More about Great Wolf Lodge
Great Wolf Lodge Weekend
Arrived 230PM. Long line at check in (see picture). There was a guy stating rooms are not ready until after 4PM and that we should just go back to the chek in line at 4PM but to expect an even longer line by then (now why would we wait and go back to a longer line???). After a 30 minute wait in the line, we were issued our rooms at 3PM which were ready.
Three elevators only, as stated in previous reviews. Fortunately there was no wait at this time.Room was clean as expected for a three week old hotel.
Changed and headed to the pool. Pretty busy but not too overcrowded. Pool temperatures were just right. Giant bucket of water pours down every three minutes on the dot. Toddler pool with all sorts of water spray toys, slides, etc). Lockers available for rent.
Dinner buffet at$18 was disappointing as noted in previous reviews. Choices were Chinese ( fried dumplings, crab rangoon, noodles, beef and broccolli, swet sour chicken) Italian/ american (salmon, chicken cordon bleu, pasta primavera , pizza, mashed potatoes, onion rings, fries, chicken nuggets) dessert (ice cream, carrot cake, chocolate cake, german cake). No fried chicken, no prime rib, no spaghetti.
Recommendations. Go on a WEEKDAY, skip the buffet, have fun.
Nice facility, poorly trained staff
Our party of 14 had reservations for three basic rooms. We were told checkin started at 4pm, but we could make use of the waterpark starting at 1pm. We arrived at noon to find a sea of cars in the parking lot, with the covered entry to the lobby hopelessly entangled by unattended minivans and SUVs. We kind of expected that. The security guard was doing his best at a busy time and had us park in the lot behind the lodge, which was our best option. We walked into the lobby to find a 40 minute wait to get to the front desk-luckily, with a large group, it was easy to assign a rotaing person to stay in line. The front desk staff was intent on passing along any and all detail necessary to every family-but who can blame tham, as very few people have any experience with the place. Our rooms were to be available by 5pm, they hoped. We retreated to the humidity, heat and notable noise of the indoor waterpark. My kids are all under 11 years of age and did great. They thought it was perfect all three days. We were fortunate to have brought breakfast and lunch, which the medium size reefer in the room accomodated. The available eating options were a quagmire of families in search of decent service and middling quality food. We went out to dinner each night in Chehalis and Centralia. Our rooms became available at 530 pm. The housekeeping staff was outmatched and could not round up enough pillows for our room, so they kindly substituted some wooly blankets in plastic bags. Nice pillow! Not.
Back to the noise level in the waterpark-it had my ears ringing the second day. Everywhere you went it was loud, except for the occasional empty elevator or your room. A few spots in the park were especially bad, like seating areas near the air intakes. Three hours next to a jet turbine has bad effects on hearing. I brought the unhelpful staff and noise level concerns to the staff, but honestly-they are not trained to know what to do. Management assured me all sorts of industrial standards were adhered to. I contacted the Thurston County Dept of Health and was told that was unlikely they could assist me, as the Great Wolf Lodge was not built in the USA, but on Indian Trust land. The DOH employee also pointed out the Great Wolf lodge would be unlikely to invite the County of Thurston, State of Washington or United States government into their establishment anytime soon for the purposes of safety checks. The agency responsible for health issues in the Great Wolf lodge is the Indian Health Services. They are not prepared to assess industrial health standards at that facility, but they were willing to hear me out on the potential for excessive sound exposure. I doubt anything will come of this, so I contacted other interested agencies, including three television investigative news groups.
The arcade was cleaner than Chucky Cheese and offered the same tokens for tickets mentality.
I spent 40 minutes in line for a beer one day. The next beer I enjoyed was purchased off of the grounds. Just stay out of all the lines and enjoy the indoor waterpark, freed from the need for sunblock. If you are asthmatic, you may wish to avoid the waterpark or take a hit off of your MDI as the humidity and chlorine load made me feel tight-and I don't have clinically evident reactive airway disease.
We had a BLAST!!!
We just got back from our mini retreat to GWL. April 19th...it was a very fun Saturday night and Sunday morning/afternoon!
At first, we were very weary of going to Great Wolf Lodge because of these reviews! But I was overly excited and booked two rooms prior to reading any of them...I decided to just give it a swirl.
We had someone from almost every age group with us. I made reservations for two family suites. There were 11 of us: My parents (mid 40's), my grand parents (75-80ish), my aunt (early 40's), two younger cousins (9 and 10), my younger brother and his friend (both 15), myself and my boyfriend (early/mid 20's).
The check in process was quick and fast about 10-15 minute wait. We got there at about 4:30pm. There were people everywhere, there was a line--but we didn't encounter anything that wasn't expected. We were able to get the rooms right across from each other. The person who checked us in was great! She was super nice and even gave us some tips on how to avoid lines and rushes of people during busy times around the resort.
