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“Great for younger kids- I have been to all 3 parks” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Great Wolf Lodge

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Great Wolf Lodge
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   4600 Milan Road, Sandusky, OH 44870   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 34 Hotels in Sandusky
Cleveland, Ohio
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Great for younger kids- I have been to all 3 parks”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2008

This was our third time at Great Wolf. My kids are 3 and 6 and love this place. We have been there twice on the weekend and once during the week. We have never had problems arriving on a Saturday. The hotel was completely booked this weekend and check in took just a few minutes. There was a line 10 people in front of me, however, the lodge had 5 workers at the desk. My room was ready at 1:15 pm when we arrived. This has been the case each time we have come here.

Staff here is always nice. The rooms are always clean. The cub club (craft room) always has neat free things to do. My kids love the clock tower show. At halloween they had a party and trick or treat. In Jan they had some activities that earned you free tokens for the arcade and also free icecream. We don't eat here. We head .5 -1 mile down the road and we have our choice of 10 different restaurants which are all cheaper.

As for rides, they are all for younger kids. The slides are not too scary. The great thing is the section that has slides for ages 4-6.
The 4 slides are not for babies, yet not too big for the cautious
kids. The tube slides are great for all ages. The line moves very fast. There are always towels. Tables fill up on the weekend but you can find a chair to put a bag or towels on. You check out 11 but you can use the waterpark all day which is great.

I went to Castaway bay about 2 years ago and it was OK. The rooms were dirty. The wave pool was OK, but I remember everything being crammed together. The younger child area was pretty small. It just didn't seem like there was too much to do.
The snoopy activities at night were lame.

As for Kalahari, we went there a year ago. We went on a Sunday and it was crazy. It took 30 min. to check in. The room was ready but when we got to the waterpark it was just like the reviews I read. There were no towels, no seats, lots of lines and cold water. We were fortunate that they make you leave the waterpark by 4 on your day of check out so all the weekend people were gone by 3pm. It was much better after that, however my kids spent most of the time in the outdoor hot tub because it was like a warm pool. They seemed a bit overwhelmed by everything.
I have read great things about the expansion and may try again, but definately I would do during the week.

  • Liked — Great waterpark for younger kids
  • Disliked — Food prices
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 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.
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756 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 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 (153)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Pittsburgh
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2008

Our family of 7 (5 kids ages 7-15) stayed in a Loft Fireplace Suite (sleeps 8) on Jan. 21st. Got a great rate of $219 since it was a Monday night. The theming of the resort is wonderful, our kids really enjoy all of the wilderness decor. The resort is definitely geared more toward the younger set. I'd say it's best for kids from toddler to elementary aged. The waterpark is lots of fun, and you can easily keep track of your kids here. All of us really enjoyed the large slides that you ride rafts on. My husband and I even went on them about 4 times together without our kids along. Older kids and teens would probably prefer a more "thrilling" waterpark. Sandusky is really becoming a "waterpark haven" with another new waterpark resort opening this spring. The hotel offered a storytime in the lobby after the 8pm lobby "show". My older boys (ages 11-15) were not too impressed with the "show" and even my daughters (ages 7 and 9) left during the story time, which was obviously intended for preschoolers. Our room was clean, and spacious. The beds were kind of hard, but overall it was a good stay. We ate in the restaurant for dinner, and it was good. The arcade was a fun way to end the evening. On check-out day, we took a bag with our clothes in to the waterpark, and showered and changed after spending a few hours there. Overall, a great stay and we will be back.

  • Liked — Theming, waterpark, room size
  • Disliked — beds a little hard
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brantford, Ontario, Canada
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2008

We visited the Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky from January 2-5. We had considered visiting the Great Wolf in Niagara Falls, which is about 3 hours closer to us but is also 3 times the cost. We were easily sold on driving the extra distance to Sandusky.

We were thrilled with the decorations in the lobby, the quick check-in, and the cleanliness of our room. My five year old loved the waterpark. He was able to go on all of the slides, although his daddy had to accompany him on a few. Having been to other waterparks where the water is freezing, we were pleasantly surprised by the warm water temperature - this makes it much easier to tolerate a full day in the water and turning into a prune!
We had been nervous that it would be so busy it would be intolerable, but we rarely had to wait in a line more than a minute or two - often we didn't have to wait at all. The daytime lifeguards were excellent, although the nightime guards were less dedicated and more interested in socializing than watching the little ones.

Another pleasant surprise was the quality of the Lodge restaurants. Both were fantastic and not much more expensive than leaving the building to eat somewhere else - worth the little bit extra to be able to stay in the building.

