History and Elegance at Omaha’s Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel

Formerly the Blackstone Hotel originally built in 1916, Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel in Omaha, Nebraska, has a storied history. It was a popular stop-off point for well-traveled folks making their way between San Francisco and Chicago by train. President John F. Kennedy and his wife Jackie spent their fifth wedding anniversary in the stately brick building. 

Large brick historic building with white windows and American flag in front.

Today, the Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel boasts modern amenities at its location in the revitalized Blackstone District just west of Omaha’s core downtown. The property also embraces its past with thoughtful design touches: My favorite is the original tile in the welcoming lobby.

Here’s the scoop on my two-night June stay at the Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel

Top-Notch Amenities, Guest Rooms, and Dining Options

Red bicycle on historic mosaic tile lobby floor at Kimpton Cottonwood HotelThe grand porte-cochère at Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel sets the tone for a sophisticated stay. The lobby features not only that nifty antique mosaic floor tile but also a majestic marble staircase and vintage brass elevators.

I happened to check into the hotel while the daily social hour in the lobby was happening. A chilled glass of white wine was most welcome after a long day of travel. Complimentary happy hour is a universal Kimpton perk I’ve enjoyed at several of the brand’s properties worldwide.

Other fun amenities include complimentary use of custom-designed bikes; a Family Fridge on-demand service, where you can have a mini-refrigerator delivered to your room for storing formula, breast milk, or other baby needs; and even the Kimpton Plant Pals Program, which allows guests to borrow some foliage to brighten their guest room. 

By far the best benefit of staying at Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel is access to an outdoor pool deck with a lap pool, hot tub, and “sun shelf” for lounging in shallow water. Temperatures reached 90° on the humid, sunny day I was in Omaha in late June. I’m glad I got in my exercise swim in early before the pool area got busy with visiting families.

Lap pool and lounge chairs at Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel

Dining options at the Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel include a classic steakhouse called The Committee, so named for the group of men — including hotel owner Charles Schimmel — who would meet up in the dimly lit subterranean restaurant for weekly poker games in the Roaring ’20s. My college-age son and I ate here for dinner one night, where the highlights were Pan-Roasted Diver Scallops over creamy polenta and the marinated, bone-out short loin Whiskey Strip. 

Otherwise, the Orleans Room is also open to the public. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this restaurant is said to be the birthplace of the Reuben sandwich. The Cottonwood Room is a swanky, below-ground cocktail bar. Guests can grab small bites — including yogurt parfaits, egg sandwiches, and pastries — during the day at a to-go counter just off the lobby.

Classy guest rooms here have a grey, brown, and tan color palette. My corner room featured huge windows that let in plenty of natural light. I especially liked the retro black-and-white bathroom tile and large walk-in shower. 


The Bottom Line

With attractive rooms, a great location in Omaha’s upbeat Blackstone District, and a premier pool area, Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel is a fantastic property for a couple’s getaway or family weekend trip. If work brings you to the area, the hotel is ideal for mixing business and leisure travel. 

Midweek room rates at Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel start at $153. Check the website for money-saving packages and promotions or go to Expedia and compare rates. The property is pet friendly: There’s no extra charge to bring your dog or cat along. Valet parking is $30 a night.

Hotel review and photos by Colorado-based travel writer Kara Williams. Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel hosted her stay. As always, all thoughts and opinions are her own.

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