10 Best Places to Stay in Des Moines, Iowa

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Des Moines Iowa skyline at City Lights

As the capital city of Iowa, Des Moines is often the first place travelers think of when they think of Iowa. Besides its status in state government, Des Moines has also become Iowa’s cultural and artistic hub. There is a plethora of art, museums, and performance spaces throughout the city, beckoning visitors to enjoy.

Many of these touchpoints can be found in downtown Des Moines. That’s where you’ll find attractions like the Wells Fargo Arena, the Civic Center, and Pappajohn Sculpture Park, to name a few. The highly walkable downtown is enough to satiate even the stingiest traveler’s tourist appetite — especially if that includes the area specialty of Steak de Burgo.

What makes a city like Des Moines especially attractive to travelers is that it’s not outrageously expensive. So you get all the charm of a Midwestern place with the comforts of home and a trip that doesn’t cost you your left kidney? Sign us up! And if you aren’t sure of the best neighborhoods to choose for your trip, read about our top picks for best areas to stay in Des Moines.

TL;DR

Hotel Name Rating Address Contact Number
Surety Hotel 4.5 206 6th Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309 +1 515-985-2066
Embassy Suites by Hilton 4.5 101 E Locust St, Des Moines, IA 50309 +1 515-244-1700
Hyatt Place Des Moines 4.4 418 6th Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309 +1 515-282-5555
Des Lux 4.6 800 Locust St, Des Moines, IA, 50309 +1 515-288-5800
La Quinta by Wyndham 4.3  1785 11th St NW, Altoona, IA 50009 +1 515-706-1507

Best Places to Stay in Des Moines

1. Surety Hotel

Lobby of the Surety Hotel
Surety Hotels / Booking.com

Address: 206 6th Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309

If you are looking for a luxurious spot for your vacation or special event, then check into the Surety Hotel with its rich jewel tones and corn whiskey vibes. Housed within the former Savings and Loan, the Surety is one of those Des Moines hotels that embraces the city’s history. You can feel that sense of a bygone era throughout this meticulously decorated space.

They have an indoor restaurant, coffee bar, and courtyard patio bar for the summer months. For some lively fun, the hotel brings in music artists to perform in the courtyard and offers yoga sessions. Plus, the hotel is pet-friendly, so even your furry bestie can enjoy the luxe digs.

Pros:

  • Pet-friendly
  • On-site restaurant
  • Free wi-fi access
  • Near city center
  • Fitness room

Cons:

  • Rooms can be noisy
  • Parking can be expensive

Things to Do Nearby:

  • Science Center of Iowa
  • Jim Muto Recreation Area
  • Amici Coffee Shop
  • Des Moines Train Station

2. Des Lux Hotel

Des Lux Hotel guest room
Des Lux Hotel / Hotels.com

Address: 800 Locust St, Des Moines, IA, 50309

If you want some of that old-world glam with dark wood and fireplaces to relax beside, then the Des Lux Hotel may be for you. Located in downtown Des Moines, specifically in the historic Court District, the Des Lux Hotel provides luxurious comfort within a punny name. (The DE-luxe hotel in DE Moines — get it?)

Guest rooms at the Des Lux are dreamy with rich tones that create the perfect place for relaxation. The hotel offers a free airport shuttle and free continental breakfast. You can take the luxe experience up a notch, too, and get your hair cut at their on-site Salon Noir or relax with a spa massage.

Pros:

  • Great location
  • Free shuttle service
  • Comfy beds
  • Free wi-fi
  • Luxurious accommodations

Cons:

  • Parking is not on-site but rather across the street

Things to Do Nearby:

  • Enjoy a private scavenger hunt
  • Drake University
  • Adventureland
  • Jordan Creek Town Center
  • Iowa State Fairgrounds

See Related: Is Des Moines Safe? Here’s What to Know

3. Baymont by Wyndham Des Moines Airport

Exterior of the Baymont Des Moines Airport
Baymont by Wyndham Des Moines Airport / Booking.com

Address: 6221 Willow Creek Ave, Des Moines, IA 50321

Ideal for budget-minded travelers, the Baymont by Wyndham Des Moines Airport is a comfy Des Moines hotel. Despite its status, with no negative connotation intended, as a cheap hotel, the Baymont offers a plethora of perks. There are regular guest rooms and suites available at this hotel.

