As you check in, there is a sign that says that Moody Gardens is a non-profit educational destination utilizing nature in the advancement of rehabilitation, conservation, recreation and research. I have a very difficult time believing this is a non-profit destination. There is a lot to do here, but almost everything comes at a steep additional cost.
Rooms: The room we had was gorgeous, spacious and clean. We had an island view, but we weren't in the room enough to really make that an issue. However, I think the pyramid view would be nicer to have at night. I don't think the nightly rate was bad considering what we got. In fact, at the last minue we changed our reservation to Moody Gardens from a Marriott Courtyard and the rate difference was only about $20 a night (we got a pretty good rate on travelocity last minute). They provided plenty of towels and the towels were nice and soft. One small issue we had was that we like to keep our towels more than one day for conservation. They had a sign in the bathroom encouraging this practice and telling us to leave our towels on the rack if we wanted to use them again, but there were no towel racks and nowhere to hang our towels to dry to reuse them.
Pool: Heated and large. The pool goes from 3 feet to 5 feet. I has a bar area at one end. It has a hot tub that is really, really hot and the water pours into the pool, which may be how it's heated. We enjoyed the pool a couple of days and though crowded, it was nice.
Things to do: Your room rate covers your room, the pools (one outdoor and an indoor lap pool), the small bounce house, a small uncovered playground, and the kids crew activities. It does not cover anything in the pyramids, 4D theaters, palm beach (which has a lazy river, wave pool, splash pad and sandy beachy area), the paddlewheel boat, and any special exhibits. All of these are additional fees ranging from $7 to $18 for kids and $7 to $25 for adults. We did the Dinos Alive exhibit at a cost of $15 for me and my 6 year old daughter, and the rainforest pyramid at a cost of $42 for me and my daughter. The Dinos Alive was maybe 10 animatronic dinosaurs in an outside tent with some signs with info about the dinosaurs. It took 20 minutes to go through it, even reading all the signs. Not sure it was worth the cost of admission. The rainforest pyramid was phenomenal. It was educational and beautiful. You could spend a couple hours here. Most of the animals are free to roam all over the environment and we came very, very close to a few of the monkeys. Pretty cool. Dinos alive and the paddlewheel boat are the least expensive of the activities, the rest are pretty pricey.
Food: There is no free breakfast at this hotel. The Terrace Restaurant in the hotel has great food, is reasonably priced, and best of all, kids meals are one penny with the purchase of an entree by an adult in the party. We ate here most days. There's a restaurant in the pyramids that doesn't have the one penny deal and the food was pretty bad. I ordered a shrimp po'boy and it tasted a lot like soap. Needless to say, I didn't finish it. Service was horrible there as well.
Service: The front desk staff were pretty uninformed about almost everything. I asked them about the kids crew activities, cruise parking and transportation, and a few other items, and it took them a while to find the answers. The staff at the ticket booth for the pyramids and other activities were horrible. They were very, very slow both days we were there, despite a huge line. They didn't seem to care a whole lot about customer service. The kids crew staff were TERRIFIC!! Can't say enough about them, they were good with the kids, polite, and generally seemed to enjoy their job.
Cruise: If you are cruising, know that you can get the cruise package which comes with parking in the garage for the length of the cruise and transportation to and from the port. Alternatively, if you get a better room rate on travelocity or somewhere else, you can pay them $20 per room to park your car and get the transportation to and from the cruise port. The shuttle leaves at noon the day of the cruise and you just call them when you get back and get through customs. The shuttle on the way back didn't have a/c or it wasn't working well and it was a really awful and long ride back. It seemed a little chaotic and disorganized, but it worked ok for us.
Laundry: The hotel will do it for you, but at $3.00 for a shirt, it wasn't affordable. There is a laundry room. It is down at parking garage level, which I didn't care for. There's only one laundry room with three washers and three dryers. I think it was $1.00 for the washer and $1.00 for the dryer.
I think if you decide to stay here, you need to educate yourself on what they have, the additional costs and set your budget and your kids expectations ahead of time. It can get real pricey, real quick, but it is a beautiful and comfortable hotel. We would stay again when we have more time and more budget!
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- Also Known As:
- Moody Gardens Hotel Spa And Convention Center
- Moody Gardens Hotel Hotel Galveston
- Moody Gardens Motel
- Moody Gardens Galveston
- Moody Garden Hotel Galveston