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“48 Hours at Great Wolf”
Review of Great Wolf Lodge

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Great Wolf Lodge
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Centralia
Seattle, WA
Level Contributor
16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“48 Hours at Great Wolf”
Reviewed 5 July 2008

We just arrived home from a 2 night stay at Great Wolf Lodge. We arrived at 2pm on Wednesday. Other reviews about check-in are correct, there are some issues - but I believe the real problem lies with the housekeeping processes and management. It seems beyond haphazard (more on that below.) - We arrived at 2pm and after waiting in line for over a half hour I was told our room wasn't ready and to try again at 4pm. They wouldn't even take my information, they just gave us wrist bands for the pool. This would be understandable, except that everyone else in the line was getting straight into their rooms. I was the only one in that half-hour wait that I saw get turned away.

Two hours later, at 4pm, we were able to check-in. By then, the line was much shorter (presumably because everyone else in the hotel had been given their room already.)

The room was as advertised, and met my expectations. I was surprised that we had a balcony. The kids loved their "Wolf Den" - the bathroom is small, but we didn't spend much time in the room so it was fine (save for the sopping wet carpet which I finally determined was most likely from the air conditioning unit that must have been leaking.)

The tips you read on other reviews about bringing food are wise. We brought our own food so that we could eat breakfast, lunch, and snacks in the room. It worked great. This meant we bought one meal per day at the lodge in a restaurant which, for us, worked out very well. The reviews I had read all said food prices were high but I did not find them out of line at all. $8 for a gourmet burger and fries just doesn't seem unreasonable to me. We ate at the bar and grill and avoided the buffet as I generally avoid buffets no matter where I am. The kids loved the menu at the bar and grille and I thought their kid offerings were superior to most sit-down restaurants. We never had a wait, got seated right away and were served with reasonable timing (a bit slow and rather surly on the first visit - much better the second day.)

Activities are expensive. They nail you for $10 each for the kid/teen "Gr8 Space" game room (if you want to use it) and another $25ea ($15 for the wand and $10 for the game) for the MagicQuest interactive game. I was surprised by the cost because nearly everyone seemed to have the wands and be playing the game - they are really raking in the money on that attraction.

The water park was great fun. We all had a terrific time. The wave pool was a favorite for both of my kids (ages 10 and 6) - I liked the Alberta Falls slides. The Tornado was broken on one of the two days we were there. We went on it the second day - it was surely a "thill" but I don't know if I think it was worth the huge wait in line. I think Great Wolf is having staffing problems because i noticed that on the day they Tornado working, they only operated one of the Alberta Falls slides. I think they didn't have enough staff for all of them. I also overheard a staff person talking to another staff person about understaffing and long hours (he said he'd been working 17 hour shifts for 2 weeks straight) - that might be fine for the snack bar crew, but I hardly think I want the lifeguard staff working those kind of hours.

Speaking of the lifeguards - I found them all very attentive, well trained, and sticking to their guns about rules. This was very impressive and they all did a great job. They were, without exception, all really good at their jobs.

Housekeeping needs some serious help. I noticed on our first morning that the housekeeping crew and carts were already outside our door when we left the room around 9:00. Nothing wrong with that......except that they were still there, and still in a flurry of uncoordinated, chaotic room flitting up and down the same hallway at 5pm. Something is really really wrong with the way they oversee the logistics of cleaning the rooms - which probably explains the delays at checkin for so many people. I saw at least 6 people (including one woman with a clipboard who was supposedly "in charge" but looked more like she was just walking back and forth between carts with a very harried look on her face.) I hope the general management looks into their procedures because there is clearly some room for better efficiency there.

Overall, we had a good time - spent about $800 for 2 nights and 4 people (2 adults, 2 kids) - Pricey enough that we won't be back anytime soon. If they charged less for the rooms - or included some of the other activities - it would seem like a better value overall. Now that we've "been there, done that" - I'm not sure when or if we'll go back - but I'm glad we did it.

  • Liked — water park
  • Disliked — price
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank NAM_08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
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English first
angleton, texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 4 July 2008

The weather was, well if you know Washington's weather, you know it was COLD. But that was not a problem since they keep it above 80 degrees inside the waterpark. My husband and I traveled with our 3 daughters ages 9, 7 and 4 and they each had a blast, and cant wait to go back. The prices are a little on the high side, but well worth it, if you are looking to make some wonderful family memories. My husband and I had such a blast. The only ride my 4 year old could not ride was the Tornado slide. Other than that she rode everything along with us. And by the way, that Tornado slide was SOOOOOOOO much fun, a little scary at first but so much fun. If you are thinking of going, you definately should. Well worth it!!!

  • Stayed May 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lady2444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
north of Seattle
1 review
Reviewed 2 July 2008

Looks better in video.. very boring for kids over 13.. kids 3-10 will love it but be ready to open your wallet! one night with food and room cost over $800.00 for 1 adult and 4 kids! watch out pack a lunch.. security into the pool is good but security into the hotel is for all!! not good.. all and all I will not go back.. Wild waves is half the price and more to do! ya in the winter it may be nice.. but no room service and tight quarters and exspensvie to boot adds up to a head ache!

