36,000 students. 1,900 acres. 800 clubs. A 20-acre central lawn that’s been singled out as one of the most beautiful campus features in the country. The numbers don’t lie: Iowa State University is a pretty big school. Since its founding in 1858, the school has matured considerably from its beginnings as an agricultural college, and is now recognized as a major research institution. One intriguing area of study? That would be the underground comix collection, stored in the Parks Library on campus.
Iowa State is located in the city of Ames, whose very-fitting motto is “smart choice.” Here are three likewise educated choices for lodging near Iowa State, chosen for their location, affordability and popularity with past guests.
Sleep Inn & Suites Ames
From $85/ night
At two miles distant from the University, this Sleep Inn is only a five-minute drive from campus. Rooms come with a flatscreen TV (42 inches of audiovisual fun) and an iron and ironing board. Ambience is modern and understated, with a relaxing color palette that seems to fit the hotel’s name. The front desk is staffed 24/7 to field questions and requests. Breakfast is served every morning, and a fitness center and heated indoor pool are open to guests who need to get up and move.
GrandStay Hotel & Suites
From $90/ night
This 53-room property is only a mile from Iowa State University, and two miles from the school’s Brunnier Art Museum. Each suite contains a kitchenette and additional seating, with a sofa bed included should you have another guest. (Speaking of extra guests, pets are allowed.) En-suite bathrooms are stocked with goodies from Bath and Body Works. In the morning you can enjoy a hot breakfast. Later in the day, you can dip into the indoor pool, play on the basketball court or putting green outdoors, or snack on something sweet from the on-site convenience store.
Best Western Plus University Park
From $120/ night
A mile from Iowa State, the 87 rooms in this pet-friendly property come with a desk, cable TV, kitchenware, a private bathroom and a microwave. The TVs offer HBO, or a more botanical experience can be had at the 17-acre Reiman Gardens, also one mile away. On-site, you can find an indoor heated pool, hot tub and a fitness room. Previous guests have commended the staff for their amiability. Also recommended is the daily breakfast, which consists of essential morning fare like waffles, oatmeal, bacon, eggs and more.