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“A very fun time”
Review of Chula Vista Resort

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Chula Vista Resort
Ranked #53 of 75 Hotels in Wisconsin Dells
Reviewed January 25, 2008

Our family stayed at Chula Vista during the MLK long weekend. We had a great time! Our two kids, ages 4 and 7 loved the waterpark. The water roller coaster was a blast as well as the other big slides.

The hotel was good, clean and larger than the typical room in a standard hotel. The water park is a bit of a walk so be sure to bring warmer clothes than just beach coverups. Sweat Pants, sweat shirts would work out great.

We would definitely recommend this hotel at the dells for a great winter get-away.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank zimmdj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,030 - 2,036 of 2,225 reviews

Reviewed January 23, 2008

So I think I’ve figured this out: the angry reviews are from folks who got rooms in the old section of the hotel, through the smoky bar area. Happier folks stayed in the newer tower, and happiest stayed in a new condo unit and visited since the buffet restaurant & bar were remodeled last summer.

This was our second visit. First time (see below from Feb 1, 2007) we did the all inclusive winter special of $99 per room plus tax per night. With food, booze, and water park admission, this was a super deal. This time, we decided to rent a 2 bedroom condo using vrbo.com. Total hit with everyone. Ultra modern décor, fantastically comfortable pillow top mattress beds, plenty of space for all. Especially liked the two hologram fireplaces. What a great invention!

We brought some breakfast & snack food, then paid for dinner. No all inclusive necessary. Looking back, we could have cooked dinner in the full kitchen using the all new appliances.

The $99/night deal was still offered, but that’s for 2 people. They charge an extra $46 per child age 3+ per night. So to be stuffed into a hotel room and pay the extra $92/night was not worth it, especially since my small kids don’t eat. They somehow exist on air, juice, and bread & butter. Someday I’ll complain that they’re eating me out of house & home!

Our buffet dinner was surprisingly very good. Excellent variety of quality food with nice presentation. Carving station, pasta station, and of course the crab legs were all great. The menu is gone, so a/i people can’t order shrimp cocktail & NY steak like last year. Not a problem with plenty else to please. They offered a sandwich menu in the newly remodeled but still smoky sports bar area. I never knew so many chain smokers existed!

Water park is very nice, not too big that you feel lost, but big enough to have some fast & fun slides that compete with Great Wolf & Kalahari resorts. The lazy river is still a hit. This year, my kids were just one hair tall enough to ride every slide accompanied by us. And that they did! 18 times in a row on the roller coaster. Go ahead, try to beat that record! My neck & back will never be the same.

We highly recommend Chula Vista if you either get a condo or get a super deal on the all-inclusive package. I rarely give a 5* review, but I think this time was it. We’ll probably go back to attempt another roller coaster record.

My stay last year, Jan 2007, went like this:

Just back from a decent stay with my family & in-laws. Everyone enjoyed most aspects of this property. Awesome deal of $99/night ALL INCLUSIVE! Per room! I think we won after adding up what we got for what we paid.

Condos are brand new, nicely decorated. Unfortunately, we stayed in the main hotel. Followed other reviewers' tip & asked for a room "not in the tower where you gotta walk through the smoky bar". So we had a Family Suite in the middle tower on the 3rd floor. On the 4th floor above our room was a family of tap dancing elephants. They'd rehearse from 8pm to midnight. Both nights, constantly, banging, walking, running, jumping.

So these regular rooms were dated, standard hotel rooms. Nothing special. Clean, functional, large, but just fine. But as everyone says, you don't spend much time there anyway.

Dining included the Mesa Grill (main restaurant/buffet) & the waterpark snack bar. Buffet at Mesa Grill was just ok. Typical buffet fare. The secret was ordering off the menu. It was included in the a/i. So we had shrimp coctail (very large shrimp), NY Strip steaks (high quality, high marks), crab legs off the buffet (ours were great, plenty of meat, nothing bad like another reviewer mentioned). We saw the $150+ bill that they used for internal accounting, left a 15-20% tip, and went on our merry way each night. By the way, tipping is NOT included. I felt like stopping a few guests who would eat like gluttons, then put down a buck or two if any.

The new 80,000 sq ft indoor waterpark was fabulous. Everything was clean, lots of lifeguards, plenty of towels. Slides were fast & fun, lazy river was long & enjoyable. Great little kids area. Our favorites were the "toilet bowl" slide and the water roller coaster.

Snack bar staffed by some foreign exchange students who worked extremely slowly. They had a tough time filling simple meal orders (hot dog...french fries...diet pepsi please). And the food is not that exciting. In fact, 3 of us who drank the virgin Pina Coladas from there were very ill after about 8 hours. This included my 3 yr old daughter. So beware.

Front desk overly pleasant but not flexible when it came to a late checkout. They would gladly charge $25/hour per room after the 10:30am regular check out time. I asked for a 1pm, they smiled and said all they could do is 11am. Huh? Mid week? Winter? Only 50 people staying in this huge resort? It was like a ghost town. That's kind of off for the hotel industry.

