I've never been to Des Moines and I'm a little overwhelmed by all the hotel options. I'd like to stay in a hotel that is central and gives me good sense of what Des Moines is like. I'd love to know where locals tell their friends to stay when they visit, and why those areas and hotels are special. thanks!
Hi Katie - I have lived in Des Moines for the better part of my 30+ years. If I was having a friend visit, I would choose a hotel downtown to get the best of the unique experiences Des Moines has to offer. I think most downtown hotels are nice, but I love The Suites of 800 Locust Hotel hotel because of the exposed brick walls and luxurious rooms. Your best options for funky local restaurants and bars (Zombie Burger + Drink Lab, Fong's Pizza, Django, Americana Restaurant and Lounge, Royal Mile, The High Life Lounge) are downtown, plus there is nightlife of all varieties nearby, and great local shopping in the East Village. If you are going in the summer on a Saturday - the Des Moines Beaverdale Farmers Market market is one of the best in the country. It's also downtown!!
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I stay at the Suites of 800 Locust when I stay downtown in Des Moines. You wont find any disappointments, unless you pinch pennies. http://www.desluxhotel.com/