Moines. Plus, the hotel offers a free shuttle to whisk you to and from the airport.
The rooms have everything you need for a comfortable and relaxing stay. You can brew your morning coffee with the Keurig coffee maker, watch movies on the 55-inch flat-screen TV, and get work done at the ergonomic workstation. You’ll even get cool extras like a Bluetooth clock radio and complimentary Beekman toiletries.
If you want to keep up with your workout routine, the Revel Hotel has a fully outfitted gym. Or, if you prefer to relax, The Revel Lounge has an excellent drinks menu and a billiards table. They also serve up seriously good locally sourced dishes – from salads and sandwiches to street tacos and pastas.
10. Home2 Suites by Hilton Des Moines at Drake University
Home2 Suites by Hilton is one of the best Des Moines hotels if you plan on visiting Drake University during your trip. Situated just across the street from campus, this hotel is the closest place you’ll find to the university.
When you’re not exploring campus, you can swim laps in the indoor saline pool, get your heart pumping in the fitness center, or get a little work done in the business center. You’ll also get freebies, including parking, Wi-Fi, and daily hot breakfasts.
One of the best things about staying here is that all guest rooms are actually spacious suites. So you’ll get a comfy bed, a large workstation, and a cozy living area with a loveseat and a swivel-mounted 40-inch smart TV. You’ll even have a little kitchenette where you can prepare basic meals and your morning coffee or tea.
While there is no hotel restaurant, this is a college area, which means you’ll have plenty of options all around you. Plus, Drake Diner is steps away and is a local institution!
11. Staybridge Suites Des Moines Downtown
Tucked away in the historic East Village, Staybridge Suites is one of the best places to stay in Des Moines if you’re in search of a home away from home. Not only is this part of town brimming with shops and restaurants, but you’ll be steps away from West River Front Park and just across the river from downtown.
This is an all-suite hotel, so even the most standard of studios boasts a living area with an L-shaped couch and a full kitchen with a microwave oven, full-size refrigerator, and dishwasher. If you prefer more space, the 1- and 2-bedroom suites offer separate bedrooms and living rooms.
When you’re not out on the town, you can take a dip in the indoor pool, get some work done with the free Wi-Fi, or fit in your daily workout in the gym. The hotel also offers complimentary buffet breakfasts in the mornings, as well as weeknight receptions with free drinks in the evenings.
12. Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Des Moines Downtown
Fairfield Inn & Suites is right in the heart of all the action. Located on the north side of downtown, you’ll be directly across from Wells Fargo Arena and steps away from the Iowa Events Center. Plus, the Des Moines River is right across the street!
You’ll love the surprisingly stylish rooms, which are outfitted with plush beds, spacious workstations, 50-inch flat-screen TVs with HBO, and modern ensuites. Plus, rooms also offer microwaves, mini-fridges, and coffee makers, which is always an appreciated extra touch.
If you’d like more space to stretch out, the suites offer 483 square feet of space and separate living areas. There’s also the option to book a “Larger Suite,” which offers 590 square feet of space.
After a restful night’s sleep, you can fit in your morning workout in the 24-hour gym before fueling up for the day with the complimentary buffet breakfast. When you return in the evening, treat yourself to a signature cocktail or local craft beer at the bar. If the weather is nice, take a seat on the patio, where you can take in the gorgeous city views!
That completes our list of the 12 best Des Moines hotels! Did we miss any cool boutique hotels in Des Moines? Comment below so we can add them to the list!
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