Awards - Heart Of America Group

About Our Awards


Over the years we have prided ourselves in presenting award-winning owned and operated restaurants, hotels and commercial developments that continue to exceed expectations, time and time again. It is to our hard-working teams that each and every one of these awards are dedicated to.

2022

Hilton’s Brighter Together Award Quarter 2 – The Rewind Hotel, West Des Moines
Kayak Travel Awards Best Hotel (United States) – Wildwood Lodge, Clive
Hilton’s GM of the Year – Chris Scheel, Hilton Garden Inn, Sun Prairie
Hilton’s Top 5% – Hilton Garden Inn, Sun Prairie
Certificate of Excellence, Trip Advisor – The Rewind Hotel, West Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence, Trip Advisor – The Axis Hotel, Moline (Top 10% of hotels worldwide)
Gold Award for Best Fine Dining Restaurant, Des Moines’ People’s Choice Awards – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Des Moines
Silver Award for Hotel Guest’s Stay, Wedding Choice Awards – The AC Hotel, Des Moines
Silver Award for Best Buffet, Des Moines’ People’s Choice Awards – The Machine Shed, Urbandale
Silver Award for Best Hotel, Des Moines’ People’s Choice Awards – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
Silver Award for Best Staycation, Des Moines’ People’s Choice Awards – The Revel Hotel, Urbandale
Silver Award for Best Steakhouse, Des Moines’ People’s Choice Awards – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Des Moines
Bronze Award for Hotel Guest’s Stay, Wedding Choice Awards – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
Bronze Award for Hotel Venue, Wedding Choice Awards- Hotel Renovo, Urbandale

2021

Diamond Circle Award – Fairfield Inn & Suites, Altoona
Gold Circle Award – Fairfield Inn & Suites, Davenport
Gold Circle Award – Fairfield Inn & Suites, Des Moines
Silver Award for Hotel Venue, Wedding Choice Awards – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
Family Award Winner, Hotels.com – Wildwood lodge, Clive
Best Party Room Award, Omaha Magazine’s Best of Omaha – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Omaha
Best in class Hotel Lodging Award, Urbandale Chamber of Commerce – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
Certificate of Excellence, Trip Advisor – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
Certificate of Excellence, Trip Advisor – The Axis Hotel, Moline (Top 10% of hotels worldwide)

2020

Traveler Review Award, Booking.com – Wildwood Lodge, Clive
Award Winner, Hotels.com – Wildwood Lodge, Clive
Best in Class To Host a Meeting Award, Urbandale Chamber of Commerce – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
Best in Class Winner Hotel/Lodging, Urbandale Chamber of Commerce – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale

2019

Best in Class Winner Hotel/Lodging, Urbandale Chamber of Commerce – Revel Hotel, Urbandale
Gold Award for Best Hotel Wedding Venue, Wedding Choice Awards – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
Silver Award for Guests Hotel Overnight Stay, Wedding Choice Awards – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
Best Tiramisu, Italian-American Heritage Festival of Iowa – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, West Des Moines
IHG Quality Excellence Award – Holiday Inn & Suites, Davenport
IHG Rewards Club Excellence Award – Holiday Inn & Suites, Davenport

2018

Gold Award for Best Hotel Wedding Venue, Wedding Choice Awards – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
Best in Class Winner Hotel/Lodging, Urbandale Chamber of Commerce- – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
Certificate of Excellence, Trip Advisor – Thunder Bay Grille, Rockford
Certificate of Excellence, Trip Advisor – Embassy Suites, Olathe
Award of Excellence, Wine Spectator – Thunder Bay Grille, Pewaukee
Best Hospitality Architecture Firm, BUILD Magazine – Heart of America Group Architects
Best Iowa Boutique Hotel Design: Hotel Renovo, BUILD Magazine – Heart of America Group Architects
IHG GM of the Year – Felicia Gonzales, Holiday Inn & Suites, Davenport

2017

Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Wildwood Lodge, Clive
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Wildwood Lodge, Pewaukee
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
Certificate of Excellence, Trip Advisor – Thunder Bay Grille, Rockford
Certificate of Excellence, Trip Advisor – Fairfield Inn & Suites, Des Moines, Iowa
Certificate of Excellence, Trip Advisor – Holiday Inn & Suites, E. Peoria
Certificate of Excellence, Trip Advisor – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, E. Peoria
Certificate of Excellence, Trip Advisor – Embassy Suites, Olathe
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
Loved by Guests Award, Hotels.com – Wildwood Lodge, Pewaukee
Award of Excellence, Wine Spectator – Thunder Bay Grille, Pewaukee
Award of Excellence, Wine Spectator – The J Bar, Olathe
IHG Quality Excellence Award – Holiday Inn & Suites, East Peoria
IHG Quality Excellence Award – Holiday Inn & Suites, Davenport

