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Splish, splash then take a nap at these 15 US hotels with water parks

July 28, 2022
12 min read
(Photo courtesy of Wilderness at the Smokies)
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When searching for somewhere to stay on your next vacation you will be faced with nearly endless options. You can stay in Dolly Parton's tour bus, the cockpit of a Boeing 747 or in the supposedly haunted hotel that inspired Stephen King's "The Shining."

All of these are worthy destinations in their own right, but one of our favorite options for families is hotels with water parks. They may have fewer ghosts and no wig closet a la Dolly Parton, but they do provide hours of wet and wild fun without ever leaving your hotel.

With few exceptions, water park access is included in your stay, making these 15 water park hotels so much more than just a place to sleep (though you may need a good night's rest after splashing all day).

The Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark — Monticello, New York

(Photo courtesy of The Kartrite Resort)

Anyone who has visited New York's Catskill region knows it can get a bit chilly outside of the summer months, but it's always a balmy 84 degrees at The Kartite Resort & Indoor Waterpark.

Boasting separate play areas for toddlers and big kids, private cabanas, multiple slides, a lazy river, a surf simulator and an indoor-outdoor swimming pool, The Kartrite's indoor water park is the largest in the state of New York.

Rates start at around $250 per night, which includes water park passes for up to four guests.

The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples — Naples, Florida

(Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples)

In 2021, The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples transformed its pool area into an upscale water park called The Reservoir that reflects the resort's equally-luxurious guest rooms, dining, spa and golf courses.

The 14,000-square-foot water park includes three winding waterslides, a 600-foot-long lazy river, a kids splash area, a heated outdoor pool and a poolside restaurant. Daybeds and cabanas are also available to rent for a daily fee.

Rates start at around $489 or 54,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night, which doesn't include the $45 daily resort fee that covers, among other things, water park access.

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Hyatt Regency Indian Wells — Indian Wells, California

(Photo courtesy of Hyatt Regency Indian Wells)

The Hyatt Regency Indian Wells is one of TPG's favorite Palm Springs points hotels for families specifically for its HyTides water park, the largest water park in all of Palm Springs. Families can race each other down the 30-foot dueling waterslides, float along the 450-foot lazy river, swim in one of seven pools and splash in the kids play area.

Related: Forget Coachella: Why Palm Springs is a great option for families

Room rates start at around $275 or 17,000 World of Hyatt points per night. There is a daily resort fee of $40, which is waived on reward stays and for guests with Hyatt Globalist status.

Big Splash Adventure Indoor Waterpark and Resort — French Lick, Indiana

(Photo from Big Splash Adventure via Facebook)

Though Southern Indiana gets the occasional snow in winter, it's quite warm in the summer, which makes the retractable roof over Big Splash Adventure Indoor Waterpark and Resort both a novel and pragmatic feature.

The retractable roof covers 40,000 square feet of pirate-themed water attractions like the Scallywag Scuttle slide and the Buccaneer Bay interactive kids splash area. While most of the attractions are geared toward families, adults looking to retreat can soak in the adults-only Palm Cove hot tub.

Room rates start at around $180 per night for a package that includes water park access and a to-go breakfast.

Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort And Spa — Bonita Springs, Florida

(Photo courtesy of Hyatt Hotels)

The Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa is only a short ferry ride from the beach (a private island, no less), but you don't even need to leave the resort for a splashing good time.

The on-site water park has four pools, a lazy river and five waterslides, including a set of dueling racers, a corkscrew slide, a kid-sized slide and a double tube slide. There's also a pool and hot tub just for adults and cabanas available to rent.

Room rates start at around $300 or 17,000 World of Hyatt points per night. The $37 daily resort fee is waived for rewards stays or Hyatt Gloablist members.

Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark — Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

(Photo courtesy of Timber Ridge Lodge)

There are more than 50 water parks in Wisconsin and Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark is one of the best. The guest suites are spacious with all the comforts of home (including a full kitchen) and the 50,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor water park brings the great outdoors in with a realistic woodland theme.

There's a pool just for toddlers, an activity pool for older kids, a lazy river and a pair of 35-foot-high slides – one of which throws in music and colorful lights to enhance the experience.

Related: 5 reasons to love Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport

Rooms start at around $150 per night, not including taxes and a $25 daily resort fee. One-bedroom suites come with four water park passes and two-bedroom suites come with six.

Great Wolf Lodge — Manteca, California

(Photo courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge on Facebook)

Great Wolf Lodge - San Francisco / Manteca in Northern California is one of the water park resort brand's newest locations, though there are nearly 20 locations across the U.S.

This particular location has a treehouse-themed water play area for kids, a wave pool, a lazy river, water-based activities like basketball and an obstacle course, a family raft ride and slides for all ages and heights.

Room rates start at around $240 per night plus taxes and a $40 daily resort fee. Your stay includes water park access from 1 p.m. on the day you check in until the water park closes on the day you check out.

Wilderness at the Smokies — Sevierville, Tennessee

(Photo courtesy of Wilderness at the Smokies)

Wilderness at the Smokies doesn't have just one water park ... it has three. Two are outdoor and one is indoor for year-round water park fun. Access to all three parks is included in the cost of your stay.

