More about Moody Gardens Hotel
Place was way overpriced for what you get. Probably a decent place to take young kids b/c of all the activities. If you dont have kids, would not recommend staying here. Rooms are decent, but again, not worth what you are spending the money on. Galveston in general is not that great.
Moody Gardens is a Gorgeous Place
I absolutely loved this hotel. Although some reviews have not been so favorable, this is the nicest hotel we have ever stayed at. The grounds are absolutely gorgeous, landscaped with tropical plants and meticulously cared for. The hotel includes a conference center and is large and stunning. We found the hotel to be immaculately maintained. We had a room in the north building. The room was tastefully decorated, two queen beds and had a large armoire with loads of storage. We had a large bathroom. There were plenty of lights in the room and a water view. The room was immaculate. It is a short walk to the Moody Gardens nature park, so I found it convenient to go back and forth and I bought a two day pass enabling me to see all attractions. There was free internet access 24/7 for all hotel guests. The staff was laid back and friendly. However, we found the majority of the staff to be "new" and not always able to answer questions. The terrace restaurant in the hotel was convenient for breakfast and luch. Do not eat at the park, go back to the hotel for lunch. The Garden restaurant in the Discovery Pyramid was terrible. Overall this seems like a great place to have a conference or bring a family. Highly recommended, I would love to go back again!
We'll be back at Moody Gardens
I took a six year old there this weekend and it was a terrific experience. This place is designed for families; there are probably better places for adults only to stay. Their "Palm Beach" is perfect for kids- full of sand to play in -and they can wade right into the clear water. There is food available, chairs and umbrellas, and life guards. The actual beach, several block away, was full of seaweed. Palm Beach also has a separate beach just for toddlers! And there was another part with water slides.
The pool is also nice but the water temperature was like bath water. There are no life guards at the pool and it does have a swim-up bar, so it has more of an adult feel to it. The moon bounce was fun and the aquaium was delightful. We did not get to the IMAX or other two pyramids, both of which offer lots of entertainment for children.
The food and wait staff in the "Terrace" restaurant was prompt and fine. We ate all our meals there. The hotel was clean and lovely. Our room was cleaned early every day and they had turn down service at night, replacing wet towels and leaving chocolates on the pillow. The bathroom was large with lovely fixtures and a clothesline for wet suits. The room had a refrig and a safe and robes to wear during our stay. The a/c worked great and it was quiet every night.
Here's my tip: Don't go on a weekend. The rates are higher and the facilities are much more crowded. The difference at "Palm Beach" from Sunday to Monday was amazing. We could barely find chairs on Sunday at Palm Beach, but had no problem on Monday. Lots of people must drive up from Houston to just use Palm Beach and go back on the same day. There is no charge for hotel guests to use the beach or pool. Only hotel guests can use the pool and there is a charge for non-guests to use the beach. Hotel guests can park in their garage at no charge also. And, on check in, kids are given a little bag containing goggles, etc., that really comes in handy.
i had read negative reviews on this site about Moody Gardens and was so pleasantly surprised with my visit. It's a great place for a family vacation and there are nice touches for adults too. We can't wait to go back.
Moody Gardens was OK but would stay at condo next time!
Our family of 4 (2 young kids ages 7 & 3) stayed at the Moody Gardens in late July for a small vacation (4 days). The check-in process was easy & the kids got treat bags with fun goodies like swim goggles & coloring books, which was nice!
The lobby was appealing - the kids LOVED the fish pond in the center, and the tropical birds as you enter. They wanted to see the fish & the turtles every time we went downstairs and that was very entertaining to them.
Our room was adequate - 2 queen beds & just your typical hotel room... nothing "special". Our son loved the Nintendo games, but beware that you pay about $8 per hour (so he only got to play twice - before bedtime) for the use of it. We did not pay extra for a nice view, which we probably SHOULD have done because we viewed the parking lot & the construction of a waterpark across the street. That's ok though, since we didn't spend a lot of time in our room except to sleep!
The POOL was "ok" ... but the water was like warm bath-water... just too hot & not at all refreshing. But - I guess that is to be expected of most pools in Texas in the heat of the summer. The swim-up bar was a nice feature & the bartender was very friendly, and added tropical touches to our kids' sodas. They do not let you take a cooler into the pool area though, which we would have preferred to do (like you can do at the Hyatt Hill Country in San Antonio). We went to the pool every afternoon before dinner & the kids enjoyed that. There were a few rowdy & obnoxious people near the bar side though, so we finally figured out to swim at the OTHER end of the pool -- and that kid is more shallow, too, for the kids.
