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“Misses the mark on all counts” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Sundara Inn and Spa

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Sundara Inn and Spa
920 Canyon Rd., Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #25 of 78 hotels in Wisconsin Dells
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Winona, Missouri
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Misses the mark on all counts”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2013

I never write reviews, but I felt I should share on this one. It is expensive, and I believe people should get what they pay for! I am an avid spa goer, and this place is definitely NOT 5-star. It is just slightly better than average, and that goes for the food, customer service, accommodations, and treatments. How and why:

ATMOSPHERE: Only somewhat relaxing. The property is a small space and suffers from overcrowding. No spacious feel here. Dressing rooms are nonexistent. If you want privacy, you are forced to use a bathroom or shower/dressing area combo, which is small, and there are only three of them. You will also get your clean/dry clothing at least a little damp in the process.

ACCOMMODATIONS: The place needs refurbishing, particularly the carpeting, which is strewn with stains, and the upholstered furniture, which is stained and sagging. The showers suffer from poor plumbing. While taking a ten minute shower I experienced at least a dozen instances in which the water went from pleasantly warm to cold to hot. No predictability whatsoever.

FOOD: The food is lackluster and service is SLOW. 40 minutes for a portabella mushroom burger??? Tasted OK, not great. I had chips on the side, which was less than a vending machine's size worth. Seating space with a table is very limited. I was there on a weekday, and I can only imagine how fierce the rivalry gets for a table at which to eat on the weekends.

MASSAGE: I had the signature massage, and it was ordinary. The masseuse had a hard time adjusting pressure. There was painful hard massage, and then there was barely felt massage, not much in between.

The massage tables are less than generously sized and mine was not heated. My arms kept rolling off the sides, and I am an average sized female. The tables are also poorly padded, and they do not have a variety of bolster sizes, which means table comfort is not tailored to the individual's needs. I suffer from a low back condition and found it impossible to lay on my back more than 15 minutes, after which time I was in more pain than when I first laid down! I actually had to cut the massage short because of it.

In addition, there was repair work being done nearby my room, and I continually heard power tools, loud talking, pounding, and finally vibrations so strong they were vibrating my massage table! When I complained upon checkout, I was only given a 30% discount on the service.

COST: Another thing which I find in very poor taste is the obligatory 20% tip. It is automatically added to the massage fee, which is steep, and you are also slightly pressured upon checkout to up the tip. I am a generous tipper, but I do not like to be forced to tip, and I don't know anyone who does. I believe this is the establishment's way of paying their employees, and I have never encountered this situation elsewhere. Just plain poor taste.

A less than relaxing experience overall, and that is what I'm paying the big bucks for. If Sundara wants to be in the big leagues, they're going to have to up their game.

Room Tip: I was a day spa guest.
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Green Features: Sure, it's green-conscious, but it's also supposed to be luxury.
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SundaraSpa920, Guest Relations Manager at Sundara Inn and Spa, responded to this review, August 1, 2013
A review like this gives me pause, as I can see we did not deliver on any aspect of your experience as a day guest. Would you like to chat offline regarding your concerns and the discount we extended? My direct e-mail is cscheel@sundaraspa.com. We are in the midst of installing new carpeting and replacing some furnishings and have already heard positive feedback on that. In the meantime, I’ve brought your other concerns to the specific department heads, as a number of these we’ve not heard before and we’ll want to nip these in the bud. As always, we appreciate feedback, especially specific suggestions – it is taken to heart.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (70)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Rochester, Minnesota
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