2016

IHG Quality Excellence Award – Holiday Inn & Suites, Pewaukee
IHG Newcomer Award – Holiday Inn & Suites, Davenport
IHG Torchbearer Award – Holiday Inn & Suites, E. Peoria
Global Award, shortlist, Luxury Travel Guide – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
Urbandale Chamber of Commerce Best in Class Award finalist – Hotel Renovo
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Wildwood Lodge, Pewaukee
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Hilton Garden Inn, Olathe
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Olathe
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – DoubleTree, Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Wildwood Lodge, Clive
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
Certificate of Excellence, Trip Advisor – Thunder Bay Grille, Rockford
Certificate of Excellence, Trip Advisor – Fairfield Inn & Suites, Des Moines, Iowa
Guest Review Award, Booking.com – Wildwood Lodge, Pewaukee
Only 4-Star Hotel in Des Moines, Expedia – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale
Award of Excellence, Wine Spectator – Thunder Bay Grille, Pewaukee
Award of Excellence, Wine Spectator – The J Bar, Olathe

2015

#1 People’s Choice Rockford Bacon Fest -Thunder Bay Grille, Rockford
Urbandale Chamber of Commerce Best in Class Award – Hotel Renovo
IHG Newcomer Award – Holiday Inn & Suites, E. Peoria, IL
IHG New Development Design Award – Holiday Inn & Suites, Davenport
Deal of the Year Award – Embassy Suites, Olathe
Wine Spectator Award of Excellence – Thunder Bay Grille, Pewaukee
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Wildwood Lodge, Pewaukee
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Hilton Garden Inn, Olathe
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Olathe
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – DoubleTree, Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Hotel Renovo, Urbandale

2014

IHG Newcomer Award – Holiday Inn & Suites, Lake Elmo
IHG New Development Design Award – Holiday Inn & Suites, Peoria
Best Family Restaurant – Machine Shed, Lake Elmo
People’s Choice, Taste of Elegance – Machine Shed, Wisconsin
FSR Magazine’s Best Beverage Program, Honorable Mention – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse
Business of the Year, Des Moines Chamber of Commerce– The Doubletree/Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Des Moines
Top 12 Reasons ‘Why Iowa Rules’, Washington Post – Iowa Machine Shed
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, W. Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Wildwood Lodge, Pewaukee
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Hilton Garden Inn, Olathe
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Olathe
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – DoubleTree, Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Wildwood Lodge, Clive

2013

IHG Remodel Award – Holiday Inn Express, Olathe
IHG Torchbearer Award – Holiday Inn & Suites, W. Des Moines
Best Place to Go for Dessert Award, Reader’s Choice – Machine Shed, Lake Elmo
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, W. Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Olathe
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Hilton Garden Inn, Olathe
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – DoubleTree, Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Wildwood Lodge, Clive

2012

IHG Newcomer Award – Holiday Inn & Suites, Pewaukee
IHG Torchbearer Award – Holiday Inn & Suites, W. Des Moines
Business of the Year Award, East and South Des Moines Chamber of Commerce– The Doubletree/Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – DoubleTree, Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor – Wildwood Lodge, Clive

2011

Cornerstone Humanitarian Award, The National Restaurant Association & American Express – Mike Whalen
Best of the Quad Cities, Fine Dining, River Cities Reader – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Moline
Best of the Quad Cities, Best Business Lunch – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Moline

2010

Choice Hotel Gold Hospitality Award – Comfort Suites, Pewaukee (top 9% in the country)

2009

Restauranteur of the Year, Iowa Hospitality Association – Mike Whalen
Des Moines Best Breakfast, Cinnamon Roll – Machine Shed
Best of the Quad Cities, Best Steaks/Steakhouse, River Cities Reader – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Moline
Best American Entrée (Steak de Burgo), Taste of Madison – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Moline

