Top 10 Cool and Unusual Hotels in Iowa City 2023

Known for its liberal attitude, rich pioneer history, eclectic art and music scenes, academic and cultural appeal, local breweries, traditional German food offerings, and abundant recreations, Iowa City is an outstanding destination for a laid-back vacation full of exploration. 

Discover prehistoric stone tools at the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History, go camping by the Coralville Reservoir, enjoy a sporting event at the iconic Kinnick Stadium, explore the city’s stately history at the Old Capital, watch live performances at the Englert Theater, hike the sprawling trails at Hickory Hill Park, witness Iowa City’s storytelling spirit at Prairie Lights Bookstore, and revel in the mysterious charm of Maquoketa Caves. 

After a day full of exploration, you’ll need a comfortable place to stay at night. Luckily, Iowa City has an incredible selection of luxury boutique hotels, historic B&Bs, and cozy vacation rentals. Here are the top cool and unusual hotels in Iowa City, Iowa (in no particular order)...

1. Graduate Iowa City – a quirky-chic hotel close to the university, right in the heart of town perfect for partying Millenials and Gen Zs Funky Hotel Iowa CityHip Hotel Iowa CityGraduate Iowa City

A college-themed hotel on a lively pedestrian street lined with bars, restaurants, and shops, Graduate Iowa City welcomes guests with homey hospitality. 

Featuring a hip cafe, a vibrant bar with a rooftop terrace, and airy rooms with upscale amenities, this 4-star hotel on Dubuque Street is a perfect pick for those who want a relaxed yet stylish place to stay. 

Literature-themed rooms at Graduate Iowa City are brimming with top-end amenities, from wet bars to separate dining areas to game tables. 

Address: 210 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, IA 52240, United States

2. The Highlander Hotel – a well-designed, fun and funky rock-themed hotel, great for an upscale stay Themed Hotel Iowa CityHighlander Hotel Iowa CityFun Hotel Iowa City

Experience the historic charm of Iowa City at this snazzy hotel in a commercial park off the intersection of Interstate 80.

Retro-chic rooms at this 1960s/70s-themed hotel feature all basic amenities, from cable TV to fresh linens to wireless Internet. Upgraded units offer private patios and/or living areas with pull-out couches.

Other amenities at The Highlander Hotel include a courtyard with cornhole equipment and a fire pit, a fitness room, a hip lounge with a vinyl library and Bluetooth-enabled record players, a ping-pong table, and an indoor pool with a snack bar. 

Address: 2525 Highlander Pl, Iowa City, IA 52245, United States

3. Hotel Vetro Iowa City, Tapestry Collection By Hilton – luxury boutique suites with an onsite restaurant and rooftop gardenLuxury Suites Iowa CityHotelvetro Iowa City

A high-end hotel on South Linn Street, Hotelvetro Iowa City invites vacationers to luxuriate in top-end amenities. Stylish suites have full kitchens, separate dining areas, pillow-top mattresses, work desks, and 42-inch flat-screen TVs. Some suites also feature sofas and floor-to-ceiling windows. 

Complimentary perks at this all-suite hotel include free high-speed Internet in-room and shuttle transportation to the University of Iowa. While staying here as a guest, you’ll also have access to meeting rooms, a conference center, and an Asian restaurant with an eclectic menu. 

Address: 201 S Linn St, Iowa City, IA 52240, United States

  • To book, check prices or availability for Hotelvetro

4. Brown Street Inn Bed and Breakfast – a quiet and well-designed B&B with great hospitalityQuiet Hotel Iowa CityHistoric Hotel Iowa City

Casual elegance combines with urban amenities at this chic bed-and-breakfast on Iowa City’s historic Brown Street. Set amid towering trees, Brown Street Inn Bed and Breakfast is roughly a mile from the Pedestrian Mall. 

Love seats, cable TV, mini-fridges, and 4-poster beds are some of the many in-room amenities that attract well-heeled vacationers to this elegant B&B. 

