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“Not worth it”
Review of Chula Vista Resort

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Chula Vista Resort
Ranked #55 of 75 Hotels in Wisconsin Dells
Reviewed September 3, 2013

Our family split our vacation between The Wisconsin Dells and Chicago, IL in march 2013. We spent Thursday through Sunday (including Easter) in the Dells and Sunday night through Thursday morning in Chicago. When we got to the lovely wonderful resort in the Dells we discovered that we spent an awful lot of money for an awful lot of hassle. The only truly redeeming thing was the water park. The kids loved it and had a great time at the indoor water park. Unfortunately, the rest of the experience was pretty bad. We had a 2 bedroom suite/ condo with a kitchen. The phone never worked in the 4 days/ 3 nights we were there, despite multiple reports to the desk. Since we flew in to Chicago, IL from Denver, CO and then drove up to the Dells, it would have been nice to not have to get back in the car and drive around to find food that first night. That's exactly what we got to do. We even asked the front desk if there was any place close by that was good without being ridiculously expensive or formal, just good casual family dining. They directed us to McDonalds. Not exactly what we were looking for. The mattresses on the beds were absolutely terrible. You should not feel the springs in a mattress in a room you are paying over $300 a night for. The bathroom off the "Master" bedroom had no tub, only a shower. The floor of the shower had been redone and had a lovely steep slope and incredibly slippery tiles. We had to put a towel on the shower floor to keep from falling. The kicker was the amenities provided. When I stay at a Holiday Inn, Embassy Suites or even a much lower price point hotel, there are small bottles of shampoo, conditioner and small bars of soap in the room. Not at Chula Vista. At Chula Vista you get a dispenser in the shower and no way of knowing what is in it. This got especially exciting when I went to wash my hair the morning after we arrived. I am drastically allergic to coconut. Normally, I'm ok with the small trace amounts of cocomide in most shampoos and soaps. We, however, were gifted with "Pina Colada" shampoo in our $5 dispenser. My husband rushed down to the lobby where the desk clerk deigned to SELL him 2 2- packs of Benadryl for $6 each. How very kind. Later, after stopping at an Urgent Care Clinic, I reported the problem to the Main Desk, which is in a separate building. I was assured that the housekeeper told them that there is no coconut. I asked if someone could come to the room and check and was informed "That's not our job." I was then offered an opportunity to purchase several travel/ sample size bottle of shampoo from their spa for only $1.50 each. We found a drugstore instead. We were also given a voucher of some sort that we could redeem for $50 credit at the spa or restaurant, unfortunately the woman at the service desk where you were supposed to redeem it never had the time. Add in a television in the main living area that can't be seen from half the couch (and the couch looked and felt like it had spent several years in a college dorm), not being able to get upstairs to our room for over 45 mins on Saturday because there were too many people checking in and having to park a 15 minute walk away from the building our room was in... yeah, I think next time I'll just save the money and stay somewhere else. The worst part was that the people on the phone when I made the reservation was wonderful. We had such high hopes and were really expecting this to be a great family vacation. Staying at a "Resort" was our big splurge and treat for our family and this is the only vacation we are taking in 2013 and 2014. I hope no one else ends up as disappointed as we were. The second half of our vacation was spent in Chicago in a much less expensive, non- resort hotel. Our stay there was much more enjoyable than at Chula Vista. All in all, a waste of over $1,000.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Erica P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,148 - 1,154 of 2,248 reviews

Reviewed September 3, 2013

Chula Vista isn't cheap but is a fine destination for a family because of the water park. Close to Wisconsin Dells so is convenient to other vacation sites of interest. Did not play the golf course but it looked to be very nice.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Ruf54321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dan H, General Manager at Chula Vista Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 5, 2013

Ruf54321,

Very nice to have you and your family with us on your recent visit to the Wisconsin Dells.. We appreciate you taking the time to gice us feedback on your stay. The family package is a great value as you experienced. Thank you for being with us and we look forward to having you with us again soon.

Regards,

Dan Hoppe
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

We stayed in the two bedroom condo with a total of four adults and four children. Plenty of room for all of us. The resort is expansive so you will need to walk a lot, which sometimes is nice like the river walk over looking the Wisconsin River.

We rented a cabana, while it was a little pricey it was nice to have to secure your spot and be in shade whenever you need to. The kids that range from 2 years told to 15 had a blast. Safe and secure for the most part.

There is plenty of options to eat or drink in the resort. The place was full and we didn't feel crowded at all. We have stayed at other places and will never go back. We love this place and for the first time felt relaxed in Wisconsin Dells at this resort.

The ducks or dells tour boats can pick you up at the dock on the resort. Not to many reasons to ever leave the property.

Room Tip: Ask for higher level room with a balcony that over looks the river. Otherwise to much first floor tr...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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Thank lgp112
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dan H, General Manager at Chula Vista Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 5, 2013

Lgp112,

Great to have you with us on your recent visit to Chula Vista and the Dells. I was glad to see that you and your family had a memorable stay with us. The condo accomodations do work well for a visit like you just experienced to make some fine memories.
We will be sure to keep you updated on future promotions and hopefully we may be of service again soon.

