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“This place knows how to nickel and dime you” 4 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 #14 of 38 Hotels in Traverse City
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“This place knows how to nickel and dime you”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

The room was great. Ask for the top floor and you get vaulted ceilings. The pool view is not worth the upgrade. Pass on it an save your money for when you arrive. Only the water park is free. Everything else cost money and is not cheap. We opted instead to head to to beach and the woods to enjoy mother nature. There are only 5 slides so older kids can get bored after a couple of hours. Another family told me this is one of the first GWL built and other have more for older kids.

Also the sink is not in the bathroom so you have to go out into the room to wash your hands after going to the bathroom.

Stayed July 2014
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594 reviews from our community

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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 (115)
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English first
New York
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

GWL is great if your kids love waterparks. They keep the water nice and warm. The life guards are very vigilant. The staff, courteous but not well informed
Our room was spacious. House keeping could be better.
It really is a lot of fun - safe fun. They have something for all ages and preferences. It is expensive to run places like this so don't go there if you're planning to nickel and dime everything.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northampton
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2014

Easy to find ; great entrance lobby and easy check in . However as well as splendid indoor and outdoor pools there is a children's magic adventure. Sure keeps them entertained but costs for games and add ons quickly mount up.
Rooms are large ; I would avoid the ground floor ones opposite amusement arcade . Top floor is less noisy but elevators are slow.
On site coffee shop ,great indoor pool, retail outlets, restaurant.

Stayed July 2014, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2014

We usually love great wolf lodge but the housekeeping really lacked this visit, everything else was great as usual. At first visit of our room, we found a straw wrapper, a dime, crumbs and a hanger. We didn't complain because the kids were ready for the water park, but were disappointed! Also we stayed 3 nights and were checked on my housekeeping in the morning both times and we asked them to come back in the afternoon to clean our room, both times I had to call in the evening because they never showed up!

Room Tip: stay on floor 3 for quiet. Lifeguard program for kids is fun and worth it!
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GWL_Management, Guest Relations Manager at Great Wolf Lodge, responded to this review, July 17, 2014
Thank you for returning to Great Wolf Lodge – Traverse City and providing us with your feedback! I am disappointed to learn about the experience you had with our Housekeeping team, as what you experienced does not meet with the expectations we have set.

At 11am each morning, our teams focus on getting rooms ready to prepare for arriving guests.

We hope to have your pack back soon!

Jason
Great Wolf Guest Relations
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Homewood, Illinois, United States
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2014 via mobile

We have a challenged young adult daughter who loves Magiquest and since they closed the freestanding game in Lomabard Il, we've decided to visit as many Great Wolf / Magiquests as possible. This is our third. It was just as expected. The room had a thermostat contdolled A/C unit which was tricky to figure out but otherwise decent room. The inclusive restaurants are very expensive so we ate off the property (Little Caesar's, McDonald's & Burger King are a stone's throw) as are the gift shops (did our shopping at Grand Traverse Mall which is 3 minutes away) and spas (much higher than free standing spas)

Nice location, downtown Traverse was close by, lots of shopping and Lake Michigan all right there.

  • Stayed June 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
Canton, Michigan
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2014

Room was clean and nice until we turned on the A/C unit and chunks of mold came pouring out of the vent. Went to the front desk looking for a new room and of course the place was booked solid ( ok it was 4th of July weekend ) told them it would have to be CLEANED. came back after 6 hours to a quieter A/C unit but still reeked of mold. no follow-up! not even a 'we're sorry for the trouble.' I guess when you make money hand over fist customer service goes out the window. they will not be getting my business ever again.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GWL_Management, Guest Relations Manager at Great Wolf Lodge, responded to this review, July 17, 2014
Michael,

Thank you for visiting Great Wolf Lodge – Traverse City and sharing your feedback with us! We understand your concerns and I am glad our Maintenance team responded quickly to solve the issue.

We would like to discuss this with you further, so please contact us directly at guestrelations@greatwolf.com.

Thank you for choosing Great Wolf.

Jason
Great Wolf Guest Relations
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Detroit, Michigan
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2014

