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“waterpark excellent, hotel is showing it's age” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Great Wolf Lodge

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Great Wolf Lodge
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   10401 Cabela Drive, Kansas City, KS 66111   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #10 of 19 Hotels in Kansas City
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“waterpark excellent, hotel is showing it's age”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

We have been staying at the Great Wolf Lodge since it opened, this being our 8th or 9th stay. I have to say that the waterpark staff was EXCELLENT. I don't remember them being this observant and well trained before, I definitely noticed this time. We were there for 3 days, and all of the ones that were there were on top of the safety of the guests the whole time. That being said, for a $700+ 3day/2 night stay - this place is starting to show its age. The place smells musty, the rooms are worn, carpets dirty and wrinkled all over the hotel, the wallpaper was peeling off of the bathroom wall, the TV buttons were missing (remote wouldn't work, we had to plug it in and unplug it). While I felt the housekeeping staff did what they could do, this place needs an overhaul.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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728 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (146)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Saint Louis, Missouri
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2013

We visited the Great Wolf Lodge the first weekend in March. Our 2 year old could not get enough of the waterpark. It was nice that they had a lot to keep a small child busy. The water park was crowded, but other than one of the water slides you never had to wait for anything. We did not use the concession services in the water park, but the prices were high. I would compare the prices to Six Flags or attending a baseball game.

The rooms at the lodge were ok. Our room did seem to be clean, just worn dated furniture that was not very comfortable. My biggest issue was with the noise. We had a room above us that was so loud that it sounded like our room was shaking. The noise went on even after 2 phone calls to the front desk. There were also kids running up and down the halls being extremely loud late into the night. At around 11:30pm I heard some loud noises coming from the ceiling just outside my door. I opened my door to find a maintenance person changing a light bulb. It probably took him 5 minutes to change the light bulb. I really didn't want my 2 year old to be woken up as it would not be easy to get him back to sleep.

The restaurants are overpriced. There are several good places to eat within about 1/2 mile of the lodge. The lodge needs to update the rooms if they are going to continue with the high prices that they charge and they need to work on enforcing the quiet hours.

Room Tip: get a room on the top floor so that you don't have to deal with the noise above you
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Missouri
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013

We stay at the GW Lodge about once a year either around Thanksgiving or Christmas. This year was Christmas. We have always looked forward to our trips as a fun way to play in the water during a winter month. I don't know if we just had a bad experience or if things are beginning to decline. Once we checked into our room, I tried to put something in our refrigerator and it tipped over on me. Then my daughter found an empty tobacco can and soda can under one of the beds. The room just didn't seem very clean. Later we found the sink didn't drain after we brushed our teeth. Yuck. In addition, our heater was so loud it sounded like it was going to blow up.

Our upstairs neighbors were so loud that I complained twice. We got 25% off our room that night and a free breakfast the next morning but still no sleep. The people were never quiet and the heater sounded like it was going to blow up every time the fan was on. The next morning my son was so tired he didn't want to go to the water park. How tired is an 11 year old to refuse a water park??? During the day, the maintenance issues were fixed, but that was after I went back in the morning to check on the status and they didn't have a record of my complaint from the night before.

That evening we found out that only some of the channels on our TV worked.

Once again we go to bed around 11:00 p.m. and the upstairs neighbors are so loud we can't sleep. I go to the front desk. Sorry, 25% off room. The noise doesn't stop. Later, my husband goes to the front desk and we get a free breakfast and are offered a free night voucher that will be sent to us in 6 weeks. They offer to move us to a new room. So at around 1:00 a.m. in the morning--because they are unable to keep the unstairs guests quiet--we take our 3 kids and ourselves to the other side of the hotel to sleep. It WAS quiet so we did sleep. They also offered to let us check out later.

I do give GW Lodge credit for giving us 25% off our room and a free breakfast, but we were so exhausted from lack of sleep that we did not enjoy our stay. It is impossible to sleep past 8:00 a.m. since the hotel is full of kids who literally begin running the halls. Also, we NEVER received the voucher for the free night stay.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sioux City, Iowa
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

While I would not consider the Great Wolf Lodge a complete vacation, I think many people might. I see it more as a fun weekend getaway for the winter months, but each person and family has their own idea of a budget and a trip. It is a hotel with a small indoor water park, some interactive games, an arcade, some spas, story time, and other little gimmicks to make your stay fun. So it is no Caribbean cruise, skiing trip in Colorado, or vacation to Disneyland, it is a fun little place to take kids in KC.

The rooms were fun and have kind of a cabin-y feel. I slept on the pull out couch and it was pretty uncomfortable but if I had been 9 years old (or even 15) it would have been perfectly comfortable. The water park area is a lot of fun. There are some great slides. It is no Wisconsin Dells, or Schlitterbahn but fun all the same. The spas, arcade, fairy quest, etc all cost extra money but are fun. The story time is free and is cute. The food is so-so but you do get souvenir wolf ears!

