Hotel Pattee: A Destination Unto Itself

By Kelly Visser, Iowa Food & Family Project

Nestled in the heart of Perry, Hotel Pattee celebrates the sights, sounds, people and memories of small-town America. Since first opening in 1913, the opulent yet approachable boutique hotel offers travelers a destination to slow down and enjoy genuine hospitality.

The Pattee brothers opened the hotel in 1913. It originally served as a stopping place for rail travelers. Photo credit: Hotel Pattee

The Pattee brothers opened the hotel in 1913. It originally served as a stopping place for rail travelers. Photo credit: Hotel Pattee

“Until you walk in the front door, you don’t really understand it. It is beautiful, historic, unique and a one-of-a-kind experience right here in Perry,” says Aaron Lenz, Hotel Pattee general manager and a Perry native.

The hotel boasts 40 individually decorated guest rooms and suites. Each is designed to “preserve history, celebrate ethnicity, honor craftsmanship, and pay tribute to the noteworthy sons and daughters of Iowa and the Midwest.”

Beyond the carefully themed rooms are world-class amenities that make the hotel a destination – not just a place to stay.

“Our busiest day is Saturday, whereas most hotels are busiest on the weekdays,” says Lenz. “People come here first and foremost to enjoy the history within the walls of the hotel.”

The hotel has a fully functioning two-lane bowling alley – named after Arthur “Oley” Olson, the community’s most famous bowler – onsite spa, upscale casual restaurant and impressive art collection inspired by rural America.

The nearly $6 million art collection adorns the hotel’s common spaces. It features more than 70 artists, including Gary Ernest Smith, who is well-known for his farmer portraits and depiction of farm life. Guests are invited to explore the collection independently or enjoy a guided art tour led by hotel staff.

“The hotel’s collection has helped attract tourists and build the community’s art culture,” he says. “We have art-centric celebrations throughout the year and boutique shops around town.”

The hotel’s restaurant, which was reopened as Harvey’s at Hotel Pattee in November 2018, offers a seamless sense of hospitality to hotel guests and patrons from all walks of life.

“We want Harvey’s to be a gathering place – where everyone feels like they belong. We want it to be a special occasion place to celebrate life’s greatest moments or to be here for no reason at all,” says executive culinary director Katie Harvey.

The restaurant’s upscale casual menu features local, seasonal ingredients and an appreciation for rural Iowa. Harvey’s menu inspiration comes from her childhood on a Century Farm west of Redfield, where her family raises soybeans, corn and cattle.

“I spent 21 years in New York City, but when I decided to open a restaurant I knew it needed to be in Iowa,” she says. “It needed to be in a community that would embrace this gathering place.”

For more information or to book a getaway at Hotel Pattee, visit www.hotelpattee.com.