This summer, after we pulled out of the Hotel Alex Johnson in Rapid City, South Dakota, spent the morning at Mt. Rushmore, and part of the afternoon at Badlands National Park, my husband and I were looking for an overnight stop before the last leg of our trip home. I headed to HotelsCombined and Hotels.com to seek out possibilities. The Super 8 in Walnut, Iowa was it.
Walnut is a postage stamp-size town between Sioux City and Des Moines, two cities with higher end hotels. In the middle of Iowa, where fields of corn stretch out across the landscape, there aren’t many lodging options.
Still, the Super 8 in Walnut showed higher ratings than most of the higher end hotels within 100 miles. At Trivago, the rating for this Super 8 is the 2nd to the darkest green, one away from the best.
By 9:30 p.m. we made our commitment to stop, and I called the reservation number for Super 8 to check availability. One room was left–a two-queen bed. Perfect. Without a room, we were heading to Des Moines where room rates are higher and we would have had even less time for R&R.
Although when we arrived, the two queen bed room we thought we had was actually a two double bed room, the Super 8 was a perfect late night road trip stop. The high ratings are well earned. First, the staff is friendly and even for guests who roll in as late as we did, offer a warm welcome and a quick check-in. Unfortunately, we arrived too late to enjoy the pool but our guest room was fine for winding down.
Our room was clean and comfortable with a tidy bathroom, decent towels, free WiFi, cable, a refrigerator, coffee maker and microwave–an exact fit for what one needs when dragging into a room, road-hashed from a long day’s drive.
Plus, the breakfast was better than usual at a budget hotel. Make your own waffles, cinnamon rolls, eggs, sausage and fruit were a quick bite send off before hitting the road. Due to the miles that lay ahead, we didn’t stick around to try out the indoor pool. We did, however, take a detour from the straight shot back to the interstate.
The welcome to Walnut sign caught my eye. I wondered what was in Walnut anyway. As we discovered, Walnut is called “Iowa’s Antique City” for good reason. Antique stores abound. I was smitten with one of them– Kelly Reed Antiques.
The brightly painted metal yard ornaments made in Mexico festoon the front yard of this former house turned into a place of shopping pleasure. The Super 8 drew us to Walnut and proved that sometimes budget carries happy surprises. I’d stay here again, and if I do, there’s a garden gate with my name on it in front of Kelly Reed Antiques.
Some Super 8 rooms do have queen beds. King bed rooms are also available, as are suites. All rooms in the hotel are being updated, and at the time of our stay, most of the work had been done. Our room was one of the older ones but it was perfectly fine.
Currently rates are $72.74 to $100.74
Super 8, 2109 Antique City Dr, Walnut, IA ; (712) 784-2221
Post and photos, courtesy of Jamie Rhein