We booked two nights at the Clarion Highlander Hotel in Iowa City in order to attend our daughter's graduation from the University of Iowa. Expecting that hotel rooms would be at a premium over graduation weekend, my husband booked our room back in January. We anticipated that our family would visit our room, so we booked the one and only suite in the hotel, room 226.
We checked in and discovered that there was no elevator to the second floor, which presented a problem for us. The manager arranged for help with our bags, and I went ahead to open the room. Upon entering the room, I discovered that a couple had already checked in to the suite about 30 minutes earlier. The person at the hotel desk had given this couple keys to the wrong room. They were supposed to be in 228.
The management apologized and offered us a spa room--a king room with a spa tub atop a pyramid of stairs. This room was of no interest to us as we would rather have had a larger room than the altar-spa, and back to the front desk we went! We were then offered a king room. Coincidentally, the couple in the suite were also at the front desk, and they insisted that we take the suite. After some conversation, we agreed.
Back upstairs to 226. The room must have been 85 degrees. We cranked up the AC and went out to dinner with our family. Upon returning, we discovered that the room was still hot. We called the desk and asked if the AC could be serviced. Someone came to the room and turned the same dials and pushed the same buttons that we did, and left. We were so uncomfortable in that room. We finally fell asleep due to pure exhaustion.
The next day, we were gone for most of the day. I spoke to the manager and expressed the discomfort of the room and asked if something could be done. By the time we returned from the graduation ceremony, we discovered that the entire air conditioning unit had been replaced. The comfort of the room from the first night to the second was night and day.
When we checked out, we discovered that we had received a nice discount. The room rate (graduation weekend markup) was $189/night, and we were charged only $59 for the first night.
The hotel staff did what they could, all things considered; yet, it was the generosity of the other couple that really made the weekend work. Would I stay here again? No. There are many other hotels right in Iowa City or in nearby Coralville that appeared to be nicer. If you want a really great experience, I recommend the Brown Street Inn, a charming, affordable 5-star bed and breakfast in the city.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Conveniently located off Interstate 80, the Clarion Hotel® Highlander Conference Center hotel is less than four miles from the University of Iowa. Local points of interest like the Carver-Hawkeye Arena multipurpose venue, the North Dodge Athletic Club and Amana Colonies National Historic Landmark are all just minutes away from this Iowa City, IA hotel. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Clarion Highlander Hotel Iowa City
- Quality Inn Iowa City
- Iowa City Quality Inn
- Clarion Highlander Hotel And Conference Center Iowa City