Our first visit at Great Wolf was right before 4th of July. Our plan was visit the lodge since we were going to Traverse City for the Cherry Festival. I had located a coupon code which saved us 20% off for a two night stay. We booked a family suite (two double beds and a pull out sofa) for $189/night. It was to include water park passes as well. We were given the option to add on the breakfast buffet, paw pass options, beauty salon options, arcade, cookies n milk, etc. It seems that this is where most of the "extras" can affect your budget.
When we pulled into the property, it is very grand - BIG LOG CABIN up on a hill, theme song playing, heavy wooden doors, grand entrance to the lobby, huge fireplace...everything says "You've arrived at the lodge." Great branding and marketing!!
We were pleasantly greeted by Chloe. We did sign up for the breakfast buffet, which was $9.44 per person in our party of five.
Our room was nice, again with the lodge feel and branding. Nice room, lots of space, with a fridge and microwave, sitting area with chairs, balcony with chairs (view of the parking lot). No complaints with the room, I did notice two things - there was brown markings on the curtains (not sure if it was blood or chocolate) and our room door stuck. It didn't want to close, you had to pull it shut. There was some signs of use of the room - markings on the wall and furniture but I expected that since this is a family suite. There was many doors shutting and kids running in the halls. I also expected that, too.
The waterpark was nice, warm - they say it is kept at 84 degrees. The lifeguards are very focused on their duties. I appreciated that. Many parents let their children take off and do as they wish. I prefer to stay with my children. I saw many children misbehaving and the lifeguards having to reprimand them. There is a restaurant/bar inside the waterpark with designed eating area. I didn't like that I saw parents partaking in alcohol beverages with their children running around unsupervised. The restaurant had several options (hamburgers $6 and up, hot dogs $3, fries $3.99, mac n cheese $5.49) but in my option it was overpriced, especially for families on a budget. I didn't make any purchases from that restaurant.
The second day the outdoor pool was open. It is a nice area with great seating and plenty of room for kids to swim. The pool is heated. The indoor waterpark can be overwhelming with the smell of chlorine. There bathrooms are large with many stalls, sinks to accommodate several guests at one time. I had spoken with another guest, she said the kiddie pool area was shutdown for the third time on this day. I asked why and she said that each time a child had soiled their swim diapers. She said that Great Wolf is great for taking care of this issue rather quickly and in a sanitary matter. She said other parks she had been to don't do this. I appreciated hearing this, especially since this was our first visit.
A few instances did frustrate me, I had seen several families (mom/dad/children) wearing the wolf ears. I had asked at the front desk about getting ears for my husband and I. We were informed that they were only for the little kids not the big kids. Interesting....
The next thing was our room had a shutterfly card for a free 8x8 photo book. However, our card had an expiration date of 6/30/2014 which was expired. We asked at the front desk and got a bit of flack. The person at the front desk wasn't sure if we could get another one or not. Finally after several minutes a manager gave us a new card with an expiration date for 9/30/2014. I don't get what the issue was.
Lastly, when we visited the restaurant for the breakfast buffet we noticed that the kids meals on their placemats were $4.99 (for instance:pancakes, side of meat, beverage). Why was the buffet so much more for children? Our server explained that normally the buffet for adults is $13 and with the $9.44 buffet saves you money. My children only visited the buffet once and didn't finish their plates. So, in my opinion the buffet was overpriced for children and if I had to do it again, I would not have purchased a buffet for them. I would have just had them order off the menu. So, if you think your children would eat from the buffet and get your money's worth then do the buffet. Otherwise, there is an inexpensive option - the children's menu!
I have mixed feelings on our visit. We didn't do the Kid Club that was an extra expense. We didn't do the arcade that was an extra expense. We didn't do the magiquest (children get wands and go on adventures through the lodge) that was an extra expense. So many options, but again all at an extra expense.
You can make your time as low price as you want (by bringing your own food to your room, and limiting how much you want to spend on "extras") or as expensive as you want (hitting the stores; bakery ($1.29 for a large cookie, $2.79 for a kiddie ice cream cone) swim/croc store, arcade, restaurants, etc....
Since I have traveled to Disney World in the past, I found myself trying to compare Great Wolf Lodge to a Disney resort hotel. They are similar in the consistent theme and branding throughout, however, Great Wolf is NOT Disney. I felt Great Wolf was a nice family resort with many things to do, however, it gets very pricey for families on a budget. I ranked it AVERAGE, because the service was not Excellent and nothing really stood out as SUPERIOR. Still it is a nice place with a fun waterpark, just don't remove your waterpark wrist band, I was told it is a $40 replacement charge. One of my children complained about it because it was scratching him at night. As with any vacation resort, it is what you make it and what you experience that makes you want to go back or not. This visit just didn't make me think about returning in the future.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
GWL_Management, Guest Relations Manager at Great Wolf Lodge, responded to this review, July 14, 2014
Thank you for visiting Great Wolf Lodge – Traverse City and providing such a detailed review! We sincerely appreciate the feedback we receive from our guests.

Our Wolf Wake-Up Breakfast package is set at a discounted price so it is a flat rate for all registered guests staying in the room. On average, this saves our guests about 20% off of the regular retail price of breakfast as it includes tax, beverage and gratuity for your server rolled into the total cost.

I am sorry the waterpark wristband bothered your son while he slept. With the wristbands that we issue, if you need to remove it you can do so. The replacement charge is only applied when you cannot provide the previous wristband you were issued. As long as you keep the band after you remove it and take it to the Front Desk, we will replace it at no charge to you.

I hope this information will help you when planning your next Great Wolf Lodge vacation!

Jason
Great Wolf Guest Relations
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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:
#11 Family Hotel in Traverse City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Great Wolf Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 281
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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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