The "BEACH" area (manmade) was HORRIBLE. It stunk as you walked through the gates/entrance, and the water was hot & dirty. There was hardly anywhere to sit (of course, we went after check-in our first day at about 4 pm, so you probably need to get there early when they open for better seating), and it was nowhere near as large as we expected it to be. I definitely don't recommend this.
We went to Stuart Beach in Galveston one full day & enjoyed that a lot. OK - Galveston is NOT Florida (white powdery sand) - so we were ok with that ahead of time (and the kids didn't know the difference). So - if you can get over the fact that the sand is more like "mud or dirt", then you'll be fine. We rented a beach umbrella for the day & enjoyed our time. You can park for FREE at a restaurant called Brodie's. It was WONDERFUL for lunch & nice & air-conditioned, and a great beachy atmosphere!! I highly recommend that.
We recommend a few restaurants in the area too. 1) MARIO's pizza... AWESOME, wonderful pizza!! (the bartender from the pool recommended this to us & he was right-on.) 2) Kasey's - seafood restaurant right next to Guido's. They are owned by the same people & serve the same food - but Kasey's is much more CASUAL & better atmosphere for a FAMILY with KIDS... Guido's is the white-tablecloth, more formal style. Delicious seafood!! 3) There was also a great hamburger place on Seawall Blvd... I forget its name though?
We went to the downtown "Strand" area on our last night there & had a nice dinner at Fisherman's Wharf (although VERY SLOW service) - great view sitting outside. We did the "touristy" thing & got a horse-drawn carriage tour ride, which the kids enjoyed too.
All in all, it was a nice stay & vacation & hotel. You would like it if you just want a hotel room & fun amenities (the IMAX theater was fun, as well as the aquarium). However - next time I think I would prefer to stay somewhere like the Victorian Condos - with a kitchen & separate bedrooms - and a balcony with an ocean view! That's my idea of a better BEACH vacation.
Poor Service Overshadowed Amenities
I wanted to love this hotel. The grounds are gorgeous, the lobby and restaurants appealing, the room attractive and comfortable with a great view. The pool and swim-up bar looked tropical and inviting. The short walking distance to several attractions makes it easy on guests. Unfortunately, after a three-day stay, all of this was overshadowed by a consistant experience of the worst service we've ever had from an expensive hotel - and on several occasions, no service at all. During numerous meals in the hotel's restaurants, we had to get up and ask for a server to take our order. Then we'd have to get up and ask for refills, then dessert and then our bill. This was not an isolated incident, but a regular one. When at the pool, our party had to chase after the pool server four times for drinks, as she would never initiate taking an order. Finally we went directly to the pool bar where the bartender was friendly and fast. The bellhops were the truly the shining stars at Moody Gardens Hotel. The waitstaff is in drastic need of basic bootcamp in service so that Moody Gardens Hotel can justify the prices they charge for rooms, meals and drinks.
Beautiful with Problems
Moody Gardens and the hotel are just in one positive remark beautiful, the food was good. The Aquarium was very nice. Moody Gardens and the hotel are pretty overpriced. The hotel and complex is much prettier then the rest of Galveston that I saw. The hotel had its problems There was a hole in the carpet one of the remote buttons was off. And the wake up call was late at least I woke up ontime. This new hotel just needs some improvement and perhaps moody gardens could lower their prices a bit would make their customers happy.
Great family hotel!
We really enjoyed our stay at Moody Gardens. It is a great place to go with your family because there is just so much to do without leaving the grounds. Our 6 1/2 year old daughter enjoyed the Teen Spa, the pyramids, pool and beach. There is also an I-Max theater and adult spa.
And it's just not for kids. My husband and I loved the pool with the swim-up bar. We enjoyed drinks while our daughter swam and played in the water. My daughter also loved the bar where she was the recipient of extravagant fruity concoctions that she enjoyed.
The grounds were beautiful and immaculate. The staff were attentive and friendly and we had chocolates on our pillows each night. Our room was also beautiful with a wonderful deck with seating.
I really do not have one negative thing to say about Moody Gardens. It was wonderful.
