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“Family friendly fun!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Great Wolf Lodge

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Great Wolf Lodge
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   1 Great Wolf Drive, Scotrun, PA 18355   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Scotrun
Hummelstown, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Family friendly fun!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

Just returned from an overnight stay at GWL. Overall we were very pleased and would likely return again. The rate isn't cheap but there is enough built in value to make it worthwhile. Perhaps the greatest perk of this place is you get to enjoy the amenities beyond the timeframe that you're a registered guest. Given the rate, you really need to do this to get the most out of your visit. We arrived approx. 1 PM on a Sunday (check in time is 4) and left at 3 PM on Monday (checkout time is 11).

The Great:
Water park has lots to offer to different ages. I've got a 6, 5, and 2 year old and we didn't feel limited by the different attractions. I loved that the lifeguards were Jeff Ellis trained. If you're not familiar, this program is far more attentive training than your standard Red Cross life guard training and this place needs it. Too many little kids and action going on at once. It's nice to see a venue commit to this as it's more expensive. The rides were fun and appeared to be well maintained. Great Wolf does supply the towels which was nice and in most cases they were warm from having just come out of the dryer which is even better!
There's a whole world of fun once you leave the watermark too. We grabbed dinner around 5 PM, finished by 6 and then spent 90 minutes playing Glow Golf and in the arcade. Unfortunately we didn't have time for the kids bowling but it looked fun. After that the kids changed into PJ's and we headed to the lobby for the fake animal show (sorry, not sure what to call this), and children's story time. GWL really does a nice job of supplying entertainment for all ages beyond the waterpark.

The room was great. We rented a Kids Cabin, which the little ones absolutely loved. My wife and I also liked having a fireplace in the room which was an added bonus! The bathrooms were very nice with tile finishes and a great supply of hot water. I loved that somebody thought of stocking kids body wash in the Kids Cabin! It's amazing how often a small step like this gets skipped by hotels.

There is a bar in the restaurant as well as one near the Wave Pool. I liked that this option was available. The restaurant would pour it in a to go cup if asked so you could wander the hotel with a drink or bring it to your room. I never encountered any seemingly intoxicated guests so the staff is likely well trained on this aspect.

The OK:
Ride signage wasn't easily understood. At the slide complex it was easy to get in line and not really know which slide you were waiting for.
The service everywhere is only average. Our room wasn't ready at 4 but that mistake bought me an hour later checkout. The only time we encountered an employee who really provided exceptional service was our waitress Alicia in the restaurant who took great care of the kids. Other times the staff seemed to come up short on wowing you. I ordered a beer the first night at the restaurant bar. The bartender was struggling with the tap system as apparently it was foaming a lot. I eventually got my beer but it was only 80% full. When I questioned that she gave me a story about the CO2 being stored outdoors which caused the issue. Not really sure why that was relevant but she never did fill my beer all the way.

The food isn't anything special but it isn't bad either. I was expecting to get gouged on the price but was pleasantly surprised that everything was reasonable.

The Bad:
They really need a changing room in the waterpark. The restrooms adjacent to the entrance don't cut it. Also, they were filthy. Restroom cleanliness was by far the worst grade I'd give to GWL. I understand that a lot of people are using these areas as locker rooms if they're arriving before check in or leaving after but it didn't appear there were attendants assigned. Instead it must've been on a cleaning schedule which really needed to be re-evaluated. These areas were so dirty it made you uneasy as you ventured into the waterpark about how clean the water attractions would be. Thankfully my fears weren't realized but this was a terrible early impression.

There needed to be towel collection bins situated around the waterpark. The only areas I saw this were near the entrance. I'm guessing there were more but I never saw them and I'm guessing others didn't either as wet towels lying on the ground were commonplace. Again, it's kind of a skeevy trait to encounter in that setting that seemed easily fixable.

GWL has three mascots: a male and female wolf (Wiley and Violet) and a raccoon (Oliver). The mascots are a nice touch and they brand them well but the staff isn't trained on when and where the mascots appear. There was a placard sign in the lobby announcing times for when characters would appear but it was blank our entire stay. On our last day, when we still hadn't seen Wiley, we began seeking him out. The front desk told me the mascots aren't on a schedule and "just appear" which I didn't think would be the case. When I asked in the gift shop, they called the Cub Club, which was a kids area on the lower level. They told us the next scheduled time wasn't for several hours and it was just listed as a character appearance so there would be no way of knowing which character it would be. So in short, the mascot programming needed some work.

