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“My thumb is mostly up” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Chula Vista Resort

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Chula Vista Resort
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   2501 River Road, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #42 of 80 Hotels in Wisconsin Dells
Sparta, Wisconsin, United States
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“My thumb is mostly up”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

We've stayed at several different water parks in the Dells over the years but most recently decided to go with Chula Vista because it had the best available price for a room with a kitchenette. We stayed in the Golf Villas (D on the map) and only used the indoor park (Spring Break).

The good: (1)The kitchenette was a really nice kitchen. Granite counter tops, full stove/oven & refrigerator/freezer, dishwasher, and all of the dishes, utensils, baking and cooking gear you would likely need. (2)The water park water was WARM...and I'm a total wimp when it comes to this. I like my water warm! (3)The slides were great, even for older children.

The not so good: (1)The mattresses...horrible. Thank goodness we were all tired. (2)The young children's area--pretty small and very crowded the day we were there. If you have only young children (5 and under), I would go with Kalahari or Wilderness or even one of the smaller hotels like Grand Marquis. (3)The food prices were high. You're out of the main Dells area, so I think they know they've got you (but, hey...pack something from home and use that awesome kitchen). (4) Cold hallways! Wouldn't be a big deal if you weren't wearing your swimsuit and light attire while waiting for the shuttle, but you will be if it's winter. (5)You either need to walk outside to get to the water park or take the shuttle. The shuttle is nice, but doesn't seem to run on a regular schedule. You call when you want it and it comes when it gets there (might be 5 minutes, might be 15).

All in all, pretty comparable to Kalahari, but I think The Wilderness is still my favorite resort overall.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 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 (286)
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English first
Holland, Michigan
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

We have stayed at Chula Vista in the past (2012 and prior) and enjoyed the lovely villas, and clean waterpark. Unfortunately, our most recent stay was not all at what we were used to. (I am not one to complain, generally I don't leave reviews unless they are positive). Our experience at the waterpark was so awful, I am concerned about the safety and health of guests that use it. I would give the Chula Vista a rating of 1 (terrible) based on the waterpark, but the villas/condos are still above average for the most part, so I raised my rating to a 2 (poor).

The line for check in was out the lobby door (as was the line for the elevators for those staying in the condos) so the wait was about 1 hour to check in (we checked in at 5pm). When I did finally get up to the desk, there was no apology for the wait, nor a friendly smile or greeting. Our villa was ready, but not nearly as clean as when we've stayed in the past. The carpet was worn and stained, the sheets on the bed were untucked (there was no fitted sheet, just a flat sheet on the bottom partially tucked in) and when I tried to tuck the sheet under the mattress I discovered a large blood stain (larger than my hand) which is why I assume they didn't tuck in the sheet (to try to cover the stain). Yuck! For "luxury" accomodations, I'd expect bottles of soap or shampoo. But no, there is only one dispenser of soap (on the wall) in the bathroom, and one refillable dispenser of shampoo attached to the wall in the shower. So you can't wash your hands in the sink in the kitchen (which you will definitely want to do when you return from the water park).
The water park was almost unbearable. It was so filthy and crowded, if we hadn't taken our kids there especially for the water park, we would not have stayed. The pools and hot tub were so full of people, everyone was touching (as in packed in closely). The air temp and water was cold. Except for the hot tub, which was warm, but so chlorinated that everyone started coughing upon entering from the powerful fumes, we couldn't even enter the hot tub because the chemicals were too overwhelming (which I assume is from some of the other reviews I've read of people getting sick with diarrhea after going to the water park, which I did not read until after our stay, or we would've canceled our reservation). Walking barefoot in the water park was disgusting, the floors were slimy and covered with spotty black mold. It was awful. I wish I had taken pictures so I could document how crowded and filthy the entire place was. I had to leave to go back to the villa (my husband stayed with the kids because he didn't have the heart to tell them they couldn't stay). They just stayed up on the 2nd level where the water slides are and didn't use the pools or kid splash area at all. (The entire floor of the kiddy pool was actually covered with a thin brown slime, I couldn't believe people were letting their children play in it).

We also planned to go to Big Moe's for dinner the first night. We were told they are open year around now, so we walked over to have dinner after checking in, and found out Big Moe's is closed Mon & Tues, which no one told us when we asked about dinner reservations (and it's not posted on the menu or any of the printed material throughout the resort). Our reservation included the breakfast buffet, which is okay, but nothing special.

I couldn't imagine what happened to the Chula Vista since we'd absolutely loved it every time we've stayed before now (I had always recommended it to friends who want to visit the Dells) until we returned home and I started reading some of the other reviews. It sounds like Chula Vista has started selling day passes (so people not staying at the resort can go to the water park) and also offering passes to other hotels guest (such as the AmericanInn or Travel Lodge). I don't know how they intend to run a "luxury" hotel with a water park that's packed with guests from other hotels. Why spend the money to stay at the Chula Vista? We won't be.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Dan H, General Manager at Chula Vista Resort, responded to this review, April 10, 2013
Dee_and_Jay_98,

Thank you for being with us on your recent visit and we appreciate the feedback. I do offer my personal apology that we did meet your expectations and that we did not deliver in all aspects of your stay.
I do hope that you may be able to give us another opportunity in the future.