Not worth the money
My wife and I and our three year old son stayed at Moody Gardens over the last four days. The hotel is a nice property with above-average sized and furnished rooms and many amenities. It attracts a crowd that is a mix of families and convention attendees. Because it bills itself as a convention hotel, I was taken aback by the lack of service. The front desk was slow and unmotivated, the restaurant wait staff disappeared at times, and the bar staff seemed geniuinely uninterested. For the price of the room ($160 each night), I expected more. I realize Moody Gardens is not the Ritz, but the level of service should have exceeded the EconoLodge.
That said, the property includes a sand beach and pool area (Palm Beach) that was enjoyable. This is a mini water park without the water slides (aside from a few small slides for kids). It is open to the public, so it was pretty busy during the weekend. Our three year old had a blast on the beach and in the splash area, where fountains and buckets of water provide relief from the heat and constant humidity. We enjoyed Palm Beach so much, we never made it to the kelp-lined beaches beyond the Galveston Sea Wall.
Finally, bring your wallet. The pyramids on the property have a museum, aquarium, and rain forest. Each require a separate entry fee. As with any resort, bottled drinks are $2.00. Food is overpriced snack bar fare during the day. Breakfast and dinner are not cheap. Though there are many free features geared toward kids (a large playground and a bounce house), the hotel makes up for it by charging for almost everything else.
We enjoyed our stay, but will not return.
Great Family Vacation
We took our kids (age 6 & 8) to Moody Gardens over spring break. We wanted to get away, and even though it was too cool for the beach most of the time that we were there, we had a wonderful time.
The hotel is beautiful, with a man-made pond in the lobby, stocked with fish and turtles. The rooms were spotless and well maintained with nice features, including a safe deposit box and a lighted make-up mirror. The Terrace restaurant had a delicious breakfast buffet (larger and higher quality than most hotels).The buffet was ten dollars for adults and half price for kids. Our waiter gave us a complete description of the attractions and the best order to visit them in for kids. We purchased the two day pass to the attractions, the pyramid aquarium, museum pyramid and the rainforest pyramid. The pass included all of the Imax films. The kids were never bored.
Mom got a trip to the spa and highly recommends it. Dad took the kids to the indoor lap pool when the weather was bad and while mom was at the spa.
When the weather cleared. We went to Galveston beach (The Palms is closed during spring break) and went to the Rainforest Cafe. A must for kids when in Galveston (but expensive).
The kids enjoyed the giant chess game and the bounce house as well as crafts provided by the hotel.
A wonderful relaxing vacation. We will return to Moody Gardens.
Moody Gardens - Aquarium
An underwater tunnel which is completely surrounded by the exhibit's one-million gallons of water.
Photos which are taken by myself and all headings are copyright and digitally marked. Please do not use them without permission. Thanks.
(c) keeweechic 2001-2006 (copyright)
Moody Gardens of Galveston, Tx
In Moody Gardens, TEXAS
I am planning to visit Space centre and Moody Gardens on the same day. I know that I won’t be able to see everything at Moody Garden; therefore I have decided to get evening pass instead of full day pass. My question is how soon can we use our evening pass. In other words how early I can get there in order to use evening pass. I am pretty sure that they won’t let us use evening pass at noon. If anyone has any info on this then pleases post here. I couldn’t find any info about this on Moody Gardens Website. They also have a 1-800 number but its all recording. thanks
SHOULD I COME TO GALVESTON
I AM TRYING TO FIND A RESORT ON THE GULF SHORES IN OR AROUND GALVESTON THAT WOULD BE ON THE BEACH, HAVE LOTS OF PLACES TO SEE AND FISHING PLACES FOR MY DAUGHTERS BOYFRIEND TO FISH FROM. DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS. WE ARE PLANNING ON COMING IN NOVEMBER. I JUST WOULD LIKE TO FIND SOMEPLACE FUN
Re: SHOULD I COME TO GALVESTON
Have you looked into San Padre Island?
Re: Re: SHOULD I COME TO GALVESTON
No I have not, I don't know much about it. Would it be a place that you think I would like?
Re: Re: SHOULD I COME TO GALVESTON
My error. I meant to type in South Padre Island, which is at Galveston.
RE: RE: SHOULD I COME TO GALVESTON
South Padre Island is a long drive South from Galveston (6-8 hours, approx). It is prettier than Galveston, but Galveston does have its own appeal (historical, Moody Gardens, Schlitterbahn).