Historical Traveller Reviews of Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark Hotel
Not what we expected :-(
We recently stayed at the Grand Harbor..(2/19). It was a very big disappointment....nothing grand about it! We preregistered at 1 only to have to wait till 3:45 to get into our room. Couldn't they hire more maids? That just seems unexceptable to me! The waterpark is marginal and not enough lifeguards on duty. On Mon there wasn't one manning the two slides coming down from the treehouse and I saw many people crashing because the one up above could not see when people were down and exiting. This was quite dangerous and my husband saw a large man crash into our small daughter. Also it is quite dark in there with poor lighting. Why on earth do you have people going in wet suits from the park through an ice cold lobby waiting on ONLY 2 elevators to take them to their rooms. The front doors were always being left open for the convenience of the vallets or whatever, so that made things just like a freezer in that lobby area. That to me was unexceptable! We heard many people complaining. The room was nice and clean; however there was an odd odor of some strong cleaning product that made me feel sick! I could go on but I think you get the picture. We would never consider coming back. We've been to Great Wolf Lodge twice and Blue Harbor once and I guess have been spoiled at what a great waterpark resort should be. This place should get its act together or be out of business. Who in the heck would design a big place like that with only 2 elevators???
Not Too Bad
Our family recently went to this hotel for a night. The pricing was right $99/night with the waterpark. The rooms were clean, nice, had a fridge and had average to above average size. The breakfast buffet was of decent quality for the inexpensive price of $6.95 each and the children under 2 free.
The water park itself was geared toward younger children. I would say 10, but had a few larger slides but probably not enough to keep one older than 10 interested for long. The waterpark was decent in size again for the money. However, it does not compare to those in the Wisconsin Dells Waterpark Resorts - This is smaller and does not have near the activities. However the price is also more than half the cost of some in the Dells - So in that respect I guess you get what you pay for. The hotel arcade is also fairly large and has a wide variety of games.
Overall though had no problems with the hotel or waterpark.
An above average hotel
from A TripAdvisor Member
We went there with our "almost" 2 year old son for a mini-vacation. The water park was a blast and my son had a good time in the shallow (1.5 foot) pool. I think the water park is mostly suited to 5 - 10 year olds(None of the slides are very high or fast).
The room was clean (except we noticed what appeared to be a coffee stain on the sheets but we called the front desk and they immediately took care of it), quiet and decent size (we had the junior king). I would skip the hotel restaurant (except for breakfast due to convenience) as the food is just okay. The hotel is in a good location, within walking distance of a casino, river boats and a museum (cool place). I would try to book during the week if possible as the weekend rates are outrageous (well, I think the weekday rates are too but seems that all hotel rates are way overpriced in my opinion).
We bought the package deal that included two meals at the restaurant (breakfast and lunch), tickets on a boat ride and admission to the museum. I think next time we go we will just get the room as the meals are not that good and you feel that you have to eat there since you already paid for it (we ended up eating twice at the Brickyard Brew Pub and you should definitely check it out if you go there. The food is excellent and they have great local beers as well).
A nice visit
from A TripAdvisor Member
I had to write this in response to the previous 3 reviews. I stayed with my family (two kids under 5 y.o.) for two nights, with the waterpark admission included. Room 603 was nice, clean, quiet, and we had a view over the Mississippi river. The staff were friendly and courteous. Breakfast was pleasant at the outdoor section of the restaurant. The waterpark is most suited for kids under 10 y.o., so for my kids it was great. There are 4 different pools, and three fairly tame slides suitable for young kids. The Mississippi River museum is close by and worth a visit. Visited the Bricktown brewpub and the cafe/bakery next door just across the bridge from the resort and both were quite good. It made a difference that we stayed on Thursday/Friday nights, as the hotel and waterpark were not crowded. It's not 5-star, but it's a nice destination for a couple of days with young kids.
