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“Could be great with just a little maintenance, new cleaning staff, and much needed caring / TLC”
Review of Great Wolf Lodge

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Great Wolf Lodge
Ranked #6 of 18 Hotels in Mason
Lima, Ohio
Level Contributor
28 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Could be great with just a little maintenance, new cleaning staff, and much needed caring / TLC”
Reviewed 8 December 2013

It's a shame that Great Wolf won't put just a little more money into maintenance/upkeep and a little more attention/concern about room cleanliness. They charge enough for *everything* that they should be able to do so and then some. Low cost easy fixes for them to do, but if you read reviews and talk with other people that have stayed there, these are the consistent complaints at this facility and they don't seem concerned. There is potential here for greatness, but there is a 'do the absolute least to get by while squeezing the customer for every last cent we can possibly get out of them' attitude here that keeps it from it.

We stayed for a Saturday night. It seems as if they put the money into the initial investment of making the hotel/resort back when it opened and then have put as little money as possible into it. Hotel room furniture is worn and scratched up, ready for replacement. The blankets on the beds in our room had holes and rips in them, and one had what appeared to be dried egg on it. There was trash on the floor from the previous occupants when we entered, and two bugs in the bathtub. In December. Water pressure in the shower was low. The vending machines on three of the four floors in our wing were out of order! When calling the front desk about this, guest services flippantly told us to go walk around trying vending machines in other wings of the hotel. My husband finally returned with a soda about twenty minutes after leaving the room and a wild goose chase around the resort. Ridiculous.

Prices are insane, but that is to be expected. <b>What was not expected was the lack of detail in cleanliness and maintenance for such prices. </b> If prices would have been lower, I would have rated the experience slightly higher, but if you are going to charge like this you owe it to the customer to be at the top of your game.

The water park is nice and the life guards do a nice job. Chlorine fumes and the heat of the water park will nearly knock you over, but again, this is an indoor water park and that's probably to be expected. Bought (insanely overpriced, but that's to be expected) swimwear at the swim shop, had trouble finding much if anything in my young daughter's size, spent lots of time looking but never once was offered help finding something by the staff even though we were the only customers inside and were discussing how difficult it was to find something in her size very loudly with each other the entire time we were there.

Icee machine at the waterpark was broken and they had trouble figuring out how to make smoothies. Waited in line a long time to find out they couldn't do Icees...put up a sign, folks. Left and went to the sweet shop bakery to try the numerous variety Coke machine...that was also not working properly, so bought a tiny apple juice for about 2.50 and left :-(

Breakfast at the Loose Moose was not worth it on Sunday morning. Over an hour's wait (for an all-buffet breakfast) with lots of empty clean tables sitting vacant while we waited. Went to the gift shop while waiting and when an employee overheard us discussing the ridiculous wait and empty tables, they suggested we go to Frische's nearby instead. We should have taken that suggestion but we figured surely it wouldn't take that long with those tables sitting empty...but think again! Good thing hubby checked on how they were coming with the wait list, as they were supposed to call us on our cell phone as we'd already had to check out of the room and when he arrived, they were dialing our hotel room...even with our cell number right there with a note to call it. Food was fine. Waitress brought beverages and the juice/milk came in tiny glasses that looked child-sized. When my husband asked for an adult size refill, he was told that this was what they were to serve the milk/juice in, and that refills on those tiny things would be 2.50 each...jeez. They would charge extra here to breathe the air if they could get away with it. Which again, is fine if you can back it up with a top notch experience, with everything in order (maintenance) and top notch cleanliness in the rooms and non-ripped, clean blankets. If you're going to do it like this, lower prices. If you're going to keep this kind of pricing, step it up a notch and give the people what they're paying for.

It was 'okay' but honestly disappointing. Expected this place to bring its A game and that did not happen. I think the lady that visited this place on Undercover Boss should have went as a customer and not as an employee; she would have learned a lot more. We would have loved to have had her with us during our visit, she would have flipped out about how easy this stuff would be to fix with just a little TLC. Not even expensive fixes. Come on, guys.

