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“Perfect Vacation for Families that like to stay busy”
Review of Great Wolf Lodge

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Great Wolf Lodge
Ranked #18 of 75 Hotels in Williamsburg
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Perfect Vacation for Families that like to stay busy”
Reviewed 19 June 2013

My family has been going to GWL for years and go back again and again, despite the high cost, because it's the easiest, most laid-back, whine-free vacation a family can have. The reasons I LOVE Great Wolf Lodge for vacation:

- The water park has something for everyone - from little babies to adults. Big big slides, wave pool, play pool, kiddie pool... if you like water, you will not be disappointed.
- The water is always warm! Even in the dead of winter with a foot of snow outside, it's comfortable in the water.
- The buffet is designed with families in mind. There are foods just to make kids happy (goldfish crackers, pizza, chicken strips, applesauce, hot dogs and hamburgers etc) and foods to make everyone else happy (prime rib, pork roast, italian to order, salad bar, nice soups etc). The price isn't painful either. I think it's like $12 for dinner. Kids are less, I think.
- The magiquest keeps kids entertained for hours when they're done with the pool. If they play the whole game, or a whole adventure, they should be exhausted by the time they're done.
- Although we always spend more than we plan to, the arcade is wonderful. Kids can win in the many many claw games or play for tickets to be redeemed. It's easy to win so the kids walk away happy most days.
- the rooms are lovely. even the basic rooms make you feel like you're really getting away. I think all rooms have balconies or walk outs. The themed rooms, with separated sleeping quarters for kiddos, are fantastic. Kids look forward to GWL for the rooms as much as for everything else.
- the Cub Club provides activities for the littler kids that are great when they start to get overwhelmed by too much activity. It's nice and quiet in there and they can color or read a book or play with toys or watch a movie all for free. Or they can do an inexpensive art/craft project.
- Always something "extra" going on - from the bedtime stories to random face painting or balloon making - there's always something happening in addition to the myriad of other activities (pool, arcade, bowling, magiquest etc)
- The bar is always open for an adult beverage! Nice to be able to enjoy that in a family place.
- the spa is superb!
- even the gift shop is nice - not your standard gift shop. they actually have nice quality merchandise in there.

The only thing two things I don't love about GWL are:
- the price tag. I wish they would offer "frequent visitor" rates or other perks, like free magiquest game. We would probably go more often if that were the case.
- their cancellation policy is not friendly at all. If you need to cancel for any reason, you will be given the opportunity to change the date of your reservation once. If you can't make it on the new date, you lose your money. again... something they should change to make it easier on the families.

GWL, are you listening? :D

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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank familytravellerVA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Virginia
Level Contributor
34 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 June 2013

Originally when considering to go to Great Wolf Lodge, it seemed expensive. But compared to other local attractions, the Great Wolf Lodge was the best deal. Even better it was rainy and my toddlers were able to experience a water park during a rainy day. For dinner, we ate at "As Hungry as a Wolf", the pizza was delicious and reasonably priced. I would not hesitate to take my family back there because everyone of all ages had a wonderful time. The perfect place to stay and play while visiting Williamsburg.

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1 Thank LookingfortheFinest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baltimore, Maryland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 June 2013

things go wrong, and lots was going wrong this weekend- the waterpark breaks, the lobby show doesn’t work, rooms aren’t ready, credit card machines don’t work… and all of this would had been fine, had the staff tried to communicate and address the issue, not hide from problems. My impression is that Great Wolf Lodge is run by teenagers with little adult leadership, which might be fine at a $19 waterpark, but not when our room cost more than $400 for the night.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank MC C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new york
Level Contributor
133 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 June 2013

We booked GWL in Virginia at the spur of the moment trip between DC and NC. We got a great deal online and booked for the middle of the week, 3rd week of May. It was incredibly quiet and was, we were told, the quiet season. NO waiting in line for any of the water slides, not overly crowded, no trouble finding a table or chairs at the waterpark.

We arrived early and had no issues getting into our room and beginning our time at the waterpark. The room was average for a hotel. 2 beds, pull out sofa, table and chairs and balcony. Large counter for supplies plus fridge and microwave. Lots of toiletries for the kids which was fun. I was surprised they didn't have special hangers or even an extra spot to hand wet swim gear (either in the bathroom or outside). I found it to be fairly clean and we did often travel from the waterpark to the room in barefeet. This is acceptable, I am told, except in the restaurant. We did see housekeeping staff cleaning all of the railings and banisters, etc. in the public spaces 2 times during our stay which was nice to see.

My son (age 8) loved the magiquest game. I booked the birthday special online which included the game, wand, topper, belt, iice creame voucher and a birthday sign for the door. He loved every minute of it and I found that to be a better deal than buying it all separate as the individual prices might have made me re-consider. It is pricey but worth it for the kids that enjoy adventure. Some of the quests and adventures are hard so adult help or even staff assistance might be needed. Magiquest is shut down promptly at 9pm and comes back on at 8:30am. Nice that you don't have to fight with your kid to play the adventure at 11pm when they can't sleep!