Very dissapointing stay
June 2005 we attended a reception at the grand harbor, we had booked a room(junior double suite) with balcony , Very Very Pricey For what we received a regular 2 queen bed and pull out sofa, balcony you could not even step out onto, and what a beautiful view of the parking lot(told the river side also reserved the room in march and paid in full)the room was not the cleanest.We tried there lunch which again skimmpy and overpriced!
only 2 elevators throughout this hotel which made it very congested.there was no free pool to swim more of so the sort young very young children , the arcade was nice , but again more money! when we were to get ready for the evening the shower was clogged ,the air conditioning was not working, they unclogged the shower and sent up a 2nd maintenance for the air they told our children 15+16 to turn the air down which was not the problem when returned again they had sent them up a 3rd time we were told there were no more rooms available and living around this area the humidity was terrible!!!!!!they finally ended up moving us to another room smaller dirty but the air did work, they told us we would be refunded for the room will see, and gave us vouchers for a free breakfeast the breakfeast buffet was only 6.95 not bad but wouldve expected more for the resort,again dirty table where they seated us and no silverwarewaited 15 min for someone to even come to the table.i would not recomend this hotel they give the immpression that it is 5 starr and its not even close.i realize problems haapen but we paid alot of money to stay at this resort and have the problems we did ,we missed half the wedding reception dealing with the hotels problem.what a great night (NEVER AGAIN)
Watch Out - Bug In French Onion Soup !
i just returned from the hotel today. The room i had king exec suite was very small . The waterpark is very small . 1 tube slide , & the other 2 slides were attached to the tree house & were for kids . Their really is no free form pool . It was the smallest lazy river i ever been in . ( i have stayed in many hotels too ) The waterpark area has 2 hot tubs , a water treehouse with 2 slides , a tube water ride , SMALL lazy river , SMALL basketball pool , SMALL pool with a snake to climb on . The majority of the rooms have NO Balconey. the rooms that did ( the highest priced suites ) the balconey is VERY VERY SMALL. By Small I Mean No Chair would fit , & it's like 10 inches big . I had the River Boat Package & Recieved Free Lunch & Breakfast. I Ordered French Onion Soup & Under The Cheese Was A GREEN BUG ! YUCK ! I Showed the waitress & she said she would have given us complimentary meals , but because we had the package deal we already had the meals free. She offered me free dessert , but i couldn't eat anything . I was sick for at least 12 hours later. I Told the front desk , & they did NOT Care ! If you want a hotel with a waterpark go To Kalahari In Wisconsin Dells , Or The Wilderness In Wisconsin Dells . If You Go Online You Can get Some Great Deals Too . I Wouldn't NOT go back to the Grand Harbor , EVEN If It Was For A FREE Stay !
Wonderful time... great waterpark!
from A TripAdvisor Member
My wife, 9-year-old son and I stayed for four days in July of 2004 and were very impressed. The food was good and we especially enjoyed the morning buffet. Nothing special there, but the food was plentiful and service was good with friendly staff. Our room was a basic, but clean with access to video games in room.
Location is fantastic. Right on the river with a boardwalk type location... easy walking distance to the riverboat casino and the Mississippi River museum.
Easy driving distance to the greyhound park and not to far away from other neat attractions like Crystal Caves and the famous Field of Dreams location in Dyersville.
My son LOVED the waterpark... the 800 gallon water dump, the lazy river, the fun water activites and indoor-outdoor water dark ride. The arcade was okay and he had a good time with the nightly boat races for free arcade credits.
Wonderful time and a fun mini-vacation destination... if you plan it right and take advantage of the things the hotel and the area has to offer, you can have a terrific time without spending a forture. We visited the Wisconsin Dells the previous summer and despite all the fun things there, my son actually preferred Dubuque to all the waterparks and attractions at the Dells. I recommed it highly for a family... especially the water park!
