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Playing at the Historic Hotel Julien Dubuque | Smutober Day 11

by | Oct 11, 2017 | 1 comment

Smutober Day 11 – Hotel

BDSM in a Historic Hotel that was once co-owned by Al Capone

So Many Hotels

What’s better than a good BDSM scene at a fine hotel? Why of course a good BDSM scene at a fine historic hotel…

For some folks, a hotel’s historic status may not matter at all. For them, the primary criteria for lodging may be its value. They simply want the best bang for their buck (figuratively and literally.) Who can blame them? Money doesn’t grow on trees after all.

Others look for their choice of hotel based on location. That’s also something that really matters when traveling, whether for business or pleasure. It makes absolutely no sense to book a room far across town from the attractions you hope to visit, or the business meetings you must attend.

I also know folks who base their lodging preferences on amenities. They value neither cost, nor location, but instead prize all the different luxuries a fine hotel may offer. Perhaps they want a spa day at the hotel, fine dining attached to the facility, or just a quality business center and conference rooms.

I understand all of those perspectives. In fact, I’ve used most of the same criteria as appropriate. But when choosing a hotel for some BDSM fun, I look for something a little different.

Hotel BDSM

I’m a bit different from the crowd (like that’s a surprise for anyone who reads this blog!) Mom sometimes swore I was a contrarian, but I’ve always considered myself to be more of an eccentric than anything. I know I’m outside the norm, and I like it that way.

One of the first things I look for when I’m seeking lodgings is a hot-tub. If you’ve been reading along, that’s something I already discussed for Sinful Sunday back at the end of last month in a post called – Hot, wet, bubbles. When traveling, long days on the road tend to make a person, not only road weary, but also road sore. A good soak in a hot tub is the perfect prescription for shaking all those aches and pains right off.

I’d hope that the reasoning behind wanting a hot tub in my room for a personal play party is mostly self-evident. Hot tubs are great icebreakers, what better way to get a party started than with a quick strip ‘n’ dip? And, I can’t think of a better place to sit and watch another’s scene than from the hot tub, perhaps with a nice mixed drink or glass of wine.

Beyond that, I really look for atmosphere. Is it a room with a view? How will the room look in the pictures I inevitably want to take? Does the room provide reasonable privacy, so that an alarmed hotel staff doesn’t come crashing through my door because of another patron’s complaints?

And finally, there among the highest priorities, is it a historic hotel?

Elegant Accommodations. Exceptional Service.

Hotel Julien Dubuque is an elegant boutique hotel that marries modern amenities with historic charm in the heart of the Old Main District. Visit us for the ultimate in relaxation and sophistication.

Historic Hotel Julien Dubuque

I live in the MidWest of the United States, not necessarily an area known for its history. Nor, to the best of my knowledge, are we especially well known for quality hotels. We are farm country. The immigrants who populated our area are primarily Protestant Germanic and Scandinavian in heritage. For the most part, we are simple folk.

The City of Dubuque is a little bit older, with a different demographic than most of the state. Located on the Upper Mississippi River, it was one of the earliest cities in Iowa to be settled. It’s first permanent settler was Quebecois pioneer Julien Dubuque, who arrived in 1785. It was subsequently settled by poor Catholic Germans and Irish.

Dubuque has an interesting historic downtown that I enjoy exploring. It’s also the home to one of my favorite places to stay and play, the historic Hotel Julien Dubuque.

Hotel Julien Dubuque has the great atmosphere I desire. Local folklore states that mobster Al Capone used it, not only as a place of escape but was also one part-owner of the establishment. With that in mind, it’s not at all difficult to imagine yourself stepping into a scene from the roaring ’20’s in the beautifully restored main lobby.

Visit during the winter, and you’ll find the hot tub rooms on the east side of the hotel have exquisite lighting at sunrise. On a clear day, the glow from that light is absolutely awesome for photography.

The rooms are generously sized. And, there are enough luggage carts that managing to keep one in the room overnight, (for my favorite nefarious use as a rolling bondage platform,) happens without raising an eyebrow from staff. For a small play party with friends, it’s just perfect.