Walls are thin in the rooms. You could really hear lots of thumping and noise from other kids.

Last negative is generally speaking, the place needed some maintenance upkeep. While we loved having the Kids Cabin the room itself showed signs of age. Lots of chipped paint and peeling wallpaper in the kids bunk area. The low top dresser badly needed to be refinished. I'm guessing this is from guests leaving wet towels or bathing suits on the tops. Still, it looked worn. I also noticed several walls around the venue had lots of chipped and peeling paint.

The Odd:
Seemed like GWL made a few strange decisions in how they do things. They've got the evening show and the story time at 8 PM which was a great feature, but the animated show didn't really feature a wolf, nor did it feature the three mascot characters. The whole thing was just peculiar. Then they make the kids move what amounts to being 30 feet from the "Great Clock" to the fireplace for the story. Why not tell the story at the Great Clock? It had better sight lines and more room. Also, the night we were there Oliver the Raccoon and Violet the Wolf mascots were present for story time, but not Wiley the Wolf (their version of Mickey Mouse). Seems like it should be a shoo-in that he's present. It was nice that the mascots stuck around after story time for photos with all the kids.

We had looked forward to the visit as a little mini-vacation to entertain the kids and Great Wolf didn't disappoint. The kids had a great time and my wife and I were able to relax and enjoy the time. It's a very family friendly venue that we'll likely visit again. A couple of small tweaks here and there and GWL goes from being really good to exceptional!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (406)
Date | Rating
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English first
North East, Maryland
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

My husband and I took our 2 1/2 year old son to the Great Wolf Lodge in Scotrun, PA in early February, 2013. This was our first time going to this resort and let me tell you it was AWESOME! We will definitely be returning again soon. Our two year old is begging us already to go back! We really didn't know what to expect, because of some reviews of parents griping about how they went broke during their stay. We booked a Wolf Den room. (And fyi they do offer AAA discounts. We got $40 off our room!) Even though our son is little, he does well in a toddler bed. The wolf den rooms have a bunk bed set up with a nice flat screen tv mounted on the wall so they can't reach it, which took the worries off my shoulders. The room was a great size! My son loved his little "den". The only not so much a complaint but just a recommendation for the resort that I have is the air heating and cooling unit in the room was really noisy. It did a fine job at heating the room, but we were kind of uncomfortable sleeping because we couldn't get it to be cooler than 73 degrees, which in a hotel room is kind of hot. I slept on the side of the bed near the unit and my hair was blowing all night. When it would turn on it was so loud that you couldn't hear the tv over it, not to mention my husband talking to me (who was sitting right next to me in bed!). It was kind of funny and definitely did not ruin our trip. It's just something that I can imagine some people stressing out over and complaining and ruining a perfectly good vacation. So I just wanted to inform people as an fyi and I also informed the resort staff. (By the way the resort staff are SUPER accommodating, helpful and friendly!!) The waterpark, which if you book through the hotel is included in the price of the stay, is AMAZING!! This was the perfect getaway to cure those mid-winter blues. We were swimming and having a good time inside a warm water fun land, while looking outside at the snow covered mountains! The life guards in the waterpark were constantly on the ball. They never stood in one place and were very attentive and observant, which is what any parent could ask for when you have dozens of little kids running around like crazy people. The little kiddie swimming area was nothing less than ideal. It was only a foot and a half deep, which came right up to our sons belly. He thought he was cool stuff swimming and walking around on his own. The waterpark provides an abundance of clean towels and life jackets for all sizes so there is no need to worry about bringing your own. There are little toddler/ kiddie slides in the kiddie swimming area, which adults are not allowed on, but they are PERFECT for little kids. (My son is only 35" tall and he loved these slides and there were even smaller kids going down all by themselves too so no worries parents, they'll be safe!) It was like a toddler free for all, they couldn't get enough of the little water slides. They do have giant water slides, a wave pool, lazy river and a big jungle gym of water guns...etc. This place is just awesome. Oh and they even have two hot tubs. Okay, so now that you understand you should be going here for the waterpark and that's what you're paying for you must also know they have an arcade, a buffet/ a la cart restaurant, starbucks, cafe, pizzeria, etc, a gift shop, bowling alley (smaller lanes for little kids), mini golf and a cub club (activities/ craft center for kids) and a Magiquest adventure and I don't know what else, but i'm sure i'm missing something. Okay so if you didn't get the picture by know, YOU HAVE TO COME WITH A PRESET BUDGET IN MIND!!! Otherwise you're going to go broke. Me and my family are used to traveling with the mindset of how much we're going to spend and what we're going to do so you don't have those urges to spend. If you plan on going here to specifically be at the waterpark, your kids will be exhausted by the end of the day and there is no need to do the other stuff. It all looks super fun, but it's also super expensive. The buffet restaurant and pizza place are reasonably priced and the food was really good. The buffet at dinner time also lets kids 3 and under eat free! There wasn't a wide variety of food on the buffet for breakfast or dinner but it's what I expected. At 8 pm at night the kiddies can get in their pj's and go down to the lobby where they have a clock tower story time of animated characters, which lasts about 10 minutes. It keeps the kids attention and then at the great fire place they have a cub club member read a story with a wolf mascot where the kids sit around the fire place and listen and then you can take pictures with the wolf (all free of course). This was pretty neat because it gave that lodge like feel and all the kids (young and old) surprisingly were well behaved because they enjoyed it. Then its bed time. So if you come to this resort with no prior research or no budget in mind, you and your wallet will be screwed, but if you're like me and my husband and plan, we only spent $400 total, including meals and souvenirs, you will be just fine and be able to bring home some awesome family memories!!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Brooklyn, New York
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

