All around the United States, you will discover heritage sites harkening back to the days of yore. Representing bygone times, people, and places, these landmarks showcase a different kind of life. The Amana Colonies in Eastern Iowa is one of those places.
As one of the country’s oldest operating communal societies, the Amana Colonies has been a community in Iowa since 1855. The seven villages that make up the colonies are known as Homestead, Amana, East Amana, West Amana, South Amana, High Amana, and Middle Amana.
What began as a way to escape religious persecution in Germany became a community in the plains of America. Thousands of visitors come to the Amana Colonies each year to see the German-influenced villages. A visit here is almost like stepping back in time.
There are a few Amana Colonies hotels that are in the villages themselves, however, the majority of Amana hotels are elsewhere. You’ll find many of these Amana Colonies hotels in the surrounding area in cities like Cedar Rapids, Williamsburg, or Coralville. All of these hotels are located in a convenient location to still enjoy all that the Amana Colonies have to offer.
Best Hotels Near The Amana Colonies in Iowa
1. Hotel Millwright
Address: 800 48th Ave, Amana, IA 52203
Honestly, there aren’t luxury options around the Amana Colonies. However, if you’re looking for a more elevated hotel with a conference center that’s within walking distance of amenities around the villages, Hotel Millwright in Amana is your best bet. This is one spot where you can truly be immersed in Iowa history.
Set in a former wool mill, this 65-room boutique hotel offers respite for even the weariest souls. Hotel Millwright pays homage to its roots by embracing its past as a mill with lots of exposed brickwork and a still-working textile company — the hotel houses the only textile mill left in the state of Iowa.
Each room type honors local heritage as well, which is evident by the aesthetic of each. For example, the Dye Haus Suite is aptly colorful to remind visitors of the fabrics that were once dyed in that part of the facility. No matter which room type you choose, you’ll be greeted with modernity that meets rich history.
- Walkable to other areas of the Amana Colonies
- Pet-friendly accommodations
- Amana-made artwork
- Fitness center
- Free wifi
- Recent reviews indicate higher-than-average area prices
- Rooms aren’t always quiet at night, hallway noise
See Related: Best Things to Do in Iowa & Places to Visit
2. Zuber’s Homestead Hotel
Address: 2206 44th Ave, Homestead, IA 52236
Also part of the Amana Colonies, Zuber’s Homestead Hotel transports guests to a simpler time for their relaxing stay. It’s one of the few hotels in Amana and it’s perfect for both a short stay or a long haul. You’re also just a quick drive to an adventure in the city of Des Moines or kayaking in Quarry Springs.
Innkeepers Bonnie and Brian have welcomed guests to their homestead since they purchased Zuber’s in 2013. Each of the 15 rooms at the homestead is decorated as one would expect of a cozy bed and breakfast.
All of the rooms are uniquely named and themed accordingly to give guests a unique experience every time they spend the night here. As the building is from the late 1800s, you can also expect a vintage feel from the moment you step onto the property.
In true bed and breakfast fashion, Zuber’s also serves an incredible spread each morning. This isn’t your average continental breakfast smorgasbord either.
Bonnie and Brian change up the offerings each day though you’ll always find goodies like pastries and fruit. They can also accommodate dietary restrictions.
- Fresh breakfast each morning
- Free wifi
- Area attractions are walkable
- Treats during check-in
- Traditional B&B hospitality
- Not pet-friendly
- Rooms have different rates
- Rooms may not accommodate a large family
See Related: Iowa Travel Guide: Tips for Visiting the Hawkeye State
3. Die Heimat Country Inn
Address: 4434 V St, Homestead, IA 52236
Like Zuber’s, Die Heimat Country Inn can also be found in Homestead, which was the last of the seven villages of the Amana Colonies. A few minutes walk will take you to the Amana Colonies National Landmark, while a 20-minute drive can get you to the nearest airport. From here the whole family has access to anything they might need, even for a day of bustling around the city of Cedar Rapids.
These 16 rooms surround guests with bright colors that will fill each morning with light as you head down for your free breakfast. Though it’s more traditional than most hotels, Die Heimat still has free wifi and other modern conveniences. There are also bbq grills on site if you feel like rustling up your grub.
Die Heimat is housed in a building that originates from 1856, a year after Homestead was founded. It began as a stagecoach stop before turning into a communal kitchen and later a private home. But since the 1960’s the structure has welcomed guests with accommodations from within the Amana Colonies.
