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“Winter fun.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark

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Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   350 Bell Street, Dubuque, IA 52001   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 17 Hotels in Dubuque
Waterloo, IA
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Winter fun.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

This we go here about once a year during the winter.

PROS: Its not to far from home (2 hr), and we have a lot of fun here with our kids. Last time we went here was over New Years Eve. Two other couples and their kids went with us. We had lots of fun at the waterpark with all of the kids. We went down waterslides, swam in the pool, and relaxed in the hottub. The is a really nice area for toddlers too. The rooms were clean and furnished nicely. Theres a small arcade. There's a nice casino within walking distance and a small ski hill near by (Sundown mtn resort). There's a couple of places in the hotel to eat, and a pretty nice little bar to hang out in.

CONS: Staff could use a little more tack, and the locker rooms were a little messy. Some of the hydraulics of the waterpark werent quite working right, but the kids didnt notice. There was an area of the water park tower that was roped off, perhaps for safety. If a repair is needed I hope it will be completed by the time we return.

Overall this place is good fun. I think the price on rooms was decent for what you get (≈ 110?/night and inluded our four water park passes for basically two days, check and out date).

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
sgeisz, General Manager at Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark, responded to this review, March 26, 2013
Dear CWick,

Thank you very much for your kind feedback regarding your stay with us . We appreciate any and all comments to improve for your next visit with us. We will pass on your pros and more importantly you cons to our management team. In regards to the water park, we are aware of the area that is roped and we will be correcting that issue once the available items are in. Thank you again and we hope to see you again soon.
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380 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (96)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Des Moines, Iowa, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

The Grand Harbor might have garnered a slightly higher review if it weren't for the exorbitant fees we paid.

$228 for one night? 2 to 3 times higher than the prices quoted on most web sites.

We were told it was because it was Spring Break, and demand was high. That should have tipped us off. It felt like price gouging, and the subsequent lack of value in the experience backed that assumption up. Often when places are able to charge high rates due to excess demand, a decrease in services usually follows.

The rooms are average. The type you'd never pay more than $100 a night for. Probably along the Motel 6 price category. $69-$89 would be the most.

Many hotels include some kind of Continental Breakfast these days, at least the Business Traveler friendly ones do. This one does not. Not even a coffee station in the lobby. You do get one of those "mini-coffee makers' in your room with enough coffee grounds to make a good sized sample.

The Water Park is a huge disappointment, and that was the focus of our trip here. I'm sure it is for most. The burn from the over chlorinated water is only out done by its chilly temperature.

A couple of water slides are the main attractions, but you quickly tire of them. The lazy river is the shortest I've ever seen and after a quick one minute circumnavigation of the whole thing, you are left with a few pools and various squirt type devices to try a get at least an hour of amusement before leaving.

We lasted 90 minutes. Our kids were the ones who asked to leave. We were happy to leave as well, but it is the first time we didn't have to drag our kids from any kind of amusement park.

If anything, save some money and stay somewhere else. If you'd like to spend 60 minutes in cold water and burn your eyes at the same time, you can always buy a pass to the Water Park. Kind of pricey compared to value, but you will get an experience to talk about.

The Hotel was average, but I have spent less on a room at the Monte Carlo in Las Vegas for a much nicer experience. And the tub in the room at the Monte Carlo was more enjoyable than the entire Grand Harbor Water Park.

Again, I would not even take the time to review the Hotel if it had been priced fairly. At under $100 I would have felt they delivered that amount of value. But at more than twice that price, the shortcomings of the venue become magnified.

We did get our reservation the day before we arrived and were told we could not cancel less than 24 hours before our reservation without being charged the full rate. Which meant we were charged the moment we hung up the phone.

Looking back, it still would have been a better deal to lose the money, but not have the sour experience.

I would recommend staying here only if you get the room for about $70-$80 tops.

Room Tip: Try to get a River View room. At least you get something calming to look at while you fume about how...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
sgeisz, General Manager at Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark, responded to this review, March 26, 2013
Dear Patrick A,

Thank you for your recent feedback regarding your stay with us. We sincerely apologize that we did not meet your expecatations. As you had mentioned you reserved your room the day before and that will alwasy be higher price especially during one of the busiest times for our resort. It is not price gauging as are hotel is competively priced with other water parks and hotels in our area. However it a known common practice that rates for all hotels that as occupancy fills up the rates will tend to increase as well. It helps us maintain a level of occupancy and to our rate integrity. In regards to the water park, during an extremely heavy bather load such as spring break our pools are maintained to all state guidlines and must be monitored every two hours. When there are an extra amount of bathers the chorine will begin to burn off at high rate which is actually what makes it irritating to the eyes. Nonetheless, we again apologize that you experienced it during your stay. We choose to re-chorinate and shock at the end of the day to correct for the next versus shutting the entire operation down. If we were below levels of course we would have to do this anyway.

