Tag: Indoor Water ParksView All Tags
If you don't have kids or consider "fun parks" the least fun thing on the planet, you'll want to file this news under "Another place to avoid when traveling." But if you have rugrats you need to occupy, or you're a big, waterslide-lovin' kid yourself, rejoice! The Radisson Hotel Albuquerque has a new waterpark, opening on March 12, just in time for spring break.
If you're not familiar with the waterpark concept, firstly: commiserations. Waterslide collisions are the stuff childhood is made of. The Radisson's set up includes all the waterpark staples: indoor and outdoor slides, an activity pool, wading pool, hot tub, lazy river, tipping bucket, and the most unfortunately named thing we've heard of since the iPad, the FlowRider.
Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, Tennesee might be known best as the home of Dollyworld, but it's Gatlinburg's Glenstone Lodge which holds the power in this area where gimmicks and indoor pools reign supreme.
The Smoky Moutains aren't exactly a luxury destination, and you can't expect mints on pillows in a region hotly anticipating the spring "Wildflower Pilgrimmage" and "An Evening with Jimbo Whaley." It's not secret that Gatlinburg's hotel offerings are outdated and still survive on depositing a sheaf of pamphlets in the entryway at the nearest IHOP.
We were really hoping that the whole Midwest Indoor Water Park hotel trend would die a fast death but then the Wall Street Journal had to go and do a feature on it in the Weekend Journal. And we learned that this trend is not just reserved for Midwest budget chains. Oh no, these places are popping up in Texas, Arizona and North Carolina, along with newer Midwest locations like Nebraska and with a vengeance.
They are also not just heavily chlorinated indoor-pools filled with screaming children, giant bear statues and frazzled adults--although that is what you can expect to find most of the time. Some of the newer places are getting "hip amenities" like cabanas with A/C, waiters and WiFi and floating rafts that allow you to watch movies.
Some are even trying to move past the "indoor" part too but not that much. Hotels are also trying to bump up their summer occupancy rates by adding a retractable roof to let in sunlight and some fresh-air but still let the place be climate-controlled. Expect more indoor water parks to open in the future.
Holiday Inn opened its 12th indoor water park earlier this year, with two more opening in the fall.
Even Las Vegas is getting in on the action with an indoor entertainment complex that will have 600 hotel rooms, an indoor ski hill and a spa. Yikes, can't Vegas just be about casinos, cheesy shows, luxury hotels, celebrity chef restaurants and nightclubs. Isn't that enough?
· Despite Our Wishes, Indoor Water Parks Continue to Be Popular [HotelChatter]
Tomorrow's Thanksgiving and we decided to pack our bikinis and head for Wisconsin where we took a groovy ride down a massive slide in the hotel's indoor water park.
We'll see you again next Monday with more tales of chlorine, wedgies and of course, Turkey.
(You know, we're joking about the indoor water park right? That's not really us in the video. We actually look much better in a bikini than these girls.)
Indoor water parks are no longer for the Midwestern family weekend getaways. Now, a hotel in Albuquerque is getting in on the action.
Even though you could probably swim outside in a real pool here, the owner of the Park Plaza Hotel & Conference Center has decided an indoor water park is just what the town needs.
True, the peeps of Albuquerque can't go surfing so the planned Surfrider feature of the water park might be a big draw, despite how much we detest these hotel-waterpark hybrids. Also included in the park rides are:
a 34-foot-high, 325-foot-long water tube ride; a 275-foot-long water slide; a lazy river feature that turns to rapids at night and a bucket that dumps 700 gallons of water onto eager patrons.
There's also fluorescent glow-in-the-dark water slides, music videos that will be projected on sheets of water and an arcade and pizza parlour. (How 80s!)
The cost of admission for the public would be $28 but for guests we assume its complimentary. And once the water park is completed the place will no longer be known as the Park Plaza. Instead, after $6 million in upgrades, the place will turn into the Radisson Resort & Waterpark expected to open in Fall 2007.
Is the St. Regis Resort and Action Funland not too far behind?
