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A "frequent visitor" to Des Moines seeks accommodations

Iowa
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A "frequent visitor" to Des Moines seeks accommodations

I live in Northeast Iowa but recently started in a post-masters degree program at Drake University. I travel to Des Moines for weekend classes. Over the next 2.5 to 3 years, I will need to be in Des Moines for approximately 35 to 45 non-consecutive nights. I wish Drake had some sort of "short-term dorm" options but they don't.

Classes are not every weekend, but when they do occur they are on Friday nights until 9 p.m and then all day Saturday. I don't need breakfast, a pool, or anything fancy. I'm just looking for something clean, safe, reasonably priced, and somewhere that I can get a quiet night's sleep.

I've been using Priceline.com and was able to stay at a nice extended stay place in Urbandale for a $38 bid last week and a $28 bid this coming week. This is great but I don't know if Priceline will work every time, and I'd rather have one consistent place. I'd like to find a place that might offer me a "frequent stayer" discount since I'll be staying so often. Does anyone have any ideas?

Last weekend, I drove around town after class and stopped in at several places to inquire. There are several "sleazy" older hotels that were once nice and are now basically long-term or transitional housing for homeless people or drug users. I did not feel safe in these lower-end places. I had heard that the Clive Hotel across from Living History Farms was now an independent extended stay type place and I know that years ago the place was nice, so I stopped to inquire. The parking lot looked full, but when I stopped the place was locked up. What is the deal with this place? I also drove out West on I-80 to DeSoto and there was one decent place and one not-so-nice, but the rates weren't discounted enough from what I was paying in Des Moines to get me interested. I would be willing to drive a little ways out of the city for a safe, clean, decently-priced place. I guess I'm just out of ideas and wondered if anyone could suggest a place that might deal with me. Close to Drake would be nice but it isn't a priority.

My classes will be year-round so when it warms up a bit, I might consider tent camping or camping on a mattress in the back of my van to save $. Are there any nice campgrounds within driving distance of Des Moines? I would definitely need electricity for a heater or fan, and a place to take a warm shower in the morning.

I would appreciate any suggestions that a local person might offer. Thanks in advance!

Des Moines, Iowa
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1. Re: A "frequent visitor" to Des Moines seeks accommodations

I have a couple of suggestions. First, I see several B&Bs listed that are fairly close to Drake: The 1900 Inn and Butler House on Grand.

My other suggestion is Warren House efficiency apartments on University in West Des Moines, across from Valley West Mall.

Perhaps the owners/managers of these properties would consider negotiating a good deal for you in return for guaranteed business. It can't hurt to ask!

Iowa
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2. Re: A "frequent visitor" to Des Moines seeks accommodations

Thank you for the suggestions. I hadn't considered bed and breakfasts. Many times these can be quite pricey, but perhaps they would be more likely to deal with me because they are local independent business owners and I would be bringing them a good amount of business. I'll give it a try.

I drove past the Warren House Apartments and wondered about this...It looked to me more like their shortest rental term would be monthly. Do you think they would rent by the night like a hotel? Do you know if they have a web site or email?

Do you know what the deal is with the hotel called "Clive Hotel" or "Clive Inn and Suites?" It's right near an athletic club and across from Living History Farms. How would one get in touch with their owners?

Also, I would still be very interested in utilizing campgrounds for my overnight lodging during camping season. I would just need electricity and showers. I would appreciate any further suggestions.

Des Moines, Iowa
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3. Re: A "frequent visitor" to Des Moines seeks accommodations

Warren House used to advertise nightly rentals at one time, so it's worth contacting it to see if you can arrange occasional lodging. Try this website: http://www.warrenproperties.com/.

I'm not sure what the story is on the Clive Hotel & Suites, but I drove past it several times this weekend and saw people coming and going, so it appears to be open. You may want to check its reviews on TripAdvisor. I couldn't find a website for the hotel, but Google will pull up a phone number for you.

Here is information on camping at Saylorville Lake (just north of Des Moines) and at the Iowa State Fairgrounds:

…army.mil/Saylorville/Camping.cfm

www.iowastatefair.com/camping/off-season.php

Additionally, there are private campgrounds that can be found by using Google to search.

Hope this helps you find just what you need.

midwest
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4. Re: A "frequent visitor" to Des Moines seeks accommodations

For camping, I can recommend the Acorn Valley campground near Saylorvill Lake. It is an army corps of engineers campground, and the sites can be reserved in advance. It has flush toilets and showers. It is a 'no alcohol' campground, so you get more families and less partying. I've only stayed in the tent sites, and they're nicely spaced out. The area with electrical hook-ups is across a small pond, Those sites are closer together so you'll get more noise. This is about a 45 min. drive from Drake on surface roads.

Dublin, Ohio
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5. Re: A "frequent visitor" to Des Moines seeks accommodations

We relocated to Des Moines last year and had to spend nearly a month at the Towne & Country suites in Urbandale. We spoke with the manager upon check in, at the time stay was at least a week but completely open ended and they gave us a great rate. I would contact the manager and see if you could arrange something.

As for the Clive Hotel, I suspect that they do not staff their desk 24 hours, maybe try to email or call them during the day. We spent one night in the Chase Suites in Clive. We were in a 2 bedroom as we have children and those rooms were not renovated- and not particularly clean- leftovers in the fridge, no toliet paper gneral lack of attention to detail so we moved.

Another random thought- working out something with a national chain you cuold rack up a lot of hotel points and either defray your costs along the way or treat yourself to a few nights away in celebration of your degree.

There is also a Value Place on the outskirts of Ankeny (going towards Des Moines probably 20-25min from Drake) off of I-35. They advertise a weekly rate of $189 so you may be able to get a good rate. I am not sure how clean or updated it is or what the clientele.

Have you thought of putting an ad in the student newspaper or website? Perhaps somone near campus has a room to rent?

Good luck!

6. Re: A "frequent visitor" to Des Moines seeks accommodations

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