This was our first visit to GWL and we were not impressed. It seems like the reviews have gone downhill quite fast this winter and we have to agree. While our kids loved it, our experience was not worth the money. Starting at check-in, when first impressions matter the most, we had a miserable experience. The line was long, and I ended up having to go back 4 times to get everything settled - first, she didn't write the room number on our folio (with the chaos of the lobby, I quickly forgot it). Second, she didn't give us enough breakfast vouchers (which we had paid for - the helpful waitress in the restaurant told us it regularly happens). Third, our wristbands weren't charge-authorized even though I had checked in online and allowed it. The last time I went to the desk, I asked for a manager and made it clear we were not impressed and likely wouldn't return. I got a tepid "sorry - it's a busy weekend" and my request to see a manager was ignored. I returned later and asked for the manager's name so I could contact him/her directly. I was given a business card.
On top of that, the pool regularly ran out of towels. When we complained about that, the response was "sorry - it's a busy weekend." The pizza place wouldn't even answer the phone at lunchtime. When I called the front desk to ask about that, I was told "sorry - it's a busy weekend." Of course it's a busy weekend - it's a holiday weekend!
As others have mentioned, there's nowhere to sit down - the poolside tables and chairs are gobbled up and hoarded quickly. There are only two small tables at the ice cream shop. The lobby has a few couches and tables, but I would never bring grandparents here - and we were scouting for a larger family gathering. No way.
The breakfast buffet was quite good (as breakfast buffets go) - and with the prepaid option, not a bad deal at $40 for 4 people. We didn't eat any other meals on property.
Even with all of that, I'm mixed about our experience because the kids (2 & 5) did have a wonderful time. The place has huge potential - it's just not being met. If you can get a good deal and plan not to eat anything other than breakfast there, it's probably worth it. Our room was large and clean, the bed was not bad. There's a fridge and microwave in the room, so you could certainly make an in-room lunch if you came prepared. One other thing was odd - there was a large and loud dehumidifier in the room that had no instructions or description at all. I asked what it was and when we should use it - "it's a dehumidifier." The room had one of those motel-style heater/air-conditioning units and we could never get the temperature quite right.
I did complain to management about these issues via email and was given a $50 gift card.
- 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