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“Will be a wonderful place- need to update current advertising.”

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Honey Creek Resort State Park
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Iowa
Level Contributor
53 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Will be a wonderful place- need to update current advertising.”
Reviewed June 2, 2009

We relocate frequently & we always try to "experience" the state we are living in. We have stayed in many state park resorts, so I believe I have a good frame of reference for my review.
My review. The negatives....
Our first impression was of complete doom. We turned left into the resort at that temporary cement mix factory. There wasn't a single tree to be seen, there was mud everywhere due to rain & erosion. My husband just laughed & said "oh, this will be just great"
I will agree with the other reviewer. I was a bit put off by the fact that things advertised on the website just don't exist. Fire pits have been pulled out due to fire marshal warnings, there isn't a playground, beach or walking paths. ( we brought 2 preschoolers, so those 3 things were HIGH on my list....and just are not here) Due to a lack of walking paths you can NOT reach the resort from the cabins unless you drive. This isn't a big deal if your husband doesn't take the vehicle 6 miles away to put the boat in because they don't have a place to launch on this property. Boat parking space at the cabins is acceptable (we have a long bass boat) but backing in or getting to the spots with some cabins is impossible due to poor planning of the layout. They also lack electric to charge trolling motors at their docks.
The positives....
The cabins. We are in (as I type this) a 1 bedroom with a loft. They are lovely. Fully stocked kitchens with very nice basic cookware & dishes. Enough soap, TP & toiletries to get you through the week. Beautiful bathrooms with tub & shower. Lots of extra towels (exchanged daily) & linens. Fireplaces. Central air/heat. Nice covered porches with tables on the grass. Lawn chairs supplied in closet. Plasma TV's with satellite (we have 2 in our cabin) Free wireless. We are extremely impressed. I would rate it as nice as a 4-5 star hotel. (MUCH more then one would expect from a state park cabin) Our cabin actually has a lovely view of a rolling field with a gravel hiking path behind it that leads into the woods & is easily negotiable even for toddlers. We do not think they are too closely spaced, but do think that MANY trees need to be planted to offer a more secluded, wooded setting.
The water park.
Heaven on Earth for preschoolers. My boys want to live there. We are going back tomorrow. Cabin guests get enough passes for their stay. Lifeguards are very attentive. The watched over my boys very closely even though my hubby & I were always at their side. (not your typical bored teenagers) It is rather small, but very nicely done. There is a large slide for the older kids, a small lazy river & a very large toddler area. The smallness of it actually chose this place for us. I don't want my children around lots of rough teenagers & drunken adults. It was a bit cool in there, but it was in the 60's today.
The facilities in general.
The main lodge is beautiful. They really have spent a lot of time planning this resort & the care shows. Beautiful , expansive golf course. Nice restaurants with good food, service that will improve over time (our salads came before our appetizer, but we were comped the appetizer & received an apology for the manager without any complaint from us) They are trying very hard here to impress.
Bottom line.
We feel this is a lovely resort. We understand they have opened because summer is here & they need the funds coming in. However, they do need to update the website to indicate items that are not fully in place. A year from now this place will be perfect if you are looking for a quiet place to relax. It is not an ideal location, but I believe they chose this spot so that they could create such a huge resort with minimal impact on the existing wildlife & flora (putting it in the state park 6 miles down the road would have cleared that park & taken wildlife habitat) These fields were mostly cleared already.
We will come back to this resort without hesitation once it is complete. We feel it will be outstanding.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Growing2BoysInCinci
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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251 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (84)
Date | Rating
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English first
Bettendorf, Iowa
Level Contributor
17 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed May 23, 2009

