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“Loved the place!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Great Wolf Lodge

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Great Wolf Lodge
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   549 East Rochambeau Drive, Williamsburg, VA 23188   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #34 of 78 hotels in Williamsburg
Washington DC, District of Columbia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Loved the place!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

Great for kids!!They have so many activities the kids go beserk!Wish they had more selection for food!Water park is awesome and is for kids all ages. My daughter didnt want to come back.The New Years bash was awesome.Ver family friendly and safe.Fun for all ages.Book early because they get booked fast!

  • Stayed December 2012, 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
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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
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (226)
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English first
Fairfax, Virginia
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

This was our 4th trip to Great Wolf Lodge. The 4 stars are for the overall experience, not the room quality. We go for the water park and to see the JOY on the faces of our 6 and 4 year old granddaughters, who LOVE the water park. The park is well run and has a variety of water features that fit all age groups. The guards are very attentive - the water park is why we go.

As last time, we stayed in the Grizzly Bear suite (4 adults 2 children) which is among the largest and most expensive suites. Given that, we did use a Groupon, which reduced the cost this time.

I have read the last several reviews and agree with them - the place needs some work. Our beds were very uncomfortable, the sofa was "deformed" and other items were in disrepair. Also, I find it odd that there was no soap dish or place to put a bar of soap and shampoo in the main shower except on the floor. (Otherwise, the bathroom was large and appeared recently renovated.) I also found the 3 TV sets (1 in each bed room and 1 over the fireplace, to be small and old - No flat screens). Lastly, while the suite had 2 bedrooms, a "living room area" and a counter for the microwave etc, I find that it is too small for 4 adults and 2 children, especially if you stay a few days or more.

Another issue - GWL has a book reading and animated show iin the lobby (talking trees, animals etc. for children at 8:00pm. It was crowded and a bit noisey (from mothers who were drinking from bottles of wine - sitting in the background but carrying on as tipsy people do). The issue is that the sound system is terrible, scratchy and fuzzy. Too bad as this could be a great experience for children - mine eventually got up and walked away before it was over.

Bottom Line - We will continue to go as long as a) the grandchildren enjoy the park, b) the park itself seems clean, fun and safe, and c) the prices are reasonable (we have only gone on non-prime time days which cost less). If I get a room that is in disrepair, I will report the problems to management and spend quality time with the grandchildren. I also doubt I would ever stay more than a couple of days.

Room Tip: If you can, go during the week when school is in session - much less crowded and lower rates. The G...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

If there were a half star option, I would give Great Wolf Lodge 3.5.

I took my kids here to celebrate my younger son's birthday - with a January birthday it's hard to find fun stuff to do sometimes. Overall - they both loved it. It's a hotel/resort experience that caters to kids and to begin to enjoy it you need to prepare yourself for that.

Check in was crazy (we arrived around 2:30pm) - LONG lines, lots of people, and a lengthy check-in process. The kids were anxious to get to the fun stuff (after riding 2.5 hours in the car to get there) and it seemed to take forever to get checked in. Our room was not ready yet (expected within the hour) but we decided to go ahead down to the water park while we waited for our room.

The changing space in the water park is sparse....two benches in the restroom. I guess normally people change in their rooms so there isn't a need for a real changing area but I was a little surprised given that GWL touts your ability to use the water park the full day of your departure (when obviously you'd be checked out of your room).

The water park was bigger and better than expected - lots of slides of varying styles and lengths. I dislike that floats are allowed in the wave pool because it gets a little crazy for the kids trying to swim (like my son) when big double floats are sandwiching him in. Trying to find seating or a place to stash your stuff can be a little tricky at peak times...everyone saves their space with a towel or two. There were an adequate number of lifeguards who seemed very dedicated to their jobs.