I’m told there’s a nice spa there too. I wouldn’t know. There’s never been time for anything but relaxing in the hot tub, photography, and hot BDSM play…

This old “Julien Hotel” survived a fire, hosted famous guests such as Abraham Lincoln, “Buffalo Bill,” Cody and Mark Twain, gained notoriety thanks to Al Capone…

Hotel Julien – Reviewed for Kinksters

Since this post is turning into a bit of a BDSM travelogue review, I should mention that the Hotel Julien Dubuque is not a 5-star hotel.

It’s probably more like 3 1/2 stars. By Midwestern standards it’s nice, but it’s not an absolutely top of the line sort of venue.

It’s located in a conservative town (even by normal bible-belt standards) of just over 50,000 souls, not exactly a normal vacation destination for the kinky crowd, even by Midwest standards.

The hotel’s service is nice, but not truly exceptional. Staff is friendly, but not as crisp and neat as might be found in larger cities at the nicer hotels.

Food is typical Midwestern fare for the most part. It’s not that I’m terribly adventurous in my culinary pursuits anyway, so it’s a decent fit for me. If I suggested a good steak, would it surprise you?

With its conservative bent and the town’s relative size, Dubuque is not exactly a hotbed of BDSM activity. While I know a good handful of dedicated kinksters from that area, it’s been hard for the region to sustain a solid BDSM group.

Historically, the Dubuque-Platteville-Galena D/s, M/s, & Power Exchange Discussion group has remained relatively small for a variety of reasons beyond population size. Many from the area prefer to play 90 miles away in the Quad Cities, where a pair of more sizeable groups currently exists.

None of the issues found in the local scene matter at all if you take your own party to the hotel. That’s what I’ve always done. And, it’s worked very well for me. I’ve never had an outrageously loud play party at the Hotel Julien Dubuque. But, the venue has hosted some fairly serious play.

My friend Alpha cut the clothes off of a bound Serafina’s there one night, we used a gag to make sure she didn’t scream. No one went out of our way to get loud and invite attention to ourselves. But, the scene did include spanking and flogging, and there were no calls or knocks on the door from staff or management.

The Hotel Julien Dubuque is perhaps a little pricey for what you get. I’ve only visited out of season on a weeknight. Call me a frugal dom, but, I also find that a less populated hotel is preferable for kinky fuckery. When I priced it for a 4th of July weekend romp, the peak holiday rate was beyond my somewhat limited means.

I’d rather have a $400 pair of matched floggers than a night’s stay in Dubuque.

The Hotel Julien became known as one of the finest hotels in the Midwest and hosted many grand banquets and famous guests. But of all the personages said to have stayed in the Hotel Julien, none has aroused more curiosity and speculation than the notorious Chicago gangster AI Capone. Local lore alleges that when things got “hot” in Chicago. Capone would travel with his entourage to Dubuque, hiding out in the Hotel Julien. He reportedly made use of a nearby underground garage to hide his cars and further conceal his presence in Dubuque. Some say he even owned the hotel at one point.

About The Author

Michael Samadhi

Michael Samadhi - Joy of Kink Editor - author, lifestyle dominant, sex blogger, sex educator, photographer, artist, pansexual, sapiosexual, polyamorist, audiophile, historian, pagan/Buddhist, former political activist, and community organizer. I tied up a girlfriend (consensually) the first time back in 1980, and it's been a hell of a ride ever since.

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Indigo Byrd

Fascinating read Michael. You’ll see that my Hotel entry involves an historic hotel too, but sadly one where the historic atmosphere hasn’t been cared for as well. Downstairs was fine but the photos didn’t show the rather awful striped carpet upstairs. Still the staff were friendly and helpful, and I didn’t worry about sound travelling. No hot tub but that wasn’t a requirement of mine this time, though I’ve opted for it on a number of occasions. So many cafe’s nearby which was nice, but thats part of the next ep.



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