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“Watch people unleash their kids and let them run wild..”
Review of Great Wolf Lodge

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Great Wolf Lodge
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Scotrun
Certificate of Excellence
Northern New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Watch people unleash their kids and let them run wild..”
Reviewed 8 December 2013

We went with a family of 6 on December 7th. The room accommodated well - two queen beds and pull out couch. The rooms are a little worn and the halls are swarming with kids all day until about 11:00pm (they have the Magiquest games running up and down the halls). To give you an idea of our trips "fun level" my kids (9, 12, 14, 16 years old) ask me if we can skip this place from now on...

Here is my top 10 points/tips on Great Wolf.

1) The lodge is way overpriced and I would only go on a Groupon or if I could get a group rate. Our group was $285 on a Saturday night (over $300 after tax). The internet price for same room, a family suite, was $628 (LOL).

2) Each room has a refrigerator and microwave. Bring snacks and drinks as everything in the lodge is expensive. It's very common for folks to being coolers, drinks, foods etc. Room and bathroom was a nicely set up. A nice balcony with each room. They supply no shampoo or toiletries. Small flatscreen and the room was a little dark.

3) Use the water park early on your day of arrival. If you are checking in you can get there as early as 9:00am as you check in day. Check in to get your wristbands although you will not have a room yet. You can get changed in the waterpark bathroom (they have a changing area). On a Saturday they had our room ready at 2:30pm.

4) Walking into the arcade will cost you another $50- $100 in which your children will earn enough tickets ~ 3,000 to get $7.00 worth of prizes. They do have this deal where you get 2 hours of playing video games (about a dozen of them) for $10. This seemed like a very good deal and no ticket winning is involved.

5) Gift Shop - The gift shop was nice and was not over priced. What I do sometimes with my kids are to tell them they have "x" amount to spend i.e. 30 bucks - spend it in the arcade or spend it in the gift shop - their choice but they have $30. With $30 they could get several nice mementos of the lodge.

6) The mini bowling looked like a good deal at $5 a person.

7) Magiquest and a Magiquest wand (which you need to play) will cost over $30 a child. Although this game can keep them busy for hours. If they are under 10 be ready to follow them around and play the game with them - it can be fun for a while.

8) The Seafood Dinner Buffet was actually EXCELLENT. Shocking but it was very, very good. Hot and cold Crab legs, shrimp, pasta's etc. etc. $25 an adult and $10 a child. You can always opt into ordering Pizza but we found this one of the treats of our one night there.

9) The water park is overcrowded on the weekend - long waits and you will NEVER find your child if they go off into it. If they are old enough to go off on their own tell them to check in once in a while or you will not see them for hours. It is difficult to get a table or chair so if you go early set up camp. You can get a cabana for another $150 if you want - not a bad deal if you are there with 4 or more families - what's another 40 bucks. I hear the weekdays are better.

10) One Night is all you need. This is not a hotel where you want to spend many nights to visit the Outlet malls or the area. You are paying for the water park and some little entertainment "readings" and skits in the lobby of the lodge. You can do everything you want in one day.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank thecoooch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Glenwood, New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 December 2013

Our trip was something my husband and I have wanted to do for quite a while. Due to the price of a stay, we waited until a deal presented itself, and we got a great deal with a Groupon. It was a surprise for our 11 year old and 3 year old! We went mid-week, which proved to be a great decision. Based on the many reviews that I read, weekends are extremely busy. If we were going to pay for the experience, we wanted to make the most out of it.

We LOVED that the water park could be used prior to check-in, however this was not an issue for us, our room was ready at 12:30 when we arrived. The water park was clean, which is very important to me. The bathrooms were also clean, which is much appreciated. I was happy to see how serious the life guards took their jobs. I never saw a life guard without their eyes scanning the water at the various rides. There was more than enough for my 3 year old to do, and my 11 year old would have stayed all night if it was open!
One small disappointment was the fact that both the wave pool and the Large water activity area both closed down for several hours. When you are paying a significant amount to use a water park, it's disappointing to not have everything up and running. Though I do realize that things happen, both of those activities were something my 3 year old could take advantage of.
The temperature of the water was very cool, which made it difficult to stay comfortable in-between rides or just taking a break. My 3 year old had the blue lips and blue toes after a few hours of playing. We brought our own drinks and snacks, which saved us a TON of money.

