WEST DES MOINES, IA: Sheraton West Des Moines

We made a last-minute reservation at this property from the road when we decided we didn't want to push on to our originally-planned destination of Omaha, Nebraska. Without knowing much about the hotel, I was a bit nervous but was pleasantly surprised when I realized I'd stayed here before.

I stayed at the Sheraton West Des Moines when I interviewed at a Des Moines-based grocery chain a couple of years ago, so I immediately relaxed. I recalled my prior stay as being a pleasant experience; this visit was no different.

Upon check-in, I was greeted with a "welcome back," which always impresses me; I appreciate attention to details like the fact that I've stayed somewhere before. Other service was equally on point: the bartender was quick, polite, and pleasant, and room service responded to a request in mere minutes.

The hotel has a 10-story open lobby, on-site restaurant and bar, free Internet access in the business center and at terminals in the lobby, a fitness center, and indoor pool. It's convenient to I-35/I-80, a number of restaurants, shops, and stores, and a grocery for those who want to buy snacks for the room or the cooler.

Two minor downsides surfaced: one of the two elevators was out of service, and Internet access was painfully slow. Staff assured me both situations were temporary. Those aside, I can recommend the West Des Moines Sheraton without hesitation.

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