Grand Harbor Resort And Waterpark

350 Bell Street, Dubuque, Iowa, 52001, United States

1 Review

Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark
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Satisfaction Poor
Very Good


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Good For Solo
  • Families55
  • Couples65
  • Solo83
  • Business55
  • not so much


    The accomodations were fine. Nothing special, we are not picky people. It was much like a room at Super 8 - bathroom, bed, tv, fridge and microwave. However, Super 8's are not situated in a "resort". I was expecting a more lavish setting. The view was wonderful thank goodness. Had a great view of the mighty Mississippi. The beds sucked. Neither one of us slept well. We went for the waterpark experience for our children. The waterpark doesn't look like it had been updated since it first opened. The cargo netting had many holes in it that were "fixed" instead of replaced. There were holes in the cement decking that lead into the water that appeared to have had a entrance ladder removed at some point that children under 4 could have easily gotten their feet caught in. Gum on the stairs to the slides. Seriously, this waterpark isn't that big that maintenence personell can't handle cleaning on a regular basis. Old bandaids on the stairs. There are 3 slides. Thats it. For the amount of money, there certainly isn't much to entertain the kids. It appears old and rundown. The chlorine was obscene. It is dark, not much sunlight enters into the waterpark. There was a couch next to the waterpark that had a huge stain on it. Come on - either pay to have it cleaned or replace it. You are a "resort" for pete's sake! The adjacent restaurant was called Tony Romas. Food was awful. Very expensive and took forever to prepare. The booster seat we were given was filthy. There is no continental breakfast so if you want to stay in you have to order room service which is provided by Tony Romas. Breakfast wasn't any better. They forgot to bring silverware with the order. Needless to say we were not impressed and cut our trip short just to get the hell out of there. Such a shame - Dubuque is a beautiful town with an abundant amount of history. The National River Museum and Aquarium was great. There is so much to see, bring a stroller for your toddler. A lot of walking if you are up to it. The location of the "resort" is fantastic, it was such a let down to experience it though. Definately go explore Dubuque, but be prepared to be disappointed if you stay at Grand Habour for the resort and waterpark experience.

    Directions: located in the Port of Dubuque

More about Grand Harbor Resort And Waterpark

It was okay . . . but I wouldn't return.

by TripAdvisor Member EastIowa

I read the reviews before I left, so I had an understanding of what to expect. No shock -- the other reviewers were correct! We recently stayed at G.H. with our 5 and 7 y/o children. The slides and waterpark were fun for them, but I could easily see teenagers being bored within 30 minutes of their arrival. The waterpark itself was clean and there were lifeguards visible all over. There are 4 slides - one that is only about 3-4 feet tall that goes into about a foot and a half of water -- the toddlers and young children loved this slide. There are 2 open slides in the middle and there were several young children going down these slides by themselves -- they were "cool" for the first 2 or 3 times. There is one enclosed slide and that is pretty fast, but also over in the blink of an eye. There is a water-basketball area, a small "lazy river" and a 28 person hot tub also. The hotel room was nice sized - we had a corner room facing the river and it was a very nice view (odd numbered rooms face the river). Walls were "thin," but I expect some noise & it wasn't too bad. It was clean and they provided the "normal" ammenities, plus a small fridge and microwave. We requested a wake up call, but never received one. The 'fitted' sheets on both beds never stayed on - I probably put them back on the corners of the bed at least 10 times. (That really disgusted me!) The rates (spring break) are jacked up - the cost of the waterpark doubled. They did have a special for breakfast that for every paid adult a child could eat free. We did go to breakfast at the hotel and found the selection to be great - from cereal and french toast to bacon, sausage and fresh fruit, but we didn't see any wait staff until after we were done eating to order refills on our drinks. The Nintendo in-room rental was $6.95 plus tax for ONE hour. I thought this was too high! I will also have to comment that MANY complaints were heard throughout our stay about the fact that there are only 2 elevators and we experienced it at check out time (what a mess!!). We saw several wet children shivering in the cold lobby waiting for an elevator. We came prepared (based on prior reviews) and had clothes & dry towels for our children. The main reason for my lower rating is the cost -- it was over $200 for a family of four to stay ONE night in the hotel. That did not include any food. Way too overpriced. We listened to other reviewers and went to Brickyard - the food was good and there was plenty of it - our dinner/drinks total was $65, plus tip. We also went to the museum and we all enjoyed that -- for 2 adults and 2 children (w/o any discounts) it was $27.50. It really didn't take long to go through, but I think teenagers would get a lot more out of it. I would take my children back to the museum in 5-7 years. Hope this helps you!!

