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“POOL - 5 stars HOTEL - 3 stars (see below)” 5 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 #15 of 18 Hotels in Grapevine
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
42 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“POOL - 5 stars HOTEL - 3 stars (see below)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2012

OK - if you're going to the Great Wolf Lodge, you have to know that this is a FAMILY resort catering to the kiddos. If that's not what you're looking for, stay somewhere else.

PROS - the pool. We specifically chose GWL for our family of 5 because of the indoor pool. We stayed one night (thursday-friday) and spent the majority of the time at the indoor pool. There's an attraction/slide/water activity for every age. Plenty to do if you enjoy the water. This is why I'm giving 5 STARS.

PROS - discounts on rooms during off season, mid-week stays. We had a 15% discount on the room advertized online. After we book we saw a 20% discount. The prices are a little steep for the room, but if you're flexible on when you can go (Mon-Thur have lower prices, and NO ONE at the pool).

PROS - rooms. They were cleaner than I expected for a family hotel. We had the standard suite and choose not to spend more money on the bunk bed suites or larger suites. I'm glad we did because we hardly spent time in the rooms.

CONS - rooms. I'm giving the HOTEL a 3 STARS because the walls are THIN. You can hear everyone in the hallways. And the other annoying thing: GWL has an activity like a scavenger hunt where kids go all over the hotel (to every floor of the hotel) and find these automated talking stations. This means that older kids are doing their scavenger hunt ALL NIGHT... very annoying. Our room was right next to the elevator so we heard everything. I'd recommend a room on the top floor and AWAY FROM THE ELEVATOR... to avoid kids playing the scavenger hunt game.

CONS - expensive food. The only thing we bought was a large cheese pizza and drinks for lunch while we were at the pool. We drove to the Grapevine Mall for dinner and brought our own breakfast. I'd recommend skipping out on room packages that offer meals and only choose room packages.

Even though there are things that annoyed me on the stay (kids playing the scavenger hunt game, expensive food) there's ways to avoid the frustration. And because our kids LOVED the pool, I think we'll be back for another night.... besides, it's only for one night, right?

Room Tip: Top floors, AWAY from the elevators
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2012

Water in pools and around slides was VERY cold, not warm as advertised. Everything very expensive. Will not return!

  • Stayed February 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2012

We are locals that have been to GWL- Grapevine several times. This is our first trip during a busy school holiday weekend (no school on Mon, 02/20) so I was apprehesive of what to expect, being spoiled by coming on weekdays in the summer and other non-peak times.

First, the pricing is exactly in step with the school schedule. You simply won't get a price break on holiday weekends. And for locals, you don't really need 2 days in a row, so no pricing discount for single night stays. That said, it was in line with expectations, so you can't fault GWL for making a strategic choice on pricing points. There were 5 in our party, me and 4 girls ages 10 to 11.

Overall, I give GWL a mark just a hair under "truly delighted". It met or exceeeded my expectations on virtually all marks, and truly "delighted" me in several areas. We arrived just before 2PM. Even though I could have prepared to arrive exactly at 1PM, it worked better to not rush everyone in our party to leave. From East Dallas, there is no secret back way to GWL - you have to fight traffic on either I35/canyon or 635 or 114. So it really wasn't so bad - as long as you are moving - at all - then you will arrive. There was one accident, but it was nearly at 635/35 so I actually felt really good about it - it could have been at like, 75 or the Tollway but we put those miles behind us before an accident.

At check in, I was delighted!!! My recommendation is to PARK, not attempt to valet or go under the portico. There are too many idiots who think it is their personal parking lot. Park, schlep your stuff in, and go through the snaking check in line. This was a holiday weekend, and GWL was prepared. They had at least 4 extra makeshift/portable check in kiosks so we literally did not wait in line at all. Check in was a breeze. I had reserved on line and we very quickly got our ID cards.

Every time we have been to GWL (early; between 1-2Pm but before the actuall check in time of 4PM), we have had a room ready. You can imagine how delighted I was to get a room immediately on a busy holiday weekend.

The elevators (to anywhere, really) were slow. The people in front of us lined up, literally, and that was quite nice. There was not the stress of standing about and hoping the doors opened where you were standing. This seemed incredibly fair, and everyone was ok with it. SUGGESTION TO GWL: When it is this crowded, have some ropes or an attendant to line people up - perhaps only on the 2nd floor - because people with luggage have little choice to take the stairs. The line somehow disintegrated behind us, and it was quite unpleasant to see the people behind us try to run onto the elevators in front of us.

