Google Reviews

Forget 5 stars....try 10 stars. This place was absolutely amazing.

Was unable to speak to someone and left a message, however I was able to book online. The reviews are what got our attention. Not only did I get a welcome text after booking, but an actual person responded to my questions via text.

This is a must see, must stay location.

Abundant parking was the start. While walking in, the building was just gorgeous. The entry way was clean and spacious.

A front desk employee greeted us with a huge smile and a customer service level that was through the roof. He was actually happy to be there and he spoke highly of the owners. He showed us around briefly and told us to text with questions or if we needed anything.

We were very impressed with the decor and size of our room. Our room was spotless and smelled so clean. The bed and pillows were fabulous.

After checking out our room out we went to check the rest of the place out. Gorgeous. The indoor pool is huge as well as an outdoor area. They even offered to light a campfire for us. We settled in to have a glass of wine at the bar. Another amazing experience awaited us. The bartender was fabulous and spoke to us about the history of the hotel. He was not only knowledgeable but loves his job and his boss!!! This speaks volumes.

The hotel also has 24/7 snack shack and coffee...complementary!!!!

After an amazing night sleep, we left 2 hours later than we expected because we simply didn't want to leave the hotel.

We will be back. Thank you for an amazing stay and congratulations on an amazing staff.

Lisa Wheeler

Unmatched and in a category of it's own. Although, Its not a traditional 5 star hotel, it is the best family friendly hotel I've stayed in. Is it a hotel or a resort? It's both, plus more. The staff is exceptional and unmatched. They are not high class and hustling for tips but they genuinely go out of their way because they are kind. I stayed here to visit the University of Iowa Clinics for my son, which we do every year. If you do the same this is the hotel you want. Get the pool side. Your young one can go from his or her room and hop right in the heated indoor pool and swim even though it was 13° and snowing. Bored? Hit the family friendly arcade, which wasn't over priced .50¢ games some as high as a dollar tips, but they were the good top of the line games that would cost $2.00 anywhere else. I wish this was a chain.

Nick Williams


Cool place. Updated. Weather permitting open garage doors in pool area to the outside. Firepit area great for relaxing. Perfect place for friends and family

Adam Jennings

The staff went above and beyond! It was hot and they come around and gave out Popsicles! They started a fire in the fire pit in the courtyard! They were amazing! Will be back many times!

T Sager

Chilled by (in) the pool for the night with the Fam along with a stellar Ultimate Croquet match in the courtyard. Would do it all over again (including a croquet rematch D.Jones)

Greg Renning

Great hotel! Angela and her husband are kind, caring, and amazing hotel owners and their staff is top notch. My wife, dog, and I only spent one night here but we felt very taken care of and we thoroughly enjoyed the restaurant, bar, pool, and hot tub while we were there. We look forward to staying here again in the future!

Wyn Ferrell

Staff was very friendly, if you needed anything they provided it for you, pool and hot tub was amazing and there outside area for lounging in sun, corn hole, and ping pong and other activities that us girls did on our stay while the moving truck broke down! We definitely recommend The Highlander Hotel


The staff was amazing and attentive. The texting platform made it very easy to communicate with the front desk. Shared common areas had an amazing vibe.

Ryan Shenefelt

This hotel was incredibly beautiful - completely renovated with a lovely pool and spa area, as well as super neat 60’s/70’s decor. Really friendly staff - would be a great hotel for family reunions and celebrations.

Chelsea Poesch

We stayed at this hotel and had a great time! The management was amazing! It’s so clean, everyone is so friendly and with COVID they’ve taken all precautions to make our stay safe and comfortable. We’ll definitely book a room again.

Jacki Knorr

Huge Indoor pool, great hot tub, and a cool courtyard with fire pit and all. Loved the cool peace sign and Pictionary wall! The Bar and Front Desk Staff were great!

Judd Uhre

This was such an amazing experience. I have never been to a place where the staff is so helpful. The whole vibe/feel of this place is a welcome change from the typical. I would go out of my way to stay here again.


