My husband and I wanted to take our son on a mini-vacation over a long weekend. So after searching the web for all the indoor waterpark hotels, and seeing that the nicest resorts would be $700 for a weekend, we booked the Polynesian. It was just OK. Not the worst place I've stayed in the Dells over my 25 years of going. Would only stay here if in a pinch or really, really wanted a vacation of some sort.
We were "upgraded" to a suite per my phone call with the front desk. Check the website for deals on rooms, you will have to call to get the special. We paid $89 a night, compared to the rate online which was $115.
We arrived at 3 and they had our room available even though check-in was at 4. All rooms have to be entered thru a main cooridor on the outside, sort of like an apartment building. Find your coordinating door and park as close as you can get.
We were given a "suite" which left me standing in the doorway. I didn't even want to go in. It was a 1 bedroom with a tv room and a jack and jill bathroom. The furniture was terribly old and really beat up. The bed was the newest thing in the room. Plus, it was outside the lounge, where a football game was blaring, a small pool, and next to the front desk entrance for employees. All bedroom suites are in the first hall area near the lounge and first pool.
Bring your own pack-n-play if you can. They were super old and a little dirty. I wiped ours down with wipies. They are at least from the late 90s judging by the colors. I always bring a sheet just in case. This was one of those cases. The crib was smaller than the pack-n-play, so don't bother with that either. Bring a white noise machine if your kids are light sleepers. Or run the bathroom fan. The pool was open until 10 and there is a lot of hallway noise until then. Quiet after that.
Our second room was in the high 100s on the 1st floor and was better not only in location to both pools, but it was quiter and cleaner. The furniture was newer and overall a newer room. Bathroom was fine, and housekeeping did a good job. The phone didn't work, so my husband went for a walk to the front desk. He explained the phone didn't even have a dial tone and she was surprised. She then said, why didn't you just call instead of coming all the way down here. Hmmm....
On the way to our game room, we checked out the kids indoor play area which was a joke. Although it would be nice to play there if the kids were tired of the pool, be prepared for a disaster area. There were toys everywhere and the scent of a poopy diaper was wafting under the door. I literally opened it and looked in and pulled the door shut. Would not let my kids play in there if you paid me.
I would just book a regular room, which we moved to immediately, and avoid being trapped in the front of the hotel away from the "water park". At least if you are going in the winter. The hotel is shaped like a giant U. So, imagine the front desk being at the top left and the water park at the top right. The outdoor water park is in the middle. All rooms on the 1st floor would be close to the outdoor park if going during the summer.
The "water park" leaves much to the imagination. Let's say that the photographer working that day must have been the best in the area. The park would be good for maybe 10 and under. My 1 year old was too little to play in the bigger part because the water was too deep. The slides are for bigger kids and are covered, so no adult could ride with the little kids. The water slides (2) were fun for my husband, I did not partake because I was 4 months pregnant at the time, and lots of little kids seemed to enjoy it as well. No one over 10 playing in the splash part of the "water park". One older kid said it was lame because of all the "babies". They all migrated to the slides and lazy river instead. The oldest in the play area was 5 or 6. The water was chilly at best, even though the pool area itself was nice and warm.
Wristbands have to be worn while in the pool areas. There is a new color for each day. If you lose your wristband, you must pay an additional $20! If it gets loose or won't stick, take it to the front and they will replace it. My son wore his on the tie on his suit because he kept pulling it off his wrist. One family was asked to get out and get new wristbands because there were wearing the day before's color. The lifeguard was a little rude about it, and he was grumpy. Not sure if he was tired or just not putting up with little kids anymore. He was probably over 50 and didn't smile once when my son waved at him. Grouchy!
While looking online at their photos, the lazy river looked like fun. I sent my husband in first to see how long it would take. About 15 seconds later he popped out the otherside. It was really short! Looks a lot more fun online! The second pool area is really for water basketball and then a little kids splash pool. We spent 90% of our time in there. The splash area has a frog slide, which is in need of a new coat of paint and a new landing pad that is safer, a little log that shoots water, and 3 buckets that fill and dump water. The pool starts at 1 inch and goes to about 12 inches. My son loved it, but then again he would have been happy at the Holiday Inn at half the cost.
Overall, I would rate this hotel as a 6 or 7. We went to see the other hotels in the area, which of course were triple the cost, and they were SO much nicer. Big surprise, right? Their pools are also private, so no chance on swimming there for the day. Hotel Rome was nice looking, but way overrated and pricey. We swam there about 6-7 years ago and paid about $22 each. The cost this time was $39.95 for a day pass, so we just toured what of downtown was open and went back to our own pool.
I would say if you are looking for a no surprise weekend for young kids (under 10 for sure) and don't want to spend tons of money then check this place out. Clean beds, clean bathroom, and overall just OK. I would not stay here for longer than a weekend or so.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Polynesian offers a variety of room styles to choose from - King rooms, Queen Rooms, Two Bedroom Suites, & Luxury Suites - one is sure to accommodate your family's stay in Wisconsin Dells. IMPORTANT INFORMATION: The resort is undergoing improvements during 2015 and select areas will be restricted due to these improvements. We make every effort to offer alternatives but will occasionally be unable to do so. Thank you for your understanding. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Polynesian Hotel Wisconsin Dells
- Polynesian Resort Wisconsin Dells