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“Not Luxury Hotel, But Can't Beat the Location” 3 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 #18 of 19 Hotels in Ames
Omaha, Ne
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Not Luxury Hotel, But Can't Beat the Location”
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.
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20 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 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
37 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 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
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 19 Hotels in Ames
Number of rooms: 55
Also Known As:
Memorial House Hotel Ames, Iowa

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