Room Tip: Don't stay on the top (fourth floor) because you have to wait longest for the elevators.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
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4 Thank Lynn T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Scott Depot
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 December 2013

I'll get to the point first with what I refer to in the title of this review. When we booked this we were staying in a Kid Cabin suite (more on that below) for only one night, with the understanding that although checking out at 11 is necessary, you can stay in the waterpark all of the next day and use the on-site locker rooms to change. I found this to not be a good choice. First of all, the lockers are smallish and they are $10 ($20 with a refundable $10 deposit). If you have more than 2 people you will need more than one locker to hold your shoes and clothes you're wearing home.
Also, there is no where clean or dry to change, so if you have a long drive home you'll probably be wet. There are 3-4 changing rooms without showers per gender in each locker room. There are 5 or so showers too. The changing rooms are not maintained and have other peoples' towels and even dirty diapers in them. Also, the floors are soaking wet. I understand wet people are changing in there, but there is no maintenance that we could see at all. It is not fun to get on the road for a 3+ hour trip after changing in that environment and we would never do that again. The other option is to get the late check out for an extra fee and have access to your room until 2 PM. That would be a much better option. Of course, you only get 1/2 of the second day to "play" in the waterpark, but at least you have a dry place to change before leaving.

Also, the restaurant in the waterpark had no open tables to eat. So, if you are planning to stay all of the second day you will need to go out into one of the nicer restaurants to eat (which would probably require going in the yucky, sopping wet dressing rooms twice). What is particularly irritating about the fact that there are no open tables at the Spirit Island cafe inside the waterpark is that they are not occupied by people eating, but rather just with people's stuff, bags and towels. I would have no problem just standing there waiting to get a table for the family like at the mall food court, for example, but people use the cafe tables to hold their stuff ALL DAY. No one enforces any kind of rule against this, so I guess it is allowed. So here is another reason it is a gimmick to advertise that you get the whole second day in the waterpark also: only if you don't want a table at which to sit down and feed the family.

Now, the positives, the slides are awesome! The Kid Cabin Suite was really nice, roomy and fun, although we did see right out in the open the previous guests' chicken nugget, so I'd say there's no attention to detail from the cleaning staff.

Overall, a great and fun stay, but next time I would just pay for the late-check out and not plan to stay in the waterpark the full second day, which would circumvent those locker rooms. Of course, in this scenario we'd pay more and not actually get the full second day that is advertised.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank ItalianSimone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dayton, Ohio
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 November 2013

Three adults and three kids in the Kids Cabin room for 2 nights. Awesome Christmas gift. Pricey if you don't find a deal.

Pros:Place was clean, extremely fun and accommodating. Plenty more to do than just be in the water. Liked that even my 4 year old could ride all but 2 rides. Liked that they have microwaves and fridge in room with store nearby...we brought our own cereal, PB& J, ect. Love that the wristband is also your room "key"...no cards or keys to worry about losing while down at the pool, just flash your wrist in front of your door and it unlocks.

Cons: Quiet hours don't start until 11PM and the noise of kids running in the hall and above you is pretty loud. The pizza restaurant was out of pizza slices during the lunch hour with a 25 minute wait. The radio station they played in the food area outside the pool was definitely inappropriate and not family orientated (they actually played a 2 Live Crew song). Feeding a family of 6 there is too expensive.

Room Tip: Just be aware some rooms are REALLY far from the pool area.
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lolly492
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
47 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 November 2013

The lodge was very comfortable, the indoor waterpark was busy but never too crowded. They never once ran out of towels. Our room was kept clean. We felt very safe and secure the entire time we were there. The people above us were very loud in the middle of the night, and the front desk responded quickly and professionally, which included sending security to our room to see what was going on and then asking our "neighbors" to quiet down. This is the only problem we had the entire stay. It was also very close to a lot of attractions for families. The kids had a wonderful time. The week we went, it rained most of the time. However, Great Wolf had plenty of activities to keep us entertained. I would recommend this place to anyone with a family. We stayed at the one in Wisconsin Dells and plan to visit other hotels in the same chain in the future.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Reneeb1214
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
85 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 November 2013

My daughter prefers to go do things as opposed to receiving gifts for her birthday and this year we trekked to just North of Cincinnati to the Great Wolf Lodge with her friends. It did not disappoint. It is by far one of the most family friendly facilities you will find in the Midwest. It can be a bit pricey, but if you go to their website and get on their email list you can receive great discount offers that will literally save you hundreds of dollars. They allow online check-in so when you arrive it is a pretty quick process. A line does typically form so during busy times it can get a bit long, but they get folks through pretty quickly. I really like the loft suite that we reserved. It was awesome to have 1.5 bathrooms and I especially enjoyed the upper loft area for myself and putting all the kids in the lower level. The water park itself is very clean and the lifeguard staff has been trained very well. When we were there, the lines for the slides were very, very long so the girls did it a few times but did get frustrated by the amount of time they were spending in line. It's funny to say, but going to a water park you would think that would be the main attraction...however, the facility has invested a great deal of money into an activity called the Magi Quest that every kid enjoys. You purchase a wand and a game and the kids run around finishing quests and fighting a dragon in the end. I was pretty impressed with the technology. In the arcade, they use scan cards which is very environmentally friendly...however, in my opinion, can be difficult for a child to track how much they have left. It was becoming quite frustrating when one of the employees, Deborah, came over and suggested that after playing a game, the kids check their balance on the automated machines. The kids started doing that and it went much better on keeping track. The final aspect that I would recommend is getting the Paw Pass. It truly does save you money in the long run if you plan on doing a lot of the activities...which are very hard to resist once you are there....so getting the Paw Pass is definitely worth it! All and all it was a great visit and we can hardly wait to come back!

