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.
- 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