- Fresh breakfast each morning
- Walkable to nearby sites
- Recent reviews indicate hotel is quiet
- Terrific hotel to save money
- Does not have an elevator
- Room types may not be suitable for large families
See Related: Best Weekend Getaways in Iowa
4. Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Coralville
Address: 2571 Heartland Pl, Coralville, IA 52241
I’ve personally stayed at this Country Inn and Suites by Radisson in Coralville with my dog. This pet-friendly hotel is just about 25 minutes down the highway from the Amana Colonies, the local airport, the Field of Dreams filming location, and The Bridges of Madison County. Compared to other Country Inns I’ve stayed in, this one is by far the best.
Although you can’t just walk over to one of the restaurants in the colonies from here, you can eat dinner, go grocery shopping or even do some regular shopping from this central location. This is also a great hotel to stay in if you’re on the search for colleges since it’s only a few minutes from the University of Iowa.
Folks who travel with their pets, as I do sometimes, will be happy to know that you and your pup will be placed on the first floor at this hotel. So your vacation won’t be spent traversing up and down the stairs or elevator. Just be sure you mention your pet when you make your reservation to ensure first-floor placement.
- Commuter-friendly area of Coralville
- Nice pool area
- Fresh cookies in the lobby
- Daily continental breakfast
- Free wifi
- Rooms can be noisy from the hallway
See Related: Best Iowa Family Vacations to Take This Year
5. Lace Lodging
Address: 617 45th Ave #8026, Amana, IA 52203
Part of the Amana Colonies since 1855, Lace Lodging in Amana was once used as a colony prayer meeting hall. You have to remember the Amana Colonies were developed as a community of like-minded religious folks, so this lodge was a piece of that history.
Remember innkeepers Bonnie and Brian from Zuber’s? They own Lace Lodging too! This smaller hotel has four suites as well as a salon and day spa. The Victoria Suite is perfect for large families because it is a four-room accommodation that sleeps five with a kitchenette.
Although Bonnie and Brian have a B&B property, the Lace Lodging does not serve breakfast. Instead, you will receive a discounted breakfast coupon for the nearby Ronneburg Restaurant.
If that’s not your jam you can also walk to other restaurants nearby. You can also easily arrange a car service to the Des Moines airport.
- Smoke-free facility
- On-site salon and day spa
- Free wifi
- Located in the Amana Colonies
- Large family suites
- No breakfast
- No airport shuttle
See Related: What is Iowa known for? Facts about the Hawkeye State
6. Tru by Hilton Cedar Rapids Westdale
Address: 3900 Westdale Pkwy SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
From a home base like Cedar Rapids, you’ll be in prime position to see a lot of the state and tours around the city in addition to the Amana Colonies. You could even easily take a day trip to Des Moines from here.
One of the best places you can hang your hat on a budget here is Tru by Hilton Cedar Rapids Westdale. This pet-friendly locale is not far from many of the parks in Cedar Rapids as well as several restaurants.
There aren’t a lot of frills here like a swimming pool or on-site restaurant, but what you lack in amenities you make up for in savings. This is a chic hotel with a few different room types to accommodate different sizes of families. There is also a snack shop, fitness center, free wifi, and the building is smoke-free.
Despite being away from the Amana Colonies, you do get the kinds of modern amenities you’d expect from a chain hotel. The Tru by Hilton hotel is located in a convenient spot not just to enjoy the city of Cedar Rapids, IA but to hop onto the highway to get back to the Colonies or the airport as well.
- Excellent location in Cedar Rapids
- Best hotel choice to save money
- Different room types
- Accommodations for handicapped guests
- Fitness center
- No pool
- No on-site restaurant
- Recent reviews indicate EV charging stations are unreliable
See Related: Best Day Trips from Des Moines, Iowa
7. BEYONDER Getaway by Sleepy Hollow
Address: 3340 Black Hawk Ave NW, Oxford, IA 52322
Just south of the Amana Colonies in Oxford, BEYONDER Getaway at Sleepy Hollow might not be a familiar name to frequent Iowa visitors. However this location, once known as Sleepy Hollow RV Park and Campground has operated since 1970. BEYONDER took over management in June 2021.
