Our Inn

Since 2016 we have been welcoming guests to our award-winning Bed and Breakfast Hotel in Lake Okoboji Iowa.

History of The Oakwood Inn

The Oakwood Inn is located on 2 acres in Northwestern Iowa. It was originally part of an 80-acre homestead in rural Dickinson County, with West Lake Okoboji and East Lake Okoboji access just one mile away on each side. In 1999, the current building was built with a Victorian flair and was operated as The Wild Rose Inn. It was sold in 2014 and after some renovation, became known as The Hotel Okoboji, an extended stay property.

Bill and Bridget Johnson purchased the property in April 2016 and changed the name to The Oakwood Inn after the oak tree savannah bordering the property to the south. They live onsite with their bernedoodle, Maggie, and Bill’s mother, Kay.

Our History 1
Our History 2

Your Hosts

Bill and Bridget fulfilled a shared life-long dream in 2016, when they purchased The Oakwood Inn in Spirit Lake, IA.

Bill is a third generation innkeeper, checking in his first guest when he was 12 years old. Bill grew up in Worthington, MN working and living at his family’s roadside Best Western. He was at the knee of his father and grandfather as he learned the business at his grandfather’s motels in LaMars, Sibley, Denison, and Sheldon, IA.

Bill and his sister, Deb, purchased the Best Western from their father in 1996, then sold it in 2000. Since then, Bill has worked a variety of construction jobs in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Colorado until purchasing The Oakwood Inn with his wife, Bridget in the spring of 2016.

Bridget grew up in Wells, MN. Her first career was a journalist for Minnesota newspapers in the Minneapolis suburbs, Canby, and Fergus Falls areas. After 10 years, Bridget changed course and began her 20-year hospitality career, starting in Minnesota at the Best Western Fergus Falls, the Rochester Holiday Inn City Center, Rochester Marriott, and The Kahler Grand Hotel. She moved to Colorado with Starwood Hotels, where she worked at the Sheraton Steamboat Resort and met Bill. They returned to the Midwest to get married at their favorite destination – Okoboji, IA.

After several more years in Steamboat Springs, Bill and Bridget moved with Starwood Hotels to Glenwood Springs, CO, where Bridget was part of the executive committee opening The Westin Snowmass Resort and Wildwood Snowmass outside Aspen, CO. Her last assignment for Starwood Hotels was in Houston, TX, working for The Westin Galleria & Westin Oaks hotels before opening The Oakwood Inn.

Another passion for Bridget is real estate. Are you looking for a lake home in the Lake Okoboji area? Bridget would be happy to assist! As a Realtor licensed in Iowa and Minnesota, Bridget’s personal experience in buying and selling real estate in four states will help you to feel confident when navigating the Iowa Great Lakes real estate market. Download her app to search for your NextHome at the Lakes!

The Den

A favorite gathering space at The Oakwood Inn is The Den on the lower level. It is a welcoming space for play and relaxation any time of the day.

Complete with a 9-foot pool table and all the accessories, this room encourages guests to indulge in their competitive side. A game of pool is a great way to socialize with other guests, and even the Innkeepers have been known to join!

Spirited card games are welcomed at the card table, a long-standing family tradition of the Innkeepers! The surround sound stereo and movies on the 60-inch flat-screen television provide a nice background to all the lively play. A fireplace adds to the cozy setting.

The Den transforms into a quiet space with extra room to work on the beautiful quarter-sawn oak library desk. Big comfortable chairs and a leather lounging couch beckon the guests who enjoy settling in with a good book or a movie.

Beer and wine are available for sale at the front desk. A kitchenette with communal refrigerator and microwave completes The Den.

Our History 3

Property Amenities

The Oakwood Inn is a luxury bed and breakfast in Iowa – the ideal choice for your relaxing Okoboji getaway! You will experience comforting accommodations, personalized service, and a picturesque setting right in the middle of the Iowa Great Lakes Region. As a pet-friendly inn, you can enjoy your Okoboji lodging with your best furry friends! For a unique and pleasurable lodging experience, look no further than The Oakwood Inn!

Amenities Include:

  • Business-class wireless Internet
  • Whirlpool tubs in king rooms and double queen rooms
  • Spacious verandas and walk-out patios with seating
  • Sun-lit dining room with romantic fireplace
  • Lawns, perennial gardens, waterfall, ponds, stream, wetlands, walking trails
  • Guest access to The Den, which includes a pool table, 60-inch flat-screen television with cable, surround sound stereo, library desk, and a table for playing cards
  • Coffee stations on each floor featuring coffee, hot tea, hot chocolate and hot cider
  • Daily three-course gourmet breakfast
  • Special dietary needs accommodated by advance request with the Innkeeper
  • Complimentary passes to the Bedell Family YMCA
  • Pet-Friendly
  • Adults only

Each guest room offers:

  • Large flat-screen television with cable
  • Air conditioning and heat controls
  • Private en-suite full baths
  • Romantic fireplaces
  • Refrigerators
  • Luxurious Comphy linens
  • Aveda toiletries
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Give The Gift of The Oakwood Inn this Christmas

Give your loved one a very special gift of a stay at The Oakwood Inn.  We offer gift certificates in many amounts.