Our rooms were exactly as expected, meeting my expecations. They are larger than most hotels, and the refrigerator and microwave are key. I highly recommend bringing your own food, especially breakfast, drinks, and snacks if you live locally. Avoid cereal or anything that you can't easily throw away. Keep in mind there is no disposal - so unfinished cereal is a mess. It is also not necessarily a time to eat healthy - although we brought fruit, breakfast was a real treat - donuts - and easy to bring and there was nothing to throw away! Microwave bacon was a HUGE hit - and anyone can bring this - there are a few brands that don't need refrigeration, either, so it's easy to pack in luggage! I highly recommend brining more drinks than you think you need - not until a bit after all that swimming will you realize how dehydrated you are.

The beds are not that comfortable. It's more like a Best Western or Drury Inn, and not like a Residence Inn, Holiday Inn Express, or better. But, you can image in the wear and tear on everything in the rooms, so the beds were adequete and met my expectations.

SUGGESTION TO GWL: The complementary toiletries just aren't enough for a family of 4. How about replacing those with dispensers in the shower for shampool, conditioner, and body wash? Then there is enough for the entire family, and you might save money by not having the thousands of bottles going home in people's luggage.

The Pool - wonderful! It was very crowded, but what do you expect? Remember that the busiest time will be around 1PM to 5PM, that is when existing guests are there, but also the ones checking out and checking in. If you are arriving that day, then I suggest doing the things that don't require a wait in line - wave pool, lazy river, bucket dumping thing....and on the days you are staying or the day you check out, to arrive at 8:55, line up, and then rush for the big rides - Howlin' Tornado, Alberta Falls, and the green slide. Don't be fooled if there is a relatively long line at 8:55 - this is actually the best crowd - because as soon as you enter, everyone scatters to different directions. Even though most of the people go for the slides, remember they are the ones there, just like you, with miltary precision and have calcuated the entire 1st hour. They, just like you, will not be clogging the entrace stairs and you will have to do your part to hustle up the stairs to keep pace. You can rack up quite a few turns in the first hour before it starts getting too crowded. A great way to maximim the slides per minute. Also, many people opt to do the arcade or game first thing in the AM. But remember, from 9-1pm, there will ONLY be existing guests and outgoing guests, not the incoming ones. So you theorietically will only have 2/3 or less of the people at the pool at that time.

The food at the pool is actually pretty good. That said, we were extremely hungry! It is quinticential (sp) poolside food. SUGGESTION TO GWL: You don't have very good turnover. You somehow need to better "McDonalize" your process (not food) to more quickly get the orders placed and served. It's really slow, and need not be given the type of food you serve. Also, the condiment station is very inefficient and probably costs you more than it should. First, the squeeze bottles and small cups are a disaster. Either you have to squeeze a bunch of cups, and they are messy. I suggest you go to the individual packets, and as the orders and handed to you, have the Wolf member ask if you want condiments. Then give 2 packets of ketchup per combo basket, unless a guest asks for more. Always give as many as they want, but why waste thousands of dollars on condiments when many people just don't care? You could be saving yourself a bundle rather then the all-you-can-squeeze current methodology.

SUGGESTION TO GWL: Make sure the drinking fountains work! Even if it cuts into your bottled water margins, it is really dangerous not to have working fountains. One of my girls was just dying for a drink, but both fountains by the food service were broken, and the line was way too long for her to wait to buy one bottle of water.

The water and air temperatures were completely acceptable and as expected. You know going in that it's going to be humid when in street clothes, and there will be chemicals/smell to some extent. The alternative is too disgusting to think about. Given how little the bathrooms appear to be used, I can only assume that nearly every kid is going potty in the pools. A previous comment blasted the smell and chlorine, but I don't agree - simply that person's expectations were thought-out. If it bothers your eyes so much, then wear goggles, even when not swimming. No one will laugh at you, expect maybe your own kids. No no else wil even really register that you are wearing goggles while eating a funnel cake.

The other guests were very well behaved and as expected. I was pleasantly surprised at how controled most children were, and you have to expect some running around, some yelling (with excitement), and general rowdiness. They are just kids having fun. It is a family place and if you aren't into that, then GWL is simply not for you.

