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“I had a wonderful experience. Wonderful staff.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Memorial House Hotel

Memorial House Hotel
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Memorial House Hotel
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2229 Lincoln Way, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #17 of 18 Hotels in Ames
Dallas, TX
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“I had a wonderful experience. Wonderful staff.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

Unlike the other reviews, I had a very nice experience at the Memorial House Hotel. I stayed there on May 19, 2013. I had a room on the 5th floor facing the bell clock tower. I got to hear the chimes of the clock tower throughout the stay which was very relaxing and pleasing. Yes, the room was dated, but that is what I expected. Reminded me of the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans. That hotel also is very old and dated, but it provides the same ambiance and feeling. If you are wanting a modern day hotel experience (Hilton, Fairfield), I suggest you not stay here. The rooms here are smaller then modern day hotels, the bathrooms have older fixtures, and the amenties are not the same. But if you want to stay in the heart of the university and have some of the old world charm which the newer modern hotels do not provide, then Memorial House is the choice. On the weekends (Sat and Sun mornings) they provide a breakfast on the floors and have a very nice 'gathering/break' room on at least the floor I was staying on. It had a big TV, fireplace and stove along with several oversized chairs and couch. I did not experience the free breakfast since I checked in on Sunday afternoon and it is only offered on Sat and Sun mornings, but on our next visit I plan to see what is offered food wise. I was the only traveler this trip, but I told my wife when we come back up to Ames to visit our daughter who is attending ISU, we will definately stay here again. Also, during my stay there was some very bad storms in the area (tornados, hail). I had gone out for the evening to have dinner with my daughter and while I was gone, the hotel staff actually went up to my room and tried knocking on my door to warn me about the possible bad weather. When they realized that I was not in the room, they called my cell phone to contact me and give me the warning. I thought that was very nice gesture on their part which I was really impressed with. I do recommend this hotel and will be staying here again on our future trips to Ames.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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14 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Kansas
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2012 via mobile

We got the room on the top floor as further from the elevator as possible. Even though, every time the elevator went up or down there was strong noise in our room. The university has tower clock nt far from the hotel. And it goes on every 15 min day or night. On top of the clock and the elevator loud noises. The mattress haven't been replaced for many years and they badly squick every time you turn. So while the hotel maybe clean and centrally located if you need the university. Consider if you can do it with no sleep at night.

  • Stayed March 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Lincoln, Ne
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2011

Great location in the heart of Iowa State campus which is one of the nicest campus in the midwest. As a ISU alum it brought back some good memories hanging around in the Union but when you get to the room you realize it is not a top hotel. Very small room with a very outdated bathroom. I was staying midweek so I was the only one on the floor so it was quiet. The parking is very convenient and free in a covered garage. I also noticed they did not charge taxes on the stay so they may be exempt since they are part of the campus so you will save a few bucks.The girls at check in were very friendly and helpful.

If you want to stay in the heart of Iowa State campus this is the place where you can walk anywhere. I will be back to stay even though it is not a modern stay it has the charm of staying with your rich old aunts house with its outdated rooms. There is something fun about the experience. I stayed in a single room but it looks like they have a suite type room available which we may try next time.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Canada
Top Contributor
159 reviews 159 reviews
57 hotel reviews
Reviews in 78 cities Reviews in 78 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2011

It wasn't easy to find the hotel in the Memorial Union; after I parked, I wound up on the first floor of the building, and easily spent 10 minutes wandering around trying to find the location where I checked in. (It's on the 2nd floor.)

The room was small, without even a desk in it. The bed was fine. There were mini-blinds on the windows, not curtains. The bathroom featured two different unpleasant-scented soaps that shouted, "you're in the Midwest!" every time I used them. (OK, maybe they didn't.)

All that griping aside, well, it's very, very nice to be situated in the middle of campus. Every morning, I enjoyed going to Lorry's Café, across the street on Lincoln, and in general it was nice not worrying about parking.

