Iowa’s two largest cities are home to two of the state’s best-equipped convention hotels.
Hilton Des Moines Downtown and DoubleTree by Hilton Cedar Rapids Convention Complex have what planners seek in a second-tier destination — an affordable downtown, full-service hotel that is linked to ample, adaptable meeting space and located near restaurants, bars and culture.
Affordability and accessibility are assets
Affordability comes through in these hotels’ room rates but also in expenses like parking. On-site rates are $12 a day at the Cedar Rapids hotel and $25 a day in Des Moines. Free airport shuttles offered by both hotels eliminate the expense of ridesharing or cabs. Both hotels have notable restaurants, where guests not only dine, but take in local views. In Cedar Rapids, the DoubleTree’s restaurant and bar are on the hotel’s top floor, with views of the city and the Cedar River. In Des Moines, the hotel’s Park Street Kitchen and Bar’s patio, with an outdoor fireplace, has views of the capitol, across the river several blocks east.
State associations and organizations rotate from one property to the other from year to year; regional groups that want to capitalize on Iowa’s central location also choose the hotels.
In Des Moines, hotel tied to events center
In Des Moines, the state capital, Hilton Des Moines Downtown was built five years ago to serve the multifaceted Iowa Events Center, a three-venue complex that includes Wells Fargo Arena, Hy-Vee Hall and CommunityChoice Convention Center. Hilton Des Moines Downtown and its 330 guest rooms and 26 suites are connected to the Iowa Events Center by downtown’s climate-controlled SkyWalk system. The hotel also has 14,000 square feet of meeting and event space of its own, all on one level. A large pre-function space off the 9,940-square-foot ballroom adjoins a terrace. To the hotel’s west, near the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, two breweries draw crowds and nearby restaurants in the Court Avenue Entertainment District offer popular dining options. Des Moines’ city center, Historic East Village, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden and the Iowa Cubs ballpark are also within a mile.
Hotel linked to PowerHouse in Cedar Rapids
Cedar Rapids is smaller and may not be as well-known as Des Moines, but its hotel and convention complex rival those of larger cities. DoubleTree Cedar Rapids and its 267 guestrooms are linked to the Alliant Energy PowerHouse and its 80,000 square feet of meeting space. The convention center can be configured into as many as 22 meeting rooms; its largest space, a divisible exhibition hall, measures 28,058 square feet. What also gives this property appeal is its proximity to Cedar Rapids’ attractions like the historic Paramount Theater, the Grant Wood Studio and Visitor Center and Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, all within two blocks. Across the river, attendees can also catch a Cedar Rapids Kernels game in the Summer. After meetings, groups can dispatch to local dining spots nearby in the Cedar Rapids Downtown District.
For more information about planning an event at these hotels, please contact:
Hilton Des Moines Downtown
DoubleTree by Hilton Cedar Rapids Convention Complex