About Designer Inn & Suite
 There's a lot to see and do at Designer Inn and Suites. See below for directions, our history, our ratings, area attractions and local dining.  We'll see you soon!
The History of Designer Inn & Suites
How did Designer Inn and Suites get its name? The award-winning designer of our theme suites is also the hotel's owner. Thus the hotel was aptly named, Designer Inn and Suites. Throughout the past 27 years, he has designed and manufactured over 70 different theme suites and/or full room creations. His work has been featured in numerous publications throughout the United States including: People Magazine™, Milwaukee Magazine™, and The National Inquirer™. This talented designer utilizes every inch of the room to realize the full potential of the theme. Our designer's original themes feature details such as hand painted wall murals, artistically shaped and textured walls, hand formed sinks, high quality counters, interesting mirrors, and his signature starlight valances. There are many nuances throughout each and every room. We will allow you to discover these on your next visit.

These fantasy suites are distributed and featured throughout the United States. For over 25 years the room components and designs have been produced out of a manufacturing facility in Wisconsin. The current facility is located in Iowa, and contains the tools required to perform all of his wood working, laminating, solid surface design, and upholstery work. In addition, the facility features a studio where the designer can cultivate new artistic suite ideas. There are several driving forces that motivate the designer to create these suites. Ultimately it is a labor of love for the designer, and he truly wishes to share all these imaginative suite creations with all of you.

Visit his suites at the Designer Inn and Suites in Toledo, Iowa.

 Press & Publicity:
KSTP Channel 5 News, Minneapolis
Des Moines Register: "Sleep Tight in a Fantasy Suite Paradise"
KCCI, Des Moines: "Guests Can Choose Themed Hotel Rooms"
Gloss TH: "Stepping into another world"
Marquette Magazine "New World Behind Every Door"
On Friday, April 3, Designer Inn and Suites was featured in a story on KSTP Channel 5 News out of Minneapolis. Jason Davis, from "On the Road," visited the fantasy suites and interviewed the designer and owner, Gary Strobusch. The featured story on the suites was incredible. Thanks KSTP!

Sleep tight in a fantasy suite paradise
By Erin Crawford, Des Moines Register
Once the novelty of standing in a fake jungle passes, it becomes easier to understand why Gary Strobusch's creations have been installed in hotels around the nation.

"A lot of people say this is paradise," he says, standing below the branches he had attached by hand to the ceiling. Strobusch specializes in the romantic escapes known as fantasy suites, and after 27 years of practicing his craft for hotels nationally, he is now building rooms in a former Day's Inn in Toledo, Iowa, now managed by his son and daughter-in-law. They've named it Designer Inn and Suites. Strobusch is the designer, painter, builder, woodworker, lighting designer and stone craftsman — all important roles in creating the custom furniture, beds, linens, decorations, saunas and luxury shower and tubs in a fantasy suite. It takes him months to create a new suite. He has finished five so far, with the sixth, a faux igloo, scheduled to be finished soon. Lately the suites have been so popular that when a new suite is finished, the first couple on the waiting list is the first to spend the sleepover on the cushy mattress. The first suite constructed at Designer Inn is the same concept that got Strobusch started in the business: a pink-swathed suite with a heart-shaped bed and mood-lit jacuzzi and velvet-upholstered furniture. The carpet is pink, the stone counters and windowsills are pink — permanent Valentine's Day. Strobusch and his wife Sally name each suite together. They call this one the Heart's Delight. The original heart-themed room was called Cupid's Corner. "They put it in the worst room in the hotel, above the laundry room, and it became the best room in the hotel," he says. The idea for the first suite came after a stay in a disappointing hotel room. Strobusch thought rooms should be more romantic. At the time, he was employed, working as a metal fabricator, and designing custom cars in his spare time, but he sold a hotel on the idea. "Years ago, he'd sell a concept and get a down payment and I'd think, 'Can you really do it?' but to him it's a fun project," says Sally Strobusch. "He would work here all day and night if we weren't here to stop him." He pulled off the first room, and his new fantasy-suite creation business took off almost immediately. Soon, he was creating jungles, spaceships, Arabian nights and Roman palace rooms. An igloo room he created was featured in People magazine. His Roman Retreat became his most popular room, a luxury suite with soft colors. "It's very elegant," Strobusch says of the ribbon-adorned, peach-colored room. "People like the lighter colors, especially older clientele." Other rooms are more intensely decorated. The Gambler is a flashy, mirror-adorned room with a custom playing-card bedspread and casino decor. The Rainforest is filled with trees and a canopy of leaves filled with birds and butterflies. The most intensely decorated room, at least until the igloo opens, is the Crystal Cave. Stepping inside, customers are enclosed in rough, cavelike walls curving into a cave ceiling. Floor-to-ceiling columns divide the bed and bath area from the rest of the room. His rooms' signature touches include soft lighting, creatively placed around the room and under beds, and something called a "Starlight Valance," which is a mirror, often placed above the whirlpool and bed, with tiny holes punched in it. When lit, the mirror looks like evening sky. Everything he creates is custom manufactured at a factory in Toledo. All of the rooms have wet or dry bars, custom-made Memory Foam beds, stereos, DVD players, microwaves and large flat-screen TVs. Suites vary in price, ranging from $99 to $189 for a weekend stay in the most expensive.

