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“First time we've been disappointed”
2 of 5 bubbles Review of Great Wolf Lodge

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Great Wolf Lodge
Ranked #4 of 129 Hotels in Niagara Falls
Certificate of Excellence
Owen Sound
Level Contributor
62 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 167 helpful votes
“First time we've been disappointed”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 September 2013

I think our expectations were realistic given that this was our fifth family trip to Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls. This was the first time we actually felt disappointed in the whole experience.

We purchased a package through the GWL website that included a night's stay and a $50 food voucher in a family suite. At check-in, we learned that the food voucher was only good for Antler's Shanty (the buffet restaurant)... not a huge deal, but unexpected. We also purchased MagiQuest for the kids.

Our room was good; they're usually clean and comfortable. The trouble began at dinner when we ordered room service from the Northwoods pizza place. After a day of playing in the pools and running around doing MagiQuest, we were all starving. We've had their pizza each time we visited and always enjoyed it. What we received after waiting 40 minutes was a paper-thin, super greasy, burnt mess. It wasn't edible. I took the pizza back downstairs, thinking it would be an easy enough fix to have a new one made.

The pizza counter attendant simply told me they had changed their dough and were now making it in-house. This didn't explain the burnt black bottom or the fact that the box was completely soaked through with grease. I showed him the pizza and said it wasn't fit to eat... would he eat it? He went to get his supervisor, and was she ever a treat! She said, and I quote, "Well what do you want me to do about it? If I make a new one, that's still our pizza." I said I wasn't happy waiting another 20 minutes for something my hungry family couldn't eat and that I would speak to the front desk.

After plunking the soggy pizza box on the front desk, I waited five minutes and eventually went and found a cleaning staff person down the hall to go get a front desk attendant, who came out of the back office still laughing and chatting with whoever she was with in the back. Oops! I explained that we were very hungry, as it was now almost 8pm, and just wanted something we could eat for dinner. She comped the pizza and gave us tickets for the Antler's Shanty - the buffet restaurant. By the time we got there, it was just after 8pm - less than half an hour to closing time. We ended up grabbing a bunch of pizza slices - using the SAME dough Northwoods used to use but apparently ditched in favour of the hot mess they have now - and scarfing down some dinner. Good enough, but a huge pain to run around for half an hour to fix a gross pizza problem and having to argue with everyone along the way who just said, well it is what it is.

Back to the room, and get the kids to bed. Unfortunately, it sounds like the people upstairs are actually going to come through the ceiling. Not a little bit of bumping around, but literally people jumping on the floor, throwing things and being inconsiderate idiots. They had their patio door open and we could hear the yelling in our room, with our door closed. I finally called security at 10pm and though they said they would go speak with them, it continued until after 11. Not so awesome. My 6 & 7 yr old kids were up until almost midnight.

Next day, check out in the morning and we went mini golfing. Off to lunch to use our $50 food voucher at Antler Shanty and... it's closed! Apparently it's not open on Tuesdays at lunch. I have to wonder why they are selling food vouchers you can't use when you want to use them. We went to the front desk to find out where else we could use it. This meant a call to the F&B supervisor... more waiting around, but finally found out we could use it in another food outlet.

Unfortunately, the staff don't seem to know this, which resulted in another not-so-awesome experience at the pool restaurant downstairs. The girl at the till wasn't very polite in saying she had no idea what I was trying to hand her and since it said Antler's Shanty, I should go there and couldn't use it here. Thankfully, her co-worker intervened and corrected her. She seemed upset with me for this anomaly in her order-taking, asking me what I wanted, cutting me off mid-sentence to ask her co-worker what she was supposed to do with this, asking me again, cutting me off again...

Anyway, we've always had great experiences at GWL before. This time left a bad taste in my mouth. The staff seemed indifferent - especially the food service staff, with the exception of Megan I believe her name was, at the pool grill - and didn't seem to really even want us to be there. I expect this at a fast food place; not in a destination hotel you save up for to spoil the kids and give everyone a treat.

The positives: the kids loved MagiQuest and the waterpark wasn't busy. Adam, the massage therapist in the spa, was fantastic.

The negatives: you don't expect staff in a place like this to have a huge chip on their shoulder and act like you're inconveniencing them by wanting things like food you can eat, or service at the front desk. Pretty basic customer service was lacking.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
7 Thank Miranda M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Barrie, Canada
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 September 2013 via mobile

We went there for three days. My wife, our 5 years old son, our 10 months old daughter and myself had a great time in the water park(in and out door) as well as every where else at Great Wolf Lodge. We will definitely return there.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CorvinDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
65 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 September 2013

We stayed one night at the GWL. We got to spend two days there, and that really seemed sufficient with two young kids. There is enough to do with little kids. The park itself is small, but that makes it manageable. The temperature is controlled well, and they have a lot of staff/lifeguards and we felt safe at all times.

The food is way overpriced, so you may want to bring your own snacks. We also carried cereal/milk for breakfast. Their bbq lunch outdoors is priced well, but Antlers Shanty is exorbitantly priced.

We stuck to the water park, and did not use the other areas.

We stayed in the family suite (lowest category), and it was EXTREMELY comfortable. Very spacious, cute rustic decor, a nice seating area, balcony, and enough space for the kids to run around. They provide a frig and microwave - very well stocked.

We'll definitely return.

Room Tip: The regular family suite is spacious and comfortable enough for a family of 4.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mclapham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Port Perry, Canada
Level Contributor
86 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2013

This year is the fifth year in a row that I have had the pleasure of visiting Great Wolf Lodge near Niagara Falls, Canada. In one word, the place is ‘Fantastic’. From the minute you walk in when the big wolf howls you are transformed into a magical land.

