Review: The Highlander Hotel, Iowa City


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Having reviewed the fabulous Hotel Grinnell, we want to share its sister hotel with our luxury travelers, as this hotel is also a unique, hidden gem. The Highlander Hotel, is a brilliant place to stay in Iowa City. In fact, both of these bespoke sister hotels are must-tries for luxury travelers. They are a better and more uplifting choice than generic chain hotels, and staying at these establishments is a great way to support smaller businesses and innovation.


The Highlander Hotel has a convenient location just off I-80, and has lived large in the mind of Iowa City locals ever since we opened our doors as the Highlander Inn and Supper Club in 1967.

Style & Character

Back in the day, the Highlander Inn and Supper Club was the place to go, the favorite haunt of Iowa City locals and 70’s luminaries like Joan Baez, Micky Mantle, and Arnold Palmer, to name drop a few.

Now it has been refurbished beautifully with a retro, laid-back vibe, stunning detailing, and unique furnishings complemented by modern chandeliers and mood lighting. They say: Power up your inner Fleetwood Mac and go your own way at Iowa City’s trippiest new urban resort, where five-star meets rock star. This fun yet still family and pet-friendly resort offers everything you need to have a highly memorable stay in Iowa.

Service & Facilities

This refreshing and funky resort boasts a gorgeous indoor pool area lined with comfy seating that opens to a courtyard with a fire pit and a games area with large chess boards, a fitness room, a vinyl lending library, and a games area.

In fact, the pictures don’t do the pool justice. It is huge with a great warm temperature and there’s even a hot tub.


Our favorite rooms offer direct pool access. While pool access is not something you would expect from a hotel in Iowa, these rooms offer floor-to-ceiling glass doors that slide open to the indoor pool. You can literally step out of bed and into the pool!

The interiors of all the rooms are uplifting, modern, and slick, with rich, textured, and colorful sofas that make these spacious rooms feel inviting and luxurious.

Food & Drink

In terms of dining, guests can enjoy street tacos, flatbread pizzas, artisan bowls, exciting desserts, and a full bar at the Snack Shack and The Highlander Lounge. The Highlander Lounge allows you to connect to more than just Wi-Fi with comfortable seating, a giant Pictionary wall, and an outdoor patio.


We love these boutique luxury hotels that offer something different in a sea of bland chain hotels. The Highlander Hotel is an absolute gem in Iowa. Most guests return again and again. It’s that good!

Note: Benefits & upgrades subject to availability. Benefits offered correct at the time of writing. Terms & conditions apply. Enquire for more information. Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.