I’ve never stayed at a teaching hotel, but I would surely stay again. I stayed at the hotel while on a FAM Trip to Cedar Rapids and loved every minute. One night, one walk through The Hotel at Kirkwood Center and it is easy to see why they are an American Auto Association 4 Diamond rated hotel. “It is the level of service,” Director of Sales and Adjunct Faculty Jean Rogers said. “It is unparalleled.”
And she is right. It is almost as if the staff can read your mind! The Hotel at Kirkwood Center is a teaching laboratory hotel set on Kirkwood Campus, a two-year Community College. The hotel is the largest, most comprehensive teaching hotel at a community college in the U.S.
“We always have a student at our hip,” Rogers said, “we always have to be on.”
With a manager on duty staying over on Friday and Saturday nights and a daily 200 point room inspection of at least one guest room, they stay on top of the needs of the guests as well as teaching students to meet exceedingly high standards. Many of the managers like Rogers not only run departments, but also teach at the school as well.
Not only do they have the amazing service, but they are also a green hotel. “We feature Iowa and native grasses and have local limestone. All of our products are from a 500 mile radius,” Rogers stated.
I love the fact that they use local products as well as promote agriculture with the use of farm products. The fireplace in the hotel lobby does not have any tubing or wiring, but burns on ethanol. The Wine at Five for hotel guests use wines with grapes grown, picked and bottled at the college.
They also offer a farm to table experience working with the Kirkwood College horticulture and agricultural department. I was amazed to learn that Kirkwood has , the number one Ag program in the country for a two-year college.
While dining that evening at the Class Act, they were changing out the menu and Chef Kelly offered up the one of his new appetizers,tomato in a cilantro sauce it was so fresh and said summer in every bite.
The art at the hotel was one of my favorite aspects. Students and professors alike contributed their art to this amazing place.
The rooms were clean and crisp the hotel is what the General Manager called HUT, Hip Urban and Trendy! But for me, it was CCNI -clean, comfy, new and interesting! It is a must stop if heading to this city that was also clean and had art at almost every step.
Log onto www.thehotelatkirkwood.com for more information.