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“Cheaper than downtown at State Fair time”

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Holiday Inn Express Des Moines/Drake University
Ranked #22 of 50 Hotels in Des Moines
Reviewed 20 August 2017

This hotel fit our needs for a visit to family in Des Moines and the State Fair. The rate was a bit cheaper than hotels in downtown. Our room was clean and we were able to park without issue. The Drake Diner shares the parking lot and there is the Mars Cafe just down the street and around the corner which is a great coffee shop. It’s a very easy walk to Drake University, and it’s not far to drive to restaurants downtown or on Ingersoll.

The hotel was quiet and clean, and the staff were cheerful and helpful. The building looks like it might be a former academic building that had been converted, however, it was built specifically as a hotel. In that aspect the architecture is great as it blends in with the university nearby.

The neighborhood around is a little run down, and when we first arrived there were people loitering at on a park bench just outside the front door of the hotel drinking alcohol out of a bottle in a paper bag. The loitering people did not cause any trouble for us.

For our tastes we’re thinking we’ll pay the higher rates to stay downtown the next time we want to stay in Des Moines.

Room Tip: Room 219 is next to the workout room.
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  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Bamboo_Orchid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ExpressDrake, Front Office Manager at Holiday Inn Express Des Moines/Drake University, responded to this reviewResponded 22 August 2017

We truly appreciate your stay with us and are pleased that it was pleasant one for you.

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5 - 11 of 151 reviews

Reviewed 13 August 2017 via mobile

Very Clean and professional. Nice breakfast. Good shuttle service to State Fair bus area at capitol and back. and free parking. Coffee always available in the lobby area. It had a nice clean pool although I didn't use it. Rate way $107 plus taxes.

Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
Thank FairlyWellTravelled
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ExpressDrake, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express Des Moines/Drake University, responded to this reviewResponded 14 August 2017

I am very pleased you had a pleasant stay. I do believe however it was at our sister location which is the Holiday Inn Downtown Mercy Campus. We do not have a shuttle nor do we have a pool at our property.

I will pass this review along to them.

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Reviewed 20 June 2017

I have stayed many times at the Holiday Inn Express Des Moines Drake University, as have several notable friends. In the 25+ years since I first stayed there, my visits have been at least yearly, for business and pleasure. The hotel has an excellent location, with the well-known Drake Diner next door. The grounds were clean, rooms in good condition.

This is no longer the case, apparently with the new management. When I made the reservation this time, the attendant was curt and not helpful. The cost was higher than I would have expected. Awards club membership was not of any advantage.

When we checked in for a two-night stay for a conference. The grounds and entrance were messy, with scrap paper all around, a soiled and decrepit waste can leaning against the building.

The desk attendant was very pleasant and welcoming. Room was okay, but not as many towels and washcloths as HI Express usually have. Beds were comfy, as usual.

Upon returning tot he room the second day, about 2:30 in the afternoon, the room had been entered and towels removed, but bed was not made and there had been no cleaning. There were no towels. A while after we called the desk, two housekeepers came to the door; did not knock, simply shouted. I answered (the door was open already) and one of them curtly asked, "Are you leaving?" I said we were not leaving until the next day. She said, "Why did you call?" I said the room had not been cleaned and there were no towels. There was no offer made to clean the room or get towels; they left.

An hour later, my wife went to the desk to get towels. No apology was made. When we checked out the next morning, there was offer to reduce the charges (though I suggested a reduction would be appropriate) or make amends, only the statement, "I'll let the manager know." The manager was walking past at that moment; surely he could have been notified at that moment.

Grounds were just as messy as we left. Same large pieces of paper were in the entry way as when we checked in, same scraps about the grounds and parking lot. I never even received the usual request to review the hotel. I cannot imagine why not.

I doubt I will stay there again, in spite of years of pleasant experiences. My friends echoed my reaction, based upon their recent stays. Too bad.

Room Tip: A good location: close to downtown and restaurants. Terrible service lately.
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  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled on business
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Dan R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ExpressDrake, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express Des Moines/Drake University, responded to this reviewResponded 21 June 2017

Thank you your stay as well as the constructive feedback regarding your stay. Your experience with us fell well below the standards of our property. I do not have a good explanation for the many troubling issues you encountered. I offer my sincerest apologies and give you my word that each of these issues will be corrected immediately.

We truly appreciate your business throughout the years. I understand if you no longer choose to stay at our property, but hope you will give us another chance.

Thank you again for your business and I wish you a wonderful rest of your summer.

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Reviewed 28 May 2017

We arrived 4.30pm to be told that our room was not ready and would take 15 mins or so to sort. Not a great problem, but when you have been travelling for hours this was disappointing. The front desk staff were apologetic and polite.
We were upgraded which was nice. Room was fine. The towels were old and grey, not white fluffy ones, which we usually experience.
The breakfast area was small and window less, which wasn't pleasant to sit in. I had to wipe our table both mornings to get rid of crumbs before seating.
Breakfast was fine though.
The location to see the Capitol building was close by.The price of this hotel was good and parking area was fine.
In nice area close to Drake University.

  • Stayed: May 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Robert H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ExpressDrake, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express Des Moines/Drake University, responded to this reviewResponded 30 May 2017

We truly appreciate your stay with us. Thank you for your honest feedback as the minor issues you experienced are taken by us very seriously and must be corrected immediately.

We strive to make certain that every facet of our guest's stay is enjoyable. We apologize that we did not achieve this with your stay. You can trust that the issues you encountered will be promptly addressed. Thus any and all future guests will not experience these same issues.

Thank you again and safe travels to your next destination.