We stayed for four nights (Sun-Thurs) before the Memorial Day weekend at HCR. Kind of disappointed. Their literature (including website) states they are right on the lake, have a boat dock, sandy swimming beach, bike rental, nature paths, etc. Not true. Someday they WILL have these things, but they're not nearly there yet. You can SEE the lake through thick trees from the hotel but you cannot get to it without hiking out in knee-high weeds through construction ruts---and then the lake is down a cliffside many feet below. There were easily 10 construction vehicles and workmen for every one guest. The only thing I can say is actually "as advertised" and complete is the hotel itself (but definitely not the hotel grounds). We had the king room which was probably slightly larger than a standard hotel room. I especially liked the fact that they do not have bedspreads. You sleep in a "sandwich" of sorts --- sheet, thin down-filled duvet-style comforter, then the top sheet. Everything in our room (127) was built for tall people (which we are). If you are average to short, you will be unable to reach the clothes bar in the closet and the shower head will tower above you (which I appreciate but you may not). The bathroom counter was also correspondingly high. The water pressure in the shower reminded me of an old country hotel. To say it was weak would be a vast understatement. I know that they are trying to conserve water but this was a bare trickle. Be prepared to spend a LOT of time in the shower if you want to wash your hair! If you are thinking of going there for the water park, please don't think of it in the same terms as you would "real" water parks. The pools are all shallow (3ft. 6in. was the deepest I think), and are definitely aimed toward younger children. I can't see anyone above 10 or so being amused there very long. The boat dock was partially built but inaccessible as there is no path to it and no road going down yet. The nature path (singular at this point) was a gravel truck path that winds around a short ways behind one set of cabins. Certainly not very "nature-ful". The cabins were not yet open (although I got an email the day we left saying that they were...NOT!) but those look cute --- if not exactly out in the middle of nature. They are grouped in sets of four to six cabins on cul de sacs to the right and left of the lodge. The one bedrooms looked the most roomy. The two bedrooms looked a bit cramped. I think the four bedrooms would also be a little tight for that many people. Since we like to fish --- and that was the only option unless we wanted to float around in the pool with the little kids or play golf and we didn't bring our clubs --- we visited the surrounding parks and fished at several during our three days there. Be advised, though, there is no place to fish on the resort grounds as you cannot get down to the water. We did eat breakfast at the hotel Lakeside Grill each morning. I highly recommend the Farmer's omelette and the make-your-own omelette. Priced at $6.99 and offering toast and hash browns with it, it was a delicious bargain. Ask to sit in Marie's section. Delightful lady with a big smile, friendly disposition and six kids so, please, leave her a big tip! Ate one evening meal there - I had Chicken Italiano advertised as two chicken breasts in an Italian sauce. Very, very small chicken breasts --- more like chicken breast quarters. My DH had steak and it was very run-of-the-mill and overcooked. The side dish was carrots --- could they be any cheaper? Anyway, you notice we only did that once. Because this hotel is truly WAY out in the sticks, the closest town of any size (Centerville - approx. 7,000) is 15 miles away. If you go to HCR, scope out the out-in-the-country cafes and visit them. Be prepared for burgers, pizza and fried everything. But it's a better bet than the Lakeside Grill for dinner.

Didn't hate it. Didn't love it enough to think we will go back. Would be interested to see the place when they have their act together a little more and would like to know what the lodge grounds will look like once they get it finished. Right now, it's just a hotel very far from much of anything. I think they've done themselves a disservice to have a website and literature touting things they do not yet have but not bothering to mention that these are just in the planning and/or preliminary execution stages. They run the risk of people arriving expecting to find what was advertised and being totally disappointed that "...it's coming, we just don't have it finished yet". Think they should just be honest about what they DO have and build interest in what's coming in the future.

Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank ocicatwoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 8, 2009

We stayed at the Honey Creek Resort near Moravia this weekend for one night with 4 additional families, which included 9 adults, 7 small children (ages 3-8) and 4 older children (ages 10-15). We had 5 rooms (rooms 117, 118, 119, 121, and 122), close together and very near the waterpark entrance, which we had requested when we booked the rooms a month ago. Though they said at the time of booking that they would try but couldn't guarantee this request, I am happy to say they followed through.

Honey Creek's website has an $89/night special, but we could not get the special rate on the internet when we were trying to book it. So I instead called the toll free reservation number and they said the internet only gave the special up to 70% occupancy, though they could still give it to me over the phone. So if you can't get the special rate to come up on the internet for dates you want, I recommend calling for reservations.

We felt the staff was very friendly and accomodating. Check in time is 4 p.m. - we got there at 1:45 and got into 4 of the 5 rooms immediately, and the 5th room was ready an hour later. We stayed the night that daylight savings time started so we lost an hour, and they happily agreed to an hour late check out for all 5 rooms. Staff at the pool concession area and the lifeguards were friendly and nice to the kids - much staff was adults, the younger staff didn't act like snotty teenagers just waiting to get off work like we sometimes see at waterparks (you know what I mean).

All of our rooms were double queens, clean and nicely decorated (mission/arts and crafts style), they are still all very new. We all commented on how comfortable the beds were! Our room did have a couple of kool-aid stains on the floor, but this is a hotel with a waterpark aimed at small children, we understand, but hopefully they will clean it soon. Everything else in our room was very clean.