The indoor water-park is huge (450,000 litre), with a giant wave pool, six enclosed water-slides soaring above, a raging river filled with see-through inner tubes, a large swimming pool (for safety it is only 4 feet deep), a toddler slide pool and a rope bridge, challenging for even the most athletic of children.

Outside is the giant lagoon pool. A massive swimming pool with basketball hoops, a slide and lots of warm water. Lounge chairs and tables cover the patio and a restaurant is there to fill the empty tummies.

Story time for kids, at 8 pm, puts a peaceful end to the festivities of the day, although the new attraction, the Magic Quest, has kids searching all four floors for clues in a medieval game. There are video terminals and moving pictures, all synced up to individual magic wands. The $250,000 addition has been very successful for Vancouver’s Pattison group, the owners of GWL.

Although it is not cheap, the advantage is that once you are in you can put your wallet away (especially if you but a meal package). The rooms continue the theme of the old west and the mini-golf course is one of the best. Truly a great place for the family. Two adults and one child, one night, with meals, Magic Quest and mini golf: $600 (and that includes the magic wand).

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JonathanvanBilsen01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
noneya
Level Contributor
58 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 September 2013

This is a very pricey water park but the kids have a blast AND they are safe in the water. This staff are attentive and the park is well maintained. If parents are patient enough to go around the magic wand stations with the children they really love this too. I agree with another poster that for the price these wands should be included in the rooms for the kids. Having time limits early in the day for check out can cause an issue - how can one get dressed or prepared for the long drive home when the bags are in the car? Not the most comfortable part of the day worrying about how you will get prepared to go home! Bring bits like Halls or tylenol so that you will not have to purchase them for an inflated cost.

Room Tip: Make sure that they are not all the way at the end of the hallways or you have a huge walk to get to...
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank T S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 September 2013

We stayed in a one-bdrm (with a kitchen area) suite with two adults and four kids overnight. Considering that we spent almost $500 for this stay, we expected more guest service. The waterpark itself is fine, but the nickel-and-diming is a real turn-off. I wonder if Great Wolf could take a page from Disney in terms of how to exceed guest expectations. For example:
1) Instead of charging each child for the magic wand activity in the hotel, why not automatically give each youngster one when they arrive? If you stay, you play. Period.
2) Same thing with the fuzzy bear ears headbands. Don't charge $4 for them. Give them to each kid.
3) We were stopped by the pool attendants for nearly walking out the door with a pool towel. They were incredibly rigid about pool towels staying in the pool area. Understandable, sort of, but it felt cheap.
4) When we asked the restaurant for a couple of bowls for cereal we brought with us, we got some heaving sighs and long eye rolls before, with great hesitation, they gave us some. This begs the question: why have a room with a "kitchen" if you're not going to stock it with dishes?
5) No outside food in the pool area. We got busted for eating grapes and, seriously, had to put them away.
6) Our group of six (four kids, two adults) participated in and won a poolside "Name That Tune" contest. The prize was $5 off one child's temporary tattoo. We had four kids with us so, as you can guess, we ended up throwing out that one, useless prize. How about letting all participants get a tattoo? Or, each child in the winning team wins a prize?
Even though our room had a horrible, musty smell, I don't think I would've bothered to write a review. I could've just let that go. However, considering how much we paid, and how many times we were shocked by the lack of guest treatment, I just had to say something.

Room Tip: If you choose the suite with the kitchen, bring your own dishes.
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank RWilson820
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
17 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 September 2013

I stayed here twice once with some friends and once with my family. The room was nice a spacious. Even though I requested a room with a balcony we ended up in the basement with a walk out which didn't make me feel very safe ... but not to worry. (I would confirm at the desk what your getting). The water park was great fun but more for younger kids than older kids and as it was in the summer the lines were a little long but that is to be expected. I went out of the hotel to eat as the prices were a little high inside perhaps include 1 meal with the room rate for better money vs value. I liked the concept of the room key as it insured the younger ones didn't lose them and they were easily accessible. One down side was when parking, me and another lady were hassled by a group of younger lads hanging out on their balcony - made me feel a little uncomfortable.
Overall it was a good stay but with a few hickups that's to be expected! Would stay here again with family for sure.

Room Tip: family suite (wolf den) offer a lot of room
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TravelGirl1594
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Great Wolf Lodge

Property: Great Wolf Lodge
Address: 3950 Victoria Avenue, Niagara Falls, Ontario L2E 7M8, Canada
Phone Number:
Region: Canada > Ontario > Niagara Falls
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Niagara Falls
#5 Family Hotel in Niagara Falls
#14 Business Hotel in Niagara Falls
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Great Wolf Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 406
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
From the moment you arrive at the Great Wolf Lodge, expect to be amazed and amused. Situated close to awe-inspiring Niagara Falls, the entire Lodge is designed to capture the spirit of adventure and the atmosphere of the great Northwood's. The Northern theme inspires everything from the spectacular stone fireplace and timber in the five-story Grand Lobby to the cabin-like comfort and decor of our all-suite guest rooms. The Lodge features an indoor/outdoor waterpark of over 100,000 square-feet; an 18-hole interactive miniature golf course; Ten Paw Bowling Alley; our 7,000 sq. Ft. Northern Lights Arcade, including a ticket redemption center; MagiQuest, interactive adventure game; Elements Spa & Salon and Scoops Kid Spa. Five themed restaurants, including a confectionary cafe and Northwood's Pizza. We assure your stay will be a howling great time! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Great Wolf Hotel Niagara Falls
Great Wolf Niagara Falls
Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls

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