The Canadinn Destination Center in Grand Forks is more than just a hotel. It’s basically all you need for a short getaway. The hotel has restaurants, an arcade and indoor water park. You can check in for a stay and never leave the property while you’re there.
We stayed at the 3-diamond (AAA/CAA) hotel during a recent visit. Our suite had a king-sized bed and a very comfy pullout. I slept on the pullout, and can attest to the quality of rest I had. I also slept on the sofa, and had a good night’s sleep. I was advised the king bed was also comfortable.
The suite has a living room and dining area. Our suite had a view of the indoor water park. We could see out, but the people in the park could not see into the rooms.
We watched the Nebraska-Iowa football game in our suite. The TV was large enough for great viewing. We ordered a pizza and some wings from Garbanzo’s pizza and arcade inside the hotel. I went there to order and pick it up, but they told me they’d bring it to the room. So, back to the suite I went.
We spent an evening inside after dinner on Thanksgiving. The dining table and chairs were nice, as we played games to unwind after traveling during the day and having a large meal at The Blue Moose.
We enjoyed breakfast at Aalto’s two of the three days we were there. You can order off the menu or have the buffet. Prices are reasonable. We had the buffet each time. The staff actually dishes up the food for you as you tell them what you’d like. The Sunday buffet offered a few more items, including cooked-to-order omelets.
We checked out the water park while roaming the large concourse of the facility. Splasher’s is reasonably priced for all-day access for guests. If you’re just visiting the park, the admission fee is very reasonable.
We loved the giant water bucket at the top of the park. As it fills with water, it starts tilting. Kids lined up beneath to get trounced with the water. They seemed to love it.
The park has a lazy river, where people can float on tubes and take a relaxing trip through the water. A large slide takes people just outside the building. There is a small part of the covered tube that extends outside the hotel’s walls. I wonder if people get a shot of cold while sliding downward.
Adult entertainment is also available on property. Playmaker’s All-American Lounge has black jack and other games of chance available for interested people. Otherwise, guests can enjoy some beverages and take in the North Dakota sports flavor. The lounge features all things UND – posters, bench seats and photos.
Just outside the lounge is a monument to all University of North Dakota All-Americans in both men’s and women’s sports. I recognized quite a few names on the list, including NBA coaching great Phil Jackson, football star Jim LeClair, and hockey greats James Patrick, Jon Casey, Tony Hrkac, Bob Joyce, Ian Kidd and NHL hockey goalie great Ed Belfour.
We enjoyed our first taste of the Canadian dish Poutine at Tavern United. The sports bar and restaurant is a short jaunt of the hotel’s lobby. Poutine is a dish consisting of French fries with cheese curds and dark gravy. We each tried a different take on the Poutine. Mallory had a baked potato dish. Kathy had the Perogy. I went with the traditional style of gravy and curds with the fries. Overall, it was a tasty experience.
The fourth restaurant the family tried was ‘L Bistro. Kathy and Mallory went there for a late dessert one night, while I stayed in the room, uploading pictures on the laptop. They enjoyed it, they said.
The hotel is located at the Alerus Center, which is Grand Forks’ conference and convention center. It is also home to concerts. The University of North Dakota plays its NCAA Division I-AA (FCS) football games there.
The fitness center is located near the lobby. I thought it would be cold in the mornings because it faces the front window. But, it was actually quite warm. They do not have a TV in the facility or on the equipment. That was an adjustment. But, I had my iPod with me, so all was good for me. The treadmills and stationary bikes were comfortable to use.
Mallory saw her first snow fall that she’d remember in North Dakota.
We enjoyed our stay there a lot. The service was fantastic, and the staff was friendly and professional.
I’d recommend the hotel when visiting Grand Forks. It’s a short drive to anywhere in the area. It will be my first choice when we return.
Disclaimer: Thanks to the Greater Grand Forks Visitors and Convention Bureau for the complimentary stay and gift card for meals. However, all opinions and views are mine.