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“A Genuine Thrill For My Family”

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Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark
Ranked #5 of 17 Hotels in Dubuque
Reviewed 22 November 2007

We stayed in the middle of the week during a cold month, and what a great time we had! Our room had a beautiful view of the Mississippi River; the kids loved watching barges and trains (trains on the opposite bank) go by. During warmer months the walkway at the back of the hotel must be a wonderful place to stroll (we didn't venture out in the snow). Both our room and our bathroom were neat and clean.

As first time indoor-waterpark visitors, we were thrilled with the waterpark. The shallow pool is great for toddlers (small slide, fountains, etc.). The main climbing/slide apparatus is fun for older kids (two long water slides, water cannons and dumping buckets, web climbing areas, and a big bucket that dumps a shower every few minutes). There were enough lifeguards present and they were attentive to misbehaving kids. For the bravest in your family, there is a super fast tube slide that loops around outside the hotel and then shoots you out at the bottom (inside the waterpark, of course) next to the lazy river. The tube slide is fast and gets pitch black in the middle, so it can be scary to young kids at first.

We didn’t try the hotel restaurant.

Prices at Grand Harbor Resort vary widely by type of room, day of the week and time of the year, so do your homework if you care to save money.

One advantage Grand Harbor has over many other indoor waterparks in the midwest is that it is located in an interesting town. We loved Dubuque's restaurants, architecture and cable car. And the excellent Mississippi River Museum was just a short walk from Grand Harbor.

Thanks Grand Harbor for the wonderful family vacation at a fair price!

  • Stayed: November 2007, travelled with family
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2  Thank Resis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,747 - 1,753 of 1,794 reviews

Reviewed 18 October 2007

I had some concerns when I read the reviews here, but I was booked for work and couldn't change. I sent an e-mail about the problems with the rooms, a/c, etc., and the Chief Housekeeper replies the same day, assuring me the problems had been solved. She was right! When I checked in, the desk clerk upgraded me to a suite because I was early. The room was the cleanest I have seen anywhere, and I've stayed in a lot of top-tier hotels. I checked out a day early and the staff gave me no problems. The wireless Internet connection was very fast. The only negative I can think of is the food at the restaurant--it was pretty bland, even for a tourist place. But the view of the Mississippi River is fantastic!

  • Stayed: October 2007, travelled on business
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3  Thank mstimc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2007

Sorry i did not check this site before booking. We travel and stay at hotels about 100 days per year. We chose this hotel to meet our son and his wife and child as they were attending a wedding which had its reception here.

Unreal,; no automatic doors to unload luggage, no bell service, desk to check in upstairs, 2 elevators for the whole place, wait wait and wait some more.

Rooms we had were adjoining as requested, $99 per night, no breakfast or water park pass, which was not needed anyway.

Breakfast buffet was substandard, pancakes and waffles hard as a rock, dried out eggs, coagulated gravy, dry biscuits, and inadequate temperature for holding food. (too low) Wish I had my food probe. Staff was inept, no hostess and some poor buspersoon came to try to seat us. We asked for a table NOT a booth and he kept saying a booth, right?

Much work is needed here in cleaning and management training staff. Pathetic excuse for a business. I will NEVER go there again and neither should you.

  • Stayed: September 2007
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3  Thank WisconsinEducator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2007

The Grand Harbor Resort was not so "grand" after all. My sister and I checked in with five kids for a couple days of sightseeing in Dubuque. There were three male employees at the greeting area of the lobby, none of whom offered to get a cart or hold a door or even tell us where to find the cart. The official registration desk is for some strange reason located up a flight of stairs on the second floor. One day before our arrival date, we both received a great offer from the resort for rooms during the week for the rate of $79 per night. "Great!", we thought. But no, the offer did not apply to prior reservations, so it was just a big teaser for their customers. The bathroom had a very, very strong urine smell, the air conditioner vents were covered with black mold, the shower curtain had mildew around the bottom edges, the pillows were lumpy and old, the mattress pad did not cover the outer foot or more of the mattress, there were coffee grounds and powdered creamer on the counter in front of the microwave and the floor needed vaccuming. Now, if I were getting a room for $60 or less, then maybe I could overlook some of the above. But for $120 something a night, we expected better. To top it all off, we were rushed out of our rooms at 8:00 a.m for a bogus fire alarm, only to be told in the lobby by a maintenance crew that it was caused by a "dusty smoke alarm" which made us feel oh so safe! The complimentary breakfast was cold and the service was very slow. There was no fresh fruit to be found either, just your standard scrambled eggs, bulk sugar cereal, biscuits and white gravy sort of thing. Just a simple bowl of fresh fruit would have made a huge difference.