2008

Best Breakfast in America, Travel Channel – Machine Shed
Radisson’s Presidents Award – Radisson/Thunder Bay Grille, Pewaukee
Radisson’s Presidents Award – Radisson/Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Des Moines
Wisconsin Beef Backer Award, Wisconsin Beef Council – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Middleton
Wisconsin Beef Backer Award, Wisconsin Beef Council – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Des Moines

2007

Radisson’s Presidents Award – Radisson, Des Moines Airport
Radisson’s Presidents Award – Radisson, Pewaukee
Choice Hotel Gold Hospitality Award – EconoLodge Inn & Suites, Davenport
Best Family Restaurant, Cityview – Machine Shed, Des Moines
Iowa Beef Backer Award – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Middleton
Iowa Beef Backer Award – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Des Moines
Best Fine Dining Award, Peoria Journal Stars, Readers’ Choice Awards – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse
Best of the Quad Cities, Fine Dining, River Cities Reader – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Moline
Best of the Quad Cities, Best Local Chef, River Cities Reader – Machine Shed, Davenport (Bryan Tyler)

2006

Radisson’s Presidents Award – Radisson/Thunder Bay Grille, Pewaukee
Radisson’s Presidents Award – Radisson/Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Des Moines
Best of Madison Bronze Award for Best New Restaurant, Madison Magazine – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Middleton

2005

Radisson’s Presidents Award – Radisson/Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Des Moines
Radisson’s Presidents Award – Radisson/Thunder Bay Grille, Pewaukee
Top 50 Multi-Concept Growth Companies, Nation’s Restaurant News – Heart of America Group
T.O.M. Award, National Turkey Federation – Machine Shed
Best Fine Dining Award, Peoria Journal Stars, Readers’ Choice Awards – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse

2004

Radisson’s Presidents Award – Radisson/Thunder Bay Grille, Pewaukee
Best of the Quad Cities, Family Dining – Machine Shed, Davenport
Best of the Quad Cities, Most Hospitable Restaurant, River Cities Reader – Machine Shed, Davenport
Best of the Quad Cities, Place to Buy Unique Gifts, River Cities Reader – Machine Shed, Davenport
Best of the Quad Cities, Fine Dining Atmosphere, River Cities Reader – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Moline
Best of the Quad Cities, Sunday Brunch, River Cities Reader – Thunder Bay Grille, Davenport

2003

Radisson’s Presidents Award – Radisson/Thunder Bay Grille, Pewaukee
Best in the Midwest Newcomer Award, Heart of Illinois Hospitality Association – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Peoria

1998

Restauranteur of the Year, Iowa Hospitality Association – Mike Whalen
Choice Hotel Gold Hospitality Award – Comfort Suites, Pewaukee

1996

Restauranteur of the Year, Iowa Hospitality Association – Mike Whalen
Best Pork Restaurant in America from the National Pork Producers – Iowa Machine Shed
Choice Hotel Gold Hospitality Award – Comfort Suites, Urbandale
5-time recipient of Choice Hotel Gold Hospitality Award – Comfort Inn, Davenport

1994

Golden Egg Award, American Egg Board – The Machine Shed, Davenport

1993

Iowa Entrepreneurial Success Award from Governor Terry Branstad – Mike Whalen
Beef Backer Award, Iowa Beef Industry Council – The Machine Shed, Davenport

1992

Taste of Elegance – The Machine Shed, Davenport

1991

Entrepreneur of the Year, Inc. Magazine and Ernst & Young – Mike Whalen

1986

Iowa Pork Restaurant of the Year, Iowa Pork Producers – The Machine Shed, Davenport

1985

Golden Butter Knife, Scout County Dairy Association – The Machine Shed, Davenport

1980

Golden Butter Knife, Scout County Dairy Association – The Machine Shed, Davenport

About Heart Of America

Starting with one, 100-seat restaurant in 1978, Heart of America Group has grown to include a portfolio of award-winning owned and operated restaurants, hotels and commercial developments. Noteworthy brands developed and operated by Heart of America Group include the Machine Shed Restaurant, Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, The Republic on Grand, Hotel Renovo, Wildwood Lodge, Thunder Bay Grille, and The J Bar. We pride ourselves in building long-lasting properties that bring value to the consumer and to the communities in which we build.

Locations

Operations Support Center - Moline
1501 River Drive
Moline, Illinois 61265
P: 309.797.9300
F: 309.797.8700

Operations Support Center - Des Moines
515 E Locust Street, Suite 100
Des Moines, IA 50309