We stayed in a KidCabin room - the kids LOVED that they had their own space and that their space had its own TV. Even though we weren't in a suite it felt like we all had a little more of our own space, which was nice. The room itself was fine, but the noise level was shocking. After 6 straight hours of swimming (the water park closes at 9pm), the kids were ready to crash by 9:45. There was thunderous noise from the hallway and the room above us. The "hibernation" hours at the lodge are 11pm - 7pm so I was told there was nothing we could do about the elephants playing hopscotch above us. (The fan in the bathroom was raining dust down the floor was shaking so much.) Give that the place caters to kids 11pm seems a little late to enforce a quieter time. I do really like that each room has a mini-fridge and microwave. We brought snacks so save on the cost of food which was nice.

Because the kids loved being in the water so much, we never made it to the other areas. I can't comment on the arcade (although it was large), the bowling, MagicQuest, story time, etc. But it certainly seems like even if you don't have fish for children like I do, there is plenty to keep them occupied.

I would absolutely recommend against paying regular price for a say here - WAY TOO EXPENSIVE. The GWL website has some deals, as does Groupon. Don't pay full price!

Overall the kids had a great time - but I feel like the resort counts a little too much of parents being happy their kids are entertained rather than paying attention to the little details.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Arlington, Virginia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

kids had a lot of fun at the water park, but couldn't get any sleep at night cause of the bed bugs. In the morning I was covered with bites! I would come to the water park, but I wouldn't stay there again even if it was for free.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Richmond, Virginia
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

My family (all adults) spent Christmas Eve there. We loved that we had access to the water park almost all day on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and that there were suites that would allow us to be together and have a fireplace. We also opted to pay extra for a late checkout, which is a nice offering. The rooms are comfortable (including the beds) and spacious. An additional plus was that parking was so much easier than I'd anticipated - it's a large property and we had tons of presents and lots of luggage; I assumed we'd have a terrible time getting it all inside. But because of the way the buildings are laid out and the parking lots designed, it was easier than many significantly smaller hotels I've stayed at.

There are tons of activities, and it's so nice that everything is on property, including an ice cream/coffee shop, pizza place, etc. The water park is nice for an indoor park - not as extensive as an outdoor park that is solely a water park, but lots of fun nonetheless, and the lifeguards were very attentive. We also enjoyed the miniature bowling alley. Because we didn't have kids with us, there were many activities we did not try, but there certainly are plenty to choose from, and there was more than enough to occupy adults for two days as well. The convenience is refreshing - everything is linked to a bracelet you wear; it functions as your room key, your water park admission, and you can have your credit card tab hooked up to it as well so that you can shop without your wallet - a nice feature when you're traipsing around in pool clothes half the time.

The cons: our room was not totally clean, there was something sticky (maple syrup?) all over the table. The wallpaper and/or border was peeling in several spots. Likewise, many of the rides had rust or peeling paint (but seemed sturdy and safe). Most of the staff members were great, but the ones at check-in were grumpy. Noise from the room above us was clearly audible. The internet (included in the "resort fee") was essentially inoperable because it didn't have sufficient bandwidth for the number of users. Because of the nature of the place, I would have appreciated more plastic bags to take home wet clothes. There was a clothesline in the bathroom, which was a nice touch, but since you have access to the water park after you've left your room, bags would be good.

Overall, I feel Great Wolf provides a unique resort and does so at an above average level of quality. Because there are some things lacking (it is not luxe, though it is approaching a price level at which it should be, or at least more so than it is), I cannot give it 5 stars, but it does a very good job at providing a niche service. I would enthusiastically go back if I had kids in my group,and we are already planning to go back even just us adults; my almost-70-year-old mother is the most excited of all. We played hard and thoroughly enjoyed being caught up in the fun of it all - it is a great place for a getaway.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Hampton, Virginia
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

This was our first experience with Great Wolf Lodge, spending the weekend to celebrate a birthday. We are local and wanted to do something special. The lodge was extremely busy with kids running everywhere. We checked in later than others (around 6pm) but during the normal check-in time the next day I noticed that the lobby was jam-packed and even more chaotic.

