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“Great Family Destination” 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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Ranked #7 of 17 Hotels in Dubuque
Midwest
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great Family Destination”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2008

Planned family reunion in Dubuque with the Grand Harbor as the hotel. In all, I don't think we could have found a better spot from the standpoint of location, activities, and facilities. The kids in the family were very happy with the waterpark, game room and Little Squirts club, and parents were happy relaxing in the bar overlooking the waterpark or on the patio out by the river. Could not be in a better location with the casino and other riverfront activities steps away and downtown a short trolley ride or walk away. Everyone had something to do, it was easy to stay in groups or find a quiet moment for yourself, staff was friendly and hotel generally clean and in good condition. However the property would benefit from management that was more in-tune with industry standards in terms of policies. For instance I had to leave people on their own to book rooms. In order to get a group block I was told I would have to guarantee all of the rooms and pay for them up front! Who ever heard of such a thing? At normal hotels you reserve a block, people have until 30 days before the event to book or the block is released, no harm no foul. The rate I had originally been quoted for the group of $109, and even with the weird policy I was going to go ahead and make the booking but when called back was told I couldn't have it because they had gotten too full for that weekend. When people called individually they were given rates of $99! And booking on the website seemed to yield higher rates as well as carried severe change/cancel penalties than calling the hotel direct. Had read reviews on this site about slow elevators, experienced none of that. Food in lounge not great, had a catered brunch for which the food and service were very good. Beds very comfortable, good down pillows and duvet, nice towels. Fireplace suite was spacious, although was told it had a balcony and it did not but view of river very pretty. Generally very happy with the weekend even though during planning process they could have been more helpful and professional.

  • Liked — Location and activities
  • Disliked — Odd management policies
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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518 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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
    4 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 (138)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Albers, Illinois
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2008

The hotel rooms seem a little dated and could use a little redo. They are small if you have children. The waterpark would be ok for 10 yr olds and under. Didn't seem overly exciting and rather drab after awhile. We brought our 1 yr old and she had fun in the 3" section. The ages of the "lifeguards" were scary. If they were in highschool i'd be amazed! The food at the restaurant...hacky! Not the worst I've had, but a lot better if you just go downtown. You can even walk there. Watch your charges on your credit card as well.

  • Liked — The location to downtown.
  • Disliked — The price, the food and the small room
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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ILLINOIS
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2008

This was our 2nd Easter Break trip to Grand Harbor with our 3 girls (5,7,10). Overall, the trip was fairly enjoyable, but nothing was new from a year ago. Room was clean, check in staff friendly. Reasonable at $114 per night. The only part we don't enjoy are the very young people working the Water Squirts actiivities they promote for the kids - a few were very good, most were unprofessional and more concerned with chatting with their friends. Game time the second night consisted of 4 little games in a two hour period, with the gal too busy picking our her favorite songs with her lifeguard friends. The activities were not very organized, and most of what was published in the brochure for spring break they had already run out of! When the room was supposed to be open for activities, no one would be in there. So overall, those activities desparately need some improvement. Again, enjoyable trip but the Been There Done That now applies - if you have not been there, fun 2 night trip for kids likely 10 and under but ONLy if you can get a good deal like we did - not worth any more than that. NOTE: if you don't like pool chemical smell, stay away from this one

Stayed March 2008
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McHenry, IL
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2008

Stayed here for one night for a Saturday night getaway at the end of school: my 12 year old and 10 year old were out, but most schools were still in session. Hotel is easy to see but a little confusing to get to. It is a newer hotel, right on the Mississippi. We had a terrific time. Waterpark is lots of fun if you like slides, water basketball, sprinklers. Probably not so great for older teens looking for thrills or anyone wanting to swim laps. There's also a game room/arcade where we had a lot of fun, including Skeeball. Food is average hotel fare: if you want better, go into town, if you want outstanding gourmet meals, Galena, Illinois is only 30 minutes away. The National Mississippi River museum is right next door: don't miss it. My daughter ranks it in the top 3 vacation things we've ever done. Great shopping in town. If you like antiques (I don't) shop in Galena. Don't miss the Elevator in town. There's also a casino next door: we skipped it.
We went for the waterpark, but the best part of this hotel is the patio. It is right on the Mississippi River with a view of Illinois and Wisconsin that is considered the 3rd best view in the US by USA Today (http://www.usaweekend.com/03_issues/030518/030518springtravel.html) It is a WONDERFUL place to sit, have a beer and some appetizers while taking a break from the waterpark. The only place I've ever been that is comparable is the poolside bar on the ocean in Malta. Sit in a comfortable chair, watch the trains, barges, and boats go by, look at the beautiful bluffs, and soak in the clean Midwest air while drinking Wisconsin beer.
If you're looking for a formal, business-like hotel to spend the night, you can probably find a better location. If you're looking for a true one-day vacation at a very reasonable price this is the place.

  • Liked — Patio
  • Disliked — Breakfast
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Geneseo, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2008

The waterpark was way bigger and quiter that Holiday Inn Waterpark in Amana, Iowa. The hotel let you make carmel apples on Saturdays and they only coast $1.00. The Carmel was so gooey and you also got to pick another topping. The Waterparks slides were awesome. The hotub was very cool too. This is very good waterpark-hotel.

  • Stayed November 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Chicago
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2008

This was a great visit for a family with young kids. It was a decent value for a weekday stay. We were told that it gets crowded on the weekends. The staff were extremely friendly. Give them a raise.

  • Liked — Freidnly staff
  • Disliked — Pricy on the weekend
  • Stayed January 2008
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Cuba City, Wi
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2007

I booked an advertised package after contacting both by phone and by e-mail. I was originally told that the room package was not available, but a manager called back with an offer a bit above the ad price (total was over $200). The package included a room for 2 adults (my husband and me) and 2 children (my 5 year old daughter and her best friend), 4 water park passes, dinner, breakfast, tuck-in with milk and cookies by 2 elves and a little goody bag. Our room was clean and also had a microwave and refrigerator.
The girls and I had some fun in the water park, the staff throughout was fine, and the restaurant was okay (wouldn't go there unless it was part of the deal).
I think we paid too much (husband doesn't swim and girls eat like birds), but don't regret the trip.

Stayed December 2007
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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 Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Business Hotel in Dubuque
#7 Family 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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