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“"It's a busy weekend" is not an excuse” 2 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 #30 of 79 Hotels in Williamsburg
Silver Spring, MD
Level Contributor
67 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“"It's a busy weekend" is not an excuse”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

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.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
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English first
La Plata, Maryland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

This is my second trip to Great Wolf Williamsburg. First time was 3 years ago for NY Eve, and though it was expensive then too, I felt like it was worth it for that weekend..
Now to this weekend:
First, the food is terrible. My sister actually was sick to her stomach after we ate at the buffet on day 1. My first plate I couldn't eat 80% of what was on it because it just tasted off, so I left it on the table and got plate 2. I ended up sticking to the steamed shrimp and a baked potato. Not great for $19.95 + you then pay extra for your drinks. My daugher and friend who are 14 at pizza and corn dogs, also for $19.95 + drinks and my bill was $121 (4 adult charges, 1 sangria, a few soft drinks)--WOW! Needless to say after that, all meals have been outside of the resort, besides one cheese pizza from the Wolf's Den, which was edible. We got a birthday package, so we did get a poster, some coupons for tokens at the arcade, a stuffed animal, some treat bags with candy bars, a cake and a picture book; probably not worth the price, but cute. When I went to get my daughter's cake one of the young ladies that works there was wiping her nose with her hand, then preceded to reach in and move the cupcakes around. Needless to say, not eating anything from there.
In the waterpark there were no towels, no floats, no place to sit-- finally got a float and a towel after about 20 minutes--getting a place to sit, not so much. It is way overcrowded, but slides are still fun even after a long wait.
Housekeeping, nice lady the first day, day 2 no one vacuumed the room. I had to call and ask for them to come back and vacuum the room. Really?
You can see the wear and tear since my last visit, definitley needs some refurbishing.
There are a lot of extra money making operations too, of course the arcade which is expected, then the bowling alley (not regular size--really small lanes) for $5 per person to bowl a game, 3-D roller coster--can't remember the cost (we didn't do it), magic quest-- tons of money for the wand, etc. (didn't do this this trip thank God), the Salon, we did this last time and my daugher loved it, however, her nail polish peeled off like 3 hours later.
Staff has been nice the entire time.
I don't mind paying $495 a night IF I get a $495 a night experience...this time not even close. I don't see myself coming back.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Maryland
Level Contributor
69 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

GWL is what you'd expect - fun for kids, okay for adults. Go in with realistic expectations and you'll be fine. I do want to mention that they have made an effort to accommodate food allergies in the past year. The more notice you give them, the more they can do. Also worth mentioning that the Pizza Hut Express has closed and there is a new pizza place downstairs that has surprisingly good pizza!

Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Olney
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

Very good place, Kids loved it. Not very good food options but a Jungle Jim's that you can walk to is good. Water park is amazing!!!!!! Its a very kid friendly place, also there is a kids spa, adult spa, arcade, bowling, and magi quest. Have to go to it.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Chesapeake, Virginia, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

My grandkids love this place! My 5th time visiting and this was the first time I was dissappointed. The room we stayed in was the wolf den and it definitely needed to be remodeled. The carpet was dirty and torn. It actually was taped in some places. The desk staff was not very friendly or helpful! I had a discount coupon and they told me their rate was cheaper so they didn't give it to me. I found out they inflated the price of the room, so I paid normal price. Dining is ridiculous! You have to leave the lodge to get any decent food. They should have better choices than pizza and a buffet! I have always had a good experience, except for this one, and I will be hesitant to return. Great fun for the kids, but management needs to listen to the guests concerns or they will lose continuing customers. The lifeguards and other pack members were fantastic! Really need to do some remodeling for the price!

Room Tip: Stay away from the themed rooms as they have had a lot of wear and tear and not worth the price. Ea...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
maryland
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

Everything is overpriced, outdated and the water park is too small for the full capacity it allows. Def needs more tables and loungers by pool. If you get there after 11, you'll be sitting on the ground. Walls are paper thin, you hear everything in the halls, next door and especially from overhead. If I ever return, I'll request a top floor room. Food choices very limited. $14 for a kids buffet that is like warm and doesn't include drinks? Bring your own food or go out. Plenty of good places right out on main road. My advice - wait until summer and go to Water Country.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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 Monroe
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

Went there just for a overnight get away with my family. It was cold outside but nice and cozy inside. It was during a cold month and wanted to have a outdoor waterpark kind of experience. The water entertainment was fun for all The food was mediocre. The room was very nice. Busy place though.

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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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Williamsburg
#23 Family Hotel in Williamsburg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Great Wolf Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 405
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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