Now for the water park area. The water park was dirty and run down. The water had a brownish-tan tint to it, as did the walls. Granted, this could all be due to high levels of iron in the water, but there are filters for that sort of thing. The showers in the women's locker area also had black mold in the groove of the inside of the shower door. There is very little natural light coming into the water park area, so it feels cave-like and dark (some of the light bulbs were burned out.) If you have older kids, they will be bored at this water park, it is for younger children. We'll look for alternate accommodations for our next visit to Dubuque.

If you are going to Dubuque to see the Mississippi River Museum, you are in for a real treat at the museum, it's wonderful, clean, and very professionally managed! It is a must see!

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled with family
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7  Thank iowamom3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2007

First, the good things:
The Mississippi River Museum - DON'T miss it!
Bath and Body works soap and shampoo
Small fridge, micro, and coffeemaker
Great window view of the mighty Mississippi
Parking was easy.

Now the bad:
MOLD in the AC/Heat vents!!! Big honkin chunks of it!!!!
The world's smallest mattress pads
Several male greeters at the door watched our party of 2 moms and several kids unload all our baggage.
Rooms smelled "funky"
Waterpark is nothing special - much like a civic aquatic center.
Waterpark water itself is seriously colored and stained with iron so all the features have gross rusty stains.
Whole place was just generally dirty.
Thin walls that allow every sound into your room.
Double beds, NOT Queen beds.
Our door would lock only occasionally, and with much slamming.
No exhaust fan in the bathroom.
AFTER booking, we received a $79 per night special email, but were told it couldn't apply to our already-booked rate of $129.
The breakfast buffet was awful - no fresh fruit. Everything looked and tasted like they'd picked it up at a Kwik Trip.
Service was slow - our drinks arrived long after we'd eaten our food.
Non-dairy coffee creamer, not half and half. I'm a coffee snob and for $129 a night I don't want cheap creamer.
Service seemed understaffed and harried.

I'm not usually a picky traveler but this place was really horrible for the price paid.

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled with family
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4  Thank Mnmarg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2007

Stayed at this hotel for 5 nights towards the end of July. Overall we had a great experience, no lines at check-in, suite we booked was clean and spacious. The water park was a little on the small side and is completely indoors but was perfect for our 9 and 6 year olds but older kids and adults might like somewhere to sit outside on warm summer days and nights to watch the Mississippi roll by. There always appeared to be plenty of life guards whenever we went which was reassuring although they did look bored out of their minds. There's also an arcade on the way to the waterpark which proved a huge hit with the kids too. The staff were very friendly and the breakfast buffet was tasty and good value although they could work on obtaining fresh vegetables rather than frozen ones for their evening menu. Overall it was a great experience and we'd be happy to go again... if we're ever in that neck of the woods again that is!

  • Stayed: July 2007, travelled with family
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Thank Dub111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2007

Shop your room rate...rates vary greatly and if you can stay on a sun/mon/tues/wed you can typically save 35% or more on your rate. Ask for promotions, ask them to add breakfast for free or $10 (a great deal for families). The rooms are nice...ref/micro is a nice touch. Ask for a corner room. Upgraded rooms are nice, but not a great deal larger unless you opt for the suites, and they are on the smallish side for suites. All rooms have double or king beds...I prefer queen beds. River view rooms are preferred over city view rooms.
The waterpark is nice, but some of the equipment in it is in need of repair. Overall, as others have said, the hotel appears to have been abused since it seems more run down than it should given its age. Management appears to be s l o w l y upgrading (we've been there twice in the past 4 years). The waterpark can provide hours of entertainment for your pre-teen, and toddlers will find lots to excite them, too.
We found the restaurant to be very good and reasonably priced (if you don't get complimentary vouchers). Staff throughout the hotel, waterpark, and restaurant were professional and friendly. The National Mississippi River Museum nearby is a must see, too, and Dubuqe/Galena area is a very scenic location for the Midwest.

  • Stayed: July 2007, travelled with family
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1  Thank readittoday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark

Address: 350 Bell St, Dubuque, IA 52001-7028
Region: United States > Iowa > Dubuque
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Business Hotel in Dubuque
#7 Romantic Hotel in Dubuque
Price Range: £73 - £133 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark 3.5*
Number of rooms: 193
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Also Known As:
Grand Harbor Resort And Waterpark Hotel Dubuque
Grand Harbor Hotel And Waterpark
Grand Harbor Dubuque
Grand Harbor Resort Dubuque
Grand Harbor Hotel Dubuque
Dubuque Grand Harbor
Grand Harbor Resort And Waterpark Dubuque, Iowa

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