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Value for the $$ -Don't understand the attraction of Dells

Which Wisconsin Dells hotels are on sale?
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Illinois
posts: 128
reviews: 61
Value for the $$ -Don't understand the attraction of Dells

Looking for deals on lodging where you don't have to "pay half up front". I can not think of any part of the hospitality trade where when you make a reservation they take your money - hotels tell you that you can't have a portion of it back if you cancel. So if a better deal is found - too bad - you can't cancel the 1st reservation without losing all or part of your "reservation fee". These resorts are truly the Jesse James of the hotel industry. I would not plan a vacation to the Dells even if it were GIVEN to me free at this point. Reasons???

1) Over priced hotel rooms - if you read the reviews of most - there are housekeeping and service issues for all of the big resorts - NONE get overwhelmingly great reviews.

2) Why would anyone want to swim in pools at locations that already get low marks for cleanliness? Overcrowded pools full of who knows what kind of germs.

3) Overpriced food and beverage .

4) Compare the cost of an average WI Dells vacation to an all inclusive in the Carribean, or a resort in Florida (with Theme Park tickets) - Truly - there are other locations that are not in the middle of no where - land locked by overpriced attractions.

5) Very few deals - and when you do book a room you pay several hundred dollars, Months in advance, and no refunds if you should cancel.

It is a rackett........The only reason I'm writing is because my daughter is headed to a dance competition in June in the Dells and we have NO choice but to go if she wants to participate. This is the 3rd one and each time I hate the Dells more. I'd just like to see others opinions - thoughts or helpful hints - because i don't get it.

Chicago Suburbs
posts: 2,364
reviews: 19
1. Re: Value for the $$ -Don't understand the attraction of Dells

There are plenty of chain motels within a half hour of the Dells.

Illinois
posts: 128
reviews: 61
2. Re: Value for the $$ -Don't understand the attraction of Dells

Yup and they are overpriced too.....More money for a Best Western, Hilton Garden Inn or AmericanINN than in 10 areas of the country that I checked. Also - just read reviews from the last 2 weeks - all at different hotels - chain and non chain. A few Quotes:

"the room smelled musty"

"the people at the front desk told me I should not have misplaced my key"

"Hotel staff said - Sorry you are not happy, we have been doing business here for many years seems to be working for us"

"food was not good on the buffet and had few choices for kids"....

Just sayin....

Chicago Suburbs
posts: 2,364
reviews: 19
3. Re: Value for the $$ -Don't understand the attraction of Dells

Funny, I found a couple of Choice Hotels within 15 minutes of the Dells for $80 a night. Do you think that's overpriced?

The occasional bad review does not mean a hotel is bad. Any reasonably priced hotel will have a handful of unfavorable reviews.

Illinois
posts: 128
reviews: 61
4. Re: Value for the $$ -Don't understand the attraction of Dells

I found $80 per night on 5 star cruises, in Vegas, and in New York City. Again, WHY would I see value in getting ripped off and staying at 2 star hotels in the Dells?

Iowa
posts: 1,331
reviews: 334
5. Re: Value for the $$ -Don't understand the attraction of Dells

I guess if I hated a place that badly, I'd stay in a town nearby and drive in each day for the dance competition:-) .

We come to the Dells just for a weekend, so it's never come even close to what our Disneyworld vacations cost. We like the Dells; it's only a three hour drive for us and the kids love the attractions and waterparks.

We've stayed at Great Wolf and Wilderness resorts; and had a great time at both of them. Our room was very clean, and we found the waterparks to be very clean as well. Which resort were you not happy with?

Some of the attractions in the Dells are a rip off, IMO. Ripley's comes

to mind. It's easy enough to skip the things you don't think are worththe money. And, there are some attractions that are worth the cost, IMO.

Milwaukee
Destination Expert
for Milwaukee
posts: 8,959
reviews: 63
6. Re: Value for the $$ -Don't understand the attraction of Dells

Click on the link to Wisconsin Dells hotels on the left side of this screen and you can find the highest rated hotels by trip advisor members. There are some that get good reviews and they are not all expensive places.

As far as the price, that would be the economic principal of supply and demand. Lots of people want to vacation in the Dells, so there is heavy demand for lodging. Try finding a reasonably priced hotel in Chicago.

My suggestion is to either pick one of the higher rated hotels or look in towns away from the Dells like Portage, Mauston, Reedsburg or Sauk City, even Madison.

Edited: 11:28 pm, February 02, 2013
Illinois
posts: 128
reviews: 61
7. Re: Value for the $$ -Don't understand the attraction of Dells

Thanks keen. I have looked around,and not staying is probably the most appropriate consumer comment. I understand that it is nor "all bad" but I really did have an issue with the way the Kalahari and other resorts require "guests" to pay up front. The only other hotels I have heard doing thus are the unclassy nap hotels...I guess as long as people are willing to do that and pay the inflated prices it wont change.

Illinois
posts: 128
reviews: 61
8. Re: Value for the $$ -Don't understand the attraction of Dells

Thanks kren. I have looked around,and not staying is probably the most appropriate consumer comment. I understand that it is nor "all bad" but I really did have an issue with the way the Kalahari and other resorts require "guests" to pay up front. The only other hotels I have heard doing thus are the unclassy nap hotels...I guess as long as people are willing to do that and pay the inflated prices it wont change.

Illinois
posts: 128
reviews: 61
9. Re: Value for the $$ -Don't understand the attraction of Dells

Przyk I see your point, although being a saavy traveler I have found great deals on hotels in cities like Chicago or NYC. Again, not staying is probably the most appropriate consumer comment. Just wanted to start some discussion about price vs value. I dont think a resort area should hold its customers hostage ...look at Disney and during these rough economic times they position themselves in a way that even economy travelers get a good value. They dont take half the price of your vacation up front either.

Milwaukee
Destination Expert
for Milwaukee
posts: 8,959
reviews: 63
10. Re: Value for the $$ -Don't understand the attraction of Dells

You are correct that you can sometimes find Hotwire, Priceline or other deals in big cities, but that's harder to do at busy times. The Dells vacation season is short. They don't have much time to make their money.

You suggest that if people stop going, which we all know won't happen, they would have to change their deposit policies. Maybe the deposit policies are a result of being burned in the past. When you have a short season to make money you can't afford empty rooms because of cancellations.

As far as Disney, I don't think you find discounts on rooms at Disney, do you? Maybe in the Orlando area you can find cheap rooms, but not at Disney. What does Disney charge for a one day pass? You really want to say that Disney tries to make it easy on budget travelers?

I did not know you are looking at resorts like Kalahari. Don't all guests get water park passes included in the room price? If you want to play you're going to have to pay, no getting around that.