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“A budget hotel masquerading as a nice resort” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Wilderness Resort

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Wilderness Resort
511 East Adams Street, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #14 of 75 hotels in Wisconsin Dells
Minnesota
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
“A budget hotel masquerading as a nice resort”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2009

The recession is certainly not hurting this hotel. We took our teenagers during spring break on a Tues.-Thurs. and the hotel was unbelievably packed. But we were prepared for that. We wanted a water park that had lots to offer under one roof so we didn't have to drive around town for fun. This was perfect for that. We never left the hotel except to dine in their restaurants a short drive away. Loved the variety the parks had to offer, but our teens felt there were way too many little kids. We were looking for a good rate, and found one here. But it really is a budget hotel pretending to be a nice resort. The decor is attractive, and it has lots of amenities. But the walls are thin, the hallways loud (don't stay on the 2nd floor- this is the indoor walkway from one end of the place to the other- ask for the 3rd floor on top), and the furnishings are very basic. Our beds were very lumpy and had those horrible sheets that come loose during the night. There was a hole punched in the bathroom door, and one of the metal locks on the main door was broken. It was nice, however to have a microwave and fridge, sofa bed and 2nd television.
The restaurants were fine. We dined in both the Italian one and the steakhouse. Fields was very expensive, but it was not crowded, and was nice to have a tasty, quiet meal away from all the other families.
The staff was fine- we didn't have any high expectations or needs, so this place was fine for families looking for a great water park hotel that doesn't cost a fortune.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (375)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Borderline, WI
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2009

You'll need a vacation after the vacation-
We have been to the Wilderness Resort several times. Everytime we go it just keeps getting bigger abd bigger and more hectic. Everything you do here is an EVENT. The parks are all spaced far apart so to get from one to the other, be prepared to do ALOT of walking, through HOT, crowded hallways. And the staff seemed so unfriendly last time, almost like "go stay somewhere else if ya don't like it, we have plenty who want your room"...The buffet food was super good and had alot of choices but it is spendy, even with the coupons. They just raise the price is what I gather, to make the coupon seem more appealing. And wow, the waterparks are so crowded. You could barely even get a tube when we were there. There was a wait for the tubes, before you even got in line, to wait for the slide...Ridiculous, I think...And yep, they will shuttle you from here to there, and sometimes the shuttles are quick, but it's tiring dragging kids and all their accessories from point A to point B...Oh and did I mention our 2 eight year old boys got STUCK in The Hurricane, the biggest thrill slide they offer...It was frightening and lasted for over 15 minutes. The lifeguard could not even tell us what was happening, she did not speak english. They had to shut off the water (Not at ALL quick enough) and walk down the slide and get our kids out. It was dangerous, if they would have fallen down the chute. No apologies, no nothing..."you boys ok, that's good"...And it was their error. The boys met the height requirements but were too light to make the ride work. The lifeguard at the top should have known better and put 2 more on the raft with them! We will go to The Great Wolf next time. Much more relaxing and intimate and low maintenence. The only perk at Widerness, painting pots at Polka Dot Pots~

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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WI
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2009

This hotel has a lot to offer as far as rides and activities, especially if you have children. All these activities are always packed with children, but the kids don't generally mind squeezing in with everyone else. My major problem with this resort was how loud it was at night. I paid 200 dollars a night for the best room they had at the resort, which included a king size bed and a private whirlpool (which was great). Any time we were in our room we could hear the individuals in both the room next to us and the room above us. This didn't bother me until it was 11pm and I could still hear laughing, screaming, talking, and running in the rooms around us. I wanted my family to get to sleep, but it was impossible with all the noise. Even after calling and complaining the noises continued well past 2am, with a constant running around in the halls on the floor above us (which sounded like it was happening in the room itself). I would think that since this is supposed to be such a great resort that the least they could do is work to damper the sound. Of all the hotels I've stayed in throughout my life, including cheap motels, this place had the thinnest walls of them all. So in conclusion, if you're looking for a fun time for the family (mostly the kids) and plan to spend little time in your room this may be a good choice for you...but if you are planning to relax and get some sleep, I would never recommend staying here.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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ILLINOIS
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2009

With children 13, 8 and 4 plus my husband and myself, it was a good resort that the kids were able to spend their energy! With three waterparks to choose from the kids had a great time. I think it's good for a few days stay only (3-days 2-nights) - otherwise the kids would've grown tired of it. We bought snacks, drinks and dinner outside of the resort (Wal-mart, which was 5 mins away) to save money as I heard the restaurants prices were astronomical! Overall the hotel was good, and I even enjoyed the long walk to and from the waterpark back to our room. I didn't mind too much. I would definitely recommend the place and am thinking about going back for the winter.

Outlet mall is also a good 5 mins away - with great stores to choose from!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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midwest wisconsin
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2009

We arrived on a Friday evening. Check in was easy but crowded. This place is crazy. Neither my husband nor I have a sense of direction and it became very clear that in this place you needed to have one. We actually got so confused walking around Friday night that we needed to go to the front desk and ask for directions to our room! The man at the desk was very nice and extremely helpful. Every employee that we had contact with was great. The water parks themselves were very, very crowded on Saturday. The halls in this place are always packed with people, not very relaxing. There was nothing great about the room itself. It was like a typical 2-star hotel room. We won't go back to Wilderness, it just didn't have that welcoming feeling to us. I felt it to be very hectic and not relaxing. I also didn't feel that any part of the resort was very clean.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Barrie
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2009

We enjoyed a two night stay there, with a 3 bedroom unit in the Glacier Bay wing of the resort. The Room was 5 Star - full kitchen, great furniture, beautiful bathrooms, and a fireplace and a 42 inch LCD TV.

