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“Great stay” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bonaparte Inn Bed & Breakfast

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Bonaparte Inn Bed & Breakfast
802 1st Street, Bonaparte, IA 52620   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Bonaparte B&B and Inns
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2009

My daughter and I stayed here and I can not tell you how great it was! The rooms are so nice and clean. The staff so friendly! What a peaceful place to sleep. We ate at the Bonaparte Retreat, right across the road. Really enjoyed it ...Can't wait to go back .

  • Stayed August 2009
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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17 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2008

We stayed at the Bonaparte Inn the day after Thanksgiving to visit family in the area. We had visited the property before and were impressed by the large, beautifully-appointed rooms. It was a flawless visit. We stayed in the J.W. Whiteley room which has one queen and one king-sized bed. It had a large flat-screen tv as well (as I believe all the rooms do) and large windows. The room was cozy, and everything was spotless and gleaming. The whole place has a rustic feel yet seems so new as everything is incredibly well-maintained. We enjoyed the late afternoon refreshments (an assortment of cheeses with crackers and some small appetizers) and loved the bed linens and comfortable beds (and the peace and quiet!). Breakfast included a good variety: eggs, pancakes, hash brown casserole, ham, bacon, coffee cake, juice, tea/coffee, etc. Check-in and check-out were quick and easy. The staff seemed friendly and available. We had absolutely no complaints and enjoyed every minute of the stay. Being from a bigger city, we were also impressed with how much bang we got for our buck at the Bonaparte Inn. We had perfect accommodations in a beautiful, historic building with the addition of several convenient amenities included in the price of the stay: a flat screen tv with satellite, high-speed wireless internet, afternoon hors d'oeuvres, and a nice breakfast spread. It was lovely, and we can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United States
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2008

I’m still basking in the beautiful afterglow of our experience at The Bonaparte Inn located in the charming riverfront town of Bonaparte, Iowa. Our short stay was a mesmerizing one, where my family and I felt as though we had taken a step back in time, and were living in a bygone era. Ranging in age from 49 to 11, each and every one of us relished in the sweet moments that we were able to share at this exquisite Inn. The compelling history of the Inn, the delightful attention of the staff, the character of the amenities, the friendliness of the townspeople, and the intrigue of the area…all part and parcel of this extraordinary Inn.

It only takes a moment to feel the energy of the historical depth of this Inn. For much of its life, the Inn was actually a pants factory, and then later became a glove factory. If you take a visit to the top floor of the building (and you really must), you will have the extreme pleasure of discovering telltale footprints that were methodically (if not inadvertently) massaged into the original floor boards…direct descendents of the repetitive movements used to operate the factory machines. Looking around the room, photographs of the workers themselves adorn the walls, helping to blur the lines between the past and the present.

Each of the thoughtfully crafted guest rooms are located on either the first floor in the back half of the building, or throughout the second floor. Each room is unique and has been given names of important individuals from the Bonaparte area. The name of the room in which we stayed was Isaiah Meek, the man who built the present building, and who started the pants factory. Upon entering our 2nd floor room, we were enthralled by the height of the ceilings, the sheer size of the full length windows, the beauty of the wood floors, the charm of the antiques, the attention to detail, the special touches (ceiling fan, flat-screened television, refrigerator, candies in a dish, beautiful fixtures, plush towels, aromatic soaps, etc.) and the absolute immaculate setting. We felt as though we had won the lottery. But the richness of the experience didn’t stop there…down the hallway a bit was a buffet adorned with freshly brewed coffee, hot water, and soothing teas. The staff and the innkeeper were always thinking of us, their guests.

The first morning of our stay, around 5:45 AM, I decided to venture down to the first floor. Each step I took resulted in some incredible cracking of the floor boards, and I chuckled as I reminisced back to the days I used to tromp up and down our old wooden staircase in my childhood home. Those sounds brought back the feeling of comfort and warmth. The feeling you only get when you know that you aren’t the one responsible for making the breakfast or cleaning the house. Once I made it to the first floor, I cautiously peered around the corner of the landing (very much like a child). A bustling group of women were scurrying around the area, purposefully preparing our breakfast. I slipped past the swinging door, and sheepishly asked a worker if it was okay that I was up at such an hour. She warmly smiled and said, “Please…come on in.” I knew she meant what she said, and so I didn’t hesitate. Like a child on Christmas morning, I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. As I rounded the corner, I noted that an older gentleman was already sitting in a cozy area, sipping coffee and typing away at his laptop (yes, they are wireless!). I fancied a burst of caffeine myself, and I glanced around the room to locate the origin of the smell. And, there it was, piping hot coffee burbling on a hot plate near the breakfast buffet. Mmmmm…. I sat down on one of the fireside chairs and sipped my first Cup-of-Joe.

