Holiday Inn Amana Colonies and Wasserbahn Water Park

Last Updated on May 5, 2015 by Jody Halsted

When we visit the Amana Colonies it’s usually a day trip. The last time we went we decided to try out the Holiday Inn and Wasserbahn Water Park at Little Amana just off I-80.

We splurged on the one room “kid suite” which cost me $175.84 including tax after my AAA discount. Ouch! At least it included waterpark admission for the family and coupons for free kids meals in the Seven Villages Restaurant (with the purchase of an adult meal).

The hotel itself is nice enough but you can tell it’s an older location. The rooms could use some renovation and remodeling and the walls are quite thin. That said, the beds were comfortable, we had a small refrigerator and the bathroom was clean and had good water pressure. It just wasn’t great. And for the price I paid I honestly expected more. The girls enjoyed the bunkbed experience- separated from the main room by a half wall and featuring it’s own television.

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There is also a two room “kids suite”: one room has a king bed and a queen sized pull out couch, the connecting room has another queen size pull out couch and the bunk beds. It costs $299 per night.

You have a few choices when it comes to dining. The hotel houses Seven Villages Restaurant. With our room we received “kids eat free” vouchers for dinner and breakfast. If you’re after basic fare you might as well take advantage of this. Our food was quite good- it was basic diner fare- and reasonably priced.

If you’re after a really great German meal head across the road to Colony Village Restaurant. As with all the traditional German restaurants your food is served “family style” and there is plenty! If our travels ever take us down I-80 we always stop here.

Another option is an Iowa standard, Maid Rite. Famous across the country for their loose meat sandwiches a new location is just across the parking lot from the hotel.

The main reason to stay at this hotel, though, is for the water park. Again, you can see the age of the equipment and I think the entire place is in need of a major overhaul. Some paint is peeling from the equipment and the climbing net in one pool seems like it would be a safety hazard as it is torn in quite a few spots. But kids will have a great time. Brenna loved the water slides and Caelan enjoyed splashing in the wading pool.

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If you are a hotel guest the water park opens at 8 am and you can remain until 1pm on the day you check out. A changing room is available but I don’t recommend them. When we visited they were dirty and not well maintained. Other handy hints for Wasserbahn Water Park:

  • There is very limited seating. Get in there early and stake your claim.
  • The wading pool is zero entry and goes up to 8″ and has a small slide and sprinklers
  • You must be 42″ tall for the large slides and small children must wear a life jacket as they must slide alone.
  • The deeper pool is 3’4″ deep and has a basket ball hoop, a circling whirlpool and the “Mill Race”

Outside the hotel is one of the greatest outdoor play areas I have ever seen. It’s a large wooden fort with climbing, crawling, sliding fun.

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My girls were more hesitant to leave this than the water park.

My recommendation after this experience? Stay at the hotel because the waterpark is included in your room rate. But get a regular room- the “kids suite” isn’t worth the extra money. Be sure to check the website for any specials or promotions, they are usually running a couple of them.

And if you don’t make it into the Amana Colonies you can still get a “taste” of their German flavor at the shops directly across from the hotel.

Updated 5/2/13 to note:  this is now a Clarion Hotel.

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  1. Anon: it’s true that the rooms have been “lived in”. But, if you have young kids they will enjoy the waterpark enough to make up for it. Mine certainly did…

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