From the time I checked into this amazing hotel until I checked out 2 weeks later, I was treated with the greatest hospitality, respect that I have ever received... From the laundry staff up to the owners, they all have acted as if they known me all my life and treated me like family, Customer Service here is a 10 plus and that is what is missing nowadays, but the staff at The Highlander Hotel are on point with Customer Service......There are no words that I can think of that would tell all the great things about The Highlander Hotel..... If you are ever in Iowa City, IA. Be sure to find this hidden gem, it is off the beaten path out of the way of all the hustle bustle of the city you will be glad you did and you will judge every other hotel you may stay at and NONE will compare to the excellence of The Highlander Hotel. I can only give The Highlander Hotel 5 Stars, but They should be a 10 Star Rating.

Bob Johnson

Incredible ambiance, food, cocktails and family, group or couple friendly. I was most impressed by the well trained, kind, courteous and genuine staff… will stay here every time I am in Iowa City!

Jessica Lawson


Hotel is fantastic! I have never been to a hotel that was anywhere near as accommodating as the Highlander. The pool area is the biggest/nicest I've ever seen at a hotel, the snack shack is awesome and the staff was amazing.

Great hotel - you will NOT be disappointed. Well worth the money!

Katelyn Mehl


Tired of the same chain hotels? Give this place a stay!

Very unique and clean rooms. Awesome atmosphere.

A flat bread pizza and a specialty cocktail in their lounge was a great way to end a long day

Jesse C


a solid experience from the from-the-road reservation to the complimentary drink on check-in. the staff had the right ratio of themselves/profesionalism, and everyone was super nice to our free loading roommate puppy dog. can't think of a better place to stay in iowa city.

darin anderson


Very beautiful and unique hotel with a extremely kind and accommodating staff. With complimentary breakfast and 24/7 coffee this hotel is great! You can borrow a record player and a multitude of vinyls and games. Excellent hotel!

Emily Quintero


Having stayed in many hotels around the world, this one is an unbelievable amazing hometown hospitality experience. Highlander Hotel was my home for five weeks. After many stressful hours of daily work, I looked forward to returning to the Highlander Hotel where I found my family (the staff), my home away from home, and my oasis in the desert. Rich with history, the Highlander Hotel has been newly renovated with uniquely designed rooms, aesthetically pleasing, comfortable and peaceful. Great continental breakfast and fun coffee options. Awesome service by a service-oriented fun, friendly "family," so much more than your average hotel staff, all of them. Cozy bar, beautiful pool and overall inspiring vibe! Please stay, relax and enjoy!

Wendy Berthelsen


This is by far one of the best hotels I have ever stayed at!!. From the time I booked my room by phone, to walking though the door with my two fur babies. You are greeted with smiles from the friendliest staff. Very accommodating, the bar, the food, there signature drinks. You feel just like you are at home. The owner Angie came out sat and talked with me, and the vibe you get from this beautiful soul gave me goosebumps. Her dreams are coming together even going through the worst year “2020”, which happens to be the year they opened for business (May). I loved Everything about my stay and I WILL BE BACK, even if it’s just to come visit a few days!!. I will Spread the word! Peace ✌️To all of you wonderful people!!!…and thank you to Tami, Braiden, Alec, and Sid, also to Angela and her husband. This all truly comes straight from my heart ♥️. Angela your staff love’s you and it definitely shows✌️

Sheri Wilbanks


We only dined at this women owned business. So much fun and variety in the menu. My boogie, hippie heart was happy.

Monique Holtkamp

Great place for families with teens and older kids. The pool is large with plenty of lounge areas and tables. On site food and cocktails were amazing! Bed was soft and cozy. Love the theme of the place. Can't wait to go back!

Trisha Finley


We had a great time at the Highlander! We were welcomed by an amazing staff who made sure we were taken care of at all times! The rooms were very comfortable and the ambiance was really cool! Kind of an old school vibe. We enjoyed great pizza and milkshakes!! Can't wait to visit again!

