East Central Iowa · Lodging

Amana In A Whole New Historic Vision: Hotel Millwright

*Many folks have been making regular trips to the Amana Colonies their whole lives with the old mill in the background. Me included. Then came 2021 and an unbelievable renovation to that iconic mill. Our stay at the Hotel Millwright was complimentary and the views expressed in this blog post are of our own. Let’s Gallivant!

The brand new Hotel Millwright just after a spring rain. If you think the property looks inviting from this vantage point then wait until you get inside. 800 48th Ave, Amana, IA 319-313-3450 (Photo provided by the Hotel Millwright)

Amana, IA: Iowa County

Let’s come right out and say it. The newly opened Hotel Millwright is one of the most impressive hotels we’ve ever experienced in our travels. Why mess around and wait for all of you to read that? Yes, we are going to go into great detail but that needed to be said right away cuz I’m practicing my conversation starters. How’d I do? I wanna show you Hotel Millwright! We stayed here from our recent Gallivant on the Iowa Valley Scenic Byway and what an amazing way to spend time in a town we’ve loved for decades.

It was a cold and rainy day when we showed up to Amana and that means we needed Hotel Millwright and pronto. You can even check-in on your Iowa Scenic Byways passport while you’re here!

The old Woolen Mill vibe is feeling energized with a vibrant touch that is noticeable with in a few feet of stepping into the lobby. The Millwright’s Shelby Foster met us when we arrived, and her knowledge of the ENTIRE property was very impressive. Not only is this a hotel, but an unofficial museum as well. Your stay here will always be historic here.

Everyone wanted a piece of the Amana Woolen Mill. Even the Germans during WWI. This U-Boat was captured near Baltimore and one of their missions was to somehow get all the way to Iowa and abscond the indigo blue dye that Amana was world famous for. And you thought the local pickled ham was popular.
That’s when you know your advertising works. When U-Boats risk it all to get that dye!

Around and around we went through Hotel Millwright. Shelby didn’t leave a single detail out when it came to the decor, historical significance of many objects, and details about every room we passed and went to.

Take a break! We still have a long walk through Hotel Millwright ahead!
Welcome to the Craftsman Suite! You know your next family getaway could use a high quality stay like this with plenty of space.
All the blankets and linens are made right here at the Amana Woolen Mill. Can’t get any more local than that.
This is a TIG first! I have never written anything about bathroom tile, but I am now. In your Craftsman suite you’ll find handcrafted tile in your shower designed here in Amana. Hotel Millwright seriously knows how to support local businesses!

When was the last time you cuddled up in warm hotel linens that were made just steps from where your bed is located? If you said never than you just gave the same answer as me and countless others who have and will stay here at Hotel Millwright. The quality of Amana Woolen Mill products goes back a long time. Many birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, and special occasions of all sorts have featured goods from that Amana Woolen Mill. Hey…Feel like throwing a party?

Original industrial machinery is still very much visible and adds to the beautiful charm and uniqueness of Hotel Millwright. You could be enjoying a glass of local Amana wine right there at one of those tables.
That unbelievable hardwood floor isn’t going to get the bride’s last dance going by itself! Book that reception and party right here in Amana!

Let’s get back to that historic touch of Hotel Millwright. The property is experiencing a magnificent rebirth, but it’s not the first time that has happened. Remodeling is a bit of a theme and thankfully it doesn’t happen much. The 1923 fire at the mill was awful, and created severe damage to the buildings, local economy, and way of life. However, Amana persisted and some of the damaged beams supply a glimpse of that day in almost 100 years ago.

These are actual beams from the 1923 fire. No longer supporting anything structural, but still here for the public to see and remind us what the buildings have been through. That’s Amana, Iowa-1923 on my thumb.
Walking through the hotel is like flipping through an old photo album you found at Grandma’s house. The decor is a perfect mix of history and modernization.

Talk about a trip down memory lane! There’s no way we walked less than a mile just touring the halls, rooms, corridors, lobbies, and everywhere around Hotel Millwright. That means it’s time to check-in and see our room. You know we’re going to love it….

The rooms are easy to get comfortable in and we took seconds to make that happen. Those Amana Woolen Mill sheets were ready for us and the beds were even easier to fall asleep in.
Plenty of natural sunlight during the day coming into your room at Hotel Millwright.
Warm, beautiful, and all with a view of the historic buildings of the mill and courtyard.

Relaxing in your room seams like a no-brainer when it comes to enjoying your stay at any hotel. However, you know you’re in a premium place of lodging when you know there is so much to see beyond your room, but you still want to stay in that said comfortable room. I managed to do just that before getting myself out to see more of the hotel and Amana as well. It’s The Iowa Gallivant! Let’s keep moving and get a bite to eat at the Hotel Millwright’s Indigo Room!

Smoked chicken wings with maple bourbon BBQ sauce on the side as we dipped our way through this plate!
Columbian cheese bread! Queso fresco and mozzarella with tapioca flour. You had me at cheesy, Indigo Room. That tangy tomato relish was good enough to sneak out of the hotel. (I’ve just been told that you don’t have to do that cuz they have to-go containers)

Not far from the lobby is the Indigo Room and we had a little appetizer-o-rama, and you can’t go wrong with cheesy fried bread and chicken wings. Both wonderfully cooked with the Executive Chef’s twist of flavors and preparation. We just need to head back and tackle the entrees! The Indigo Room isn’t the only place you can get a taste of Hotel Millwright.

Get your friends together or that special someone and fill up at the Electric Thread Social Club! Full bar with Iowa craft beers and plenty of choices when it comes to your favorite style of spirits. Located in a separate building right on the property. We hope you see Joe behind the bar because he is the man when it comes to making sure folks have a great time at this bar. I’m thinking post-game during college football season at the Electric Thread. And you have your room right next door!

One of the best parts of Hotel Millwright is that it’s walking distance to so much in Amana. The shops, brewery, boutiques, restaurants, winery, museum, meat shop, and everything else in the main business district. That is always a giant plus whenever we Gallivant. Way to pick a primo location, my Millwright friends!

Chocolate nation, you found your spot here in Amana!
The General Store is a must when shopping around Amana. This is just a sample of the goodies you’ll find here.
Millstream Brewery is directly across the street from Hotel Millwright and its also Iowa’s oldest brewery. Iowa’s craft beer will always have a home in Amana and they have one of the best beer gardens I’ve been to in the state. There’s something about polka music in the background that helps the beers get consumed even easier.

I look forward to seeing this brand new hotel get even busier as the years go on. I imagine football season and all the visitors to Eastern Iowa funneling into Amana for the weekend and celebrating. I foresaw future wedding parties, reunions, banquets, and all gatherings loving Amana’s hospitality. I have never seen the colonies in the way Hotel Millwright has been able to present them. On the same token, I saw Hotel Millwright showcase this popular destination in a way that I found very familiar. Well done, everybody. All of you at Hotel Millwright have created this modernized icon and made it a one of kind. Again.

Book your stay on Hotel Millwright’s website.

Like Hotel Millwright on Facebook for updates on events and live music announcements.

I could go for another hot cup of Hotel Millwright!

3 thoughts on “Amana In A Whole New Historic Vision: Hotel Millwright

  1. Just spent our anniversary weekend here after reading about it in your article, absolutely wonderful, wonderful room, friendly helpful staff, food in their restaurant was amazing, totally recommend it!

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