Great for 4 to 10 year olds

by TripAdvisor Member MarkC_7

We stayed at Grand habor on Saturday, April 15 (Easter Weekend) 2006, with our 5-1/2 year old son. This is an ideal hotel/waterpark for parents with children from 4 to about 10 years old. Don't bring older childern, as they will be quickly bored. But for the right age range, this waterpark is perfect. It is the only waterpark I have found that will let your child ride in your lap on the slides and tubes. In fact this is the sole reason we went to Grand Harbor -- everywhere else your child must be at least 42 inches tall and then must go alone -- no riding with parents. In fact, the tube ride has double-rider tubes (shaped like a figure 8) that will accomodate two parents with a child in each lap -- great family fun. My 5-1/2 year old was shrieking with delight all day. The slides and tube ride are not huge (two stories tall), but still a decent ride. Lots of twists and turns. Even I enjoyed them by myself -- and I'm into scary rides. The wait for the slides/tubes was never more than about two minutes. I don't know how busy the park was compared to a non-holiday weekend, but it was just fine when we were there.
The centerpiece of the waterpark is a giant two story climbing contraption with lots of water guns and shooting water and nets to climb up everywhere. Again, the right age child will find it a delight. For parents climbing the nets with children, I would recommend a cheap pair of walmart rubber water shoes (also sold in the gift shop) as the rope nets can be tough on the feet.
The wading pool for very little children was very large, and quite warm, with a cute little slide for 2 and 3 year olds. The water in the main area is tad on the cool side, but if you're moving around a lot you don't notice it. There are two hot tubs (not one as others have reported).
The hotel was fine, nothing out of the ordinary, but nothing wrong with it either. Going from the waterpark area to the hotel rooms does require you to go through the lobby which is chilly when the doors are open -- that is a pretty dumb design. Still the hotel was fine overall. We paid $168 with tax for one night and used the waterpark both days. There is a kids buffet for dinner for $4.95 which looked like a good deal (we ate a pizza).
I didn't like the check in at 4:00 pm and out at 11:00 am, but that seems to be the industry standard for waterpark hotels.
Overall, if you want to play/ride with your young children at an indoor waterpark, this is a great place to do it.

Best hotel I have ever stayed in

by A TripAdvisor Member

I am a bed and breakfast owner/innkeeper so usually do not stay in hotels. However, this weekend we spent the night here with our son, his wife and our three grandkids 2, 4 and 7. I am glad I hadn't read the reviews before we went. I couldn't believe we were staying at the same hotel the others had reviewed. The place was spotlessly clean, and so quiet and well insulated that I didn't hear one child crying or screaming. In fact, there was a solid core door on our bathroom so one couldn't even hear the toilet flushing in our own room. The staff was superb - friendly, helpful, and going out of their way to see that everyone was having a good time. I thought the idea of a wristband was excellent as a way to keep the facilities available only for paid guests. As long as you kept the wristband on, it was not necessary to get a new one each day. We left ours on the whole time we were there. A staff person even called us in our room in early evening to see if everything was to our satisfaction and if we had enough towels. That has never happened before. I didn't take a swimsuit, but went into the pool area to watch the 2 yr. old. I was very impressed by the number of lifeguards keeping watch. I would guess between 7 to 10. They paid close attention to all the older kids who were not using the play equipment properly. I disagree that it is for only small chidren. I saw many parents enjoying the slides along with the children. I had fun just watching everyone else. I highly recommend this place for anyone wanting to relax and enjoy life!

A few issues, but not bad for a value water park, hope you don't get hurt

by A TripAdvisor Member

We recently stayed at this waterpark. It is small compared to others we have seen and stayed at. The rooms are not large and are not "suites" like many other water parks (Lake Geneva, Dells, etc.).

They do have a problem. On two occasions during our stay, my kids got minor injuries. That happens, however on both occasions the lifeguards had to walk over, get a walkie-talkie, call a supervisor, who would then come with a key to open a cabinet. The first incident (a minor cut / burn from going down the waterslide) took, NO EXAGGERATION, 15 minutes to get First Aid. The second occasion for a bumped head to 18 minutes for an ice pack.

I am sure the reason is that they want Supervisors to be there for injuries. However, these Iowa farm kids retreaded into Hospitality staff take their time, mosey on down at a slow speed, and seem indifferent. My wife tried to relay her concern with the slow response, and got a "we'll take that under advisement" response.

Other than that, the place is right next to the Casino, and has nice riverfront even if much of DuBuque is industrial. The view was nice, and we ate one meal outside. The food is very reasonably priced and you can also buffet.

Like I said, this does not compare to other water parks. The park is small and geared towards very small kids, even moreso than others we have stayed at. I would say geared towards 1-10 year olds, max. The rooms are modest, but clean. The front desk staff and night manager at the front door (if that who is there after hours when you come in front) was polite. The rest of the staff could use improvement.

