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“The place to beat the winter blues” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sundara Inn and Spa

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Sundara Inn and Spa
Ranked #25 of 72 Hotels in Wisconsin Dells
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
39 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“The place to beat the winter blues”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 March 2014

I read the reviews on here AFTER booking, and immediately began to worry I'd made the wrong choice. However, I had been referred by a trusted pal, so I figured I would just go with an open mind, and I was thrilled with the results. I'll try and keep this specific - overall, wow, just a wonderful, relaxing time. We had a great "Bathe-cation" (You are pretty much always in the water, which is fine with me!)

The Suite:
We stayed in 2304, a two-floor Luxury "Adara" suite. The suite was beautiful, very open with tall ceilings, a fireplace, a giant whirlpool spa tub, and two full bathrooms - each with spa showers. The top floor is a "loft" style bedroom with a curtained bed and full sofa. The first foor has an open sleeping area, and sunken living room/fireplace. Note - the downstairs bathroom is "open" to the sleeping area via the whirlpool tub. You can pull a curtain - but for "serious" bathroom use, we usually trotted upstairs where the bathroom had a door. Best of all was the wooden screened in porch, with comfortable furnature and heater. We very much enjoyed the fresh air. We had complimentary turn down service, so when we came back from dinner, our lights were dimmed, there was relaxing music playing, and chocolates and tea service were set out for us.

Inn Amenities:
Upon check in you are issued with a Sundara robe and sandals, which everyone wears all the time. No kidding, you will not wear clothes at all, even to the delicious breakfast. The breakfast featured items like eggs, ham, pancakes, french toast, breakfast potatoes, biscuits and gravy, lots of types of fruit including mangos and pineapple as well as the standard fare, chobani greek yogurt and lots of bread-options. There is a heated pool, which we enjoyed even in the cool weather - it was so cool to see the steam rising from the warm water. Outside there was also a gas fire, where folks huddled around with tea or flavored water - both of which were available for free between 8am and 9pm. There was also an outdoor hottub, where we retreated during a cold rain. The pool itself had some deep, jetted areas and an infinity edge overlooking a pine forest.

The Food -

Breakfast, as I mentioned, was great. We also enjoyed smoothies and a lunch and dinner from the spa kitchen. For lunch we had a chorizo quesadilla and pico, and a brie, grape, and onion flatbread. For dinner we split the butternut scotch ravioli and had a vanilla creme brulee. The food was delicious and resonably priced for room service and compared to other nearby fine dining restaurants. Of course you can get cheaper food nearby, but why would you want to spend the day at a spa and then go eat a greasy burger?

The Purifying Bath -

LOVED it. For staying there you can use the Bath facilities anytime you want. You can read the website for details on each step, but suffice to say I used it several times. Don't skip the cold plunge pool! It's not even "cold" but it does feel nippy after the hot tub. The nice thing is that when you get back into the oil-infused hot tub, it feels amazing! The scrub they give you smells awesome, the steam room is wonderful, and don't miss the lotion and hair products in the lounge/locker room area. After the bath ritual, you can head into the quiet meditation room. Several reviews mentioned this was a noisy place - not in my experience, although we did visit during the week. Was so nice to have a hot tea or coffee after a long soak.

The Spa Services:

Yes, they are more expensive than, say, Massage Envy. (I belong there, it's fine, but it's not on the same level.) But you are going to a destination spa in a tourist city - did you really figure they would be inexpensive? The quality of the service, to me, well justified the price. My treatment was the Shea Body Butter experience - which included a scrub, a wrap, and a full body massage. This winter has been BRUTAL on my skin - it was so dry I had itched my shins raw. After, my skin felt great, and I still smell great even a whole day and several baths later. If you get any sort of service at Sundara, ask for MEL. He's been there ten years and is a magician. My 90-minute treatment alternated between periods of deep relaxation in silence, and pleasant chatting when we changed positions. He was professional and funny, and made me feel comfortable.

The Downsides -
Few and far between but a few things bear mentioning. Our whirlpool wasn't working at first, but someone from maintenance came in and flipped a circuit breaker, easy fix. There was this weird sound coming from the upstairs bathroom every now and again...like a whine and then a loud POP. It didn't happen often enough to be intrusive but was kind of strange.

