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“Just turned my keys back in.”

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Memorial House Hotel
Ranked #17 of 20 Hotels in Ames
Reviewed September 18, 2013

It is difficult to find the hotel from the parking lot - and I am a former ISU grad! I stay here once before 10 years ago and thought the room and bed were awful then, well they haven't been updated since!

The only available room was one next to the elevators, and it sounded as if a freight train was going through the room.

The rooms are cleaned with some sort of noxious chemical, and it smelled musty inside the room. No fans available to move air around the room.

The bed was at least 15 years old, and extremely uncomfortable- I could feel the springs through the mattress.
I can't believe this passes as acceptable......

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled on business
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Thank SallyMcBits
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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15 - 21 of 23 reviews

Reviewed August 14, 2013

Okay, so I've finally done it. I returned the keys to the front desk and walked away from a hotel room. I have stayed in other hotels in Ames but, as an Iowa State grad, I figured this would be a great opportunity to stay in a bit of history. Big mistake...

I did have to adjust my thinking in that this isn't a "real" hotel, you're staying at the university's student union. So, parking was a bit awkward and it was a hike to finally find the front desk. The woman was pleasant while we checked in. We gathered our key and went to check out the room. It was a tad weird to use a regular type key in the elevator to access the floor but whatever. The corridor was interesting but when we opened the door, we stepped right back into 1975. Our "suite" was nothing more that two small beds with a sofa. The beds sagged and had grandmother's pink bedspreads. The "wooden" furniture might have been my old mediterranean style junk that I left at Iowa State in 1982 and it was old and out-of-date then! To top it off, the room had a very musty smell to it. We went to the front desk and the woman was very helpful and understanding. Frankly, I really wanted to stay here and was sorely disappointed. Thankfully, we were able to get a room at another hotel that we have stayed in before.

Room Tip: Go to a different hotel...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank REB-CO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2013

We stayed here one night, and the room was very cozy and nice, with a nice view of the campanile. However, the amenties were very old, and the shower was terrible. It looked like it was from the 1800s, and when I was in it, the hot water turned off in the middle of my shower, and cold water kept coming out of the showerhead even when I shut off all the water. It was terrible. The sensor-activated automatic faucet in the bathroom was also annoying. However, apart from looking a bit dated (which actually was pretty nice), it was a nice stay.

Room Tip: make sure your shower works
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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Thank ndshankar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank WoodsBrother10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2012

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
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1  Thank gil100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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2  Thank wcircleauto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank melted_snowball
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 50014-7163
Location: United States > Iowa > Ames
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Ranked #17 of 20 Hotels in Ames
Number of rooms: 55
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Memorial House Hotel Ames, Iowa

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