Grinnell House offers room accommodations primarily to guests of the campus community visiting on College business. The House is also available for guests of the campus community when available. All guests are required to have campus sponsorship or affiliation. Grinnell House is for short-term housing and is not available for extended stay by guests or visiting faculty or staff. Generally guest stays do not exceed 4 days. Grinnell House is also used for dining and informal meetings and may be scheduled for these events by calling Conference Operations and Events at 641-269-3235.
Room Reservation Procedures
Advance reservations are necessary to hold rooms at Grinnell House. In most cases, rooms are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. All reservations must be made in advance. Specific dates of occupancy are required at the time of the reservation. You will be asked to provide the name of the guest, dates of arrival and departure, approximate time of arrival. College sponsored guests will also need the name of the campus sponsor, and a college budget number for billing purposes. The fee for rooms billed to the College is $50 per night. Other guests will be charged $60 per room per night, plus applicable taxes. The number of guests per room will not exceed intended occupancy. A major credit card is required in advance to reserve and guarantee payment for rooms. Call the Office of Conference Operations at 641-269-3235 to reserve guest rooms.Guests may check in after 3 p.m. Check-out time is noon. Requests for cancellation of stay with no charge incurred must be received by the Office of Conference Operations no later than 3 p.m. the day prior to the reservation in question.
Services and Policies
Grinnell House is closed for the following college holiday periods:
- Labor Day Weekend (Fri-Mon)
- Thanksgiving Weekend (Wed-Sun)
- Christmas/New Year's (last Fri of Final Exams-first Mon after New Year's Day)
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Weekend (Fri-Mon)
- Memorial Day Weekend (Fri-Mon)
- July 4 (plus adjacent weekend, if applicable)
The guest house is also closed for a week in mid-July for yearly maintenance. Periodically, all guest accommodations in Grinnell House are held for major campus events, such as Trustees' meetings, Development and Alumni Relations events, and Commencement Weekend. During these events, guests should be housed in area (off-campus) lodgings. Guests will be placed in rooms upon the discretion of the Guest Housing staff. To prevent damage, furniture in Grinnell House should be moved only by staff members. Additional seating for meetings and events is available with advance notice. Pets are not allowed in Grinnell House. Service animals are welcome. Continental breakfast is provided for all house guests and served in the Grinnell House dining room or in the sun porch. A menu of coffee, hot tea, juice, cereal, fruit, and pastries is available from 7:30 a.m. until 9 a.m. If campus sponsors wish to join guests for breakfast, arrangements must be made 24 hours in advance to allow for adequate food preparation. Please call Conference Operations and Events at campus extension 3235 with a list of additional guests and a College account number to which meals may be charged. Continental breakfast is not provided during academic breaks.Cable television and network computer jacks are provided in each guest room.
Due to its historical heritage, Grinnell House is not fully accessible. Grinnell College does not recommend staying overnight at Grinnell House for persons in wheelchairs or who have trouble navigating stairs. Grinnell House is accessed via several stairs, and all guest rooms are located on the second and third floors. There is a small person-lift available to the second floor, but the third floor is accessed only by stairs. For guests attending an event on the first floor of the house, there is a ramp at the rear of the house. Please inform your host that you will need access by this entrance.
Late Arrivals and Check-Out
During the school year, a staff member is on duty at Grinnell House until 10:30 p.m. to accommodate arriving guests. Occasionally guests arrive late into the evening. In this case, the guest or driver may call the Security Office at 641-269-4600 from the call box located outside the Grinnell House front door. An officer will be dispatched to let the guest into the house where the key, room assignment, and check-in information will be waiting. Check-in time is 3 p.m. Check-out is 12:00 noon.
Grinnell House History
Grinnell House was opened in 1917 as the home of President and Mrs. John H. T. Main, and served as home to each president of Grinnell College until 1961. Designed by William H. Brainerd, Class of 1883, this structure is considered to be almost a pure example of the Georgian style. It is elegantly appointed in every room, and provides many forms of college hospitality. Distinguished guests who have stayed in the house include Presidents Harry S Truman and Dwight Eisenhower (when their terms in office were completed), other political leaders and high officials of the United States and many other countries, poets, artists, novelists, scientists, Nobelists in many fields, and many others. It has been refurbished several times since becoming the College's guest house in 1961, always with great care taken to preserve the original architectural features of both the interior and exterior.