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“On the lake” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Wilderness on the Lake

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Wilderness on the Lake
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350 E. Hiawatha Dr., Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #17 of 80 Hotels in Wisconsin Dells
Lake in the Hills, Illinois
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“On the lake”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2014

I stay here about 2 or 3 times a year. Its the best for the money in the dells. Granted you will not be at the main resort but its a 5 min drive or a shuttle ride. Wilderness has the best and most to offer in the dells. I stay at Kalahari to but the only thing about them is the flow rider in the waterpark that no one else has, their wave pool is tiny. Although Chula vista water park is the smallest. Wilderness on the lake has a small indoor water park but it is nice and secluded and rooms are big and clean. Also in the 2 bdrm the double queen room has a tub higher than any normal one so becarful of getting out of it, had two people fall.

Room Tip: 1st floor by the grills
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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292 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (59)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Rockford, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2014

A few positives:

1. As an adult group traveling without kids this place is great! There is a smaller indoor water park area which usually has families with young children but the indoor/outdoor hot tub typically has plenty of room for adults to enjoy. This might not be true in the summer but in the cooler spring and fall months it's great!

2. Our room was clean and comfortable and spacious. I LOVE how dark the bedrooms get - makes sleeping in really easy!

3. All of the staff we encountered at the hotel were friendly and helpful and responded to our needs quickly.

4. Love, love, love the shuttle to and from the casino!


A few negatives:

1. Bed sheets for the pull out couch did not fit the mattress. When asked for new sheets - no fitted sheet was provided.

2. Wifi access through the hotel did not work. Would connect and then immediately disconnect. Even a 4G signal was hard to get but this might have been because we were in a room on the lower level.

One HUGE positive:

An hour after checking out I realized I left my iPod on the fireplace mantle. I called the hotel and initially was directed to the general lost and found number that was a recording. I called back and asked to talk to someone directly at the hotel. The front desk employee was an ENORMOUS help and ended up finding the housekeeper who cleaned the room and she brought it back up to the front desk! I was so relieved and so thankful to the staff who helped me!

Room Tip: We always ask for a room facing the lake and it is a great view. Asking for a lower level room provi...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2014

Housekeeping was very clean, overall resort has a small pool. Condo was nice. We stayed two nights and did not have internet access. We called the front desk three times and they said that they would look into it and get back to us. I said something again at check out and his response was well we have it here. No apology - nothing - very rude. I would not recommend this hotel

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Tampa, Florida
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2014

We rented a condo at the Glacier Canyon Lodge with another family. The condo was spacious for 2 sets of parents and a total of 5 kids. One room had bunk beds, another with a queen bed and the adjoining connected room had 2 queens and a pull out sofa. The shared space, had a small but full kitchen with oven/stove and full size fridge. The living room had an electric fire place (where the glass does not get hot- good for small kids), a murphy bed, couch, breakfast bar and spacious table. There was plenty of space. The furniture was on its way out and probably should have already been replaced. It's a "country" atmosphere and the decor matched.

There are 3 indoor water parks and we visited all 3 every day we were there. The kids we were with aged 7, 5, 3 (2 3 year olds) and a 10 week old. There were plenty of activities to do for all ages. To ride the "big" rides your child needs to be 48" tall. If they meet that requirement they can ride any slide indoors. A lot of the bigger tubes the child could be shorter, 42", if accompanied by an adult. There are several rides you can ride with 2-4 people.

There is a kiddie section at all 3 parks, our 3 year olds and younger liked the Wild West the best. The kiddie section in all 3 parks has a 750 gallon bucket that dumps with a 10 second warning bell but why that was placed in the kiddie section I have no idea. Our 3 year old was keeping one eye on the bucket at all times so it made him very nervous.

Klondike Kavern seemed to have a much colder water temperature than the Wild West park. They have a lazy river, which was nice for the adults to catch a few laps of down time but it's not entertaining enough for our younger ones. The older boys 5 & 7 really liked the water slides at Klondike. Klondike is also adjacent to the Water dome making it convenient to go back and forth. At the Water dome you can supposedly catch a tan indoors, although we spent all day there on a sunny day with no sunscreen and neither the adults or children got any color.

The dome does get plenty of sunshine so it's more of an outdoor feel - bring your sunglasses! They have a wave pool, which is mostly shallow and good for all ages. However, it is a wave pool and the waves begin every 10-15 minutes and it's total chaos. It was very stressful to have our 5 & 7 year olds out there. Probably 1 out of every 3 times the waves were going the lifeguards had to jump in to "save" someone from distress. At no time was anyone seriously injured but it was easy to get caught in the middle of the wave pool when the waves start. There is a single low volume horn that gives you only a few seconds of warning. The kids loved it, though. It was great without the waves for all ages because of how shallow it was. Adding the waves stressed all the parents out and you had to be in the pool watching them very closely. The waves add 3-4 feet to the water level. It was easy for parents to stand, but not for kids 12 and under.

