We stayed in a Junior Suite at Chula Vista from July 11 - July 16. There were five in my group - two adults, two children (ages 9 and 6) and one infant. Overall, we had an excellent experience and would gladly return. (I'm surprised at some of the other comments posted by people who were there at the same time.) That having been said, here are my comments:
Construction - The hotel is undergoing some MAJOR renovations which have left things a bit of a mess. All "public" areas were clean - except the muddy parts of the landscaping, which really got messy when it rained. I feel they should have told me about the construction when I booked my room and should have even considered giving guests a break on rates during construction. While I paid for a room with a wooded view - and did have a spectacular view of the Upper Dells River and the surrounding woods - my balcony overlooked several large pieces of construction equipment that roared to life by 7:30 every morning except Sunday. We were on the 4th Floor, we had our windows closed when we slept, and we're early risers anyway - but I can see how this would bother other guests. We were - it seemed - always walking through/past some kind of work being completed - be it on the landscaping, the coffee shop, or the underground tunnel.
Room - Our room was just what was promised. The Junior Suites are larger than a standard hotel room with a half wall separating the beds from the "sitting area." While it was obviously an older room, it was very clean. The surround tub and ceramic tile in the bathroom looked new. The spreads/blankets/sheets were clean. The only real detraction from the appearance of the room was the torn wallpaper border along the top of the half wall. My only issue with the layout of the suite was that the air conditioning unit was in the "sitting area" and rather loud. (Not so loud that you couldn't sleep - more like a white noise machine.) However, the only television in the room was on the corner of the dresser by the beds. To watch television from the sitting area after my kids were in bed, I would have had to either turn off the air (it was in the 70's at night when we were there) or turn the TV up so loud as to risk waking them. Our patio door worked well, the screen was intact, and the balcony also looked recently rebuilt/redone and had two white deck chairs. The Internet service was a bit of an issue - only the South Tower is wired for Internet access. (The new condos are not - why anyone would build a hotel in this day without Internet access is baffling.) Our room *did* have wireless access - but we had a hard time picking it up. (Maintenance came to help us - and he came very quickly and was more than polite and pleasant.) Even once our computer was online, the signal strength was never better than "low." (We work online, so this was important to us.)
Service - The service was excellent. We never ate in any of the restaurants, but the staff at the front desk was pleasant at every encounter. (You have to get new wristbands for the waterpark at the desk every morning.) While housekeeping did skip our room on our first day there - we were in the room at their first pass and they never came back after we left - the housekeepers I spoke to were very pleasant. The only non-English speaking staff we met were the lifeguards/waterpark staff. Actually, it's not fair to say that - most spoke at least passable English and some spoke quite well, just with an accent. I liked, too, that their nametags listed their home countries. And - it's not that Chula Vista is the only place hiring so many foreign workers - it's the whole Dells area. We spoke to a waitress at a restaurant in town who said that there are so many jobs in the Dells for the summer and so few Americans willing to spend the summer in the Dells working that they have to bring in foreign workers to staff the hotels, waterparks, and restaurants. Many are on college work programs. We actually enjoyed the chance to explain to our girls where the staff was from.
Waterparks - We had a wonderful time at both the indoor and outdoor waterparks. The newly opened Lost Rios indoor waterpark was big enough to thrill my daredevils but small enough that we could sit and watch them do almost everything. Even if they were out of our sight for a minute, they had to pass right by us to get to the next thrill. One of the new slides was already closed for what a guard told me were design issues - riders were bouncing off the walls. But everything else inside was great fun. The complimentary beach towels were a wonderful bonus, and they even had staff who roamed the place picking up wet towels. Two complaints - First, there are not enough chairs to accommodate even a moderate crowd. (Of course, if a family of five wouldn't save five chairs that they don't even use because they're out playing, it might not be so bad. Taking a chair or two for towels/bags and a place to rest is one thing - but I sat amid a sea of "saved" chairs that no one ever used.) Second, the bathroom has no stalls for changing - only a large community shower room and plenty of bathroom stalls. Presumably, guests arrive dressed to swim having changed in their room, but we arrived before check-in time and used the facilities that day and then we checked out and spent our day at the waterpark before heading home, and it was awkward trying to change clothing without a bench or a private area that wasn't a toilet stall.
The outdoor facilities are nice, too - however, the tallest slides were manned by only one guard - even on the weekend - making guests who wanted to use one set of slides wait for the guard to close the other and come over. Too, there are only about five or six tables with umbrellas outside - even though more than a dozen tables are equipped for them. The one day I had to sit with my baby at a table without an umbrella was not at all fun. Even though his stroller had a sun shade, keeping the stroller in the shade was the only way to keep him cool. And the umbrellas they do have are not weighted down - on our last day there, it was windy - not terribly so, but fairly breezy - and our table kept being pulled over by the wind catching the umbrella. We were disappointed that, though the brochure showed a wave pool, we were told that it would not open until the end of July.
Still - these were really minor inconveniences and we had a wonderful time. The waterparks were never too crowded - even on the weekend days - but I wonder at how well they will be able to accommodate the crowds that will be present when the new buildings are finsihed and the resort is booked to capacity.
We would definitely stay here again.
- Also Known As:
- Chula Vista Hotel
- Chula Vista Hotel Wisconsin Dells
- Chula Vista Theme Hotel
- Chula Vista Wisconsin Dells
- Hotel Chula Vista Theme
- 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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