We checked in, received our bracelets (VERY COOL!) and drove our cars to the back and took the BACK elevator up(remember this if you are on this side of the building...waiting for elevators was a BREEEZE!) The rooms were just okay -- and the bathroom was ridiculously small. There was no where to hang our wet clothes and I hated the sink and vanity being outside of the bathroom.
The teens immediately went into the water, my boyfriend and I followed them, but at a MUCH slower pace. The smaller kids decided to explore the cub club and the arcade with my aunt. My parents and grandparents took a seat and got some pizza.
The park was great--smaller than I expected but still entertaining. I could see myself getting bored after an hour or two. There isn't much to do in the waterpark, well, I shouldn't say that, a lot of the water was aimed at the 10 and under crowd. We went into the wave pool, did one of the body slides on the fort and did one of the tube slides on Alberta Falls. We couldn't get four people together to go down the Howlin' Tornado though. The lines for the slides were super fast. It was just annoying to climb up all those stairs!!! Our little kids played in the water much longer than the rest of us. They loved the basketball hoops!
My parents and grandparents weren't really excited about getting into the water, instead they went over to Lucky Eagle Casino and hung out there while we had fun at the resort. Although we could of gone to the casino with them, we were much more excited about the water.
After playing in the water we all retreated in our suites. We had pizza from Pizza Hut express. Everything else was ....crowded or just way too expensive. I just couldn't justify paying Disney prices for food and not getting the Disney experience along with it.
The arcade was great -- it kept us all entertained for a good two hours. It was a nice size, but the teens and the kids kept telling us the prizes weren't all that great. They wanted to see more candy and souvenirs they could take home showing the park logo. I must admit, I did have a complaint though. A machine ran out of tickets -- sure that's totally normal, but the young guy who worked in the arcade was completely oblivious and not helpful. I waited at this machine for 30 minutes with a very impatient 9 year old. Another man showed up and was rude. He did not say hi, he did not apologize. In fact he walked up the machine, walked away and helped another guest! He came back 15 minutes later with tickets to fill the machine. BUT on our departure day the people working in the arcade were great. They spoke and acknowledged the kids, weren't rude to the teens and helped them out when they didn't have enough tickets. Combined, within two days, the kids won a little over 8000 tickets!!! You can imagine the all the prizes they got!
The teen boys were actually VERY excited about the "Gr8_Space" teen club. They made sure their hair was nice, breath was fresh and they were very into it all. The concept of a "TEEN-ONLY" club was "cool" to them. They didn't get back to the suite until late, both with grins and new numbers in their phones. The kids were safe in there and certainly were not bored. I heard some parents of younger kids complain about the bass of the teen club, but honestly if you weren't right next to it, or in the main lobby you could not here the noise! Other parents of young kids danced right outside the door peeking in with their kids.
The kids were kind of disappointed about MagicQuest not being installed yet. They quickly got over it though and en
We went to bed and woke up in time to swim right as the park was opening. This was great, but it was still packed. We had time to do all the things we did not get to do the first night. It only took about 30 minutes to finish up. We had breakfast at the buffet, which was NOTHING exciting. Pretty normal stuff...
All in all we had a great time. There was a little something for everyone, and we all had our reasons why we enjoyed ourselves. I wanted to include my teen brother's review on his blog to his friends. I thought it might give parents a little perspective from a teen's view. Keep in mind this is a 15 year old in high school:
Dude, that place [Great Wolf Lodge] was amazing.
they had a huge arcade, the water slides were awesome
they had a chill place where they play movies, then have guitar hero, then at night it becomes a dance/club things for teens, even though 13 year olds were taking it over.
i also got some cute girl's number(:
but she has a 360 area code ):
tim also came, we had an awesome time D;
if you don't know what great wolf is
then the dance club thing has a myspace! myspace. com/gr8_space
We'll def be back! Hopefully there will be more slides = which equals more fun!!
A work in Progress
The grandkids loved the activities, adults not so much. For $565 a night, the room just wasn't worth it--no closets, no room service, small refrigerator, smaller microwave, cheap bedding. Overall, the food was expensive. Only the buffet served breakfast: 8 dollars for kids, 14 for adults. We saw many people bringing in coolers. The word was: BYOF (bring your own food especially for breakfast or go elsewhere). In addition a lot of electrical outlets not finished--and you talk about crowded! I would wait a few months on this one. It isn't finished and may improve! It's cute, but...
I had enjoy with my kid.
