If your next trip takes you to Iowa City, you’ll want to find the best accommodations for your stay, whether that’s a luxury hotel with a rooftop terrace or a budget-friendly motel that’s within walking distance of the stadium.
Maybe you’re visiting Iowa City for your child’s graduation from The University of Iowa. Perhaps you’re booking a quick weekender to give the kids some fun time in the hotel’s indoor pool. Maybe it’s time for a couple’s getaway and an afternoon spent at the city’s fun breweries!
Iowa City was the first UNESCO City of Literature in the United States, and bookworms from all over tend to travel here to visit Prairie Lights Bookstore, The Haunted Bookshop or Kurt Vonnegut’s House. Thousands of visitors fly in to attend the Iowa City Book Festival, the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, and the One Book Two Book Children’s Literature festival.
Not to mention, the University of Iowa is right here in Iowa City, and every year the city swells with visitors during graduations and football games.
Let’s take a look at the best hotels in Iowa City for families, including some places that welcome dogs, too. We’ll discover which hotels in Iowa City have room service and swimming pools, and explain our top choices for your couple’s retreat, family vacation, or football-centric trip.
TLDR; Our Favorite Accommodations in Iowa City
Where to Stay in Iowa City
1. Travelodge by Wyndham Iowa City
Address: 2216 N Dodge St, Iowa City, IA 52245
The Travelodge by Wyndham Iowa City is an excellent option for budget travelers seeking affordable Iowa City hotels and nice amenities. The hotel offers its guests free parking on-site, which is an excellent perk when you’re staying in Iowa City for more than a few days; parking fees can really add up during a long vacation.
The Travelodge in Iowa City is conveniently located near a great local coffee shop, Dodge Street Coffee. Los Agaves Mexican Grill is on the property, too. T
he kids will enjoy the hotel pool, and the nicely appointed rooms are clean and comfortable for your budget-friendly stay. The hotel also offers convenient access to the highway and is just a few miles from downtown.
- North Dodge Athletic Club
- Los Agaves Mexican Grill
- Harvest Preserve
- The Sitting Man – Buddha
- Ample charging ports in the rooms
- Free parking on site
- No breakfast buffet
- Somewhat noisy for connected rooms
2. Hyatt Regency Coralville
Address: 300 East 9th Street, Coralville, 52241, United States
The Hyatt Regency Coralville is an upscale hotel with a convenient location to the university, as well as restaurants and shopping in the Iowa City suburb of Coralville. If you’re traveling for business, the Hyatt offers its guests a quiet library for work and study. In addition to its many amenities, the Hyatt also offers spacious rooms and comfortable beds.
One of the best features of the hotel is its proximity to the river trail, which runs for a total of 18.2 miles and is suitable for bicycling, jogging, and walking. The Hyatt Regency does have its own exercise room, but you may also enjoy the opportunity to take a morning run along the river or a stroll in the late afternoon.
- Iowa River Landing Wetland Park
- Backpocket Brewing
- Iowa River Walk
- Hayek Park
- Centrally located
- Friendly staff
- The rooms are a little outdated
- No free parking
See Related: Best Things to do in Iowa & Places to Visit
3. Hotel Chauncey Iowa City, Tapestry Collection by Hilton
Address: 404 East College Street, Iowa City, IA 52240, United States
Traveling with kids means finding a hotel that’s affordable yet still offers enough beds for everyone. In some cases, you might find yourself booking multiple rooms at additional cost, which is why you may want to select Hotel Chauncey Iowa City.
Hotel Chauncy offers guests the choice of a traditional room or different configurations that include family rooms. Not only is this Iowa City hotel a family-friendly hotel, but the rooms are generally quite spacious, which is a plus when you’re traveling with kids or a group.
Families may also bring their pets, as the hotel is pet-friendly. If you’re traveling with picky eaters, you’ll appreciate the kitchenette, which makes it easy to cook family favorites while traveling.
- Big rooms with a view
- Modern kitchens inside rooms
- The HVAC system is reportedly a little loud
- Parking gets difficult during university games
See Related: Best Things to Do in Des Moines, Iowa
4. The Highlander Hotel
Address: 2525 Highlander Place, Iowa City, IA 52245, United States
Sometimes you don’t need to book a flight to a destination halfway across the planet. Occasionally, all you need is a cozy yet surprisingly hip place like Iowa City. The Highlander Hotel is an excellent stop for couples as the hotel offers spacious rooms with large beds and a choice of a balcony or a cozy pool view.