Bridgette Copeland


My family and I stopped over on our way from New York heading to Boulder, Colorado. Would recommend unreservedly. Clean rooms. Incredibly friendly and helpful staff. Pool and hot tub were a great diversion and well needed after and before long driving legs. Great 60s vibe throughout. Fun!

jack genser


We had the best night ever this past Saturday. We went for a 40th birthday party. The hotel was well kept up, newly renovated, the hotel staff was ahhhmazing, very friendly, and there with every question we had if we had it. The pool was clean, the pool furniture was very comfy, and the area was nice and open. We also loved the fact that they had adult swim from 10-12. They turned the lighting down and it was nice and quiet and just down right radical. Not only did the staff sit down outside our room to get a little background of where we were from and what we were there, he even told us since it was my boyfriends birthday that a drink was on him, even though we didn’t take him up on his offer, the gesture was great!!!! The free continental breakfast was really yummy. Breakfast burritos and yogurt parfait is what they offered and some pretty awesome coffee selections. You could also order off the menu. I love the outdoor area with the fire pit and bags out in the courtyard. And the poolside bar and snack bar was hands down pretty awesome!!! Hands down a 20 star hotel. You gotta check this one out. You will not be disappointed.

Brittany Murphy


Please, if you are anywhere near the Highlander Hotel, stop by for a visit! It has become my home away from home when visiting Iowa City.

My father was diagnosed with lung cancer in September 2019 and eventually passed away from complications of COVID this November. During that time, I made several trips to Iowa from Boston and stayed an extended period of time.

The staff became an important support to me during this difficult period, it was reassuring to be treated so kindly. When I needed to extend my stay, Adam worked with me on an affordable weekly rate and helped get my laundry done! Over Thanksgiving, I had made reservations at Angela's sister hotel, Hotel Grinnell, however, I came down with a cold and the staff brought me a delicious traditional turkey and dressing plate, on the house. I had everything I needed there to take care of myself while dealing with the loss of my father -- the swimming pool, books to read, vinyl records to listen to some of my dad's favorites, a yoga mat, and food made with love by the talented staff.

The Highlander staff was blessing to me in a stormy moment and I am so very thankful for their care and concern.

My dad was a musician, and I plan to host a concert at the Highlander in his honor with Iowa City musicians he played with over the years, so I will be back at the Highlander when the weather is warmer.

All my best,


Margaret Seater


A wonderful escape during this time - and our doggo enjoyed every bit as well!

From the rooms to the courtyard, the pool, the bar or the food - SO warm, cozy and welcoming. Sometimes when pets are allowed at a property, there's tons of reviews about animal smells, etc. - NOT here! We look forward to many stays in the future! A special shout-out to the staff for being so welcoming and hospitable. We truly enjoyed our stay. Also - the record library was SUCH a cool touch and definitely brought some unexpected bonding with our teenager. We look forward to our future stays.

Jordan Sherman


Great staff, awesome pool, cool lobby. Definitely a unique hotel experience. This revival hotel is just getting going under new (independent!) management, and you can tell how much they care about the customer experience. There is a 60's theme that works to be authentic rather than gimmicky. Try the flatbread pizzas if you get a chance...they are surprisingly wonderful. Did the stay with the kids (and went swimming four times!), but would love to have a night with friends just hanging at the chic, throwback lobby bar.

C. Pat


This hotel is absolutely amazing and they treated us like family! Awesome hot tub and pool area and a great bar atmosphere. Adam is super cool! He drove our shuttle from the wedding we attended and waited for us which was super appreciated. Get a room here and you won’t regret it!

Audrey Meyers


The rooms were very sleek and nice, the hotel staff was extremely accommodating and very helpful. Anything you needed they were right there, even delivered us drinks to the pool and let us stay late. The pool and hot tub were one of the nicest of any hotel I’ve been too. 100% recommend to anyone traveling or just wanting to get away for a night.

Simon Spalla


On Wednesday, 1/19, my dad passed away at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. My brother and I watched him go. I didn’t want to drive back to Des Moines late but I didn’t want to stay at a depressing hotel either. So my brother and I stayed the night at The Highlander.

We checked in and went to the hotel bar.

Alec, Kate and Dillon made us feel like family. They were aware of the circumstances of our stay, but kept us laughing, like really laughing, happily distracted. We shared stories like old friends. We got a tour of the hotel. Alec got us a record player to take back to our room.

