The Best Hotels to Book in Des Moines

Locus Street in downtown Des Moines leads straight to the Iowa State Capitol Building
Locus Street in downtown Des Moines leads straight to the Iowa State Capitol Building | © Ellen Isaacs / Alamy Stock Photo
Nick Dauk

Besides its golden-domed State Capitol building, the lively capital of Iowa attracts visitors with a surprisingly diverse range of attractions, from the Downtown Farmers’ Market and Botanical Garden to contemporary sculpture at the Pappajohn Sculpture Park. Des Moines has a wide selection of hotels fit for every type of traveler, ranging from its many repurposed, historical buildings to family-run bed and breakfasts. Not sure where to stay in Des Moines? You’ll find the best hotels right here.

1. Home2 Suites Des Moines at Drake University, for Bulldog fans


Room at Home2 Suites Des Moines at Drake University with a sofa, rug, desk and footstool
Courtesy of Home2 Suites Des Moines at Drake University / Expedia

Make no bones about it – the Home2Suites at Drake University is the place to stay for a Bulldog fan. Your suite is right on the edge of campus, so let us clarify a few things for you. The bulldog painting hanging about the pullout sofa in your studio suite represents Drake University’s mascots. If you see a live bulldog sniffing around campus, that’s just Griff II. If you happen to see a costumed bulldog going number two on Painted Street Park, that’s Spike (and that’s probably illegal).

2. AC Hotel Des Moines East Village, for an easy walk to the State Capitol

Chain Hotel

Room at AC Hotel Des Moines East Village lounge with TV, art on walls and unique ornaments
Courtesy of AC Hotel Des Moines East Village / Expedia

Get to know Des Moines right from Grand Avenue at AC Hotel. If you happen to book a corner guest room with a city view, you might be able to spot the State Historical Building and Iowa State Capitol from the window. Feel free to wander down to the landmark buildings or make an about-face for a quick trip to the riverwalk. Don’t freak out if you see the undead mulling about outside of this Des Moines hotel. Zombie Burger + Drink Lab is reanimating gourmet bashed burgers.

3. Surety Hotel, for well-stocked minibars


Bar at Surety Hotel with wooden panelling, tables and chairs and ambient lighting
Courtesy of Surety Hotel / Expedia

Midwestern hospitality is unrivaled, and Surety Hotel knows how to treat a guest. As any true blue Midwesterner would, they’ve fixed you a room with a minibar packed with Des Moines goodies. IPAs, roasted corn kernels, and pork sticks are among the munchies. Chow down but don’t ruin your appetite. Mulberry Street Tavern would be more than happy to whip you up a proper Midwestern meal of beef, cheese, and veggies sourced from right down yonder.

5. Holiday Inn Des Moines DTWN - Mercy Area, for city skyline views


Room at Holiday Inn Des Moines with a bed, a sofa and traditional decor
Courtesy of Holiday Inn Des Moines / Expedia

Making your way through the Midwest is quite the trek and Des Moines hotels near the highway, such as Holiday Inn, make it easier. Whether you choose a guest room with an extra rollaway bed or a suite with a spa bathtub, both are still a mere half-mile walk from the Wells Fargo Arena. Grub is free for the kiddos when an adult dines at the hotel and the views of the downtown skyline alone are reason enough to slide into a seat.

6. Wildwood Lodge Clive, for a spa with a waterfall

Budget Hotel

Large indoor pool at Wildwood Lodge with decorative boulders and tables and chairs
Courtesy of Wildwood Lodge / Expedia
This Des Moines hotel is located in West Des Moines and makes for a perfect haven, particularly if you happen to be traveling during one of Iowa’s harsh winters. Its red-carpeted lobby, comfortable furniture, and antique memorabilia all add to the warm atmosphere. Besides a variety of room types, perks include the indoor pool, complemented by a raised spa with a waterfall.

7. Des Moines Marriot Downtown, for sightseeing


Room at Des Moines Marriot Downtown with wooden floor, art on the walls and a desk
Courtesy of Des Moines Marriot Downtown / Expedia
In the heart of the business district, the Des Moines Marriot Downtown offers a convenient, luxurious getaway for all travelers looking for a place from which to explore the city. This four-star hotel has all the amenities needed for a comfortable stay, with a wide variety of guest rooms and suites to suit most needs and budgets. Proximity to the Des Moines Art Center and the Des Moines Botanical Center is a boon for sightseers seeking easy access to Des Moines’ best attractions.

8. Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel, for a stay in a historical hotel


Stylish lounge area at Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel with desk, sofa and marble staircase
Courtesy of Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel / Expedia
It’s easy to spot the Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel in downtown Des Moines due to its prominent red brick facade. This imposing edifice is one of the best places to stay in Des Moines, and has played host to many presidents and generals during its long history, besides being a popular event center in the postbellum era. The Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel also gets the balance right between the upkeep of its historical features and 21st-century amenities.

9. Des Lux Hotel, for timeless elegance and comfort


Room at Des Lux with a bed featuring a buttoned headboard, a patterned carpet and lighting
Courtesy of Des Lux Hotel / Expedia
Equipped with a bar, a fitness center, and some of the most spacious rooms in Des Moines, Des Lux Hotel is assuredly one of the city’s most lavish historical lodgings. Originally built in 1912 as the Des Moines Club, the hotel’s antique structure has undergone little change throughout the years, embracing the rich, wooden lobby floors and its elegant brick exterior. With Des Lux’s wide variety of suites and rooms, this hotel has quickly become one of the premier lodgings in town.
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