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“Fun for a few days, good lifeguards, you will want to drive to resturants”
Review of Great Wolf Lodge

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Great Wolf Lodge
Ranked #20 of 73 Hotels in Williamsburg
Greenville, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
120 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“Fun for a few days, good lifeguards, you will want to drive to resturants”
Reviewed 4 November 2013

As you probably know, this is a themed waterpark with a hotel attached.

The waterpark itself was just right for those with young children. It had a large kid pool that doesn’t get too deep but has small waterslides, splash pad type activities and lifeguards. The larger waterslides were fine, but there were not as many as you would find at a larger outdoor waterpark. They do have a hydro-board and a few larger slides for the older kids.

The lifeguards seem to be very well managed. I noticed all of them continually pacing and looking in the corners of the pools and paying attention to blind spots. I found it a little confusing at first, I figured the first lifeguard that I saw doing this in the kids pool was OCD. But when I noticed that they all did this, I felt pretty good, because it is clear that they are trained to keep their feet moving and focus at all times. (I bet they get wrinkly feet). All lifeguards carry a device that seems to be able to attach to a person’s mouth and pump air, which I think is a great thing.
It does smell like Chlorine a little, but not too bad, I didn’t find it to be a problem.

The rooms were good, we had a 2 bed 2 bath unit with a total of 3 beds and a fold out couch. I wouldn’t call it a suite, as the kitchen was really just one counter in a hallway. Still, it did the trick.
The hallway with the rooms is VERY long. Walking can take a long time. Bear this in mind when you are getting your room, if you have any mobility concerns.

It would be better if they had a washer/dryer in the units. You can expect to go through bathing suits fast. My advice: Bring 4 bathing suits for each person. You can expect to use 2 bathing suits a day, and they take at least a day to dry. We had a gas fireplace, and hung the suits close to the fireplace on chairs. This may not be fire marshal Bill approved, but you do what you must.
None of the dining in the resort seemed interesting. Indeed, in October, the cafeteria area seemed to be closed, there was a dunkin droughts, a cupcake place, pizza and a convenience store style place. We never ate at any of them. We had pizza delivered once and ate at the BBQ place about a mile from the resort twice (it was very good).

On the bright side, there is a Walmart about half a mile away, and as I said, a good BBQ place very close.

We bought a paw-pass. It cost 60-70 bucks, and allowed one kid to get a magic wand for a wizard game, where you wave the wand at different things around the resort, and magic happens. She did it for about 30 minutes then became bored. The paw pass also got her some arcade tokens, a build-a-bear type experience, a glitter tattoo, a soda and a rock wall climb. The rock wall was closed in October, so she got more arcade tokens instead (we had to ask, no one offered this to us). The arcade wasn’t impressive, Chucky Cheese is better, but the trip is really about the pool. I might suggest skipping the paw pass.

Overall, a fun time. We didn’t experience too many crowd problems, since we went in October and during the week. I have the impression that the place can become problematically crowded.
Based on my one experience with my 4 year old and my nephews (8 and 11), I think this is a great vacation option. I recommend it completely, but I do see the potential for frustration associated with overcrowding.

Room Tip: The hallway is LONG, you might be walking for a long time. Bear this in mind.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
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3 Thank fsu23phd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
196 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 November 2013

We stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge while attending a wedding. GWL did a good job with the wedding. The outdoor ceremony was in an attractive garden and the indoor dinner was handled. The staff were attentive.

GWL's main feature is its indoor water park. The families with young children we saw seemed to be having a great time. We heard some mentioned that too many activities were a la carte and that the cost was getting high.

Our room was spacious and mostly ordinary. Again, the place is meant for families.

There are lots of kids running up and down the hallways. It's great to see kids having fun, but some couples might not enjoy this environment.

Staff throughout the facility were always glad to help.

Room Tip: If you have breakfast in their restaurant, be sure to ask the front desk for their coupon, Otherwise...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
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Thank newengland50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Centerville, Ohio
Level 6 Contributor
2,769 reviews
124 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4,150 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 October 2013

OK, we walked through the water park, and might recommend this place to families.

Adults and couples: there are many more romantic opportunities.

So, if you are addicted to the sights and sounds of children at play, this is your place.