Moments later, from out on the road, I heard the intense clippety-clopping of fast-moving hooves. Instantaneously images of the pony-express filled my mind. I looked out in the dark and saw a streak of light. What was that? I looked at the workers for comfort…for I felt as though I may be in some kind of drunken haze (was it the coffee?). Then I heard it again, and I dashed to the window. A bearded man on his Amish wagon was racing by. Tell me I’m not dreaming. Shortly thereafter, an adorable woman in bunny slippers softly walked down the back stairway. In her housedress, she carefully gathered 2 cups of coffee and headed back upstairs. Quiet as a…bunny. Now where in the world can you find such an eclectic collection of sights, sounds and people…except for in Bonaparte, Iowa?

At 7:00 AM sharp, my sister joined me for an early morning walk. We thought it would be safer to wait until the first light of day to begin our trek through the winding country roads. It was about 65 degrees that first morning (lucky us) as we headed across the river bridge through the mystical fog. We weren’t sure where we would go, but we knew that whatever we would find would be fascinating. Approximately 10 minutes into our walk, we spotted a ford truck 200 yards away. We could see an arm spring up into the air, waving back and forth. What was this person doing? The arm continued to move back and forth, as though it were a windshield wiper. As the Ford slowly worked its way toward us, we could see that the driver of the vehicle was waving at us. With a huge smile on his face, and an arm surely tired from the exercise, this person welcomed us into his countryside. He wasn’t the only person who greeted us in such a manner. As a matter of fact, every single person (okay…maybe one or two were less zealous wavers) couldn't wait to greet us on each of the 3 mornings that we went out for our walks. It was if they couldn’t wait to see us, and they were truly happy for our presence.

Each morning, after an hour of walking, we were blessed with an amazing spread of homemade breakfast goodies. There was usually sausage, bacon, eggs, cheesy hash browns, French toast bake (or something of the like), fruit, coffee cake, cold cereal, yogurt, and an array of juices. Mmmmmmm! Being the environmentalist that I am, I also noticed their practice of using cloth napkins instead of paper napkins; ceramic plates and cups rather than disposables; and real silverware. This was another nice touch that shows true respect for the Earth that we share. Dare I forget to mention that they also serve yummy evening hors devours! Such favorites as “Little Smokies” and cheese balls with crackers are a mainstay. You may also indulge a bit by purchasing wine, bottled beer and/or pop and charge it to your room. During one evening, we tried to sit out on their lovely lawn furniture in their sweet garden to enjoy our little goodies; however, in October in Iowa you just become a feast for the “No-see-ums” (little black bugs that pack a punch) and the Japanese beetles (please don’t confuse these orange spotted insects with ladybugs…ladybugs don’t bite)!

I also need to add that on the final night of our stay (Sunday), we were the only ones in the Inn. You would think that they would scale back to conserve; however, they did not!!!! Instead, the staff saw it as an opportunity to be even more courteous and more accommodating. “What time would you like breakfast?” “Would anyone care for pancakes?” Wow! They truly represent the quintessential hospitality worker.

By the way, make sure you walk across the street to The Bonaparte Retreat, where you can have a scrumptious, inexpensive meal in an old grist mill. Also, make sure you walk down the road to a real gem-of-a-place…Bonaparte Pottery...an authentic archeological site!!!!

Needless to say, we were hugely disappointed when we had to say “Good-bye” to the Inn and to Bonaparte. However, we take comfort in knowing that we will go back…hopefully sooner than later. I have spread the word to anyone who will listen about The Bonaparte Inn, in hopes that everyone can relish in their own heartwarming experience as personal guests of the Inn. All the while, I am spreading the word rather selfishly, because I desire that Bonaparte Inn not only survives but THRIVES so that there will continue to be space for my family and me, as we plan to make a fall stay at The Bonaparte Inn a sacred tradition.

  • Liked — The historic charm, the attention to detail, the delicious food, the doting staff!
  • Disliked — Nothing!!!!!!
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Bonaparte Inn Bed & Breakfast

Address: 802 1st Street, Bonaparte, IA 52620
Location: United States > Iowa > Bonaparte
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Bonaparte
Also Known As:
Bonaparte Inn Bed & Breakfast Iowa

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