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“Great place for younger kids.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Great Wolf Lodge

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Great Wolf Lodge
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   1400 Great Wolf Drive, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #22 of 80 Hotels in Wisconsin Dells
Lombard, Illinois
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Great place for younger kids.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013 via mobile

We went for four days during spring break. We had a great time even though it was busy. You never have to leave once you get there if you don't want to. Several restaurants within walking distance. They do have a deal called a Paws pass for a number of things to do at resort. It's a great value for the money.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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1,041 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (203)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

The waterpark was phenomenal. There was more than plenty to do for all ages. The concessions and drink prices were slightly inflated, but nothing out of the ordinary. The park hours are very broad- 9am to 9pm most days- and we spent the majority of our time there. There are plenty of lifeguards, and they were friendly and do a good job.

We were able to check in before our check-in time (4pm). We had six in our party, and all stayed in a family suite, which was roomy enough. It was on the first floor, closest to the waterpark, and we didn't have any trouble with noise. The room was clean, and had a walk out patio which was nice- would be be even better to have in the summer. The bathroom was painfully small. Beds-- with the exception of the pullout couch-- were comfortable.

The breakfast buffet ($12 per adult) was gross. It was nothing different than a continental breakfast-- which I've actually had better continental breakfasts. The food was lukewarm, and the breakfast meats were more like mystery meats. DON'T waste your money, there are plenty of breakfast joints around the hotel where you'll spend less and get edible food.
We also tried the Bar & Grill our first night there. Food was normally priced and boring.

Something I thought was strange-- maid service didn't come until around 4pm. When they did show up, they made the beds and restocked towels... but didn't restock the coffee or anything else.

All in all, the money spent was not totally worth it. We had a good time, but I think we will try the Wilderness or Kalahari next time.

Room Tip: First floor is closest to the waterpark, and most rooms have walkout patios.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

