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“3rd time not the charm” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Great Wolf Lodge

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Great Wolf Lodge
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   20500 Old Highway 99, SW, Centralia, WA 98531   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 10 Hotels in Centralia
Seattle, Washington
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“3rd time not the charm”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2013

3rd time here and unfortunately, too many things went wrong to say it was a good visit.

Evidently, due to a broken water pipe or heater or something, the water was absolutely freezing. Hot tub was inoperable the 2 days we were there. My kids were literally blue-lipped and shivering. Towels were nowhere to be had for several hours on Saturday. My daughter waited 20 minutes in line at the snackbar downstairs in the water park for Dippin' Dots ice cream because they were displayed on the menu, only to find out they don't sell them there, but upstairs. A second time in that line, we were 4th in line and waited another 20 minutes. Ketchup was gone and food wasn't good.

The only apology for the above things that were unsatisfactory came from the guy at the snack bar who offered mustard in place of the ketchup.

Upon redeeming tickets for prizes at the arcade counter, the employee was visibly annoyed and impatient and rude with my 10 year-old daughter, although she was his only customer at the time.

My 2 other visits to GWL were better, but as a result of this visit, you'll have bribe me to ever go again. On that note, my son thinks this place maxes out at 13-14 years old.

Given the steep cost....I think its ok once, maybe twice if you have younger kids, but don't go on a weekend if you can avoid it, and know going in that they will try to take you for every cent you have. An out-dated, over-priced "resort fee" of $15 adds insult to injury.

  • Stayed September 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (198)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Cannon Beach, Oregon
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

Overall, Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound was a great experience. The staff are helpful and friendly. We felt welcome from the time we checked in until we left. We arrived at 2 pm and our room was ready even though check-in is officially 4 pm. Room was great. Kids loved the "log cabin" bunk room. Only negative was the mini-fridge did not have a small freezer space as advertised. Other wise the room was very nice (although we barely spent any time in it).

The Good: the water park is a blast. The staff are awesome and the lifeguards never stop prowling along the edge of the wave pool. Everything feels very safe. Howling Tornado and River Run are lots of fun. Lines are minimal - maybe 10 to 15 minutes at most. We had pizza right at the pool and that was great. Its worth paying a little extra to stay right in the resort environment. Part of what I liked most about GWL is watching my kids (and all the kids) really enjoying themselves. GWL is pretty much about kids having fun.
The OK: The breakfast buffet was decent. I was surprised that coffee isn't included in the $13 price. MagiQuest - at times Magiquest can be fun but its also very tiring. Alot of running around to the same areas over and over. I would recommend it for kids over 10 unless you plan on accompanying them.
The Bad: Sleep or lack of it. There is a decent amount of late night noise. Some of it came from a fairly rambunctious room next to ours. Bring your own pillow unless you enjoy the typical overstuffed neck-kinking hotel pillow. Mattresses are very firm and not as comfortable as I would have expected. The day bed was nearly masochistic.
Recommendations: If you have never gone to GWL, spend a little time on their website and learn as much as you can about the scheduled events (story time), eating options, and activities. It can be a little overwhelming at first.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Seattle, WA
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2013

The adult portion of the review: They serve beer and wine. Hallelujah! There's even a bar overlooking the water park, and plastic cups for you to take near the pool. At 84 degrees, you'll need a cold beverage to keep hydrated. It will also help numb some of the shrieking.

The rooms are a good size. The pizza isn't bad. There's a Starbucks in the lobby to get your caffeine fix in the morning. The staff is super friendly and helpful.

There is a pretty intensive scavenger hunt that will keep your kids running around for hours.

The kids had a good time. It was pricey, but it made for a good birthday overnighter.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
seattle
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2013

Spent our second visit to GWL for my son's 13th birthday and an entire room full of boys. They loved the kid cabin although it was smaller than we anticipated. The staff were very friendly and helpful. The boys LOVED the MagiQuest although it is ridiculously expensive since you are already spending a chunk just to be there. However, my son had a blast in the water and outside the water park. We did not eat in the hotel because there are plenty of options down the street and we enjoyed birthday burgers at Claim Burger next door. The amazing thing about GWL is that with all the kids running amok, it is superbly clean and you feel like you can actually touch things in the room without being grossed out, like some hotels.

The staff are young people who are energetic, friendly, and fun.