We listened to “Shine on, you crazy diamond,” a Pink Floyd record my dad loved and had encouraged us to listen to in his last weeks of life.

Miraculously, The Highlander had it in their vinyl collection.

We had a midnight snack in the snack shack, we laughed, we cried.

We sat in the lobby well after midnight, drinking tea, reminiscing.

We walked back to our room with Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” ironically playing over the lobby speakers.

We slept as much as one can, after saying goodbye to a parent.

That night felt special in a way I cannot explain. I will never forget it.

The Highlander was perfectly accommodating, as I know they are to all guests, but they may never know just how much that night meant to us.

We will always remember it and vow to return, in better circumstances. Thank you.

Ivy Boyd


The hotel was phenomenal, 1970's themed décor. Alec our server at the bar and for our food was outstanding in everyway. Service, kindness, friendliness. Every employee I met was gracious and friendly.

To hear an employee talk about how their employer treats them like family and they will continue to work there for years to come, spoke volumes about the owner and management. Even my husband was impressed and he usually doesn't care about it, and says it was fine. Not this time.

We talked about having our marriage vow renewal ceremony in 18 months or so at the hotel with family and friends and with in moments I had contact information for their staff.

Also at check out The desk clerk knew about it. Just a great experience all around. Thanks for the great experience, The Draper Family

cindy draper


The outside of this hotel can fool you making you think it’s just a regular normal stay. Once I walked in I was proven wrong, I repent right now from thinking that way. Saw four people leaving and they told the staff they were sad to leave this hotel. The staff was attending me so I had no choice but to hear what they had to say. The other customers spoke about the other five star hotels and they said that this one was better than the other visits they have done.

As a customer I was very impressed to hear that from strangers. Once I started the check in I realized that this place was not just any other boring place. I have driven from California to New York three times and this hotel has won over all other stays I have encountered. The staff has a very friendly and home-like attitude. The staff was very attentive to anything that I was needing from my stay to be a better one.

The menu is simple and right to the point. Had the Korean beef tacos and they were so good I might order those again tonight. Had a milkshake as well, you can see in front of the tv from the photo I took.

I will bookmark this hotel and share with my friends and loved ones because this place is worth talking about. I had the honor to meet the owner by accident. The most caring and humble person I have met. When I did some research it turns out this is the only privately owned hotel in the whole state of Iowa. I was highly impressed that they had a ping pong table to play on.

I do not usually leave such a giant review with so many details, so excuse my bad English. All of the information that I am sharing here is part of my personal experience. Everyone’s visit is different, but super grateful to stop here.

Julian Gil

The owners have went to a lot of expense remodeling this hotel from the 1960s! They have done an excellent job! Staff is excellent very attentive to details and special requests! ROOMS ARE SPACIOUS and very clean! Towels and soft and huge! The art work is fun along with all the little extras I wish the owners and staff l the best in their new adventure. Hotel has a great history.

Ellen Wilts


The Highlander Hotel is a rarity- a hotel that is standalone in a world of massive chains sucking the personality out of your hotel experience. My wife and I were treated like humans with agency-to-plan-ones-stay from the moment we paid on Expedia to the time we checked out this morning. Our first anniversary was special and made better by the responsive staff, clean and comfortable room, and marvelous interior decor. A professional concierge kept in touch by text in a non-obtrusive manner throughout and we left extremely satisfied with this location. You will too! We will come back next time we’re in Iowa City!

Henry Brewer-Calvert


Iowa City’s coolest hotel. It’s out of town enough to be quiet and relaxing. The pool area offers table tennis and poolside dining and snacks, or sit outside in the courtyard and play on the giant chess set. Mid century modern vibe throughout is both cool and relaxing. Staff is extremely gracious and friendly. Ecological consciousness sets the Highlander apart from many corporate places. Truly a unique, independent hotel!

Mitchell Schaub


This hotel is amazing! If you are in need of lodging in the Iowa City, IA yourself a favor and stay here. Reasonably priced but modern, clean, and 4 star hotel amenities. Pool, hot tub, and outdoor lounge areas are so hip/fun. The staff at the front desk and bar were so friendly and attentive.

