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“Nice looking hotel, but little things missing” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Ramada Tropics Resort / Conference Center Des Moines

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Ramada Tropics Resort / Conference Center Des Moines
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   5000 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines, IA 50322 (Formerly Holiday Inn Merle Hay)   |  
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Ranked #16 of 46 Hotels in Des Moines
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Nice looking hotel, but little things missing”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2011

We spent the night in room 217 while attending the fair. The rooms have been nicely redone and the beds were comfortable. However, began to find little problems. There were no wash cloths in the room. The microwave didn't work. The plug to the hair dryer in the bathroom had scorch marks and was partially melted. And I found a bug in my bed in the morning. I tried to capture it to take to the desk, but it got squished. Three days later, our son has bite marks. No idea if it was a bed bug, but the other problems show a lack of good maintenance and service.

I reported most of this on checking out. The lady was sympathetic about the wash cloths. We didn't call for some since by that point we were undressed and showering and didn't want to answer the door, but it is still odd for a room not to have wash cloths. I had figured out that the plugs for the fridge and microwave could not be in at the same time because they blocked the other outlet. A maintenance man said it should have been plugged into the microwave -- not exactly confidence inspiring. And in all of that, the blow dryer and bug issue got sidetracked.

Oh, and the water in the resort pool is definitely chilly. Our son barely lasted 45 minutes.

So it is a beautiful place, but lacking the small things that count.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JOHNNYXED, General Manager at Ramada Tropics Resort / Conference Center Des Moines, responded to this review, December 10, 2011
Thank you for your feedback. We have turned the heat up to 87 degrees in our pool areas. Not sure why there were no wash cloths in your room as our standard room is suppose to have 4 complete sets. Sounds like a housekeeper error. I apologize for that. Our refridgerator / microwaves in all our rooms are "one plug" combination sets, and are not meant to be plugged individually into the wall socket. When using the microwave, power to the refridgerator is momentarily diverted to power the microwave.

We have a professional pest control service spray our hotel monthly. We are also proactive with the nationwide bed bug problem. We have our rooms scanned by a trained canine to help us keep bed bugs out of our hotel. These canines are now being used in hospitals etc and can be very effective in eliminating any problems before they get started.

Thank you for choosing our hotel and I promise we will continue to work on the little things...
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1,219 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (72)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Des Moines, Iowa
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2011

There's a reason this hotel is rated 2nd out of all the hotels in Des Moines. I'm surprised it's not first honestly. We LOVED this hotel! We came to the area for the State Fair and ended up staying longer because our little one couldnt get enough of the water park. It has tons for the kids to do, is very clean, well staffed and was maintained very well. They always had fresh towels ready for everyone and kept everything squeegied to prevent slipping. Also the little Tiki Bar by the pool was very convenient. And that's just the pool area.

As for the hotel room itself, it was very clean and smelled great. They provided tons of soft pillows and the sheets were neatly pressed and very clean as well. The fridge and microwave area was perfect for making little meals in the room and had no problems. The bathroom shower was beautifully tiled instead of having a bathtub/shower which I ways feel is kind of gross. It also had a large mirror perfect for getting ready in the morning.

Also a large bonus for pet owners - they offer pet rooms for only $10 extra! That's unheard of! And the room that we stayed in that was classified as puppy friendly was immaculate. There was no way of telling that it was a pet room at all (i.e. - no smell or damage). Some hotels have issues when they allow pets, but this hotel staff keeps everything so clean and new.

I am a complete neat freak and for once I didn't feel like there was a need to Lysol everything. I am usually pretty tough on hotels and if this place can pass my inspection, that's saying something lol.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JOHNNYXED, General Manager at Ramada Tropics Resort / Conference Center Des Moines, responded to this review, December 10, 2011
I certainly appreciate passing your inspection! I feel we have a hard working housekeeping department and am very pleased when we get a comment like yours...

We will continue to work hard and hope to see you in the future...

Thank you for choosing our hotel...
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Cedar Rapids
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2011

we spent two nights 8/17 and 8/18 also while in town for a state fair visit. The room was wonderful in my opinion with fridge and microwave which I had not expected. The waterpark was somewhat of a bore for my kids (8, 7 and 4) and they really do make you sign a long detailed piece of paperwork for the waterpark. I didn't bring my glasses but signed anyway. The only thing my girls got in trouble for was walking through the hot tub. Our stay was during the workweek so it was not packed at all. The pool water itself was way too cold for me. I tried a slide once and that was it. Hot tub for me.

We did not try the restaurant or bar so can't comment but I do know that they don't allow you to take your own food or beverages to the pool area. That was a bummer to me but I lived with it.

Our room had two beds which were comfortable and included many pillows. We did order two additional blankets which took about 45 minutes to arrive which seemed adequate to me. We were a family of 5, one 19 year old, 8 year old, 7 year old and 4 year old and they let us stay in the same room. I really appreciated that as a lot of places would make us rent two rooms which is ridiculous with small kids.

I don't know if I would return here personally as we live in Cedar Rapids IA about 2 1/2 hours from the Dells for a better waterpark experience but it was definitely worth a try. We have recently stayed at Chase Suites in West Des Moines and the Holiday Inn next door and all were fine hotels. Chase Suites had a "FREE" breakfast in the lobby so a plus (savings) for me.

Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
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JOHNNYXED, General Manager at Ramada Tropics Resort / Conference Center Des Moines, responded to this review, December 10, 2011
Thank you for choosing our hotel. We have bumped all our pool water to 87 degrees. Hope we have another opportunity to serve you in the future...
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Iowa
Top Contributor
151 reviews 151 reviews
99 hotel reviews
Reviews in 72 cities Reviews in 72 cities
115 helpful votes 115 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2011

We have a 6,8, and 10 year old and they loved it! They complained a couple of times that they were cold but for the most part they had a blast. My husband and I were chilly in the waterpark. The water was quite a bit colder than most waterparks we've been to and so we didn't swim or slide a whole lot. The waterpark is small but most are compared to Wisconsin Dells. Our room was very nice and I can not complain about a thing with our room, the cleanliness of the entire place, or the customer service. The Tiki Bar was great and I asked the bar tender to make my drink strong (my 1 and only thank you very much) and it was GREAT! The restaurant was very good. Our supper and breakfast was excellent. We will be back again if we are in the area and the kids need a waterpark fix. Hopefully next time they'll have the water temperature 5-8 degrees warmer so I don't turn blue. Ooohh...1 more complaint! I wish people (other guests) were a little less loud, rude, and a little more considerate. Our stay would have been much nicer if all of the other little angels (brats) staying at the hotel were a little better behaved, quieter, and listened to the life guards! I watched 1 life guard grab a tiny kid out the the deep end and save her from drowning. Where were her parents? She was like 3 years old and all by herself. Parents...be responsible for your offspring and teach them a little something!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JOHNNYXED, General Manager at Ramada Tropics Resort / Conference Center Des Moines, responded to this review, December 10, 2011
Thank you for sharing your thoughts regarding your stay. I have bumped all of our pool water to 87 degrees so it should make it more comfortable for all. I also appreciate the comment regarding our life guards. We too stress the importance of parents watching their kids, especially the non swimmers like a 3 year old. Although we do have pool guards, we ask that parents are the main safe guards, my people are there to assist the parents, not replace them...

Thank you for choosing our hotel for some fun. We want you to visit us again so we will continue to work hard to get ready for your next visit...
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Mount Vernon, Iowa
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2011

We stayed at the Ramada 1 night while enjoying the Iowa State Fair. We got there at 5 p.m. and the waterpark was packed with guests and a birthday party. My boys are 13 and 9 and enjoyed the water while hubby and I enjoyed a drink at the Tiki bar. The boys complained about an hour into our stay that the park was boring, but we sent them back and they enjoyed it for another hour. So if your kids are older than 6 or 7 the waterpark may not be as big a deal for them. They did get up and go back to the pool first thing in the morning when it opens.

My only real complaint is that you are asked to sign a big form about waterpark rules. One of the rules is that no kids in the hot tub after 7:30 p.m. I was looking forward to that. The rule was not enforced at all. The hot tub was packed with young kids (with their parents- mind you) and none of the staff made any effort to ask them to keep the spa for the adults. When we finally found room we did get to sit, but it was not very relaxing. Minor issue, but an annoyance anyway.

We did have a toilet that was not working correctly when we got there, but a call to the front desk and they sent the maintenance crew up right away, and by the time we got back to our room our toilet was fixed.

All in all a good stay. Would recommend to families with younger kids, or older kids knowing what you're getting before you get there.

We had a pool side room on second floor and couldn't hear the waterpark at all once our door was closed.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woodbury, Minnesota
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2011

I stayed here on business. The hotel is clean and has a nice restaurant on site. It has a breakfast and luch buffet that is reasonably priced, or you can order off the menus. It has several pools/slides with a pirate theme. The pool area is supervised and it looks like the kids and adults were enjoying themselves in the pool area. There is also a game room.
There are many fast food restaurants nearby and it is conveniently located off the interstate.

Room Tip: If you want a quiet room, avoid rooms near the indoor pool
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Iowa
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2011

I stayed at the Ramada Tropics Resort and Conference Center a couple days ago with my 3 boys ages 15, 4, and 1 and my Sister-in-Law's family. We were able to get the last 2 rooms available and the front desk made sure our rooms were right next to each other. Not always easy to do in a full hotel. The rooms are nicely done and have a refrigerator and microwave. The bathrooms are nice, but do not have a tub. The bathroom also has a pocket door, which I didn't really like. The water park is nice and has pools and slides for all ages. All the kids had fun! There is also a nice little bar located by the water park. Overall, we will be returning because you can't beat the price for a hotel with indoor water park!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ramada Tropics Resort / Conference Center Des Moines

Address: 5000 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines, IA 50322 (Formerly Holiday Inn Merle Hay)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Iowa > Des Moines
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:
#8 Business Hotel in Des Moines
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Ramada Tropics Resort / Conference Center Des Moines 3*
Number of rooms: 166
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Also Known As:
Ramada Tropics Hotel Des Moines
Ramada Hotel Des Moines
Des Moines Ramada
Ramada Des Moines
Ramada Tropics Resort / Conference Center Des Moines Iowa

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