This was our third trip to GWL (Grand Mound). I took my 2 daughters, ages 8 and 11, for a girls weekend away. It's about a 3.5 hour trip from the Lower Mainland, as long as you avoid Seattle rush hour traffic! I recommend taking the I405 around Seattle, and using the HOV lanes whenever possible.
We booked a trip from Sunday to Tuesday, as we had a professional day on Monday. To get the best rates try booking during slow seasons, during the week, and avoiding Fridays and Saturdays as well as major holidays. We booked a Family Suite (the cheapest room) for approx. $160/night. This is usually the cheapest rate you'll find. It was great being there on a Monday/Tuesday. Many guests were just leaving as we arrived, so it wasn't too crowded at all.
I requested a ground floor room with a patio (as recommended by another reviewer), and I was very happy with it. We never had to use the elevators to get to our room and it was a quick walk to the Waterpark, lobby, restaurants or MagiQuest shop.
You can park your car close to your room and just bring everything in the sliding door. Very convenient! The sliding door has a metal bar to lock it, so little kids couldn't open it too easily.
The ground floor rooms have wonderful high ceilings, so they are very bright and spacious-feeling. Even the kids commented on how big the room was compared to the usual Family Suites we've stayed in previously.
I was concerned that being on the ground floor, there might be noise from the parking lot, or people smoking outside, but there was no issue at all with either concern. The sliding door was pretty sound-proof, and I never smelled any cigarette smoke at all. (We were on the front side, not the highway side of the building)
The kids enjoy the waterpark, especially the wavepool with it's alternating regular waves and 'crazy' waves! It makes me queasy though...
Our favorite slide is River Canyon Run, especially at night when it has coloured lights and rocking music. Be sure to bring a cover up for when you are walking back to your room. There are small towels at the waterpark, but you can't take them out of the waterpark. I also recommend taking your swimsuits to the water extractor machines that are outside the change rooms. They will dry much more quickly.
We spent far more time with MagiQuest than the waterpark though. My kids have done all the wand quests, so the bought Compass Quest this time. The quests were a bit harder (all have a time limit), but the finished them all up before we left.
We enjoy the breakfast buffet, and it is more economical to add it to your booking when making your reservation ($10/person). There is a good selection of hot and cold foods.
I particularly noticed how helpful and pleasant all the staff member were on this trip. All the front desk staff would smile and ask how they could help when I approached them.
Special kudos to the lifeguards at the bottom of the waterslides. They would say "Did you have fun?" or "Have a Great Wolf day!" whenever they helped us at the end of our rides!
Also, the MagiQuest staff...wow...how they put up with kids pestering them with questions all day long is beyond me! Shout outs to Magi "Sandwich of Chaos" and Magi "Fluffysocks of Doom". They were really helpful and lots of fun. Huzzah!
The only reason I'm giving 4 stars instead of 5 is because there were some candy wrappers on the carpet of our room at check in, and there isn't a good selection of healthy foods on site (except for breakfast).
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- Also Known As:
- Great Wolf Hotel Centralia
- Great Wolf Resort
- Great Wolf Lodge Washington/Centralia