We've stayed here before, but this is the first time since having children. It's still a fantastic place for adult couples to get away from it all! The theme of "feng shui" and health & rejuvination seems to have relaxed quite a bit since we first stayed several years ago (4?). This may not be a bad thing, since some of the health & wellness atmosphere could have been interperated as "overwhelming" by someone new to the spa expirience. The food and beverages are excellent and well-prepared a full menu is now offered. We never had to use "the driver" to take us to dinner. We stayed right at the pool and ate! **Much praise to the staff for being exremely accomodating to my wife's gluten allery!!!***
A wider selection of adult beverages is also now offered at the pool bar. This helps to relax the previously "stuffy" health & wellness atmosphere, and I think it's a good thing. But Sundara should be careful to keep tabs on the drinking and maintain the quiet, meditative atmosphere in the pool area. During our stay there were several "girls weekend" groups, and one of the members was all but passed out on the pool furniture after "trying every drink on the menu." The bartender said that happens a lot. A bit comical, sure, but that would have never been allowed to happen at the Sundara during our first stay several years ago.
The use of the room key for charges (standard resort proceedure these days) was great. But be careful! Menu items can be percieved as "pricy": In the midst of "relaxing," food and beverage charges to the room during your stay can be a surprise at checkout, bringing back all the stress you worked so hard to get rid of during your stay!
We did not stay at the "cottages" this time, but noticed that many of them are rented through Wynndam. We're Wyndam owners, so of course this may be a good thing, although we understand kids are allowed in the Wyndam cottages now. Not sure how that's gonna work out. We also sensed a little apprehension with the staff when discussing the Wyndam partnership. No one seems quite sure it's a positive thing.
We are planning a trip back at the end of the summer to spend more time taking advantage of the additions to the resort like the "tranquility garden", 'hammocks' and 'bike rentals'. The day we stayed, they were completely booked, and we only got a room because of a last-minute cancelation. But, aside from a few more people at the pool, it never seemed packed or busy. The Sundara Spa did a fantastic job once again taking the stress away from this weary couple. It was a great "quick getaway" from the kids!

Room Tip: Remember: You'll spend SO much time out by the pool and relaxation areas. Do you really need t...
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Green Features: Sundara prides itself on being in harmony with one's self as well as the environment. As an environmentally conscious individual, I'm very impressed.
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013 via mobile

Spent the day with girlfriends and really enjoyed the experience. The outside pool was the best. Great Sangrias! Even though the services are a bit pricey, you can spend the whole day here relaxing and enjoying their indoor therapeutic and outdoor pools. This made the price worthwhile. There was a mixup with my pedicure. The technician had to leave unexpectedly but the manager was apologetic and sent me a coupon for any service at my next visit. I will definitely return.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SundaraSpa920, Guest Relations Manager at Sundara Inn and Spa, responded to this review, August 1, 2013
Glad to know you see the value in a stay or visit including unlimited access to the entire spa facility. We feel that's something that sets Sundara apart from other resort spas and day spas. We apologize for the interruption in your service but we do look forward to having you back. Stay energized!
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Madison, Wisconsin
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2013

This is the perfect place to spend with the one you love! My husband and I have been here many times and will be back again. The rooms are wonderful and very relaxing! The bed is amazing and so very comfy! We have stayed in several different suites and our favorite is the Plush Suite. The only thing we didn't like is too many people stay around and use the hot tub and relaxation lounge for hours after their treatment so that does not leave much room for people just getting there. That is why we enjoy the plush suite with the whirlpool. There is however plenty of room outside and very cozy on a cool summer night. Even better on a cold snowy winter night! You can order food, wine, beer while in the lounge area or they have a bar outside. It was nice to sit in front of the fire out by the pool with a glass of wine waiting for our massage. Very romantic place for two people in love!!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SundaraSpa920, Guest Relations Manager at Sundara Inn and Spa, responded to this review, August 1, 2013
We might be biased but we do agree with you on more than one account. So delighted to know you enjoyed your visit. We'll be certain to share your specific comments with our staff - they'll be thrilled to here it. Come again soon and stay energized! PS - we did take note of your experience around the bath ritual and relaxation lounge and are looking into solutions on that.
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Wisconsin
Top Contributor
127 reviews 127 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2013

We have stayed here many times since they opened. I still love it here. Updated pool chairs, fence, hammocks walking path. Last visit the hotel was starting to show some wear, I was so happy to see improvements in property. Check in great and very accommodating staff. Pool and hot tub outside so wonderful, made better by the outdoor bar, thanks to Brittany for the fun service. Rooms quiet and peaceful. One jet in tower shower did not work....I would like to say breakfast was great with bacon for hubby and yogurt and fruit for me. Lounge by the pool for a while before checkout. I did not have a massage or facial this trip but highly recommend the spa services.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SundaraSpa920, Guest Relations Manager at Sundara Inn and Spa, responded to this review, June 24, 2013
So delighted you enjoyed some of the new amenities we introduced this summer, and also that you noticed some of the improvements around the property. We still have a list that we are working on, but new carpet, paint, and pool furniture sure brighten things up. So glad to know you enjoyed the breakfast too. We've passed along a work order for the shower in your suite - thanks for letting us know about that. Looking forward to seeing you again soon. Stay energized!
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Madison, Wisconsin
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2013

You would think that a tiny little spa located in the waterpark capital of the world wouldnt have good food. On the contrary... My friend and I had a chance to stop up for the day recently after the kids were out of school. We sat by the pool and were attended to by the staff at the cabana, they were all younger college age kids which I assume were working here for the summer. They were all very courteous and were very informative about what to do in the dells.

