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!)
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.
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.
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.
- 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