--Last year we stayed at the Raptor Reef at the Holiday Inn Express in Hayden, ID. Great Wolf's waterpark is much bigger, nicer and has more for kids 6 and under. Fun slides, "big toy" type structures with water squirters, wave pool - plenty to do.
--We went to Great Wolf for the waterpark - not for the lodge. We northwesterners think "lodge" and expect the Salish or Skamania. Yes, rooms are small and food is overpriced. But the hotel is nicer than the Raptor Reef Holiday Inn Express ($259 for family of 4) and you get a hotel which you don't get at Wild Waves ($129.96 for family of 4).
--I read all the previous reviews before our trip and as of 5/3/08 here's an update:
**Elevators are moving quickly. We stayed on the top floor with no issues
**Lifeguards friendly, attentive and offered a bandaid quickly
**The bar and grill had a nice menu and above average food. Family of 4 spent $50 on lunch. My husband peeked at the buffet and said it looked worse than an "Old Country Buffet." We're food snobs, though.
**We checked in at about 6 pm on a Friday. No wait. Friendly front desk. We decided to drive another 4 miles and had dinner in Centralia (mexican - good - also $50) and then checked in. Kids still had 2 1/2 hours in the waterpark before bed.
**When we left at about 3 on Saturday the check in lines were very long.
**Girls (aged 3 and 6) enjoyed Scoops Spa pedicures (inlcudes ice cream after). Very nice staff - bring your camera ($45 each but included tip). Thumping base from teen disco next door a little distracting...
**Wolf Den room ($300) - kids enjoyed bunkbed - their TV didn't work but I didn't even call the front desk b/c it was a good excuse to not have them turn on the tv. Room clean, quiet and temperature control worked. Slept well.
**Avenue Espresso next to the Mcdonalds/Gas Station is great. Drive down (1 min away) to grab coffee and McMuffins... the SBUX is not open yet.
**Cute clock with "animatronic" characters does story time - sit next to the fireplace to warm up - the waterpark is plenty warm but you'll want warm coverups in the rest of the lodge.
**Workers are still installing features throughout the lodge and they're obviously still working out the kinks. I was told they employ 600 people -and I would bet many of them are still learning how to work in the service industry. I found everyone to be happy, eager to please and honestly trying hard. Several staff asked me about my stay .
Overall - it was a fun getaway for our kids. My 3 year old wanted to go back today. Lots of smiles and giggling and the parents had fun too.
End note - Great Wolf's CEO was quoted in the Wall Street Journal last week saying that they plan to raise prices in light of gas prices - figuring families will cancel bigger vacation plans this summer. You may want to go now while they're still having their opening special.
- Also Known As:
- Great Wolf Hotel Centralia
- Great Wolf Hotel
- Great Wolf Resort
- Great Wolf Lodge Washington/Centralia
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