Room Tip: We chose a loft room but they have theme rooms that the kids love too with bunk beds. The descriptio...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank 1TravlinFam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
64 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 November 2013

First, it's a little off-putting that check-in is not till 4 pm and check-out is 11 am, or something like $40 more if you want a 2 pm checkout. As far as the hotel portion of it goes, I would only give it two stars. I could probably get better service at a $30-40 /night hotel.

First, I'm glad I got a Groupon deal to use for this (had a significant refund into groupon bucks that I just wanted to use up, so this seemed like a good idea) and did not pay full price. I got a $30 restaurant credit with the Groupon, but you can only use it at the Loose Moose. It was $21 and some change for a 20 oz beer, a strawberry margaritta, and an order of loaded (they use the term loaded very loosely) fries. On top of that, the Loose Moose staff was not able to see the $30 credit, so I had to go back to the front desk to straighten that issue out, while my wife just stood there at the bar with her drink and food in front of her and unable to leave. We had $8 and some change left over that we had to use by 11 am the next day. Almost forgot about it and almost had to beg for them to use it just to get my four kids just drinks to go before we went back to the waterpark.

We got a KidKamp suite, not bad, the kids were really excited about it. I have not seen my kids so excited just walking around a hotel. In the morning I noticed that there was only one regular coffee pack in the room, so I called the front desk and asked for a couple more packs. I was told that I could have them, but there were only two people at the front desk and that I would have to come up and get them myself if I wanted them. Ok, so there are a lot of people at the front desk at 9 am and there is no feasible way to contact room/cleaning service to bring them to me, or leave more than just one regular and one decaf coffee pack in each room? Sorry, just not what I expect for a room that usually costs over $300 a night.

So, the hotel is not the best, but the waterpark is great. The entire family had fun (except when waiting for the staff to get stuck people out of the roller coaster water ride) and we ended up staying till about 6 pm on our day of checkout. After Coco Keys, I wanted to try this place out just for one night before any future, longer visits. This place, including the hotel, is much better (cleaner hotel and waterpark, not as crowded, better waterpark rides and activities) than Coco Keys. With only one night, I did not bother getting the kids the magiquest stuff, and there was no loss of entertainment. I assume if we go back for a multiple night stay, we may do that. But even just one evening there is enough, especially since you can use the waterpark from 1 pm on check-in day till close of check-out day (8 pm for us). The only disappointing thing with the waterpark is that the lifeguards and rules are, at times, a bit stringent. We were playing around with our four kids and they blew the whistle on us, and there was no one else around. Then looking at the rules, it says no splashing, horseplaying, etc.

All in all, would probably go back again. If I do, it will probably be another one-nighter. I don't see why I would pay that much for multiple nights when the water park closes at 8 pm and you get that for two days and then can just spend a second night somwhere else a lot cheaper and get better service, if you're not close to home.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank brownja1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mason, Ohio
Level Contributor
30 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 November 2013

This was our first trip with our 1 and 4 year old boys. The Wolf Den Suite was great and our oldest absolutely loved the den and bunkbeds. Overall it was a basic room, but we were more than pleased. The waterpark, on the other hand, was a bit of a disappointment. The temperature of the air and water were both on the cold side. Once we were wet, we were all shivering, which made it hard to enjoy ourselves. The park is probably best suited for an older family (6+), as there are quite a few slides with height restrictions. Our toddler wanted nothing to do with the water, as it was probably too cold for his liking. Our oldest still had a great time, but we would probably have waited a few more years to make this trip had we known.

Room Tip: We had a second floor wolf den suite. The room itself was great, but hall and 3rd floor noise was R...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Katie D
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: 2501 Great Wolf Dr, Mason, OH 45040-8085
Region: United States > Ohio > Warren County > Mason
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) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Family Hotel in Mason
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Great Wolf Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 401
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Also Known As:
Great Wolf Hotel Mason
Great Wolf Resort
Great Wolf Lodge Mason, Ohio

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