Our family stayed here 1/6-1/8 and had a great time in the hotel and water park--but all that was ruined as we left with kids in tears bc of MagiQuest. For some reason, the hotel which is well maintained and well staffed has abandoned this part of the Great Wolf experience. It is not cheap and much of the apparatus does not work properly and there is no staff monitoring the game. Instead you need to go down to the 1st level every time there is a problem. Every time I played with my children I ended up helping other kids who also had difficulties. After 3 hours of trying to finish the game on the day we were leaving (and getting 2 wand replacements) I insisted we give up and left with crying children. I wrote to Great Wolf about this experienced and questioned equipment maintenance and why the game is not staffed where you play (rather than 1st floor) but never got a response. It is such a fun family friendly hotel. They should abandon this game bc it does not add to the experience, but only raises frustration levels of kids and their parents. So travelers--go have fun at Great Wolf but say no to MagiQuest unless you see new kiosks and staff on the floor!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

My husband and I surprised our 7 year old daughter for her birthday . . . she was absolutely thrilled when we drove up to GWL! We all had a blast . . . there was so much to do in addition to the water park that we actually decided that we will definitely be back every year for her birthday. The food was delicious but quite expensive . . . for the amount of money that you pay for the room I think next time I will go out to eat and just bring my own snacks/drinks to the waterpark.

What I do not like is I provided the front desk with my debit card so they can add $200.00 onto my wristband that we could use to purchase anything on the resort. I was told that whatever is not used will be credited back to my account within 5-7 business days. It's been almost 15 business days . . . I have called the resort 3X and each time they apologize and say that a supervisor will need to investigate this issue and will call me back asap. Well . . . still no phone call! And they need to investigate??? I shouldn't even have to call about this . . . I did not use my wristband to pay for anything so it should've automatically just credited my account. I'm very disappointment about this . . . I know for next time I am not putting any money on the wristband if this is what I have to go through! Hopefully I get my money back soon or we will have to find another winter birthday spot to take our daughter.

Aside from this issue, the resort is a lot of fun and kids and adults can all enjoy everything. I hope the resort does the right thing.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, New York, United States
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

This is an outstanding resort. My family and I had a great time and we plan to return very soon. Here are 10 things I wish I had known before I arrived (in no particular order).

1. Get a room away from the elevators and magic quest if you don't want a lot of noise day and night. The 4th floor is the quietest. You don't hear people stomping around in the room above you. The farther you are from the lobby the quieter it is. If you want to be close to the waterpark then stay on the 2nd floor near the elevators.

2. Bring food, snacks and drinks for the kids. The food here is overpriced. There is a microwave and fridge in the room. Food in the restaurant is ok. It's comparable to Applebee's/Chili's in the quality department. In other words, mediocre but edible. Food in the Water Park is very slow (especially Saturday) and expensive as well.