· Hotel plans to add water park offering indoor surfing, slides [Albuquerque Tribune]
· Indoor Water Parks [HotelChatter]
We've given up all hope that indoor water parks are just a passing fad. We are realizing that this phenomenon will continue for at least a few more years. And the hub of all these garish water parks seems to be the Wisconsin Dells, since the upper-Midwest is home to some of the world's largest water parks and thus has built up a growing resort town full of activities.
With more than 8,000 hotel rooms, you can bet on a lot of awful inns and lodges here. But since this is also a little playground for Chicago city slickers the place isn't completely void of hotel happiness.
The New York Post suggests making a last minute jaunt to the Dells before the summer's end. Even if you don't think you can handle the waterpark madness, you can spend hours in the Aveda spas, chilling at the breweries and eating up fresh walleye and...probably a lot of cheese. The Post suggests the Kalahari Resort:
It's one of the few stay-to-play complexes with a truly meandering indoor lazy river (920 feet, America's largest, passing through a wave pool), a newfangled uphill water roller coaster (water jets push you up and downhill), and a blissfully reckless slide that spins your body in a giant bowl before dumping you out into a disorientingly deep pool. But its rarest diversion is the FlowRider sheet-wave machine, where you can surf and boogie board on 50,000 gallons a minute above a padded pool that cushions the inevitable wipeout
But again, if you can't handle all of this wet, wild, water fun, fear not. The Kalahari has several restaurants, a golf course and a stadium seating movie theater. Rooms have internet, coffeemakers, and are "African-themed". We're not sure if this would pass the Angelina test, but it seems to work for the thousands of Chicagoans that head up every weekend.
· Splash Hits [New York Post]
· Kalahari Resort Reviews [TripAdvisor]
· Despite our wishes, Indoor Water Parks continue to be popular [HotelChatter]
If you haven't been to the Wisconsin Dells yet, then what the heck are ya waitin' for? (Imagine this last bit said in an exaggerated Midwest accent).
Once a summer getaway along the Wisconsin river, thanks to the baffling indoor water park trend, the place is getting more and more visitors throughout the year. The locale is even trying to be a Vegas junior with casinos and gambling.
If making money then losing it all again to an evil blackjack dealer doesn't appeal to you, consider the Great Wolf Lodge. We're talking about an indoor and outdoor water park that rivals that of Noah's Arc (the theme park not the real boat).
As the name of the hotel implies, the theme of up nort' does run heavily throughout the large atrium lobby and from the Majestic Bear Suite to the Wolf Den.
If you don't find these names annoying, then the abundance of screaming children in the water park should do it. Thankfully you can hide in the Aveda spa in hopes of escaping these high-pitched and echoing shrieks of delight.
· Great Wolf Lodge Reviews [Trip Advisor]
We still don't completely understand this waterpark hotel phenomenon that is sweeping the Midwest which is why we are letting a reporter from the Chicago Tribune give his perspective on why he likes waterparks
Once inside a waterpark, you could be anywhere. Your sense of time vanishes. It's like a casino without the slots or the Oak Ridge Boys.
(Umm..we get the casino feeling but the Oak Ridge Boys? We don't know if we could handle that.)
Anyways, when he and his family checked into the Mayan Adventure Indoor Waterpark/Holiday Inn in Elmhurst, IL, they didn't feel they were getting what they paid for, despite the waterpark atmosphere.
Rooms were $249 a night, plus tax, the Mayan theme wasn't quite authentic, the slides were so-so, the lobby was still under some construction and there were leaky ceilings and soggy carpets.
That's pretty much what we would expect from a roadside Holiday Inn-turned-waterpark. We say leave the waterslides to Six Flags and Disney.
Image of another waterpark via cadagobor1/Flickr
You probably wouldn't consider loading up the super soakers and heading to Albany in February. But now you can. Six Flags Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Water Park opened with 200 hotel rooms and New York's only indoor water park.
No need to go south for 80 degree weather, just go inside. The Adirondack-style lodge comes complete with exposed wooden beams in the lobby, a coffee corner, library (where you can hear nightly folklore), and spa.
The water park itself has all the necessities of any water park: multi-level play structure, body boarding waves... and access to a good tan through the Texlon roof.
A special introductory rate of $189 lasts till April 30th, and gives guests full access to the water park.
Next we expect to find ski slopes and lodges in Florida.
· Six Flags hotel/water park opens [Business Review]