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“Family friendly”

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Moody Gardens Hotel Spa & Convention Center
Ranked #2 of 51 Hotels in Galveston
Certificate of Excellence
Texas
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Family friendly”
Reviewed April 23, 2012

Nice hotel with friendly staff, nice pool area (even though inside was too cool), and close to Moody Garden Pyramids. Hotel surroundings were very tidy and pretty colors everywhere. I would highly recommend staying here if you could get tickets included for the Pyramids.

Room Tip: We had a view of the Aquarium pyramid - beautiful!
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank momto2Texas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PatrickRoomsManager, Manager at Moody Gardens Hotel Spa & Convention Center, responded to this review, May 3, 2012
Thank you for posting on TripAdvisor - your feedback is very much appreciated. We do offer hotel packages which include passes. You can retrieve those by booking Explore Moody Gardens on our website. Moody Gardens is nestled amongst acres of lush tropical gardens and majestic pyramids. . . . we are designed to please the most discriminating traveler. Thank you for visiting us and we look forward to your return.
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Michigan
Level 6 Contributor
102 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed April 23, 2012

We just visited Galveston. while we didn't stay at the hotel, we visited the grounds and enjoyed everything they had to offer. The Aquarium is the best I have seen. Perfectly sized for small children's attention spans and appropriately priced (only $20 for adults and kids are free up to 5 years old). There are no additional costs for additional features. They have sharks, penguins, sea lions, etc. and all very easy to access and enjoy. They also have beaches, water parks, playgrounds, etc. All very easy to use and all very family friendly. We were very impressed! Just know that nothing opens until 10 a.m. which is a bit of a challenge when your kids wake up at 7 a.m. This was my only disappointment.

Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank anelu8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PatrickRoomsManager, Manager at Moody Gardens Hotel Spa & Convention Center, responded to this review, May 3, 2012
We would welcome the opportunity to show Moody Gardens Hotel hospitality the next time you come to discover Galveston Island. Hotel packages are offered to fit every families needs. I would have to agree our Aquarium is one of the best - but like you said we have Palm Beach, and many other state of the art attractions that provide entertainment for all ages.
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NY
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed April 14, 2012

Visited Moody Gardens in February 2012 for a business convention---fourth year in a row. Was there from Sunday through Friday.The hotel is beautiful and the staff is very friendly, greeting everyone with a smile and a hello no matter the time of day or night. The restaurant is WONDERFUL!! Ate breakfast there before conference started and had dinner three times----never disappointed! Food was inventive and delicious---the Gulf shrimp were large and sweet--make sure you order the shirmp cocktail!
Rooms were clean and beds were comfortable. Walls and trim showing a little wear, but nothing major. My family and I enjoy cruising, and would definitely use this hotel as a pre-cruise place to stay if leaving from one of the ships berthed at the Port of Galveston.

Room Tip: Get a room overlooking the Pyramids! Beautiful at night!
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank eie3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PatrickRoomsManager, Manager at Moody Gardens Hotel Spa & Convention Center, responded to this review, April 17, 2012
Thank you for your gracious feedback on your February conference stay that was held at Moody Gardens. It is a goal of ours to give the best in customer service whether it comes from the front desk, our restaurants, housekeeping or maintenance - we want satisfied hotel guests.
We will pass along the positive comments to our support staff. We look forward to your return.
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Houston
1 review
Reviewed April 13, 2012

I like this hotel , the service, and everything was great ! The place is magnificent. Very convenient location.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
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Review collected in partnership with Easytobook.com

Helpful?
Thank Maria del Carme... S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PatrickRoomsManager, Manager at Moody Gardens Hotel Spa & Convention Center, responded to this review, April 17, 2012
"Wonderful Time" at Moody Gardens is music to our ears! It's always nice to read that service was great and I would agree our location is convenient to The Strand, the cruise terminal and to all the fine dining restaurants just to name a few places. Nothing would make us happier than knowing you will be back.
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Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed April 12, 2012

Im a frequent guest at this hotel cause I like this place overall ..... In that area only 2 others places like this 1......... Im talking about services........ But amenities .... The 1 and only place....... My kids lOve this place........