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Reviewed 28 April 2017

I booked here because there were no rooms available due to the World Food Prize influx of visitors. I took taxis into the center and it took about 5 minutes or so. As a result of being mainly in the downtown and working, I didn't spend anytime exploring the hotel area and university campus, but it looks nice. The hotel room was good -- just about everything you need, except no safe box, which was odd in this day in age. I found that slightly annoying. The staff seemed a bit remote -- somehow more interested in being and staying behind the reception counter, but they were civil. The drinks machine with water was broken, the recptionists sold water. I ordered take out food several evenings because there is no restaurant in the hotel. Do not order the Chinese food recommended in a list of restaurants in the hotel room. It was disgusting. The other options are unfortunately chain junk food restaurants. I guess it's what university students like, which is sad. They have a cool help yourself breakfast nook with coffee, tea, muffins and bagels. I took a couple of bagels with me each day, which was very convenient. That was great. There are printers and computer terminals in the foyer. The printing is free of charge, so that is great. Basically, it was quiet and serviceable, but lots lacking in terms of options and experience. The rooms face into an inner square -- that's the kind I was in. It was fine but I would have preferred a view of the world instead. I guess it could be noisy or a bit public if people were sitting at the tables outside. but a nice feature in good weather to be able to sit out. I put that the location is average, but if you want to be at the university it's a fantastic location. If you want to be downtown, don't stay unless you don't mind the travel or everything is booked.

Room Tip: The rooms face into an inner square -- that's the kind I was in. It was fine but I would have pr...
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  • Stayed: October 2016, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Maus D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ExpressDrake, Front Office Manager at Holiday Inn Express Des Moines/Drake University, responded to this reviewResponded 29 April 2017

Thank you for your stay and feedback. It seems that overall your stay with us went well, however the few issues you did encounter will be corrected immediately. We appreciate thorough feedback such as yours so we can use it to improve the stays of future guests. Safe travels to your next destination.

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Reviewed 21 March 2017

My daughter and I stayed at this property for one night in advance of her tour of Drake University. The front desk clerk, Vincente, was polite, professional and very helpful. The rate was competitive and the property generally well maintained. This is somewhat of a non-traditional Holiday Inn Express in what was likely a hotel owned by another company, set near an older commercial and residential neighborhood. It is very conveniently located to Drake University, one or two blocks from the campus. Use their parking lot while you tour the school.

There is no pool or hot tub. I used the workout facility which consisted of a treadmill, eliptical machine, stationary bike, incline bench and a series of dumbells. The water jug was empty in the machine, and they were out of towels in what was a pretty hot room.

Breakfast was the typical Holiday Inn Express fare with pre-made omelets, pancakes, oatmeal, cereal, toast, muffins (they didn't look too good) and hot cinnamon rolls. Not bad overall.

I would stay here again if I were visiting the campus, which I suspect fills up quickly when there is a major event going on at Drake.

Room Tip: We stayed in Room 207 with a view of a small courtyard (nice) but also looks directly across the cou...
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  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Gregg P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ExpressDrake, Front Office Manager at Holiday Inn Express Des Moines/Drake University, responded to this reviewResponded 22 March 2017

Thank you for your stay with us. We are thrilled that you found our location ideal for you and your daughter. We apologize for the fitness room issues you encountered this will be addressed immediately. We truly look forward to your next with us.

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Reviewed 28 January 2017

We made a reservation for a single king room, only to get a single queen -- only two single king rooms in the whole building; feels like this used to be a dormatory that they took over and got HI to sponsor. Only positive was that it is walking distance to campus/eateries.

Stayed: September 2016
1  Thank DSVance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ExpressDrake, Manager at Holiday Inn Express Des Moines/Drake University, responded to this reviewResponded 30 January 2017

Thank you for your feedback regarding your stay with us. We do try and accommodate all room requests best we can but unfortunately can't always due to availability. I understand your frustration in not receiving what you had requested. It should have been made clear at time of booking that we can't guarantee a king room as there are a limited number at this property, and I sincerely apologize if this was not the case. All others rooms do have two queen beds with the same amenities as the king rooms. Safe travels to your next destination.

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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Express Des Moines/Drake University

Address: 1140 24th St, Des Moines, IA 50311-4309
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Iowa > Des Moines
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 50 Hotels in Des Moines
Price Range: $128 - $222 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Holiday Inn Express Des Moines/Drake University 2.5*
Number of rooms: 52
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Greetings from Des Moines, Iowa, home of the Drake Bulldogs and Drake Relays. Holiday Inn Express at Drake is at the heart of this city's renaissance neighborhood and ideally located right on campus. Seconds away are the Knapp Center, and Drake Stadium. Dining is available next door at the retro-themed favorite, Drake Diner. Follow your meal with an independent film a jaunt away at the Varsity Movie Theatre. Come visit the campus, the community, and us; we'll make you feel at home.Plenty of entertainment awaits off campus as well. Attractions include Prairie Meadows Race Track and Casino, Adventureland Amusement Park, Iowa State Fairgrounds, Principal Park, and Blank Park Zoo. Also nearby are the Civic Center, Convention Complex, Veterans Auditorium, Hy-Vee Hall and Wells Fargo Arena. We are moments from the Historical Building of Iowa, the State Capital, Living History Farms, Terrace Hill, Salisbury Mansion and Hoyt Sherman Place. Centrally situated among all of the Metro's retail districts --- four major malls, many boutiques and antique shops. Seasonal attractions are plentiful and near. Other areas of interest include The East Village, Historic Valley Junction and Downtown Court Avenue District, where nightlife is at its best. Free Wireless Internet available in all guest rooms and public areas. Whether it is business or pleasure that brings you our way, our team is ready to serve you! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn Express Des Moines/Drake University Hotel Des Moines
Holiday Inn Des Moines
Des Moines Holiday Inn
Holiday Inn Express Des Moines/Drake University Iowa

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