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“Quite possibly the biggest rip-off ever!” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Great Wolf Lodge

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Great Wolf Lodge
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   100 Great Wolf Drive, Grapevine, TX 76051   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #16 of 18 hotels in Grapevine
Louisiana
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Quite possibly the biggest rip-off ever!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2011

I have just returned from a two-night stay in a regular family suite at the Great Wolf Lodge. This hotel room was very generic. There was no closet--just a rack on which to hang clothes. There was no balcony, and our room overlooked the parking lot. The beds were okay; the pillows were horrible. For this experience, I paid just over $700 for two nights.

I was traveling with my sister, our ten-year-old nephew, and my teenaged daughter. My nephew enjoyed the water park for about an hour two different days; my daughter did not participate. (She is convinced that water parks are not sanitary. I am prone to agree with her.) The indoor water park is extremely loud, crowded, and humid. My definition of misery is heat, humidity, and bare feet, so, needless to say, this was not the place for me.

Noise seemed to be the theme of the Great Wolf Lodge. Children ran all over the resort, waving their Magi-Quest wands at various objects (one of which was approximately ten feet from my hotel room) in order to hear instructions or to find runes in their game. Many of them had no parental supervision at all.

Everything at the hotel is overpriced. Breakfast for two adults and one child was $44 (not including the tip) for an average buffet. We ate one lunch at the hotel. At the Pizza Hut on the first level, we picked up three medium sodas, one order of breadsticks, and two personal pan pizzas (the small ones). Our tab was $29. The other person in my party opted for a smoothie instead; it was $7.50.

Don't get me wrong: I am not a cheap traveler, and I am not a killjoy. I travel often and am willing to pay for good quality. I travel to Disney World frequently, so I am very familiar with theme park pricing. Alas, the Great Wolf Lodge charges Disney-level prices (actually, I found it more expensive than Disney), but does not have the Disney charm, atmosphere, entertainment, or customer service.

I'm glad that I've experienced the Great Wolf Lodge, but I don't plan to return ever again. I cannot imagine what all the fuss is about! Perhaps if I were a six-year-old, I would love the place, but I am not, and I did not.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
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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 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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El Paso
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2011

Stayed here with several friends while visiting Dallas for the 2011 Gold Cup opener. After reading some not so good reviews about the rooms, beds, and staff, but after staying here I was pleasantly surprised.

I ordered the Grizzly Bear Suite(SWEET) because it accomdated 6-8 people, and with 6 of us needing a room, this was actually one of the cheaper options around for the value. At $400 a room divided by 6 of us, it came out to only $67 per person per night which is a great deal since the room also came with 6 free passes to the water park for each day we were there and it slept all of us comfortably.

The actual beds were not bad at all, and I am very picky about pillow and bed quality at the hotels I stay in. All my friends who I had shared the poor reviews with agreed that the rooms were not bad at all.

The actual water park was a blast, and considering all of my friends and I are in our twenties, we didn't think it was to "kiddy" at all. We even had a great time in the arcade and having a drink at the bar while watching all the kids in the hotel play "Magi-quest".

This hotel obviously caters to kids, but if you can embrace the ridiculousness of theme, and have a little fun it's actually a great time. If looking for a place where you will have a large party and can split the cost, the Great Wolf is a great deal. Even for a family of 4-5, this place offers a great value for your dollar. I certainly will be staying here in the future.

Room Tip: Used Travelocity and saved almost $75 a night from hotel website.
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lake charles,la
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2011

This place is a kids' paradise. Well run, good food, very accomodating staff. Indoor and outdoor waterpark is part of the hotel complex. Lots of lifeguards -- very clean facility. Storytime at night for the young ones -- even a place for just the tweens and teens. Lots of kids running around but never very noisy!! The rooms are nice, clean and the housekeeping staff very good. If I would say a negative it would be that the couch in the suites are not comfortable for sleeping (thin mattresses).
Not far from a mall where there is an aquarium and legoland and also not far from six flags over texas. great family entertainment abounds here!!!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2011

