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.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Priceline, Orbitz, Expedia, TripOnline SA, Hotwire, Ctrip TA, Agoda and getaroom.com so you can book your Grand Lodge Waterpark Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Grand Lodge By Stoney Creek Hotel Rothschild
- Hotel At Cedar Creek
- Lodge At Cedar Creek
- At Cedar Creek Rothschild