Thank you again for your feedback and we will pass all of your concerns on to our management team for further review.
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Dubuque, Iowa
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

My family received a season pass for the Grand Harbor Waterpark this past Christmas. We used it for the first time Sat., and were disgusted with the locker/changing room. My daughter and I had no where to set our dry clothes to keep them dry. There is one short bench, and it was being used by other guests. (And there were only about 6 of us in there, so it wasn't overly crowded.) Instead, I used the baby-changing table to set our clothes on, which I have to imagine, isn't the cleanest place. There were puddles of water and wet, used towels everywhere throughout the room. I realize that is going to happen since it is a water park, but I also believe it could have been picked up and dried up on a more regular basis. I was dismayed that there weren't any separate changing rooms--only bathroom stalls or showers. We had to change in public, while standing on used, wet towels to avoid getting our clothes soaked. (There were also no clean towels available IN the locker room.) We have traveled to the Dells many times, and were looking forward to being able to stay closer to home and enjoy a similar water park experience. Although we didn't expect this to be on the same level as the Dells, for the cost of the Grand Harbor season pass, this was an absolute disappointment and unacceptable. After that experience, I really have no desire to go back, which makes the pass a complete waste of money.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
sgeisz, General Manager at Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark, responded to this review, March 19, 2013
Dear Jodi H. from Dubuque,

Thank you for your recent feedback regarding your visit to Grand Harbor. I sincerely apologize that we did not meet your expecatation. With all most all of our season pass holders they have walked through or visited the water park before their purchase so they know the size of our changing facilities and locker rooms. We our extremely busy in the spring break months and we do clean the faciltiy including the locker rooms daily, however to keep towels and larger benches in the lockers rooms do not fit due to the amount of traffice. Baby statations are also sprayed and disinfected every day. Our clean towels are alwasy kept outside of the locker room as there is no room inside, but we do keep a full bin during operational hours. Thank you again for your feedback it only contributes to our organization to be successfull in the future.
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Marion, Iowa
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

Our hotel room was clean. No complaint there. Front desk staff were friendly and check in from online reservation easy. However, front desk staff needs to look more professional. Their appearance set the tone for me. Piercings through tongue, eyebrows, etc. Greasy hair, clothes not quite formal enough on the females. Looked like they rolled out of bed right before leaving. The gentleman at the front desk was dressed appropriately. They were busy, and did a good job, but did not present for a job at a front desk.

We stayed March 15, just one night. Food from Tony Roma's was fine. I wouldn't seek it as a night out, but it served our needs and was ready for pick up quickly. Bartender that night was so friendly. My concerns are with the waterpark. My kids are 4 and 6 and liked it enough. They love all types of water slides. The lifeguards here do not always watch the waters closely enough. Some look disinterested. They don't exude that professionalism we are used to from life guards at waterparks and pools. When my kids would come down the slides without the tubes, they would get hit by other kids coming down right behind them. But the lifeguard at top was looking over at bottom. Staff should make sure one person exits before another even goes, just like other spots we have been in. Too much chlorine. This sounds like a plus to many, just dump more in to keep it clean. We have a pool though, and when chlorine smells that strong, and you can't even shower it off, it burns your eyes etc, then it is too strong. Both kids came home with rashes all over. I hope it is just from caustic pool water and not something more. Also - why fabric chairs near the pool exit? They were wet at times, leaving one to wonder what the wet substance was, pee from a kid who hit the cool air and did 't make it, or pool water. Either way, go vinyl.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
sgeisz, General Manager at Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark, responded to this review, March 19, 2013
Dear Traveler from Marion,

Thank you for your recent feedback regarding your stay at the Grand Harbor. I sincerely apologize that we were not able to meet your expecatations during your stay. The Grand Harbor has a very solid uniform policy at our front desk for both female and male employees and we will be sure to share your concerns and look into any standard violations during your stay. Our lifeguards are also trained by a very experienced and well-seasoned American Red Cross trainer, and we will also share your experience with them as well. Safety in the water park is a very high priority for us. Thank you again for your feedback as it only assists us in becoming better for your next visit.
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1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013 via mobile

