When it comes to finding a place to stay while traveling, we can be a little all over the map. From budget options to boutique hotels and Airbnbs to bed and breakfasts, we typically end up booking a variety of lodging options. But the one thing I can’t resist is a hotel with a unique backstory or interesting history. In Beloit, Wisconsin, that place is the Ironworks Hotel.
This luxury boutique hotel is conveniently located in downtown Beloit along the banks of the Rock River. With a stunning brick exterior and industrial iron accents, the hotel is a beautiful homage the city’s past coupled with a strong vision for its future.
Before visiting Beloit, I don’t think I had ever stayed in a hotel that felt so much like home. Seriously, if I could, I would have moved into the Ironworks Hotel and never left. From its overstuffed leather sofa and two-sided gas fireplace to the deep soaking tub and bathroom the felt like I was at a spa, these rooms are seriously relaxing.
What I loved most about the hotel though is it’s backstory. The Ironworks Hotel is deeply tied to the history of its community. Inspired by Beloit’s industrial ironworking history, the hotel includes all sorts of little nods to the city’s past.
Twenty-two years after Beloit was founded, Orson Merrill moved to the community and opened a foundry. By 1859, he had found his partner, George Houston, and the company became known as Merrill & Houston Ironworks. According to the hotel’s website, the company’s “principal product was a water wheel developed by George Houston, but the firm could also supply horseshoe nails, iron and steel castings, saws, augurs, spokes, and a variety of iron products.”
While the company that evolved from the original Ironworks no longer exists, its legacy continues on at the Ironworks Hotel. From where the hotel sits on the banks of the Rock River, it’s easy to imagine how the area once looked so different.
In addition to being an incredibly relaxing place to stay, the Ironworks Hotel is also home to Merrill & Houston’s Steak Joint. This delicious eatery is the perfect place to dine while visiting Beloit.
Named for the men who founded Merrill & Houston Ironworks, the history infused into the Ironworks Hotel continues with its eatery. The restaurant’s decor is rustic yet cozy, and the local photos and artifacts that adorn the walls are a fantastic tribute to the community.
When it comes to food, Merrill & Houston’s speciality is, obviously, steaks, but its menu also includes a variety of other signature dishes. During our visit I enjoyed the wonderfully zesty shrimp scampi paired with a generous pour of wine. And if you’re a beer drinker, don’t forget that you’re in Wisconsin and that Merrill & Houston’s serves New Glarus’ coveted brews.
If you stay at the Ironworks Hotel
If you’re looking for a luxurious place to stay while visiting Beloit, there’s nowhere better than the Ironworks Hotel. With cozy rooms, thoughtful historic decor, and fantastic service, you’ll never want to leave this incredible hotel.
To view available rooms and book your stay at the Ironworks Hotel, visit the hotel’s website.
Ironworks Hotel, 500 Pleasant Street in Beloit, Wisconsin
Looking for more things to do in the Beloit region? Check out the other places I visited on my road trip.