The room was clean, but a little worn. Again, for the price of the rooms, I expected them to be in excellent condition. The queen size bed had rips in the dust ruffle. There was a rip in the wallpaper in the bathroom, and the pull-out sofa was terribly uncomfortable. You could actually see the springs popping out. We had a difficult time regulating the temperature of the room and sleeping on a uncomfortable bed with a blower directly blowing on you led to a stiff neck and the sniffles.
We got a room on the top floor and although there was no noise above it, it was very noisy in the hallways. We expected this, being that it is a resort aimed at families and children, but come 10 pm, after a fun day of swimming, rest was hard to come by. I noticed a sign in the bathroom indicating that GWL was making an effort to be environmentally friendly and wished for guests to reuse towels, ect. That would be much easier to do if more hooks were provided in the bathroom for guests to dry their towels on. Multiple people using a room means many showers and many towels. With no place for them to properly dry, people are going to be less inclined to reuse them. We found that nothing really dried fully in our room, and there was no where to hang bathing suits, towel and cover-ups.

Although there are hibernation hours, which is a great idea, they did not seem to be monitored by the staff as closely as I would have liked.

We chose the Christmas season because we had heard the resort would be decorated , which it was! The Story by the clock was fantastic. My 3 year old just loved it, along with the snow in the lobby!! We did not see the actual story time by the fire, which I was disappointed with. I was hoping for more activities for the little ones, but Santa is only there on certain days, and many of the activities seem to take place on Thursday - Sunday.

We chose not to do the Magi Quest, due to our stay being one evening; however it did look like the kids who were involved were enjoying it. I'd like to see the staff impose more parent supervision though. Many children were running around yelling and not watching where they were going, with no adults in sight.

The bowling, which was 5 dollars per person, was very fun! Luckily, it was not crowded and my girls were able to take their time and get the most out of it. We did not do the mini golf, however the employee working there allowed us to walk though it and check it out.

The arcade was a hit with our 11 year old, but freezing! Very pricey as well, but should we go again, I now know the prices and will plan accordingly.

We did bring snacks and drinks, however we also dined at the buffet for breakfast and dinner. Although not the healthiest of choices, the servers were very kind and the food was decent with a good variety. Our breakfast server was fantastic. My daughter and husband had to leave breakfast for a health reason and management did not charge us for their meals, and allowed us to take their beverages to go.

This was, overall, a fun trip for my family. I plan on looking for deals in the future; but in order to enjoy it, sleep is important and the accommodations in the room would make me think twice, based on how little sleep we all received that evening. I would like to suggest having humidifiers for rent though. The environment is very dry, we had several nose bleeds and sinus issues due to this. Updating or renovating the rooms, for the amount that the patrons pay for their stay would make the value worth staying more than one night as well.

Room Tip: Stay on the top floor, away from elevators and the Magi Quest hallways for the least amount of noise...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank lilyelwbuggy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 December 2013

Let's see besides this place being a complete indoor zoo with amplified noise of kids screaming from the entry to the hallways this place has very little to offer but a headache. When you check in ask for Advil or ear plugs.

So let's simplify GWL: 1 wave pool, about 5 slides, a bunch of kiddie pools, 1 lazy river and a water works jungle gym. That sums up the water park.

Now for the rest of the so called activities, the arcade is decent but you can spend $50 in less than an hour but I guess that's to be expected since they don't charge enough for everything else including the stay. The spa was not something that we even considered as the prices averaged to be the same as a private spa unless you prefer little kids running around at every turn.
My personal favorite was the Magic Quest in the hallways of the hotel, this was especially fun for anyone that wasn't trampled by a stampede of kids running completely unattended by any of the parents and of course screaming and running was all part of the fun.

