Black Hawk Motel Review

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
1012 Family Reviews
720 Race Street, Wisconsin Dells WI 53965
96 %
Families Recommend

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Editor’s Review of Black Hawk Motel

Wisconsin Dells can be considered the Orlando of the Midwest with resorts and attractions continually jockeying to offer the flashiest new water park wonders, theme park thrills and wow factors for families. That said, it still retains several thriving throwback motels that are small and family-owned, dating back to the 1940's and 50's when station wagons and a push for highways led to a golden era of family road trips.

The Black Hawk Motel, run by third-generation owners Brad and Tena Preissel, ranks among the favorites. It exudes a homey charm and hangs onto the old-school values touted by the owner's grandma: good clean rooms, reasonable rates and always-friendly service.

Some of its 76 motel units do have a dated feel,
... more and you might have full beds or one of those slippery polyester bedspreads that slides across the sheets, but those usually have the lowest rates. That said, rooms have been remodeled and updated in an ongoing process since 2009, with another dozen newly finished in 2015. Updates are ongoing when the motel closes from the end of October or early November through mid-March or April.

When the weather is warm, kids happily beeline to the playground and splash in the outdoor pool, where a carved likeness of the Indian chief Black Hawk has watched over guests for three generations. Parents and grandparents also get a kick out of the vintage video game arcade, where they can crank up Pink Floyd, Bruce Springsteen and Madonna tunes while showing kids how to win at Ms. Pac-Man or Space Invaders for a quarter.

Black Hawk is one of several classic Dells motels near downtown that continue to hold their own despite competition from large-scale resorts near the interstate or along the Wisconsin River. Most of the motel's brick-fronted rooms are the classic one-story, park-in-front design. They wrap into a square, and the indoor and outdoor pools, game room and children's play area sit in the middle. There are nine additional cottage units with kitchenettes across the street, plus a full-size home that sleeps six to eight and has a kitchen spacious enough for additional family members from other hotel rooms to gather here for a reunion.

Adding to the retro feel are room numbers with the silhouette of Chief Black Hawk on the doors and woven-fabric-and-aluminum-frame folding chairs sitting outside. It leaves you wanting to downshift and recall a time when a pool, hot dogs and ice cream, and maybe a drive-in movie, were all you needed to keep kids happy and have a stellar family vacation.

While other properties may cater to budget-minded young adults looking to cut loose for a weekend, the Black Hawk makes it clear this isn't a partying kind of place -- a major bonus for families. less
Our Editor Loves
  • Family- and budget-friendly
  • Pools, playgrounds and game room
  • Spacious room options for large families
Family Interests
  • Bicycling
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Museum/Cultural
  • Theme Parks
  • Water Sports
  • Water Parks
Family Amenities
  • Connecting Rooms
  • Cribs
  • DVD Player
  • Family Room 5+
  • Game Room
  • Kids' Pool
  • Kitchenettes
  • Laundry Service
  • Refrigerator
  • Pool
Our Member Reviews 1012 Reviews
Great family experience
Reviewed on 03/12/2016
I love this place! It was our family's first vacation and we had a wonderful experience at Black hawk. It was a home away from home experience spent 4 memorable nights.Great with kids! The customer service was great and ...
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LOVE going there!!
Reviewed on 06/07/2014
For a family on a budget, staying at the Black Hawk Motel is right up your alley! Friendly staff, super clean cabins, 2 small but nice pools and an old school arcade (think Donkey Kong and pinball machines) and free water park ...
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There are more than 30 different rooms and configurations at the Black Hawk. Families can choose which one is best for them based on location or in-room amenities. Adjoining rooms and those with kitchenettes are available in some, and all have free Wi-Fi, a mini-fridge, microwave, coffeemakers, TV, DVD player and cable. Guests can request a rollaway for $12 per day. Cribs are $8 per day. Poolside rooms with a queen bed have enough space for a rollaway or crib.

Motel Rooms
These rooms include all the basics listed above and are mostly located in the motel's main one-floor building with reserved parking in front of each room. Configurations include one king, two queen beds, one queen and one twin, two full beds or three full beds, sleeping two to six people. Ask about units that connect if you need additional beds.

Two-Queen Superior
These are the largest rooms with two queen beds, which make them popular with repeat guests. They were remodeled in 2012 and sleep up to four people, with the option to adjoin with another room.

Whirlpool Suites
There are a handful of rooms with whirlpools. Most are for two guests, but there is a family whirlpool unit with three queen beds. Another whirlpool unit comes with a second-story balcony with lounge chairs overlooking the outdoor pool.

Motel Rooms With Kitchenettes
There are several options for rooms with kitchenettes. Choose from two queen beds, three full beds in two bedrooms, or two queen beds adjoining with another room with two queen beds with a kitchenette.

If you need more space for kids, room 70 has two queen beds and a queen sofa bed for up to six guests. It can be rented to adjoin with a two-queen bed kitchenette unit. As a two-bedroom motel unit, room 21 fits up to six guests, as well. There's a queen bed in the front room and two queen beds in a back bedroom.

Two-Room Cottages
These cottages across the street from the motel office have a few different configurations with three queen beds or three queen beds and a full sofa bed for six to eight guests. Some have kitchenettes and can be adjoined.

Two-Bedroom House
This house across the street from the motel rooms and adjacent to the cottages can sleep up to eight people. It includes a spacious full kitchen, dining room and open living room that make a good gathering place for large family get-togethers.

Additionally, Budget Motel Rooms are available, with either one king or one queen bed. They sleep up to two people.


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