That's it, last year hotel compared to this year condo. I'd definitely go back.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank SeaBass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2008

My husband and I decided to go to Chula Vista for a romantic 2-night getaway for New Years. We booked what we thought would be a lovely room with a Jacuzzi tub, a balcony with a view and king sized bed. Upon arrival to our room, we noticed that the room itself was kind of dingy and you could tell that this was one of their old rooms that they had poorly remodeled. We used the Jacuzzi tub our first night and when we got done, we had noticed that a HUGE clump of hair had come out of one of the jets in the tub. It was like someone had shaved in the tub previously because it was not from us. Since it was late, the next morning we went to the front desk to complain. The lady at the desk did not apologize and said she would call housekeeping to clean the tub. Three hours later we returned to the room to find no one had cleaned the Jacuzzi tub. All housekeeping had done was made the bed and left new towels. They never cleaned the shower, wiped the sink and did not appear to have vacuumed. Next we found that one of our new "clean" towels had a big smear of some gross looking brown spot on it. The first night we also noticed a "crusty" stain on the bedspread. When we checked out the next day, we complained to the front desk again where the girl that had helped us the previous day said she called Housekeeping and talked to the room inspector herself. We told her what happened and that person should be fired. They offered no other apologizes and said we should fill out a comment card. I found this to be very poor customer service for the amount of money we spent on our room ($500 for 2 nights). We had also gone to the steak restaurant for a wonderful dinner and attended their New Years Eve bash, which was alot of fun. The next day I decided to call Chula Vista and talk to a manager about my experience. The manager apologized and said they would be sending a coupon for a free nights stay. It took two weeks before we received the coupon. The coupon is only good for a free night stay if you go during the week, but not during July and August. We do not plan on using this coupon. It just amazes me that after staying at Chula Vista back in 1994 for a friends wedding, I still receive the same icky impression of this resort’s rooms. Their rooms are cheap, outdated and dingy looking. I would recommend for any couple looking for a romantic stay, go elsewhere.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank 4lorlyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2008

Stayed for one night on December 27th. The room was outstanding--El Grande Condominium. Very suitable for large numbers of family members. The whirlpool in the room was spotlessly clean. The decor was very current and stylish. I contacted the hotel directly about 2 months prior to the Holiday and feel I received a very reasonable rate.

What was good!! Besides a fun, but not outstanding, waterpark....Besides a beautiful room to be in....Baking cookies was really good. I recommend you take cookie dough (like refridgerated Nestle or Pillsbury roll) that you can bake in the oven. They had baking sheets and spatulas!

What I don't know about?? Only stayed for one night and we did not eat at any restaurants on site, except the Crash Landing in the water park, which was pricey, slow and not very good.

What they could improve. Overall, I think signage could be a little better. Maps that are more detailed and better signs to and from the water park in the undergrond tunnels.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled with family
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1  Thank Reisen68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2008

Me and a few friends aged (17-20) wanted to take a little trip during our winter break to get away from the slow life in suburban Illinois.

I found Chula Vista had an excellent rate for 2 people and 2 nights ALL-INCLUSIVE. Well naturally we just added our two other friends to the room and voila a grand total of $414 for 4 people, 2 nights and all the food and drinks we can down.

Going here I was a tad bit skeptical because of the reviews but i was very quickly changed once i got there and took a taste of everything around me.

1.)Waterpark- The waterpark was loads of fun, I thought it would have been small and childish but it was perfect for people of all ages! There are big tube and body slides for the thrill seekers and small slides, lazy rivers, basketball pools, baby pools and a huge water playground up to the ceiling with slides and everything you can think of. You get to the park via an underground tunnel so no going outside and the tunnel is nicely decorated and has a few shops including a surf shop for your bathing suit and sandal needs. The waits were non existant and the guards were nice and funny. The arcade is big and gives you something to do in between everything else.

2.) Food- for one i was expecting mediocre food all around but i was very very shocked to realize that this food was actually excellent! The all inclusive is the only way to go, I assure you. The dinner buffet includes crab legs, fresh carved meats, ribs, chicken, mashed potatoes, made to order pastas and it is all high quality and best of all it is included in the all-inclusive! Other wise it is $22.50 a person which rounds out to $115 for a group of 4. The buffet does not include desert, but your all-inclusive package indeed does, so your server will bring you out a tray of fresh desserts ranging from pies, to cakes, to mousse. The breakfast buffet is equally impressive with tons of bacon, sausage, made to order omelets, belgium waffles, potatoes. It is excellent!! Crash Landings snack bar in the waterpark is also included in your inclusive package and what a convenience it is to just walk in and grab a drink ($3.00 normally) some ice cream, chicken tenders, fries, whole pizzas and not have to pay a penny. It does get crowded randomly so just check it every so often and go in when the time is right. You also get all of your bar drinks included! The bar scene is fun and people are there until close to 2am having fun and the atmosphere is great and never rowdy. It was great signing for a few virgin Pina Coladas at 1am for $12 but not having to drop the cash for it.