Guests Can Choose Themed Hotel Rooms
Man Handcrafts Rainforest, Igloo SuitesAMES, Iowa -- There's an escape from the everyday in central Iowa.
NewsChannel 8 checked out a place where guests can spend the night in a rainforest, igloo or cave! Gary Strobusch said he always dreamed of owning his own hotel. So when he and his wife opened Designer Inn and Suites in Toledo, he started to create his masterpiece. Every detail sets the mood to make guests feel as if they are standing in the middle of a rain forest. That's exactly the way the man who created the suite of art wants you to feel. Strobusch said he likes to take natural settings and invite guests to enjoy a totally different atmosphere. Everything from the room design, waterfall shower and starry sky is handcrafted by Strobusch. For years, he was hired by hotels to do general design, but now he owns his ultimate canvas. "It's a dream come true. When it's your own place, you can do what you want to do," he said. Gary's wife, Sally, is still in awe every time she walks into one of her husband's suites. "I'm still amazed at his work," she said. She is not his only admirer of the work. Many of their guests ask to meet him and shake his hand after experiencing one of his designs. "A lot of people, they want to take him home so that he can redo their bedroom or kitchen, so it's very funny," she said. There are six different fantasy suites feature their own unique design and features. Strobusch is working on two more suites and there's already a waiting list for the new rooms. Room rates range from $100 to $190 a night. It depends on the room and day of the week.

Stepping into another world
Iowa-based hotel brings exotic lands to one location
By Megan Gloss TH staff writer

TOLEDO, Iowa -- Oh, the weather outside is frightful. Wouldn't a getaway be so delightful? For those of you suffering from a little cabin fever in your post-holiday woes and are in the market for a quick weekend away, Toledo might be the latest surprise destination for Midwesterners to take in. Located about two hours from the tri-states, a specialty hotel is offering quite the haven for visitors wanting to take in an Arabian night, a Roman holiday or a night in a secluded crystal cave or tropical rain forest. Designer Inn and Suites, which includes seven fantasy suites in addition to standard hotel rooms, is located on a unique piece of property in the Tama, Iowa, and Toledo areas, but it's what's inside the 4-year-old hotel that's heightening curiosity. "The suites are very popular with visitors," said Gary Strobusch, owner and designer. "It's not like a normal hotel room. Once people pick out the suite they want to stay in they always ask to tour the rest. It's something very unique, and we're happy to be able to offer it in this area of the Midwest." In the specialty design and custom product business for 29 years, Strobusch and his family relocated to central Iowa from Wisconsin with the sole purpose of creating a tangible destination for travelers wanting to experience the intangible. Strobusch's work spans more than 70 themed suites and room creations. He has been featured in numerous publications throughout the United States. He designs and hand-crafts everything from the climate-controlled rooms to the furniture and the bedspreads, as well as hand-molding the sinks and counter tops. The rooms also feature hand-painted wall murals and Strobusch's signature star valances. Each suite in the hotel displays an individual artistry down to the smallest details. "It can take as long as 12 weeks to complete the designed product," Strobusch said of his labor of love. "I like to experiment with new products in the rooms. Some of these new products include special memory foam mattresses on uniquely shaped beds, sound effects and specialty shower units that are every bit as interesting as the themed rooms. And of course, each of the suites comes fully equipped with whirlpools and special promotions and packages for romantic getaways. "I have been very happy with the response we have received," said Strobusch. "Just hearing about the suites doesn't do it justice. People really need to see them and experience them." More information, including room rates, special suite packages and additional area attractions, can be found at www.designerinnandsuites.com.