Unlike many waterpark hotels, the rooms DO NOT have a frig and microwave. The hotel has a (nice) restaurant, a lounge/bar that serves sandwiches and appetizers, and there is a concession area by the pool that serves pizza (just frozen cooked in a pizza oven), sandwiches, misc snacks, drinks and beer. Though we checked things out for possible future stays, we did not eat at the hotel - with that big of group, it is too much of a circus. We brought our own food that we just kept in coolers and grazed on. I do think the prices/menu of the restaurant would make it a bit expensive to feed a family there for more than a day, and other restaurants are not really close. Would be nice if the facility figured out some food alternatives that were more than frozen pizza, but not as formal or pricey as the restaurant.

We are a group of close friends whose kids are used to doing things together, including that we have been to other larger waterparks such as Kalahari (Wisconsin Dells) and Great Wolf (Dells and Kansas City). We knew that Honey Creek's waterpark is not nearly as big as those, geared toward kids under 10, I would say. It has a small kids play area, 1 slide (pretty slow slide really), a lazy river, a lily pad walking area, basketball, and a hot tub. The little kids were happy with all areas. We were worried that the older kids might be bored, but they were NOT. They spent their time between the lazy river, hot tub, and basketball. The older kids probably would not have been content with this waterpark for several days (as they are at Kalahari and Great Wolf), but for one night they had a great time and were happy to be active in a warm pool area (instead of the cold Iowa outdoors).

This resort is a bit out in the middle of nowhere, but it is run by Iowa's Dept of Natural Resources and made to complement the area's natural resources and beauty. The hotel was designed and built with a lot of "green" techniques. There is still a lot of landscaping that needs to be completed around the hotel, so the views will improve greatly when that is done. Face it, you just can't get this much nature close to a large city, it would be heavily populated if it were closer to Des Moines. It is only 1 1/2 hours south of Des Moines, not a bad drive.

For us this was a short, inexpensive ($99.63 total per room), close-to-home trip. It was a cold rainy March weekend, so this was a good place to be and we were very happy with what we got for the money we spent. This is not for those who want a fast-paced shopping and party filled weekend, but more laid back and family oriented. We had talked to others who had been there before we went, so I think we had realistic expectations and the trip exceeded them!

Now for the best part: this resort is still new, as I mentioned a lot of landscaping and outdoor features not yet complete, and they are building rental cabins that are opening this June (the "cabins" are adorable little cottages with daily towel/room service, many with lake views). The location of the resort is BEAUTIFUL. Once it warms up and they complete things, this will truly be a great destination to come and enjoy the outdoors - boating and fishing on the lake, bike trails (bring your own or they do rent bikes out), a golf course, nature programs run by the resort, antiqueing in some of southern Iowa's small towns - and just relaxing around a fire, getting away from things, spending time with family and friends. We are definitely looking forward to the resort's completion and the great things to come!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LindaLu71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IOWA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2009

We stayed in rooms 128, 131 and 133 on January 2nd.

We had great hopes post lack of adequate signage to find the resort, as it appeared all shiney and new. However, considering the resort is located in one of our most economically challenged areas of the state, it appears we are far from success.

We communicated at check in regarding burnt out lights in room 133, however this was not resolved, even after our 2nd and 3rd indication to the staff. The pool area is nice, however intended for smaller children, etc. Ours (ranging 4-11 found it adequate), however no deep or diving areas, etc.

The restaurant ran out of food, leaving our group with less then adequate options along with EXTEMELY slow service (40 minutes into a wait for food we were told of being out of the items that had been ordered, then 20 minutes later were serve remaining items. Lastly, we communicated back with the resort that a pair of black, mens tennis shoes were left in room 131 on 1-2-09. It was indicated that they were in possession and would be sent to us. We still await the arrival of our shoes as well.

I had hopes for this encounter, however I left with grave disappointment as my stay and to my tax dollars being inappropriately utilized as this is a state run mechanism.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank fettjones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Honey Creek Resort State Park

Property: Honey Creek Resort State Park
Address: 12633, Moravia, IA 52571
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Iowa > Moravia
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Moravia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Honey Creek Resort State Park 3.5*
Number of rooms: 153
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Honey Creek Resort State Park Hotel Moravia
Honey Creek Resort State Park Iowa/Moravia

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