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Indiana Memorial Union Biddle Hotel and Conference Center
Ranked #4 of 24 Hotels in Bloomington
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 1, 2013

If you have to be on the sprawling Indiana University campus, you can't get more convenient than the Biddle Hotel in the Union. The rooms are small and rather old, but clean and reasonably comfortable. The price is perhaps a touch high for what you get. However, the staff was pleasant and always helpful. (While wireless internet is free, it amazes me that for a "hotel" on a major university campus they don't have a business center -- if you want to print anything or check a computer, or print anything, you have to use the concierge desk.) It's a walk of several blocks to find any amenities (unless you're into the Burger King and bowling in the student union), but even then it's mostly low-end student ghetto food, bars and shops. Still, the convenience to libraries, museums, archives and other facilities on the campus make this an acceptable place to stay for a few nights.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on floor 3 or higher. The rooms on 1 & 2 are adjacent to common student areas an...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank Filmprof
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 25, 2013

We stayed her last weekend and to say the least, we were disappointed in this relic. I am sure the building has a lot of history, but the rooms had that must "grandmother" type of smell. I expected the TV's to be black and white!

We only had 2 double beds instead of a king for my wife and I. Spent the night afraid of falling off, but fortunately managed to be okay. The rooms were spacious, we had a suite but again, with the smell of the room, we really only used it to sleep in.

The location was great, connected to the SUB for the University. Parking was free which I wasn't expecting. The hotel also has access to a food court, along with Starbucks and other establishments which was nice. Good location to both campus and town.

I would not visit again. Just felt like for the money we spent, we could have done a lot better.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jeff M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2013

Let me first say that the staff here (mostly students, I assume, at the front desk) were wonderful: incredibly friendly, efficient, helpful, and eager to please. My maid was out-going, chatty, and very efficient. The excellent staff is the reason my overall rating is at "average." Otherwise, I'd have to rate this property much lower.

I was attending a conference at Indiana University which, fortuitously, was sited within the Indiana Memorial Union, a large L-shaped section of which comprises the Biddle Hotel and Conference Center. "A no-brainer," I thought. "Just take the elevator down to my meetings. What could be easier?" Yes, it was handy, but the Biddle shows its age in terms of the size of its accommodations when the traveling public's priorities and tastes were perhaps different. My room was teeny, perhaps better suited to Lilliputian-sized Hoosiers and, peeking into other open doors along the corridor, by no means an exception. I wasn't in a "ha-ha" room, but something quite normal by these standards. I've stayed in much larger YM-(Hong Kong) and YWCA (Vancouver) rooms.

Looking for the closet upon entry, I discovered what was, at best, a 12" wide niche in the wall, most of which was taken up with an ironing board. There was no folding luggage rack and 4-5 hangers on a foot-long rod. On the opposite wall, there were two plastic hooks. Opposite the very small bathroom was a unit with a small sink, large mirror with bulbs, a coffee maker and a mini-fridge (a plus for chilling insulin). The bathroom floor had a traditional (OK, old) basket weave tile pattern, practically no shelving (zero counter space), an older commode and bath/shower combo. Nice linens were folded into circular wire racks extending from the wall next to the door. However, the bathroom was so small, it was easy to dislodge towels just by walking in! On the plus side, there were Gilchrist and Soames toiletries (the soap produced lots of lather) and a quick abundance of hot water.

One wall of the room itself was taken up with a DOUBLE bed and a desk. There wasn't enough room for an end table on either side of the DOUBLE bed, there being barely a foot between the bed and the exterior wall where there was a pint-sized classically styled shelf.
Opposite that was a commodious easy chair and a low-rise, four-drawer chest over which was a fixed, mounted a small screen TV (small compared to what one finds in other hotels). One was obligated to watch television from either the bed (which I don't enjoy) or by turning around the desk chair.
And what was on TV? Well, there were the local network affiliates but no premium cable such as HBO or Showtime. Movies are selected by the RHA (Residence Hall Association?) supposedly "based on your requests." I myself would not have requested "American Pie," Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery," "Beauty Shop," "Animal House," "Scary Movie," or "Thumbelina" which were among the offerings. Yes, "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and "The Great Gatsby" were there (and, yes, I'll admit, I loathe "Les Miserables"), but this was by no means "cutting edge" viewing. It was more like something you'd see on an airplane flown by a Balkan nation or banana republic.

THIS FOR OVER $100 A NIGHT?? Sorry, that takes "captive audience" (and alumni suckers) rates to a new level. And in a facility which prides itself on its sheer size, I saw more-than-adequate facilities and student lounges that should preclude kids from taking up all the available seating space in the lobby area (some even dozing!). I would think the small lobby area should be reserved for hotel guests (says the curmudgeonly old grouch) at these rates.

The room temperature was always comfortable and controlled by (and here I was glad for the retro touch) a real thermostat. Cans of Coke products were only 75 cents and the lunch buffets in the Tudor Room are really delicious and low-priced (and more great student waitstaff too). Yes, these accommodations are convenient. But you pay dearly for what wouldn't pass muster in many travelers' eyes.

Room Tip: Ask specifically about the specs/size of your room when making your reservation. If you're clau...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Jim H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2013

This is my third stay here and will always be my first choice in Bloomington. Every staff member encountered was pleasant and offered extra assistance. Linens and bathroom spotless. It's an old building and wear and tear show up here and there but the beds are comfortable and rooms quiet. Parking access alone makes it worth staying here! Plus easy walking to the original beautiful wooded campus, and then an easy walk to a wide variety of restaurants and shops.

Room Tip: Ask about views from rooms. Hallways are very long so those with mobility issues should ask for roo...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank TravelerTrish75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

The Union, largest student union in the country, is just a perfect place to stay....in the heart of campus, the amenities offered are just fantastic...food, bowling, coffee shops, and proximity to the campus and town. Rooms can be difficult to get on big weekends.football and basketball and graduation, but has always been my first choice. Rooms have been updated. Prices are reasonable.
The best place to stay!

Room Tip: make reservations early...sells out!!
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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Thank eyeu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2013

Great classic building, right in the heart of campus. Walking distance to Kirkwood Ave and food/beverages. Fantastic setting. Slightly higher priced than the chains on the edge of town but sooooo very worth it.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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Thank DCDODS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2013

The Biddle Hotel's location was perfect for discovering all of the goings-on during Welcome Week. Parking was never an issue on the busy campus. The room was updated and extremely comfortable, and the food court was very convenient. The staff was helpful. I will plan my next visit at the Biddle. I recommend The Biddle highly!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Cheryl S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Indiana Memorial Union Biddle Hotel and Conference Center

Address: 900 E 7th St, Bloomington, IN 47405-3905
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Indiana > Bloomington
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Bloomington
#2 Family Hotel in Bloomington
#7 Business Hotel in Bloomington
Price Range: $95 - $405 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Indiana Memorial Union Biddle Hotel and Conference Center 3*
Number of rooms: 189
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to the Indiana Memorial Union Biddle Hotel and Conference Center. Nestled in the heart of Indiana University, our Bloomington boutique hotel offers 189 finely appointed guest rooms and suites, which include classic furnishings, luxurious linens, signature bath products from Gilchrest and Soames ®, flat screen televisions and spacious work areas. Situated inside the stately and elegant Indiana Memorial Union, this upscale Bloomington hotel is perfect for travel to Indiana University. We are located steps from the Sample Gates, as well as the famed Kirkwood Avenue and Bloomington Entertainment & Arts District, offering a diverse restaurant scene, arts and entertainment, and vibrant nightlife. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Indiana Memorial Union Biddle Hotel Bloomington
Indiana Memorian Union Hotel

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