As our stay at the Delton Grand Resort and Spa neared, my wife and I looked forward to our first romantic weekend getaway together since we became parents. What we found instead was a stripper pole that we didn't ask for, a very poorly maintained room, and management that was not appropriately responsive to our very legitimate concerns.
Let's go back to when I first made the reservation. On August 11, I had a telephone conversation with the resort office during which I requested the Italian Renaissance theme room. I was very specific about my request for the Italian renaissance room, because my wife and I thought to recapture a little bit of the romance and magic from our honeymoon in Florence.
"So we are all set with the Italian Renaissance room?" I asked.
"You should be, yes," said the resort office.
"Is there anything else I need to do to confirm that the Italian Renaissance room is the one we're getting?" I asked.
When we got to our room, we were very surprised to find a stripper pole in our room. We were not in the Renaissance room, but in the "Vegas VIP Lounge."
Listen: I get that this room could be fun, under some circumstances. I could see why a couple might want a room with zebra-print carpet, a window from the living room looking into the group shower, and a full-size stripper pole, greased up and ready to go. But this was not supposed to be that kind of stay.
I called the front desk and explained our situation. We were given two options:
(1) They could move us from an intimate theme suite to a gigantic, unintimate 3-room condo that basically looked like my parents' house; or
(2) They generously offered to give us a full refund and let us take our chances finding other accommodations in Wisconsin Dells at 5 pm on an August Friday.
We preferred to sleep indoors, and in a place that did not look like a boring suburban home, so we grudgingly decide to make a go of it in our Vegas-themed suite and not let it ruin our weekend.
Again: I'm not a prude. I understand the appeal of having a long metal pole in front of your bed. I can imagine many reasons why you might want one, even if you are not a stripper, the significant other of a stripper, or a fireman. But, theme issues aside, there were other very basic issues with the room:
* Eight light bulbs had burned out;
* The remote control to the television did not work; and
* The hanging vertical blinds were missing a panel, right next to the stripper pole! In other words, any person who happened to use the sidewalk right outside our window (yes, there is a sidewalk there) could easily see whatever is happening at our stripper pole.
When you are in a room that looks nice on the surface but has these small issues, you have to ask yourself what other issues might exist. How often do they clean the stripper's pole? What other surfaces in here might seem opaque but can actually be seen through? What happened in this jacuzzi, exactly, that makes it drain so slowly?
We called the front desk again to request that these issues be repaired. They said they'd take care of it by 7:00 pm. They didn't fix it until the next afternoon, and even then, they only replaced about half of the bulbs.
We were determined to have a good time. On Saturday morning we showed up at the spa for the couples massage we had scheduled. There, after a fifteen-minute wait, we were told that they had accidentally scheduled another couple for that time slot, and that would have to reschedule. I began to suspect that even though they frequently used the word "reservation," they did not really know what it meant.
After several more phone calls with the manager, Rich Kowalec, he finally agreed to send us a gift certificate entitling us to one complimentary stay at the Italian Renaissance Suite. We accepted his offer. He said we could expect it in the mail within the week. The week came and went. Only after two more follow-up phone calls to the resort did we finally receive our gift certificate.
That placated us for a little while.
Let's fast-forward several months. It is now April 2013, and the snow has finally melted away. Our thoughts turned to spring, and to finding a way to celebrate our wedding anniversary. How about using our gift certificate? At first the front desk person was pleased to tell us that the Renaissance suite would be available. As a courtesy, I let her know that we would be using a gift certificate that we had received from Rich. Suddenly her manager was on the phone, telling us that the suite was not available to us.
"Wait, I'm confused," I said. "I was just told it was available. What happened?"
"Well, your gift certificate says 'subject to availability,'" she said.
"I was just told that it isn't booked. That means it's available, doesn't it?"
"Well, technically nobody has booked it yet," she said. "But that's our high season, so we need to check first to see how close we are to actually booking that room."
So, at the Delton Grand, "subject to availability" does not mean that the room has to be, you know, available. It means that they're willing to give us the room, but only if they aren't able to book somebody else first. My mistake.
Current status: I have been told that the manager will be giving me a call tomorrow morning. I have my doubts. No matter what happens for here, my wife and I are not entirely sure that we would want to stay at a place that has given us such a bad experience. We'd rather just write a detailed review instead.
We would love to give the Delton Grand zero stars, but apparently that sort of technology doesn't exist yet.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Delton Grand Resort & Spa is a luxury condominium resort located on the shores of beautiful Lake Delton in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Just a few blocks from all attractions, the resort features 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom luxury condominiums from 900 to 3700 square feet. Each villa is professionally decorated and furnished. Spacious lakefront and courtyard villas have features like private decks and/or patios, underground parking or attached two car garages, full chef-quality kitchens, tile baths with walk-in body massage showers - lakefront villas have spectacular views of Lake Delton. Amenities include indoor and outdoor heated pools, whirlpool, sauna, beaches, piers, boat slips, outdoor grills, firepits and more. A full-menu spa is located in the lakefront building. Professionally managed and impeccably maintained, the resort enjoys top ranking at Trip Advisor. From Memorial Day to Labor Day guests receive free passes to Noah's Ark Waterpark (just 3 blocks) for every day of your stay! Stay and Ski discounts available. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Rhapsody Resort On Lake Delton Hotel Wisconsin Dells
- Rhapsody On Lake Delton Hotel