Oh, and on Saturday, they have the most generic continental breakfast ever created, except that it had apples. Which were from local farmers. Too bad mine was rotten in the core. :-(

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Omaha, Ne
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2010

If you are coming to ISU for an event or checking out campus, this is the place to stay. I am alumni & stay here every time we visit. When staying at the MU, your parking is validated. If you ever visit a college campus, you will see this is a big deal. It is often hard to find a place to park, especially if you travel there during the weekday when classes are in session. It is also within walking distance to Welch Ave. Here there are several places to eat & drink. Lake Laverne, a small campus lake is situated to the side of the building. And the camponille is located nearby. And yes it does ring all night. As a former student, I adjusted to this years ago & I don't even notice it. But it may bother some people.

You also won't find a prettier building to stay in. It is a work of architecture. The facility also houses a small bar, fast food restaurants, a bowling alley in the basement, pool tables and the university bookstore. It also is loaded with tradition. Check out the zodiac floor display inside the main entrance and watch how people walk around it. As a student, I never stepped on it because it was bad luck & it would make you fail your next test.

The only disappointing part of staying here, and sometimes a deal killer, is the lack of updated rooms. The beds are standard & no frills, no sweet sleeping here. The rooms really remind me more of the dorm experience than a hotel, but they are acceptable and clean. I wouldn't call them terrible, just old fashioned & lacking plushness. The doors also close loudly, so if you have someone coming in out nearby, you will be annoyed. We had a giggly wedding party adjacent to us.

They were experimenting with a continental breakfast last time I was here. Not sure if they have continued that or not, we didn't look for it this time. It was the standard cereal milk, juice fare. I don't recall there being any hot selections.

Overall, if you look at the price & the total convenience of the location, this works for our family But, we are also in love with the ISU campus & all it has to offer, so my review is a bit jaded. If you compare it to a Hilton or Holiday Inn, you will be disappointed. I just accept that it is a so so room in a gorgeous facility with free parking & great campus access. You won't find a closer hotel, there aren't any near campus.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Iowa
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
110 helpful votes 110 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2008

If you are visiting the Iowa State University campus, the Memorial House hotel has a great location, inside the Memorial Union. Other than location, there was significant room for improvement in every aspect of our stay.

Our assigned room had character: sloping ceilings, great views, several windows that begin at floor level (and ended around 5' tall). The doors and frames were original, quarter-sawn oak. Beds were creaky, on basic metal frames. The headboard, desk and end tables need to be updated from a dark, heavy wood, 1980s frat house feel. There was an over-stuffed 1970s armchair with a giant floor lamp. The TV didn't work well.

The bathroom was unacceptable. The shower hits you at your waist, the tub would not drain during a short shower, leaving me in ankle deep water after just seconds. The tub did not have any sort of useful handles or grab-rails and lacked an anti-slip bottom. The only place to set soap or shampoo was designed for the bathtub user, not someone showering. Two windows began at floor level (next to the toilet!) and were about 4' tall - thankfully, they did have white plastic mini-blinds. Faucets in the sink were separate hot and cold faucets - no self-mixing water temperature here, which made it nearly impossible to regulate since the faucet handles would not stay on. It necessarily took one hand to hold each faucuet "on."

The room walls were very possibly solid concrete - but the connecting door to the adjacent room was made from rice paper...thin, thin, thin. Don't expect to sleep well if there are neighbors - and the nearby ISU campanile (clock tower) chimes and rings at all hours.

The room featured an iron/board and full-length mirror on back of the door. No refrigerator. There was an ice bucket - and ice machines on 2 of the 6 floors, according to the sign. Room key is needed to operate the elevator.

There are food options in the same building: student union type fare, sub sandwiches, pizza, oriental express - but only when the campus is in session. At other times, prepare to drive - or walk to a local establishment. Not even a continental breakfast was included.

There must be far better accommodation in Ames...look for it. On our next visit, we will stay somewhere else!

  • Liked — newer carpet
  • Disliked — bathroom unacceptable, old furnishings, noise
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Memorial House Hotel

Address: 2229 Lincoln Way, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011
Location: United States > Iowa > Ames
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 18 Hotels in Ames
Number of rooms: 55
Also Known As:
Memorial House Hotel Ames, Iowa

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