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“An absolute gem!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Brown Street Inn

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Brown Street Inn
Ranked #1 of 7 Iowa City B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“An absolute gem!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 October 2011

I stayed for three nights at the Brown Street Inn while moving my freshman into the university. The Inn is the utmost in comfort. I was in the Red Room which is very large and beautifully decorated. Mark did a fabulous job of making my stay comfortable and relaxing. The large front porch is a great place for reading and I imagine a winters day by the fireplace in the livingroom would be lovely. It is in a quiet neighborhood, close to the university, but away from the crowds. I look forward to another visit.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank septemberluna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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238 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (41)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Sonora, CA
Level Contributor
115 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 October 2011

Everything all the other reviewers say is accurate, I cannot compound it more. Mark is one of the coolest dudes I've ever met in a B&B. Better hosts do not exist. You will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MitchSonora_CA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SmilingWanderer
Level Contributor
61 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 October 2011

Stayed at the Brown Street Inn for two nights on a visit to Iowa City to see my Freshman. On previous trips to IC we stayed in the hotelVitro and the Sheraton. (Also stayed at the Iowa House Hotel, but that is such a bad property it doesn't even merit inclusion in the dialog). The price point for the BSI is about the same as the other two properties, but when you throw in a fantastic weekend morning breakfast and free (outdoor) parking, it is a better value and compares favorably to these other properties.

My reviews of the hotelVItro and Sheraton are more or less neutral. You get a fantastic central location right on the pedestrian mall -- health club and swimming pool, too -- but the rooms are kind of blah (both times we looked out over a rooftop air conditioning unit), the service a bit impersonal. Breakfast in the lobby was the same stuff you'd get at an airport Marriott or Holiday Inn. Not bad just nothing to write home about.

On this trip we decided to mix things up and stay at the BSI (largely based on TA reviews). It is a bit further from downtown, but it is an easy walk from BSI to Berge dormitory, to downtown and in general to most of what is going on in Iowa City. It was about a mile to the pedestrian walkway. I have to say, with peak autumn colors, wide tree-lined streets, 75 degree weather (slight breeze and spectacular sunshine) and cool brisk moonlit evenings: the BSI was a showplace. The whole weekend was like a recruiting poster.

We arrived late (about 8 pm) and met LJ at the front door. Mark welcomed us and immediately showed us to our room, and provided information on evening dinner options in IC. Quite a difference from pulling up into a big hotel. Mark has been doing this for a while and you can tell he has perfected being "accommodative" without being intrusive. He was congenial and engaging. Parking is available on site (for no fee).

We stayed in the 3rd floor suite which was spacious. Comfortable bed, sitting couch, small desk, with a roll-away provided for my daughter. Everything in the room worked, was spotless and quaint. Believe it or not we needed to use the a/c. King-sized bed was fantastic. Still lots of room to spread out and unpack. Bathroom was quite large. Loads of towels. I'm 6'6" and the shower easily accommodated my height. (The suite is on the third floor, so expect some stairs). Mini fridge in room was great (microwave in room too). Wi Fi available.

The communal living space was tastefully decorated and comfortable looking. Lots of easy chairs and sofas. We spent nearly every free minute at the B&B sitting outdoors on rocking chairs on the large front porch. LJ immediately warmed up to my wife. Fantastic. Relaxing. Private. Not sure if I would have been quite so impressed with it during February, but October is a great month to sit out and enjoy the evening in a quiet neighborhood.

The Sat and Sun morning breakfasts were outstanding. Stuffed blueberry french toast, vegetarian quiche, ham, sausage. Very hearty and delicious. They even hosted my son who welcomed the change from his customary dorm food.

Overall, I highly recommend the Brown Street Inn. I plan to stay there again. Not sure if I will ever experience the type of weather again, but the welcoming Brown Street Inn is a winner.

Room Tip: The 3rd floor suite easily accommodates three people if one is willing to sleep on a roll-away.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SmilingWanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
USA
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 September 2011

When my partner and I decied to travel to Iowa City to be married, we wanted to make certain that our wedding night would forever hold special memories. How lucky we were to have discovered the Brown Street Inn. Previously leery of B&B stays because of their variability, the absence of any distinctive hotel options in Iowa City pushed us again to explore B&B options. Mark and Bob at the Brown Street Inn have, without doubt, opened our eyes again to the comfort that a B&B can offer. Greeted at the door with a smile and heartfelt congratulations on our marriage, we knew from the very start that this would be a special place. The decor was impeccable, and made us feel warm and at home as soon as we entered the foyer. Our third floor suite was spacious and meticulously clean with comfortable bedding and more than ample seating. The bathroom was equally roomy and comfortable. A cabinet with extra linens available on the landing below our room was a noteworthy touch, as it obviated the need to request extra linens to accommodate our needs. We loved the short walk along cobblestone streets - pure Americana - between the Inn and downtown, all of which added to our sense of comfort and relaxation. Our departure day breakfast was accompanied by delightful conversation with our innkeepers and fellow guests, with whom we had enough common interests that the sense of community created another amazing touch. Although we plan a wedding celebration with friends and family back in our home state, our memories of Iowa City and our first night as legal husband and husband will forever be enhanced by our stay at the Brown Street Inn.

  • Stayed September 2011
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank rbtsch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ontario
Level Contributor
72 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 September 2011

After finding the ratings for Iowa City hotels were pretty much negative or indifferent, we chose the Brown Street Inn for three nights while at a conference because of the TA ratings. We were fully satisfied, and this B&B exceeded our expectations.
All of the positive comments other reviewers have offered are spot on, and we would echo them. Mark and Bob are wonderfully welcoming hosts and ready to converse on almost any topic. Mark was very helpful with local maps and directions, and gave us a lot of insights into local culture on our first trip to Iowa.
The location of the Brown Street Inn is about ten blocks (1 mile) to the part of the U of Iowa campus where our meetings were held. We thoroughly enjoyed the walks to campus in the morning and back again in the evening along the wide, tree-lined streets with their big old houses. People greeted us from their front porches, making this like a real visit to small-town America.
We stayed in the Green Room which, located on a corner of the building, had three windows looking out on two sides. The closet was large, and Mark brought in an ironing board when we needed one. The bathroom, though on the small side, was perfectly serviceable.
We would readily recommend this B&B to anyone visiting Iowa City.

Room Tip: Anyone planning a stay at the Brown Street Inn should reserve early to get their choice of room
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2011, travelled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank wjames5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Brown Street Inn

Property: Brown Street Inn
Address: 430 Brown Street, Iowa City, IA 52245
Region: United States > Iowa > Iowa City
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Iowa City
Price range (per night): ₹ 9,490 - ₹ 10,787
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Brown Street Inn 3.5*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our 1913 Gambrel Cottage style mansion is on a quiet street in the Brown Street Historical District. Contemporary but yet timelessly elegant appointments can be found throughout the Inn. We are walking distance to downtown Iowa City, and the University of Iowa Campus. Where hospitatality means coming home! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Brown Street Inn Iowa City

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