I was on the second floor of the Black Hawk Motor Lodge in Cedar Falls surrounded by my luggage and the cold, dark night. My key wouldn’t work. I tried again; it still didn’t work. Weird, since I’d been in the room earlier and unloaded some luggage. I called the night clerk on my cell phone – she came right over and she couldn’t get the door open with my key or the master key.
With several athletic tournaments going on in town and fully booked hotels. I was having visions of sleeping in my van. (And a little bummed because I was really looking forward to staying in this room – an updated Motor Lodge room in “mod” decor, complete with the hotel’s amenities.)
Then the night clerk paused and asked the magical question, “We have one room left, the bridal suite – how would you like that?” Before I was even able to say, “I do,” she grabbed my luggage and I followed her across the parking lot to the third floor of the BlackHawk Hotel.
Luxury, pure luxury. I love historic hotels.
I just had to wait for my daughter Caitlyn to arrive from Wartburg College and for maintenance to secure my luggage from the Motor Lodge room. Meanwhile, I made myself a cup of Starbucks coffee, relaxed in a wingback chair and relished in the comfort of the suite.
Both my daughter and luggage arrived within the hour. Then Caitlyn immediately disappeared into the bathroom to soak in the Jacuzzi tub. When she reappeared, we snuggled into the plush bedding, watched tv and chatted until exhaustion set in.
The BlackHawk Hotel, like most historic hotels, has its very own stories and distinctive character. From the real brass keys I received at the check in (complete with a secret code to on the brass tag to identify your room number) to the genuine antique furniture with a patina that is just simply cozy and warm. And fun fact, it is the oldest continuously-operating hotel site in Iowa. The stay was the total escape that we both needed and the customer service was an A+.
The next morning a hot breakfast was just a few steps away, through the lobby, into the Sushi Bar & Deli. We took our time, sipped our coffee and planned our shopping excursion for downtown Cedar Falls.
After checking out of the hotel, we meandered up and down Main Street and seriously began our Christmas shopping. We were enticed by the great variety of specialty shops: kitchen supplies, bulk baking supplies, free trade, home decor, yarn and lots more. The shopping excursion had a perfect ending, individual cupcakes from Scratch Cupcakery, their line of customers curled out of the store and onto the sidewalk; it was worth the short wait in a long line.
Looking for a great retreat? Call and book a room or suite at the The BlackHawk Hotel or Motor Lodge. Yes, you’ll need to call and talk to a real person. 1.800.488.HAWK (4295). Let your experience begin.
LuAnn Reinders, Iowa Tourism Office
P.S. Don’t worry about getting locked out – the locks were fixed the next day.