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“Waterpark Review”

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Holiday Inn Minneapolis NW-Elk River
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Elk River
Reviewed 1 January 2012

I'm reviewing the waterpark only as we are locals who bought waterpark passes (a quick and easy process); we did not use a hotel room.

Please note that this waterpark is not open everyday. The schedule varies quite a bit. It's best to check the hotel's website for days and hours.

Yes, the waterpark is open to non-hotel guests. The price varies depending on whether you're there for the full day or just the evening. On the day that we visited, two buses of kids from St. Cloud arrived about the same time that we did.

Despite arriving mid-morning and getting into the waterpark area ahead of the bus kids, finding a table was not an easy thing to do. I'd estimate that 80-90% of the tables were already gone. The hotel could improve the situation by adding a couple more tables to the far side of the park area, and by opening up tables that are in an area roped off for birthday parties, when there are no parties scheduled. To ensure that the tables are available for party guests, they would need only tape a sign to the table stating that the table would need to be vacated by a certain time, say an hour before party time. Because of the lack of tables and chairs, I witnessed a number of families having to put their things on the wet floor.

There is a bathroom/locker area adjoining the waterpark down a short hallway. There are several toilet stalls, a curtained-off shower area with several showerheads and a small, closet- like area with lockers - no benches, just lockers. If you want to use a locker, bring your own lock, or trust in the honor system. They do not have the pay-style lockers.

In regard to safety, the rusty poles mentioned in a February 2010 review are still there. There are flakes of rust from the poles laying on the pool deck. It does not look like there has been any attempt to fix them. Tetanus anyone? Also, the pool decking just below the entrance area seems quite slippery when wet. Even when I walked slowly, it was slipperly. Parents hang onto your little ones! I'm guessing that this area has seen a bit more wear and that's why it's so slippery.

In regard to food, they have standard choices: hamburger, hotdog, nachos, pizza, lots of candy and sugary items. Prices on some items seem reasonable, some very high. A hotdog or nachos (cheese and chips) will run you about $4 each, hamburger close to $10, one small icy $1.50, onion rings almost $8, nachos with meat $10. The food we had was about what you would get a school function, nothing to get excited about. And, didn't see anything that struck me as being healthy.

The waterpark itself has a kiddie area with less than a foot of water, a river loop, three rides, and a very large hot tub. Despite adding tubes, there was still a shortage when we were there. You'd have to wait some time and be quick to grab an open tube. Should you stand for any period of time with a tube in your hand, a parade of people would ask you for it. The process of obtaining a tube was enough of a pain, that it made you reluctant to give one up if you got one. Valleyfair it isn't.

Unlike hot tubs in other facitilies this one is big and kids were welcome. However, the chemicals used to keep it clean were very strong-smelling, to the point that we noticed a number of children coughing very hard when in it. My husband witnessed one kid coughing very hard just prior to puking in the hot tub. Don't know if it was the coughing or something else, but seemed suspicious.

Don't know if it was our bad luck or just another day at the waterpark, but we witnessesd a second kid puke in the river ride. Each time someone puked, that activity area was closed for 40 to 45 minutes, and then reopened. We opted not to push our luck any further and left.

It was decent enough that we will probably go back at some time.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank S R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GPike, Manager at Holiday Inn Minneapolis NW-Elk River, responded to this reviewResponded 17 January 2012

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your feedback regarding your experience at the Wild Woods Water Park. Your comments are reviewed at our weekly meeting so that we can determine where we need to focus our attention to ensure we are addressing our guest's concerns. The water park does indeed receive many visitors on the weekends, and especially during school breaks and holidays, and that can create some wait time for certain areas of the park.
We are currently looking at our food and beverage offerings in the park, and will have some healthier options very soon.
Again, thank you for your feedback, and I am glad to hear you will try us again in the future.

Greg Pike

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185 - 191 of 241 reviews

Reviewed 20 December 2011

I stayed at the Holiday Inn Mpls. NW Elk River $ Wild Woods Waterpark Hotel, the weekend of December 16-18, 2011. The purpose for this was an annual family Christmas get-together. Although, we all live in the Mpls/St. Paul area, we decided to stay at the hotel in order to avoid forcing one family to host and clean up. My husband and I shared one of the “multi-room suites” with my mother-in-law, brother in-law, his wife and their child. The room fit all of us nicely and could have accommodated more. The room consists of two bedrooms (one with a king size bed, the other with bunk beds, with a double on the bottom and a single on the top) both with closets and desk or table. There was one bathroom with an additional sink out side the bathroom. The large living room had a fold out couch (double bed), a fairly large fridge, microwave, cabinets for storage and a coffee maker. At one point, during the gift exchange we had roughly 12 adults in the living room and although it wasn’t spacious it was easily manageable.

