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“mixed feelings”

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Sundara Inn and Spa
Ranked #34 of 76 Hotels in Wisconsin Dells
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“mixed feelings”
Reviewed 12 June 2014

We stayed for our wedding anniversary. The room itself looked nice and relaxing. I was hoping for ice. There was no way to get ice at 10:00 pm after the kitchen closed. That is really bizarre to me. I did not like having to walk out of my room at 7:00 am and walk down in my robe from the third floor to get breakfast only served on the second floor. That also was bizarre. As far as the massage and body wrap, they were excellent. But I must say that the most disgusting thing to me which was a huge turn off was all the mildew everywhere. There was mildew in the shower area near the ceiling in our room. There was mildew under the water pillows in the whirlpool. There was mildew on the ceilings in the bath ritual room. There was mildew all over the steam room. There has to be a better way to clean the bath ritual areas at night when the guests are sleeping. There has to be better attention to the guest rooms when cleaning other than just spray and wipe down. it made me think about how clean other areas of the room and spa areas were not maintained. so, mixed reviews.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank mollybemine p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (114)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 June 2014

We went for a girls weekend. 3 night stay. Definitely my only choice to stay at in the Dells! SO RELAXING! Loved the spa ritual which is included with your stay. The room was gorgeous. We had a king with a pull out bed. HUGE bathroom with jacuzzi tub and huge shower. Incredibly roomy, separate couch and 2 chair sitting area. Definitely a suite! DVD players in room, bring your own movies!! The screened in porch was heaven! Breakfast is included better than your average breakfast at hotels but not super fancy. Granola and fruit is set throughout the spa all day. Tea and infused waters are also readily available. The money is well worth it. The pool is gorgeous, fun to eat apps and have a drink at the pool's edge. Everyone wears a spa provided bathroom all weekend. You can make the trip extremely expensive or reasonable depending upon how many services you have done. Massages and facials are awesome. I would skip the manicure and pedicures, they seemed to be pretty ordinary. Free shuttle to their other property, Wilderness. The beds are very nice and comfortable, and nightly turn-down service is provided. I loved it, cannot wait to go back!!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mindy K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Madison, WI
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2014

Checked in with another couple for a weekend getaway. Marketing department does a nice job so the place is really publicized and the buzz is generally positive. When considering "where to stay" in the dells, the options are plentiful and growing… but most come with a lot of families and noise. This place attempts to be the exception… and succeeds when it comes to children but falls short in exclusivity and tranquility (compared to what they push for).

As you can read in any review (and find out for yourself by just clicking on the link to make a reservation) it isn't cheap to stay there. But it isn't ludicrous if you compare it to similar properties elsewhere in Wisconsin or across the border in Illinois. Tends to be the going rate. When you check in, you are kindly met by their attentive staff who generally have your information ready. The odd part (and what you really need to know) is you also fill out code of conduct agreements. Both parties. Signed and dated. Such things as not using electronics in public spaces (e-readers are ok - but these days the line between an e-reader and a tablet or a phone really doesn't exist). They also really push hushed tones in common areas.

Your room comes with unlimited use of the spa areas including the pool/hottub/bath area (more on this in a bit) plus a breakfast buffet. Most everything else has a price. Again, this isn't abnormal for these types of properties. The property itself is set away from other parts of the dells, but really doesn't have a HUGE swath of land so your serene nature experience is more "trees around a property" than anything else.

The spa is good. Prices are predictably expensive but the staff professional and the facilities adequate. In addition to the hotel guests, they cater to other groups that want to spa together. While this is common, the relative size of the pool and common areas create quite a crowd during peak times. Chairs are hard to come by and the pool area isn't what I would call a serene place to relax. It more feels like a pool at a place that doesn't have kids. Plenty of big groups walking around, talking, relaxing and drinking. Which is completely fine. But let's cut the "no electronics" schtick and stop pretending somehow everyone there is going to meditate.

We chose not to eat after reading some average reviews on the food. We did have breakfast the first morning and it was passable as a buffet at any chain hotel. Buffet eggs. Buffet french toast. Buffet fruit. Any full-service chain hotel would likely have an eggs-to-order station which would be a nice alternative and given the cost… maybe expected by some. It also takes place in the 2nd floor hallway. We were on the 3rd floor so I can't say from experience, but I would have been disappointed to hear the clanging of dishes in the morning outside of my room starting at 7 am. But, no one would be checking their email as they walked by… so we would have that going for us.

I really did enjoy the "bath ritual" which takes from a lot of tenets from various traditional "bath" experiences… exfoliation, steam, rinse, hot/cold alternation… to create a pretty relaxing ritual. The spa areas were clean but not immaculate or spectacular. In general we found everyone to be pretty mindful of the rules… but I think people there for the day spa may not be as excited about the quiet nature of things like the steam room. So it was part relaxing/part catching up on stranger's lives. I hope Steve and Cindy work things out, btw.

The rooms were well appointed for a hotel - not huge but we didn't plan on any big events, so the space was adequate for two people to be comfortable. Who knew sitting in a shower could be a relaxing activity? But it is. So take a seat and turn on the jets. If you get a jacuzzi room you also have plenty of water options there. What is it missing? Not really missing - but a nice balcony out back would be nice. Also, the feather bed and feather pillows seem like a great idea when you jump in, but create a warm environment which can make for an uncomfortable wake-up. Similar properties also offer different pillows depending on personal preference. Me? I'm a stiff pillow kind of guy. My "sleep number" was different than the feather beds - so getting back home was a nice way to rest.

The car service to local establishments was good… but they do limit it to Wilderness properties (which isn't mentioned anywhere that we read). Maybe it is just a peak season thing? Either way - that does make it pretty limited. We used it once and they were wonderful. I think if we would have asked him nicely, he would have driven us to Chicago.