Regards,

Dan Hoppe
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

I will make this short and sweet. My family and I stayed at Chula Vista last summer and at first I was pleased. The room was pretty clean for the most part. However, there were some stains on the carpet. What most concerned me about this place was the cleanliness of the pools (indoor and outdoor) The water was hazy and several of us came home with eye infections from the water...GROSS! We will never go back!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Marlow101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

My husband & I recently stayed at the Chula Vista Resort (no kids along) for an anniversary getaway. We stayed August 29-31st. We stayed in a studio condo under the all-inclusive plan. I'm trying to be as detailed as possible since these reviews help me choose our vacations so much! It seems this place has been getting some negative reviews lately so I thought I'd share our experience. If I could give this place 3.5 stars, I would say that would be more accurate than 4. The resort has the ability to be really great with a few improvements that I will try to highlight since I know the GM reads these.

ROOM:
Check in was quick. We were given a room on the first floor facing the parking lot, which wouldn't have been our first choice of location. We arrived on a Thursday and thought there would have been better locations available, but decided to stay in our room instead of calling to check availability on a higher floor room. Our room was huge and gorgeous. The first impression was great! There was a kitchen, two full sized beds, couch/chair, 2 tv's, jacuzzi, patio. We stayed in a studio condo so I know this side of the resort is much more up to date and in better shape than the other side. For the most part we were happy with our room with a few issues:
1. Drainage was very slow, if at all! The tub and sinks stayed full for a while
2. No cleaning service during your stay. Someone only comes to replenish towels
3. Mattresses sort of sagged inward
4. The size of the TV was way too small for how far away it was from the bed/living area.
5. There was a second tube-type tv near the beds, but no remote???
6. Ground floor was noisy with foot traffic outside our patio and the vball court, shuffle board, pool right outside

RESTARAUNTS/BARS:
We had the all-inclusive plan so all meals and most drinks were available through out the resort. During our stay, we dined at Margaritas (the outdoor Mexican place by wave pool), Howler's Sports Bar, Big Moe's (golf course club) and the Market Fresh Buffet. For the most part we enjoyed all of our meals, nothing was over the top great. Market Fresh was your standard buffet, I can only comment on the breakfast buffet as that is the only meal we had there. It was good, but not great. I enjoyed the omelets. For beer drinkers, the all-inclusive plan is the way to go. The selection of beer in the bar that was included was surprising to me. Shock Top, Blue Moon, Stella, Spotted Cow, Fat Tire, Leiny's, you name it. For cocktail drinkers there were many fruity style drinks available but if you got sick of sweet, you were out of luck after awhile. Every bartender we encountered was SOOO friendly and informative. They made our stay a lot of fun. They were always offering up different concoctions and shots! Fun! We loved the ambiance by the wave pool bar/restaraunt and spent a lot of time there. The food there was very good and the waiters/bartenders extremely friendly!! We loved the Jalepeno poppers and the FRIED OREOS!!! The all-inclusive plan seems the way to go if you don't plan to leave the resort much. Prices, otherwise, are very high for food & drinks. We did notice that most places had specials running during certain times (ie: 1/2 price apps, 1/2 price beer & maragritas) So it's do-able. I would say that if I was paying those high prices, however, I'd expect a little more. (ie: onion rings for $9, a burger for $14)
My suggestions for improvement in these areas:
1. Add a dart board or pool table, etc in the sports bar. Not much to do in the evening besides watch tv
2. Sadly, we did see a waiter eat food from our plate as he took it away. We were a little turned off by this! He was a friendly guy, but come on!
3. We loved the tiki bar they had on the "beach" area but there was never anyone there and no real reason for anyone to go there. Maybe add some outdoor activies in that area??
4. Signage, labeling or overall information was pretty poor. We found ourselves often wondering when something opened/closed (pool areas, restaraunts, bars). Pools & bars seemed to open & close at different times?? We had no clue how to get to the outdoor waterpark! We walked around the whole darn thing before someone finally told us we had to go INSIDE in order to get OUTSIDE.



