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“Great for the kids!”
Review of Great Wolf Lodge

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Great Wolf Lodge
Ranked #4 of 128 Hotels in Niagara Falls
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 2, 2013

We made reservations for two Family Suites (two queen sized beds and a foldout sofa in each). (Ask for the discount if you are an EMT, police, or firefighter when you make your reservation; you will need to show proof when you check in.) We were told that we couldn't check in until 4 PM but that we could use the waterpark beginning at 1 PM. (Although you must checkout of the rooms by 11 AM the next day, you may use the waterpark all day on the check-out day.) We did not do the "precheck-in" online because the reservations for the two rooms each had a separate additional "foreign transaction fee" assessed on our credit card (we live in the USA) and we didn't want to risk anymore additional charges. We arrived at about 1:30 PM (no problems finding spots in the lot) and went to the front desk. The lobby was nicely decorated in a wilderness/lodge theme. One of our rooms was ready; the other was not. We gave our credit card as a retainer for any additional charges to our account and were given our electronic bracelets (which allowed all of us to open the suite door when ready but only allow adults to make charges to the credit card). We were given access to the "ready" suite right away and they texted my cell when the other was accessible, which I think was around 3:30 PM. (We had a separate bag packed with just the swimsuits/water goggles and planned to leave the coats and other luggage in the car and change in their changing rooms. Lockers are available if needed.) The rooms were very nice--clean and nicely decorated with a wilderness theme. The sink was separate from the toilet/shower, which in nice when all family members are trying to get done at once. Working hair dryer, coffee maker (with supplies you need), refrigerator, and microwave in the room as promised. Our balcony had a couple of chairs and overlooked what I think was a service entrance--not attractive but we didn't care because we didn't use it anyway. We went to the waterpark and were also pleased. The kids are measured at the entrance, given a bracelet based on their height, and told which attractions they were allowed to use. Towels were given at the entrance (and were to be turned in prior to leaving the waterpark area). Life jackets were plentiful and encouraged for non-swimmers. Lots of different attractions for all levels of risk-takers and heights. Chairs were definitely hard to come by, though. We had to leave our stuff in a corner for a while because we had to keep close by our two young children in the water, but no one touched anything. You could smell the chlorine, as expected, but it was not overpowering and we have two asthmatics who were not bothered by it at all. The bathing suit spinner and plastic bags were free and much appreciated when we had to take our wet suits home. The changing areas were clean but "open" and therefore didn't offer much privacy. If you are shy and want privacy, there are a few changing stalls but expect to wait a bit for them. Lifeguards were attentive and first aid available if needed. The pool at the bottom of the "kiddie" slides wasn't very deep and parents were allowed to "catch" the kids at the bottom. We went to the arcade a couple times. It reminds me of Chuck E. Cheese--buy the tokens, play the games, and get tickets to buy trinkets. Different values of token purchase plans available. We got the 70 tokens for $20. The kids enjoyed it. The gift shop was nice but we didn't buy anything. The kids wore their pajamas, slippers, and bathrobes for the 8 PM storytime in the lobby and got to have their picture taken with the character that was present. Be forewarned, although the local calls are free from the hotel, apparently not all Niagara Falls, Ontario calls are considered local. We were billed for one of the calls we made when we were calling around to various restaurants, even though the place never even answered the phone...We paid for that in cash before we left. We didn't use the restaurants except to buy ice cream cones for the kids. As we expected, the prices were a bit high and seating was not very plentiful, which made us a bit nervous about getting the meal deal only to have nowhere to sit and eat. Instead, we used Trip Advisor to pick out places for dinner and breakfast the next day. Frank's Pizzeria is a small, inexpensive, local pizzeria that is about 5 minutes away and appears to be very popular. We got pizzas, sodas, and a steak hero and were all very satisfied. Be forewarned--although we didn't have a problem, seating there is limited to about seven 4-person tables. Also, based on the recommendation of the staff when we originally called, we called in our order ahead of time, as the wait time to receive food was 40 minutes by 5:30 PM. We called ahead from Great Wolf Lodge, went to the arcade for about 20 minutes, and then drove there. Our food had just come out of the oven when we arrived. No complaints! We went out for breakfast the next morning too. We found a great little diner-type restaurant, The Blue Line, about 10 minutes from Great Wolf Lodge. I ate a generously-portioned cheese omelette with two thick pieces of wheat toast and breakfast potatoes for $6.99. Others got eggs and bacon, various omelettes, waffles, etc. American money was accepted at both restaurants. I would call it standard breakfast fare but very good and a good value. Attached to the diner, which is owned by hockey great Marcel Dionne and his family, are several huge and well-stocked rooms with sports (mostly hockey) memorabilia and souvenirs. Most is for sale, some is just for viewing. Mr. Dionne's daughter as one of the servers and the restaurant and we found Mr.Dionne himself in one of the memorabilia rooms. What a nice man! He spent about 30 minutes with us, talking hockey, sharing stories, showing us his awards/rings, taking pictures, and signing autographs. A treat for any hockey fan! All in all, I would say that it is a bit on the expensive side (so I would deduct maybe a half a star simply for that) but it was a great trip--the kids are already asking to go back!