HINTS:
Your massage therapist will tell you to drink a lot of water, especialy if you are not used to massages. They are not joking. My sig-other had an 80 minute deep tissue massage and did not properly hydrate...he was pretty ill for the rest of the night. The staff was very nice, bringing us extra towels. We just curled up in front of the fireplace and had a quiet evening in.

Bring more than one swimsuit if you have it, especially if you are staying more than one day. Nothing worse than getting into a wet swimsuit to wear under your robe first thing in the am.

Guys - if your special lady drags you here, just get ready to relax and take it in. Plenty of guys here, you won't be the only one. Try something out of the ordinary even if it sounds froofy, you'll enjoy a half-hour massage or a wrap. The bath was great too, just relax and go with it.

Be sure to hydrate, especially if you are drinking. We didn't have any alchohol but still needed to drink a ton of water.

Order Smoothies and food - delicious and reasonably priced for the quality of the food and comperable to other nearby dining options.

Comments for Sundara:

Pop a pocket door or something in the water closet to seperate the toilet area - no reason to have that room open to the bathroom and consequently the rest of the suite. Filtered water available via a water pitcher or maybe a water jar on each floor by the elevators?

Loved our stay, even with my bf getting ill - prior to that we had a fantastic, romantic stay - so relaxing and just what we needed.

Room Tip: The luxury suites were totally worth it, especially with the spring mid-week specials. It was ridicu...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank MilwMichelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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459 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (108)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Milwaukee, WI
Level Contributor
26 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 March 2014

My husband and I have stayed at Sundara many times over the years, approximately 5-6 times. I reviewed the property back in 2007 after our first stay which was amazing. We have loved Sundara for it's peaceful, tranquil setting which in the past has allowed us to reconnect over a weekend without our three children. This stay left us very disappointed. Sundara appears to have been a victim of it's own success. What was once a retreat to revitalize the soul has turned into a girls spa retreat where the atmosphere is almost party like. We were asked to sign a "quiet agreement" when we arrived; however, nobody actually enforces it. Saturday evening was downright loud in the outside pool area with drinks flowing and a political debate in the hot tub. While I still think this is a nice getaway for a girls weekend, definitely not the tranquil romantic retreat for couples that it once was. I do recommend the hydrating body wrap treatment which while pricey was a really relaxing service that left my skin feeling amazing.

Room Tip: Even the lowest price rooms have the amazing tower showers and fireplaces. Not really worth upgradi...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank WItravelersMilwaukee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Racine, Wisconsin
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 March 2014

What a wonderful stay in the Wisconsin Dells of all places, you wouldn't of imagined such a wonderful gem of a spa hidden away in upper Wi. When we arrived I figured that the attire for our stay were robes as that's what everyone in the hotel/spa had on! Wonderful suites with relaxing waterfall showers & Jacuzzi's you didn't have to leave the premise. Spa services superb & after services took a dip in the heated outdoor pool (it was 15 degrees outside that day). So refreshing. Up to the room to order room service for a quick bite in afternoon & pleasantly surprised the crab cakes and crème tomato bisque soup to my liking. Give this place a try if traveling the Midwest, it will surprise you.
Maureen & John

Green Features: You have to turn off your Phones (except in your room)! Loved it!
  • Stayed March 2014, travelled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Queenie601953
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
USA
Level Contributor
66 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 March 2014

We've just returned from a pleasant trip to Sundara and there was absolutely nothing wrong, and I think that it might be me, because I can't ever imagine returning.

I would highly recommend this place for any woman between the ages of 35 and 65, within a 100 mile radius of Baraboo, who wants a much-deserved break from the stresses of life. This is especially a paradise for a ladies' weekend. However, if you don't fit in that description, and are thinking about coming from super far away, then I would not recommend Sundara.

By that, I mean that the pricing, scale, and location of the place don't make it worth the trip unless you are the exact target demographic. There were more than a few groups of ladies here for the weekend and they seemed completely enchanted by the place. I don't fit in that bucket so there's not much for me here, but that doesn't mean it's a bad place - just not my thing and that's okay.

A few positive notes:
The service was great. Nice staff and helpful. The place was well maintained and very clean despite being crowded. The atmosphere was relaxing and peaceful and the tone was very friendly.

A few negative notes:
We stayed in a Premier Suite, which in any other hotel would just be referred to as "a standard room." There was no living space or separate room which might be implied by the suite title. It was just a bed in a room, with a TV and minibar. Fine, but not a premier suite.