3. If you want one of the approximately 10 tables in the giant indoor water park then you need to get there at 8:30 or before.

4. Saturdays have the biggest crowds. Coming in on Friday (or any other day) will give you a chance to enjoy the rides without waiting in long lines.

5. The water in the waterpark is heavily chlorinated (which is understandable and necessary). Your eyes will be burning after a few hours in the water.

6. They have valet parking which is generally unnecessary. It's a great perk if you have lots of kids and stuff to haul in.

7. The game room is great. it's a money pit but there are a variety of games for the kids to choose from. I like the ball drop game. You get the most tickets for the least amount of money. The tickets are redeemable for merchandise you can get in a supermarket toy vending machine.

8. The animatronic show in the lobby is creepy. The main character looks just like Chucky from the horror movie and you can't hear what they are saying. It would be better if they just had their staff dress up in costumes and act out a pre-recorded show.

9. There is a bar in the back of the restaurant that they deliberately don't advertise in this family resort. There is also one in the waterpark next to the wave pool.

10. The kids bowling alley is great. The lanes are half the size of a regular lane and the bowling balls are a third of the normal size. Best of all it's only $5 a game.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 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 68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

We have gone every year here for the last 4, and are going next week again. Very nicely constructed place, reminds me of a Disney resort. Very very clean. And the rooms are great. I have stayed in a family suite, grizzly, kid cabin and this time we got the loft. Sign up for email and lots of deals sent out. The watermark is great and relaxing. We have 13 yr olds and they love it, and my family children ranging in ages 7 to 11 all love it. I find being on lobby floor the best . Starbucks for morning in lobby, Buffett also, snack bar in watermark, bagel ,pastry and ice cream place as well. And pizza place that can deliver to room. Kid craft place and gaming room. Also small bowling that is fun. My nephews love the magic quest. I think it's like 30 each kid. Bring case of water for your room and snacks. Also no Tylenol or aspirin sold in gift shop. So bring it. We go down the road to friendlys also. And leave to snow tube at camelback mountain 5 minutes away. Fun time,! Go here you'll love it,!

Room Tip: Lofts are great with fireplace.
See more room tips
  • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NJ
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013 via mobile

My family & I stayed here January 28th-31st. We had the loft fireplace room and it was a perfect size for my husband & I as well as our 3 daughters 12, 10 & 8. The front lobby is a little overwhelming when you first walk in there. The check in lines are long but move prett fast. Your room key is built into your bracelet which is one less thing to worry about. You can also charge anything in the hotel to your CC using your bracelet. They put a $350 hold on your CC and then change the amount to the actual charged when you check out.

We didn't eat in the hotel so I can not comment on the food. We did make a right out of the hotel and we found several restaurants like The Olive Garden, Chilis etc. For breakfast we made a left out of the hotel and on your right you will see a yellow restaurant called The Hickory (also has eggs in a pan) as the title. The breakfasts are awesome and so well priced.

Back to the hotel. The pool area is monitored closely by lifeguards and there were always fresh warm towels. The water rides were so much fun and while the lines were long they moved quickly. There is a lot to do no matter the age. We brought drinks to the pool and some snacks. Some people has their kids eating in the water which is just gross and they also threw food on the ground also nasty but someone came and cleaned it up every time it happened.

I read some reviews where people complained about the TVs in the room. Between MagiQuest (a scavenger hunt game more for ages 6 up), the Storybook game ( also scavenger hunt for younger kids), a little place on the first floor where kids can color their own pillow cases, tshirt a or pottery, the make your own stuffed animal, the arcade, hotel activities, story time, mini golf and bowling you don't spend much time in your room except to pass out after a long day!

The rooms are nice and yes as people have stated you can tell they are not brand new but it's a kids place and kids are running all over the room so I'm sure they do their best to repair what is broken or damaged.

As far as the employees, they were friendly and very accommodating. I would stay here again in the future.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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: 1 Great Wolf Drive, Scotrun, PA 18355
Location: United States > Pennsylvania > Pocono Mountains Region > Scotrun
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Room Service Spa Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Scotrun
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Great Wolf Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 401
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Great Wolf Hotel Scotrun
Great Wolf Resort

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