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“Better this year.....”
Review of Bridges Bay Resort

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Bridges Bay Resort
Reviewed August 6, 2012

Our family visits Okoboji every year for family reunions. Last year the facility and service had deteriorated greatly....This year I am happy to advise that things were a bit better. The rooms we had seemed to be better maintained. We still had some maintenance items but they did rectify them quickly. The rooms are spacious and nicely appointed. We had one of the suites and it was great to have a full kitchen. My 8 year old loves the pool and water park...was perfect for all of the cousins to hang out together.
Unfortunately I cannot give them any more than 3 starts.....but it does look like they are trying to improve.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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Thank gupjohnson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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162 - 168 of 220 reviews

Reviewed August 4, 2012

We did not stay in the condos but one of the cabins at the top of the hill. They are actually houses and very nice. We had a three bedroom, two and one half baths house with a two car garage. Living room and kitchen were a little small with six adults and 4 kids under 5 years old. Most of the time was spent on the lake or in the water park Six daily water park passes were included in the price and the three others were at a discounted price. I would recommend this route to anyone planning a longer stay. Location is resonable to most activities.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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Thank 11Traveler54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2012

I recently visited Bridges Bay for a 2 night stay in the 2 bedroom condo. This was a big family vacation for us. I had my wife, my Mother and my 2 kids (age 5 and 3) with me. I am writing this because I never received a comment card, or email requesting feedback.

I would like to first state that our room was beautiful, with a lake view, and good access to the pool. My children had an awesome time playing at Okoboji Splash, and on the balcony of our condo.

I will not, however, be coming back to Bridges Bay. There were a lot of little things about the resort and the way we were treated that left a sour taste in my mouth come the end of the trip.

We were informed this was a great place to stay, thus paid over $850 for 2 nights at the hotel.

Here were our issues:

1. We had 5 people staying at the condo, but only received 4 pool passes. When we asked about a 5th pass, we were told that we had to pay $10. Maybe I am cheap, but if I am paying over $425 a night to stay somewhere that features a pool as it’s main attraction, I think that all of the people staying in my room should have access to the pool without having to part with more money.

2. We were told that because it is a “condo environment,” if we wanted a maid to come to the room, clean, change sheets etc, it would cost an extra $10 per visit. Again, maybe I am cheap, but in paying what I paid for this hotel, I expected this would be included. The condo’s that were for sale were in a different building. We were definitely in a hotel.

3. The only elevator in the building was broken for the entirety of our stay. We were on the 2nd floor, and were only there for 2 nights, so there was not too much stuff to haul up and down stairs, but it was still annoying.

4. I called and reserved a date a few months ago. I was told I would receive an email confirmation, which never came. I called to confirm the reservation, and they had the WRONG DATES, and I was initially told that the dates I requested were sold out. Once this was corrected, I was told I would receive another email, which I never received. I had to call again to make sure dates were correct

5. The coffee in the main lobby was always empty. A small thing, but again, frustrating.

6. Boji Splash was out of towels every time we went there except for the very first time. When we got there at opening time, there were no towels available. The only time they had towels was towards the end of the day ?!?

7. The pool was extremely dirty at opening time. Dead bugs all over the outdoor pool, and things floating in the indoor pool. The indoor pool was also not very well maintained. Tears in nets kids were climbing on, a broken slide on the pirate ship. I would expect the pool would be cleaned before opening, but they seemed to do it the night before and had to come back and clean afterwards while people were in the pool.

8. The hotel lobby was mopped at 10am each day. Again, a small thing, but would it not make more sense to mop the lobby at night or when there weren’t a ton of guests walking around.

Again, I would like to reiterate that these were all small things and overall, my family had a great time, but there is definitely better value to be had elsewhere.

Room Tip: lake view is worth extra price
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank jpoengland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2012

Actually I'd rate 2.5 The room was nice. The View was ok but obstructed by the back of the bar sign, and at big night a light on the back of the building shining back at you in the evening, well all night. that would not go out. Ruins the sunset. I offered money to the employees to turn it off, but they said it doesn't turn off. Bring your bb gun and take care of that. More about "famous bar" later.
Maybe I'm just new to "resort" kinda things. But I am used to a bit more service. Desk staff was very polite. However, Maid service, requested twice, never came. Although the halls were always filled with other peoples dirty towels and linens, ALWAYS. Is that a resort thing? Was I supposed to throw all my dirty stuff and overgrown trash cans into the hallway? I almost did. Kinda low class for the dollars spent on my first vacation in 10 years. I left a note about no maid at the desk on way out. never received a call from management or a credit on my bill. How did the lady with the puppy keep it from peeing on the piles of towels?
Kids enjoyed the water park, but having to be there myself in the heat even thought there are lifeguards, well, my kids can swim and don't cause problems. My face was in a book so if they drowned I didn't notice.
Baaka whatever bar. While the locals told me it was good, I figure they don't get out much. It was OK. But for the first time in years I left less than a minimum tip. In fact, after getting our food, we never saw our waitress again. the other 2-4 people in the restaurant seemed to be being served. It wasn't because they were busy. Two people behind the counter couldn't find her either. They were probably busy aiming the light on the back at my balcony.
Oh yea, flat screen does not mean hdtv or large. These were prob the thing in the early 90's (20 years ago) But any place I've been in nw iowa is about 10 years behind on the television curve. WoW Okoboji has cable now! No more adjusting rabbit ears for a farm report. !
Oh one more thing, not their fault, but if you put your swimsuit or other "unmentionables" out on your balcony to dry, they might land in my breakfast on my balcony below. And when one garment disappears, why would you hang out another? Another resort thing? Eww.

