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“busy teens... always a good thing” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Great Wolf Lodge

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Great Wolf Lodge
Ranked #11 of 72 Hotels in Wisconsin Dells
Certificate of Excellence
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“busy teens... always a good thing”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 March 2011

Took my son and his friend to this resort for their Spring break. reserved a Black Bear condo which had two bedrooms, fireplace, balcony and a full kitchen. There was just one large bath; another 1/2 bath would have been really a plus but we did fine.
They were busy almost all the time. The location was great because they could go off property when they wanted to stay dry a while. The outlet mall was within walking distance as was numerous restaurants. A movie theatre is close but they would have to cross a pretty busy road so they passed on that option.

They enjoyed going to the onsite Pizza Hut (which also delivered to the rooms) and the Little Critter breakfast buffet. I enjoyed a quiet meal at the bar watching the Badger game. A great trip! Just a 3 1/2 hour drive from the Twin Cities. An easy to do Mom adventure with teens. Don't miss going into town to eat at Pedro's a great Mexican restaurant.

There is a casino nearby that will pick you up and take you to their casino. If I'd been there longer I might have tried that.

i enjoyed going over to the outlet mall and shopped at Ralph Lauren, Gap and Banan Republic.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank KimmLSI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Apple Valley, Minnesota
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 March 2011

After doing our research, we booked a Lone Wolf condo for 2 nights midweek at Great Wolf Lodge - a combination spring break vacation and celebration of our daughter's 12th birthday (we also have a 9-year old son). We choose the Lone Wolf condo because it was basically the same price as a standard hotel room (2 queens), but it had 2 TVs and a fireplace. They all came in handy during the trip.
We arrived a little after 4 pm on a Wed., there was no line to check-in - it was fast and friendly. I asked for a top floor condo based on reviews about floor and wall noise. We were very pleased with our room - turns out the top floor condos also have vaulted ceilings, so the room seemed spacious. The kids loved having their 'own' TV; the fireplace was a great way to stay warm while we took turns in the shower after the waterpark. There was also a table and chairs, fridge, coffeemaker, microwave and sink; again, all very handy. The bathroom was big, with two sinks. One thing to be aware of, as others have said, is that the condos are on one end of the complex, the waterpark is in the middle, and MagiQuest is on the other end. So there's a LOT of walking - my husband sometimes has problems with one of his legs, and so at one point he elected to stay in the room rather than venture to MagiQuest again - it was just too much. Another inconvenience was that the condo elevator was also the service elevator; it was big, but at certain times of the day was very busy and full of housekeeping and food service carts.
The room was pretty clean, although there were a couple of spots (like in the corner behind the toilet) that could have been cleaner. All the places we were likely to touch seemed clean, though. The mattresses were quite firm, which I personally don't like; I only slept OK on them. There was quite a bit of noise from the hallway and through the walls - it was a very good idea to have a top floor room. Also, I would not recommend getting a room on the first or second floor of the main hotel as they are throughways to the waterpark and Magiquest -- so there is lots of hall traffic all day long.
The kids had a blast! The indoor waterpark is in 3 parts; each part has something for all ages. I know other reviewers have commented that their 'tweens' were bored, but mine were entertained for the 2 days we were there. The wave pool was a favorite, along with the tube slides. Mat racing was also fun. The water is very, very chlorinated, so be aware; by the time we were done, my son had a rash from the chemicals, even with rinsing and showering.
My kids favorite part, though, was MagiQuest. We splurged on 'tricked out' wands since it was my daughter's birthday; total cost for 2 wands, 2 toppers & 2 games: $93.00. A bit spendy, but it turned out to be a great investment, because the game literally kept our kids busy for hours. They completed all the quests and adventures and earned the coveted "Questmaster" badges -- I would guess it took them 5-6 hours total, and that was working together, and working fairly quickly (I had to keep telling them not to run). So we were very glad we started the MagiQuest adventure right away in our stay. And the kids love having the wands at home - they are nice looking wands, worthy of Harry Potter games or other magic adventures.
This hotel is a very family-friendly hotel; there are kids everywhere, of all ages! You need to be OK with that in order to enjoy your stay. There are kids going up and down the halls at all hours, I saw high-school kids playing ball in a stairwell, and all the hotel amenities are aimed at families. We did not go to the clock/story time, but it looked packed and entertaining when we walked by one evening.
Perhaps our biggest complaint was the lodge food. It was all very expensive. The only room service is from Pizza Hut, and only for supper. There is no place like a deli to grab a salad or sandwich. The sit-down restaurant had OK food, but we stopped at a Ground Round on the way home and had much better food for about 2/3 the price. The breakfast buffet had a good selection, but it was packed and the lines for the omelet/waffle station were long. We opted for the muffins/pastries at the sweets shop the next morning, and they were very good but pretty much the same price as the buffet. The sweets shop has Starbucks coffee, which is much better than the stuff stocked in the rooms, but again, a cost. We had brought our own snacks for the room, but I would highly recommend considering bringing more food and beverages.
One last thing...we had very good service from everyone who helped us. All staff were friendly and knowledgeable. The lifeguards were very vigilant, but I didn't feel they were overly strict. It was clear they were doing their job. There was always a staff person available when we needed help or had questions.
Overall, the kids had a fabulous time, and we were happy with our choice. We were a bit shocked at the food prices, but loved the fact that the kids were completely entertained for 2 days in the lodge and we didn't have to leave the hotel for anything (although in retrospect, we might have saved some money on food if we had).

