I was rather reluctant to stay here given the poor reviews on Tripadvisor, however a last minute trip to Des Moines during the Iowa State Fair left me no other hotel choice within 40 miles. The price was far higher than it should have been but it seems like every hotel in the area raises their prices at that time of the year. The hotel was completely full the night I was there so obviously they're able to get the price they're asking for but I've stayed at much nicer hotels for the $179 per night that I paid.
Check in was smooth and I appreciated that they accomodated an early check in at 1:30 on a day they were filled to capacity. The clerk complained that my reservation didn't indicate I was traveling with a dog when I told him to add the pet fee, however there was no step anywhere on the Holiday Inn website that asked for that information when I was making the reservation.
The room itself was nicer than I expected. I had a suite, which was the only option available with my last minute booking. I didn't notice any musty smell that other reviewers have complained about. The kitchen included a small stove, microwave and a full size fridge. This would make it a great base for families attending the fair who like being able to cook for themselves. The furniture in the living room looked fine at first glance but there were a large number of nicks and scratches in the sides of the desk and table and the arms of the armchair looked worn and dirty. The bedroom furniture looked in better shape, although one lamp in the bedroom didn't work.
The restaurant has a Bennigan's attached and also a room service delivery option. I didn't eat there so I can't comment on the food. The surrounding area has a large number of fast food restaurants. Fewer sit down places but there are more if you're willing to drive ten minutes to surrounding neighborhoods. The neighborhood seemed OK, although Saturday night when I came back from dinner there was a long line of cars on the street in front of the hotel with a bunch of young males just hanging out in front of them and there were two men who didn't appear to be hotel guests hanging out in front when I checked out.
One other issue I experienced that was hardly the hotel's fault but is worth noting is that I had zero coverage with AT&T inside the hotel. It worked OK outside but several times I saw other people standing outside speaking on cell phones. Again, not the hotel's fault but provided in this review strictly for informational purposes. The hotel has free wifi, which is a great plus but it dropped a number of times Saturday night when I was using it. The connection was much more reliable and faster on Sunday morning.
I experienced several negatives while at the hotel. The first was being awakened by the staff at 6 am. They were vacumning the hallway, including occasionally bumping the vacumn into the wall and shouting to other employees. I needed to be up early but if I hadn't this would have absolutely impacted my ability to sleep past 6 am.
The hotel allows pets but charges a $20 fee. It doesn't say it on the Holiday Inn website but the paperwork you have to sign at the hotel restricts dogs to 20 pounds and under. I have no idea what they would have done if I'd showed up with a big dog. They will only give first floor rooms and assigned me to a room that was closest to the entrance. I suppose they figure it gets dogs out to potty quickly but it also tends to be the loudest room in the hotel due to the large number of people coming through the door making noise. My dog never barks in hotels but if I had a dog that did we wouldn't have slept very well that night. They also want dogs only walked along the back fence, which is not grass. The first time I took my dog there I spotted poison ivy growing in the gravel! Dogs can spread poison ivy oils if they get it on their coat so I ended up walking my dog across the street near the Super 8 or down the road further. As someone who always cleans up after her dog I would have much rather agreed to pay a penalty if I didn't clean up and be able to use a grassy area instead of noticing her standing a foot away from poison ivy.
In general, there are much better hotels in the area. This worked out OK in a pinch, enabled me to go to Des Moines on the weekend I wanted to go but I wouldn't book it again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Des Moines - Northwest is located in the heart of Iowa, 1/2 block from Interstates 80/35 and Merle Hay Road in the Des Moines suburbs of Johnston and Urbandale. Within minutes of corporate locations such as John Deere Credit, Pioneer Hi-Bred, Iowa Public Television and Camp Dodge. Enjoy our indoor pool, hot tub and recreation area until midnight! Nearly 200 guestrooms and suites feature quilt-top mattresses, triple sheets and pillow menu. Executive-class suites are offered in several styles, from Junior Kings to the stunning Presidential Whirlpool with Rosewood conference table, bar and entertainment center. Hotel offers over 12,000 square feet of conference space, including 18 breakout meeting rooms. Meet in the elegant Iowa Boardroom or the Heartland Ballroom, which can accommodate up to 600 guests. From technical assistance and creative menu planning, to just a bit of reassurance, our meeting professionals can assist with the planning of your next best event! Enjoy complimentary High-Speed Wireless Internet service anywhere in the Hotel or restaurant. Local guests enjoy the extensive menu and friendly Irish hospitality of our Bennigan's restaurant. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Hotel And Suites Des Moines - Northwest
- Holiday Inn Des Moines
- Des Moines Holiday Inn
- Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Des Moines - Northwest Iowa