We stayed one night in the Gateway Center. We had no transportation but it was conveniently located right by a CyRide stop (the local bus transport to Iowa State campus and downtown). They had a pretty nice reception area with a sunken lounge. The room, on first glance, was very nice, with nice fluffy white linens (which always speaks well to their cleaning, you can't hide anything when it's white). Carpet was fairly new and clean. Bathroom was good size with soap, shampoo, conditioner, and lotion provided.
I give this hotel just three stars for 3 reasons:
1. The beds were VERY soft and bouncy. Not good for bad lower backs - if you have one, I'd warn you away from this hotel strongly. My husband's back has been acting up lately and he woke up with a terrible backache.
2. The fitness center was pretty sad for a conference center hotel. Just 4 pieces of equipment (2 treadmills, an elliptical, and recumbent bike). In the evenings, the place was full. In the morning when I came to work out, I was the first one there, which was nice, but people streamed in after me, and it turned out one of the treadmills wasn't working. A conference hotel should have more equipment than this.
3. The breakfast - we had gotten vouchers for the buffet, and I checked the menu/schedule in the elevator, it said breakfast was served until 11 am. So we arrived at 10:10, and were told that the buffet was only served until 10 am. They begrudgingly agreed to keep it open for us, but the eggs were dried out and everything was depleted, so it wasn't a great experience. I had a pretty decent fresh made waffle, at least.
So, to sum up: the hotel is attractive and perfectly nice if you don't have back problems or want to work out and eat breakfast early. But I'd call it average (at best) for a conference hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Gateway Hotel & Conference Center At Iowa State University is the largest full-service hotel & conference center in Ames, Iowa. Located at the entrance to Iowa State University on Highway 30 and University Blvd. It is the closet hotel to the Iowa State Center, ISU Research Park, Reiman Gardens, and Ames Airport. Developed by the leadership of Iowa State University on 14 acres of beautiful lawns, trees, and cattails, next to the Gateway Green Hills Park with 1.5 miles of walking trails. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Gateway Hotel Ames
- Hotel Gateway Center
- Gateway Hotel & Conference Center Ames, Iowa