We checked in on Monday afternoon and checked out Sunday morning. We booked a lone wolf room, 2 beds with sitting area and it had a fridge and microwave with small sink in room. The room was ok...beds uncomfortable they REALLY need to invest in new beds. Contact the Westin hotels they've got great beds. We didn't need the pull out couch but opened it up to check out that mattress and I'm glad we didn't need it, cause that mattress was insanely terrible. Time to start investing in your mattresses...I mean you charge enough for the stay you might want to make sure that people have a good nights sleep.
The bathroom was HUGE, which we found odd, but I guess they do this since our room can be used to open up to the adjoining room and accommodate more guests, but still seemed like a lot of wasted space...but I used the extra space under the counter to store our suitcases since the closet was SOOOOOO tiny! And there were only 3 small drawers to put clothes into so I needed access to our suitcases to get out our clothes. I guess this would be ok if you're staying a couple days but not so great if you're staying a little longer.
The cleaning staff were visible at all times constantly lining the halls with their carts cleaning rooms all day long. The hotel participates in a green earth initiative and claim that they change the sheets every 3 days if you're with then for an extended stay, so I expected our sheets to be changed at least once.....but NOPE!!! Not a chance! I even ASKED the maids to change our sheets one day as I kindly vacated our room to allow them to clean it and they smiled and nodded at me and when I returned they'd only replaced the towels made the beds, and that's it. No vacuuming of carpets nothing. I'm afraid there is a "language barrier" which is why my request was not fulfilled.
I called down for toilet paper one day, and staff ran it up to me in a timely manner which was good, and a clogged shower drain was remedied soon after the complaint was phoned to front desk.
The room location was quite far from everything...but I guess that's what you get for booking in the condominiums. Long walk can be a real hassle if you have small kids, so keep this in mind!!
We didn't try the breakfast buffet at Camp Critter but I'm assuming it was okay since it seemed busy every morning....but the dinner buffet at Camp Critter was an absolute NIGHTMARE! How can you serve that slop? The fried chicken literally EXPLODED when my husband but into it....what is that coating? The salad was wilted and turned my stomach. The waffles were edible for my kids....I was completely dissatisfied with this restaurant....I mean really? How can you screw up a simple buffet?
The Loose Moose Bar and Grill was hit and miss....kids food okay, pizza was fine, nothing special but way superior to the Critter. The sweet shop was good, kids liked the cookies and Starbucks was a welcomed sight for Mom and Dad...though service was slow at times....maybe the staff could help each other and wait to make fudge when the line up is almost out the door!
Okay now the big deal - Water Park....I had a 2 yr old and a 4 yr old so my review will be a little one sided. I didn't get to experience any of the big slides, as I couldn't do them without my kids (lone parent with 2 tots)...but they looked great and most people seemed to really look like they were having fun!
The kids area was okay, though not much to it...only 2 areas for little kids. And you need to make sure you have 2 adults for water slides, someone to lead kid to slide and another to "catch" at the end if your kid is little. My 4yr old could manage without me but the 2 yr old needed help to get to the top of slides and my hubby "caught" him at the pool. Granted they had their life jackets on, but they still need help.
Lifeguards are there to watch everyone not babysit kids!
The lifeguards were very good, very attentive and professional. GWL should be very proud of them.
The towels were usually warm, though they are small, but plentiful through the park so that was nice.
The lockers are kind of expensive! $5 plus $10 refundable as long as you return your key by 7:30pm I was told. They have NO deals for resort guests who are staying multiple days...you want a locker you must rent one every time. This was kind of stupid in my opinion...but what can you do.
I rented a locker only once since I found it a hassle and expensive....and honestly I didn't bring anything with us that was worth anything so I left our stuff on a lone chair and nobody touched it EVER!! Lol! Nobody messes with your chair as long as your stuff is on it. Pretty amazing. SO...Get there early and grab a chair!!!
And make sure to bring a robe or dry clothes or room towels for yourselves for the long walk back to your room since you're forbidden from taking waterpark towels out of park.
I brought robes for my kids which were awesome until I forgot to bring one our last night in the hotel. I took my 4yr old for a last run at the wave pool while hubby stayed with 2yr old in room. I didn't realize until we were ready to head back that I'd forgotten his robe...so I asked the attendant if I could use a towel to take him back to our room and I'd come back to return the towel immediately after I got him back to our room and she refused!! I was floored! I tried to reason with her telling her our room was far away in the condominiums and she just flat out refused telling me I could bring my room towels down next time. I told her it was our last night...and thanks.
So I just picked up my kid and held him close to keep him warm as I carried him to our room.
We did the Magic Quest and it was okay though pricey....but the kids burned some energy bouncing and climbing around in there.
The Arcade was small and a time killer but super expensive. Cashed in his tickets on our last day and he got a couple dollar store items. I'm glad I didn't keep track of how much cash I dumped into that place! $$$$$
Story time was blah....my kids were pretty excited to go, but the story that the clock tower tells is a little bit too "extensive" for little kids. And the story teller spent more time telling kids to "SCOOTCH" away from the Violet character that the story book kind of got lost. If you want the kids to sit further away then lay down a rope on the carpet....cause they're just gonna keep moving up, they're KIDS!
The kids camp area was ridiculous....WAY too small and nothing like the photo on the website. Not enough room in there when I went over there....parents standing around while kids are doing a craft so it was crowded, so I just left.
So in the end considering the price of this resort, I really expected it to have better housekeeping and better dining options. The water park was okay but really not as great as I thought it would be.
Now across the road to Kalahari to see how they compare!

So far, I have a FULL KITCHEN for over $100 less a night! And the room is AMAZING!!!!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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17 reviews 17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

Very impressed with the place. Very clean, nice staff and kids had a blast. The lifeguards were very attentive and I felt safe even if the kids were out of my sight. We had a two bedroom condo which was ample from for two families (4 adults and 6 kids). Having the kitchen was nice as we saved a lot by eating many of our meals in the room. The food we did eat was not overpriced, but not cheap.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Naperville, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2013

Moderatly clean, they tried hard but they still couldn't hide the age or the stench. Our room was musty and damp, the rugs were cleaned , but not steamed cleaned in ages. It just felt old and gross. I think we'll try a different park next time. Their magiquest theme seemed dated and quite frankly most of the kids looked bored. For the prices you spend, you expect more. The breakfast buffet was dirty and don't expect much more outside of hotdogs at the water park.