Some positive notes:
- The waterpark is awesome and the flagship feature, our kids would have stayed there day and night if we let them, most definitely the best part of the lodge
- There are many kids activities to keep them busy - favorites included bowling, the arcade, and the waterpark; I enjoyed the arcade too
- The staff was generally attentive but nothing stellar
- The lodge offered a birthday package which was pricey; when you arrived you had a happy birthday sign posted on your door and a bag of goodies/vouchers for your stay including a birthday button which was a great surprise for the kids. Every worker who saw our child wearing it wished them a happy birthday which was nice. When we stopped by to pickup the birthday cake it took them around 15 minutes to get it ready and they personalized it with the name/age.
- Although expensive, breakfast is a buffet and had a good variety
- Storytime before bed for the kids in the evening; this got very crowded but is a nice touch for the children at the lodge
- The lifeguards were all over it - they were the most attentive I've ever seen at a pool

The not-so positives:
- The room was dirty - we found trash from previous guests swept under the bed, many many scuffs on the walls, dirty toilet, spots on the ceiling and carpet that doesn't seem like it's been cleaned in a year; one of the beds sunk in at its center
- Included in the birthday package was a pizza from the lodge (Wolf Pizza I think) and a cake from the 'sweet shop'. The pizza and breadsticks were the worst we've ever eaten, the kids didn't even want to eat it. Absolutely horrible. Opt for the pizza hut in the lodge if you want decent pizza or order out. The birthday cake is nothing special either, a standard store bought cake which was dry.

Tips:
- Bring your own drinks and snacks if you need them, the soda bottles in the vending machines are $2.50 and snacks not cheap either! Our room had a small fridge, coffee pot
- Bring some shoes to wear in your room to battle the dirty carpet
- The atmosphere is very casual, people walked around in pajamas/swimsuits/lounge gear
- Arrive early for breakfast, it gets very busy around 830/9am
- They have a store that sells all the basics you may need but you aren't away from civilization to where stuff in the lodge is your only option for shopping/eating
- Plenty of parking
- The pool seemed pretty busy all day but traffic was lighter once it opened around 9am

Overall, a very good stay since the kids were happy. I'm sure the hotel has high customer turnover, with most of them being children, but that isn't an excuse to provide a dirty/unkept room. For the price, the room should have been pristine. This brought my overall rating down.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Goose Creek, South Carolina, United States
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

First, let me start with the positive. My children absolutely loved the fact that they were able to go swimming in December. The resort as a whole was a great experience. We were able to go to the waterpark at 1pm and start the festivities. There are lockers available (at $10 a day) to securely store your valuables while you wait to check into your room. The waterpark has something for everyone no matter your age. The waterpark was warm and the water was comfortable even though it was about 50 degrees outside. I was disappointed in the unfriendly staff that we encountered during our stay. We had to ask for directions to our room after checking in and the staff was helpful with information only after being asked for assistance. I hate to put this out there, but we did pay double price for our room since it was the Christmas holiday ($500/night). When I'm on vacation, I like to feel like I'm on vacation. I want friendly staff that are thinking of my needs before I even get a chance to worry. Overall, the stay was great and we had fun. I don't think it was worth the price I paid, but I would like to visit again at the regular price.

Room Tip: If you plan to have a table at the waterpark, get up early and place your belongings on a table when...
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  • Stayed December 2012, 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
    • 3 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.

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Additional Information about Great Wolf Lodge

Address: 549 East Rochambeau Drive, Williamsburg, VA 23188
Location: United States > Virginia > Williamsburg
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Williamsburg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Great Wolf Lodge 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are home to Virginia’s premier 79,000 square foot indoor entertainment area featuring our water park, bear track landing. The indoor water park features a 4-story, 12 level tree fort with 1000 gallons of water and dumps down every few minutes. The water park also features a gigantic indoor wave pool, eight water slides, including 3 tube slides, three kiddie slides and two body slides. In addition we have a zero-depth entry children’s pool, indoor pool, two oversized hot tubs, an endless lazy river. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Great Wolf Hotel Williamsburg
Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg Va
Great Wolf Resort

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