Specialty suites

* Arabian Nights -- Visitors can sleep under the stars in a plush round bed inside a sheik's tent. The room includes a whirlpool with water jets, air jets and submerged mood lighting, as well as magic carpet lounge and a walk-in, electronic shower with a rain dancer spout and steam bath unit. Other features include a memory foam mattress, a 42-inch TV, a DVD player, a CD player/stereo, a dry bar, with a built-in microwave and refrigerator, a hair dryer and a sitting area.
* Roman Retreat -- The designer's hand-crafted Roman pillars surround the king sized bed and oversized whirlpool in this suite. A whirlpool comes equipped with a little mood lighting. The room also features an electronic fireplace. The starlit mirrors above the bed and whirlpool add to the ambience. The shower features four body sprays and dual shower heads. Other perks include a 32 inch TV/DVD player on swivel base for easy viewing from the bed or whirlpool, a sitting area with chairs and a table and a dry bar with a microwave and refrigerator.

* Northern Lights -- Visitors can get cozy in the oversized, two-person whirlpool tub, complete with water jets, air jets and underwater mood lights. Other features include a memory foam mattress in a custom-designed round bed, with an icicle headboard and a custom-designed couch in front of an electronic fireplace. Another great spot to enjoy is in the spacious, private sauna, located in the snow fort, built right into the room, as well as the deluxe shower, featuring two shower heads, four body sprays and a unique overhead water spray. More features include a 42-inch TV, a DVD player, a CD player/stereo, a dry bar, with a built in microwave and refrigerator, a hair dryer and sitting area with a couch and tables.

* Rain Forest -- Enjoy the exotic background and sound effects in this custom suite. The sounds of a cascading waterfall will lead you to a whirlpool bath in an oversized, mist-blanketed tub, surrounded by mirrors, rocks and plenty of foliage. The featured round bed is lit by tiki torches and also offers its own view of the starlit sky. The room's features also include a wet bar, with a built-in refrigerator and microwave, a TV/DVD player, a CD/stereo, a hair dryer, a sitting area, with rattan chairs and a table, and an electronic shower, with 16 different water sources and steam bath unit.
* Heart's Delight -- Starting with the heart-shaped table and rose colors throughout, this room inspires romance. Couples can indulge themselves in the oversized, heart-shaped whirlpool, complete with underwater mood lighting. They also can enjoy a restful night in a custom-designed, heart-shaped bed and underneath an overhead, starlit heart-shaped mirror. Other features include a shower complete with dual shower heads and body sprays, a memory foam mattress, a 44-inch TV/DVD player, a CD/stereo, a custom heart-shaped night stand, a sitting area, a hair dryer and a dry bar with a microwave and refrigerator.

