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Moody Gardens Hotel Spa & Convention Center
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Reviews (1,627)
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All reviewspalm beachfestival of lightsnorth towerrainforest pyramidindoor lap poolkids activitiesbreakfast buffetswim up barvalet parkinghotel restauranthot tubgreat weekendoff seasonfamily vacationshort drivespring breakthe room was nice
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Reviewed 12 July 2013 via mobile

The place is awesome. The hotel is very nice and clean. There's so many places to go. The activities for the kids are endless, from fossil excavation to night time s'mores by the pool. I recommend this place especially if you have little ones.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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Thank Maria G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MoodyGardensHotel, General Manager at Moody Gardens Hotel Spa & Convention Center, responded to this reviewResponded 16 July 2013

Maria - Thank you for your feedback. I am pleased to hear you enjoyed your stay at Moody Gardens. The overriding goal at Moody Gardens is to provide excellent service and memories for you and your family. From the Kids Crew activities to Bands in the Sand there is always something for families and couples to do while staying at Moody Gardens. Your comments are appreciated and we look forward to welcoming you and your family back soon. Garvin O'Neil, General Manager

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Reviewed 10 July 2013

Great comfortable room with a great view of the pyramids. The have a ton of activities for the kiddos! Their beach is pretty nice, too. Free admission.
Con: A bit pricey and I didn't have the feel that I was in Galveston. The location is not in the seawall. So, you're away from all the attractions.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank azambrano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MoodyGardensHotel, General Manager at Moody Gardens Hotel Spa & Convention Center, responded to this reviewResponded 16 July 2013

Thank you for your comments. I am pleased to hear you enjoyed your stay at Moody Gardens. We love hearing that our guests and their families enjoy Palm Beach and our Kids Crew activities, plus the extra bonus that these activities are included with your stay at Moody Gardens. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. We hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back soon. Garvin O'Neil, General Manager

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Reviewed 10 July 2013

We booked the hotel on-line at a decent price ($180 total), comparable to the comfort suites or hampton inn. We got off our cruise at 9am and took a $20 cab ride to the hotel (I think they have a shuttle, but we didn't bother looking for it, and I think it cost $25 but not sure). They allowed us to check in right away, giving us the whole day to spend at the pool and water park (Palm island is a small waterpark that is part of the Moody gardens complex, normally $25 per person, but was included in our stay). Our room was in the non-renovated section, and was a little worn (chips in the bathtub, cigarette burns in the curtain), but it was roomy, comfortable and clean. We had a view of the back parking area and a garbage bin, but you could still see the splashpad area and the water. The hotel is huge and we got a little lost trying to find our way to and from the pool. The pool area was beautiful, and the water was 89degrees (the hottub was extremely hot). There were plenty of lounge chairs, and cabanas and couches that were for rent. There was a swim up bar and you could order food. They have a playground and bouncy castle, at which there was a firepit for roasting marshmallows and making smores. There isn't anything close to the hotel other than Moody Gardens and Schlitterbaun water park, so we had lunch at the hotel in the terrace restaurant. It was very good, the service was good and the prices were reasonable (kids ate free).. We took a $10 cab ride down to the seawall for dinner and to pick up some snacks and drinks. We went to the Moody gardens aquarium since I had heard the entire thing takes all day. It was $72 for the four of us and we were done in an hour, the all access pass is a better deal if you have the time. We enjoyed it, but for the cost, we should have just stayed at the water park. Overall it was a beautiful hotel, great for their pools and waterpark. If you don't have a car, it's not very convenient, but we would stay there again if we were in Galveston.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Lee-Ann J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MoodyGardensHotel, General Manager at Moody Gardens Hotel Spa & Convention Center, responded to this reviewResponded 15 July 2013

Thank you for taking the time to leave feedback. I am pleased to hear you and your family enjoyed your stay at Moody Gardens. Palm Beach and the Kids Crew Activities are included in your stay with us and are a guest favorite. Keep us in mind for the holidays when Moody Gardens turns into a winter wonderland with our Festival of Lights and A Magical Christmas 2 Magic Show, we have hotel packages for a magical couples or family night. We look forward to welcoming you and your family back soon. Garvin O'Neil, General Manager

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Reviewed 9 July 2013

Moody Gardens is one of the nicer places to stay while in Galveston, TX. It has a nice pool and is situated on a property that offers a water park, beach, aquarium, rainforest, golf course, and much more...

The rooms are ample, clean, many have nice views, and an in room Keurig coffee maker and safe are a plus.

That said, the property needs some TLC. Check in was slow, too slow. A light switch, drapes, and chair were all damaged/broken – these are things that housekeeping should have noticed, reported, and been repaired by maintenance prior to the room being used again. The room décor is poor and old – something like circa 1980’s Miami Beach threw up all over it. The bathroom has an outdated and very large blow dryer that moves air but doesn’t really dry your hair very well. There is a much too small TV for the sixed room and we experienced one towel that was dirty (it happens).

All the rooms needs a serious updating and management needs to review cleaning and maintenance practices to make this the jewel of the isle again.

Room Tip: Chose a room that overlooks the pyramids or the water for a better view.
  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled on business
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1  Thank ALTravellor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MoodyGardensHotel, General Manager at Moody Gardens Hotel Spa & Convention Center, responded to this reviewResponded 18 July 2013

Thank you for your very constructive and valid concerns over the condition of your room during your stay with us. While we rarely get feedback like yours, we agreed that we fell short during your stay. There was no valid excuse of the condition of the guest room and your photos were very instructive. We immediately responded to your feedback and I personally met with the Executive Housekeeper to review the shortcomings so that we can avoid them moving forward.

We are indeed in the middle of a full renovation of all guest rooms. We have about 60% of our guestrooms completed and you will be pleased to know that the 1980’s Miami Beach look is not reflected in our new room interiors. On a future visit, please note in the reservation the request for a newly renovated room and we will be happy to comply.

Sincerely,
Garvin O'Neil

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Reviewed 9 July 2013

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!

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank Stacie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MoodyGardensHotel, General Manager at Moody Gardens Hotel Spa & Convention Center, responded to this reviewResponded 18 July 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write such a thoughtful review. While I was pleased to read the many favorable comments, I did note some valid feedback on some of the aspects of your stay. I was especially concerned to read of the lack of responsiveness of the front desk associates and service at the Garden Restaurant. Please know that we shared this feedback at our department head meeting this week in an effort to improve both areas.

I did note your concern over the overall pricing of the attractions. While the hotel cannot discount the attraction tickets, our overall goal is to provide many value-added amenities for our guests including the kids eat free program in the Terrace Restaurant, the Kids Crew activities that are all complimentary (including S'mores each night) and complimentary entry into the Palm Beach water park. When all these things are factored in, we believe we have the best priced upscale resort experience on the Island.

Summers in Galveston can be a bit on the pricey side, but, for those who have the flexibility, please consider a trip to Moody Gardens Hotel in the fall, winter or spring, where the weather is swim-friendly and hotel rates are 30-50% less than summer.

Sincerely, Garvin O’Neil

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