Room was available by 3pm for us.(we checked in on Sat)
no long line and room was bigger than I thought.
pool was awsome but I got little bit hurt my eyes from chlorine.
they had a enough towels. but I wish they had some hot soup or drink at the snack bar in pool area.
room doesn't have enough soaps (shampoo etc...) for 6 adult.
there is no tooth brush and tooth paste so you need to bring some.
I needed find out their stores and pool's open hours and other restaurants in outside.
but,I couldn't find any hotel information or phone books in a room.
I think "Grill At Grand Mound" (about 5min away from the hotel)
were taste better and cheaper than hotel's restaurant.
I liked about their story time for the kids at night.
and little dance floor for kids.
I saw some coffee maker in the room but I didn't see any cup or mixing stick for the coffee. (they did have a lastic cups)
they also needed extra toilet paper too!
front desk people and people who brought some stuff for me were friendly.
I could rental some game and wine opener.
(you have to return for make sure)
Cool slides, poor management!
The waterpark is cool and the kids had a blast. However, the hotel itself lacks effective management and staff. Much of the crew was untrained and struggled to execute their tasks (from the snack bar to housekeeping to the lifeguards). When I tried to talk to a "manager" I was first told that there was not a manager on duty (at 6am after the fire alarm went off and other guests told us it was a false alarm ,while I witnessed 4 employees smoking outside). No night manager, c'mon. Doesn't Motel 6 have a night manager. Next, the "manager' was in meetings for 5 hours. Then I left a message for the "manager" who never returned my call. It's hard to justify paying "resort" rates for third class service. Again, it's a cool park that is used as the attraction to extract money from all the guests, while they care not about what kind of experience your family has.
Very Good Experience for 'Soft Opening'
Like many other reviewers, we stayed during spring break during their "soft opening" - which basically means that they were open for business before everything was perfectly ready to go. Given that, and going in knowing that, we had a really good experience. I took my 10yo daughter and 4 of her friends for an overnight to celebrate her birthday - the line for checking in at around 3:30pm was reasonable (maybe 15 minutes?) - and our room was ready. When we went up to the room, it was "almost ready" - meaning that the beds in the Kids Cabin space weren't fully made, bu they fixed this within minutes of my reporting it.
The kids just LOVED the waterpark, they were the perfect age for non-stop fun and it's small enough that they could do their own thing without me worrying where they were every minute. It was always very busy but never overly-crowded feeling. The kids said the lines for the waterslides weren't too bad - I went on the Howling Thunder with them and we probably waited about 10-15 minutes in the line. It was fun, too!
I agree with one of the reviewers about the lifeguards not having simple things like bandaids. It's weird, all of my kids had the same problem with scraped bottoms of toes - and it took me three asks and tracking down a "supervisor" to get a few bandaids. They should really make a bigger deal of recommending water shoes.
That said, there were a LOT of lifeguards and staffers. Everyone was friendly and no one seemed stressed out, a feat really, given all of the demands on them from so many people and so many things not completely in place.
We had dinner in the sit-down restaurant, I was surprised how small it was, they could easily double the space. The food was actually pretty good and the server was very nice to bring my daughter a special bday dessert and song!
The arcade needs some work - better signage on the games (number of tokens required, etc.), but again the staff there was extremely patient and friendly. The electronic wristband thing to get tokens is cool but a little dangerous. When checking in you are asked if you want to have your credit card connected to the electronic wristband so you can charge as you go. Nice idea, but I asked them to only activate MY wristband. Unfortuantely, by the time I caught up with my kid in the arcade she had charged $40 worth of tokens by simply "waving" her wristband across the kiosk. Parents beware!!!
All in all, a very fun a getaway, I've been recommending it to all my friends. They will do a TON of business for most the rainy gray days we have here in the Pacific NW ...
Are you Kidding?
Planning a stay at the newest Ground Mound, WA resort? I'd pass and put your money into a sure thing. I am not a gambling girl and that is exactly what you are doing when you book a room at their newest resort. We and many others I ran into in our 24 hour stay lost at this poker table, yet others around us seemed to be winning. The staff does not care, let's be clear on that point. They are young, untrained, poorly managed and inconsistent. The website claims you can begin checking in at 1pm for pre-registration. After standing in line for 45 minutes to check in the receptionist was befuddled as to why so many people were checking in as the check in time isn't until 4pm. She seemed surprised to learn that 1pm was the time listed on their website for pre-registration. Well, there was really no such thing, we were able to start enjoying the hotel but had to haul our luggage back out to the car.(a good walk as parking is terrible). We did pack our swim bag as recommended but ended up having to pay $10 for our 2 lockers to put our stuff into. We were told to check back at 4pm for our room. We had to stand in line again to register and see if our room was ready. It was not, this time my husband asked if he could call them rather then stand in line as they said they could not call him..."What a good idea," said the receptionist...so we called at 4:45pm, 5:15pm, 5:45pm, 6:15 pm & finally at 6:15pm our room was ready. We asked for an extended check out time since we did book the Grand Suite ($25/hour if you break it down) and were refused. No compensation at all. By the time we took our hungry tired kids to the room, showered and changed we were rewarded with the buffet restaurant taking our name and telling us it was at least a 15 min. wait, lots of tables visibly open. Then the 3 people in front of us and the 4 behind us were all seated first. We were all between 6-10 people in our parties. And the 10 seater behind us was seated with in 1 minute of putting their name down. I mentioned this to the hostess and she just shrugged and said that their table had opened up first. The buffet food was good but they ran out of stuff. By the time we went back to the room everyone was too tired to celebrate my daughter's birthday and enjoy our room.