WATERPARKS/ACTIVITIES:
Can't really comment on this area much since we did not have children with us on this stay. We did walk around both the indoor and outdoor waterpark areas. It seems very well suited for young kids but I think teens would get bored pretty quick. My husband and I could only handle two slides inside because our legs couldn't handle all those stairs :) but they were fun! The water coaster was not working while we were there and that was a disappointment. We went in there on Friday afternoon and there was not a lot of people in there! We did go mini-golfing onsite. It was included with our deal. It was fun, but I probably would have been angry to pay $10 for it as it was nothing too thrilling! They have a wonderful outdoor tiki bar in their "beach" area but it seems hidden and not a lot of people know it's there. They told us they were open in the evening so we went down there around 8:00. Crickets were chirping. We were the only ones there! Too bad. I think more people would go during the day & night if there was more to do in that section. A pool or something?? Bag Toss?? Horseshoes?? There is no real reason for anyone to go to the beach area other than some chairs to sit on and look at nothing.
We spent a lot of time by the wave pool bar/restaraunt. Wish they would have made the pool a little bigger. It is really very tiny!! Luckily, while we were there that area wasn't very busy so we were able to get in it once.
Improvements:
1. Signage, labeling (as described above)
2. Chula Vista seems to have the right idea in areas, but just aren't executing. For example, the volleyball and shuffle board outside of our room is a nice addition, but we didn't see anywhere that we could get the supplies to play??? I'm sure we could go front desk and ask but it just seems nice to have that somewhere for people to know.
3. The had bonfires going on the beach down by the tiki bar but no one knew it was going on?? Maybe finding a way to better inform guests of these things would be good.

GROUNDS:
The location of Chula is what brings us back to this place. We love the river walk, pines and overall location. It is nice to walk around! As stated earlier, the hotel side of the resort needs a lot of work! Those rooms (inside & out) were looking pretty run down but the newer tadditions were looking great. Hopefully they get a remodel going soon. We would like to come back in the winter to go in there outdoor hot tub facing the beautiful river and pines!

We are coming back here for the WAMO dart tournament in 2014 and are concerned with how Chula Vista is going to keep thousands of thirsty dart shooters entertained & quenched in the 1 small indoor sports bar they have. We're hoping for good weather so many can go to the outdoor bars, if they are open in May otherwise many will have to get cabs/shuttles downtown.

I'm sure that I am missing a ton of stuff and I could go on, but for the sake of not having a super long review, I will wrap this up...

A couple quick things that didn't really fit in above:
1. We were randomly charged an extra $5.03 on our check out slip and didn't know what this was for?? We weren't told about it and couldn't ask b/c when we were leaving the line was really long and my husband said it wasn't worth it for $5. It left me with a bad taste however, b/c I'd love to know why the extra charge?? I feel like if Chula Vista does this to everyone assuming that no one will complain over $5 they will make bank off of people.
2. You are taxed 3 times on food & beverage at this resort. I can't remember them all specifically but it was somthing like sales tax, county tax & resort tax. What the heck is resort tax?? Is that normal? I thought in most places alcohol isn't even taxed?? I just felt a bit nickle & dimed in the end

NOTEWORTHY EMPLOYEES:
While most everyone we encountered were very nice & friendly, there were a few that deserve some props. We had great service from Tanner (sports bar), Jenny (sports bar), Josh (tiki bar) & Alicia (Margaritas). They were all very informative, friendly, fun and just really seemed to enjoy their jobs. I hope you to them our appreciation.

Room Tip: Condos or villas are the way to go!
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Ahartmann11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013 via mobile

My wife was searching groupon and found the groupon for here. We thought it was a great deal but she started reading reviews of the place and only was seeing bad reviews so she was very hesitant over going there. Next day I was at work and purchased the groupon for the following day which was awesome we were able to book less then 24 hour before arriving. We drove up and was going to use the water park while waoting for room and got there at 2 and our room was ready instead of at 4 which was awesome! My 4 year old hated getting his face wet so he was hesitant when we forst got there. After a hour of going down the kid slide and going around the lazy pool he was outside going under all the water and going down the racing slide and the big slides inside! This was so awesome to finally see him not afraid of the water and having fun! Once he started having funii started going down slides and feeling like a teen again. I will definately be back soon and recommend this place to everyone as I already have with all my friends!

  • Stayed: August 2013
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Thank Kyle R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dan H, General Manager at Chula Vista Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 5, 2013

Kyle R.,

Thank you for selecting Chula Vista for your Dells getaway, it was a pleasure having you with us and we look forward to being of service again.
We will be sure to keep you updated on future promotions so that you may have another memorable time with us. Have safe travels.

Regards,

Dan Hoppe
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2013

Stayed here this Labor Day weekend on a whim. Had a decent condo that totally met our expectations. Was it super spotless - no. Is that to be expected with such high numbers of guests - yes. Room amenities were ok and could have used some additions. Hair conditioner for one. Kids had a blast in the indoor water park. Highly recommend going early in the morning as it does get quite crowded.
The bad - the wi-fi is atrocious. Just horrendously slow, if at all.
Overall, I'd go back for sure - just don't expect to be blown away. It's perfectly adequate as a whole with a great water park.

  • Stayed: September 2013
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Thank PapaTravels76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dan H, General Manager at Chula Vista Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 5, 2013

PapaTravels76,

Thank you for selecting Chula Vista for your recent getaway to the Dells. Teh condo accomodations work well for a family outing like yours. We appreciate the feedback you provided and hope that we may be of service to you again soon. Enjoy the fall season and have safe travels.

Regards,

Dan Hoppe
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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:
#15 Top resorts Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
Price Range: $128 - $367 (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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