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Epidoc96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 March 2011

We enjoyed our stay at the Great Wolf. We stayed in the Kid's Cabin which had a nice layout for our family. The kids had a separate sleeping area and enjoyed their "cabin" very much. The room was clean and spacious and perfect for our three night stay. The waterpark was overall very clean and diligently monitored by lifeguards. There were a variety of attractions for all ages to enjoy and was very spacious. One great feature about the Great Wolf is that you have to stay there to play there. They do not sell any outside passes. This is great during peak times as the waterpark does not get as overloaded as some of the other parks like the Kalahari. I was concerned about this especially since we stayed during spring break. Just a couple negatives- One of the few things I was disappointed about occured at the waterpark in the morning right when it opened. We went to use the restroom and found the stalls without toilet paper and the garbage overflowing. I would think that the restrooms would have been cleaned and restocked prior to opening. This was a slight glitch that I was surprised about since the waterpark seemed well maintained. Also, I felt the dining options were a little weak at this hotel. The snack bar at the waterpark was very disappointing. The burgers seemed like soy burgers. For the high prices, I would expect 100% beef. The Loose Moose was the best dining choice and was pretty good. Camp Critter breakfast buffet was marginal. Overall we had a very nice stay. And most importantly, our kids had a blast there.

Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank JEM05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Urbandale, Iowa
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 March 2011

I'm not sure why the previous poster had such a bad experience, but ours was quite different. We arrived at the Great Wolf Lodge at 2 pm on a Sunday, checked-in in less than 10 minutes and our room was ready. We went straight to our room, which was spotless and then to the waterpark where we spent several hours before going to dinner. Everything worked fine in our room, we also didn't have far to go to the waterpark.

Food is a little expensive inside the resort, but we found a restaurant in the Dells that was really good and reasonably priced and stopped at the grocery store to pick up snacks and drinks for the room.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank TravelinMom50323
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia, USA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 March 2011

Prepare for the worst and maybe you might be surprised. Do plan on waiting 30 minutes in line to check in. Do not plan on being able to check in before 4pm. Do expect them to tell you your rooms not ready and they will call you when it is. Do not expect to have any water pressure in your room. Do not expect a soft bed. Do expect a very dirty sticky room with no room service unless you do it yourself. Do expect to have a refrigerator that doesn't work. i called to request room service after two days and front desk stated they would let housekeeping know we would like daily room service! Housekeeping never came! Do expect to take out your own trash go fetch your own towels and walk from the very far end of the hotel to the water park. Do expect broken machines ripped off the walls in the restrooms. Do expect at least one of the water slides to be out of service (The Howling Tornado) during your stay. We have stayed here twice previously and it was never this bad. I previously left good reviews. I am sorry. They have seriously let things go over the past year!