Room Tip: Hire a maid.
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank MrDoug1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 14, 2012

Thank you for your feedback regarding your stay, we sincerely appreciate it. I am pleased that overall you had a great stay but wanted to address some of your concerns. Our housekeeping service is an option (unlike many other condos that charge no matter what) that we provide should a guest elect to do so. I apologize that our staff did not provide that to you when requested. I have spoken to my Executive Housekeeper about this as well as the linen & bags that are put in the hallways before being taken to our laundry area. These should not be left for more than a matter of minutes and certainly should not be there for longer.

I will personally pass along your feedback regarding Bracco to their management staff.

Thank you again for your feedback, we cannot wait to see you again in the future!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2012

Our family of 15 came in November during Thanksgiving break. We took advantage of a winter get away special. It still was expensive for the young couples with small children. We stayed in the hotel. I found our room very clean and very tastefully decorated. The children really enjoyed the water park. All food has to be bought at the snack bar--do NOT let them catch you with Cheerios for a 2 year old :-) We asked if you could take a family picture in front of the lobby fireplace--yes--the young man at the front desk looked aghast as we re-arranged furniture but still smiled and was friendly. We have also just come and bought water park tickets. This is a grand place for an off season get away---it was clean , staff was great, was fun for the kids--I do not think Braccos is open off season so no dining---during the summer, I prefer to stay somewhere on the beach with a more Okoboji atmosphere.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank Janelle503
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 14, 2012

Thank you for staying with us and for letting us know about your experience. I am thrilled that you had a great time at Bridges Bay! Although Bracco is not open year-round, our Cantina inside ‘Boji Splash serves delicious pizzas, burgers & more even in the offseason.

We have various specials & packages both in the offseason as well as the summer season so please check with us to see if we have one that might work for you in the future.

Thank you again!

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Reviewed July 3, 2012

25 of us stayed here and it was a GREAT stay, the rooms are wonderful and I would highly recommend staying here, I will be back if I'm ever in the area again :)

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Jenna S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 14, 2012

Thank you for staying with us! We cannot wait to see you again when you are in the Iowa Great Lakes.

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Reviewed June 18, 2012

We go to Okoboji every year and we usually stay at the same place. This year we decided to try Bridges Bay Resort for the first time because we needed to bring our dog and they allowed pets. We had a suite with one lockout and our unit had an amazing view of East Lake Okoboji. Compared to where we have stayed in the past, I feel like the cost of our suite was priced well. We had no problems with noise from other guests and it was quiet for us. We were on the top floor on a corner unit, so that may have been a factor in the quietness experienced. One thing that I was a little disappointed in was that you only got maid service once every 3 days (unless you wanted to pay $10 per unit per day for maid service). We survived, but with 3 children, we were definitely ready by day three for a room freshening. The other thing I wasn't a fan of was the layout of the main suite. You walk into the bedroom and sink area and pass through that to get to the kitchen and livingroom area. But, the wonderful view we had eased the pain of that. The last thing that bothered me was the horribly queaky doors. Every door in the place queaked very loudly. A little WD-40 would have done the trick. Next time I would have maintenance oil them instead of just living with it. The kids enjoyed being able to use the waterpark whenever we had time, so that was a bonus for them. I personally enjoyed the fitness room and it was never busy and I generally had it to myself. The restaurant, Bracco, at the resort actually has some of the best food in Okoboji so that was another plus. All in all, we were pleased with our stay and will stay at Bridges Bay again next time we go to Okoboji.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank D J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bridges Bay Resort

Address: 630 Linden Dr, Arnolds Park, IA 51331-4401
Location: United States > Iowa > Arnolds Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Arnolds Park
Price Range: $79 - $176 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Bridges Bay Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 144
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bridges Bay Resort is a full-service, value-added condominium resort featuring beautiful condos that can accommodate up to 12 people per unit, or standard hotel-room style accommodations. On site you will find 'Boji Splash,' the area's only indoor water park as well as outdoor pool & swim up bar. Our resort also features Bracco Waterfront Grill & Island Bar overlooking the lake during the summer. ... more   less 
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