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1 Thank SavantIII_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 October 2013 via mobile

It was prices but always seems to be when kids are involved. Was fun. Fun seeing the kids have a fun safe time. Life guards where on patrol. Felt safe.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • Value
Helpful?
Thank bird1911
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fairfax, Virginia, United States
Level 4 Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 October 2013

My family (wife and I plus our 3 kids ages 7, 5, and 3) stayed at Great Wolf Lodge for 2 nights (Fri-Sat night) over Columbus Day weekend. We had an enjoyable time and I thought I would post my review here for those interested in it.

The water park is the key attraction of the resort so I will start with that. When we were there the outdoor water park was not open so this review only applies to the indoor water park.

The indoor water park is nice, I would call it large but not huge, if I had to guess it seemed to be about the length of a football field in each direction. There are 5 main water slides of varying intensity:
The baby area has 2 little slides, easy access, fun to go up and down, good for kids ages 2-8
There is a giant treehouse/fort that has 2 water slides, these are good for kids ages 3-10 or so. I went down them, they were fine but pretty tame for an adult but fun for kids
There is a family canyon water slide, the benefit of this is that up to 4 people can go at once. You sit in a giant innertube, it goes pretty fast and is reasonably fun. The wait for this ride at least when I was there was relatively long so this ride doesn’t give you great bang for the buck. I did this ride twice.
There is a ride called Alberta Falls, this has 2 reasonably fast water slides (a blue and a yellow). The blue is faster, the yellow has more turns. You can go down with 1 or two people, the more weight the faster you go. I found this to be optimal to go with an adult and a kid but any mix is fine (all of my kids loved it). You need to bring the tube with you on this slide, if you have 2 people you have to use a 2 person tube. The line for this slide moves quite fast. In my opinion this offered the best bang for the buck, I went on this one about a dozen times, taking turns with my various kids.
The most intense ride is called the Howlin’ Tornado, you have to be 4’ tall to go on this ride although it didn’t seem like the lifeguards were super strict on that particular issue. It is a pretty fun, intense ride although reasonably short and the line can be pretty long. I went on this ride twice. My 75 year old father went on it so it wasn’t insanely physically demanding (although he is in good shape) but it was about the max that he would want to do. If you like ‘scary’ rides you’ll like this, if you hate those type of rides this might be too much for you. I thought it would be too scary for my kids and they were too short to ride it anyway.
There is also a wave pool although the waves aren’t super strong; a section with 4 basketball hoops; and a place to see if you can walk across moveable objects which is mainly for kids but adults can do it as well. There was a surfing area which we didn’t try the first day and then it was closed for some reason on the second day. They have 2 hot tubs - one just for adults which is nice, and a lazy river that my kids liked going around.
Most of the rides in this area had 5-20 minute wait times, I imagine on Columbus Day it was a bit more crowded than normal. If I had to guess I would say there were several hundred people in the water park when we were there. It was somewhat crowded although not ridiculously so. The temperature of the water and the air seemed fine. The lifeguards seemed very alert and vigilant which was nice to see. My kids aren’t awesome swimmers so I had them wear life preservers almost all the time, that way I didn’t have to watch them like a hawk all the time.
Things that could be improved: The main area that I saw that could be improved was there were not enough of the tubes/rafts for the people that wanted them, especially of the 2 person variety. It was annoying to have to wait for one to become available and you felt bad kind of hogging one but then again if you gave it up you might not get it back for a while. At one point the line was like 15 people deep just waiting to get a tube, and then you have to go up and wait in line to go on the ride. This is an easy fix and they should have many more of those tubes lying around for people. The tubes themselves were fine, properly inflated, comfortable, etc, they just needed more of them.
There are special rafts just for the Howlin’ Tornado and they needed more of them as well, on our second day they only had 2 of those rafts so the line moved very slowly. Again this is an easy fix and it should be taken care.