Room Tip: If you are an EMT/firefighter/police, mention this at reservation time and receive a discount on the...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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4  Thank jmclwolf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,137 - 5,143 of 6,317 reviews

Reviewed April 1, 2013

We visited GWL for a 1 night stay in November. We got a corporate discount from my company and saved a few bucks on the price of the accommodations. It was my daughters birthday and wanted to surprise her with a visit! The location of the place was a bit off from anything else in the area. If you're planning a visit to GWL, that's about the only place you'll be able to see unless you want to get into your car and drive somewhere else. It's somewhat secluded from other attractions or nearby things to see/do. If you're planning to stay for 1-2 nights, I don't think you'll have a problem finding things to see/do. Upon arriving, the outside was very nice. Wooden log cabin appearance, large wooden chair and beautifully designed. Can't say much for the outside, since it was winter and mostly dead plants/snow covered. The inside was also nice, fast check-in process and was immediately given a clean room to stay. We quickly checked in, and headed straight to the waterpark. Wow! Lots of slides and things for our kids to do. They spent a good 2-3 hours inside the waterpark playing. During our stay we ate at the restaurant on the lobby, visited the arcade, visited the gift shop, had coffee in the small shop next to the waterpark entrance and stayed for the night-time kids party. Without commenting on everything individually, I'd say that this place is so targeted to kids! Kids having fun! It's expensive to stay, but worth every penny. I would definitely take my family back to GWL in the near future. Next time, I would probably purchase the meal plan because having to buy breakfast, lunch and dinner did cost quite a bit without the plan. You can always opt for taking fast meals since you have access to a microwave and fridge, but when we go out it's usually to eat out as well. I took a few drinks and snacks but that was about it. Didn't end up using much of what I took.

Thank GoingSouth78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2013

Good facility out of the away of Niagara Falls traffic. Lots for kiddies to do. Have to like water to get most out of it.

1  Thank ShirleHamilton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2013

We travelled with 2 boys (8 & 10), 2 teen girls and their old parents :) We stayed in a loft suite for one night and used a discount code which priced our room at their cheapest room price which was awesome. A great space but the "kitchen" was a mini bar fridge which was tiny to work around. We ordered pizza to the room for dinner and managed on lunches and snacks from the room. Pretty sure there isn't a vegetable or piece of fruit in the whole place, but their fries really are good. This kept the prices way down and everyone from feeling too sluggish from greasy food.
We didn't do the magi quest as we were pressed for time but the 8 year old is determined to return for it as he found it amazing and the others looked like it was worth it.

The place is clean and very chlorinated. This is not a vacation I'd take with other adults, but as an adult dreading it, I had an amazing time. The kids were in great moods and it felt very safe. There was plenty to do to keep from feeling repetitive.

My tips would be:
- arrive between 11-12 carrying 1 bag with everyone's swim gear and flip flops
- check in and send everyone to the pool
- the wristbands are coded for each person and act as door keys to your room - they will text you when room is available
- they can code the wristbands to your credit card - we did this for the adults only and meant - when leaving the room, we only had to take ourselves and could buy anything (coffee, beer, food, arcade tokens, gift shop stuff - anything they sell) via our wrist band.

