While the Covid pandemic brutally battered the travel and tourism industry, it was a perfect time for Iowa-based Hawkeye Hotels to do a major overhaul of its six-story Radisson Quad City Plaza, 111 E. 2nd St., Davenport, which has been converted to DoubleTree by Hilton.

The newly renovated property — with 223 guest rooms, including 22 suites — features all new design, new furniture, and new amenities such as a large desk, work space and a 46-inch HDTV in each guest room, plus the DoubleTree standard breakfast and lunch options at Café One Eleven, hotel spokeswoman Allison Ordman said this week.

The newly renovated Cafe One Eleven, which has a new chef, at the DoubleTree by Hilton, downtown Davenport (photo by Jonathan Turner).

“With 12,000 square feet of event space on the first floor and a beautiful backdrop of a cascading waterfall fountain with six-story tropical atrium design, the elegant and inviting open lobby layout is perfect for your next birthday party, reunion or conference,” she said, noting the soaring, spacious lobby features all new flooring, carpeting, lighting, and furnishings.

The lobby waterfall was about the only thing untouched in the renovation of the former Radisson Quad City Plaza, its first since opening in 1995 (photo by Jonathan Turner).

With nine private meeting room options, the DoubleTree by Hilton Davenport can accommodate a range of small and large-scale events. The complete interior renovation included a total reimagining of all guest rooms, such as removal of carpeting and installation of wood laminate, and replacement of the shower-tub combinations with just showers in each bathroom.

A double-king room in the DoubleTree, which features all wood laminate flooring in its 223 guest rooms (photo by Jonathan Turner).

Hawkeye was attracted to “demand generators such as the airport, academic institutions, being home to major Fortune 500 companies and a strong business presence, being at the intersection of I-80 and the Mississippi River and more,” Ordman said of the QC area. The company formerly owned the Hampton Inn & Suites at 5290 Utica Ridge Road, Davenport, and La Quinta Inn & Suites, 3330 E. Kimberly Road, Davenport (since sold).

Hawkeye said it couldn’t provide an exact cost figure for the DoubleTree Davenport renovation. “We are optimistic that this will lead to a busier property, which could lead to an increase in staffing down the line,” Ordman said.

Renovated meeting space in the DoubleTree by Hilton (photo by Jonathan Turner).

She would not provide specific occupancy data as impacted by Covid, but noted: “There was a significant steady recovery after the initial downturn from COVID-19 in spring 2020 and particularly the loss of corporate travel. We continue to see pent-up demand for corporate travel and in-person events.”

The neutral gray and navy-blue accented carpeting in the DoubleTree halls matches the lobby carpeting, and the hotel remained open during the entire renovation work, which began in summer 2019. The restaurant is open 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday to Saturday, and 6 a.m. to noon Sundays, with a $15 buffet breakfast on Saturday and Sunday. Lunch hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and they’re developing a new dinner menu.

A portion of the spacious DoubleTree lobby (photo by Jonathan Turner).

Coralville-based Hawkeye Hotels acquired the Radisson Quad City Plaza in November 2017, and undertook the first renovation in its history. The hotel opened in 1995, built by John Q. Hammons, who owned 210 hotels in 40 states.

“When we see this type of pragmatic opportunity to invest more in our home state, it’s a win-win for both our company and the state of Iowa,” John Hall, CFO of Hawkeye Hotels, said in 2017 at the time of the acquisition. “We believe we can contribute to the city’s thriving business environment and look forward to helping Davenport grow.”

A view of the former Radisson Quad City Plaza, facing River Drive in Davenport.
The Radisson logo on the south side of the building has been replaced by DoubleTree. Signage on the north side will be replaced next week (photo by Jonathan Turner).

“Our acquisition and renovation of this hotel will breathe new life to a property that has been a staple of Davenport for the last 20 years,” Samir Patel, development manager for Hawkeye Hotels, said then.

Founded in 1982 with one roadside hotel in Mena, Arkansas, Hawkeye Hotels has become one of the fastest-growing hospitality companies in the U.S. Today, the firm owns and operates over 60 hotels across the country (in 21 states), with additional properties under development. Hawkeye Hotels employs over 1,000 staff across its portfolio of hotels and corporate offices. The firm maintains lasting affiliations with leading brands, including Hilton, Marriott, and InterContinental Hotels Group.

A top-down view of the six-story Davenport atrium lobby (photo by Jonathan Turner).

It has 15 hotels in Iowa and six in Illinois, and the Davenport property is its first DoubleTree by Hilton. That brand has more than 615 hotels worldwide, in 49 countries, including 17 in Illinois and three in Iowa.

The brand is new to eastern Iowa – the closest DoubleTree is located in Cedar Rapids, Ordman of Hawkeye Hotels said. “One fun, unique aspect this hotel is known for is the famous DoubleTree cookie available upon check-in,” she said, adding that major advantages include the fact that guests now have the option to book through Hilton’s reservation system, and guest stays will be eligible for Hilton’s loyalty program — Hilton Honors.

The skywalk that crosses 2nd Street to the RiverCenter, with a view of the new Urbane210 apartment building in the distance (photo by Jonathan Turner).

FAQ on that is available here: https://www.hilton.com/en/hilton-honors/support-faq/.

“We have developed a wonderful relationship with Hilton over the decades and see the DoubleTree by Hilton brand as a great fit for both our corporate and leisure guests in the Davenport area,” Ordman said. “We are always looking at ways to enhance and strengthen our properties, and in this case, the DoubleTree brand was an excellent match for the Davenport market.”

Hawkeye also recently opened the SpareMe Bowl and Arcade in Downtown Iowa City and attached to the Hotel Chauncey. This two-story upscale bowling alley features 12 lanes of cosmic bowling, an arcade with dozens of games, as well as a bar and restaurant.

Hawkeye’s new SpareMe Bowl and Arcade in downtown Iowa City.

In early 2019, the grand lobby of the historic Hotel Fort Des Moines was restored by Hawkeye Hotels to its full, two-story elegance for the first time in more than five decades. The historic downtown hotel, built in 1919, had a complete $50-million renovation. Hawkeye purchased the Hotel Fort Des Moines for $4 million in 2015, and it was closed until the 2019 reopening.

The company is planning to build a new Fairfield Inn & Suites at the Quad Cities International Airport, 6920 27th St., Moline, but that project is still in the design phase. Construction has not started. For more information on the company, visit hawkeyehotels.com.