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Ramada Tropics Resort

5000 Merle Hay Rd.
Des Moines  Iowa  50322
United States
(515) 278-0271
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Midwest Living Review

Mark Yontz
This convenient, off-the-interstate hotel offers affordable food, lodging and waterpark fun all under one roof.

With easy interstate access, the Ramada Tropics is best suited for families traveling with young kids in tow. The 18,000-square-foot indoor waterpark is the main attraction. It includes three large pools, tube slides, water basketball and volleyball, and a pirate ship play area for kiddies. Most adults tend to gather at the poolside bar as their children splash and play. While comfortable and nicely furnished, the guest rooms offer little solace during waterpark hours (open until 10:30 p.m. most nights). The constant drone of water pumps and noise from loud kids are not conducive to peaceful relaxation, especially on the weekends. 

The on-site Castaway’s Bar and Grill is convenient, clean and decently decorated—along the lines of your average franchise eatery. It also offers affordable menu items that appeal to both adults and kids. Tthink sandwiches, salads, seafood, pizza and pasta (the Cajun catfish and bananas Foster prove good calls). Most entrees run between $9 and $15.

Hotel room rates vary, but expect to pay around $150 for a poolside room with two queen beds. Water park tickets come with most room packages but can be purchased separately ($15 apiece) for nonhotel guests. All in all, this Ramada is a good choice for families with young children who love the water, but if you’re just looking for a quiet place to sleep and shower (and you could care less about the pool), you may want to go elsewhere.

Visited: 
April 19, 2013

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