Jan 22 2009
I didn’t have much time to plan this stayover, just a few minutes stolen while throwing together the last things from our packing lists. I started at the Wisconsin Dells visitors bureau site to try to find a room that was reasonably-priced yet had a waterpark of some sort, since we were pretty sure we’d be snowed in for a day or two.
The Atlantis appealed to me because its waterpark is geared toward children 11 and younger. This is perfect for our young kids, who aren’t big or brave enough for the big waterparks yet. They also had a two-room suite for less than $100 a night, including a whirlpool tub. I checked out a few other options, but all cost substantially more than the Atlantis.
We had a King Neptune suite, which was huge, with a king-sized bed, sofa, small table and chairs, fireplace, whirlpool, and kitchenette in the main room, and two beds and a second TV in the second room.
The pool area had a small-kids water area with three small slides just right for kids ages 3-8, a 3-5 foot pool, and a whirlpool, along with a game room and snack bar that wasn’t open during our stay. A second pool was adjacent to the front desk.
Overall, our stay was pleasant and reasonably-priced. Here are the details:
- King Neptune Suite. Very large, family friendly, the whole wing is non-smoking. Plenty of room for us to spread out.
- Waterpark Area. Great for small kids. Anyone older than 9, or young kids who like big slides, would probably be bored. Perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.
- Rates. Reasonably priced in the off-season. (I can’t speak for the summer.)
- Internet Access. It’s cabled access, not wi-fi, in the King Neptune Suites. I hadn’t brought a cord, and when I bought one at Walmart, it didn’t work. (The front desk offered to sell me a cord, but not loan one out like other hotels have done.) I never did figure out if the problem was my computer, my cord, the wall jack, or the operator. I ended up going to the lobby to use wi-fi to watch the weather and make our next round of plans.
- Hotel layout. We were advised to park by the lobby door because something was wrong with the locks on the back door closer to our room. (This ended up being good as far as driving, because there’s a hill that wouldn’t have been fun in the morning with 8″ of snow covering it.) To get to our room, we had to go up in a tiny elevator to floor 4, continue down a long hall that included 3-4 steps, and then take a “bridge” hallway that ended up at our 3rd-floor room. Hauling two days’ worth of luggage for six people all this way was not easy.
- Light switches. There were dimmers in the “dining” area, but they only worked if all the other lights were one. It was close to being convenient, but not quite.
- No breakfast on-site, and no open restaurants close by.
One thing we learned when we got there: Not a lot is open in the Dells area in the winter. Except for the opening of a new theme park at Kalahari, not much else was going on, including most of the shops and many of the restaurants in town being closed. Since we were snowed in most of the time, this didn’t really matter, but it does help to know that future trips to the Dells in winter should be for the purpose of waterparks or indoor amusement parks.
Would I stay at the Atlantis Waterpark Hotel again? Probably, if I had just little kids. It was easy enough to keep an eye on them, and they enjoyed the small waterpark. The room was spacious and set up well for a family stay.
Have you been to the Wisconsin Dells? Where did you stay? What did you do? I’d love to have tips because we’ll probably visit there again someday.