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“Wonderful experience! Old-world luxury with modern amenities.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Julien Dubuque

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Hotel Julien Dubuque
Ranked #2 of 17 Hotels in Dubuque
Certificate of Excellence
Iowa
Level Contributor
72 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
“Wonderful experience! Old-world luxury with modern amenities.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 17, 2012

We spent a few days at the Hotel Julien, Dubuque, IA recently while visiting eastern Iowa and western Illinois. What a wonderful experience!

The Julien sits right downtown and is very easy to find just off of Highway 20. It is within walking distance of the National Mississippi River Museum, the Diamond Jo Casino, Port of Dubuque, and a variety of nice shops and restaurants downtown. The charming community of Galena, Illinois is a 20-minute drive away. A grand hotel completely redone, the Julien retains its late-Victorian era charm with all of the modern amenities, a great location, and fabulous staff.

Our check-in process was seamless, and the clerk was very friendly, knowledgeable, and efficient. The lobby is impressive, boasting a grand staircase, original marble flooring, grand old fireplace, and comfortable seating. Our room was beautiful-- a corner King suite on the fifth floor with a view of downtown Dubuque and the Ice Harbor and Mississippi River. Large windows let in a flood of light, with luxurious curtains, nice stylish furniture, granite countertops in the full kitchen and bathroom sink areas, and a large, spacious bedroom. The bathroom was roomy and beautifully tiled with a big, modern shower, thick towels, and new fixtures. Everything was sparkling clean.

The King bed was firm, but comfortable with nice sheets and covers. Bedside tables and lamps for each side were a nice touch. In the closet were wonderfully-comfortable spa robes; I loved relaxing in my robe and didn't want to take it off! We didn't take advantage of the Potosi Spa downstairs, but the amenities looked good and prices fair. The pool, hot tub, and exercise room were immaculately clean, spacious, and well-appointed.

Another perk of the Julien-- wireless internet is fast and available free of charge in all rooms and public areas. Unlike many hotels of this caliber, the Julien doesn't nickle-and-dime every expense. Much appreciated.

We dined at Caroline's, the hotel's restaurant, our first night and had a wonderful experience. Our meal was perfectly-cooked, and the service top-notch. A full wine-list and varied menu meant there was something for everyone. Caroline's menu is also available via room service--- try the Banana French Toast for breakfast! Prices are very fair, and portions large at this restaurant. Because of the restaurant on-site, there is no complimentary breakfast, but Caroline's is a great restaurant and prices are fair. Room service arrived quickly with a hot meal perfectly prepared and well-presented.


Every staff-member we interacted with at the Julien is to be commended. Each person was friendly, efficient, well-dressed, polite, and really seemed to enjoy their job and were justifiably proud of the grand old hotel. They were willing to go out of their way to ensure any guests' happiness. I really can't think of one bad thing about our stay. The Julien is a touch of old-world luxury in the modern world. By far the best place to stay in Dubuque, and one of the best in the midwest.

Room Tip: East-side rooms will have a view of the river/harbor.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank mtcowgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,001 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (230)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Iowa
Level Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 12, 2012

Stayed at the Julien with a group of friends and family for a surprise birthday weekend. I could write a twelve page review, but will keep it brief. This is one of the best hotels I have stayed in, and probably the best hotel in the Iowa - and I am a very picky hotel snob. The rooms were very nice, staff from the front desk, to the lounge, to the restaurant (Carolines) bent over backward to ensure you had a great experience. Location is excellent, the rates are extremely low compared to what you get. I expected something good and found something great. The Julien shines, and I would highly recommend it to anyone. Make sure to have some drinks in the lounge and then enjoy a wonderful meal at Carolines restaurant. We had both dinner and breakfast and they were wonderful.

Room Tip: Eat at Carolines - reasonably priced, excellent food
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank build2travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Sioux City, Nebraska
Level Contributor
110 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2012

This is one of the most beautiful old hotels. It has undergone millions of dollars of renovation in the last 3 years. It is absolutely delightful located in the historical area of Dubuque. You can make arrangements to visit Al Capone's suite complete with a walk in safe that still smells from the Capone era. the lobby area is tastefully decorated with a lot of areas to visit. The rooms are wonderful. Forgo the regular motels found in every city in America, and make your reservation at the Hotel Julien. You will not be disappointed!

Room Tip: Ask for an upgrade.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MarilynAK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 1, 2012

My husband and I stayed the last weekend in February. It was supposed to be a getaway simply to sleep. It was a close one hour drive and we booked two nights and were very much looking forward to uninterupted sleep since we have two little ones that don't sleep very well. We loved the hotel itself. Room service was amazing, very reasonably priced. Being a couple in our 30's we appreciated and loved the Riverboat Lounge. They had a DJ both Friday & Saturday night and was a great place to unwind. The ONLY downfall and it was a HUGE one was the fact that our bed was extremely hard to the point that we both tossed and turned all night and woke up extremely sore. My husband even requires a hard bed bc he has a bad back and he woke up both mornings popping ibuprofen. The pillows were so thick that you basically felt like your chin was burried in your chest. I've never in all my hotel stays complained about a hotel bed but this one was extremely uncomfortable to the point that we even considered sleeping on the pull out couch. Also they gave us a handicap room and our shower leaked no matter which way we put the shower curtain which was a little frustrating bc of the rather large stream that one of us mopped up while the other one showered. If you're going to Dubuque and are planning on staying at the Julien, bring your own pillow, you'll be glad you did. The hotel is amazing and beautiful and perfectly located. You have several options for dinning within walking distance and Carolines downstairs is very good. I didn't have a chance to try the spa and was hoping to try it next time, however I'm not sure I could get my husband to return based on the beds.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Brooke R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2012

My husband and I stayed at Hotel Julien for a last minute weekend getaway. We chose this hotel because it's a boutique hotel nearby two casinos with a spa on site.