From campsites to RV hookups, cabins, and even fully equipped vacation rental homes, Sleepy Hollow has a wide range of accommodations to fit the smallest to the largest group of visitors. This pet-friendly campground even has free wifi, lots of activity areas, and even a fishing lake to enjoy.
Kiddos will enjoy the large pool on-site, while the whole family will be glad to meander to the nearby Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, the Amana Colonies, or Coralville. You could even decide to take a day trip out to Davenport to get to know that metropolitan area. Located off of I-80, it isn’t hard to get away from it all or get back to it all from Sleepy Hollow.
- Large pool and beach areas
- Variety of accommodation types
- Near Iowa City, North Liberty, and Cedar Rapids
- Save money by camping instead of spending the night in a hotel
- Not a hotel
- Can’t guarantee smoke-free
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Des Moines, Iowa
8. Village Guest Suite
Address: 4312 F St, Amana, IA 52203
Regarding hotels in Amana, one of the few places that serve as a sort of hotel and a bed and breakfast is the Village Guest Suite. Built in 1856, this charming little home was once a communal living space for the people of Amana. Now it houses four room types that do or do not include breakfast.
From the Mini Suite, which suits two people, to the 2nd Floor Suite Combination room type that can sleep four, there is a small range of options for visitors to choose from. Particularly for the Mini Suite, room rates are reasonable. Especially if you consider that these suites are in the heart of Amana, you can’t get much closer than this.
Even if you opt out of breakfast, food is never far away. From Village Guest Suite, you’re just steps away from some of Amana’s most beloved dining institutions, stores, and the Amana Heritage Museum. It is a bit further from the main highways; however, you can still easily get to Cedar Rapids, North Liberty, and Iowa City for day-tripping.
- Food can be included
- Different suites and bed types
- Location in Amana
- Way to save money for larger families
- Only a few rooms are available
- Not pet-friendly
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Iowa City, Iowa
9. Holiday Inn Express and Suites Cedar Rapids
Address: 3320 Southgate Ct SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
This Holiday Inn Express and Suites in Cedar Rapids is a family-friendly spot less than 30 minutes from the Amana Colonies. An IHG Hotel, the Holiday Inn and Suites helps you save money without shirking on the modern-day amenities you want in a hotel.
With a pool, sun terrace, free parking, and smoke-free facilities, the Holiday Inn and Suites is comfortable for families of all sizes. Some of the rooms and suites can sleep up to four, though you can also ask ahead of time for adjacent rooms with connecting door if you need more space. As one of the modern hotels near Amana, you don’t have to travel far to get to the Colonies.
Several Cedar Rapids parks are within short biking or driving distance from this IHG hotel. You can even walk over to Perkins if you crave pie — we don’t blame you; pie always hits the spot.
- Excellent location in Cedar Rapids
- Several room and suites types
- Adjacent rooms with connecting door are available
- Not far from the local airport
- Breakfast may have a limited selection
- Hotel rooms can be noisy from the hallway or adjacent rooms
See Related: Where to Stay in Des Moines, Iowa
10. AmericInn by Wyndham Williamsburg
Address: 2185 U Ave, Williamsburg, IA 52361
For visitors on the search for hotels in Amana, a stay in nearby Williamsburg is a close second to staying in the Colonies themselves. The AmericInn by Wyndham is a way to save money without sacrificing comfort. This hotel has several room options in addition to suites that can sleep up to three or four folks.
Breakfast is included no matter your accommodation type in this smoke-free hotel. With prices more akin to a motel, the AmericInn is certainly a step up from that experience.
Though like a Motel, it does not have the majority of the amenities other chain hotels have, like a pool or recreation area. Even so, it is cozy and offers spacious rooms to spend the night.
As far as proximity is concerned, this hotel is lacking compared to the others on this list. There isn’t anything walkable from the AmericInn, including Williamsburg, which is a drive away along I-80. Don’t let that deter you, however, since the service is said to be good, considering it is a two-star property.
- Budget-friendly, a good way to save
- A few room and suites options
- Breakfast included
- Not walkable location
- Few amenities
See Related: Best Places to Visit in the Midwest
11. Sleep Inn & Suites, Mount Vernon
Address: 310 Virgil Ave, Mt Vernon, IA 52314
A definite upgrade from the nearby Sleep Inn in North Liberty, the Sleep Inn & Suites Mount Vernon will give you much better sleep each night. These rooms and suites all provide visitors with free breakfast each morning, access to the fitness center and swimming pool, and even laundry facilities if you need them.