The TV had issues when we arrived and they replaced the next AM.

The Waterparks were good, but I agree with other reviewers that the Wilderness has made a mistake by enclosing all of their slide tubes with insulation, making them very dark. As such my daughters barely wanted to ride the tube rides, which they have enjoyed at other resorts where you could see inside....

The Wild Wate Dome was awsome however, with the glass roof and true midwinter tanning, it was like an artificial beach.

Overall a good getaway, but due to the tubes, I would try somewhere else next time.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2009

Our family, two adults and three children four and under, spent six nights at the Wilderness Resort Properties (specifically the Glacier Canyon Lodge) the last week of August 2008. We chose this week because most kids were getting back to school and we prefer the smaller crowds. Everything worked out perfectly and we saved a little money that week as well.

We booked a two-bedroom deluxe condo. The room was clean and spacious for our family of five. The kitchen was nicely stocked with cups, dishes, cookware and utensils. The bedrooms were comfortable and the living room was clean and modern. We knew in advance that housekeeping would only be doing towel and garbage service daily. Room cleaning and bed linen changes would only be done after the fourth night's stay. We received a room that overlooked the rear of the property, which gave us a serene view of the forest preserve, horse trails and a nice large barbecue area for guests to use. The grounds were very well maintained and clean. The resort was at about half to three quarters capacity, which seemed jut right as far as being able to get chairs at the indoor and outdoor pools as well as getting on all of the rides. Although it was busy, it was not overcrowded. All of the indoor and outdoor pools were open during our entire stay. We cooked all of our meals, with the exception of breakfast, in our room. The local Wal-Mart is about ten minutes away, so it was easy to stock up on food and adult beverages. For breakfast we did the buffet at the Wild Canyon Cafe. The pricing was as expected for a resort and the food was typical of any decent buffet style restaurant. We all enjoyed it and the kids were happy with all of the choices.

As far as all the walking bewtween the different waterparks that a some of the reviewers have complained about, we didn't find it to be a problem. We were in building two of the GC Lodge which is two buildings away from the skywalk leading to the main resort area. Everything is clearly marked and signs directed you on where to go. We actually enjoyed the walking. The kids liked the view from the skywalk and it felt to them like crossing a big bridge across the jungle (the area around the skywalk is wooded with a creek that runs through). All of the pool areas were within ten minutes one way or the other, plus we got to explore parts of the resort we wouldn't have otherwise. We ended up finding a small reasonably priced pottery painting store called Polka-Dot-Pots in the New Frontier section of the resort, just a little past Klondike Kavern, which the kids loved. They painted their pottery (many pre-cast designs and sizes to choose from), which then went into a kiln overnight to be baked, then it was ready the next day for pick up. The kids proudly display their art in their rooms at home. It was good to spend the family time being creative with the kids, something they will remember. Dodge 'Em City, a huge multi-level dry indoor play area, located in the Wild West section of the Wilderness was a big hit with the kids. Unlike the new Theme Park at the Kalahari, which charges guests extra, Dodge 'Em City is free to Wilderness Resort's guests.

Out of all the pools our favorite indoor pool was the Wild Water Dome and our favorite outdoor pool was the Lost World Waterpark, which has the neatest lazy river I have ever seen; it is huge with multi-levels. All of the pool areas were kept at comfortable temperatures, although the indoor pools were humid at times, and provided people of all ages a large variety of things to do and rides to go on. I actullay like the way the Wilderness has everything spread out a little. It gave us something different to look forward to each day.

This was our first stay in the Dells, so we were torn on what resort to book. After looking at the most popular resorts we finally narrowed our choices down to two, the Kalahari and the Wilderness Glacier Canyon Lodge. After spending the week in the Dells we were extremely happy with our choice. We did take the time to visit the Kalahari, which was a short trip just down the road. It was a nice faciity, but laid out tightly and seemed more confined as compared to the Wilderness Properties. The other thing we didn't like about the Kalahari is that it sat right along the highway and had this industrial feel about it. There was no view other than buildings and traffic racing by on the highway. The Glacier Canyon and the Wilderness property felt a little more open and surrounded by nature.

The Sundara Spa was gorgeous and relaxing, a bit expensive, but well worth it. I was completely relaxed after my four hour session. I didn't want to leave. They provided a free towncar to pick you up and drop you off bewteen locations, which was a plus.

We are looking forward to returning to the Wilderness again this August!

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Wilderness Resort

Also Known As:
Wilderness Hotel
Wilderness Resort Wisconsin Dells
Wilderness Hotel Wisconsin Dells
Wilderness Wisconsin Dells
Wilderness Wi Dells
Wilderness Resort Wi Dells
Resort Wilderness Wisconsin
Address: 511 East Adams Street, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
Location: United States > Wisconsin > Wisconsin Dells
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
#12 Family Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Come play the day away in America's largest waterpark resort! The Wilderness has 4 indoor and 4 outdoor water parks totaling nearly 500,000 square feet (that is over 12 football fields of water fun!) We also have two indoor, 3-D, black light mini golf courses; outdoor mini golf; zip lining; go-karts; laser tag; Wild Rock Championship Golf Club; and award-winning spa services at Sundara Spa. Amazing lodging options include Wilderness themed guest rooms, condos, villas and cabins. ... more   less 

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