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NOTEBOOK: Stars are out for Hotel Renovo


If you have four stars in your eyes when looking for a hotel room in Greater Des Moines, you have just one choice, according to travel websites Travelocity, Expedia and TripAdvisor. Heart of America’s Hotel Renovo in Urbandale, a property that was stripped to its framework and given a complete renovation, is the only Greater Des Moines property to receive a four-star rating. A quick review of other travel websites found scant four-star properties across the state and no five-star hotels. AAA gives diamonds rather than stars. In January, it gave four diamonds to the Hotel at Kirkwood Center in Cedar Rapids, Ameristar Casino Hotel in Council Bluffs, Hotel Blackhawk in Davenport and the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City. Mike Whalen, president and CEO of Heart of America, was pleased with the ratings for Hotel Renovo, which opened last September at 11167 Hickman Road after an $8 million rehab. “I think it’s a big deal,” he said.

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