We ordered a few appetizers and I must say "they were fantastic" We ordered the scallop ceviche, it was out of this world, the chorizo quesadilla was a little too spicy for my taste, but still very good. We later added on a chesse plate that was made up of Wisconsin Cheeses and we split a mint cheesecake with watermelon salsa, strange but oh so delicious. I have eaten in alot of Madison's restaurants and their chef has got it going on...

Overall our experience at Sundara was fantastic, the services were awesome and relaxing as well as rejuvinating after a long school year.

Green Features: We thought it was awesome that they have planted a garden right next to the front door, you have to walk past it to get into the building.
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
SundaraSpa920, Guest Relations Manager at Sundara Inn and Spa, responded to this review, June 24, 2013
Our culinary team has been working diligently on our menu and the service levels at the pool, so we are truly delighted to know that you had a great experience and enjoyed the food. I'll be sure to share this with the Chef and his team. Come again soon!
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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2013

Just returned from a 5 day 4 night stay at Sundara and am counting down the days until I can return! Every aspect of our stay was exceptional! Check in was a breeze and very welcoming even though we arrived an hour early.Our suite was ready so we headed up to the suite to head right down to the pool. Our suite was immaculate as always.

The pool area is still my favorite spot to relax when on vacation. It is very well maintained and so picturesque. Nothing beats hanging on the edge of the pool overlooking the pines and listening to the water flow over the edge. The resort is surrounded by pines and sitting in the pool you feel you"re in your little private wooded retreat.

We had drinks and dined at the cabana by the pool each day. The cabana staff was always professional and made us feel welcomed. Each member of the Sundara staff that we encountered at the cabana was great! The food was very good as always. The turkey burger and steak sandwich are phenomenal!

The free town car service was always available and handy when we needed it to be.

Management and staff are all friendly and warm. Any issues that arise are taken care of immediately.


The grounds are so beautiful and well maintained. There's something magical about turning onto the drive and heading up the hill to Sundara. All worries fade and relaxation begins, do yourself a favor and experience it yourself!

My wife and I have been going for 8 years and look forward to our getaways at Sundara every year!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
SundaraSpa920, Guest Relations Manager at Sundara Inn and Spa, responded to this review, June 24, 2013
We can't thank you enough for returning to Sundara each year - your loyalty means so much. And we are so very grateful to you for sharing your experience with others too! Stay energized and we hope to see you soon!
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Additional Information about Sundara Inn and Spa

Address: 920 Canyon Rd., Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
Location: United States > Wisconsin > Wisconsin Dells
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
#3 Spa Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
#7 Business Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our 26-acre parcel is lush with sky-high pine trees and natural Wisconsin stone outcroppings. Respect for the natural resources is at the soul of Sundara's green practices. Our heated outdoor infinity edge pool, sculpted fireplace, waterfalls and curving deck connect seamlessly with the tranquil environment. The main building is representative of some of the most striking Organic-style architecture in the Midwest. Inside, the principles of Feng Shui contribute to a soothing environment. Our spa treatments incorporate the finest organic products from around the world. The Sundara Spa signature collection even draws ingredients indigenous to the area for an authentic experience. Our spa cuisine features the fruits of labor of fresh, local, seasonal ingredients. Sundara is drawn from the Sanskrit word for "beautiful." We interpret that as beauty flowing from wellness. Our carefully selected and highly trained service providers are healers at heart and passionate about their work, putting customer satisfaction at the center of all they do. Whether you choose to stay in one of our 26 elegant suites, or perhaps just linger for the day, we hope it will be a transforming experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sundara Spa Wisconsin Dells
Sundara Hotel Wisconsin Dells

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