The best part about the hotel was the water park. There was a large hot tub where the adults were able to relax while the children ran and played on the large tube slides and the lazy river. Also, there were a large number of lifeguards on duty, making it easier for parents to run back up to the room, if need be, with out worry. They have a bar with a few beer and food options, right in the pool area. The one thing I noticed right away about this water park was that they had put in a wood ceiling which made a HUGE difference in the amount of noise that bounced around the room (I am comparing this to the Waterpark of America in Bloomington, where you can’t hear yourself think, because its so loud).

All in all I would say this hotel would be a good choice for a family weekend or staycation. It allows for every family member, young and old, to relax and enjoy.

Room Tip: The suits, although more expensive are great for familes. The kids get their own room, complete with...
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Thank tinamariech
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GPike, Manager at Holiday Inn Minneapolis NW-Elk River, responded to this reviewResponded 5 January 2012

TinaMarie,
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience during your recent visit! I am thrilled to hear that Holiday Inn Mpls NW was able to successfully accomodate your family Christmas celebration. We are pleased that we were chosen to make this your Family gathering spot.

We look forward to seeing you again in the future.

Greg Pike

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Reviewed 6 September 2011

Visited this hotel/waterpark with my family to visit my brother who just moved to the Otsego/Elk River area. We thought the combo of the Holiday Inn/Water Park would be a good fit. We stayed Sunday, Sept 4 to Tues Sept 6.

Here is the good: Our 2 room suite was a good fit for our family with young kids...they could sleep and watch cartoons at night in their room and we could relax on the King Size bed in our room...nice fridge and microwave. The bathroom and closet areas were a good amount of space...liked that alot. Our kids LOVED the waterpark (ages 5 and 4). Even though there were only 2 slides for our kids' age, they kept going over and over again and couldnt get enough. They were tall enough to go on the double tube slide with me and that was alot of fun too. I tried the other 2 adult slides and they were fast and fun. The lazy river was nice as well. There were some 4 foot deep wading pool areas to play in, but we didnt use them much... The life guards were nice and helpful...which is tough for them to be since I am sure they get tired of a pretty repetitious job with high maintenance guests.

The not so good: Check in was fine, but I am confused with the front desk staff explaining that if I charged the stay on my credit card right away when we checked in, I wouldnt be charged double temporarily. Just got home, and i see I was charged twice (although I know one of the charges will be going away, I am bugged that I was told different). The hotel has a deal for kids eating free with adults. We went to breakfest on Monday, Sept 5, and it was chaos. What we heard over and over is basically they were unprepared for a big group...but I can't understand why as it was Labor Day weekend and they knew alot of people were staying the night before. I had the breakfast buffet, which was a standard buffet, but they ran out of bacon, fruit and PLATES! I felt bad for our waitress from that breakfast as later that night, she was tending the bar 10 hours later! The actual restaurant booth padding/seating was borderline gross. Obviously they are overdue for replacement and really made the feel for the restaurant a bit shabby. If you are going to eat there, ask for a table! Last problem we had was our room key. After using the waterpark on the last day (check the schedule carefully as the waterpark is not open during the week after Labor day!), we tried to get into our room and the key wouldnt work. I tried a variety of ways, and it didnt work. We were on the 3rd floor, so I went down and got new keys, then went back to the room. The keys still didn't work. The front desk gal didn't think I was too bright and told me how to insert the key again...THANKS! Got a 3rd set of keys from the desk and they STILL did not work. Luckily, a maintenance guy was in the hallway and helped "work" the door and finally it accepted the key. 3 trips up and down was not fun for keys that should work.

We will be visiting the area about 2 times a year, and always during a holiday time...so we are not sure if we will return as if it that chaotic/unorganized during times like that, we don't need to stay there. Might see what else is available in the general vicinity.

I am sorry about rambling on a bit...just remembering things as they come to my mind right after our trip. If you have any other questions, I am happy to help!
-Andy

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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5  Thank djcoop14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GPike, Manager at Holiday Inn Minneapolis NW-Elk River, responded to this reviewResponded 5 January 2012

Andy,
I apologize for the delay in my response to your review. I would like to thank you for taking the time to share the good and the not so good. We continually are working on ways to most effectively service our dining guests during peak periods. We are offering buffets more frequently and informing our guests of the busiest periods in an attempt to spread out the dining times. We have replaced all of our booths in the dining area, I completely agree that they were disgusting! We are also in the process of upgrading our guest room key system to eliminate the frustrations you encountered.
Again, I appreciate your feedback and hopefully you will consider us again in the future.