The Baymont by Wyndham Des Moines Airport is one of the Des Moines hotels we highly recommend for business travelers with its close proximity to the airport. Other amenities include a heated indoor pool, sauna, free parking, free daily breakfast, and a free airport shuttle.

Pros:

  • Pool
  • Shuttle to the Des Moines International Airport
  • Free breakfast
  • Free wi-fi
  • Games room

Cons:

  • Rooms may be noisy

Things to do Nearby:

  • Science Center of Iowa
  • Jim Muto Recreation Area
  • Urbandale Softball & Soccer Complex
  • Chrome Cafe
  • Go on a group scavenger hunt

4. La Quinta by Wyndham Altoona Des Moines

Deluxe room at the La Quinta by Wyndham Altoona Des Moines
La Quinta by Wyndham Altoona Des Moines / Hotels.com

Address: 1785 11th St NW, Altoona, IA 50009

So technically, the La Quinta by Wyndham Altoona Des Moines is in the neighboring suburb of Altoona. But if you can forgive the slight differentiation in address, you should give this hotel a shot. After all, it’s right by Adventureland Park if you’re up for some theme park experiences.

The La Quinta is pet-friendly and comes with a fitness center, self-service laundry, a pool, free parking, and free breakfast. It’s next to Interstate 80 for easy access.

And, although it isn’t super walkable, there is a Cinemark theater next door. There’s also a bar in the lobby area for those post-themed park evenings.

Pros:

  • Free parking
  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Free wi-fi
  • Near to the interstate
  • One of the pet-friendly hotels

Cons:

  • Rooms can be noisy

Things to Do Nearby:

5. Hyatt Place Des Moines/Downtown

Lobby sitting area at the Hyatt Place Des Moines/Downtown
Hyatt Place Des Moines/Downtown / Booking.com

Address: 418 6th Avenue, Des Moines, IA, 50309

Located in downtown Des Moines, the Hyatt Place Des Moines/Downtown is a funky accommodation right in the heart of the city. It is just steps away from the Science Center of Iowa and Hy-Vee Hall, where many events are held throughout the year. From here, you are also just a few blocks away from the Des Moines River.

The Hyatt Place is also within walking distance of many terrific restaurants like Tupelo Honey. Amenities include a pool, fitness center, free airport shuttle, and free continental breakfast. It is pet-friendly, but there may be fees.

Pros:

  • Indoor pool
  • Conveniently located in the city center
  • Private parking
  • Pet-friendly
  • Fitness area

Cons:

  • Breakfast options may be limited

Things to Do Nearby:

  • Iowa Events Center (Hy-Vee Hall)
  • Science Center of Iowa
  • Tupelo Honey
  • Des Moines Embassy Club Downtown
  • Jim Muto Recreation Area

See Related: Best Day Trips from Des Moines

6. Embassy Suites by Hilton Des Moines Downtown

Exterior of the Embassy Suites by Hilton Des Moines Downtown
Embassy Suites by Hilton Des Moines Downtown / Booking.com

Address: 101 E Locust St, Des Moines, IA 50309

On the historic East Village side, stay at the pet-friendly Embassy Suites by Hilton Des Moines Downtown to get city and river views. It’s a great spot to see the Iowa State Capitol lit up at night.

Plus, its location in the city center provides ample opportunity for meandering around Des Moines. This downtown all-suite hotel is one of the popular hotels for families because of its amenities and proximity to attractions like the zoo.

Find spacious rooms with a kitchenette and a daily happy hour (or evening reception) with select drinks and snacks. Other amenities include a pool, fitness center, free hot breakfast, and an additional restaurant — Liberty’s.

Pros:

  • Located in the city center
  • Business center
  • Indoor swimming pool
  • Pet-friendly
  • Shuttle to Des Moines airport

Cons:

  • Some rooms may be outdated

Things to Do Nearby:

  • Iowa State Capitol
  • Blank Park Zoo
  • West River Front Park
  • Brenton Skating Plaza
  • World Food Prize Hall of Laureates

7. Hilton Des Moines Downtown

Hallway of art at the Hilton Des Moines Downtown
Hilton Des Moines Downtown / Booking.com

Address: 435 Park St, Des Moines, Iowa 50309

Encapsulating Des Moines’ artistic spirit is the Hilton Des Moines Downtown. This Des Moines hotel is a positively magnetic place with the panache you’d expect from a Hilton hotel.

These cozy hotel rooms come in both regular and suite varieties, depending on how much room you want. There is a free shuttle to the Des Moines airport, room service, an indoor pool, and paid private parking as well.