As for the water park it wasn't bad, seemed clean and taken care of. The life guards seemed a bit clueless and English definitely not a first language for many. so asking a life guard if the ride is safe for your 3 year old, don't expect much of a response.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013 via mobile

We are just finishing up three days here usng Diamond Resort points. This is our third Great Wolf lodge having been to Sandusky Ohio and the one outside of Seattle. For three of us we have the family suite with sofa bed which is fine for 3 people....everyone gets a bed. We look out onto the highway and with the door open, yes I can hear traffic, but with the door shut it is fine. Waterpark is good with lots of slides and the Tornado my grandson's favorite. Room is clean enough although that obviously don't vacuum once you get in the room but I don't have any complaints. The housekeeping staff does a stellar job considering what I'm sure they contend with. The outside hall can get noisy with kids running but nothing you wouldn't expect given that is really a kids place. TV gets lots of channels. Had lunch in the waterpark yesterday..pizza wasn't bad. Free wifi everywhere with string signal. I'm assuming everyone gets it free although it could be because we are gold diamond members. Had Starbucks coffee in coffee shop today and it was just like my local Starbucks in terms of taste and cost. I did go across the street to the Starbucks the first morning but realized I didn't need to. Have been to Knuckleheads for bowling, which is across the parking lot and going back today for the other rides. It's a fun place and nice to do something different. We ate the first night at Sorentos...just down the road. Excellent, good wine list, great food, super service. Price was good given the size of the servings. Three of us easily shared two entrees. Liked it so much were going back tonight. Went to Moosejaw Brewing co. Last night. Again food was good and reasonable. Im used to Chicago prices so others might consider the restaurants pricey..i do not. my grandson and disabled young adult daughter are having fun and that is what counts. I would return. I have also been to the Wilderness lodge a few years ago and while that has an indoor amusement park which is included, I like Great Wolf better. Also staff is very nice and professional, checkin was painless And room was ready before 3. Only complaint is cleanliness of waterpark..need to empty garbage cans more often and clean up floors. Did see a complaint about lack of chairs. They do fill up but you should expect that. I always get there when doors open to get a table and chairs but I do that everywhere I go. Pool chairs always go quickly wherever you go. Some people hold way too many but that's just the way it is.

Stayed March 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.
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

As I write this review, the sound of freeway traffic is roaring through my 4th floor balcony window. During check-in, the staff at the front desk cheerfully informed me that check-in BEGINS at 4:00 p.m. -- it doesn't actually mean you get a room at 4:00 p.m. Yes, it is true, after I went back to their website, it says, "Check-in begins at 4:00 p.m. or as rooms become available". Now, as someone who has travelled extensively and stayed at what must now be close to thousands of hotels, 99.9% of hotels have a check-in time around 2, 3 or 4 -- but I have NEVER seen a check-in that begins "...as rooms become available".

When I asked the staff if that might mean my room would not be available until 6:00 p.m. -- her response was a wry "I would hope not, but I wouldn't want to make a promise I couldn't guarantee"

The waterpark itself was built for half the number of people who are here. There are not enough chairs. Not enough tables. The Lazy River is more like a creek.

I know what I am getting when I come to places like Wisconsin Dells. This isn't Disney. It's not a 4 star hotel kind of place.

What I do expect is value for the money I spend -- and staying at this place is not cheap.

The rooms -- even the family "Suite" is small -- the t.v. is small -- and the "semi-private" section can't even conjure up a full half-wall to give some semblance of "semi-privacy".

Gross. Hideous sound-proofing. A waterpark that is well past its prime. Small. Rude. And, clearly not a hotel that feels compelled to be forthcoming to its customers, nor one that cares about whether the customer comes back again.

Room Tip: Don't get a room on the freeway side of the hotel. Get a room on the top floor. Stay somewhere...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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: 1400 Great Wolf Drive, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
Location: United States > Wisconsin > Wisconsin Dells
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
#19 Family Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Great Wolf Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 204
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Also Known As:
Great Wolf Lodge Hotel
Wisconsin Dells Hotel Great Wolf Lodge
Great Wolf Lodge Wisconsin Dells
Great Wolf Hotel Wisconsin Dells
Black Wolf Lodge
Great Wolf Hotel Wi Dells
Great Wolf Wi Dells
Great Wolf Resort

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