I have heard so much about the Great Wolf Lodge that when the opportunity came up to finally visit one, we went willingly and excitedly. Maybe that was my mistake--to have high expectations. First off, the price was outrageous for what we got. We stayed one night as a special treat for our kids since my husband's military commitments made a full-on summer vacation impossible this year. We figured that we could spend more than we (or any sane person) normally would since it was just one night. My main complaint is the inferior room. After being told by the GWL rep that we would "love" our expensive suite, which had "bunk beds and a lodge theme", we arrived to a Super-8 quality room with two faux exposed beams and a couple of rustic lamps. No bunk beds. We had 7 people in the room (4 adults/3 kids), but this supposedly-amazing suite, which was supposed to sleep 8, had one shower. One. In a hotel with a water park as the main attraction. The shower's water pressure was low and the temperature fluctuated, although it was never actually cold, and the lighting in the bathroom was ridiculous. It was like trying to put makeup on in moonlight. Good thing I didn't need makeup to go to a waterpark! On the upside, there were plenty of towels. I also found some of the food and items in the gift shop to be reasonably priced. The walls are superthin, which is not a good feature in a hotel that is heavy on children and teenagers. Although there is technically an 11 pm curfew for kids, there is really no enforcement of this policy unless you want to be the one to call the front desk every time someone runs screaming by your door with their MagicQuest wand. Because of this, we got to sleep around 1:45 a.m. Again, maybe my expectations were too high, but where were these kids' parents at 1 in the morning???? The licensed Starbucks in the giftshop therefore became a very, very nice feature. The waterpark itself was really enjoyable for my kids. All three had a great time, but it was very crowded when we were there and therefore a lot less got to be enjoyed because of the time spent in line. If I had known I definitely would have scheduled our visit during a less crowded time of the year. The lifeguard I spoke with said that once the school year begins, there is almost no one in the waterpark since you have to stay at the hotel to use the park, and most people can't do that during the work week/school year. The waterpark area was impressive to the kids, but our eyes were all burning (from the chlorine I assume) within minutes of walking into the park area--before we had gotten a single wet toe. To remedy that, I would recommend goggles for those with sensitive eyes. If you really, really want to stay at GWL Grapevine, choose a time when it won't be so crowded, and choose the cheapest room you can since "cheap" is what the room will look like no matter what the cost. Then keep your expectations low. If you do that, you will probably do just fine and enjoy your stay. As for this pack of wolves, we will stay in a nicer den next time, for half the money.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Dallas, Texas
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2011

We traveled to the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas for three nights during the month of July. I had read many reviews on Trip Advisor, and went into the trip with a little hesitation. However, what my family experienced was nothing short of a great time!

We were helped at registration by a very friendly and helpful desk agent. She gave us some great advice to make our stay memorable. Many of the complaints that I have read about Great Wolf Lodge came from people who believed that the resort "nickel and dimes" you for everything. I did not find this to be the case. They are very up front about the additional charges for activities like MagicQuest (which I highly recommend for your kids!) We did purchase the Paw Pass for both of our boys (ages 9 and 5). With this you are given a pass for each child that includes the MagicQuest wand and game, a scoop of ice cream, arcade game tokens, one plush animal at their version of Build-A-Bear(including one outfit for the animal), a free photo from one of the rides, and a couple of other things. It was well worth the $59.

We only ate in the resort twice. We had pizza our first night there and ate in the sports themed restaurant Camp Critter Bar & Grill. The food was good, but nothing memorable. We intentionally planned activities outside of the resort in the evenings. One night we attended a Texas Rangers baseball game (which included a Fireworks show after the game).

Everyone goes to Great Wolf Lodge for the waterpark...and for good reason. The other complaints I read on TripAdvisor were about the long lines for the slides. We were there Thursday - Sunday. It was sold out the whole time we were there. There were lines for the slides, but never anything excessive. I believe the people who complain about the lines have never been to Schlitterbahn or any of the other waterparks in Texas. We enjoyed our MANY hours in the waterpark. The bulk of activity is indoors. The outdoor area has a couple of pools and slides, but nothing compared to the fun inside. If you have small children, they even have complimentary life jackets for those not-so-strong swimmers.

Finally the rooms. We stayed in a Kid Cabin Suite which was very large for our family of four. It includes a queen sized bed in the main portion of the room. The kids "cabin" was an area with three beds (inlcuding 1 set of bunk beds). It also had it's own flat screen tv for the kids. My only complaint for the entire trip was the mattress on the queen size bed. It was nothing short of miserable to sleep on. It was hard as a rock, and extremely uncomfortable. I got over it as I laughed and played with my boys in the waterpark. Next time I will be prepared for the mattress. The room also has a good sized refrigerator to stock drinks and snacks. I encourage you to bring plenty of water, soft drinks, and any other beverage you want! Just don't try to take your own food/drinks to the waterpark...they aren't allowed.

