WISCONSIN DELLS—The newest ride at Noah’s Ark stands six stories tall, is 335 feet long and allows riders on inner tubes to reach speeds up to 32 mph as they plunge down a 37-foot drop near the ride’s end.
One of the largest of its kind in the U.S., Raja resembles a monstrous cobra with green eyes that will be illuminated at night with LED lights. Once it opens in the coming days on the site of the old bumper boats attraction, the water slide will likely be among the park’s most popular rides along with Scorpion’s Tail, Black Anaconda and Point of No Return.
But on the other side of Lake Delton, away from the acres of concrete, plastic tubes and screams of fun, water has been harnessed for its tranquility.
Set back on a winding road among stands of pines next to Wild Rock Golf Club, one of the signature experiences at Sundara Inn & Spa is a purifying bath ritual. This is where guests, under a rainfall shower, exfoliate their skin with a body polish made from local sandstone. There are steam rooms with aromas of rose and sandalwood, a 102-degree essential oil-infused hot pool and a 72-degree cool plunge pool.
Quiet spaces are prolific and electronic devices are strongly discouraged. There’s a meditation trail through the woods and a hammock retreat. And to further set itself apart from the frenetic pace and over-stimulation of the Dells, no children are allowed.
“This being adult-only is really a part of what makes it a sanctuary,” said Heidi Michel, Sundara’s marketing director. “It’s a different way to experience water.”