  • Stayed April 2012
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Elpupusero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PatrickRoomsManager, Manager at Moody Gardens Hotel Spa & Convention Center, responded to this review, April 17, 2012
Moody Gardens Hotel enjoys reading that you are a frequent hotel guest! It's nice to know your family enjoys our amenities and it is always our goal to provide the finest in service and accommodations. We enjoy having families with us and welcome you to come back again.....and again.....and again! We have fun in store for the summer months - so keep our website as one of your "favorites" and you won't be disappointed!
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San Antonio, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed April 11, 2012

"Edutainment", in my world, was a hybrid word with a negative connotation. It meant the "dumbing down" of the learning process in order to make education more palatable for those who normally couldn't care less about increasing their knowledge. However, the converse is true at Moody Gardens. There, "edutainment" connotes the creative presentation of educational material; thus, it enticies children of all ages, from 2 to 102, to see, touch, experience nature and gain a meaningful appreciation of the world in which we live -- and it is a pretty amazing world as presented by Moody Gardens.

There are multiple venues in which to observe, participate, learn and enjoy. Among the most popular which can all be enjoyed with the purchase of a 1 day (currently $49.95) or 2 day (presently $64.95) pass are "Palm Beach," the IMAX 3D Theater, the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat, the Aquarium Pyramid, the 4D film "ride" and the New Rainforest Pyramid. For an additional nominal cost, one can visit the Discovery Pyramid which currently (April 2012) is exhibiting "The Body" (due to time constraints -- we were celebrating the birthday of my younger son as well as enjoying the extra Easter attractions -- we had to forgo this last exhibit; furthermore, "Palm Beach" does not open until Memorial Day Weekend). Nonetheless, we had an absolutely fantastic experience.

With our all-day pass, we were granted admission once to each of the above (the 2-day pass permits multiple visits to the attractions for 2 continuous days). We began in the New Rainforest Pyramid (the original opened in 1993; however, it was enhanced and completed in the Spring of 2011). My family has visited rainforest exhibits in other states; yet, none can compare with the complete experience provided at Moody Gardens. Not only are there a myriad of trees, plants, flowers and even ground cover (I saw a "prayer plant" like one my mother had when I was a child, so named because it raises its leaves at night, looking not unlike hands in prayer, then lowers the leaves upon daylight -- a delightful flashback to my childhood that was truly unexpected), there are birds, butterflies, monkeys -- that is not a typo -- MONKEYS!! My children were thrilled to watch these unusual monkeys venture down branches taking a closer look at them as my kids examined them. My younger son was especially tickled when an exquisite butterfly landed upon his finger!

After meandering through the tropical clime of the Rainforest Pyramid, we made our way to the 4D "ride." The day we were there, we had our choice of "Dora & Diego" and "The Wizard of Oz." Just as in a 3D movie, you are handed a pair of glasses as you enter the theater; unlike a 3D movie, though, there are extra "effects." Because my children are 11 and 13, they chose to see the Wizard. I won't disclose just what the "effects" are, for the surprise is half of the fun. I'll just say this: Even if you have had the pleasure of seeing "The Wizard of Oz" on the big screen, this excursion will definitely be unique and enjoyable no matter how many times you may have seen the movie previously!

Next, we walked down the hall to the IMAX 3D theater where the birthday boy chose to watch "Sharks 3D." Although I have seen a gazillion 3D movies, I still found myself ducking and dodging to "evade" the onslaught of the approaching cartilaginous beasts! My son continuously reminded me that many of them were not "man-eaters"; nonetheless, the hairs on my neck were on end for the screen made them seem soooooooooo realistic that they wanted me for lunch!

After having the wits scared out of us, we opted for a quick snack. My boys were craving traditional Slurpees while I opted for a pretzel and cheese sauce and my husband devoured 3 egg rolls. The snacks were tasty and not overpriced like many amusement arenas can be.

Thereafter, we made the short stroll to the Aquarium Pyramid, my personal favorite. Each son was given a "passport," a little booklet that provided spaces for the boys to "stamp" an image of a certain type of shark as they wandered through the aquarium. I needed no such incentive to see all of the exhibits. Just as we were entering, the seals and sea lion were being fed. Boy, did they put on a show! After slithering upon the "feeding rock" to get their dinner, they then would swim in a circle, gaining momentum and then burst out of the water to tap an orange ball which was suspended about 5 feet above the water. Of course, when they splashed back into their habitat, they soaked the kids standing closest to the glass, including my young ones. All of the kids squealed with delight, even my "mature" 13 year old!

