Want to relax? Lean back in a barber chair at the Don Q Inn

Don Q Inn

Tired after a long day of taking in the sights? Try leaning back and relaxing in a…dentist’s chair or barber chair.

The Don Q Inn hotel in Dodgeville, WI, is a conglomeration of eccentric interests on the part of the original owner.

The hotel has a lodge feel to it. However, it then takes you on a weird, curvy path of “whatever works.”

Don Q Inn

I was worried about not finding the place as we drove from The Field of Dreams in Iowa. Lisa was sure we’d see it. It was a few miles outside of Dodgeville. I was certain I had missed a turn when…a large airplane sitting in the front yard “welcomed” us to the Don Q Inn.

A Boeing C-97 sits n the middle of the courtyard. The plane was purchased years ago. It was used in a commercial that featured the late Farrah Fawcett. The actress even came to the Don Q Inn and autographed the plane. The former
“Charlie’s Angel” signature has faded through the years, but you can still make it out if you can find it.

Don Q Inn

Off to the side of the main building is an old church steeple. It is now a three-level themed suite (no, not a naughty nun theme).  The hotel has a variety of 25 themed suites that will take you away from anything from an Igloo to a Jungle Safari to Sherwood Forest.  For more information on these suites check out their site at www.donqinn.net.  We just stayed in a regular room this time.  We however did recently have our first stay at different themed location in Kansas City – Chateau Avalon – http://thewalkingtourists.com/2013/02/17/jesse-james-lives-on-at-the-chateau-avalon/.

The front doors to the hotel are from an old church. I assumed it was the same one the steeple came from. Don Q Inn

When you walk into the lobby, the weirdness jumps out at you. To your right are two dentist chairs that sub as recliners.

In the middle of the lobby are barbershop chairs, encircling a fireplace made from a locomotive engine.

Don Q Inn

The front desk clerk told us the original owner, Don Quinn, would use whatever he found interesting in the hotel.

His son was an “artist” and made a sculpture of old metal wagon wheels. When, the sculpture started rusting and falling apart, the wheels were taken off, cleaned up and placed around the property as different artwork. They work as an attraction in front of the nearby restaurant, along the steeple’s balcony, and inside the hotel. Don Q Inn

Speaking of the restaurant, Sam and Maddie’s is a converted barn. The food and service were great. The chicken parmesan consisted of moist chicken, blanketed in perfect breading, and sitting atop a nicely prepared pasta bed. The marinara was freshly made. No jar used here. Lisa had a nice catfish dinner that she loved, but could not finish.

Don Q Inn

The restaurant and hotel are connected by an underground tunnel. We decided to check it out on our way back from dinner.

Don Q Inn

I do not consider myself afraid of the dark, but this walk was creepy. The tunnel is dark, cold and wet in spots.
There were mannequin heads and other “scary” things scattered about in the tunnel. The chills in my spine were not because of the cold temps. I can see them decorating this tunnel for Halloween.

I couldn’t wait to get back to the hotel. Then, as we approached the door to the hotel, I wondered for a split second if it truly led to the hotel or was it going to end in a dungeon, where we would disappear and never be heard from again. I told Lisa that the area reminded me of a “Criminal Minds” episode. Anyone who has watched the CBS procedural knows what I’m talking about – a couple on vacation stops at the wrong spot, and ends up missing, dead, chopped up, or dancing as marionettes (still one of the creepiest episodes of any TV show or movie).

After surviving the tunnel walk (I prefer the Husker tunnel walk over this one), we looked around the hotel a little more. The front desk clerk gave us a couple more touristy ideas for the next day.

As we entered our tomb, err, room, it looked dated. But, I think that’s part of the “charm” of the place. The Don Q Inn is not a resort hotel. It’s not intended to be. It’s a place to enjoy a nice weekend stay in a “unique” area of Wisconsin.

The next day, we checked out and went on to visit the House on the Rock a few miles away, and then on to Mt. Horeb, where trolls roam the town (the troll walk was recommended by the desk clerk).

Don Q Inn