My complaints would be you are not allowed to bring anything into the pool area; no food, water, snack, etc. We had pool drinks - $9 each. Food is over priced and not very good so this was unfortunate because of course your kids are going bonkers working up an appetite and they you can get charged $25 for a very mediocre pizza. We smuggled in minor snacks like granola bars.

My more major complaint would be the lack of elevators, particularly to get to the water dome. We have tons of "kid gear" and a stroller and had to traverse 3-4 flights of stairs one way to get to the water dome. I found that to be totally unacceptable. In accessibility they get an F. To pull the kids out of strollers, carry them, carry the stroller and carry the gear was ridiculous.

Overall a 4. The other 2 parks were accessible. The water dome was not. Food/drinks are excessively priced (as you would imagine). Room was clean, spacious and quiet, but furniture was pretty beat up. There was a lot to do with the kids but be prepared to chaperon 1:1 unless you have older children. It was great for the winter. I cannot even imagine what a zoo that place must be in the summer time. It's enormous and you will need a map to get around - indoors. We very much enjoyed our stay!

Room Tip: Get a condo - the cost is not much more and you'll get a lot more room. You can save a ridiculo...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Metamora, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2014

Great condos and hotel. Have visited this park 3 times and going again this weekend. During off season plenty of choices of parks to visit and crowds not bad. In summer can be busy but it's so large the crowds are spread out between all the choices.

Stayed August 2013
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Effingham, Illinois
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2014

This was our second stay at WOTL, but the first for our spouses. Their requirements for lodging were "big enough for 3 couples, hot tub and bar", not necessarily in that order, LOL! We stayed in a 2 bedroom condo and were thrilled by the spaciousness! The guys all gave 2 thumbs up for the hot tub in Cubby's Cove and were very happy. They even ventured out to try Glacier Canyon and had an enjoyable experience there as well. The only 2 negative comments regards the limited amount of parking spaces and cost. We returned from dinner and drinks one evening and found the last 2 spots, farthest in distance to our door to the Cove entrance. (Of course, there was snow piled on the lot and it snowed during our trip. So that took up some space. But, when the property knows it is booked full, something should be done to accommodate.) The second negative is the price changes by day of the week. Thank goodness the outrageous price of Saturday ($327.00) is offset by Wednesday and averages out depending upon the number of nights stay. (We arrived on Wednesday and left on Sunday.) Next time, we will be sure to stay Sunday through Thursday to avoid the price gouge and quantity or people.

Room Tip: Six adults were very comfortable in the 2 bedroom condo.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Chicago, Illinois
2 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2014

We wanted to have an amazing first time staying in the Dells with our toddler. We ended up checking out a night early after a really disappointing experience at The Wilderness.
- The first night I pulled down the bedsheets and found a bug crawling up towards the pillow.
- Twice the parking lot was so crowded that even as paying guests we could not find any parking. We asked an attendant if there was any additional parking and he laughed at us. He apologized and explained that five other people had asked the same question. He had nothing to offer. We ended up parking "illegally" in an aisle way. When we returned there were four other cars that had done the same thing.
-Add to this that you find yourself shivering cold in the indoor water park space.

We were so unhappy that we checked out a night early. When we shared our experience the front desk staff gave a half-hearted, "Oh sorry." (But of course took full the ~$250/night anyway.)
This place is also not ideal for parents with young kids. We had the experience of literally having to protect our 2.5 year old with our bodies from some 10 year old on an upper level relentlessly spraying him with a water gun, even after I put up my hand to tell the kid to quit it. I'm guessing her parents were somewhere with their 42 oz fruity alcoholic drinks. Lifeguards do not enforce the running rules either. I was generally disappointed by how unhelpful staff and even other guests were to us with a toddler. We arrived burdened by all our luggage, toddler in tow, after walking a long distance from the one parking spot we'd found, approached the door as a couple were walking out... and they let the door slam in front of us. That welcome was predictive of the entire experience at The Wilderness.

Room Tip: Try to avoid any rooms on the second floor of the New Frontier. It is a de facto walkway to the wat...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
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Additional Information about Wilderness on the Lake

Address: 350 E. Hiawatha Dr., Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
Location: United States > Wisconsin > Wisconsin Dells
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
#18 Family Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 500
Also Known As:
Wilderness On The Lake Hotel Wisconsin Dells

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