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“Worth EVERY cent!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Great Wolf Lodge

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Great Wolf Lodge
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   3575 N US Highway 31 S, Traverse City, MI 49684   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #13 of 38 hotels in Traverse City
usa
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Worth EVERY cent!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

Although most people will look at the rates for the hotel and think it is pricey; it is SO worth every cent. We went with grand-kids and there was so much to do. The indoor water-park is huge with water levels for every age. They have a "Harry Potter" type of adventure that you can spend days playing that is fun for all ages, but you do have to purchase the wand. But here again, worth the price. All the employees were so gracious, and seemed to go out of their way to help. Food in the restaurant was great. A Meijer right next door came in super handy when ONE of us discovered she forgot her bathing suit. This is quality fun, nothing out of order, and everything was SPOTLESS. They cater to kids, but they certainly don't forget who brings the kids in. They also have a bar and a beautiful spa if you have time or energy. Something else to note that we thought was impressive was that the water-park had lifts for handicap children so they could be lowered and lifted into the water. AWESOME! We will go back for another family stay. Great way to connect with the grand-kids.

Room Tip: Definitely get a room with a Kids Cabin or above. If quietness is important go to the 4th floor, but...
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  • Stayed November 2012, 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
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (104)
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

Ahhh, how to rate this hotel....well, guess it depends on who you are. If you are looking for any type of peace and quiet or an exceptionally clean place, this hotel may not be for you. If you are looking for a place to take children under 12 for some quality family fun that will put a huge smile on their face, I can't imagine a better place than this in Traverse City.

The Pros: Indoor water park (great for all ages under 12); great staff, incredible life guards (who I am convinced would not miss a flea drown), the actual waterpark was a clean, not over crowded, well heated and seemed safe.

For extra fun~ an arcade, a sweet shop, a robot machine where you can make your own yogurt concoction, an on site restaurant with fair prices, story time at 8pm (good for little ones), magic quest (an extra pay adventure---to find wizards and the like), a wolf walk in the morning, again great for the little ones to meet characters.

Tremendous staff (kudos to Valerie Micham) for making a our stay so wonderful. The biggest and best surprise for my child, was the chance to stay in the Kid Cabin Suite. He was more excited about the oportunity to stay in his own little cabin in a bunk bed than the fact that there water park--which he thoroughly enjoyed--but a bunkbed and a private cabin in the room was outstanding!

Quiet hours are from 11pm-7am--personally, I think that's way too late, especially given that many of the kids at this hotel were younger than 8. It sounded like a herd of elephants running above us until 10:50pm, and we were exhausted by 9pm. I couldn't for the life of me understand the noise, but I knew the rules going in--

The only downside of the hotel, which I didn't expect, was upon further review of our room--it was not up to my standards for cleanliness. I chalked it up to not being a new hotel and having treasure troves of children run through it for so many years, but there were a couple of housekeeping issues present that were not acceptable.

Room Tip: stay on top floor for peace and quiet
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  • Stayed November 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
    • 2 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.
Michigan
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

Our decision to stay here was purely based on the Great Wolf Lodge reputation which was very good. We certainly enjoyed our stay here and if planning another family vacation, will more than likely return. I was able to secure a great rate by booking ahead of time. It helped to sign up to e-mail club to receive tips on promotions and events. I always research things ahead of time and it helped in this case. Let's begin, shall we?

Reservations/Check-In/Check-Out:
I reserved online and it was easy, fast, and painless. Check-in was also easy because there is a separate line for people who already completed the "online check in." Since we did, we spent about 10 minutes, which was nice. I asked it it was possible to upgrade (I had heard of this tip before) but nothing was available. I had heard they were quite full for our Fri/Sat/Sunday weekend so we stayed with our room. Check out was simple too..If you didn't contest the bill, you could leave your keys in the room. To ask for a late check out was an additional $30.

Our Family Suite:
We did not have the wolf den or kid cabin...the family suite and it was more than plenty. We found the room to be very clean so I have no complaints here. We liked the side wall that contained the sofa sleeper as it added some privacy. We also enjoyed the balcony, so that was a nice feature too. The bathroom was small...a toilet and a shower...nothing too fancy. When peeking in the Kid Cabin room, I noticed that the bathroom was almost 3x the size of the family suite...so it was mental noted for next time. The family suite though suited our needs fine. We were never in the room anyway. The fridge and microwave were an added bonus too.
We did have an issue with our key not working and after visiting the front desk, they summoned someone to help me from maintenance. I timed their arrival and it was approximately 6 minutes from my request so that was VERY impressive :)