Like the other downtown hotels, there is a high walkability from the Hilton. When the weather cooperates, try to get a spot in the terrace section of the hotel’s restaurant, Park Street Kitchen.

Pros:

  • Business center
  • Pool
  • On-site restaurant
  • Room service
  • Located in the Des Moines downtown area

Cons:

  • Breakfast not included

Things to Do Nearby:

  • Rotary Riverwalk Park
  • Des Moines Civic Center
  • Pappajohn Sculpture Park
  • Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
  • Cowles Commons

8. Hotel Fort Des Moines, Curio Collection by Hilton

The dining area at the Hotel Fort Des Moines, Curio Collection by Hilton
Hotel Fort Des Moines, Curio Collection by Hilton / Booking.com

Address: 1000 Walnut St, Des Moines, IA 50309

Built in 1919, the Hotel Fort Des Moines gives us just a taste of the city’s history without losing any of its brilliant lacquer. Enveloped in rich wood detailing, the Hotel Fort Des Moines Curio Collection hotel captures the significance that its name alludes to. Located downtown, this is one of the best Des Moines hotels for anyone looking for decadence.

As an eco-friendly hotel, there are no plastic cups, water bottles, or utensils, and the majority of the food served at the restaurant is locally sourced. This hotel offers room service, parking, a gym, and made-to-order breakfast.

Pros:

  • Eco-friendly accommodation
  • Locally sourced ingredients
  • Parking
  • Luxury rooms and suites
  • Fitness room

Cons:

  • No electric vehicle charging

Things to Do Nearby:

See Related: Best Wineries In Iowa For Tastings and Tours

9. The Rewind West Des Moines, Tapestry Collection By Hilton

Exterior of The Rewind West Des Moines, Tapestry Collection By Hilton
The Rewind West Des Moines / Booking.com

Address: 6075 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines, IA 50010

A modern getaway at the Rewind West Des Moines is one of the many great options we’ve listed for a relaxing stay in Des Moines. Not only is it one of the top-rated hotels in the area, but it’s also perfectly positioned for any last-minute needs. Smackdab between a Target, Costco, and Hy-Vee, you’re set for all you need while you’re visiting Des Moines!

The Rewind West Des Moines, in all its mod styling, has traditional rooms and suites available. There is an airport shuttle, pool, an on-site steakhouse, and lots of posh decor. I see a lot of iconic travel photos in the future for Rewind guests.

Pros:

  • Hot tub and pool
  • Steakhouse
  • Breakfast in-room option
  • Airport shuttle
  • Dry cleaning available

Cons:

  • A little far from downtown

Things to Do Nearby:

  • Jordan Creek Mall
  • Urbandale Softball & Soccer Complex
  • Jim Muto Recreation Area
  • Hyper Energy Bar
  • Science Center of Iowa

10. Homewood Suites Des Moines Airport

Guest room at the Homewood Suites in Des Moines
Homewood Suites Des Moines Airport / Booking.com

Address: 7201 SW 22nd Street, Des Moines, IA 50321

When you need a bit more room out of your hotel space, consider staying at the all-suite Homewood Suites Des Moines Airport. It’s on the side of the cheap hotels that give you way more bang for your buck than you might expect.

While it’s further from the rest of Des Moines, its closeness to the airport and free parking balance it out. There’s also an indoor pool, a fitness center, and pet-friendly rooms. Since it’s not far from the previously mentioned Rewind hotel, you’ve got easy access to their Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse too!

Pros:

  • Free parking
  • Near to the airport
  • Pool
  • Fitness center
  • All suites

Cons:

  • A little far from downtown

Things to Do Nearby:

  • Fucaloro’s Pizza in Beningans Restaurant
  • Jim Muto Recreation Area
  • Urbandale Softball & Soccer Complex
  • Warren County Fairgrounds
  • Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse nearby!

Related Resources

Amanda Finn
WRITTEN BY

Amanda Finn

Amanda (she/they) is a Chicago-based queer travel, arts, and lifestyle writer who is passionate about exploring the world. Their work has been featured in Newcity Stage, The Chicago Reader, Huffington Post, and Yahoo, as well as the November 2022 book, "Chicago Like a Local" and other travel journals available on Amazon. Amanda's favorite destinations include Costa Rica, Prague, Dublin, Hong Kong, and every Disney park they've visited.

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