Regards,

Dan Hoppe
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

We did have a great time at this resort except on the last day. We chose to go with the "all inclusive package". We went for 3 days and 2 nights "all inclusive". Apparently the "all inclusive is only "half inclusive" on the last day. You can get into the water park all day however it excludes the food. We found this out the hard way when out kids went to get a drink and they said the wrist band expired. This was very confusing since we were under the impression from the website that it was for all three days and 2 nights. We were disappointed when no where in fine print it says the package is not for the third day. When we brought this to the attention of the staff they didn't seem to care.
The upside to our trip was that the chef took every precaution and went out of the way to help us identify eggs in food products since our son is highly allergic to eggs. He even went as far as to make him a special breaded chicken that was awesome! The food at the resort was great and everyone had a great time too- until our surprise (1/2 inclusive package) Unfortunately we will not return to this resort.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dan H, General Manager at Chula Vista Resort, responded to this review, April 10, 2013
Chknuout,

We appreciate you taking the time to provide feedback for us during your stay. I am glad to see the culinary team was able to assist your family we are more than happy to accomodate you.
As for the All Inclusive pacakge you should have had full access to the package content up unitl 11:30 the day of check out and admission to the waterpark for the entire day.
I hope that we will see you again, in the future and have safe travels

Regards,

Dan Hoppe
General Manager
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Lloydminster, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

Great resort that I'd definitely go back to for either a romantic vacation or a family vacation! Very spacious and clean rooms! Lots of activities to do on the resort property, (lot's of waterparks indoor and outdoor). Food in all the resteraunts were fantastic; I didn't try the steakhouse as it was a little out of my price league, but I wish I could have.

Room Tip: Keep the condo rentals in mind when traveling with more than a few people -- they give that much nee...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Dan H, General Manager at Chula Vista Resort, responded to this review, April 10, 2013
Janine S,

Great to see everyone had such a wonderful time !!! As you stated the resort is perfect for any occasion wiht our various accommodation selections and activity selections.
Thank you for taking the time to provide us feedback and we look forward to being of service to you in the future.

Regards,

Dan Hoppe
General Manager
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Wisconsin
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

We had a family reunion at Chula Vista and several of us stayed in their 3 bedroom villa. It had a full kitchen, living room, three bedrooms and three bathrooms. We felt like we saved a ton of money by bringing food and throwing together meals. The room was also perfect for playing games and socializing. It had a hot tub which kept the little ones entertained while adults could chat. It made for a great family reunion. The waterpark itself had a lot to do with a number of slides and play areas. The only downside was that it was pretty crowded and we had to wait close to 30 minutes to get down some of the slides. I would recommend Chula Vista if you have a large group of people going who would like to be together. I wish more places had accommodations that would allow multiple families to hang out together comfortably in the rooms.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Dan H, General Manager at Chula Vista Resort, responded to this review, April 10, 2013
Sterny,

Wonderful to see you and your family had such an awesome time for your family reunion.
The condos do lend themselves for family gatherings and a place to connect.
We are glad you made us a part of this years renuion and we hope to see you again in the future.

Regards,

Dan Hoppe
General Manager
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Milwaukee, WI
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2013

After reading other reviews, I wondered if I was going to regret choosing Chula Vista for our Spring Break mini getaway. We arrived assuming we'd be waiting in some horrendous line for an hour. This was just not the case! We walked right up to the desk at 8pm and began to register. I asked if it was possible to get a room with a river view. She said there were not any available in our category and went back to check with the manager. The manager came back and approved an upgrade to a river view room in a higher price category for the same rate as we booked for, which I found to be outstanding customer service!

Even though it was a weekend and still spring break, the waterpark was not unbearably crowded (and trust me - I hate crowds). We didn't wait more than 10 minutes for any ride - usually less than 3 if anything. The Flyin' Mayan was shut down for repairs on and off throughout the weekend but we rode on it at least 5 times while it was running. Jungle Adventure also shut down early on Saturday but we had also been on that already. My girls can spend hours in the lazy river too. They always say it's the best lazy river they've ever been in. Never had a problem finding a tube when we wanted. It was very cold, but that makes the hot tub that much nicer afterwards.

As for the room itself....our view was amazing from the 5th floor balcony. The décor was dated but it was clean and served us fine. The wallpaper patches in many places were um...interesting. It was an old TV but no problems with its' operation. We had a Wi-Fi signal the entire time in our room

We dined at the Market Fresh Buffet, which was decent, and at Big Moe's which was quite good.

All in all it was a great trip and we are glad that we didn't change our plans based on reading negative reviews.

Room Tip: Ask for a river view and for a higher floor
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Dan H, General Manager at Chula Vista Resort, responded to this review, April 10, 2013
Elvisthedog,

Glad you were with us on your recent getaway to the Dells. We appreciate your feedback and happy to see you had a memorable stay. We will be updating our rooms later this spring and we will keep you updated on the progress.
We hope to see you soon and have safe travels

Regards,

Dan Hoppe
General Manager
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Cokato
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013 via mobile

We recently stayed in a two bedroom condo. It was super clean and new. We walked through the tunnel to the waterpark. That was a big concern of mine to be warm during the to/from waterpark in winter. Our kids really liked the waterpark as well. If I had any wishes I would make the water and air warmer in the waterpark. We had a wonderful stay!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Dan H, General Manager at Chula Vista Resort, responded to this review, April 10, 2013
Mary S,

Our team members appreciate you taking the time to provide such positive feedback on your recent journey. I am glad to see that your stay was memorable and I hope we can be of assistance in the future. Have safe travels

Regards,

Dan Hoppe
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chula Vista Resort

Address: 2501 River Road, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
Location: United States > Wisconsin > Wisconsin Dells
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#13 Top resorts Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Chula Vista Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 620
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chula Vista Resort and Waterpark is a complete resort experience in Wisconsin Dells with over 200,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor waterparks. Luxury comes standard in all of our guest rooms, suites and condominiums. Bring your clubs and challenge yourself on our 18-hole golf course. At Chula Vista, we invite you to laugh harder, splash bigger, stay longer and vacation better at Wisconsin Dells' most complete family resort! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chula Vista Hotel Wisconsin Dells
Chula Vista Theme Hotel
Chula Vista Wisconsin Dells
Hotel Chula Vista Theme

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