IA Travel Guide

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Spend the Night With Frank Lloyd Wright for Just $100

August 10, 2011 at 2:14 PM | by | ()

A long, long, time ago, practically an eternity ago on the internet really, we learned that a hotel once designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Mason City, Iowa would reopen after years of disrepair in the grand year of 2010. So that didn't happen last year but ArtInfo reports on that after an $18 million renovation, The Historic Park Inn Hotel is now officially open to FLW-enthusiasts, and anyone else who is stranded in Mason City for a night.

After hanging in a state of precarious decline for the past 30 years, the renewed Historic Park Inn Hotel emerges with plenty for Wright fans to marvel at: his original art-glass skylights in the lobby, reproductions of furniture found in his other properties, a restored multi-colored terra-cotta façade, and a freshly repaired roof with its characteristically Prairie School hanging eaves. The hotel features 27 guest suites, a bar, a restaurant, and an 8,000-square-foot conference room.

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American Atheists Kick Out the Easter Bunny in Des Moines

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 101 East Locust Street [map], Des Moines, IA, United States, 50309
April 22, 2011 at 11:02 AM | by | ()

While the good little girls and boys of the world are donning their pastel Easter outfits and running around searching for Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies, the American Atheists are going to be partying it up at the Embassy Suites in Des Moines, Iowa this weekend.

The God-less group is hosting their national convention this weekend at the hotel and an estimated 700 people are expected to attend. That might not seem like a lot but apparently the Embassy Suites is already sold-out so the AA is pointing the overflow to the nearby Marriott. Gasp! What will the Mormons think about that?

The convention will feature several different speakers but will also host a Costume Buffet dinner tonight and a DeBaptism event, which is exactly what it sounds like. Now, we wonder how many people will be dressing up like the Easter Bunny for the buffet dinner tonight?

[Photo: Katerha]

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Hotel Vetro: The NYLO of Iowa City

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 201 S. Linn St. [map], Iowa City, IA, United States, 52240
January 3, 2008 at 3:45 PM | by | ()

Just in time for today's caucuses in Iowa, the Hotel Vetro is way more flash than you'd expect for flyover country. Located on Iowa City's pedestrian mall (who knew?!), it's one of those fancy hotels that takes full advantage of its college town market.

Many of the 54 suites in the 14-floor building overlook the University of Iowa campus. In-room, polished concrete floors, kitchenettes, free wifi, free bottled water and Starbucks coffee give the hotel an upscale feel despite the relatively low rates. And don't fear: The bathroom is far from useless, despite the W vibe:

We were impressed with the fancy, but functional room that included both a bathtub for two and a glass-walled shower. Lighting is great, and there is a make-up mirror. The sink was square and shallow. High-quality soap, shampoo and lotion was provided in large bottles.

You'll have plenty of time to enjoy it, too. Breakfast is served in-room until 11 am every morning.

Related Stories:
· Suite Dreams in an Iowa City Boutique [Chicago Tribune]

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Frank Lloyd Wright Hotel Could Open by 2010

December 14, 2007 at 3:25 PM | by | ()

We normally think of Frank Lloyd Wright as a guy who designed homes, but he also created a handful of hotels, including the now-destroyed Imperial Hotel in Tokyo.

His last remaining hotel is in Mason City, Iowa, and soon enough, you'll have the chance to stay there. A major renovation project will fix up both the Park Inn Hotel and an adjoining bank, and should be finished by 2010. (Of course, "should be" are the operative words here.)

If you can't wait until 2010 to stay in the Wright hotel, our little bro site Jaunted has plenty of dish on the architect's famous (and not-so-famous) buildings around the US.

Related Stories:
· Last Wright Hotel on Track for 2010 Reopening [Preservation]
· Wright on the Park/Park Inn Hotel [Official Site]
· Historic Hotels coverage [HotelChatter]
· Frank Lloyd Wright coverage [Jaunted]

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Room with an Anti-View: Country Inn & Suites

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 140 East 55th Street [map], Davenport, IA, United States, 52806
May 4, 2006 at 2:04 PM | by | ()

You know the scene. You open the door to your brand new hotel room, run over to the window, open the blinds and bam, you are hit with the anti-view. Maybe you are looking down a dirty alley, witnessing a drug deal, staring at an air shaft in the face, or seeing a brick wall. Whatever you are viewing it is not extremely pleasurable. Help out your fellow hotel mavens by uploading your anti-views to the HotelChatter/Flickr photo pool, or by sending the photo along to us. Remember to tell us the name of the hotel and the room number with the not-so-easy-on-the-eyes view.

We know that this view from the Country Inn & Suites in Davenport, Iowa is better than a brick wall in Manhattan, but for some reason this is just as depressing.

Related Stories:
· Jim Frazier's photostream [Flickr]
· Country Inn & Suites Davenport reviews [TripAdvisor]