Author Name, Tripadvisor


This hotel is amazing! If you are in need of lodging in the Iowa City, IA yourself a favor and stay here. Reasonably priced but modern, clean, and 4 star hotel amenities. Pool, hot tub, and outdoor lounge areas are so hip/fun. The staff at the front desk and bar were so friendly and attentive.

Bill Allen


We love the Highlander Hotel! We live just 15 miles away, and this place will be our go to for a “staycation”. Earlier this year we did the day passes for the pool area, and just recently we stayed overnight in a family balcony suite. The adjoining room setup was perfect for us, with tons of space for a family of 5. I love the vibe of the whole place - good music, decor, and food. The flatbreads and charcuterie boards are so tasty! The pool is huge and the surrounding pool area has a big hot tub, ping pong table, plenty of comfortable seating, and large wall of windows for natural light. We plan to visit again when the weather is warmer and doors open to the courtyard, but will probably be back again this winter for some more pool time!!

Kristin Beltz


This place is really a wonderfully unique experience, as far as hotels go! I am so glad we had the benefit of staying here while in town for a Hawkeye game! The bed was so very comfortable and the rooms were super cute with light touches of glitter on the ceiling just to add a little something special. Having an assortment of complimentary drinks at your disposal were a welcomed treat along with the breakfast that was filled with healthy options and was very filling. The pool was big and great for swimming in or just sitting by. All of the welcoming amenities were topped with a wonderful staff that bends over backwards to help their guests. I highly recommend this place and look forward to staying there for return trips! We didn’t get a chance to eat at their restaurant but the menu looked delicious.

Lena Pittman


Exceeded all expectations for a fun local getaway with our kids! Angela, the owner, is charming and lovely. The pool is off the charts huge as is the entire pool area. Relaxed, chill and fun vibe exudes from the decor, the staff and the overall atmosphere. They were trying out a new menu and I will have dreams for years about how delicious the Korean beef tacos were. Cool cocktail list and the metal straws won my eco-friendly heart over. We were talking about planning our next stay while we were sipping our drinks in the hot tub. If you are looking for a fun getaway or want a very memorable place to make some memories I cannot recommend this place enough!

Annie Johnson


I understand that New York, Chicago, and LA have internationally renowned hotels, but I can promise that the service and kindness at Highland Hotel just outside Iowa City rivals if not bests the bougiest-swankiest-ritziest and most metropolitan stays in the United States.

Dylan, who was working front desk and seemingly the entire facility, was so generous with his time and earnestly cheerful. We figured Iowa City must lay on some trans-dimensional plane where none of this mess ever happened.

Also- our dog was allowed. And there was no extra charge for room service. As if they KNEW we were moving our entire lives across the country and could have died for a smile and a warm plate.

Stay here if you’re on the way, and be kind to those that work here. What they do feels more like care.

Erin Delaney

I am a University of Iowa parent - we loved our stay at the Highlander! The staff is amazing, the decor is so fun and each piece of furniture has special meaning, the food and coffee was hot and delicious, and if you’re traveling with younger kids they will love the pool! This Kindergarten teacher loved this hotel and will return for sure!

Alyssa Parrott


When your 8 year old asks, “Mom, can we live here?,” you know how awesome this place is. Thanks for a great stay!

Paul Hennings


Awesome hotel: hip and cozy atmosphere, great music, complimentary drinks at check-in, free breakfast and huge windows in the rooms-- but above everything else the staff was incredibly friendly and helpful, made sure to put the customer experience first and you can really tell they genuinely enjoy where they work. Wish there were way more hotels like this. We will definitely be back here when we are in the area again!

Jenna Schenk


We had an excellent stay at the Highlander for a recent family wedding. The staff was super attentive and the event went off perfectly. The style and vibe is so refreshing and well done. The pool area is fabulous too and so unique compared to the big chain hotels! We will be staying here often for sure as it checks all of the boxes for our family.

Tyson Greiner


We highly recommend the Highlander Hotel. The poolside rooms were wonderful! So much fun to step outside the door into the pool area. A beautiful pool with warm water and a huge beach ball to play with, surrounded by comfortable loungers and tables for food and drink. There was a nice hot tub and ping pong table nearby. Customer service was excellent. Very friendly people. They brought us food and drinks to the pool. We like that they are dog friendly. We will definitely return when visiting Iowa City.