Couples-friendly amenities at the hotel include a bar that features live jazz music, an arcade area, and a pool with a hot tub. This Iowa City hotel even has a snack bar and cozy little places to sit and talk throughout the property.
The vibe is quite retro chic and kitschy, which is a welcome sight for a fun couple’s weekend. The property is also accommodating to families.
- Joensy’s Restaurant
- Grit gym
- Dodge Street Coffee House
- Live music in the hotel bar
- Spacious rooms with updated décor
- The parking lot needs resurfacing
- Outside landscaping could use a refresh
See Related: Most Famous Historical Landmarks in Iowa
5. Drury Inn & Suites Iowa City Coralville
Address: 815 1st Avenue, Coralville, IA 52241, United States
The Drury Inn & Suites Iowa City Coralville offers a lot of different room configurations, which means it’s easy to find a room that suits your exact traveling needs. Are you traveling with a pack of children? The Drury offers suites with multiple beds and a sofa bed, so everyone can find a comfortable place to sleep.
Guests enjoy the clean and modern décor, as well as the comfortable beds and the overall niceness of the property. The free breakfast is a welcome amenity, and the hotel also offers a happy hour and dinner buffet.
The Drury Inn is an excellent place to stay if you’re visiting Iowa City as a family for graduation, or for a quiet spot to stay during any of the city’s literature festivals.
- Super comfortable beds
- Offers free breakfast & dinner
- The pool gets cold in the winter
- The beds are extra soft, maybe too soft for some
See Related: Best Weekend Getaways in Iowa
6. Courtyard by Marriott Iowa City University Heights
Address: 901 Melrose Avenue, Iowa City, 52246, United States
Alums of the University of Iowa and those with a family member attending the university may want to choose the Courtyard by Marriott Iowa City University Heights when attending a game at Kinnick Stadium.
The stadium opened back in 1929 and is one of the stadiums in the Big Ten Conference, the oldest Division I college athletic conference in the U.S. If you want to experience the quintessential “Iowa” day, try to get tickets for an Iowa State vs University of Iowa game, and stay within walking distance of the tailgate.
The Courtyard by Marriott Iowa City University Heights is less than a half mile from the stadium, and you can even score a view of the stadium from the hotel’s rooftop terrace. The Bistro, the hotel’s on-site restaurant, receives high marks for the quality of its service and food.
- Excellent breakfast and dinner
- Walking distance to Kinnick Stadium
- Sporting event parking sometimes takes over hotel parking
- No hot tubs
- Sells out well in advance for important football games
See Related: Best Iowa Family Vacations to Take This Year
7. Hilton Garden Inn Iowa City Downtown University
Address: 328 S. Clinton St., Iowa City, IA 52240, United States
Iowa City isn’t a giant metropolis like Miami or Houston, but it’s large enough to have a downtown area, and the Hilton Garden Inn Iowa City Downtown is probably the best hotel when you have business in Downtown Iowa City. The Hilton Iowa City is a super comfortable hotel that offers simple and straightforward amenities, ideal for business travelers.
If you’re traveling for business, you’ll also enjoy the option to get room service, which is so convenient after spending the day in meetings. Families may also like the option to get room service to avoid the hassles of eating out with small children after a day of exploration.
- Old Capital Town Center
- The Encounter Cafe
- FilmScene on The Ped Mall
- Vue Rooftop Restaurant
- Walking distance to many restaurants
- Beautifully clean and modern property
- The pool area can get loud
- Parking is expensive
See Related: Best State Parks in Iowa
8. Graduate Iowa City
Address: 210 South Dubuque Street, Iowa City, IA 52240, United States
Most of the hotels in Iowa City feature well-known names in the hospitality industry, like Hilton and Marriott, but you also have the option to stay at a boutique hotel when you choose the Graduate Iowa City.
The Graduate chain is a real up-and-comer, and we’re already big fans of a few of their hotels. The Graduate Iowa City is located on the University of Iowa campus and is a quick 5-minute trip to the Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
If you’re in town for literature, you’ll love that the Graduate is within walking distance of both Prairie Lights and The Haunted Bookshop. If the weather is nice, walk around campus, shop for books, and stop in to the Iowa City Public Library to see the state’s busiest library.
The Graduate Iowa City is also an excellent place to stay if you’re visiting Iowa City to see someone in the hospital or are having some tests done and need a place to stay overnight. Overall, this boutique hotel offers a quiet, comfortable, and homey experience for all travelers.
