The Gemstone of Blackstone

Omaha’s Cottonwood Hotel is a tribute to the Jazz Age

BY Rob Henrichs

Opened in 1916 as the Blackstone Hotel, the Cottonwood Hotel has hosted John Kennedy and Richard Nixon. Serving as the place to stay on the route from San Francisco to Chicago, the hotel remained popular through the 1970s before the building was renovated to become a downtown office space. The two hundred-room hotel reopened with a refreshed design and new owners in late 2020 after a $75 million renovation.

The renovation was inspired in part by Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, and those touches show in the period-appropriate solarium that overlooks the new pool deck and front lawns that can extend Gatsbian get-togethers.

The hotel has three restaurants: the traditional American Committee Chophouse, French-influenced Orleans Room and cafe Petite Orleans. In the basement there’s a cocktail lounge called Cottonwood Room, where the bar sits in the metaphorical shade of a full-size Cottonwood tree.

GO: 302 S. 36th St., Omaha. Rates start at $145.