Craig and Kristin Brown



It says your survey is closed at this time.

However, we wanted to take the time to reflect on our stay and provide a review.


We believe the customer service, from the first phone call for reservations to check -out , was OUTSTANDING. The employees are so very courteous and willing to help. They are very knowledgeable about the hotel history.

The responses to my email questions always came very quickly and were very thorough.

I spoke to Justin about options for rooms like the pool side King with refrigerator. He showed me this room and a suite that was on the exterior of the building. I am hoping to book a room for my sister and her husband this summer for a special occasion. Justin was cheerful, ready to answer questions and very personable.

It was such a treat to have the complimentary cocktails upon our arrival on Friday night! My husband and I appreciated time to unwind. The Moscow Mules I enjoyed were very well made by Elliott(?) one night and another young man the following evening.

The pool and jacuzzi area is very warm and inviting. Love the cozy furniture!

A soak in the hot tub released all my stress of the last 6 months!

Breakfast was quite delicious and we loved the oatmeal, waffles and sausage. The coffee was rockin!

The decor of the hotel is something to see! Loved all the art work, album covers and ways the ceilings were painted.

We made sure to ask Justin to take our photo in the entryway before we left to return home.

We will definitely return and send friends and family your way! We look forward to seeing the supper club renovations!

We are so grateful for our stay and how spoiled we felt!


Sue and John Ryan

Susan Ryan


The Highlander is simply gorgeous with a mid century vibe and amazing colors. It's a bit like stepping back in time but with modern craft cocktails. We enjoyed an afternoon at the bar and were impressed that the staff rotates in and out so you get the benefit of different recommendations and conversations. Both drinks I had were very good. Highly recommend this for an afternoon with friends or business associates when you want a beautiful but comfortable place to unwind.

Janis Taylor


Hands down the best time we've had at a single hotel perhaps ever... which is funny because we travel quite a bit! I decided to surprise my family with a one night stay here even though we live in Iowa City-- it was for my husband's 42nd birthday.

Since I had never been inside the hotel before, I went a day ahead of time to look around. Eli gave me a tour of the hotel and was super knowledgeable about all of the renovation details and was lovely to chat with. During the tour I had told them that my husband had actually worked at the Highlander as a teenager and he was going to be very surprised to check in.

When we got there the next day, the other folks had heard about us and welcomed us very warmly, Eli had even arranged for some really sweet extras for our room and I was blown away by ALL of the hospitality and extra care with us.

The pool was amazing, large and warm, my 6 year old LOVED it and made a couple new friends. We had margaritas and a pizza poolside. Hot tub was very nice, especially with the 10 degree weather outside.

We also loved the complimentary record player that we were able to enjoy in our room- guests are able to check out at the front desk and have their pick of an amazing vinyl collection, tons to choose from.

The BAR was awesome-- I have to give another shout out to the two wonderful bartenders working this night. They chatted with us about the history of the renovations, super knowledgeable about the owner, the renovation process and offered to show us their next renovation process, which was to restore the old sunken lounge. Can't wait to return to see it.

Honestly, the only downside of our night was when we decided to venture OUT of the hotel for dinner downtown... we were both wishing we had just stayed at the hotel. :)

It felt like the entire staff went OUT of their way to make sure everyone in the hotel was happy, comfortable and content. Eli and their team were just wonderful and we are definitely planning to make this a regular night away.

Could not have been better. Thanks to the staff for making our stay so great and memorable!

Emily Salmonson


The Highlander Hotel is EPIC! I used to take my daughter there for private swimming lessons years ago. The updates they have made are incredible. The vibe is so chill. The staff are SO attentive and amazing. We live locally but it was the perfect mid-week getaway for my family. After school, we hopped in the car and spent a few hours in the pool. My kids "want to live here" :) After pool-side dinner, we sent the kids home with grandma and spent the rest of the night at the bar having an amazing date-night dinner and relaxed in the hot tub. 10/10 would recommend to anyone – especially those already in the Iowa City area who are just looking for a fun night!

Mary Brown