For many of us, college was our first big adventure of being on our own. Late nights and long hours of studying were offset with mac & cheese (or ramen noodles these days), keggers, and new friends. When nostalgia strikes, and we start remembering school days, we find more good than bad memories have remained. A trip to Lincoln, Nebraska called for finding lodging downtown, and when we learned about the Graduate Hotel, we had to check it out. This hand-crafted hotel chain is only found in university-driven towns and they love to theme them to the local community.

We want to thank Graduate Hotels for their hospitality. Rest assured all opinions are our own. 

The front lobby of the Graduate Hotel, in Lincoln, had us remembering school days.

Student Days

While not everyone has lived dorm life, we are all familiar with the concept. Movies and television have covered the experience in excruciating detail. When we arrived in Lincoln, we weren’t ready for a room but we stopped in anyway. We’d heard of Graduate Hotels from others and couldn’t wait to see what was in store for our visit. Stepping into the lobby, we could feel that the vibe was designed to get us remembering school days. After all, the hotel is built for the visiting families, since the students have their own housing. After a quick peek, we were wondering if we’d have time for a bike ride or at least a quick competition on one of the arcade games.

The Graduate Hotel uses recognizable artwork to evoke memories of local life.

Interesting Art

When we stopped at the front desk to check in, we were greeted with lots of smiles. After grabbing our room key (Yes, old school keys on a ring!), we moved our car into their parking garage. We knew the layout of the city would allow us to hit all of our highlights by foot. On our way back into the lobby, we came through a long hall decorated with images connected to Nebraska. This is another way the hotel melds the local culture into the overall experience. The cowboy pictures were an obvious placement, but then we spotted the Kool-Aid kids. We had to ask at the front desk and they informed us that this well-known powdered drink mix was concocted in nearby Hastings.

The retro vibe of this hotel room had us remembering school days.

Distinctly Nebraska

After seeing all of the fun décor peppered throughout the common spaces, we were eager to check out our room. We had secured an upper floor with a stadium view of the University of Nebraska. While I am a Baylor fan, I was still sad to see them leave the Big 12.  Opening the door to our room (with a real key), we were immediately cast into the realm of mid-century Nebraska. The richly colored room was complimented by a wood paneled wall. This really had us remembering school days and the long hours of studying. Of course, if we would have had this comfy bed, our study hours would have diminished.

It's all about the details when visiting a Graduate Hotel.

Details Make the Difference

While the overall theme was obvious, it was the attention to detail that really made this place pop. Our room was filled with Nebraska memorabilia that alluded to local life. Corn was an obvious choice, since Lincoln is the home of the Cornhuskers. The roller skate lamp bases were a nod to the National Museum of Roller Skating, which is located in this Midwestern city. We also loved their unique furniture choices like a retro-style television cabinet serving as a coffee station. Everything is designed to give guests that college dorm room vibe and it really works.

The authors enjoyed remembering school days during their time in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Remembering School Days

I wish I could report that we spent vast amounts of time in our hotel room, but you know our feet are made for moving. The Graduate Hotel made a great base camp for exploring downtown Lincoln. It’s placement on the edge of historic Haymarket Square meant that we were only steps from dining, shopping, and entertainment. It’s also in close proximity of the university and local museums. Even the state capitol building is less than a mile walk from the hotel entrance. (You can find all of our Lincoln articles here.) It was definitely one of the most convenient and cute lodging choices we have had this year. What recent lodging choice has surprised you?

the authors signatures.

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