Historical Traveller Reviews of Castaway Bay Hotel
d go back
from A TripAdvisor Member
We were there Monday and Tuesday Feb. 14 & 15. There were 6 of us in the flamingo suite, which gave us enough beds and TVs. We were disappointed that the TV channels did not include kid-friendly fare like Nickelodeon and Disney. That seems like a no-brainer for the management. The Water Park was excellent. A good balance between fun enough for teens and adults but not too scary or intense for younger kids. The water was clean and the temperature was good. The arcade is a Chuck E Cheese type deal, where you pay large amounts of money playing games to win tickets for junk "prizes". We didn't spend much time there. My teens weren't impressed with the games. We didn't eat any meals inside the hotel except for snacks because the prices are jacked up, like all resorts, but you can walk over to TGI Fridays for a good and reasonable meal. The only night life in the hotel is one bar that closes around midnight. We asked if there was anything around town and got no recommendations.
So all in all, the water park is fun for the family for a couple of days, but there's really nothing for adults to do at night and not much else for kids, so staying any longer isn't worth it.
Cold Water, painful slides and smelly room
from A TripAdvisor Member
I couldn't wait to get there to see if all of the reviews were exaggerations or real, and for the most part, they were real.
When we arrived in our room, the bathroom floor had what looked like pubic hairs on the bathroom floor and the room smelled. I did not allow the kids to walk on the carpet with their bare feet because the carpet looked dirty. During the night, I could not find a comfortable heat in the room, it was very dry and warm and I had the heat on the lowest heat. I cannot believe that there is not ONE Kid channel! What else is there for a kid to do in a hotel room other than watch car toons while the adults are getting everything together.
The lobby and park itself was nice, but the slides do hurt and the water is cold and had alot of clorine! The kids loved it though!
I will not be returning to Castaway Bay in the future. I will go to Great Wolf Lodge!
The Kids Had a Great Time 2-7-05
We just got back from Castaway Bay. We stayed here when it was the Radisson, so we knew what to expect, an older hotel with poor food. We ate at Cracker Barrel instead.
Our "suite" was a small hotel room with 2 sets of bunk beds in an adjoining small area. We were surprised no kids channels at all in a kid-themed hotel. The heat runs through the old wall mounted system, so our room smelled of mildew.
We have never been to an indoor water park, so we thought it was great. I would agree that the water temp needs to be raised, but we spent so much time running up stairs to the slides that we never felt too cold.
The fastest slides left red welts on my back, which are now scabs, not a big deal, it wasn't really painful, but I'm guessing there's a design flaw there.
None of the ticket machines worked in the arcade, the kids turned them in at the counter and were thrilled with their prizes. We'd go back again for them, if the price was low enough.
from A TripAdvisor Member
Generally, my family will stay at Great Wolf Lodge. It seems that is what we will do from now on. We just got back from Castaway Bay yesterday. The lobby was freezing. I had to wait down there for the rest of the family. It's supposed to be a resort but it feels like a waterpark stuck to a generic hotel. They have nickelodeon on in the pool area but not a single kids channel in the hotel rooms. I think in all there were 17 channels, two that happen to promote the hotel and pay-per-view movies. They charged a movie to my room and even said that we "ordered" it. We had brought a 19' plasma tv with playstation 2 and brought our own movies and games. There is no way we were paying to play Super Nintendo (didn't they quit making those 10 years ago?) The kids walking around had these big red welts all over them and it turns out this was from the waterslides. When I went to use the work out room,... it took me forever to find it because there is no sign on the door. There was no window on the door either to see in there. I walked by it several times, assuming it was a janitor closet. I guess in general, the rooms were the biggest disappointment. You can't tell that you are at a resort at all. I stayed across the street at the Greetree Inn the night before and my room was only $50 for the night. They have a pool, a hottub, bowling alley and a resturaunt and bar. The rooms are about the same but they have more T.V. channels (even a couple of kids channels!!!!) We should have just stayed there. We would have saved almost $200.
t stay here!!!!