Free perks include in-room Wi-Fi access and parking. All guests enjoy access to a cozy library, a chic living room with a fireplace, and a formal dining room where breakfast is served every morning. 

Address: 430 Brown St, Iowa City, IA 52245, United States

5. Element Iowa City – modern, very comfortable, luxury suites close to Kinnick StadiumStylish Suites Iowa CityComfortable Hotel Iowa City

Boasting streamlined suites, a grand lobby lounge, and an indoor saltwater pool, Element Iowa City is perhaps the most luxurious hotel on Clinton Street. The all-suite hotel is less than a mile from the University of Iowa campus and provides easy access to open-air events at the Pedestrian Mall. 

Contemporary units at the 3-star hotel come equipped with fully functional kitchenettes, flat-screen TVs, and sitting areas. One-bedroom suites offer separate living rooms with pull-out sofas. 

Address: 314 S Clinton St, Iowa City, IA 52240, United States

6. Hotel Chauncey Iowa City, Tapestry Collection by Hilton – contemporary spacious suites with great views of the cityContemporary Suites Iowa CityHotel Chauncey Iowa City

A well-balanced blend of urban grandeur and homey comfort is found at Hotel Chauncey Iowa City. Set on the upper floors of a high-rise building on College Street, this all-suite hotel is less than a mile from the Old Capitol Museum. 

With floor-to-ceiling windows in each room, you can indulge in stunning city views from inside your room. The refined studios also feature flat-screen TVs, kitchens, and living areas with dining tables. You’ll have to upgrade to enjoy access to a private balcony or patio. 

There’s so much within the building to keep you entertained, including a bowling alley, a movie theater, a restaurant, a coffee shop, and a gym. 

7. Radisson Hotel & Conference Center Coralville – Iowa City – a quiet, clean affordable hotel great for businessQuiet Hotel Iowa CityConference Hotel Iowa Hotel

If you are looking for a relaxed place to stay away from downtown, Radisson Hotel & Conference Center Coralville may be a fantastic option. Understated rooms at this down-to-earth hotel are outfitted with coffee makers, mini-fridges, microwaves, and 42-inch flat-screen TVs. 

Upscale amenities like wet bars and living rooms with pull-out sofas are available in suites. You can also enjoy some complimentary perks here, such as an area shuttle and Wi-Fi access. You’ll also have access to an easygoing restaurant, a heated outdoor pool, a hot tub, 12 meeting rooms, and a fitness center. 

A short drive from this unfussy hotel is the gorgeous Coralville Lake where you can experience the majestic nature of Iowa City. 

Address: 1220 1st Ave, Coralville, IA 52241, United States

8. North Liberty Lake Hideaway 8 Mi to Iowa City! – a beautiful lake holiday home perfect for families or longer staysBeautiful Holiday Home Iowa CityLake Hideaway Iowa CityNorth Liberty Lake Iowa City

North Liberty Lake Hideaway is an absolutely beautiful holiday home with four bedrooms, a spacious living room, a furnished patio, an airy kitchen, a game room, and two bathrooms. 

Sleeping up to 12 adults and 4 children, this thoughtfully appointed vacation rental is a great place to stay for families. 

It is located in North Liberty about eight miles from Iowa City. Many amazing restaurants and several parks are within a short drive from the property. 

Address: North Liberty, 52317, United States

9. 3 Bedroom w/ King Suite – Home away from home!- a clean, spacious home beautifully decorated and with a great location 3 Bed Home Iowa CityBeautiful Home Iowa CityComfortable Home Iowa City

The warm ambiance and homely interior of 3 Bedroom w/ King Suite – Home away from home! will make you feel just at home. 

Sleeping up to six people, this cozy holiday home has a basic living area with a flat-screen TV and a fireplace, a fully equipped kitchen with an adjoining dining area, two bathrooms, a working room, and a laundry. 

Located on North Colton Drive in North Liberty, the property is a 15-minute drive from Iowa City. There are some great local and chain restaurants steps from the property. 

Address: 475 North Colton Drive, North Liberty, IA 52317, United States

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