Hotel Grinnell | Go Back to School + Stay Awhile

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Hotel Grinnell in Iowa | Go Back to School + Stay Awhile

It is no surprise I am a sucker for unique, boutique hotels. When I learned about Hotel Grinnell located in a small town in Iowa, I could not wait to plan a visit. I quickly discovered that this destination is perfect for a couple’s quick getaway. Hotel Grinnell is located in Grinnell, Iowa about 55 miles east of Des Moines. If you live within the Des Moines area, it was the perfect distance for a quick getaway with a loved one.

About Hotel Grinnell

Hotel Grinnell was originally a Junior High School built in 1921 and closed during the ’70s. When you walk into this beautifully renovated building you can definitely tell it was a school approximately 50 years ago, but not a school you or I attended. Hotel Grinnell is an upscale hotel with many small touches to its past.

I fell in love with every single detail within Hotel Grinnell and was completely impressed how much detail was thought out to create the school “feel”. From the ties on the doorknobs that were embroidered with “Not Now”, the restaurant called The Periodic Table, chalkboards in the room, to the Report Cards in the rooms to leave a review.

The Penthouse

If you loved theatre in school, you will love the Penthouse Suite at Hotel Grinnell. The Penthouse used to be the staging area/ dressing room for the auditorium located just below. The auditorium is still there and they currently rent it out for events. The modern and classy feel was perfect. I loved the canopy bed, large bathroom with a huge tub, fridge, and artwork. All the special touches made for a very fun stay.

The Periodic Table

The Periodic Table is the place to eat, drink and play during your stay at Hotel Grinnell. They offer tasty flatbreads, tacos, fun shakes, and drinks. The patio is a gorgeous place to sit outside and enjoy the weather with firepits. Raining or too cold? The inside is just as fun! They offer tons of games including a giant Scrabble Board, shuffleboard table, and more. Bonus, breakfast is included with your stay and is served here too.

Grinnell College Museum of Art

The wonderful part of Grinnell, Iowa is how small the town is. Hotel Grinnell offers free bikes to use as you bike around and explore everything the town has to offer including the Grinnell College Museum of Art. They regularly switch out the exhibits they offer and it is a great activity to do with your significant other. We spent a little over an hour walking through the ‘Our Voice: Celebrating the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Awards’ exhibit. Afterward, take some time and ride the bikes through the tree-covered Grinnell College campus.

Support Local

The downtown area of Grinnell, Iowa offers some cute local shops, restaurants, a brewpub (used to be Peace Tree Brewing), and an old move theatre. The area is just a couple blocks away from the hotel so a short walk or you can take the bikes too! Either way, make sure you set time aside to check out what this historic area has to offer.

Prairie Canary

We could have eaten every meal at The Periodic Table, but we also fell in love with the Prairie Canary located in downtown Grinnell. Prairie Canary offers comfort food with local produce, fresh meats and fish, and delicious cocktails. Make a reservation! We dined on a Wednesday evening and it filled up quickly. This was definitely a hot spot!


Erin Huiatt

Erin is a reliable resource and stepping stone for women and families to find support and make connections within our community. She wants families to feel confident to reach out and ask for help and advice to get pointed in the right direction. She enjoys traveling and exploring with her two children in tow!

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