3.) Room- the rooms here are exactly what you would expect from a hotel, the beds were soft, pillows were soft, and the room was clean. The 4 of us paid $100 each for the room for 2 night but everything else was included, it worked out great. Housekeeping brought us towels, pillows, and blankets whenever we needed them and were very efficient and friendly.

All in all, I would say that you must get the all-inclusive if you plan to stay here and are a good eater or drinker. The food is top notch and you will not be disappointed. Through the off season they offer the $199 rate for 2 people and 2 nights all inclusive, and highly recommend taking advantage of it.

To give you an idea, me and my 3 other friends got a grand total of upwards of $500-$600 in food and drinks and we didn't drink alcohol either.

This is a quality establishment that I would without a doubt come back to for a great time!

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled with friends
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5  Thank TheWishman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2008

Just spent 2 days here with 17 family members including 8 kids between the ages of 4 and 15. Rooms were clean and quiet....we had 3 rooms in the condo area. The main room had a full kitchen which was nice and two fireplaces. Our room had 2 queens and a sofa bed which was great for our 3 kids. Internet was SLOW and pretty much useless. We did have the all inclusive package which was nice for the kids. The snack bar was very slow but another guest asked for the manager and then the speed picked up immensely. The kids had a great time at the waterpark and never complained about the water temperature. The buffet was great and had whatever food anyone wanted to eat. We did usually call first to get the table reserved to hold all of us. Bryan at the front desk was friendly and extremely helpful--look for him to help with anything. The maids were friendly and helpful. The snack bar staff did have some language barriers which was troublesome at times.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
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5  Thank hlfch5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2007

We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas night at the CVR. I had read reviews and was scared to go! We had a great time. My husband, myself and our kids 9 and 4. I had read some bad reviews and I have to say (being very picky myself) that these folks must have just wanted it to be 100% perfect. You can't get that anywhere. Here are my key points:

The Room - we stayed in the new condo building in a 2 bedroom. It had two fireplaces, in room jacuzzi, kitchen and it was clean and in great condition. Paper walls? If it wasn't for the waterpark, I would have thought we were the only ones there. Never heard a peep or any kids running up and down the halls. Cheap thin towels? I have to agree with other reviews. However, it can be dealt with, no big deal. Foreign non-english speaking rude staff? Yes, a lot were foreign, but they all tried hard and were courteous. I can't speak for the older rooms - I can see that they may be dated and therefore get bad reviews.

The Lost Rios Indoor waterpark - Not as huge as it's competitors but it worked out great for our family. Even my 9 year old son had plenty to do. Freezing cold water? No...Bathwater?.No..but certainly warm enough to swim in - I'd says it's the same as the other waterparks in the dells.

All inclusive - We purchased the all inclusive because it was a holiday. It was very nice not to have to leave the hotel or worry about how much we were spending. I will agree with others that it is a bit limited. The Market buffet was very good and it offers a great breakfast and wonderful dinner with plenty of options. Lunch would have to be at the snack bar by the pool which was understaffed and yes...it did take awhile to get a burger and fries. There is nothing to eat after 10 pm when everything closes. So, drinks, snacks, etc...are stopped. I loved having the all inclusive but I think if it wasn't a holiday it probably would be more cost effective to do otherwise. I saw people who were trying to order 6 pina colada's with their AI wristband and threw a fit when they were told the other 5 people had to be there himself. Then I realized that they were ordering drinks and taking them to their friends out by the pool who didn't purchase the AI package. That only makes the rates increase for us who actually PAY for it so....cry all you want. Be honest and the system works well. Try to scam and of course you're going to get ticked at the rules. These are probably the same people who complained about the thin walls and towels.
The WiFI internet connection was disappointing to say the least. Don't plan on doing work while the kids and mom splash in the pool. Aint gonna happen.
I will stay here again...without reservation...we had a fabulous time and took everything with a grain of salt.

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled with family
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7  Thank kikiana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chula Vista Resort

Address: 2501 River Road, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965-9062
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Wisconsin > Wisconsin Dells
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#14 Top resorts Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
Price Range: $124 - $262 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Chula Vista Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 620
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chula Vista Resort and Waterpark is a complete resort experience in Wisconsin Dells with over 200,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor waterparks. Luxury comes standard in all of our guest rooms, suites and condominiums. Bring your clubs and challenge yourself on our 18-hole golf course. At Chula Vista, we invite you to laugh harder, splash bigger, stay longer and vacation better at Wisconsin Dells' most complete family resort! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chula Vista Hotel Wisconsin Dells
Chula Vista Theme Hotel
Chula Vista Wisconsin Dells
Hotel Chula Vista Theme

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