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“Nice room except for the beds; mediocre breakfast”

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Gateway Hotel & Conference Center
Ranked #13 of 20 Hotels in Ames
Reviewed April 23, 2012

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.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank Dulcinea10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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120 - 126 of 163 reviews

Reviewed March 27, 2012

Very friendly and welcoming staff. Bedroom and bathroom both bright and clean. Comfortable beds. Hotel restaurant food was exceptional (I'm a foodie) and the wait staff (bartender and waitress) were friendly and professional. Maybe it was Iowa hospitality, but we found the Gateway Ames to be a very exceptional hotel experience. Worth coming back just to stay for fun!

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled on business
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Thank Deljay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2012

Our family stayed here for a New Year's Eve getaway. Very easy to get to--right off highway 30.
The room and bathroom were very clean and the bed and bedding--very comfortable. The only drawback in the room was NO REFRIGERATOR. I believe they have rooms with refrigerators, but we were on a tight budget so had to lug in our cooler. The lobby looked nice, updated decor. The pool was adequate and clean with beautiful plants, the hot tub was NICE AND HOT, and the sauna was hot and clean. We did not eat at the restaurant, but I had read the good reviews. Hop on highway 30 to the next exit, and you'll find Hickory Park, Mongolian Buffet, Vesuvius Pizza, Old Chicago, etc. We would stay here again!

Room Tip: Ask about a room with a refrigerator, if you need one.
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank Mom_in_Iowa_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2012

I've stayed here numerous times for business and each time I wonder why I stay there again. It is not a terrible property, just somewhat unimpressive. The staff seems to be very friendly, but the rooms could use an update, and the restaurant closes early each night no matter if people are walking in asking to eat. This is really a problem since there is nothing around the property to eat at within walking distance. The design of the property also may lend to the un impressive looking somewhat like a dyed 70's exposed concrete style.

On a good note, the property tends to run great online pricing on 3rd party booking sites compared to other local properties in the area which have less amenities.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank briank373
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2011

We stayed here recently for a class reunion. It had been several years since our last stay. The public spaces have been updated and are nice. The dinner we had for the reunion was terrific. Probably the best "reception" type meal we've ever had. Everyone raved about it. Our room, however, was a disappointment. The ceiling was a mess (part of it dropped ceiling with tiles askew, part of it popcorn with nail holes everywhere). The beds and pillows were uncomfortable. The sink in the bath had a newer solid surface counter, but is was very low. The toilet ran every few minutes. We had to turn off the water at night to sleep. It wasn't horrible, but not what we were expecting having stayed here in the past. We had our wedding reception here 25 years ago, and it was wonderful. We sure hope there are plans to redo the rooms and bring this hotel back to its former "luxury" status.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Tropicalcrazy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2011

We were in Ames last night and stayed at the Gateway. This was our first time. My son goes to ISU and my daughter was off for highschool conferences so we headed up to Ames with one of her friends. THIS IS A VERY OLD HOTEL!!!! We were very disapointed. Our room was like a Motel 8. The beds were so uncomfortable I could not fall asleep. The bed was very small for a queen and so lumpy and uncomfortable. The room smelled horrible. And then we turned on the heat and the smell was so bad we had to turn the heat off and leave the room.So we pretty much froze the whole night. They have a restaurant on the second floor but the breakfast prices were very expensive. This is not a good place to stay if you are wanting to get away and enjoy yourself. I am not really sure where to good places to stay in ames are. They need an EMBASSY SUITES.
Also, when I checked in, the desk clerk was on the phone assisting a customer for a very long time when there were 3 people waiting to check in and we had to listen to her very long conversation. I think she could have put that caller on hold and checked us in (which did not take that long)

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank Theresa W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2011

Stayed here for the second time in 3 years for company meetings. This is an older hotel that could use some upgrades. It's claim to fame is it's next door to Iowa State and has lots of capacity for meetings or conventions. It's a cement building that I'd guess is 30-40 years old.
Pro:
* restaurant and bar on site, although the bar was never open the 3 nights I was there
* friendly mid-west staff
*easy access to freeway
*internet service has improved a lot since the last time I stayed there.
Cons:
*a/c unit was horribly loud when on. Using the fan only was OK, but the ac was very loud and vibrated like it was coming apart
*other than free parking everything else was extra. You have to buy the morning paper and the water bottles in the room are charged to you if you drink them
*bed were not comfortable
All in all, I think there are better less expensive hotels in Ames to choose from. But, It's not the worst hotel in the area either. If you find yourself staying there for a meeting it's not a resort but you could do worse.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled on business
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1  Thank lkm55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gateway Hotel & Conference Center

Address: 2100 Green Hills Dr, US HWY 30 & University Drive, Ames, IA 50014
Location: United States > Iowa > Ames
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 20 Hotels in Ames
Price Range: $116 - $188 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Gateway Hotel & Conference Center 3*
Number of rooms: 187
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

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