- Voxman Hall Iowa School of Music
- Old Capitol Museum
- Prairie Lights and the Haunted Bookshop
- Iowa City Scavenger Hunt
- Joseph’s Steakhouse
- Great views from the highest floors
- Cool, hip vibe and awesome decor
- Some rooms are small compared to bed size
- Water pressure and temperature isn’t always the best
9. Brown Street Inn Bed and Breakfast
Address: 430 Brown Street, Iowa City, IA 52245, United States
The Brown Street Inn Bed and Breakfast offers a welcoming and cozy environment for adult guests in Iowa City. Each room features a private bathroom and is designed as an allergy-free environment, which means no pets are allowed.
Despite the restrictions on young guests and pets, the Brown Street Inn Bed and Breakfast is a great choice for those attending games at Kinnick Stadium, as well as anyone seeking a truly welcoming and quiet place to stay.
This B&B regularly welcomes return guests who can’t get enough of the lovely atmosphere, excellent breakfast, and safe neighborhood. It’s popular with bookworms who want to visit Prairie Lights, the Haunted Bookshop, and Kurt Vonnegut’s House.
- Kurt Vonnegut’s House
- Happy Hollow Park
- Burge Market Place
- North Market Square Park
- Cozy location in a quiet neighborhood
- Excellent breakfast & presentation
- The location is a little far from the city’s best entertainment
- The bed & breakfast experience isn’t like your standard chain hotel
See Related: Best Things to Do in Spirit Lake, Iowa
10. Hampton Inn Iowa City/University Area
Address: 4 Sturgis Corner, Iowa City, IA 52240, United States
If you’re traveling to Iowa City with pets, the Hampton Inn Iowa City/University Area will welcome your furry companions. Each room also has a microwave and a fridge, which means you can travel with fresh food for your pet and keep it safe and cool in the fridge during your stay.
Meanwhile, the humans in your party will enjoy the continental breakfast served each morning, as well as other amenities like the fitness area and the indoor pool. If you find yourself staying at the Hampton Inn Iowa City for more than a few days and need a washing machine, the hotel does offer convenient laundry facilities.
- Riverfront Crossings Park
- Big Groove Brewery & Taproom
- Sturgis Ferry Park
- Hatchet Jack’s
- Very comfortable beds
- Pet-friendly hotel
- No free parking
- It seems only some rooms have USB plugs
See Related: Best Things to Do in Davenport, Iowa
11. hotelVetro Iowa City, Tapestry Collection by Hilton
Address: 201 S Linn St., Iowa City, IA 52240, United States
The hotelVetro Iowa City is another set of awesome accommodations that offers guests the chance to see Iowa City from a high vantage point on its rooftop garden, which overlooks a historic area of town. The hotel is close to the university, as well as the popular local Big Groove Brewery.
The hotel offers excellent views of the town from its rooms with large floor-to-ceiling windows and spacious bathrooms. The hotel also provides rooms with a kitchenette, so you can make food and save a little money on meals while you travel, but the hotel is still within walking distance to some eateries and coffee shops like the super sweet Crêpes de Luxe Café.
- Iowa City Public Library
- Live Like Line Memorial Park
- Heartland Yoga
- Formosa Sushi
- Convenient access to university & hospital
- Sofa beds in rooms are helpful for family travelers
- Older property that could benefit from updates
- Rooms don’t have blackout curtains
Are there any unique or boutique hotels in Iowa City?
Many of the hotels you’ll find in Iowa City are owned by well-known hoteliers like Hilton, Marriott, and Hyatt, but the town is also home to a handful of boutique hotels and bed & breakfasts. The Brown Street Inn Bed & Breakfast is an excellent option for B&B stays, and Graduate Iowa City is the best boutique hotel option.
What amenities can I expect from Iowa City hotels?
Amenities provided by Iowa City hotels usually depend on the size and stars of the hotel. For example, most three-star hotels in Iowa City will offer all the usual comforts like private bathrooms, free WiFi, and air conditioning. You’ll also find amenities like business centers, indoor pools, and 24-hour front desk service.
Are there any luxury hotels in Iowa City?
Iowa City accommodations are, by and large, quite affordable, and even the most luxurious hotels in Iowa City are reasonably priced. Upscale hotels in Iowa City include HotelVetro Iowa City, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, and the Hyatt Regency Coralville. Coralville is a suburb on the northern side of Iowa City.