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“Large and clean, but understaffed”

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Grand Lodge Waterpark Resort
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Rothschild
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 9, 2013

As we are a family on a tight budget, we think very carefully about each and every hotel stay. We chose this hotel as a special "treat" for the family, based on reviews and their offerings (e.g. the waterpark), on the way home from a back-country cross-country ski excursion in the U.P. We were happy to take advantage of their weekday rates (100 dollars cheaper than their weekend rates, but still about the same as the Dells waterparks) during a period when the waterpark was actually open during the week (the tail-end of winter break). Our overall impression was that although the hotel was clean and pleasant, it was also very understaffed, with only one individual I encountered looking to be over the age of 25. Several times I passed or stopped at the front desk, and never was there a person there...and no bell to ring either!

There was a free morning breakfast attended by hundreds of guests, but there was only one poor attendant (who looked to be about 17 years old tops) trying to keep on top of it all...cereal was spilled all over, the floor in front of the buffet was super sticky, tables were not wiped, etc. I think it was the most stressful breakfast experience I've had at a hotel in quite awhile (the kind of breakfast where you sprint to the waffle station in order to secure a 4th position spot because your 12 year old has been waiting for 30 minutes for the line to get shorter!!).

Also, I think we'd have overlooked the chaotic breakfast issue if we hadn't had to change rooms in the middle of the night. We had reserved the basic two queen room (and I must admit I had hoped they would upgrade us, but the youngster checking us in had no such plans), and they must have run out of quiet rooms, because they put us in the noisiest room in the hotel, a room that had absolutely no sound buffer because it had an door to an adjoining room. When we turned off the movie the kids were watching to settle down to sleep, we could hear everything, I mean everything, the people in the next room were saying through this door. I would think the desk/check in person would do ANYTHING to avoid putting people in this room, but instead there I was, near midnight, in my pj's at the front desk (after a bit of a wait since there was no bell), asking for another room.

To their credit, they did move us right across the hall no questions asked, into the next level "up" room (one with a fireplace). But it took a bit of time and energy after a long, long day to transfer all our stuff (two adults, three teens) into the new room and get settled back down, and it would have been so easy for the hotel to have put us there in the first place.

Those two issues aside, here are a few more pro/con details, in case you are reading this while considering spending the "over two hundred" dollars a night to stay here during your Granite Peak (which we avoided) weekend ski trip:

Pros: uncrowded water park, especially in the mornings. Relatively clean waterpark (with the exception of the locker room, which hadn't been cleaned overnight and still had old diapers in the stall dispensers) with ample towels available. Lifeguards fairly friendly (but prone to teen antics). Smaller and more sane in general than the Dells megaparks. Very close to the 9 Mile County Forest (60k of groomed xc trails) and the Sylvan Park Tube runs (a fantastic alternative to Granite Peak!!)

Cons: Waterpark is on the small side (could use larger body flumes, mat racers, or wave pool) This was fine for me; I liked the compactness, but the teens were a bit stir crazy after awhile. The hot tub was a sweltering pool of chemicals (made my eyes red and inflamed in two minutes), plus the 12 and 13 year old were not allowed in, according to the sign...difficult when you have a teen with autism who has sensory issues and loves warm water! (they went in anyway and nothing was said) The hotel is located "under" a large power plant and the huge descending flumes of steam discharge are a bit disconcerting at first...once inside, you notice nothing.

Finally, although in re-reading this review, I seem a bit antagonistic regarding Granite Peak, I must say that my sons really have enjoyed this ski area in the past. It is very expensive to ski here on weekends or even on some weekdays, however, and a family of five on a tight budget would have to come on their 2 for 1 day (Tuesday or Wed. I believe) or their special weeknight "night" skiing rates in order to avoid paying over 200 dollars a day for lift tickets. Perhaps next year.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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Thank jammin11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jack K, Vice President/Corporate Support Services at Grand Lodge Waterpark Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 30, 2013

Thank you for your review! In response to your feedback we wanted to share that we’ve been reviewing our quiet hour’s policy with all of our staff and best practices to minimize guest inconvenience. Regarding our hot tub rules, we have them in place for safety reasons and understand that enforcing them may cause patrons disappointment. With that being said, to your point of us not being a mega park, a pro is we are able to be more flexible and available to unique situations like the one you reference with your teen. For example, we were honored to have been chosen as the location for the Wisconsin Autism Society’s play day in the waterpark at the end of January. In future visits, we hope that you can feel comfortable sharing your unique situation with a manager so we can better understand your needs and work to accommodate your family the best we can.