The arcade is really, really fun. SUGGESTION TO GUESTS: This is one of two places I recommend CASH - $20 BILLS - because you get 12 free tokens every $20 BILL!!! I would budge at least $20 per child - again, it's where you pick and chose to spend your money. Another recommendation - consider saving your ticket winnings to combine with future visits. You can bank them to save for the big prizes. SUGGESTION TO GWL: Put up some notices somewhere to strongly suggest in peak times, to take turns - such as courtesty to others - limit to 2 turns in your party to allow other guests a turn on games. Every time I have been to GWL there has always been the infraction of an overzelous parent hogging a machine with their always less than 6 year child when clearly others (myself, specifically) have been waiting for it. And it has always been some dad that does this. Now, you might think well, she's just overly sensitive or overly protective, but, given that I was an NCAA Division 1 4 year full athletic scholariship athlete and competed in the Olympic Trials in my sport, I think I am well qualified to recognize appropriate competitiveness - and hogging games and purposely standing in front of it with your kid for an inappropriate amount of time isn't one of them. I do emphasize that this isn't GWL fault, but that of an inconsiderate other parent, but I think GWL could instill a sense of 2-game limit in peak times.

The gift shop was one area that delighted me. I was shocked how reasonable some of the items cost. Of course, this is based on your expectatations, and I had budgeted $30 per child in the gift shop in lieu of magicquest. The stuffed animals were so reasonable, that each girl got what they wanted, and it was nice to see they didn't buy things just because they had a $30 limit. I told them to buy anything they wanted, but only if they really wanted it, and not just buy to meet a limit. We walke out with $66 in purchases, including tax.

Starbucks takes your wristband charge. Once I was at GWL and they did not, but they do on a routine basis and that's really nice.
My kids find Magicquest (sp) laughable. They think it is so silly and overpriced, but given how many kids do it and seem to have a great time, I think it could well be worth it - since I am sure some parents would find it appalling to budget $30 per child in the gift shop, i'm sure. So if that is where you want to allot your budget, I think it could be great fun for some kids, and it appeared there were kids of ALL ages!

Unfortunately, we had to check out right at 11AM. It was actually very stressful to meet the 11AM deadline, and the cleaning staff was banging on the door at 11AM. We were literally 3 minutes over, but I appreciate their assertiveness to boot us out. Because of this, we have been able to check in early EVERY TIME we have been to GWL. That is something to keep in mind.

Food - the best value is the GWL pizza. This is not to be confused with the Pizza hut pizza. To get the GWL pizza, it is in the corner of the bakery/sweet shop. THey will deliver the pizza to your room, for $2.00. Here is the other place I recommend cash - to have exact $2.00 handy. If you live nearby, I suggest you buy your own cokes and bring a gratuituous salad or something to supplement the pizza. It's not the best you'll ever have, but reasonably priced and hits the spot.

We have eaten in the on-site restaurant on the 4th floor, and it's ok, but expensive and a bit slow. If nutritional content is not your main goal, then get the pizza! You aren't at GWL because it's a health spa! If you want to balance pool food, then bring fruit and salads.

I have not used the gym or the adult spa. Too busy being the pit crew for the children, and I don't work out on vacations.

Leaving was easy, too. Our bill was under the door, and I had no additional charges that AM. If you are staying, and going to the arcade at some point, remember you don't need the room charge, since your $20 bills will get you bonus tokens. The TV check out feature was down, but I knew you could just leave without doing anything.

The last recommendation is that when you go, there be a designated pit crew person. That person just isn't going to do all the fun stuff when they want, but it makes it much better for everyone else. Also, the mix of people you go with also determines that fun you have - on this trip I had 4 strong swimmers and mainenance-free girls, so they had compatable interests in the pace and amount of time per activity, and rooming compatablility. Something to consider, anyway.

The staff at GWL were very friendly, helpful, knowledgeable, and prompt. Pizza arrived earlier than the 30 minutes, and the delivery boy had change for my $5.00. The toilet was slightly backed up, and the service man was there in about 12 minutes. I think this happens alot, and i'm going to blame the family before mine......but you can see the use these pipes must take from a bunch of families and they come ready to plunge! This was the 2nd trip we asked for it nearly right after getting the room.

Bottom line - we have had great experiences whether on or off peak. With just slight adjustments - and those that enhance rather than correct anything, I think it would make our next trip even better!!! GWL and the staff, in my opinon, are on par with Disney - and that is really saying something. I am very impressed with the staff and their manager should really reinforce what a good job they really are doing.