I teach little kids and I know they all go nuts for Great Wolf. It is a big deal to kids and obviously seems a lot bigger and much more adventurous to them and the love the themes, wands, games, and water park. I would recommend going here, but if all your kids are older than 6, don't make it your entire vacation simply make it a fun place to stay! If it was summer I would rather go to Oceans of Fun or the new Schlitterbahn so try it out over a winter weekend!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Des Moines, Iowa
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

This was our 4th stay at this GW Lodge in about 5 years, each being a winter get-away. It is a nice place to take the kids (ours are ages 5-12 now) and a nice area to shop/eat for the adults. This time we booked a stay Thurs and Friday night, through a email special. That happened to be the day of the big "Snowstorm Q" that shut down much of KC. We stayed at a different hotel the night before, as to beat the storm. Thursday morning we made a one mile harrowing trek through about a LOT of blowing snow from the other hotel to the GW Lodge to check in. As was expected the lobby was not busy at all (everything in KC was shut down) and there were not a lot of guests at the waterpark, but the waterpark was fully staffed. From our previous experiences, I would HIGHLY recommend NOT staying on a weekend, nor would I ever consider staying on a holiday. The place will be very busy and kids will be running everywhere on a weekend. The weekday stays are much more peaceful and waterpark much more enjoyable (no lines!). Although check in is not until 1, they checked us in at noon. Later we learned many of the employees that arrived early morning and were asked to stay all day as the blizzard prevented the next shift from coming in. The restaurant had limited staff, so they had a buffet in the evening. We chose to get a pizza and it was very good. Often we choose to eat at the many other area restaurants in the area (T-Rex Cafe is a good one for the kids). The waterpark is the highlight fo the Lodge with lots to do. But I would say for the 12 and under crowd. Lots of good things for the 5-8 year old range. Life jackets available. They do not require a tube in the lazy river, in which my 5 year old can touch bottom. The lifeguards are the best I've seen at any waterpark by far. They change shifts often, and must keep walking and looking constantly. You can tell they are well trained. They also test the lifeguards while on the job--management will toss a large doll in the water when the lifeguard's back is turned and see how long until they see it and retrieve it. I like that. The downside is the wait times on the larger tube slides. In the past you would carry your tube up the steps, which was cumbersome, but during our last stay they send ALL the tubes up a conveyer (used to just be the 3-person tubes on the conveyer). At first you think this is nice as you don't have to lug a tube up steps, but it takes MUCH longer as the staff now has to unload tubes at the top. They also have a chain at the top of the steps to keep people from going down the slide when not supposed to...no longer do you just have to stand behind a yellow line until the lifeguard nods at you to come forward, now they have to hook and unhook a chain to stop you from crossing the line....it just seems to take a LOT longer than in the past. I'm sure it is due to a few bad apples ruining it for the rest of us. The other positive thing I will say on the waterpark is the temperature is WARM. Many waterparks in winter either have cool air temperature or barely warm water, which makes it an uncomfortable stay. The Lodge is nice and warm every time (except the bathrooms--BRRR!). THE ROOM: they are spacious and pretty standard. Microwave, fridge. Pull out couch. The pull out has sheets on it, which is nice so you don't have to make the bed, but if you use it please leave it out when you leave so the staff knows to change the sheets on it. As other reviewers mentioned, the building is showing some age. The TV's are big tubes, not flatpanels. The hallway carpet is warn and stretched/lumpy in many places. They do need some cosmetic improvements. The nice thing about the place is the unique decor...moose and deer on the carpet, logs everywhere, etc., but some of these are showing wear. The staff has always been friendly to us, and the place is easy to get to and to get around in. It is very welcoming. Now that the kids are getting older (over 10) it is losing some of the magic after they go on the slides a half dozen times, so time will tell if we come back another time, at least the younger one will surely enjoy it. Also, we do not do the magiquest game, as it is pricey and appears to be pretty elaborate game. I see many parents of very small children shell out for the wand and game and realize quickly it is a puzzle that requires listening and thought and takes like half a day to do. So essentially there are dozens of kids wandering around randomly shaking a wand at everything to see if it will do anything...not actually doing the quest, but they are happy I guess.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Des Moines, Iowa, United States
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

We took our kids to Great Wolf Lodge Christmas of 2012 and had a truly amazing vacation there. The waterpark was amazing. The lifeguards were amazing, the staff was amazing and our kids didn't want to leave. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about the waterpark. The rooms were a little outdated (I was expecting a DVD player, not a VCR in the wolf den rooms) but we didn't spend much time in our rooms so it wasn't a big deal. We didn't paticipate in the story time but we did walk through and the kids seemed to be loving it. The breakfast was good but VERY expensive. The whole area around the hotel is fun to go to, T-rex cafe and an awesome Cabella's just minutes away were highlights for us. I definately recommend a family vacation to this hotel. There is food and a few select adult beverages in the waterpark so the adults can relax a little while the kids play!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Kansas City, Missouri
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

Our family stayed at the GWL over the President's Holiday , 2013. This place was amazing for keeping the GrandChildren entertained as well as the wonderful WaterPark that all of us enjoyed. The check-in procedure was painless and Ashley Harrington was totally AWESOME with helping me with everything I needed, since this was a SURPRISE BABY SHOWER for my daughter , son-in-law, and the other 3 grandchildren. It was wonderful to be able to stay in the "Kids Cabin" for both nights and not having to move from one room to another , due to the fact that they were completely SOLD OUT.

Room Tip: The Main Floor is the 2nd fl and our room was located away from the lobby , but yet close to all act...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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

Address: 10401 Cabela Drive, Kansas City, KS 66111
Location: United States > Kansas > Kansas City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 19 Hotels in Kansas City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Great Wolf Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 281
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Also Known As:
Great Wolf Hotel Kansas City
Great Wolf Lodge Kansas City
Great Wolf Kansas City

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