The Good: beautiful historic hotel, downtown Dubuque. Our Executive Room was nicely decorated and spacious for two people with an expansive view of downtown. The bed was comfortable; the pillows a bit firm for my taste. Modern amenities, Moen & Kohler fixtures, and Aveda bath products. The room has a Keurig coffee maker, and I loved that a full bottle of Cabernet & wine opener were available to us along with an array of honor bar items. The room was very clean and quickly turned each day. Nearby are two casinos offering free shuttles. We preferred the gaming at the Majestique. Crust, across the street, was wonderful. We would have liked to try L. May or Pepper Sprout, but ran out of time.

The opportunities: as other reviewers commented, the jacuzzi could be warmer, but it's not unpleasant. Our 2nd time at the pool, no towels were available and when we asked for some, after 30 minutes, none had arrived. Attached to the hotel is a night club - the Riverboat Lounge - which caters to the nearby college crowd. As this was our first trip to the area, we were surprised by the number of college bars on Main St; unfortunately, not much for the the 30+ crowd. By midnight, the club next door is loud and packed. Too bad the hotel doesn't offer a little pub or bar for us "older folks." The night club just doesn't seem to fit with the overall hotel vibe.

What to keep in mind: the Exec. room has a fridge, but no microwave. Parking is free, but limited. The Hotel Julien is one of the top hotels for weddings and events in the area, so most weekends are pretty busy. The spa gets booked early, so make an appointment in advance. All in all, the hotel was lovey. While quaint & charming, the downtown area lacked the variety of dining, bars and attractions that we're typically used to.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RegulaRay49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omaha, Nebraska, USA
Level Contributor
182 reviews
76 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2012

Have stayed at Hotel Julien many times in the past six months, most recently in November. I stay there while on business in Dubuque.

This is an historic hotel in a great location in the heart of downtown Dubuque. Unlike most metropolitan downtown hotels, parking is free at the Hotel Julien.

The rooms are not large but are very well appointed. I especially like the basket of snacks (the Hotel's version of a mini-bar).

The beds are extra comfortable and the linens are of the highest quality. The wireless internet works well and the rooms are equipped with flat-screen HD televisions.

The staff at the front-desk is very helpful and friendly.

Love the hotel and will continue to stay there when I return to Dubuque.

Room Tip: Higher floors have better views and are quieter. Rooms near the elevator can be quite noisy.
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank GoldenBear_Husker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan City, Indiana
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 23, 2012

As a spur of the moment get-away from Chicago, we chose to visit the city of Dubuque with its wonderfully historic buildings and friendly "small town" atmosphere. We spent two nights in the classic and charming Hotel Julien in the heart of old downtown and luxuriated in style while paying "small-town" prices. Beautifully restored in 2009, the hotel provides a quiet respite with old-fashioned hospitality. Our room was sumptuously outfitted with comfortable, cozy beds, plush robes, a spacious bathroom, upscale toiletries, and a very reasonably-priced mini-bar to indulge our every whim. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Caroline's, located within the hotel, but also found it easy to walk to several places nearby and enjoyed a second night's dinner at "Crust", a wonderfully, hip Italian/pizzaria across the street. We would have had breakfast at Caroline's but decided to try out the local Dubuque eatieries such as the nearby classic diner, Dottie's Cafe at 504 Central Ave.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Swazzette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Julien Dubuque

Property: Hotel Julien Dubuque
Address: 200 Main Street, Dubuque, IA 52001 (Formerly the Julien Inn)
Location: United States > Iowa > Dubuque
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Dubuque
#1 Business Hotel in Dubuque
#2 Family Hotel in Dubuque
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Julien Dubuque 3.5*
Number of rooms: 133
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience this remarkable full service boutique hotel, offering the area's most elegant accommodations, cuisine and impeccable service. After a $30+ million complete renovation, the Hotel Julien Dubuque is now a true landmark of luxury and sophistication. The hotel's contemporary elegance and sumptuous comfort complement the grandeur of the historic Old Main District, which is home to many of the incredible sights and cultural experiences the region has to offer.Whatever journey brings you to the Hotel Julien Dubuque, we invite you to set aside a little time to take good care of yourself.Potosa Spa & fitness facility, located on the lower level of the Hotel Julien Dubuque, is the definition of an exceptional boutique hotel spa: Steeped in service, designed with tranquility in mind, true to the culture and history of the area, and restorative for mind and body. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Julien Hotel Dubuque
Hotel Julien Dubuque Iowa

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