At the Holiday Inn & Suites–Maple Grove, Minn., guests can get lost in the magic of Venice, Italy, without leaving the United States. Located in the newly developed Arbor Lakes shopping and entertainment district, this stylish hotel is fast becoming a Twin Cities vacation destination. Besides the
hotel’s new 25,00-square-foot Venetian-themed indoor
waterpark, nearby shops, restaurants and attractions make this
venue an ideal spot for leisure or business travel.
In creating the waterpark (open to hotel guests
only), operators wanted a space where people could immerse
themselves in Old World charm. The Venetian theme was integrated
throughout the park, including the
authentic building facades, bridges and gondolas. In creating the
ambiance, perhaps the most important element was the lighting.
post lanterns were installed throughout the waterpark, and special
blue LED lights line the edges of each pool. To create the illusion
of a starry-night
sky, approximately 1,200 fiberoptic lights were installed in the
At first glance, the facility may be almost as
breathtaking as the real Venice, yet it has all the features
expected in a state-of-the-art waterpark. The largest feature is
the activity pool, where guests of all ages can compete in
basketball or challenge themselves on the water walk. The pool also
doubles as a plunge pool for the two four-story body slides, which
weave indoors and outdoors. A separate toddler wading pool has
interactive water fun for the little ones. The large, 23-person spa
completes the layout — and is an ideal spot to unwind after
squeezing all the fun out
of the rides and slides.
The waterpark was designed to satisfy different
types of guests. To that end, the upscale Venetian setting can
double as a relaxing site for business meetings or private parties.
Deck space is specifically allotted for other uses, such as
corporate gatherings or private functions.
In developing the Holiday Inn &
Suites–Maple Grove waterpark, one of the biggest challenges
for the Ramaker design team was installing ductwork and related
service elements so it wouldn’t detract from the Venetian
To help maintain the illusion, the HVAC system is completely hidden
above the false sky, and all air returns and ductwork in the lower
level of the waterpark, such as the low air return positioned
between the ends of the body water slides, are cleverly disguised
with paint and theming.
With its extensive and thorough theming, the
project pushes the envelope
of a Holiday Inn waterpark and sets a high standard for other
franchise hotels to follow.