A new boutique hotel near Living History Farms is embracing Iowa’s agricultural heritage, but with a modern twist.
Revel Hotel opens Thursday following a $13 million renovation of the former Sleep Inn property at 11211 Hickman Road, just east of Interstate Highway 80/35 in Urbandale.
It’s the second boutique hotel project in the area for Heart of America Group, the Quad Cities-based development company that owns the nearby Hotel Renovo as well as the Machine Shed restaurant.
“There’s nothing vanilla about it,” said Kim Whalen, executive vice president of Heart of America Group. “You’re in Iowa. We’re embracing the fact that we’re at Living History Farms, but it’s done in a modern way.
The art and design of the hotel are completely custom and it features murals from Des Moines artist Gustav.
Boasting 113 rooms, the hotel provides a bed-and-breakfast feel that’s unlike the experience at big-box hotels, Kim Whalen said. It features 16 room types, a meeting space and a lounge serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks.
A large outdoor patio offers an opportunity for guests to grab a drink outside or even play a game of bags.
“We’re in an experiential age, not a product age anymore,” said Mike Whalen, president of Heart of America.
Revel Hotel is part of Hilton Hotels and Resorts’ Tapestry Collection of boutique properties that includes unique properties in New York, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina and the District of Columbia.
Boutique hotels, which were first popularized in the 1980s, typically have fewer rooms than most modern hotels and feature upscale accommodations that provide a more individualized experience.
Heart of America opened the 102-room Hotel Renovo in 2015 in a former Comfort Suites property next door to Revel Hotel. It features reclaimed barn wood, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a red, white and blue theme.
Heart of America also operates the AC Hotel, a boutique property in Des Moines’ East Village, as well as several other hotels across the metro.