This aquarium is unique for the number of different sea species it houses as well as its layout. You circle up and down, venturing from one continent to another, ultimately ending up in the most amazing "aqua tunnel" I have ever seen. I could sit there for hours just watching the various types of sharks slowly wiggling their way over the heads of the visitors. In addition, there is a shark cage on display, into which my younger son crept requesting that we take his photo. Besides the sharks, I just loved the sea-horse display. I suggest going to the aquarioum last for there is so much to see and read that you do not want to rush through it. For instance, I knew that male sea-horses would carry the fertilized eggs, but I learned that there is a special species of fish where the male carries the eggs...IN HIS MOUTH! Now. that's some cool "edutainment!"

While one can merely go to the attractions, it is definitely a treat to be a guest at the Moody Gardens Hotel. Because we were celebrating both a birthday and Easter, we opted for a suite (which was magnificent, I dare say!). Nevertheless, the other hotel rooms are special as well. First of all, they are larger than the average hotel room, starting at around 450 - 500 s.f. and all have free internet services. Next, the views are just wonderful. You can choose to see a Pyramid from your room, the beach or the pool. Our suite was adjacent to the pool, which was perfect for the amphibians that are my sons! Each room has a flat screen HD television with a nice line-up of channels. I was pleasantly surprised by the additon of the "Antenna Channel" which provides programming not unlike the original "Nick at Nite" such as "Dragnet" and "It Takes a Thief." Those of us who are children of the '70s might end up in front of the boob-tube more than we planned!

Because it was his birthday, we allowed our younger son to decide where he wanted to go for dinner our first night. He chose room service, which was yummy, and also available 24 hours! My husband had the Grilled Chicken Breast "Anglaise" which consisted of grilled chicken strips over penne pasta and marinara sauce that was bountiful with a Caesar Salad on the side. My younger son had a jr. cheese burger and fries whlle my older son chose buttered cappelini...his only complaint was that it was so good he wanted two servings (so he finished up dad's penne pasta). I picked the catch of the day which was Sauteed Snapper with a fresh crab topping with delicious carrots and green beans, both al dente, just as I like them. We had german chocolate cake and milk for dessert which was so decadent, we had to save some for the next day -- fortunately, each room comes with a refrigerator and a single serving Keurig coffee maker, so we had a nice treat the following day.

This was not our first trip to Moody Gardens. Previously, momma treated herself to a spa treatment: the Detoxifying Mud Wrap which was heavenly. This visit, however, I was so busy tending to the birthday boy, I was too late to go to the spa...but not to worry. I had just as luxiourious an experience in my own bath tub in my room with the Paya Bath Product provided by the resort. The scent, a mixture of papaya and orange essence was so soothing that while I wish I could have gone to the spa, I did not feel short-changed.

All in all, everything in our room was very nice. I am a pillow hog and each bed had 3 pillows each (plenty to put under my back that has metal rods and screws as well as beneath my knee on which I had surgery 2 months before our trip). Unlike many hotels, there was ample drawer space and the bathroom was quite roomy -- there was even an illuminated make-up mirror as well as a hair dryer provided. The towels were quite plush as well.

What distinguishes a good hotel for me from a great hotel are two things: the service and the food. From the bellmen, to the maids, to the waitresses, everyone was smiling, friendly and kind without being condescending. Our bellman, Ray, pushed open our room door with a "Voila!" which made the kids yelp with delight when they saw just how pretty our room was. Our attendant at the Terrace Restaurant breakfast buffet, Annese, was so nice, I could have chitted and chatted with her for a while...but my boys wanted to get to the attractons. The breakfast buffet was very nice with multiple options for all different tastes. There was everything from fresh fruit (the honeydew was the best!), yogurt, bagels that were crusty on the outside and chewy on the inside like a good New York bagel...and that's hard to find in South Texas. The scrambled eggs weren't pebbly-poos nor were they slimy lumps as can be found on many buffets. The bacon was crisp, the biscuits/sausage/cream gravy were delicious and the breakfast potatoes were cooked to perfection. Buffets are hard -- keep the food too long on the line and it gets soggy -- but Moody Gardens has gotten it right.

I mentioned that we were there during Easter Weekend. Because of the holiday, there were extra special events. The favorite thing for my boys, besides the Easter baskets that were distributed at check-in, was the Petting Area. We have a dwarf bunny at home; therefore, naturally, my children gravitated to the baby rabbits who were simply adorable. There were speckled bunnies, grey ones, even a lop-ear or two. In additon, there were chicks and ducks; however, we spent the majority of our time slobbering over the cute bunnies.