When we arrived there were no luggage racks and the hotel suggested we look around the hotel for one ourselves -- and that they could anywhere. We carried our luggage ourselves. There are only 2 small elevators for this big hotel, so plan to wait a long time for an elevator -- especially during check out. The staff at Tony Roma's was rude and acted put out by our large group. The manager of Tony Roma's was clearly over his head and got very flustered trying to figure out where to seat us -- despite there being many open tables and lots of staff just standing around watching us. In the process he became very angry and rude. The warerpark was mediocre at best. Our family will never stay here again.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
sgeisz, General Manager at Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark, responded to this review, March 4, 2013
Thank you for your recent feedback regarding your stay at the Grand Harbor Resort and Water Park. We sincerey apologize that we did not meet your expectations. During heavy occupied weekends such as teh one during your stay, we experience very large useage of our elevators and luggage carts. We realized that unfortunately some guests do not bring them back to their origin after their use which creates difficulty for the next guest and again we sincerely apologize. As for elevators, we understad during heavier weekends the elevators do remain busy and therefore causing slower that usual floor to floor visists. We attempt to resolve this by operating our service elevator to assist with the additional traffic. We are continuing to address amongst our executive team. We ensure that your service issues with Tony Roma's will be passed on as well. Thank you again for your feedback as it will only assist in improving for future visitors.
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Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

We stayed with our three kids for one night at the Grand Harbor Resort (ages 3,5,8) and had a great experience. We were a bit leery because of reviews but it was close to home and we seriously needed a night away from the snow. For the price (we took advantage of their winter special, it was under $90 for a room and five water park passes) we were happy with what was provided.

Room: The room was a standard king. It has been "renovated", new paint, new bedding and new carpet. While there was wear due to age, the room and the bathroom were clean and everything was in working order. There was a mini-fridge and microwave which was nice.

People: Five stars for customer service, front desk was friendly, we needed blankets for a couch bed and they were literally knocking on our door two minutes after I called. I was talking to the bell man about things to do in Dubuque, after I left he chased me out to the car to tell me about something else he thought our kids would like.

Water park: This was perfect for one night, the kids LOVED it (my husband and I also enjoyed it). I think another day and they would have been bored but we spent 2 hours there one night and two hours the next morning and they were entertained.

The water park is starting to show its age, there is rust, but you can tell they have been working on it. Everything was in working order when we were there and the water was WARM! The lifeguard do leave something to be desired AND they don't provide life jackets, even though they say so on the website.

There is a one-foot pool with a little side and spray ground for the tots. There is a large water structure that includes two good sized water slides, lots of valves to turn on and off and soak people below and a big rope climbing structure. There is a large water slide that requires an tube, a small lazy river, a water basketball area and two hot tubs.

Pros:
Fun activities for kids
Clean rooms
Off season price was very reasonable

Cons:
Water park does need some renovations
Dubuque has little to do for kids during the winter (summer there's a TON of things)...not the hotels fault, just an FYI.

Room Tip: Check out their website, they provide different packages. Some include food, water park passes and a...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sgeisz, General Manager at Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark, responded to this review, March 4, 2013
Thank you traveler from Cedar Rapids on your recent feedback from your stay at the Grand Harbor Resort and Water Park. We appreciate the kind words and hope you choose to stay with us again in the future. The recent renovations you experienced have been enjoyed by our many of guest this year and we glad to have completed the majority of them. We will continue to work on the water park painting and rust removal in betwenn the opening and closing of the water park, however this project is time sensitive and will be on goinng due to the environment of the park. Thank you again and we do hope to see you soon!
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Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

Tony Roma's room service is EXCELLENT. Nothing beats down time with a pulled chicken sandwich and chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich. Room is spacious, clean and quiet. Wonderful, relaxing and rejuvenating. THANKS GRAND HARBOR!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
sgeisz, General Manager at Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark, responded to this review, March 4, 2013
Dear FlyingPig918,

Thank you for your recent feedback on your stay at the Grand Harbor Resort and Water park. We appreciate the kind words on your room service experience with Tony Roma's we will be sure to pass those along. With our recent renovations we hope to continue to offer rooms that help to "rejuvenate" our guests in the future. Thank you again and hope to see you in the future.
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Additional Information about Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark

Address: 350 Bell Street, Dubuque, IA 52001
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Iowa > Dubuque
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge 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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Business Hotel in Dubuque
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark 3.5*
Number of rooms: 193
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Grand Harbor Resort And Waterpark Hotel Dubuque
Grand Harbor Hotel And Waterpark
Grand Harbor Dubuque
Grand Harbor Resort Dubuque
Grand Harbor Hotel Dubuque
Dubuque Grand Harbor
Grand Harbor Resort And Waterpark Dubuque, Iowa

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