Surety Hotel debuts in downtown Des Moines

Surety Hotel opens its doors on November 11, 2020 in the Des Moines’ downtown district, heralded as the Midwest’s burgeoning financial center and fastest growing metropolitan city. Just a walk to the idyllic farmers’ market, boutiques, galleries and cafes, Surety Hotel is the latest property to launch by Aparium Hotel Group’s Kevin Robinson and Mario Tricoci, whose award-winning portfolio includes Kansas City’s Crossroads Hotel, Detroit Foundation Hotel, Minneapolis’ Hewing Hotel and more.

A brilliant adaptive reuse of the historic century-old Hippee building, the soon-to-debut 137-key hotel marks a revival of a Beaux-Arts Classicism-style architectural gem, built for The Iowa Loan & Trust Company in 1913 as Iowa’s tallest building at the time. The hotel is aptly named after a surety bond, the promise of an individual to have your back. Surety Hotel will honor its namesake by guaranteeing unparalleled service, high design, and exceptional food and beverage for travelers and locals alike.

“In its entirety, Surety Hotel is a tribute to our beloved city,” said Allison Streu, the hotel’s General Manager. “Nearly every aspect of the design and programming celebrates Des Moines and helps to shine a light on our neighbors who make the district so special.” Des Moines is true to its community, not steered by national conversations or influences but rather humble, independent, eclectic, and skipping to its own beat.

Slingshot Architecture and DLR Group’s interior design preserved many of the building’s historical features, from the 12-story main staircase to the ornate mail chute that runs down the structure’s entire length. They also maintained the bank space on the main level, including original vault doors. Evoking the city’s proud heritage of banking and finance, the hotel’s interiors are outfitted in marble, hand applied artisan plaster, hardwood millwork, leathers and rich metals, reminiscent of the coins that previously passed through in exchange. Surety Hotel is a confident juxtaposition of historic American opulence and modern artistry, eclecticism, and casual relevance. 

“In honoring the architecture while also making what is new feel appropriate to the old, we have brought the space back to life and returned it to its former glory,” said David Voss, Principal at Slingshot Architecture. 

“Paying homage to the building’s roots in financial transactions, we aimed to foster communal and social transactions through our design,” said Staci Patton, Principal at DLR Group and interior design director for the project. “We played into the artistic backbone of Des Moines to bring the community together with a design that embraces over 28 original works of art by local Iowan artists.”

Tapping Des Moines’ under-the-radar arts scene — home to the largest nonprofit arts space in the U.S., Mainframe Studios — Surety Hotel collaborated with local galleries Olson Larsen Gallery, Liz Lidgett Gallery & Design and Moberg Gallery on specially commissioned pieces such as Artist Julia Franklin’s “dress shirt” made of waxed 1920s banking documents.

Surety Hotel is just steps away from Des Moines’ Court Avenue entertainment district. The hotel is also amid Des Moines’ year-round outdoor haven, which offers more than 800 miles of trails for activities like cross country skiing and biking.

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