  • Liked — not much
  • Disliked — cost and size of pool area
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank theonethatgotaway2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
everett wa
Level Contributor
22 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2008

The lodge is beautiful and the rooms are spacious. We booked the "wolf den" which our girls loved. It had bunkbeds that were very safe and their own flat-screen t.v. The room had a fridge so knowing this, I brought a cooler full of snacks and drinks.This saved some serious bucks. They give you bracelets that are your room key/credit card so you dont have to carry extra things(like cash) with you. Good marketing plan because it makes it easier for you to spend lots of money! Want some ice cream out of the machine? Swipe your bracelet. Dont have any money on you for the video arcade? (which is awesome) Swipe your bracelet! You get it.. The waterslide park was the best!! Living in the Seattle area my whole life, we deal with rain and lots of it. Its so cool to be able to go somewhere warm and play in the water. There is something there for every age, and even after you check out of the hotel room the next day, they let you stay in the water park until it closed.

  • Stayed May 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Judy E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AlyJoy716
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 June 2008

We stayed here on June 26th. It was me, my husband, our 2 year old daughter, my mother-in-law, my sis-in-law, and her two boys who are 5 and 2. We stayed in the KidsCabin Suite, and we absolutely loved it. The kids loved having their own little cabin to sleep and play in. The thing that was amazing to us was the tall ceilings. It made the room seem really big. They were probably 20 ft. ceilings. The bathroom was small, but the sink is outside the actual bathroom, so it wasn't bad at all. The size of the room was just great for the 7 of us.
The kids loved the waterpark, and so did the adults. Previous reviews stated that it was small, so I expected this really tiny waterpark, but it really wasn't. It was a great size for all of us. We really enjoyed this.
We ate dinner at the Bar and Grille there on the property. It was reasonably priced, but only ok food. Nothing really special.
Overall, we really had a great time. Unfortunately, it is pretty pricey for one night. That would be the only down side. We will probably go again if we share the cost with someone else. Everyone had a really great time.

  • Liked — Rooms, Waterpark
  • Disliked — Price
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AlyJoy716
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roseburg
Level Contributor
206 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 168 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 June 2008

My husband, our 15 year old son, and 16 year old friend recently stayed for two days. I had read about check in lines being long and rooms not being available at check in so we went in thinking we weren't going to be gong to our room before the water park. We were pleasantly pleased with a quick check in and our room was ready. I LOVE the fact that the wristband they give you is your room key and can be used to place charges on your room account so you aren't always having to carry cash.

The overall staff was VERY friendly. Any time you passed a staff member, they always said hello. The improvements that need to be addressed in the buffet and the bar and grille. The buffet line was terrible as the omlet station was in front of the line, so people were backed up (not knowing that people were in line for omlets). Also, I had to ask the waitress for more coffee and she never offered my husband a refill on his drink. The bar and grille was just as bad. Long wait time (40 minutes for a table) and then slow service after that. I don't know if it is a kitchen problem or what, but if we do return, besides the pizza hut, we will eat elsewhere. We were happy with the bar service at the pool.

Overall, my son and his friend enjoyed the teen-age room and we were pleased with our stay.

  • Liked — friendly staff and clean
  • Disliked — the two main restaurants
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank dietcoke22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portland Oregon
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 June 2008

While the hotel itself is very nice and inviting, along with the rooms (we had a regular family suite), the price of everything is just over the top. The room cost 360.00 with tax to stay for one night. The dinner for 2 adults and 4 kids cost 96.00 (not too bad, I have seen worse). The bad part is the water park gets a bit old after three hours of being in there and then what do you do? Well, what you do is purchase the 15.00 wand along with the 9.99 game pack that allows you to roam around the hotel in search of "treasures". The wand allows you to open up different treasure boxes around the hotel and gain certain treaures. This was an added 100.00 for four children to participate. However, the hotel was so crowded that there were tons of children running around from space to space with your children in search of the same things. Very crowded (6/23/08). The water park itself very much lacked supervision of the lifeguards. There was only 1 lifeguard on duty for each side of each pool, one with just one lifeguard. So that is two lifeguards for this pool that has 1000 kids in it with floatation devices, and YES I did capture a child who got stuck head down with a life jacket on in a floatation inner tube, the wave came in and the child was trapped and I witnessed a near drowning experience, except the worse part is I was the one who saw it happen, not the life guard. My son had hurt his leg and was bleeding and the lifeguard on duty has a certain system that they do, they blow the whistle and wait for a supervisor, which took 10 MINUTES to get someone's attention. When I asked the lifeguard why it was taking so long his reply was "we are short staffed". Okay, that is very appauling, as being short staffed for lifeguards does not give me the security that I need. I have to say even with being in the water with the children it was still frightening with the amount of the kids that were in there at the same time (and adults). Another thing, the life-jackets. While not all life-jackets were in desperate need of being thrown out, the one that we happened to grab was. The whole shoulder was almost torn completely off, but it was still in circulation. If it had ripped and someone was relying on that life jacket to save them it would have never served its purpose. Overall, the staff was friendly, the food was okay, but the price of just being there was overrated and overpriced, and possibly dangerous.

  • Liked — The hotel
  • Disliked — The dangerous conditions.
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank finkledl
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: 20500 Old Highway 99 SW, Centralia, WA 98531-9708
Region: United States > Washington > Centralia
Amenities:
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:
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Centralia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3 star — Great Wolf Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 398
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Great Wolf Hotel Centralia
Great Wolf Resort
Great Wolf Lodge Centralia, Washington

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