Would we do it again? Maybe. Probably not if we always had to do 2 nights. Pretty unnecessary for what we really got out of it. The spa seems great for bachelorette parties or girl day getaways… which created a crowded space for people paying $300+/night to eat average eggs and not check their email.

There were also too many "little things" that you'd not expect given the price. Odd plants oddly placed in the "rotunda". Boxes just stashed under a table in a common area. Chipped paint on the walls. Really nice showers and really cheap vanity lights within feet of each other.

Schedule spa stuff ahead of time. Do the bath ritual. For some of you that sounds awesome already. So you're fine. For others, it sounds totally ridiculous. It did to me. But it really was pretty relaxing. Skip the food - find other places you'd like to eat (Del-Bar is pretty good, Fields is amazingly average).

Trip Advisor is interesting… is this "average" compared to the days inn down the street? No. It is average compared to expectations for what you'd get with a similarly priced and marketed experience.

Room Tip: The two we say were roughly the same save what amenities you pay a bit extra for when you book (room...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank RedDragonThe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Madison, Wisconsin
Level 5 Contributor
26 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 June 2014

We did a spur of the moment overnight at Sundara Inn & Spa, and it was more relaxing than I could have imagined. Every guest is very content, mostly girlfriend getaways or romantic partners. We made rookie mistake of bringing too much stuff since you literally only need swimsuits, toothbrush, comb and clothes to enter/leave the resort. Everything else you need is on site, from body products to sandals. Everyone chooses to wear the supple high necked robe, even to meals, which we did for dinner by the pool and I wish he had done for breakfast, again, a rookie mistake. Our room 2301 was likely bottom of the barrel with our last minute reservation, but it had an high ceilings, mega feather bed, an unobstructed view of the forest, large tub and uber-shower. Only downside was 2301 is near elevator and service rooms, so there was some noise that crept through the door. The cycle of sand scrub, shower, steam room, shower, hot tub, and cold dip sounded overly complicated, but once in the rhythm, it feels natural and vaporizes stress and worry. The steam room is a blessing, as is everyone keeping their voices not library quiet, just respectfully not loud. With mobile phone use discouraged, it bled over and we never turned on the TV since we spent so much time in the spa, pools, or in the sun. And Erin the masseuse was a talent. Pray for good weather to fully enjoy the outdoor terraces and sun gardens.

Room Tip: Recommend, but get a room a bit away from the elevator and staff service rooms.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Aaron B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 May 2014

We stayed here for a couples getaway and were very disappointed. The suite was very small(the same as any regular hotel room). The carpet was stained and the kitchenette was just a mini fridge without a microwave and no obvious way to get ice. Most importantly however, was the bathroom was filthy. It appeared that there was a recent drywall repair done and there was dust from that on the tile and door knobs. Also, there was texture from the drywall on the bathroom mirror and tile. More importantly, the floor was just gross. It didn't look like it was ever cleaned around the edges and there was used dental floss on it. We tried to address this non-confrontationally by requesting housekeeping the second day. When we returned, the carpet was vacuumed and bed was made, but nothing was cleaned up in the gross bathroom(not even the dental floss). We were amazed at the poor house keeping. We couldn't have been more disappointed in the hotel. I guess if you are a dirty hippie, you'll love it.(Just kidding) There is no way we would recommend this place. Their slogan is Delight in the details. They should really pay attention to the details!

Room Tip: Pick a room somewhere else or at least be very careful which one you pick. Our "suite" wa...
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Green Features: Environmentally friendly is kind of a joke seeing as it is run by the same people as The Wilderness. Sundara brags about not wasting towels and etc., but the shower is less than environmentally friendly and the wilderness is a waterpark that uses a ridiculous amount of towels and water.
  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank 316HonestABE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edina, MN
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 May 2014 via mobile

Would be a 5 but for the fact that the decor needs updating/ refreshing, could use a little more professionalism at the front desk, and not quite up to the mark housekeeping.

The rooms are well equipped with Kohler water tower showers and large whirlpool baths. The services - massages, salon services, wraps were very good. The hot tubs, hammocks and pool temperature perfect, and the adults only and cellphones off policy relaxing. Food was good, not great, but probably still the best in the Dells. The hot tub and purifying bath ritual showers and areas are coed, so bathing suits are required.

So why the points off? The furniture in the quiet room desperately needs refreshing. The roughly laid tile work and grout in the bath ritual area looks suspiciously like mold, although I believe it is just the grout color. The aesthetics of the hotel are not great (long wide winding corridors painted a peachy beige with beige carpeting are just depressing, the decor is turn of the century heavy Art Deco/wannabe Craftsman meets Northwoods meets almost Soviet style - not the gentle calming clean look and feel one hopes for in a 21st century spa.

On the professionalism front, I was trying to buy a product at the front desk and they put in on my bill, and then discovered it was not the color I wanted. They sent someone to look for the right product, and I had to go in for a service. Several hours later, I had to go find out what had happened, and there had been no hand off of this situation to the new people at the front desk. Sorted out ultimately but this should have happened without my intervention, and I should have been kept informed.

A tip for overnighters - avoid weekends when day trippers take over. Early mornings and evenings are most peaceful with the day visitors gone.

Overall, can be a really relaxing, refreshing experience if the aesthetics don't bother you.

Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
Helpful?
3 Thank Edinaglobetrotter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 May 2014

I felt very judged at my stay. I know this is a luxurious spa but I felt because I didn't look like I have a ton of money, I didn't get treated nicely. Very disappointed! Spa is beautiful though. I will definitely come back, maybe next time in more expensive clothes. :)

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Evee028812
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 
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Also Known As:
Sundara Spa Wisconsin Dells
Sundara Hotel Wisconsin Dells

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