We have just got back from a three night stay at Tropical Islands Resort. It is our second visit but first with our daughters. My social media posts during our trip attracted a great response and I thought it would be a great chance for me to create a blog post with all the information you might need when considering your own stay or holiday at Tropical Islands. This blog post is from my own personal experiences and opinions. I hope you find this useful. I will also be uploading four daily diary style blog posts with more personal photos and videos included in those so do come back very soon.
Tropical Islands Resort is situated in Halbe, Germany. It is about an hour away from Berlin Tegel Airport (we flew to there this time) or about half an hour away from Schönefeld Airport (we went to this airport the first time). I highly recommend hiring a car if you are confident enough to. It is easy to pick up from the airport and will give you some freedom if you wish to explore. There is a bus stop and train station for Tropical Islands with their own shuttle bus from them to the dome. We have found it extremely hard to find English speaking people in Germany on both our visits so would feel very anxious to travel by public transport which is why we hired a car both times. It was also much cheaper to travel this way.
Tropical Islands Resort is inside an enormous dome that was originally built as an airship hangar for the German company CargoLifter AG. It is 360 metres long, 210 metres wide and 107 metres high. It’s big enough to fit the Statue of Liberty in standing up and the Eiffel Tower lying on its side. The Tropical Islands Dome covers an area of 66,000 m², the size of eight football fields. Inside the Dome the temperature is around 30 degrees. I’m not sure if this increases during the summer time as we’ve only ever experience Tropical Islands during winter months, November and December. It is the most surreal feeling to step from winter into summer instantly. It also makes packing rather interesting because you will only need your swim costume and a throw over dress the entire day!
Opening Times & Arrival
This will be a little surprising to some, but Tropical Islands is open all year (except a few days before Christmas) seven days a week 24 hours a day. However, day guests are only allowed inside the dome between 6am and 12 midnight. Overnight guests are permitted to use the facilities for 24 hours. There is a few hours I believe when the pools shut for cleaning. You are able to arrive at any point from 6am onwards, but cannot access your room until 4pm. On arrival you are given electronic wristbands which are your locker keys, room key (unless your room requires an actual key) and also your payment tool for your trip. The electronic wristbands have spending limits so you won’t accidentally spend loads of money. You simply tap your wristband each time you buy something – food, drink, souvenirs etc. It means you don’t have to store loose cash in your bag. You simply pay using machines each day or even at the end of your trip. On arrival each guest is given a locker and these become your lockers for the duration of your trip. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of lockers available of many different sizes. Ours were ample to fit in our cabin luggage. The locker area has heated flooring and is spotlessly clean compared to some UK changing rooms I’ve experienced.
There are lots of accommodation options available both inside and outside the dome. Everything from bringing your own tent or mobile home outside, glamping in the dome or staying in a luxury premium suite. There’s something to fit every budget. For this trip with the children, we stayed in a Designer Room by the Boulevard shops. This was actually the perfect location for us as a family. Although everything is easily to get to no matter where you are in the dome, this was located very close to the shops, restaurants and kids club. It was on the edge of the dome so our view was of the car park but the curtains and blinds cleverly hid the outside view and kept it feeling private. The room was so spacious. We were actually so shocked by the interior decor and the way the room had been designed. The girls were very excited about the high beds which you can see in the photos. It was incredible. There was two single mattresses pushed together to create a large bed too. Then round the corner was another room with a second large bed. There are ensuite shower facilities for the Designer Room. It’s a spacious room with towels for each guest, both large and small hand towels. There are also little travel sized toiletries; shampoo, lotion and shower gel provided. Toilet roll is provided too and replenished each day thankfully as our girls seem to go through it very quickly at the moment. There’s a hairdryer too. Storage was ample with two wardrobes. There was two sofas, a desk with chair and the flatscreen TV. Free WiFi is available throughout the dome. You will obviously need European travel adaptors for your electrical items, there were so many plug sockets available throughout the Designer Room. Bedding is all provided too.
We all slept so well during our three night stay. The beds were comfy and although there was a slight hum of activity going on beyond the door, it was peaceful and comfortable with air conditioning. The perfect base to chill out with children.
