We live locally and often take weekends or overnights at a water park with the kids to get away during the year. Previously, we had always stayed at a nearby Holiday Inn, but this week decided to branch out. I'm SO glad we did - the kids and I had the best mini-vacation ever!
Let me start off mentioning the only negatives in our experience so they are out of the way:
* The 'locker rooms' for the water park were the only thing I have any real complaint about. Toilet stalls with a few lockers added (that don't even lock - bring your own padlock!) the floor is dirty and soaked and there are no benches. You change in a toilet stall. I witnessed several elderly and disabled customers really struggling to change into swim gear without a place to sit down and NO privacy, the entire room is open to the hallway every time the door opens.
* Despite having a large and very pleasant restaurant area with plenty of open space and a buffet, staff seemed to have trouble organizing breakfast during the 'rush' at about 9am and there was almost an hour's wait.
* There's wi-fi everywhere in the hotel, but it's tricky to log into (I had to try several to find the one connected with the hotel,) slow, and drops out pretty often.
---- Pro Tip! The showers work fine and are clean, but were designed by either idiots or aliens and cannot be turned on by normal humans. Here's how you work them, so you don't have to call the front desk like a crazy person, like I did: The outer dial turns the water on and off. The inner dial controls temperature. Get the water how you like it and on full blast. Then reach down to the SPOUT, where the water is coming out in the bathtub, and feel around the edge for a ring. Pull it down, and water will come out of the shower. Possibly the least intuitive design ever! ----
OK. So, there's the things that bothered me.
Now, for the things that THRILLED me, and there were plenty!
* The price was outstanding! I paid at least $20 less than I would have for our 'usual' hotel down the road, and we got a much bigger room and a better experience for it.
* The room! We opted for the 'kid's room' and it is HUGE, a three-room suite that's like an apartment. We squealed when we saw it. Everything is up to date and extremely clean, and the bed was so comfortable I wish I could have slept in it for a week. It was absolutely lovely. I wish every hotel was this nice.
* Our room was super quiet. We were there over spring break, when the hotel was sold out, and we didn't hear a sound all night.
* The water park! Wow - this park is fabulous! It's bigger than others in the metro area, with three 'grownup' slides that are MASSIVE, including a large toilet-bowl type twister. It has a lazy river, and a very large kid's splash zone. The kid's area is nice because it not only has stuff for toddlers, it has slides and climbers that are fun for the 4-6 year olds. I have a 9 and 11 year old, and they could have been happy in this water park for days and days without any trouble. It's fantastic.
* One evening when we were there, there was an 'incident' in the pool, by which I mean someone did not wear a swim diaper, if you catch my drift. The lifeguards immediately and professionally cleared both pools and shut everything down to be cleaned. While my kids were bummed about losing a bit of swim time, this gave me enormous confidence in their water quality.
* The arcade is large, clean, and the machines all work.
* The food at both the restaurant and the pool concessions stand was excellent. Everything was served at the right temperature, there was a good variety, and waitstaff were professional.
* Everyone we encountered from the front desk, to housekeeping, to food service, to the lifeguards, were friendly and helpful. Basically all the staff were super nice.
CONCLUSION: This hotel is not right on the interstate or downtown, it's true, but it's only what? Maybe a 5 minute drive from 94. It is WELL worth your time to book here instead of anywhere else. It's so much more spacious, comfortable, and has so much more fun stuff to offer than other hotels! You have to try it, it's a really great stay. We won't go anywhere else from now on!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to the Holiday Inn & Wild Woods Waterpark Hotel. Home of one of the largest Indoor Water parks in Minnesota! Our full-service hotel is a new facility located minutes from Graco, Great River Energy, Albertville Premium Outlets, Lowes, Cabelas, Cargill, Siemens, Sci-med and Ramsey Industrial Park. Our guest rooms are well-outfitted for the traveling executive, including a spacious and well-lit work area, and Corporate QUIET Floor. Our on site lounge and restaurant, the Mississippi Valley Grill and Bar, is a great place to relax and enjoy dinner in a Northwoods atmosphere. In-room dining is available 7 days a week. The waterpark takes you back to the River Town of old. With three water slides, a lazy river, basketball water court and a child's play area, there is fun and variety for all ages. The waterpark is open daily in SUMMER. WATER PARK HOURS: SEPTEMBER through MAY: Mon. Closed, Tues. Closed, Wed. Closed, Thursday 4pm-9pm, Fri. 4pm-10pm, Sat. 8am-10pm, Sun. 8am-9pm. Call for availability we are open for some school vacations! The conference/ meeting area features 7 breakout rooms with multiple room combinations and up to 120 people for general sessions, parties and/ or receptions. Our constant caring team is empowered and dedicated to providing you with a memorable experience. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Minneapolis Nw-Elk River Hotel Elk River
- Holiday Inn Otsego Mn
- Otsego Water Park