No customer service

by A TripAdvisor Member

I was with a wedding party May 2006 in which the reception was at the hotel. I made a reservation hoping that that the block of rooms was still available, well it wasn't. I booked the room knowing that I would be paying $300 for a bed only, one night. I asked for a confirmation via e-mail in which I never received. I guess that the terms of the agreement was also in that e-mail. I tried to cancel my reservation 36 hrs (standard for hotels) prior to my arrival and they would not let me, I would forfeit all of the money. They did say that they could sell my room to someone else but I would end up paying the difference on top of a cancellation fee. I was very surprised how impersonal they were and how much they did not care for the individual or a possible sale down the road.

Room was good, everything else, so so.

by TripAdvisor Member SusanSMinneapolis

It does seem as if this hotel has some issues. When we arrived, the front desk girl was on the phone and carried on quite a long conversation with a person that seemed to be asking a number of questions about the hotel and about booking at a later date. It would have been nice if she had acknowledged us, but she did not.
The room we got was great. It was clean and quite large.
The pool was definately more for younger kids but my 12 year old enjoyed it for a few hours. Tables in the pool area were dirty.
The big problem I had with this hotel was the restaurant. Very disorganized and awful breakfast buffet. Eggs, waffles and pancakes were cold. Toppings for pancakes ran out and no one replaced them. Stale donuts. Not once did our waiter offer more coffee. Plus we had to wait about fifteen minutes to get the check.
They TOTALLY goofed up MANY times on the room charges. They were very confused

Too bad I didn't know about Trip Adviser before we stayed

by A TripAdvisor Member

Unfortunately, I wasn't aware of Trip Adviser and its hotel reviews prior to our stay at the Grand Harbor. Had I been, I wouldn't have been as surprised or disappointed in the place( nor would I have stayed).

My wife and I booked just for the room which was at a special rate. We're retired with no grandkids within 400 miles so had no interest in the water park.

We found that the room was in bad shape: The beds were awful, the bedding looked as it had been previously used, we found blood stains on one of the pillow cases and set of sheets, the bathroom had someone's hair all over it - floor and counters, the room was short on towels, coffee cups were chipped, and there appeared to be a wad of gum stuck to the ceiling.

We complained upon checkout and added our comments to the customer review sheet that we found in the room. We did receive a response from the hotel management and an offer of a free stay in compensation. We found, however, that it was impossible to book the free stay (just as well, I guess, since it prevented further complaints).

I've read the reviews on this place since our stay and can only presume that the good ones were planted by the hotel management regardless of your warning.

Great stay

by TripAdvisor Member cdherm

My family (boys age 6 & 9) stayed here in October for the first time and loved it so much we booked then for a stay in February. In October, we really enjoyed the Riverwalk and outdoor activities in Dubuque like the Fenlon elevator and shopping in some quaint stores. In Feb., it was frigidly cold outside but the waterpark was warm and great fun for all of us. The nearby river museum and the art museum were great for the kids and they also enjoyed doing a craft every day in the WaterSquirts kids club at the hotel where the girls working were very friendly and patient with the kids. Kids activities like limbo contests and hula hooping by the pool in the evening followed by free ice cream sundaes were a big hit. We found the rooms very clean and nice, the view of the Missisppi River enchanting and the price (only $99 when booked in advance including the waterpark) to be a great value. The restaurant was a little lame with marginal service and the same food on the buffet for both Friday and Saturday night. I'd eat out next time or have a pizza delivered to the room. However, with the location, the range of things for kids to do from the game room to the water park to the kids club, and the price, we'll definitely be back.

Dubuque - Life on the Mississippi

by e_boc


Great Pictures of Dubuque events:
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"America's River Center"

Nestled along the banks of the Mississippi River, America's River is the only place along the 2,400-mile stretch of the Mississippi River that celebrates the historical, environmental, educational and recreational majesty of the Mississippi. This new $188 million educational, entertainment and historic riverfront development project in Dubuque, Iowa features five major tourism components:

• Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark
• National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium
• Grand River Center - a meeting and conference center
• Alliant Energy Amphitheater
• Mississippi Riverwalk and Amenities

America's River


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 Grand Harbor Resort And Waterpark

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Grand Harbor Resort Dubuque
Grand Harbor Hotel Dubuque
Dubuque Grand Harbor
Grand Harbor Hotel And Waterpark
Grand Harbor Dubuque
Grand Harbor Resort And Waterpark Hotel Dubuque

Address: 350 Bell Street, Dubuque, Iowa, 52001, United States