Restaurant:
We did visit Camp Critter for breakfast on Sunday and they offer the buffet. I had a coupon from the Traverse City Convention and Visitors Bureau which saved us 25% off our meal. :) Make sure you check them all. Their promotion was Fab Fall and we stayed earlier in the fall and simply saved our coupons. GWL does give you a 15% off coupon meal on the day of your departure. Food was good..I went with the buffet, along with the kids and my husband ordered off the menu...Prices ranged from 6.99-9.99 for breakfast...The buffet was 11.99 for adults (beverage not included) and $6.99 for kids ages 4-10 (drink included) and free for kids 3 and under. I liked their omelette staton and they provided more than enough food for everyone preferences. The kids enjoyed the M & M's and sprinkles for their pancakes! My husband's breakfast looked plentiful too. The ambiance was nice in the restaurant and with the Magiquest wands, many children were activating all the interactive lights, sounds, and movement. We had a fun experience. It reminded me of the Rainforest Cafe, just nicer :) I think you pay for that atmosphere too.

We visited the Bear Paw too for ice cream. It wasn't bad. I paid $2.99 for a single and it was a generous size. They also had donuts ($1.49), hot chocolate ($2.99) for small and also serve Starbucks. I'm not a coffee drinker but know that it's there if you need that fix :) They also had all kinds of sweets....fudge, candy, caramel apples, sorbets, ice cream etc. They had great hours too...open early in the morning and open late at night.

Stores:
The Buck Exchange shop was fun. There was TONS to see and the people in the store were very friendly and helpful. I enjoyed my experience in there. There was no pressure to buy and always someone to help if needed. Prices were average for a gift shop. You could find $1 trinkets and very expensive items too. There was a great range of prices for everyone. Clothes, jewelry, toys, gadgets, magazines, candles etc.

Scoops Spa/Element Aveda Salon:
We did not purchase any spa treaments but my daughter wanted to enter and see what it was all about. We were celebrating her 7th birthday and the signs around the resort intrigued her so I promised her we would stop in and so we did. She was decked out in her "7" rhinestone T-shirt and looked cute. Although it was visibly fun to look around, the older of the two employees (there were 2) kept asking "Mom" what fun things I was going to purchase for my daughter since it was her birthday. She said it twice to me while we were in the store and I didn't appreciate it while browsing. All it did was encouraged my daughter to ask what I was buying her and why couldn't she have this or that. I purposely did not purchase out of protest. I would have more than likely bought nail polish, lip glosses or even a robe (they were on sale) for her but simply would not after the pressuring to purchase upon entering the store. It was unfortunate.

On a much better note, with the exception of this employee, I must say that all employees at the GWL were exceptional. The maintenance who came to our room to help with the lock, our server Sherry at the Camp Critter, the employee at the Cub Club who was friendly and guided the Wolf Walks and the two employees who offered to take the picture so I may join my family did not go unnoticed. It was mentally noted and appreciated. They were also friendly, made eye contact, and SMILED which was welcomed!

Water Park:
It was great! A bit crowded but to be expected since it was a weekend! Again, very competent employees moved quickly to check heights and issue wristbands to the little ones. My little son, slipped and fell (while running) and after taking him the first aid station, all was well. The lifeguards were friendly and again, efficient in handling his boo boo :) The manager even came over and was talking to all of us during the process so again mentally noted.
We noticed that the park was the MOST crowded in the morning. Cleared out a bit for lunch (12 noon) but was at its best around 7pm...Most children had retired for the evening and even though there were adults and teens, it was not as full as before so we enjoyed it.
If you wanted to rent a cabana, it was $100 for the day and included your privacy in the cabana, pop, refreshments stocked in the fridge and a TV in the cabana. There might have been more but I didn't see...there were chairs and a table...I simply inquired to the price and was told $100 and they are sold for the day, you may not buy 1/2 days. FYI

They sold food, snacks, and drinks (both alcohol and N/A) in the water park too. Prices were a bit higher but it was for the convenience I'm sure...Drinks ran $2.99...Hot Dog Kids meal was $6.99, PBJ Kids meal was also $6.99. We didn't obviously choose to eat here because we ate elsewhere..(Great options nearby...Olive Garden, Buffalo Wild Wings, McDonalds, Wendys etc.) but if you are looking for convenience, this is the place to eat.

Pool water was clean, I have no complaints on the cleanliness of the pool. It was warm enough and we had fun.

We did not do the Magiquest game but it looked like fun. I believe it was $15.99 to play? Not sure though, please call and double check. We saw 2 characters while there and the kids enjoyed it. They offer a wolf walk at 9:30 a.m. and you travel around the resort learning about the various animals that are on display. They even have (weather permitting) BISON adjacent to the property. The kids loved it! Story Time was at 8 pm every night. We missed it because we were enjoying the park but like I said, there was plenty to keep us busy during the day!