The Resort: The Resort itself is nice, it is quite large and well maintained, it has the look of a giant log cabin (more like a log hotel). I was with my extended family of 16 total people so we stayed in 2 suites of 8 people. The suites were nice, reasonably spacious, beds were soft but comfortable, pillows were okay – I thought they were too thick but I use a thin pillow. Our room didn’t have a window and it was pitch black at night which is great for sleep quality. We had TVs in the bedrooms and the main area, not huge but adequate. The bathroom/shower area was nice and spacious. We had a small balcony which was good for the smokers in the group.
For food we just had the breakfast buffet at the Loose Moose Grill, it was pretty good. It had scrambled eggs, a few variety of potatoes, bacon, sausage, biscuits, gravy, cereal, pancakes, and you could get eggs cooked to order as well as omelets. It was pretty good, they only thing that was disappointing was the fruit, they had just a few choices and it wasn’t much to get excited about, a few slices of melon or pineapple and that was it. They didn’t have hot chocolate when we there. We didn’t try the other restaurants in the resort.
There was a Starbucks downstairs which several family members really liked and used each day. They also had an ice cream and a dessert section which was pretty good, although I thought they were missing out on the opportunity to combine certain desserts like cookies plus ice cream etc kind of like Coldstone does, everything here was separate. There is an IHOP, a Red Lobster, an Outback, an Olive Garden, a Subway and some other standard offerings all nearby because this place is quite close to Williamsburg which has a lot in the way of tourist attractions.
The arcade was decent, they had some good motorcycle and car racing games, we spent about 2 hours in there one evening. My kids were a little young for this so I had to kind of ride with them, etc to help them out.
I liked how everything was connected to your wrist band and you didn’t have to bring your wallet with you, that was convenient. We didn’t do the attractions where you make a stuffed animal and they had a magic quest where you buy a wand and then go around trying to make things work with it. I could see how the kids might like that although I could also see it being a bit of waste of money.
Overall we had a fun trip. I don’t think one would need to spend more than 3 days here focusing on the attractions that they have to offer and for 2 days with about 6 hours total time in the water park (3 hours each time) was just right for us. You could use the resort as a home base to then go out and explore Williamsburg which has other activities. For our families it seemed like once we had spent about 3 hours at the water park everybody was ready for a break. I think this place is set up well for kids ages 2-15, with 5-10 being the ideal age IMO. Personally I would not see any reason to come here if you didn’t have kids. My kids would give the trip 5 stars, they had a lot of fun and it was great to see them run around and enjoy themselves. If it was just me and my wife we would have given it 3 stars but we did this for the kids. I give it for 4 stars because it is fun but it is mainly kid oriented and because as a water park it is a little limited, it is a good but not an absolutely great place to go. I felt like the price was fair but it wasn’t a great deal, it was a hotel plus a water park and you’re likely to buy a bunch of extras (food, drinks, desserts, toys, etc) which of course add up. I would go back with my kids while they were still young, I think it is more appealing to go with a group so everybody can run around and have fun together.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Tim H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tellico Plains, Tennessee
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 October 2013

We held our Naval Reunion for the U.S.S. Charles R. Ware here this year, of which I was the chairperson. You could not have ask more from this hotel. The people were friendly, and were willing to do anything you asked of them. The head of catering, Tracy Richardson a naval man himself, was willing to see to our every need. He would check in with me periodicly throughout the day. I would not hesitate to use them again if I have the chance. Polly Bradsher, senior sales manager, did an excellent job on the reservation end of things. She personally did all the reservations for us since she did want to make sure that everything was taken care of. This reunion almost did not happen because we were left out in the cold due to the Williamsburg Hospitality House being bought by William and Mary College buying it. They did nothing to help us find new accomadations which forced me to make another trip up to find a new hotel. Great Wolf Lodge laid out the welcome mat and what a time we had. I never heard one complaint the whole time we were there. Every room has either a balcony or patio. You can't go wrong with any selection of rooms.

Room Tip: If you want to stay away from all the noise of the water park and arcade get a room on the conferenc...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Emma May H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calabash, North Carolina
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 October 2013

Huge place with several wings of rooms. Did not like the fact that our room was at end of one of the wings and had to walk about 100 yards to get back to the main building and amenities. For a water park it is great. It is all indoors with plenty of water to please the most ardent fan. Water slides for all ages, zero entry pools, wading pools for infants with small water jets and other devices for them to play with. Extra cost program for kids that allows them to build a "wolf" stuffed animal, color a tee shirt and play in the game room. Biggest disappoint was the food. All items were expensive and of poor quality. My wife wanted oatmeal for breakfast but in order to get it, she had to pay the cost of a full buffet breakfast. will not be returning soon.

Helpful?
Thank Clifford T
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:
#2 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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