Now for the food, everything from soft drinks to a hamburger was so expensive it makes the Starbucks Cafe inside the lobby the most affordable meal you can get. The buffet is about as appealing as the food at Golden Corral.

Now for the staff, mostly local college kids and some adults here and there but I guess you really can't expect adults to deal with the constant screaming and running around that goes on at this place.

Overall I think you should consider something outdoors as I did. I took my family to the Jersey shore for one day and the kids had a better time with the sand and the ocean than the weekend we spent at GWL.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank notinterestedChicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Level 6 Contributor
126 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 December 2013 via mobile

My daughter and I took her two kids -4 year old girl and 8 year old boy to Great Wolf for a one night stay. We had a blast! The resort was very clean, the staff was veey friendly and helpful and the rooms were clean and comfortable. The food in the Loose Moose was excellent (although a bit expensive) but had a nice selection of veggies, pasta, seafood and poultry to choose from. Breakfast was awesome with the omelet bar and pancakes, waffles, and lots of fresh fruit. The water park was very clean and the life guards were VERY attentive. Story time at 8:00 pm in the lobby was so much fun for the kids to attend in their jammies. We would love to go back again!

  • Stayed December 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SUZANNAH S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 December 2013 via mobile

We overall had a great time, unfortunately we had a tough time on the PA turnpike. The food at the Buffett restaurant was great, we had special food cooked for Gluten Free. They have the Best chicken tenders gf and pizza was good! It is pricey if you do extra activities, buy the package and save money! Rooms are very Clean.Have Fun

  • Stayed November 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Psorasfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 December 2013

We just got back from staying at GW Lodge this past weekend. We booked the trip for 2 nights and stayed on the third floor. We found the room so uncomfortable and dirty that we actually left after only one night and lost over $500 because we didn't stay the second night. As a family of 5 (kids aged 8, 10 and 12), we stayed in a family suite with 2 queen beds and a pull out sofa bed which was so old and dirty that I hardly slept more than 2 hours! The springs in the sofa bed came right through the very worn mattress. I tried to upgrade the room, but the concierge staff had no other rooms and was very unapologetic for the condition of my room (even though you are already paying $500/night).

The bathroom sink is meant for a 5 year old and is outside the bathroom. The shower/toilet area itself is very small, dimly lit (to hide the dirt) and just depressing.

The water park was also very dirty; had coughing kids all over it -- my own kids came home sick. The trip was booked as a gift for my 11 year olds 12th bday and I mentioned this to the concierge several times which does not seem to matter as they ignored the bday all together. The kids did seem to like the few rides for older kids, but my husband and I were appalled. We just spent over $1000 for a weekend trip that was not enjoyable at all for adults and overall disgusting.

I would NEVER stay here again.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank SSGMOM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GWL_Management, Guest Relations Manager at Great Wolf Lodge, responded to this review, 30 December 2013
Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review and bring these concerns to our attention. I can assure you that this is not a typical experience at Great Wolf as we pride ourselves in providing an environment that is safe and fun for all family members. If you would be willing to speak with us regarding your situation, please e-mail me at your earliest convenience at guestrelations@greatwolf.com. Thank you for choosing Great Wolf Lodge.
Jason
Guest Relations
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Verona, New Jersey
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 December 2013

Hello! I want to preface my review by saying that GWL is great for some families. If you are a quiet bunch who enjoys swimming and activities, consider staying at another resort. This is a loud, crowded, high-energy facility.

Pros:
cleanliness (hotel)
friendly staff
attentive lifeguards (safety)

Cons:
messes in the waterpark
fire hazards in the lobby (shows and activities clog egress areas)
no healthy food options (everything is buffet or greasy)
minimal to no vegetarian/vegan food options
hard beds
unattended children
expensive

Room Tip: Having a fireplace in our room was a very nice touch!
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Rachel M
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: 1 Great Wolf Drive, Scotrun, PA 18355-9000
Region: United States > Pennsylvania > Pocono Mountains Region > Scotrun
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
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Scotrun
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3 star — Great Wolf Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 401
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Also Known As:
Great Wolf Hotel Scotrun
Great Wolf Resort

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