A last SUGGESTION TO GWL: Put trash cans at least every other floor in the stairwells. They are the cleanest stairwells I have ever been in a public place. They are so nice I could cry. But one or two pieces of trash.....if you had even a small trash can, perhaps that would help. But perhaps you have already studied trash behavior, and I can also see if you had a trash can, before you know it, there will be a mound of trash overflowing the can in no time... Same thing in the showers by the pool - no trash cans. Thus, by the end of the day, there are half empty bottles and small soaps all over the place in the showers. A cheap trash can hidden under the wooden bench would really help clear this up.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tyler, Texas
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2012

We planned a 2 day trip with friends to try Great Wold Lodge for the first time in December. The weather outside was fairly warm, in the 70's and we were really looking forward to playing with our 3 kids and friends 4 kids in the water park. It was freezing in there! My youngest (2) and I rode the lazy river one or two times around and had to get out because his lips were blue and we were both shivering uncontrollably. My daughter (4) started to cry because she was so cold. In the water or out we froze. We spent the entire two days huddled in the small hot tub trying to stay warm. The larger hot tub is supposedly for adults only but the staff would inexplicably take the adults only sign on and off so we never know if it was ok to go in or not. Most people with small children went in anyways even when it was marked for adults only. I know that would be annoying to me if I was in there to get away from my kids. Our friends who have been in the past during the winter said they have never felt it so cold. I asked a staff lady why it was so cold and she said that it was the normal temperature despite our children standing in front of her shivering! On another note the pizza package we ordered for lunch in the park was disgusting. The pizza was cold and the salad was wilted and brown. We ate outside the water park the rest of the time. All in all not worth the money.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
GWL_Management, General Manager at Great Wolf Lodge, responded to this review, March 20, 2012
Thank you for the review. I am sorry to hear about the issues you had during your stay. Through both computer and manual readings, we monitor the water and air temperature in our park throughout the day and consistently maintain 84 degrees in both. I apologize that it felt colder during your stay. This feedback has been shared with the Director of Aquatics. I’ve also shared your feedback on the pizza package with our Director of Food and Beverage.

I hope that you and your family will visit us again in the future.

Sincerely,
Jack Bateman
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2012

Stayed with family here . Breakfast was great chefs were very helpful dinner not so much waiter was bartender food overpriced for quality . Twenty minute wait to get check had to take it to bar to checkout . As for pool area having a guest service background I tend watch more. There was a man that went down a slide an lost his glasses . When he let the lifeguard know he raised his arm and another lifeguard came over this guy jumped in and within two dives retrieved the glasses . Very impressed with there actions on items can only imagine how the response with children would be. Later is was on one side of pool area and was looking for a shortcut I approached the diver he noticed I was wearing leather shoes and took me through a dryer area opening some gates. I thought his name was Jacob . Fast check out but we left on Saturday early. Most of the people were very helpful . Next time we will bring food ,had a fridge and micro in room.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Fort Worth, Texas
Level Contributor
26 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2012

This is our fourth stay at the Grapevine Great Wolf Lodge, and once again we didn't sleep in the rooms (for the third time). We live in the area, and just find the rooms to have lumpy, uncomfortable beds, lots of external noise, and (on two of our four stays) faulty TVs.

The Water Park is great, but showing its age. A number of the interactive items for kids (spray guns, buckets, levers, wheels) have stopped working and the pool surfaces are getting rough.

Magi Quest is great for the kids, but is a hassle for the other guests as packs of kids roam the halls and strange noises and voice recording play constantly.

The selection of foods isn't bad, but very limited within the Water Park itself...which also prohibits outside (the hotel) food and drinks. The prices reflect a "captive" audience ($8 kids meals). This worth noting that normal to great food exists close by the resort, either east around Grapevine Mills Mall or to the west into Grapevine, but requires a car to really eat out.

In summary, the kids will love the Water Park...the adults will grit their teeth at the prices...and you'll probably have a good time, but not get much restful sleep.

Suggestions: The amount of people in the water changes the experience. When school is in and it's a weekday, the low number of people makes it great...weekends are busy...school's out, it can be crowded.

Room Tip: Floor 1 is Water Park Level, Floor 2 is Lobby Level...both have more noise. Room numbers above xx...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Falls Church, Virginia
Level Contributor
58 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2012

With small kids and a winter weather, a trip to Great Wolf Lodge is perfect. The park is nearly empty, no lines, and it is not as busy. The only downside is the restaurant does not open for lunch/dinner so you'll have to leave the premises.

Room Tip: We like the kids cabin or wolf den as it gives you a semi-two room suite.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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.
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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 ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 18 Hotels in Grapevine
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Great Wolf Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 402
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Great Wolf Hotel Grapevine
Great Wolf Resort
Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine

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