Related: A beginner’s guide to visiting Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Salamander Springs is family-friendly, with a play area for kids, two water slides, an activity pool and a zero-entry toddler pool; Lake Wilderness has daring slides for adventure-seekers; and Wild WaterDome is Tennessee's largest indoor water park.

Accommodations range from lodge-style guest rooms to deluxe villas that sleep up to 16 guests. Rates start at around $100 per night plus taxes and a daily resort fee of around $32.

Kalahari Resort — Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

(Photo courtesy of Kalahari Resorts)

With an unparalleled concentration of indoor and outdoor water parks, Wisconsin Dells has been called "The Water Park Capital of the World." You'll find the state's largest indoor water park and an equally fabulous outdoor water park at Kalahari Resort.

The safari-themed park has all the requisite features you'd expect at a world-class water park, as well as a water coaster, trapdoor waterslide and two funnel slides. For an additional fee, you can practice surfing on the FlowRider surf simulator or learn to swim like a shark or a mermaid.

Room rates start at around $180 per night plus taxes and a $34 daily resort fee.

Related: Splash down at top water parks across the Midwest

Gaylord Opryland Resort — Nashville, Tennessee

(Photo courtesy of Gaylord Opryland Resort)

Many hotel water parks have design concepts that are distinctly geared toward kids, but SoundWaves water park at Gaylord Opryland Resort is the exception to that rule. The mostly white interior has pops of blue and wood accents for a sophisticated, contemporary feel.

Related: Book this, not that: Nashville hotels edition

Indoors, you'll find a kids play area, lazy river, rapids river, surf simulator, activity pool and waterslides. Outside, there's a wave pool, adults-only pool, and additional slides and play areas.

Room rates start at around $400 per night, not including taxes and a $25 daily resort fee, for packages that include water park access. Reward redemption rates start at around 40,000 points per night, but you will have to pay extra for water park access.

Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa — Cedar Creek, Texas

(Photo courtesy of Hyatt Regency Lost Pines)

The Crooked River Waterpark at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa has a smart layout that you don't see at many other water parks.

The 1,000-foot-long lazy river winds around and connects the other features of the water park, including a zero-entry pool with a sandy beach area, an adults-only pool, a float-up bar and a waterslide.

Related: Deciding between Hyatt Lost Pines or Hyatt Hill Country Resorts

Room rates average around $400 or 20,000 World of Hyatt points per night.

The Grove Resort & Water Park — Winter Garden, Florida

(Photo courtesy of The Grove Resort & Water Park Orlando)

The Grove Resort & Water Park is less than 15 minutes from Disney World and its popular water parks, but there's no need to pay the extra cost for Disney's pools and slides when there's a water park at your hotel.

Related: The 10 best Orlando hotels for large families

Access to the Surfari Water Park is included in the cost of your stay and the park offers a lazy river, waterslides, pool, kids splash pool and a FlowRider surf simulator. If you book a cabana or premium seating, you'll have a dedicated server to deliver food and drinks from the poolside restaurant.

Room rates start at around $200 per night, excluding taxes and a $35-$45 resort fee (based on room type).

Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort And Spa — San Antonio, Texas

(Photo courtesy of Hyatt)

The water park at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa distinguishes itself from similar parks with an organic design that almost makes you feel as if it was built by Mother Nature herself.

Related: 12 hotels with the best lazy rivers to beat the heat and float away

The lazy river was made with a dark bottom and is surrounded by trees and greenery for an authentic-feeling river float experience. Even the pools have a naturally carved feel. There's also a waterslide, kiddie pool, zero-entry pool and FlowRider surf simulator.

Room rates start at around $250 (plus taxes and a daily $35 resort fee) or 20,000 World of Hyatt points per night.

Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa — Koloa, Hawaii

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

At the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa, you don't have to choose between the beach or the water park. This Hawaiian resort is only a short walk from Shipwreck Beach, but you can swim in the multilevel pools and saltwater lagoon, float along the lazy river (more of an exploration path than a typical circular lazy river) and slide down a 150-foot waterslide without ever leaving the hotel.

The grounds of the pristinely-maintained resort – including the water park – are planted with colorful tropical plants and towering palm trees, echoing Hawaii's lush, natural beauty.

Room rates average around $700 or 25,000 World of Hyatt points per night.

Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa — Kapolei, Hawaii

(Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

Disney's been in the family vacation game for decades and it knows what families want. When it opened Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa on the island of Oahu, Disney knew just any old pool wouldn't do.

Related: 7 hotels with saltwater lagoons for swimming without the swells

The expansive water park at Aulani has multiple pools, a lazy river, interactive splash zones for kids and water slides all built into realistic rock formations. For an additional fee, you can explore the resort's private snorkeling lagoon.

Room rates start at around $600 per night, excluding taxes and fees.

Bottom line

When you travel, it's unlikely that you'll stay exclusively at your resort without venturing out to explore your destination. When you stay at one of these top water park resorts, however, you may find enough on-site fun that you never want to leave.

Featured image by Bruce McCamish
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.