We just got back from Castaway Bay and I'm still freezing cold! The water was cold, the lobby was cold, the room was cold. The waterslides were either slow and boring or like riding a full scale roller coaster. Even my thrill-seeking kids thought they were too extreme. After we waited for an hour for our table at TGI Fridays (we went down at 5:15), we sat for an hour and fifteen minutes before being served - then two of our meals were wrong! To their credit, they cut the bill, but I wouldn't have paid for it anyway. The shower in the room was lousy, the rest of the food was overpriced and the arcade charges you just for the privelege of wasting your money in there (you have to pay for the game card that works the machines, besides paying for the token credit itself). I've been to the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City, MI twice and had a great time both times. This time I only booked one night instead of a whole weekend and couldn't be happier to be back home! Don't waste the time or money!
Waterpark A+, Hotel C-
from A TripAdvisor Member
Short stay Christmas week with 3 kids 7,9,12. Parking lot jammed with minivans. Lobby nice. Didn't see a male employee (except lifeguards) for 2 days - the place seems to be run entirely by 23 year old females. Staff friendly. We all liked the waterpark, a lot nicer than Great Wolf Lodge. Watch the wave pool for the little tykes - it can pack a punch and send them flying. Slides and outdoor jacuzzi are fun. The rooms are typical "they'll never come back" Cedar Point quality. The hall and room decor is strictly 1975 vintage. They tried to jazz it up with a few pictures on the wall and new bedspreads, but it is still pretty depressing for mom and dad, although the kids are unlikely to notice. TV channels are limited here. Workout room is fair. The buffet (food) is pretty sad - but again the kids are unlikely to notice. Nice gift shops and pantry in the lobby. Some fun free daily activities good for kids aged 5-7. Go ahead and take the kids there - they will have fun.
Go to the Great Wolf Lodge instead!
from Michigan Mom of three
We stayed at Castaway Bay at the beginning of November 2004 and as someone else has written, the lobby is really pretty and inviting. There was a problem with our reservation from the get-go. We had asked for a two night stay and they only booked us for one. Luckily, I caught that before we arrived, but by that time, our suite choice was unavailable. I was told by the reservation operator that the suite that was available was "just like" the original one we had requested which had a separate dining table and a separate bedroom for the kids. "Yes, yes", she assured me. Well, guess what? When we checked in, the "dining table" was a desk with a chair and the separate bedroom for the kids was separated from the main room by a curtain and the common wall that the main bedroom and the kid's bedroom shared had a 4 feet by 6 feet opening that was covered with pieces of bamboo so that if we had the TV on or the lamp on, the kids weren't able to sleep because the light/noise went directly into their bedroom. In order to read at night before he went to sleep, my husband had to go and sit in the closet to read. Our room temp when we arrived was 59 degrees and it took several hours to warm up. The carpet and wallpaper was stained although the bedspreads appeared to be new. Service everywhere from the front desk to the restaurants to the waterpark was poor to fair. The arcade was insane---many broken machines and one working "ticket counter" so that I ended up waiting 20 minutes just to get a piece of paper that listed how many tickets my kids had won. In the meantime, about half a dozen staff members stood behind the counter watching the crazy line drag on but they couldn't help count the tickets because they "weren't allowed to do that". The ONLY reason that I even gave this resort two stars is the new water park---especially the wave pool which our kids loved. The water park was fairly clean but the water temp in all the pool areas was chilly except the toddler pool which was nice and warm. While we were there, they had one of the pool areas closed for an "inservice"----hey why not do that AFTER the customers have left??? The life guards were not consistent in how they measured the height of the kids. Sometimes they made our son wear a life jacket and sometimes they did not. It all depended upon who did the height measuring. And while there were a ton of small life jackets, there were very few life jacket available to fit a 6 or 7 year old. I made all our complaints known to the management and never heard a thing. We will not be going back here. The Great Wolf Lodge waterpark lacks the wavepool, but the overall quality is much better.
More than a few kinks to work out...