Greg Pike

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Reviewed 26 August 2011

This is our 3rd stay at this hotel and we continue to come back. It's been a couple years and you can see the rooms are showing their age a bit but the rooms are comfortable, large and very clean. The waterpark is excellent and included in the price so it's makes the stay very affordable. Also enjoy the kids eat free program as that saved on our meals. The food in the restaurant was very good as was the service. We will be back!

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank Jeterfan026
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GPike, Manager at Holiday Inn Minneapolis NW-Elk River, responded to this reviewResponded 3 September 2011

Thank you very much for your wonderful review, I am happy to see that you enjoyed your visit with us and we look forward to serving you again in the future!

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Reviewed 8 August 2011

We stay out here mostly due to the proximity to the Outlets at Alberville (10 minutes away down country roads), but we really stay because of the quality of the waterpark. Three awesome waterslides, water basketball, a kids slide and fun area, food, all good stuff. If you can get a room with a separate area with bunk beds for your kids, it's worth the price!

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
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Thank Getawayguy20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GPike, Manager at Holiday Inn Minneapolis NW-Elk River, responded to this reviewResponded 3 September 2011

So happy to see you enjoyed our water park and guest rooms! I appreciate you sharing your experience with TripAdvisor!

See you again soon.

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Reviewed 29 July 2011

We stopped at this hotel to get a gift cert. for our grandchildrens birthday. What better gift than a stay at a hotel with a waterpark! We went in and looked at the water park area and were impressed. When I went to the desk for a gift card the man at the desk said they couldn't sell them anymore. I didn't understand this and he gave me a story about trying to find out why they sold so many gift cards and now they are waiting to be used. (????). So, I asked for some brochures of the hote. Maybe I could put them in a box and wrap them for the gift. I was then told they don't have any! So, Beware....Something is fishy here! Maybe they are being sold or closing down. Although I did ask the man this question and he denied it.

Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
Thank MinnesotaBwaters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GPike, Manager at Holiday Inn Minneapolis NW-Elk River, responded to this reviewResponded 8 August 2011

First of all, I again apologize for the inconvenience you experienced. As I mentioned in my e-mail to you the day after you were at the hotel, I can assure you the hotel is not for sale and is not closing. The hotel is simply changing from paper gift certificates to plastic credit card style gift cards. As with most changes in procedures, the transition has admittedly been a bit rocky. The training with the staff is on-going.

Thank you,

Greg Pike

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Reviewed 16 July 2011

Amazing water park for kids. Nice getaway for a night.

  • Stayed: July 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Thank adam m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GPike, Manager at Holiday Inn Minneapolis NW-Elk River, responded to this reviewResponded 17 July 2011

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your comments! We are happy that you enjoyed your visit and we look forward to serving you again in the future.

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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Minneapolis NW-Elk River

Address: 9200 Quaday Ave NE, Elk River, MN 55330-6661
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Minnesota > Elk River
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Elk River
Price Range: £67 - £171 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Holiday Inn Minneapolis NW-Elk River 3*
Number of rooms: 125
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to the Holiday Inn & Wild Woods Waterpark Hotel. Home of one of the largest Indoor Water parks in Minnesota! Our full-service hotel is a new facility located minutes from Graco, Great River Energy, Albertville Premium Outlets, Lowes, Cabelas, Cargill, Siemens, Sci-med and Ramsey Industrial Park. Our guest rooms are well-outfitted for the traveling executive, including a spacious and well-lit work area, and Corporate QUIET Floor. Our on site lounge and restaurant, the Mississippi Valley Grill and Bar, is a great place to relax and enjoy dinner in a Northwoods atmosphere. In-room dining is available 7 days a week. The waterpark takes you back to the River Town of old. With three water slides, a lazy river, basketball water court and a child's play area, there is fun and variety for all ages. The waterpark is open daily in SUMMER. WATER PARK HOURS: SEPTEMBER through MAY: Mon. Closed, Tues. Closed, Wed. Closed, Thursday 4pm-9pm, Fri. 4pm-10pm, Sat. 8am-10pm, Sun. 8am-9pm. Call for availability we are open for some school vacations! The conference/ meeting area features 7 breakout rooms with multiple room combinations and up to 120 people for general sessions, parties and/ or receptions. Our constant caring team is empowered and dedicated to providing you with a memorable experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn Minneapolis Nw-Elk River Hotel Elk River
Holiday Inn Otsego Mn
Otsego Water Park

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