Third Strike Pending
One of these days, Grand Harbor Resort will finally give us cause to search for another hotel in Dubuque. Since July, 2004, we've stayed there twice and have, each time, endured inconvenience beyond what we've experienced at any other hotel. The first infraction was a fire alarm that went off at 4:00 a.m. We awoke to loud alarms, and opened our door to find an exedus being conducted by our fellow residents. We stood along the river, our children shivering, for about 40 minutes, until someone shouted from a half-opened door that we could re-enter the building. The person did not identify herself as a hotel employee and shut the locked door behind her, forcing us to walk down a slippery embankment and around the hotel to find an open door. Though this random event does not in itself reflect poorly on the hotel staff, the lack of staff presence and communication appalled me and my wife. On our second visit, in November 2004, we had returned from breakfast around 9:30 a.m. to find our room was being redone for the next guest. We had not yet checked out, and my wife intended to rest as I took our kids to the waterpark. The hotel was able to find us an alternate room for her to rest in, but 45 minutes were wasted in the process. By the time she got to the alternate room, it was nearly time to check out. Because our kids love the waterpark so much, we plan to stay there again when we visit family in February. I cannot wait to see in what way disaster will strike. Dubuque lacks a truly quality hotel. Grand Harbor claims to be one, but is not, perhaps because there is nothing to which it can compare itself. Before the Grand Harbor existed, we enjoyed quality stays at the Super 8. We were never awoken from our sleep without without sufficient communication from the hotel staff, and were never ousted from our room an hour and a half before our scheduled check out time. A solution I'm considering (and you may want to, too) is to stay at a cheaper, more professionally run hotel, and visit the waterpark as a non-hotel guest.
from A TripAdvisor Member
My husband had been traveling alot and our family needed a weekend getaway. We just went for a Saturday night, but next time I'll stay longer. IT WAS A BLAST!! The kids and I never wanted to get out of the water! Even my 15 year old son had a blast the whole time shooting water cannons and dumping pails of water on unsuspecting people. My 6 year old son really loved the HUGE pail of water that dumps 800 gallons of water on people below every 9 minutes. My daughter loved the floating snake. My favorite? The water slide that goes outside and comes back in. It's pitch black inside and with surprise twists, I screamed every time. One great thing about it is that it was never really crowded. The room was nice (except I'll never get smoking again...awful smell), the food was good and the service was friendly. We're making plans to go back in February. Well worth the drive.
from A TripAdvisor Member
We forward to this weekend trip for a year since our last stay. Wonderful time. This year I was appauled. They cancelled our reservations and had no room in the inn! The reservation had already been charged on my card. Prepayment requirement. We had to go to a hotel 20 minutes away and had no ammenities at all. no where to walk, eat..nothing. it was like an express hotel out in the country. awful .YUK We looked forward of having the restaurant, bar, pool, waterpark, casino, boats, boardwalk all in one spot. that is why we chose this place. But we wound up staying at a hotel that had nothing. Absolutely nothing. We were promised free vouchers but have Not Received them. It was an awful experience yet we were not the only ones. this was a vacationers nightmare that came true. We even called the prior week to make sure all was square. According to the the gal it was and said see you on the 28th. that was on the 18th. When we arrived at the hotel they said that our room was cancelled on the 10th...now how can that be? My Guess is that they were over booked and someone else came in with greater importance(money) and took our 2 rooms. They owe each of us vouchers(4) Doubt if we get them.
Top Local Tips for Dubuque
Take the inclined elvator up the bluff in Dubuque for a great view.
Missippi River Museum and Aquarium
Thoroughly enjoyable, very educational - be sure to visit this (allow at least 2 hours, more if you have children and the otters are awake and busy) and ride the quirky, old Fenelon Street elevator.
Mississippi River Museum is a MUST SEE!
If you are in the Dubuque area, be sure to schedule a few hours at the Mississippi River Museum. We had a wonderful visit there with our children ages 8 to 16. But anyone would enjoy that museum. It is clean, informative, well designed, and full of great exhibits. The staff was very professional and very friendly.