This is the old Radisson, now owned by Cedar Point, which added a large indoor waterpark. I'd give the hotel room and staff a 2* and the waterpark a 4*, hence my 3* rating. The room wasn't ready until 5PM. I even tipped housekeeping at 4PM, telling her which room I was waiting for. "I have to go in order", she replied after taking my $. Front desk offered to discount the room, but at checkout, there was no discount mentioned. Two small 4-person elevators were not adequate for this busy weekend. We took the stairs a lot, which are made of thin sheet metal and I couldn't believe the deafening noise. Evening children's activities are geared towards 2-7 year olds. My kids liked the waterpark, especially the water rollercoater, wave pool, and indoor-outdoor hot tub. The arcade is a rip-off, $6 for 17 tokens. We ordered pizza from Chet and Matt's ($11 for a large, single topping), which was good! DON"T PAY EXTRA FOR BAYVIEW! It is nothing more than a large pond surrounded by the 4-lane entrance to Cedar Point. Watch for Kalihari to open this spring, as it's Wisconsin location is spectacular!
Great service, very clean...but definitely overpriced.
from A TripAdvisor Member
We stayed at the Radisson Harbour Inn in August of 2003 and found it to be a pretty decent resort. We had a one bedroom suite with a parking lot view. The room itself was really nice and furnished pretty well. It was very large and spacious and was spotless. There was a huge closet adjacent to the bathroom which was really cool. The service at this hotel was decent, all of the staff were courteous and polite. The pool was in a nice complex but only goes up to 5 ft which is so annoying. The pool area was okay. The views from the hotel on the harbour side are really pretty especially at night. We were satisfied with our stay but I definitely would not stay there again considering the price we paid per night. It was over 200 dollars and completely not worth it. Then again, everything in the Cedar Point area costs an arm and a leg.
Not worth the money.
We stayed at Castaway Bay on November 21st to check out the waterpark. The waterpark was very cool with many slides and things to do, however I can't imagine what they will do when the hotel is at max capacity as the waterpark does not look at all big enough to handle a large amount of guests. Thankfully for us the hotel was not crowded. The room that we had booked was unavailable when we arrived and we were given a free upgrade to a bay view room of the same type.
Ate at TGIFridays upon check in and it was typical fare.
Unfortunately that is about all of the positives we have to say about the hotel/resort. The room was very old and rundown, the halls noisy, the arcade frustrating due to equipment failures, and the staff quite immature.
The front lobby was actually very nice and gave us the unfortunate expectation that the rooms would be similar in quality...this was not the case. It seems that Castaway Bay spent their money on the lobby decor and waterpark but none on the rooms themselves.
We also found it aggravating that check in is not until 4pm with check out being at 11am - this does not give guests much time to enjoy the waterpark. It is like they are trying to force guests to stay an extra day in order to get the full enjoyment out of the facilities.
After enjoying the waterpark in the evening we decided to check out the "buffet" in Mango Mike's as the sign advertised a full dinner buffet. We arrived at the restaurant and were informed that the dinner buffet was available and that there was even pizza on the buffet. We went to look at the buffet before sitting and were extremely disappointed in food quality and appearance - did not look fit to eat. Everything looked old and over-fried...I can't even remember what was there - there were not many choices at all (maybe 10 small side-items with no main dishes) and no pizza as we were informed upon entry. The waitress informed us that we could order Pizza Hut pizza and have it brought into the restaurant - we inquired if there was an extra charge for this and there was - that was it...decision made...we went out to Pizza Hut in Sandusky and enjoyed an okay meal.
The easiest part of our stay was check out - just sign the bottom of the copy and drop it off at the front desk with your keys...we did and we did not look back. Will not be staying here again. Not worth the money, even with the coupons available on their website.
Definitely do not recommend staying here.
Top Local Tips for Sandusky
Ryans is great for dinner, but not lunch. They have good bread and butter! Chettand Matts on Strub have awesome pizza. For a 9" pizza, a bud, and Bread sticks the total was 15.59. Not too bad.
Driving in Sandusky
The roads in Sandusky are extremely confusing in some places (and I'm from Northern Virginia)!Mapquest and other directions websites won't be all that helpful, it's much easier to follow Cedar Point signs to get back to that general area. I got lost a few times the first day just trying to get to the closest Target by using directions I got online. Find a good map!
Don't Go Unless You Spend VERY Limited Time At The Hotel
If you go, go while Cedar Point is open so you won't have to be at the hotel. Thats something we should have done. We have been there before and it is SO fun!