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200 - 206 of 288 reviews

Reviewed January 4, 2013

We also spent 2 nights here for our ski trip to Granite Peak on Sat and Sun just before NYD. We were told about the hours for the pool, breakfast (and cost), and the place to eat downstairs at check-in. So that was fine. We expected this weekend to be very busy but actually it seems they were not even close to capacity which was great for us. The only issue we had was that when we got back to our room on Sunday around 4pm, our room was not cleaned yet; short staffed perhaps? Kids loved the water park and the fact that they didn't have to wait in line for the big slides. A few hours of pool time was good enough for us each day. The grill sells beer, margaritas, but no wine. Wish they sold wine! You can take the drinks into the water park, so that was nice for us adults to unwind after a day of skiing. We had a queen bed with a sleeper couch and a fireplace. The room was huge and very nice. No complaints about the room. The breakfast is your typical hot and cold items (don't expect a Sunday brunch type buffet), good value for what they charge. Too bad they don't do dinner service, though the bar was open during evening time. We ate out both nights at Green Mill restaurant at the nearby Holiday Inn. The restaurant was very good.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank BeachVacationer2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2013

Great place for our family ski and New Years vacation. Had a group of 3 families which was perfect for. Everyone very nice. Great waterpark hours for the holiday. Very clean and easy to get around. Loved the very warm temp of the waterpark!

  • Stayed: December 2012
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Thank Tanya B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2012

As I was checking out, I overheard a couple talking about their experience at the hotel, and when I heard it, I was happy because it confirmed my own experience. This is a great hotel, clean, cozy, with a great water park, but could be much better managed.

My family (wife, two kids, 9 and 7) and I went here to enjoy the excellent skiing at Granite Peak and also enjoy the water park. The kids loved the water park. The ski area is only ten minutes away and our family took advantage of the nearby grocery store (Pick and Save) to pick up snacks and prepared meals to eat in (and save money). The fireplace in the room was a nice way to enjoy a family meal while watching TV.

Here are some of the things that could use better mangement:

1. No In Room Guide to the Hotel. I had to call and find out when the pool was open and what restaurants were nearby. The odd thing is that when I called to find out a local pizza place, they referred me to a pizza chain called Marcos. After choosing for another option because Marcos said that it would take a hour and half, when we went down to the pool, we discovered that there was a snack shop right next to the pool that offered pizza and other food. We would have eaten here if they had told us about it, but wondered if there was a reason that staff told us to go somehwere else, so we never tried it.

2. No Complimentary Breakfast. The website says that they have complimentary breakfast on Monday through Friday. We went down on Friday morning to enjoy our breakfast, and were told that because of the holiday that that though it was Friday, that we would have to pay for breakfast. I had a hard time understanding this because Friday was not a holiday. Christmas was three days prior on Tuesday. I did not fight it because the price was reasonable ($30 for two adults and two kids), but again, I wish someone had told us at check in or when we booked our stay. As a result, the room rate is misleading, because you have to add this cost to the daily rate compared to other hotel chains where breakfast is included.

3. Understaffed. All the staff was extremely courteous and helpful. However, it was apparent that they needed more staff. The breakfast at its busiest time had only two employees. We had to wait for our check, and food and coffee was not replenished on a timely basis. Check in and response time from the front desk was slow, because the staff was overwhelmed. The pool had one lifeguard for the entry to the waterslides, so it was a bit disconcerting to see the lifeguard hop frantically back and forth from the different entries to the three waterslides to make sure anxious children did not go down too early.

Again, it was a great hotel, and the kids loved it. I might consider other hotel chains with a true complimentary breakfast, and simply purchase a daily pass to the waterpark ($15 per person).