We will definitely return to Great Wolf Lodge with our family. Have Fun!!!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Arlington, Texas
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2011

Great Wolf was great! We didn't take many because we were always in the water. We stayed 2 nights and that was plenty. We were all exhausted. You can check in at 1:00 the day you arrive and play in the water, but can't get to your room until 4:00. (however, our rooms were ready so it worked out perfect for us. ) You can also stay and play in the water however long you want the day you check out. The rooms were clean and had plenty of towels. They give you a wristband for your room key. You can wear whatever clothes you want, but you could also just take your bathing suit and flip flops :) Plus you don't even always have to wear shoes....except when you go to a restaurant to eat. The 4th floor bar/restaurant was our fav place to eat. The buffet was about $18 pp for dinner and I think $14 for breakfast. The breakfast buffet was pretty good, but the dinner buffet was AWFUL! Go to the 4th floor and get a burger or kids meal. You can bring food/snacks/and drinks into your room. That was very helpful!! micro and fridge in the room, plus coffee but we went down each morn and got starbucks - that was good :) They supply towels for the waterpark. They have both inside and outside water park. They are both great!! The inside park has two big rides, the red one is scarey and FAST and the blue one is FAST and little scarey. If your kids do them- they have to hold on super duper tight....really. There are other inside rides also that are not soo scarey. The rides outside are just plain fun and not scarey. The lines move super fast for the rides. Other than it being super expensive-for everything, it was perfect!!! :) We did not do the Magiwand game because it was expensive and we had 5 kiddos with us. It did look very cool though.....fun-fun-fun!!! :)

Room Tip: Save time and use the main stairs next to the tree house in the lobby to get to your room. The elev...
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Round Rock, TX
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2011

Had a great time overall but the size of the indoor waterpark was smaller than expected and quite a loud and non-relaxing experience. The outdoor water park was open but closed a little earlier than the indoor water park. Also expected the other areas of the resort (lobby and lower level) to be more peaceful and relaxing. Instead, all were crowded and noisy and only relaxing in the morning before 8am. We stayed 2 nights (Sun to Tue) and I believe the hotel was sold out the days we were there. We were in the Kid Cabin 2013 and it was a nice room. Our room had a sink in the bathroom and another bar type sink in the kithenette area. The beds and pillows were OK but maybe I expected them to be worse since so many other reviewers complained. The sofa sleeper was uncomfortable. My sister had a foot injury so we requested lobby level (2nd floor) and did not have to use the elevators. My husband thought our room would be bigger but it was adequate. The kids had their own area but without a door it was noisy (we could hear their talking and TV). The bunk area also had a small day bed and the room rate came with 6 water passes so my son was able to bring a friend. The room next door seemed to have a large party of girls our second night and they were quite loud at night and it appeared the adult chaperones were in a room across the hall and not in the same room. We heard door slams late into the night and talking and laughing and screaming and were close to reporting them to the front desk. Our bunk bed had a large nail sticking out of the wall which could be dangerous. The room was clean and in good repair. Magiquest game was fun but we had problems with the wand and had to get it adjusted twice before it would function properly. The telescope in the game did not work and there was no sign explaining that it did not work. We had to go to the Magiquest station and I asked if the telescope did not work and my daughter got full credit for that quest so we could continue. We were able to complete the quests with the help of my older nephews over 3 days. It did take us the 4 to 5 hours we were told it would. The Kid Camp area was fun for my 4 year old daughter. We went at 10am when it should have been open but there appeared to be a meeting and we had to wait outside until it opened. The crafts were explained to us but the pay per crafts were mentioned first (seemed a little pricey) and then they added that the coloring pages and computer were free. I would have appreciated a price list and not the person telling us about the crafts since once my daughter heard about the crafts you had to pay for she wanted to make the t-shirt. We have been to the Community rooms at Disney Vacation Club resorts and they offer more free crafts like bead stringing and lower priced crafts for about $1 to $3. The most expensive crafts might be about $5 to $8. I should have purchased the Paw Pass since we spent about $30 on Magiquest, $15 on the t-shirt and $50 in the game room. $60 seemed like a high price for the Paw Pass since I had 4 kids with me. Many families with multi-kids purchased the passes. The game room was entertaining but many of the games would eat our tokens or not work properly and the ticket counting machines kept jamming. I was really impressed w/ the indoor lifeguards who seemed to be very attentive at all times. Overall a nice stay but we might prefer going at a less crowded time so the experience can be more relaxing for the adults. My sister's family also travelled with us in another room and she mentioned she waited for someone to help her with the luggage. She waited so long and no one came so she just moved it herself. We brought food with us and got off site take out and brought it in most of the time. We did order the on-site pizza from the hotel and picked it up in the snack/ice cream shop. There was a Starbucks on-site that we used each morning. Save your cup because coffee refills are 50-something cents. We were able to use my brother in law's 20% employer discount since he was traveling with us but be sure to book early. I was trying to coordinate our stay with my sister and missed a lower rate (about $25 lower per night) by a few hours.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.

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Additional Information about Great Wolf Lodge

Address: 100 Great Wolf Drive, Grapevine, TX 76051
Location: United States > Texas > Grapevine
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 Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 18 hotels in Grapevine
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Great Wolf Lodge 3.5*
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Also Known As:
Great Wolf Hotel Grapevine
Great Wolf Resort
Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine

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