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Where to Stay in Des Moines

The Des Moines metropolitan area is made up of several suburbs, but for the purposes of choosing hotel accommodations, it’s helpful to focus on proximity to the major tourist areas of interest: Downtown Des Moines, Historic East Village and the Capitol district. If you expect to spend the majority of your time in one of these areas, you can spare yourself lots of highway travel by booking a room nearby. With so many options, cheap Des Moines hotel deals can be found close to the points of interest on your itinerary no matter what brings you to the area.

Several nice Downtown hotels put you close to Des Moines' nightlife options and many of the city’s museums, as well as the Iowa State Capitol. You can find accommodations of any type along Interstate 235, as well as Grand Avenue and Locust Street. The highway crosses the Des Moines River, a popular destination for float trips. Emerging from the east side of the Des Moines River, the East Village offers an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, bars and galleries.

Des Moines Hotel Tips

Several of the city’s more upscale chain hotels are located in Downtown Des Moines, east of the river and the Capitol building. As these hotels generally cater to business travelers, their weekend rates are often lower than their mid-week rates. A handful of B&Bs can be found outside of downtown, throughout the Des Moines suburbs. Accommodations in the greater Des Moines metro area largely consist of budget-friendly family hotels. Along I-35, I-235 and throughout the rest of Des Moines, national chain hotels are the most common type of lodging, but brands range from the budget-minded Econo Lodge to the comfortable Courtyard by Marriott.

Des Moines Hotel Recommendations

The Suites of 800 Locust is an exclusive yet affordable boutique hotel that brings a European sense of elegance to Downtown Des Moines. Many of the hotel's rooms are either cozy fireplace suites or luxurious whirlpool suites. Amenities at The Suites include valet parking and access to the business center, board room and health club. Located right in the middle of Downtown Des Moines, The Suites of 800 Locust are a short distance from the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines, The Wells Fargo Arena and the Des Moines Art Center, among other attractions.

An elegant architectural landmark in the heart of downtown Des Moines, the Renaissance Savery Hotel has the distinction of being listed on the National Register of Historic Places. From your room, you need to walk only steps to get to any number of Des Moines' concerts and events, as the hotel is connected by a skywalk to the Polk County Convention Center, the Iowa Events Center and the Wells Fargo Arena. If you're looking for affordable accommodations for an event in Des Moines, the Renaissance Savery Hotel has more than 12,000 square feet of function space. The valet and off-site parking are cheap and accessible at any time of day.

For Des Moines accommodations with a Midwestern feel and elegant charm, try The Butler House on Grand. It's been voted one of the most romantic getaways, and USA Today named it one of the best B&Bs for business travelers. The work of Des Moines designers and artists is featured throughout the Butler House. The Des Moines Art Center is across the street, as is Greenwood Park, which has a rose garden and walking trails.

Des Moines Transportation

When your flight to Des Moines arrives, you only have to drive 10 to 15 minutes to get downtown. Renting a car at the airport will give you the option to explore Des Moines and the surrounding metro area. Many of the attractions are in Downtown Des Moines, though it's still smart to have a car. Des Moines Area Regional Transit consists entirely of buses. There are regular in-city routes and commuter buses to outlying Des Moines suburbs. In Downtown Des Moines, it's possible to move between buildings without going outdoors, as there's a 3.5-mile-long skywalk system. If you're looking for a day-trip outside of Des Moines, you can get there with ease, wherever "there" is. Wherever you are in the city, you're near highways: Interstate 235 cuts through Des Moines, and Interstate 35 and Interstate 80 pass through the metro area. If you'd rather not drive on your day-trip, Megabus offers service from Des Moines to Chicago and Iowa City.
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