We were on the 2nd floor and at night, could hear running. I would request a higher level floor...We also went to bed at 10 and hibernation time (quiet hours) started at 11 pm. We were fine though...There was also enough hot water in the morning when we did showers.

Well, I think that wraps it up. It certainly wasn't peaceful so if you're looking for quiet time or a romantic vacation, I would not recommend the GWL. There were LOTS of families and LOTS of kids! Not too relaxing but fun....

I also gave the rating of Very Good instead of Excellent because to earn an excellent rating, it needs to exceed my highest expectations. It did not do that but we had a fun time, enjoyed great customer service with the exception of the Scoops experience and made great memories in the process. If traveling again with our children, we will be back.

Room Tip: Choose a higher level room floor to avoid the running noise you may hear from upper or lower levels...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Detroit
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2012

I had no idea this place even existed. I wish I would of so I could of taken my kids there when they were younger. The kids had a blast but at 16 and 12, it would of been better if they were 12 and 8. There is SOOOOO MUCH for the kids to do. Amazing indoor water park, the kids can get wands and have to find things around the hotel. Story time in the evening.

The rooms were large, fridge and microwave. We had wireless all over.

There is just so much to list. If you have kids this is a must!!!!

  • Stayed October 2012, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2012

This was our 5th stay at this location, and once again we had a great time. We traveled with another family, and stayed in the Majestic Bear Suite which sleeps 8. We got a group rate through work, and we split the cost with the other family, so it wasn't too bad. My one issue is that we had to pay extra for 2 wristbands because only 6 are included with the room, and it was an additional $55. To our surprise, when we arrived at noon our room was ready. The room was large, and had a kitchenette which was nice because we were able to take all the food we needed and didn't have to eat out anywhere. The lighting in the room wasn't very good however, and could have used an overhead light or something in the center of the room. It also needed to have another mirror, because one mirror in the bathroom for 8 people to share was a little difficult. We were there for the Howl-O-Ween celebration, and the kids loved it. They got to dress in their costumes, trick-or-treat at the shops, and then enjoy a dance in the lobby. The other big hit was MagiQuest. My son already had a wand from a previous visit, so for $13 I could reactivate it and the game picked up where he left off several years ago. It is a great kid activity for when they are not in the pool. The pool area is nice. It is kept warm and clean, and we have never had a problem with leaving our things unattended. I must admit, having been there several times, I think it could use a couple more attractions, but the kids never got bored, so that's the main thing. One addition I noticed since my last visit were lifts for handicap people to help them into the water. There were two that I noticed, one for the pool and one for the lazy river ride, which I thought was wonderful. All of the employees we encountered were very friendly and helpful. There are a lot of "extra" things to do that can really start to hurt the pocketbook, such as the arcade, spa, restaurant, etc. so beware, and budget for those things or you'll be in for a big surprise. I would recommend this hotel, and I'm sure I'll stay there again.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
SW Michigan
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2012

We traveled with a group of handicapped people and the Lodge couldn't have been more helpful. The rooms were immaculate and any needs were met right away with a smile. Would highly recommend to families and if you have a handicapped or special needs person in your family or group, please don't hesitate to bring them here. There are even lifts for the pools!

Room Tip: Just let the reservationist at the hotel know if you have special needs and they will place you app...
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  • Stayed September 2012, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rockford, Michigan
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2012

We stayed on a Friday. Check in was easy and fast. I had checked in by email. Wristbands and keys were waiting for us. We got a room on the 4th floor, which was quiet. The indoor waterpark needs to get a new attraction. The pool was closed because ......(you guessed it). It did not open until the next day around 11:00am. Another indoor pool would be nice to have. The waterpark was not that crowded. The locker rooms should have dressing stalls instead of an open space for changing. We also had chicken wings at the restaurant, which was very yummy and saucy! It was a nice gateaway for a night!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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: 3575 N US Highway 31 S, Traverse City, MI 49684
Location: United States > Michigan > Grand Traverse County > Traverse 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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Business Hotel in Traverse City
#10 Family Hotel in Traverse City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Great Wolf Lodge 3.5*
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Also Known As:
Wolf Lodge
The Great Wolf Lodge
Great Wolf Hotel
Great Wolf Lodge Rates
Great Wolf Lodge Traverse City Mi
Great Lodge Resort Wolf
Great Wolf Traverse City
Graet Lodge Wolf
Gerat Lodge Wolf

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