The water park had long lines to the big slides and a problem with people leaving their dirty diapers in the changing areas as no receptacle was available for them, only the same garbage can that is under the paper towel dispenser, across the large bathroom, so it looked as though people just left their diapers. There was no control on the diaper situation in the water either. Swim diapers should be required and they were not and the reason they should be was on one occasion, floating around the wave pool.
We will not go back. They are less then an hour from Six Flags water park, (well managed) and I would rather book a hotel close to that water park and spend the day there then do the Great Wolf ever again.
Best Vacation Ever.
So I was leary. I read all the other reviews and I hope this one helps.
After reading the reviews I did a couple of things:
1. I got there a little early to avoid the crows approximately 12:30.
2. I bought everyone in my family watershoes to avoid the problems with cuts and things.
3. I brought extra pillows, as I was in the Grand Bear suite and we used the pull out. ( I did need them)
4. I went to the local safeway and got sandwich stuff, drinks, soups, cereal etc.
When I arrived at 1230, my room was available. I had heard that rooms were not available until 4-6 but was pleasantly surprised when we were allowed right in. I am not sure if that is because of the larger suite or not.
The park was amazing. Big enough to get lost in, but not big enough to stay lost in. I did need to arrive early to get towels, but you don't really need a place to sit. Your room key is your bracelet and the towels are always available. My family of 8 ranging for 51-4, all had an amazing time. My 4 year only loved story time, my 7 year old loved the arcade, and my 18 year olds loved the tornado. My daughter, 18, is leaving for college in September and we were like gal pals, we stayed in the park until close while my husband watched the kids, and we played. The lines weren't long. Longest was for the tornado which took about 10-12 minutes, but it was worth it. All the other lines were 5 mins tops. Way better then any water park cause after dark the tunnels get black and scary and the lines are shorter.
I don't know about the buffett, I brought food, but the gift shop had great shirts, I bought 5 including a sweat shirt for 100.00. Bot bad at all. I had the most fun I remember in a long time. Everyone did. We will be going back in September when my son gets home for Iraq. I would recommend this place to anyone.
We stayed here for one night on 4/20/08. It was GREAT! It was just me and my husband, no kids. The line to check in was at least 70 people deep but was moving very fast. Room was not available but we were there 30min early so we opted to walk around to get a feel for everything. They recommended watching the line, as soon as there are fewer people to try again. We were ready about 1hr later to try again, our room class wasn't avail but they did upgrade us to a famiy suite for free. The best thing about this place is your door key & room charges are all done from your electronic wrist band, very convenient. After getting to our room we promptly headed to the water park.
The water park is VERY well done. It was super busy but not grossly crowded. In the 24hr we were at the hotel we only heard one child cry briefly. My husband enjoyed the Howlin' Tornado. There are many slides for every age and preference with lines not being too horribly bad. There are a couple different snack shops & Pizza Hut right by and in the water park so lunch is very easy. We went back to the waterpark before we left for home which was just as much fun as the night before. The wave pool was very crowded but it didn't inhibit us from having fun, great place to just relax in between slides.
Waterpark staff was very nice, very young but yet very nice and seemed to keep things running very well. Overall staff was great at the hotel but yet not in your face and hovering.
We happen to only eat at the buffet. Dinner was super busy with a LONG wait for the bar & grill. The staff at the buffett was very kind, our waiter at breakfast was hysterical and stopped to chat with us often. Food was typical buffet food. My only observation is they do not keep up with dropped food on the counters.
We ran out of time to go to the arcade but we did walk through it. It was busy but not packed and seemed to have a nice variety of things to play.
We have already made reservations for next month to take the nephew & nieces to the waterpark since we had so much fun by ourselves.
Too bad the regular rates are so expensive, I don't see us going back after rates go back up. We can't wait to go back.