Palisades-Dows Preserve and Observatory and the University of Iowa are a short drive away, as are the Amana Colonies. Slightly more expensive than area motels, the Sleep Inn provides an elevated experience without the price tag. Some suites even come with a two-person hot tub! Perfect for relaxing after a day of exploring Iowa.
This hotel is a quick hop to Cedar Rapids or nearby Coralville. That also means the airport isn’t far either, making for an easy transition after landing. You can even walk to some local eateries or bars like Hilltop Bar & Grill and Lincoln Cafe from this hotel as well.
- Some suites come with a small hot tub
- Service is said to be excellent
- Room types can sleep up to seven
- Walkable to local dining
- The only hotel in Mount Vernon
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Davenport, Iowa
12. Ramada by Wyndham Cedar Rapids
Address: 525 33rd Ave SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
Another of the Wyndham hotels in the area, the Ramada by Wyndham Cedar Rapids gives ample room to visitors while being in a prime spot for Iowa-based adventures. Whether you’re spending your time in the Amana Colonies or getting to know Cedar Rapids, this Ramada is a way to save while doing it in style.
Folks flying into Cedar Rapids will be happy to know that this Ramada has a free airport shuttle to get you to your hotel faster. Once you arrive, you can hang out in the hot tub, swim some laps in the pool or keep the anxiety at bay by running in the fitness center. All rooms and suites come with free breakfast, and some suites also have spa bathtubs too.
Should you want to have any dates from the comfort of your Cedar Rapids home, the hotel has an on-site bar and restaurant. Check out the Hide Out for some casual eats. They even have options for dietary restrictions as well, so don’t forget to ask.
- Free airport shuttle
- Some suites have a spa bathtub
- Convenient location in Cedar Rapids
- Breakfast may be limited
- Recent reviews indicate some areas of the hotel are dated
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Ames, Iowa
Events in the Amana Colonies
Frequent events occur throughout the Amana Colonies, from live concerts to special food-themed celebrations. But there are a few annual events that bring visitors to the colonies from miles around.
One such event is Maifest which honors the coming of the new spring life. Fittingly you can see a May Pole (Maipole) dance and celebrate spring in true German fashion. The annual Oktoberfest each autumn also embraces the Amana Colonies’ German heritage.
Not all of the annual events lean so heavily on the villages’ German roots! The Amana Colonies are home to the Iowan Renaissance Festival each year. During certain weekends in May and June, the Middle Amana Community Park transports visitors even further back in time to the English Renaissance. Come for the tasty treats and jesters, and stay for the beer garden.
Then in August, the Amana Art Guild holds their annual Festival of the Arts in Amana. Join the local artists here who are selling their wares, demonstrating their craft, and celebrating arts of all kinds. If that’s not enough art for you, come back during Labor Day weekend when artists across all seven villages repaint parts of the community for the Fresh Paint event.
If you’re staying in nearby towns, you’ll want to check out the event calendars for each town, too. Mt. Vernon has a lovely art walk each spring, while Coralville, Iowa City, and Cedar Rapids are bustling towns with Farmers markets on weekends, craft fairs, and holiday celebrations.
See Related: Best State Parks in Iowa to Visit
Best Time to Visit the Amana Colonies
Given its place in the Midwestern state of Iowa, you’ll want to keep that in mind before planning your visit to the Amana Colonies. Your best bet for good weather would be to visit between May and September. During the late spring, summer, and early fall, you’ll be greeted with better weather and less rain than at any other point of the year. Keep in mind that it will get very humid during the summer.
If you don’t mind winter weather (and can adjust your plans for an unexpected snowstorm or two…) it’s worth visiting during the Christmas holiday season, too. Christmas in Amana is an absolutely magical time, with European-style Christmas Markets, holiday fairs, shops, and historic colonies full of lights.
What religion is practiced in the Amana Colonies?
The Amana Colonies were built around Pietistic beliefs, which heavily focus on Biblical study and prayer. They became known as the Community of True Inspiration and are in line with the Pietistic Lutheranism movement.
Are the Amana Colonies Amish?
Amana Colonies residents have never been Amish and do not identify as such. Though both traditions stem from Germanic roots, the Colonies use technology, typically dress like everyone else, and consume alcohol, while the Amish do not.
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