The highlight of the morning, however, was the magnificent Easter Brunch. Normally, our family goes to Easter Brunch after church services; hence, we are used to a nice spread for the holiday. However, the offering at Moody Gardens was extra special. Along with our mimosas brought to us by Tina who had an infectious smile, and among the many variations of bunnies (shaped out of melons and even an ice sculpture), there was everything from cheeses and crackers (and not just American and Swiss -- there was havarti with dill, gouda, pepper jack, etc.), lox, at least 7 different kinds of salads, cold fruit soup served in slim shot glasses (you haven't lived until you have had their pureed cantaloupe "shooter"), omelets made-to-order with at least 10 different options for inclusion. Like many buffets there were fresh shrimp; unlike most buffets, though, instead of crab legs, there were crab fingers which were to die for! Available for the carnivores was carved prime rib and also baked ham with a pineapple brandy sauce; for the seafood lovers like moi there was grilled salmon steaks with saffron cream sauce or grilled chicken breast with tomato olive sauce. There was so much from which to choose including au gratin potatoes, country style green beans, spinach and cherry tomatoes, muffins, rolls and desserts -- ah, the desserts! There was everything from miniature chocolate eclairs, cookies (the peanut butter chocolate chip were scrumptious) and at least 15 others including Kahlua cheese cake; however, my favorite were these little squares that were not unlike almond joy bars on top of a chocolate chip cookie crust. Can you say yum? I knew you could! The pièce de résistance was the incredible pianist and singer whose performance included "our song," -- "Since I Fell for You" -- which made the meal even more romantic and enjoyable as our 21st Wedding Anniversary was merely 4 days after Easter Sunday.

One quick note: I am disabled; in addition, I had 2 surgeries within 2 months of going on this trip and was on crutches. I had no trouble getting around and the staff was incredibly gracious in offering assistance.

All in all, we had an outstanding time at the Moody Garden Hotel, Spa and Convention Center from the educational attractions, to the outdoor swimming pool with its own version of "MUTS" (Movies Under the Stars made famous by the Princess Cruise Line -- my boys watched an Alvin & the Chipmunks sequel while splashing under the moon), to the oh so delicious food. I highly recommend this location for a change of pace from the usual amusement park. Oh yeah -- Schlitterbahn Water Park is also on the property, but since we live 20 minutes from the original Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels, TX, we chose to enjoy the other opportunites. My boys learned a lot; dad ate a ton of delicious food; mom was spoiled by the staff and the resort atmosphere. As I stated in the beginning, it was one swell vacation!

Room Tip: My boys loved being near the swimming pool (our room was in the North Tower). Surprisingly, even wi...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank ileta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
College Station, Texas
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed April 4, 2012

I stayed at here during the Texas Aviation Conference, and came away impressed with the hotel staff, and the facilities in general. The conference support staff was attentive, and there were no issues with multimedia support. The food served was a little bland, but certainly not bad for conference fare. Our golf tournament was at Moody Gardens course, an easy drive about a mile or two from the hotel.

This is a sprawling facility and it's easy to get turned around, particularly if your room is not in the main tower. No issues with my room, although it could use an updating (wee bit of an old funk smell when I first walked in). The hotel has free, strong wi-fi signal.

The workout facility is large and well equipped. One of the two treadmills was broken, but everything else worked fine. If the weather is nice, there are plenty of areas to run outside the hotel.

Overall, I'd give this hotel a big thumbs up and recommend it for any conference.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank agchris96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Moody Gardens Hotel Spa & Convention Center

Property: Moody Gardens Hotel Spa & Convention Center
Address: 7 Hope Blvd., Galveston, Galveston Island, TX 77554-8927
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Texas > Texas Gulf Coast > Galveston Island > Galveston
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) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Galveston
#1 Luxury Hotel in Galveston
#3 Business Hotel in Galveston
#5 Romantic Hotel in Galveston
#5 Family Hotel in Galveston
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Moody Gardens Hotel Spa & Convention Center 4*
Number of rooms: 418
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Also Known As:
Moody Gardens Hotel Spa And Convention Center
Moody Gardens Hotel Hotel Galveston
Moody Gardens Motel
Moody Gardens Galveston
Moody Garden Hotel Galveston

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