The hotel is about the size of a typical Holiday Inn Express. It's a nice single building, with a parking lot and rocks/gardens around it. The entry/lobby/giftshop/vestibule/snackbar/lounge/concierge/check-in/spa/elevator area is awkwardly small and crowded and needs to be expanded or re-designed. Seriously, all of that stuff happens in the same 15' circular space.

I suppose the biggest complaint is that there's really nothing to do in the building except sit in various pools of water and get massages. As I write that, I realize that that may sound perfect to many people who need to get away from their daily routine, and for them Sundara is certainly among the best places in the Midwest for relaxation and treatments. But for me, I could have used a gym, an actual restaurant, and an indoor pool where one could swim, not just soak nervously next to a dozen other people.
Much like the word "suite" I think the words spa or resort should be reserved for properties with full-service amenities and stuff to do, not just a standard hotel with curvy walls. Sundara does offer a shuttle to the Wilderness Resort, but that sort of misses the point of getting away from it all.

Lastly, the pricing is tough to swallow in this part of the country. If you can get a deal or splurge with the ladies then absolutely go for it, but $300 per night will keep me looking elsewhere, and gets Sundara 3 stars rather than 4.

Room Tip: Try to get a room with a tub. Some of the suites only have showers. Go to dinner at High Rock - cl...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank SearchingUsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 February 2014

I absolutely LOVE Sundara Inn & Spa! We have been there several times and plan on going back. The over all experience has been exceptional, every visit. The food is great, the atmosphere is soooo relaxing and the rooms are VERY comfortable! The reason I gave 4 stars was because I did not feel my massage was deep enough. This has happened on several different occasions even though I specifically requested a 'deep' massage. If you are looking for that type of massage, I would make it VERY, VERY clear to the staff when booking. Maybe they will put you with a massage therapist that does a little better job of that. :)

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Kimberly L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Franklin, Wisconsin
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 February 2014

Sundara Spa is a really nice place. But if you care at all about how you spend your money, the cost for spa services are so high that it is hard to enjoy them or feel good about what your got for your hard earned money.

If you must go to this place, try going during the week when the price of rooms are lower. The price for the spa services are still really high so you still have to deal with that.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank andy p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Westport, Wisconsin, United States
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 February 2014

This was our first time overnighting at Sundara; my wife had spent a glorious day with her sister here a couple of years ago. We had one of the more modest rooms, but it had all we needed and we bathed, hung out, ate, and slept well there.

Food was fine: well prepared and ample, especially the "free" buffet breakfast for overnighters. No real need for lunch; even hearty males could get by till dinner with a salad.

The spa is well thought-out. The "purification ritual" is a series of showers and baths at different temperatures. It's guaranteed to relax you -- and it doesn't cost anything if you're spending the night. The outdoor pool was closed because it was below zero for most of the time we were there, but the outdoor hot tub was open and surprisingly enjoyable: the deck is heated, the railing had a bit of ice on it, but the water was a perfect temperature.

Overall, a treasure.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Peter B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sundara Inn and Spa

Property: Sundara Inn and Spa
Address: 920 Canyon Rd, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965-8470
Region: United States > Wisconsin > Wisconsin Dells
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
#4 Spa Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
#11 Romantic Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Sundara Inn and Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our 26-acre parcel is lush with sky-high pine trees and natural Wisconsin stone outcroppings. Respect for the natural resources is at the soul of Sundara's green practices. Our heated outdoor infinity edge pool, sculpted fireplace, waterfalls and curving deck connect seamlessly with the tranquil environment. The main building is representative of some of the most striking Organic-style architecture in the Midwest. Inside, the principles of Feng Shui contribute to a soothing environment. Our spa treatments incorporate the finest organic products from around the world. The Sundara Spa signature collection even draws ingredients indigenous to the area for an authentic experience. Our spa cuisine features the fruits of labor of fresh, local, seasonal ingredients. Sundara is drawn from the Sanskrit word for "beautiful." We interpret that as beauty flowing from wellness. Our carefully selected and highly trained service providers are healers at heart and passionate about their work, putting customer satisfaction at the center of all they do. Whether you choose to stay in one of our 26 elegant suites, or perhaps just linger for the day, we hope it will be a transforming experience. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sundara Spa Wisconsin Dells
Sundara Hotel Wisconsin Dells

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