We also enjoyed shopping at the Lodi outlets which were just a little over an hour away. A great trip all the way around! Chased away the January blahs.

Brantford, Ontario, Canada

  • Liked — water park
  • Disliked — uncomfortable beds - the couch in our suite was more comfortable to sleep on
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Teaneck, New Jersey
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2007

This is definitely the place for a family vacation for children 10 and under. The waterpark area is big enough to give them variety and different things to do, but small enough that it is manageable and easy to watch your kids. Each part of the waterpark is family friendly, and even my 17 month old had plenty of places to play and frolic.

The arcade is fun and truly family friendly, and includes little rides for toddlers and young kids.

Our room was designed for families, with a bunk bed and a day bed in a walled off area from the queen size bed. In letting a family stay in one room, the bathroom was sacrificed. The bathroom is tiny with the sink in the room itself. This was fine for us and I believe worth the trade off to have one room for the family. The only thing lacking is a clothesline above the bath, which would be helpful to hang wet bathing suits.

The staff were very courteous and the lifeguards at the waterpark were very alert and watching each area carefully.

Check-in takes a while, as many families arrive at the same time, but there is a great view of the waterpark around the corner from the lobby, so the kids can be busy while you check in.

  • Liked — The waterpark
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Metro Detroit, MI
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2007

Was here on a family vacation. Good time, well staffed. No problems, but just a bit boring after a while. After 2 hours in the water it gets kind of old. There weren't too many non water related activities at the GWL, unless you want to shell out money in the arcade or doing a $8 craft. They do have their nighttime animated show, which is rather creepy and boring to say the least.

The balcony was horrible. Not the hotels fault necessarily but there were birds nests up in the rafters.I felt like I couldn't relax on the porch because the birds would poo and it landed on my clothes which were on the porch to dry, then a near miss in my coffee which I was trying to enjoy, and finally a near miss on my toddler! Yuck!!

I was just at a neighboring waterpark this past weekend, which was so much better than GWL. Made me realize just how little GWL had to do on premises compared to Castaway Bay. Now THEY had nonstop fun kids stuff going on all day.

  • Liked — very nice waterpark and hotel.
  • Disliked — lack of non water related kids activities. Boring!
  • Stayed August 2007
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
indianapolis
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2007

This was the second time we have stayed at this particular location. We booked the weekend before Halloween. On Friday night the staff had a magician along with some other performers. They enlisted members, both young and old, from the audience to participate. Eventually both kids and parents were involved in some of the acts along with some group dancing in the lobby.

This place is cozy and much more kid friendly than the Kalahari. The Kalahari is located a few miles down the road and is much larger with more pool type activities for older kids. Younger adventurous kids could easliy get lost at the Kalahari.

Both nights we had dinner at the Gitchagoomie Lodge at the Great Wolf Lodge. The pot roast was excellent. For the uninitiated, the pot roast and all the trimmings were cooked in a large aluminum foil "bag". This is how one would cook this food if you were camping.

My younger child enjoyed the pool and all of the slides. All the pool attractions were open and the water temperature was comfortable. My older child, age 15 was not as excited about the lodge as in the year before. There were no strong chlorine odors in the pool area. My only complaint would be the beds. We have found the beds to be a bit on the stiff side. An adult's body will feel the effects of the water rides after 7-8 hours in the park.

I would reccommend this lodge for families that have kids age12 and under. The park is large enough for them to run around but not to large where they could get lost. Also the rooms are within a short distance from the pool, dining and front lobby. A big plus versus the Kalahari which is spread out over a large area.

  • Liked — The whole theme aspect of the lodge, similar to old northern lodges in Wisconsin
  • Disliked — the bedding, a little to firm for the adults
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 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.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2007

We came here strictly for the water park but it had so much to offer. Themed, clean, quiet rooms, lots of things for kids to do and good restaurants within the complex. The kids loved the water park, arcade and bunk beds. We didn't leave the hotel but there were many other places to eat and lots of shopping close by. It was an easy drive and we will go back for sure.

  • Liked — Easy to get around and lots to do for the kids.
  • Disliked — bathroom was too small
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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: 4600 Milan Road, Sandusky, OH 44870
Location: United States > Ohio > Sandusky
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 ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Sandusky
#6 Family Hotel in Sandusky
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Great Wolf Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 271
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Great Bear Lodge Sandusky
Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky, Ohio
Great Wolf Hotel Sandusky
Great Wolf Sandusky
Great Wolf Lodge Ohio

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