As an overnight guest you get breakfast included. There’s two options in two different restaurants; Palm Beach offers an A La Carte and Sawadee has an unlimited buffet style breakfast. There’s lots of food items available from fruit, continental or cooked. Even mini doughnuts which were a big hit in this family.
There are five restaurants in total that are spread across the dome:
- Palm Beach Restaurant offers a la carte dining with dishes like salads, soups and meat dishes. It over looks the Tropical Sea.
- Tropical Garden which is definitely a more formal eating option.
- Mondial Food Court is perfect for fussier eaters and children. They serve things like pizza, burgers, sushi and more typical “street food”.
- Sawadee Restaurant is an Asian Buffet restaurant. There are lots of options which seem to change slightly different days. It’s perfect for trying new foods and you actually pay 2.20 euros per 100g, so you can fill your plate as much or as little as you want. A great option for children.
- Tropino Restaurant is located inside the Tropino Club and has things like chicken nuggets, chips and sausages.
One thing I did find a bit pants about the food situation was the you had to pay per drink. I feel there should of been an option to pay a set amount for a refill. Drinks were quite expensive especially when there’s five of you.
There are four bars or lounges at Tropical Islands:
- Bora Bora Lounge which is above the Sawadee Restaurant. This is a over 18s only area, and offers a place for smokers too.
- The Lagoon Bar is by the Lagoon.
- Sambesi Bar is by the Wayang Stage. Tropical Islands puts on various shows here.
- Borneo Cafe is great for kids and families. They serve coffee, cake and frozen yogurt with toppings too. On both of our visits we were meant to try this one out and completely lost time to actually do it.
Seeing as Tropical Islands is an indoor water park, this section is probably the most important bit you’ve been waiting for. There are two main indoor pools:
This area is perfect for lounging and makes you feel like you are in a totally different country on a hot beach. There’s sun chairs and little bars. The pool is sort of a semi circle that is outlined with a shin-deep water pathway. The water is a little chilly initially. This pool is huge so perfect if you fancy a proper swim and great if you just want to splash about with the kids. It was just over my shoulder height (I’m 1.45 m tall) in depth with no incline, just the steps to get in. It is the same depth the entire way round. Elsa loved to play in the sand and we took our own little sand toys. I also would recommend going to the pool early and popping your towel or beach bag on a few of the chairs to secure a little base for the day. In the centre of the pool there is a boat with two slides. It’s a nice little addition although you do have to swim to get to it. This is suited for stronger swimmers as children are plunged straight into the water. This pool has a great atmosphere at night time with some really funky glowing lights. You can see it in my YouTube videos so please check out my playlist linked here. The girls really loved just swimming around and it gave them the perfect opportunity to practice. To the left of the Tropical Sea is the brand new Jungle Splash. This was opened a few days before our visit so it is so new. A few of the slides were not open, but the Jungle Splash will have 8 slides suitable for all different age ranges. The Jungle Splash is a water playground with everything from water pistols to an adventure climbing net. Freya absolutely loved this area, going down the slides over and over again. There’s water splashing everywhere and its honestly great fun for little water lovers and adults too!
The Lagoon is perfect for younger visitors as the depth gradually declines meaning that parts of the pool is perfect for splashing around in. There’s two water slides in the Lagoon and two water fountains you can explore. The Lagoon is surrounded by rocks and plants with make you feel like you are in the heart of a rainforest. There’s a lazy river area and a huge waterfall that pours down onto the swimming pool. At night the lights are low and it’s very pretty!
We have only ever experienced the Amazonia during the winter months when the majority of it is closed for the winter. However, there is so much to do in the Amazonia during the summer including a play area, beach volley ball, huge sunbathing area and a kids pool too. There is a year round pool and water rapids. The pool is so warm it’s literally like stepping into a bath but it’s the weirdest feeling as your head is freezing during the winter. The girls loved floating along the lazy river and Eva specifically loved the little whirlpool too. There’s different areas to leave the lazy river and just chill out. I actually find the year round outdoor pool quite exhausting as I’m so teeny and can barely reach the bottom. The water rapids are great fun. We didn’t get to experience them this year as you have to be at least 8 years of age and able to swim unaided with no floats. Sadly Freya isn’t at that stage yet despite being old enough. Hubby did actually go on the rapids but we could film it. Last year I loved them but found them very cold as the water is obviously not as deep so more of your body is exposed.
