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“The good outweighs the drawbacks - but well worth considering”

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Tamarack & Mirror Lake, a Festiva Resort
Ranked #19 of 74 Hotels in Wisconsin Dells
Reviewed 27 August 2014

We stayed for a week at Tamarack this August because of a traded timeshare given to us and enjoyed it despite its obvious flaws. If you know anything about the Dells, most of the lodging properties are not branded well known properties and so staying in them are ‘hit or miss’ unless you know them beforehand. Tamarack is no different. It’s another one of those properties with buildings from several different ownership groups and managed under the Festiva banner. (There is a Wyndam building on the property as well).
If you want top class and completely clean spot free accommodations then book a room at the Hilton Garden Inn or the Holiday Inn Express and pay what they charge and be happy with your small cramped and expensive room. If you want to be in a quiet secluded location, don’t want to pay a lot and don’t mind not having 4-star accommodations this place might be your best bet. It has some good things going for it. The two bedroom, two story units are like apartments with plenty of space to unwind and full kitchens so you don’t have to eat out all the time. There is a whole host of activities on site at the resort and plenty to do indoors at either of their two activity centers (including indoor tennis, racquetball, basketball and indoor pools for those rainy days). The outdoor pool is fine and the resort is so widespread that you don’t feel cramped and feel quite safe. The unit we had featured a large master bedroom with king four poster bed and large credenza. It also had a very large Jacuzzi bathtub in the bedroom along with a wash basin. Also upstairs was the 2nd bedroom (a queen) and a full bathroom with shower. There is a pullout sofa downstairs in the living room so the unit sleeps six. It has another full bath downstairs along with a fully stocked kitchen and plenty of storage. The patio was a nice place to unwind and the scenery backed up to a fully wooded state park was very relaxing. Now the drawbacks. It IS old and some of the units look dated and frumpy. Some of the furnishings are older. The grills in the backyard are small and require charcoal. Ours was so tilted downward that it was unusable. The ‘lake’ wasn’t much of a fishing draw but there is plenty of other opportunities nearby. And it is not in the midst of the Dells nightlife, so you have to drive everywhere. But the Dells is such a compact location that this location is just minutes from everything. While there are negatives that many reviewers will downgrade this property on, I think it is worth recommending based on the value, the location and the spaciousness. Yes the WiFi wasn’t great but it was free and it did work slowly. The location next to a major forested state park means you have to be prepared for bugs and other critters to be around and some people also don’t like that. Tamarack doesn’t get my top recommendation but I still think you should seriously consider it if you are looking for value, location and space.

Room Tip: Two BR units are best. Ask for one that has been more recently renovated.
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank markmywordz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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124 - 130 of 194 reviews

Reviewed 18 August 2014

The property is nice and the activity center offers swimming, racquetball, tennis, and weight room to name a few. The bad is units are old and they don't clean them. We found a Capri Sun under a dresser. The upstairs carpet was dirty an in need of a cleaning but the carpet had many bubbles in it.

Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
6  Thank bertaron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2014

We booked our stay with Tamarack because of the reasonable price and I was amazed at how nice it was. We stayed in one of the two bedroom Villas (Glade #2) and it was clean and updated, yet my daughter did say the Villa next to us had a completely different décor. We usually stay at the Wilderness, and have even stayed in their condos, yet with their prices this time of year, couldn't do it. I loved how quiet the property was and I didn't have to deal with hearing people run up and down hallways which generally is a given at larger resorts. There are two pools, indoor and outdoor, which were great and we also spent time on Mirror Lake, which is a short drive away. I'd definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank LydiaLG108
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2014

we stayed in a one bedroom - had booked for a week, but left a few days early. just not a comfortable place (although there are plenty of activities available if you're so inclined)

the bed wasn't a king size even though the room was plenty big enough and the bedspread, drapes, linens were old, heavy motel style. definitely needs updating. there was a flat screen tv in the bedroom, but it sat on top of the dresser along with a dvd player, so you couldn't use the dresser and the tv blocked the mirror. old carpet in the bedroom as well.

they started to update the living room - nice sofa, end tables, coffee table and dining table/chairs, but didn't finish the rest of the place. the only a/c is in the living room and blows up under the drapes if you have them closed (which normal people do at nite). the bedroom has a ceiling fan, but unless you're willing to open the windows (which normal people don't do on the ground floor in a resort) there's no circulation. very very uncomfortable. cold in the living room and hot and stuffy in the bedroom.

their internet doesn't really work in the units (we were warned at check-in) - you could walk to their activity building if you really needed it. even my ipad's cell service didn't work very well (they said it's because of their location in the 'woods')

there's no safe in the unit, so you have to carry your valuables with you. location is fine - right off the freeway and next to a walmart, mcdonalds, etc - not in the thick of the dells tourist stuff - so it is nice and quiet.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank johnelrog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2014 via mobile

This was our first time at the Dells and we were "lucky enough" to find Tamarack at a very reasonable price only to find once they have your money they could care less about any issues you have. No AC in the bedroom??? You can hear every move your neighbors make especially using water (very loud). They sell discounted tickets to a number of activities in the area. Don't buy it! We thought we'd save some money and use this service. Surprise! The receipt that we received wasn't worth the paper it was printed on to their "affiliate". Yes we ended up paying twice and neither company lifted a finger to make it right. I was told by both companies to "take it up" with the other company. Don't let the good reviews fool you. If you have an issue, you're on your own there.

Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
4  Thank Agrsiv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2014

Stayed in a 2 bedroom condo from July 27 thru July 30. Very affordable thru Booking.com. Nice location right off the freeway. Great customer service at check in and at the activity center. Outdoor and indoor pool, 2 game rooms (cost money), paddle boats, bikes, all available to use during your stay. Condo was clean, roomy, really nice. TV and DVD in each bedroom. I chose this resort because it was just myself and my grand daughter and her friend who are 12. They had their own bedroom and bathroom. They loved it. I was very comfortable with them walking around the resort and going to the game rooms. The lake is small with a foutain in the middle and was very comfortable with them taking the paddle boat out by themselves. They wore life vests. Took the girls to House on the Rock (hour drive) but they loved it. Went to Khalahri Water Park which they enjoyed. Near all eating areas. Would certainly stay again.

Room Tip: There are 6 units to a building. The end units have more windows. It can get a little noisy if yo...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank kattt48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2014 via mobile

Took a chance when this location popped up on hotels.com. It was wonderful and affordable. Close to everything, but tucked out of the way. Nice condo, roomy and perfect for our family!

The on site amenities were great, laundry, pools, game room, just to mention a few.

Stayed: July 2014
5  Thank Sapphire J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tamarack & Mirror Lake, a Festiva Resort

Address: 874 Xanadu Rd, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965-8266
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Wisconsin > Wisconsin Dells
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #19 of 74 Hotels in Wisconsin Dells
Price Range: £72 - £139 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Tamarack & Mirror Lake, a Festiva Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 136
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located halfway between Chicago and Minneapolis, Wisconsin Dells is the ideal spot for your next wet and wild family adventure. With water and amusement parks and shows and attractions galore, there's plenty to love about this destination, and Mirror Lake and Tamarack Resort is just minutes from it all. Five different condo-style layouts all feature full kitchens, fireplaces and space for the whole family. Onsite amenities include indoor and outdoor pools, sports courts, a pond, game room, and fitness facilities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tamarack & Mirror Lake, a Festiva Hotel Wisconsin Dells
Tamarack And Mirror Lake, a Festiva Resort
Fairfield Wisconsin Dells

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