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Fastpast_FL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jack K, Vice President/Corporate Support Services at Grand Lodge Waterpark Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 30, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience! It is our goal not to just meet, but exceed the expectations of our guests’ and I apologize that we fell short of doing this during your stay. We humbly acknowledge your observation of the staffing challenge and are, and have been, actively recruiting new team members. We are pleased to share that these efforts are showing success in the way of great new staff hires and we are diligently training to bring them up to speed to be able to deliver the experience our guests deserve. We are also reviewing our breakfast buffet schedule and can share that the decision to offer our all-u-can-eat buffet came as the request of many patrons requesting an expanded assortment over that holiday time period. We are so happy that your family still was able to enjoy the indoor waterpark and hope to have the opportunity in the future to deliver the experience you expect and deserve.

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Reviewed November 23, 2012

Clean, comfortable, very tastefully decorated and excellent service. Not a bargain stay by any means, but its not meant for that. It's about the experience. I was glad to NOT see tablets, phones and DS players everywhere. Families were actually interacting. I travel a lot and stay in hotels monthly, The Grand Lodge is safe and clean; my top two criteria when choosing for myself or my family. We got a suite with bunks for the kids and a seperate king bedroom. It was very well laid out and just a way cool room for all of us with a table and two chairs, sofa sleeper and coffee table as well as fridge and microwave. Loved it.

  • Stayed: November 2012
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Thank womanroadwarrior
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jack K, Vice President of Corporate Support Services at Grand Lodge Waterpark Resort, responded to this reviewResponded December 6, 2012

Dear Ms. Warrior, On behalf our of entire team I thank you for your kind remarks. Our goal for every guest is that when they do unfortunately have to leave, that they depart with a positive and memorable experience. It is wonderful to see that you and your family did just that. We thank you for your patronage and your loyalty and we look forward to your next visit. Happy Holidays to you and yours.

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Reviewed November 1, 2012

Our family spent two nights for a weekend getaway, and we were very happy that we chose the Grand Lodge Waterpark Resort. Our boys are in the tween ages, and they had more fun than they've had in quite awhile at the waterpark and in the arcade. The wilderness-themed decor throughout the hotel gave an added sense of adventure as we walked between activities. The part of the hotel that made the strongest impression on me was the wonderful staff. Every employee we met, whether at the desk, in the hall, in the waterpark, or during housekeeping, was friendly, eager to say hello, and willing to help. If I were to look for an area for improvement, it would be the continental breakfast. It was free during the week, but during the weekend, it was replaced by a breakfast buffet that required an admission price. They still had free coffee by the buffet entrance, though. By the way, the Cedar Creek Cinema across the street had some special deals that added fun to our stay. We saw a 10 a.m. Saturday 3D movie for $3 per person. Overall, we were impressed with the staff, enjoyed the rooms, and made good use of the waterpark. We received a reasonably low rate by calling the hotel directly, which made the stay even sweeter. We hope to visit again!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank MarquetteMark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2012

We were pleased to learn that we received a complimentary upgrade when we checked in. The lobby is massive, cozy and tastefully decorated. Our room was spacious and comfortable. The king bed and fireplace made for a wonderful stay. The only disappointment was to find out that the lounge/restaurant was closed on Sunday nights. The complimentary breakfast was very adequate, including plenty of hot food, great coffee and lots of seating room.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank dleigl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Lodge Waterpark Resort

Address: 805 Creske Ave, Rothschild, WI 54474-7991
Location: United States > Wisconsin > Rothschild
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) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Rothschild
Price Range: $130 - $191 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Grand Lodge Waterpark Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 139
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Grand Lodge Waterpark Resort is a hotel located just outside of downtown Wausau, WI in the cozy neighborhood of Rothschild. The hotel is located near the Granite Peak Ski Area and has a reputation as one of Wausau's best hotels. The hotel offers everything that you need for a pleasant stay, including cozy rooms,food service, and Internet access. Our hotel is a unique destination with a "Northwoods" themed decor that is suited for business and pleasure alike. The Grand Lodge is home to one of Wisconsin's most exciting waterparks - Logger's Landing. This 50,000 square foot fun zone is full of excitement and adventure for the entire family. The Grand Lodge is one of the area's premier hotels. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Lodge By Stoney Creek Hotel Rothschild
Hotel At Cedar Creek
Lodge At Cedar Creek
At Cedar Creek Rothschild

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