The Tropino Club is the perfect place for children when they get tired of swimming. There used to be a little pool there but that has been turned into a giant ball pit. I kid you not it’s amazing! The balls are rather deep, up to my knees and beyond is places, and the flooring is heated too so it’s great. We all had lots of fun in there. Inside the Tropino Club there’s also a huge soft play that has a car track around the outside, there’s hover cars, a little cafe serving kid friendly meals and snacks. There is a baby soft play area too. Each day they put on various activities for the children. Sadly we didn’t take part in any as they are in German and we don’t speak any German. We saw a Pirate doing a treasure hunt and also some dancing too. The Tropino Club is a great place to chill out as a parent, sit down for a moment whilst the children run around the soft play.
There are toilets or showering facilities throughout the dome so you are never far when nature calls. They have always been very clean and well kept when we’ve used any of them.
There are two ballooning experiences both are paid for and need to be booked prior to the experience. One takes a group of people around the entire dome to get a birds eye view of all the action. The other is for two people and this goes up and down. I haven’t been brave enough to experience this myself but have seen them on the go continuously throughout our stay.
Spa & Sauna
We didn’t try out the spa and sauna area this trip but on our previous child free stay, we did. There’s even a naked sauna and pool area too. It was very uplifting. Part of the Spa are chargeable but the little pools and steam rooms are free for overnight guests.
There’s a gym available for guests. Let’s be honest, I haven’t even thought about trying that area out. Apparently it’s full air conditioned and well equipped.
There are a selection of little shops along the Boulevard. Our room was right nearby actually so we got to walk past often. The shops are things like clothing, candy, toys and souvenirs. One thing I would note to potentially visitors is that there isn’t currently a shop that offers toiletries or essential items you may have forgotten, such as tampons or nappies or even a travel adaptor plug.
I’m pretty sure the Wayang Stage is only open at certain times or dates as we haven’t actually seen any performances or entertainment on both of our visits. It’s a nice little area though and I can imagine it being lots of fun and will add to the evening entertainment.
Mini Golf isn’t our thing as a family, although it definitely should be. The course looks really cute with lots of different obstacles to explore.
I loved taking the girls for the walk around the rainforest. All of the plants inside the Dome are real and it’s magnificent. There are real birds too and it’s lovely to watch the flamingos and turtles in the lake area. I actually don’t think we managed to see all of the rainforest walk as there are different buildings to explore which I haven’t seen yet.
You have to check out of your accommodation at 11am on the day of your departure but you are allowed to stay inside the Dome and use all facilities until midnight that day. When you are ready to leave you must pay your balance with either the staff when you hand your wristbands in or via a self service payment machine. It’s super easy and the process is really quick.
Overall Thoughts & Tips
Staying at Tropical Islands is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. You are instantly transported into this rainforest world that is so easy to forget what country or season you are in. You lose track of time quickly as it’s so full on. With kids in tow it’s obviously high energy consumption. We were on the go completely. My suggestion for potential guests is to definitely visit during a week day if you can, it’s less busy than a weekend although saying that the weekends are not overly busy. It doesn’t feel dangerous or cramped. It’s just busier and noisier in places. On our first visit we had two nights there and it definitely didn’t feel long enough, this time we stayed for three and it was the perfect length of time. It allowed us to really take things at a slower pace and not worry about doing certain things all in one go. I definitely over packed on everything. For a three night stay you’d literally need one dress (or a top and shorts) to pop over swim suits or go for dinner in, your swim suit obviously, and travel clothes. Underwear goes without question. You literally live in your swimsuit because the temperature inside the dome was around 28 degrees. It was perfectly warm, if not too hot at times, to wander around in your swimwear. Don’t forget to pack your sandals too for meal times. We had a really amazing little winter escape and have already recommended it to so many people. I am writing daily diary blog posts for this which will be on my blog very soon with more pictures of our family having fun at Tropical Islands. If you have any more questions, then please let me know as I’d be happy to answer. I’ve also included the video playlist below for you to watch through.