Notorious gangster Al Capone owned the historic Hotel Julien Dubuque in the 1920s—maybe. He did stay there a lot, and although some believe he owned it at one time, it could never be confirmed. Earlier in history, Abraham Lincoln and Mark Twain both stayed at the hotel. However, the building that they stayed in was the original building, which burned down in 1913.
Today, the Hotel Julien Dubuque, located along the Mississippi River in Dubuque, Iowa, is a boutique hotel that combines its original grandeur with modern amenities.
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Major renovations modernize the Hotel Julien Dubuque
The Hotel Julien Dubuque has been in the same family for three generations and has gone through two major renovations. In the 1960s renovation, Louis H. Pfohl “modernized” the hotel.
Three of Pfohl’s grandchildren now own the hotel. In a $33 million renovation, they restored the hotel to its original opulence. The renovation took from 2007 to 2009 to complete.
The new look includes elegant, but cozy, conversation areas throughout the lobby. These spaces are perfect for chatting with fellow travelers or just sitting and relaxing.
During the most recent renovation, 168 guest rooms were converted to 133 rooms and suites. Our eighth-floor suite included a huge living area, a spacious bedroom, and full kitchen facilities. Floor-to-ceiling windows in our corner suite showcased a gorgeous view of the Mississippi River.
Dining at the Hotel Julien Dubuque
We ate two meals in Caroline’s Restaurant, which is named for the owners’ great-great-grandmother. Caroline’s offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We chose simple, but delicious, burgers for dinner. However, we couldn’t pass up the lemon tart for dessert. For breakfast, we ordered Eggs Benedict and a flatbread pizza with egg, bacon, and sausage gravy.
Next door, at the Riverboat Lounge, we enjoyed happy hour half-price drinks and shared an order of tempura asparagus.
Within walking distance of attractions
If you stay at the Hotel Julien Dubuque
The Hotel Julien Dubuque, located at 200 Main Street in Dubuque, Iowa, offers free parking for hotel guests. The hotel also has an indoor pool, fitness center, and spa. Check hotel rates and reviews on TripAdvisor.