* Aces Wild -- Enjoy the 44-inch TV, while relaxing in a king-sized bed, with an overhead, spade-shaped, starlit valance. Visitors can relax in the oversized whirlpool, with submerged mood lights and look around the casino inspired decor. Other features include a dry bar, with a built-in microwave and refrigerator, a CD/stereo, a large shower, with dual showerheads and body sprays, a DVD player, custom-made, spade-shaped night stands, with a leather chair and ottoman and brass accents.

* Crystal Cave -- The main room features a large, round bed, with a memory foam mattress, as well as an electronic fireplace, a 42-inch Sony Wega TV and a crystal display. The oversized whirlpool comes complete with water jets, air jets and submerged mood lights. A specially designed couch rests in the sitting area, under a personal starlit sky. The room also includes a private sauna and a deluxe, waterfall shower, with six body sprays, as well as a DVD player, a CD/stereo, a hair dryer and a dry bar, with a built-in microwave and refrigerator.

New World Behind Every Door
Shannon Rydlewicz Strobusch, Arts '99, Grad '02, has a passion for suites.
Matthew Bin Han Ong, Comm '12

Ever wish you could live in a lush rainforest devoid of creepy-crawlies? Or spend your honeymoon on the sand dunes of Arabia without paying for flights? Check in with Strobusch, an entrepreneur who can unlock hotel doors that are portals to exotic locations.

"Our hotels feature fantasy suites handcrafted by my father-in-law ... from the new Arabian Night suite to Crystal Cave, an all-time favorite," Strobusch says. Everything is custom-made. Sometimes it takes months for her father-in-law to design, create and complete the furniture, lighting and decorations.

Strobusch and her husband, Marc, wanted to offer themed rooms to visitors in the Midwest when they started the family business in Toledo, Iowa. "It's a really fun business, and it works really well for our marriage because we do it together," Strobusch says, laughing as she notes that contrary to popular belief, her home in Waukesha, Wis., doesn't have a fantasy theme.

Strobusch's experiences as a student-employee coordinator in the Alumni Memorial Union taught her management skills. She's channeling those lessons into building a chain of 10 hotels nationwide.

"We are excited to have recently added a hotel in the very popular tourist destination of Galena, Ill.," she says.

Her advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is simple: "It will be rough in the beginning," Strobusch says, "but if you stick with it and you have the passion for it, you will be successful."
Designer Inn and Suites is conveniently located four blocks west of the intersection of highways 30 and 63 in Toledo, Iowa.

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Area Attractions:

The newly remodeled Meskwaki Casino
For Area Information, check the Tama-Toledo Chamber of Commerce
Meskwaki Bingo and Casino
• Reinig Banquet Center
John Ernest Vineyard and Winery
• Tama-Toledo Aquatic Center
Amana Colonies
• Otter Creek Lake and Nature Trails
Matchstick Marvels Tourist Center in Gladbrook, IA
Dreesman Buffalo Ranch
• Excellent Hunting and Fishing
• Snowmobiling/Four Wheeling Locally
• Tama-Toledo Country Club Golf Course
Traer Historical Museum
• Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum in Traer
Gladbrook City Museum
Tama County Museum


Rube’s Steakhouse, located in Montour, recently received one of Travelocity's “Local Secrets, Big finds” Award. Straight from the local mouths, Rube’s of Montour has been recognized as a top hot spot in the state by residents of Iowa. Ask for a coupon at our front desk!
Rube's Steakhouse & Lounge, 641-492-6222
• King Tower
• Big T Maid Rite
Meskwaki Casino: 3 restaurants including a buffet
• Pizza Hut
• Hardee's
• Dairy Queen--Butter Cow
• Mano's
• Blue Grass Cafe
• House of Chen
• Godfather Pizza
• El Campesino

Designer Inn & Suites
403 Hwy 30 West
Toledo, IA 52342
For Reservations call 1-641-484-5678 | Toll Free 1-877-484-5678

Designer Inn & Suites was voted Best Hotel/Motel 2013 by the people of Tama County!

Iowa Tourism

This website developed in part by the Central Iowa Tourism Region. For More Information About the Area Visit www.iowatourism.com

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