I always find pools to be too cold and was pleasantly surprised by the water here. The wave pool is very chilly but the rest was quite nice. Family hot tub is a lower temp than the adult tub as well. The outdoor area was opening the following weekend so it would have been nice to enjoy that too but, maybe next time. Lifeguards all seemed to be friendly bu focused on the job at hand - keeping everyone safe.

Pizza Hut express has closed and been replaced with Dunkin Donuts. We enjoyed a decent breakfast there and had dinner at the IHOP down the street. we did have fudge and ice cream at the shop downstairs which was quite yummy.

We loved that we didn't need to carry room cards or credit cards/cash with us - the wrist bands that you can use to open your door or charge to the room (and the kids can have ones that do not charge to the room BTW).

There is fridge and microwave so bring bottles of water and snacks for in the room if on a budget. You can't take any food or beverage in the waterpark but its nice to have stuff in your room when the day is done.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank mysterie91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
30 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 June 2013

My wife and I take our kids here every year. Great wolf lodge has so much to do and its all indoors which is great so you don't have to worry about the weather. There is a super Wal-Mart next door which is a 2 min drive where you can get all your snacks for your stay. The waterpark is great, my kids love the magic quest. There is so much to do here your kids will have a ball.

Helpful?
1 Thank KWimbush
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
87 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2013 via mobile

We stayed here during the Memorial Day weekend and really enjoyed ourselves. We stayed in the Grizzly Bear Suit that easily accommodated our five children and two adults. The suite also included a pull-out sofa that can sleep two as well, but the pull-out sofa mattress is wrapped in plastic. The room was clean but could use some renovations. The wallpaper is well outdated and torn. Also, be forewarned: quiet-hours are from 11pm-7am. We thought the occupants above us were going to fall through the ceiling and into our room. The 9pm wrestling and racket that came from the room above prompted numerous calls to the front desk. The front desk staff were very professional and apologetic, but after the third call we were told there was nothing they could do but send security to ask the occupants to tone it down but if it was after 11pm the occupants would be asked to leave. Until then we would have to be patient but that is challenging when others rudeness impact your opportunity for rest. All in all we had a great time but Great Wolf Lodge should rethink their quiet-hours policy.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Edandwendy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dillard, Georgia
Level Contributor
120 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2013

We checked in on Sunday June 1st. We were with our Daughter, Son-In-Law and grand kids. We had requested specific room location but it wasn't ready when we checked in at 4pm. We asked about getting the room we had requested but were told no other rooms of the type we wanted were clean. It was 4 in the afternoon, check in time, I would have expected all the rooms should have been clean by that time. The young lady checking us in was very plesant but really didn't offer us anything else. The room we got truned out to be a alright in the long run. It was on the 4th floor so there was very little noise. There was a negative aspect to this room was the AC could not keep up with the heat generated during the day. We were given two box fans to move the air around. The maintenance crew was very prompt in getting the fans but the AC sould have worked better. The listed ammenities were there and in working order, but the expensive was very high. I equate this hotel to a curise ship, where you have to be very careful with your money. You can find yourself broke in a hurry. The water park was huge and never really filled up even though the hotel was almost filled. We tried the hotel restruant the first night but decided to go to the local places becuase they were a far better value. Also since the main resturant was a buffet children were able to reach a lot of the items. My Son-In-Law saw a couple kids having a field day with the desserts. They were putting their hands on everything in reach. The staff did nothing to stop them. The sweets and pizza weren't gormet but pretty good. The biggest disappointment was the room staff, they didn't seem to be up to the task of keeping all those rooms clean. Also the room furniture should have been thrown out years ago. Everything but the beds were very uncomfortable. It was like sitting on planks of wood. The beds were very nice and very comfotable . Also they had plenty of pillows. All and all wasn't bad. It was a good family hotel, definatly not the top of the line. My wife and I wouldn't go there again unless it was with our grand childern.

Room Tip: Not sure how to crack this nut. We had a specific room request but it wasn't ready a check in t...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Bill F
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: 549 East Rochambeau Drive, Williamsburg, VA 23188-2148
Region: United States > Virginia > Williamsburg
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Williamsburg
#6 Spa Hotel in Williamsburg
#22 Family Hotel in Williamsburg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3 star — Great Wolf Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 405
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are home to Virginia’s premier 79,000 square foot indoor entertainment area featuring our water park, bear track landing. The indoor water park features a 4-story, 12 level tree fort with 1000 gallons of water and dumps down every few minutes. The water park also features a gigantic indoor wave pool, eight water slides, including 3 tube slides, three kiddie slides and two body slides. In addition we have a zero-depth entry children’s pool, indoor pool, two oversized hot tubs, an endless lazy river. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Great Wolf Hotel Williamsburg
Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg Va
Great Wolf Resort

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