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank connie3369
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
United States
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 March 2011

We had a great first experience at the GWL and will definately be going back this summer!! We stayed in a Lone Wolf Condo which appeared to have many new updates. It was very nice, spacious and clean! My only complaint is that it was the furthest unit away from the waterpark. We didn't do the Magic quest or the story hours. My daughter did get a pedicure at Scoops, a little pricey $40 with $10 off, but she enjoyed it and that is all that counts! The water temp in most areas was chilly but didn't slow the kids down! All of the staff was very friendly and helpful. There are plenty of food options available within the resort and outside area as well. The lifeguards do an excellent job. Overall, this resort is perfect for families.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Beachgrl75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bloomington,MN
Level Contributor
48 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 2011

My family stayed at Great Wolf for the first time Feb 25-27. We have stayed at Chula Vista and the Polynesian previously in the Dells and many other water parks in other cities. I have wanted to try Great Wolf for quite a while, but was almost scared away by reviews of dirty rooms in bad repair. We stayed in a family fireplace suite. I am VERY picky and enter a room with my lysol wipes in hand inspecting everything. I did find a small stain on one of the bedspreads, and a used contact lens on the bathroom floor behind the toilet, but all in all I would say it was cleaner than average for this type of hotel. Also, all the faucets in our room looked sparkling new, so I am guessing they are trying to make upgrades. We did not experience any significant problems with noise although the hotel was PACKED. The lifeguards were fantastic as everyone else has stated. The waterpark was perfect for our 5 and 9 year old boys. The 9 year old could go on everything, and the 5 year old everything but the tornado. I think teens would be happier somewhere else. The water was probably the 2nd coldest we have ever experienced. The wave pool was reasonably warm, but we were on the cold side everywhere else no matter how hard we were playing. It was a bummer because our toddler wouldn't play in the areas meant for him - he only liked the wave pool because it was warmer. That would be by far my biggest complaint about the place. If the water was warmer I would definitely be going back to Great Wolf for the next few years. My kids enjoyed the slides. The waterpark was clean as far as I could see. Magiquest was ok. It takes a long time - like 5 hours. The 9 year old enjoyed it to the end. The 5 year old was sick of it although we split it into 2 days. It was a bit of a bummer because the whole point is to gain powers to defeat the dragon at the end, and do to the thing being very slow to respond to the wands, none of the kids could defeat the dragon. My 5 year old didn't care. The 9 year old was very upset about this. Seems kind of a bad deal that most kids lose in the end. We saw one kid defeat the dragon out of about 30. We didn't regret doing it as it was something different, but wouldn't do it if we stayed there again. The clock show at bedtime is cute. If we went again I would skip the 8pm show and go at 9 when there are many fewer children. 8 is crowded and the storytime after the clock show isn't worth it. (there is no storytime after the 9pm show). My 18th month old loved the clock show, 5 year old liked it, 9 year old somewhat amused the first night. Overall, I would return to Great Wolf again if we got a good deal or if they started advertising "now warmer water!"

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank adventureswith3boys
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: 1400 Great Wolf Drive, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
Region: United States > Wisconsin > Wisconsin Dells
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge 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:
#3 Spa Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
#15 Family Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3 star — Great Wolf Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 204
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Great Wolf Lodge Hotel
Wisconsin Dells Hotel Great Wolf Lodge
Great Wolf Lodge Wisconsin Dells
Great Wolf Hotel Wisconsin Dells
Black Wolf Lodge
Great Wolf Wi Dells
Great Wolf Hotel Wi Dells
Great Wolf Resort

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