We joined another family to take our teenager girls someplace fun in the midst of an Iowa winter. I had never stayed at Adventureland Inn, nor had my husband. We checked in on a Saturday evening about 5:30 p.m.
LOBBY: The carpet in the main lobby area and main arterial hallways was dreadful looking -- it appeared clean, but was probably some of the ugliest carpet I've seen at any stay I've had anywhere. (Picture included). The front desk personnel were OK, but certainly not overly friendly, and some of the mini blinds in there area appeared to be broken, and the general upkeep wasn't great behind the desk.
ROOM: My husband and I paid $179.00 (which included tax for 1 night) in a room with 2 queen beds. It was in the Pool Side East area on the main level, and while all of the other rooms had a small patio with furniture where you could sit outside, ours (Room 164) did not because it was where the main walkthrough was. How disappointing! I have included a picture of room 164 without patio furniture and the main walkthru along with a picture of Room 154 right next door that did have a patio & furniture. Which would you choose? The rooms were clean, but very outdated and small. The shower rod in our shower looked as if it were about to fall at any moment (another photo attached), and the bathroom door hinges were incredibly rusty. The light over the picture window was incredibly bright and glaring. More the type you'd see in a doctor's exam room vs. a hotel room. We turned it off and opted for the softer lamp light instead (just our preference). I felt the rooms were incredibly over-priced for the features offered.
POOLS: There were two pool areas -- one in the East Courtyard, and one in the West Courtyard. The East Courtyard right outside our door is where the majority of the kids were (VERY LOUD), however, that's where the swim up bar was, which was odd. The pool in the West Courtyard was bigger, deeper and had less traffic so we opted to spend most of our time there. When we did go to the East Courtyard pool so we could have a drink, it was difficult to find a seat because children were sitting and playing on the pool bar stools which again, seemed odd. Recommendation: With two completely separate pool areas, make the West Courtyard Pool an adults only area. Move the swim up bar to the adult pool area, and make the rooms in the West Courtyard adults only. This would be a plus for those who want a nice romantic weekend away an opportunity to have some grown-up time, have a few drinks, and sit in the hot tub without wading through piles of children. It seemed incredibly inappropriate to have kids sitting on a bar stool, while the adults left their drinks to go for a swim. Seemed like a recipe for disaster to me. Oh, and the chlorine smell was overpowering! The first thing in the morning, it wasn't noticeable, but as soon as the pumps were turned on at 8:30 a.m., the clouds of chlorine filled the air, making your eyes burn and your nose run. Overall, the pools were clean, well kept, and looked wonderful -- there are no lifeguards, though, so swim at your own risk.
ARCADE: The arcade has a few games, but nothing that really kept the interest of teenagers. It would have been nice to see some retro games like Fooseball and/or a pool table. The only actual arcade game that caught their eye was one that featured several old games like Pac Man, etc.
RESTAURANT: The biggest surprise of the trip was the Restaurant at the hotel. Due to time constraints we ventured into the hotel around 6:00 p.m. on a Saturday night and we were the only guests there. We found that odd, and a little concerning, and took it as a sign that the food was probably dreadful, or the service, or both. What we found was that the prices were very reasonable, the food was good, and our server was wonderful. Because of our great experience Saturday night, we returned for breakfast Sunday morning to the same experience. Great food, good prices, and wonderful service. Thanks for that!! The good prices in the restaurant at least made you feel a little bit better about getting reamed for the room.
CLOTHING: For the most part, everyone wore acceptable attire, except for one gentleman that I noticed standing just outside the fence of the kiddie area. He had pants belted UNDERNEATH his butt cheeks, and from his waist to his upper thighs, his underwear were showing (nearly 12 inches of underwear!). Not only was this inappropriate in public, but in the kiddie area?? No one said anything to him. Eventually he saw us looking at him, and taking his photo, so right there in public, he undid his belt, pulled up his pants, tucked in his underwear and went inside his room. However, an hour later, he was back at poolside with his pants back down under his butt just as before. Some sort of dress code with regard to undergarments hanging out wouldn't be a bad idea. As a parent, I found this disturbing, and as an adult -- perplexing and ridiculous. Oh, and for your amusement, a photo is attached.
OVERALL: I doubt we will stay there again. The room rates are too prohibitive, and the fact that you can't find any respite from the shrieking children is definitely a deterrent.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Adventureland Inn! At Adventureland Inn you will find 185 guest rooms with over 15,000 square feet of flexible meeting space! Adventureland Inn is a full service hotel with two restaurants on site, as well as room service. Our indoor pool areas and courtyards are among the finest in the area, with three pools featuring the only swim-up bar in the Midwest! We are located right next to Iowa's largest attraction, Adventureland and also next to Iowa’s largest casino, Prairie Meadows! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Adventureland Des Moines
- Adventureland Hotel Altoona
- Adventureland Inn Des Moines
- Adventure Land Inn
- Adventureland Inn Altoona, Iowa