Hotel Fort Des Moines, the “crown jewel of the Midwest,” has reopened following a $60 million renovation led by Sawyer & Company. A variety of original design flourishes were restored to pay homage to the property’s history, and past and present are married through retro lighting inspired by the Titanic and marble sourced from the same quarry that was used in 1918 for its original design.
“Guests should feel like they were entering a truly significant place, to feel the history around them and have that infuse their stay with a sense of importance,” says Sawyer & Company founder and CEO Tracey Sawyer. “We recommended that the design needed to speak to that singularity, and the vernacular we ideated for the hotel ownership integrates the extraordinary history of the building wrapped in a modern package.”
The classic façade of brickwork, terracotta, and limestone heralds guests before their arrival into the grand two-story lobby, which is lined with original marble floors and anchored by an American walnut staircase. Custom chandeliers descend from regal, handcarved ceilings, while Juliet balconies and large arched windows were also preserved.
The former Ivy Room has been reborn as Proudfoot & Bird, a fine dining restaurant concept named for the hotel’s original architects. The space invokes the 1920s with natural stone plaster ceilings and a newly installed circular bar composed of marble.
The In Confidence speakeasy nods to prohibition-era Des Moines, while the chic Hobnob Coffee and Wine Bar evokes the European countryside with an emerald green palette.
More than 13,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including nearly 6,000 square feet of ballrooms, is also housed onsite the Hotel Fort Des Moines. The 290 guestrooms and suites further nod to the site’s illustrious past, with 1920s-inspired bronze light fixtures, eclectic artwork, and other luxe amenities.