You already know major Midwestern cities like Detroit, Chicago, and Minneapolis are chock-a-block with trendy boutique hotels, but what about smaller towns in the Midwest? Thanks to a new crop of contemporary boutique hotels that have opened within the last year, now is the perfect time to visit. Here's where to stay if you're looking for off-the-beaten path accommodations.
1. Lora Hotel: Stillwater, Minnesota
Provenance Hotels’ first Midwestern property (opened in 2018) fuses fashion into this quaint town’s downtown drag. The 40-room Lora Hotel is located 26 miles from Minneapolis and provides a unique alternative to historic inns and bed and breakfasts. Here, some of the rooms feature walls of stone or white-washed brick. The property is complete with an onsite restaurant called Feller, which specializes in crafting dishes made with local ingredients, such as wild rice porridge and smoked-pheasant pot pie). The hotel is also home to a bar called The Long Goodbye that's perfect for nightcaps, as well as a street-level, cute-as-can-be café called Made Coffee, where you can mingle with locals over a cup of Joe. Summer rates from $135 per night.
2. Hotel Retlaw: Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
In January 2019, this 127-room hotel —which is located on the shores of Lake Winnebago, about 70 miles north of Milwaukee — re-opened in January 2019 following a $25 million renovation. Now, the property is complete with a gorgeous indoor pool, a spa, an elegant restaurant, a bar (aptly called The Lobby Bar), an espresso cafè and wine bar, and a high-style sports bar. Here, design reigns supreme. Throughout the hotel, you'll find mid-century modern interiors and architecture, complete with Art Deco accents and a 1920s flare. Summer rates from $124 per night.
3. Cyrus Hotel, Topeka, Kansas
Lauded as Topeka’s first boutique hotel when it opened in late January 2019, this 109-room property is located the heart of downtown Topeka. Here, you'll find milk-globe pendant lighting and plush seating in various shades of green at the onsite restaurant, The Weather Room, as well as the lobby bar. The guest rooms are equally as distinct and are complete with framed silhouettes, pops of turquoise and rust-orange, and gold finishes. Summer rates from $129 per night.
4. North: Nisswa, Minnesota
North will launch in July 2019 as a "hotel within a hotel” at Grand View Lodge in Nisswa, Minnesota (about two-and-a-half hours from Minneapolis). North features 60 guest rooms, which are outfitted with blonde woods and neutral hues, plus sliding glass doors for easy access to the outdoors. Guests at North will have access to all of the resort amenities, including the Japanese-style outdoor pools and tranquil spa. You'll also find lawn games, kayaking, and other sports along Gull Lake — along with s'mores on the beach, yoga classes, and more fun activities. Summer rates at North from $235 per night.
5. Hotel Goodwin, Beloit, Wisconsin
The 34-rom Hotel Goodwin debuted last fall in Beloit, Wisconsin (about one-hour south of Madison). The hotel wows with elegant and sleek interiors (think marble showers, turntables, and stunning artwork). Grab pizza or small plates with friends at one of the onsite restaurants, Velvet Buffalo. (The hotel is also home to a taco restaurant, a burger bar, a steakhouse, and a coffee shop.) If the weather is nice, take in the view from the rooftop, which features topiary plants, heated lamps, and indoor and outdoor spaces. One reason to visit this summer is the Beloit Farmers' Market — the second largest in the state — which takes place every Saturday from May through October. Summer rates from $179 per night.
6. The Brewery Lodge: Michigan City, Indiana
The all-suite Brewery Lodge opened in September 2019 in Michigan City, Indiana (a 90-minute drive from Chicago). If you like nature or history, you'll appreciate this 31-acre property, which is complete with streams, ponds, and a house that dates back to 1930. Here, you'll find live music, good brunch, and nightly martinis (or craft beer) paired with dinner. The suites are spacious and feature tufted leather headboards, wood walls, and a cozy vibe. Summer rates from $89 per night.