The only downer of this entire trip was the absolutely horrific pull out sofa bed! I was amazed at the poor quality and felt sorry for any kiddo that gets put on that thing as the extra guest. It was like sleeping on a box spring (guess who slept there?) and the mattress "might" have been an inch thick. I slept with a big spring in the center of my back and even my 9 year old who sat on it made a comment. With the money families spend to celebrate and visit this place, I would hope that GWL would consider this feedback and replace/upgrade the sofa beds. it truly was the worse bed ever and I should have slept on the floor.

So that being said, my boys would be thrilled if we returned again but they will have to be saving their spare change :)

Room Tip: The kid cabin is fun but cramped if your kids are older. The pull out sofa bed in 2015 is not so go...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Top Contributor
112 reviews 112 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
133 helpful votes 133 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2013

We travel to the GWL once a year and spend a couple of nights. My family has a blast every time we go .We usually stay in the Kids Cabin. The room is fairly spacious and comes with a mini fridge and microwave. The water park is included with the room rates as only hotel guests can use the water park so overcrowding is never an issue. The keyless wristband which also acts as your credit card is a great bonus. You can charge snacks, meals and souvenirs to your room with the wristband so there is no need carry cash. If you stay near the elevators it will be noisy with all the kids on the magiquest. The food in the restaurants are on the pricey side unless you want to leave the resort. I recommend pre buying the breakfast vouchers when you book. They are $10 pp and that includes your breakfast buffet,drink and tip. It is well worth it and will save you some money. The water park itself is 84 degrees all the time.The slides are fun, the wave pool is a blast and when you need a break just sit in the hot tub to relax. By the end of day my family is always exhausted. My kids always ask when are we coming back.

Room Tip: Stay away from the elevators as it's noisy. The Magiquest has kids searching for objects in the...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Vancouver
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

Stayed at Great Wolf Lodge Grand Mound for one night at the end of the August. Our group had 4 rooms. The standard room itself are surprisingly large and spacious. The rooms are well equipped with microwave and fridge. The design is very family friendly with the sink outside of the washroom to allow for separate use.

The water park itself was a lot smaller than I expected. There is a wave pool, 3 main slides and 2 smaller slides. There is a toddler area and very small hot tub. We spent about 4 hours there on the day of arrival and didn't go back in the water. The younger kids couldn't do much and you can really only spend so much time in the kids section and the wave pool. The older kids spent time in the evening with the magic quest game which they found neat.

We ate at one of the restaurants and the food wasn't very good. The service was even worse especially when they charged us 18% tip for the larger group. The rest of the staff from front desk to housekeeping to lifeguards was very good though.

We will not be returning anytime soon based on the cost of the park and the value we got.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Salem, Oregon, United States
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

We got in on a "crazy sale", which made it marginally more affordable than it usually might be, but even with the discount, we had to pay an arm and a leg. It is a VERY expensive place to visit. I will say that the snack areas have decent prices on things like nachos and pretzels, but you'll pay $12 for a refillable soda. REALLY? If you get that, refill that puppy like 10 times while you're there to make it worth it!

We did online check-in so that part was smooth, but our room was a hot mess. The sofa sleeper mattress was SO springy that even my lightest child couldn't lay down on it. We had to call down for a mattress pad and extra blankets to make it sleepable. There was NO A/C in the room so we roasted all night. Our hair dryer didn't work (faulty outlets), we had NO hot water for showers except for the first and last minute of each shower, and the fridge wasn't cold (yes, we checked the dial).

The park itself was just OK... there are only 4 slides and they are very short. The wave pool is great except you can't take floating devices in and it kept getting shut down because of POOP in the pool. REALLY????? Disappointing.

The dining experience was AWFUL, as we had to wait about 20 minutes to even get our order taken. We almost walked out, but really, where else are we going to eat? Food in the restaurant is very expensive. Since, yo know, they didn't already have enough of our money. :)

Room Tip: Inspect your room ASAP and ask to move if there are things wrong with it (check water temperate in s...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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: 20500 Old Highway 99, SW, Centralia, WA 98531
Location: United States > Washington > Centralia
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 10 Hotels in Centralia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Great Wolf Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 398
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Great Wolf Hotel Centralia
Great Wolf Resort
Great Wolf Lodge Washington/Centralia

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