This made checking in very easy and the line is long at 1pm - no line at 11-12 and bc there is the change of people leaving/entering, there weren't any lines at that time for the slides. This was all happily discovered by accident and it worked so well.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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4  Thank Oplacesyoullgo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2013

I have done some seriously fantastic hotels over time. The Sanctuary at Macchu Pichu. Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong. Bora Bora Nui in Tahiti. Great Wolf Lodge is none of these. Here you cannot expect to have fantastic memorable meals cooked by the world's greatest chefs. Your bed is nothing like the beds at Ritz Carltons. And the cultural events do not involve modern art and interpretative dance.

Instead, you get Las Vegas for kids. Everything in this place is singularly geared for them, from the time you go through the front doors. We arrived early, around noon, with a view to doing some activities before the 4pm checkin. They texted us when the room was ready, which was an hour later, so we had our room early by 1pm. Awesome start. No lines at checkin either, btw.

The room: We stayed in a KidKamp Suite. It is well designed with a fun bunk bed area for the kids, their own 21" TV which they love, etc. Bed is reasonable. Lots of wood furniture in the room, given the camp motif. All good.

Lunch at the buffet restaurant. Again, no culinary delights here for the adults but hedonism for the kids. Hot dogs, pizza, macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, fries, you name it. Fajitas or chili are pretty much what is going on for the adults. Kids continue to be happy.

Off to the water park. Kids are on cloud nine. Lineups are reasonable. Water is crazy chlorinated; I feel like i've been dipped in acid. Better than dysentery though I suppose. Kids are oblivious to all of this, given the fun they are having.

Next up is the arcade, lots of fun.

Dinner back at the buffet. There is a bigger spread on now for dinner, with the fajita station now being for a fish dish which I eye but do not partake. Ribs are offered, which have the succulence and tenderness of beef jerky. Tastes good though. Kids are happy with the offerings although I'm surprised that no burgers are to be found. Lots of pasta offerings etc. for the kids.

PJ party for one of our kids, she's enthralled by the nighttime bed story.

Off to do the same tomorrow. The key here is to roll with the punches, and expect as a parent to get basically nothing. This place is all about the kids, and that's why you brought them here.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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8  Thank Anonymous416
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2013

Stayed here during spring break and overall it was a good experience.

Price was a little steep as stated many times. Maybe if kids ate free or recieved a free MagiQuest game I would have found it more reasonable.

But overall the family had a great time. I guess if the place is always packed then supply and demand is king.

My 8 year old loved the MagiQuest. Both 8 and 12 year old had a blast at the water park. We opted to have the kids all inclusive while my Wife and I had a bucket of beer and wings at the pool and that seemed to be the right choice for us.

Overall I only have one complaint and 4 days later it still is driving me crazy not knowing the answer. Why does management let the reserving of tables continue? We were at the park at 10:00 am one morning. There were literally over 300, im guessing, chairs at the pool, 12 people sitting on chairs, and 40 people walking around unable to find a place to sit. That, to me, is unacceptable. If everyone sat in the chairs only when they needed to sit there would be more than enough chairs ALL THE TIME. I wish someone from GWL would post on here how on earth they think this policy is ok?

Room Tip: We stayed on the 4th floor. People have complained about the elevators but we only used them twice...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Benuzzi_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2013

This was our first trip to Great Wolf Lodge. Our daughter is 14 months and she absolutely loved the place. Since she is young, we were somewhat limited to what we could do there, but there was still plenty to make the two nights well worth it. The waterpark has something for everyone and we were able to take her down one slide a couple of times. There was plenty to do for older children, as well as adults and we look forward to trying more things when we go back.
We arrived very early (10am), but the resort was very accomodating, even getting us into a room right away. Even if a room had not been available, we were told that we could use the waterpark right away. The staff were generally very helpful.
The room was comfortable, and the fridge came in handy. There was also a microwave, though we did not use it. Based on reviews by friends, we had brought some of our own food. In the future we plan to bring a lot more. We asked for a crib, and were disapointed that it was a playpen. It was fine, as our LO was able to safely sleep on the bed with us, but something others may need to consider.
The only major complaint we had was that the food was terrible and extremely overpriced. I was especially disapointed because all the vegetables tasted as if they had been soaked in salt (terrible for adults, but even worse for a 14 month old!). The food was of general poor quality, and healthy choices were extremely limited. The breakfast buffet is $15.99 and not even worth half that, dinner was $21.99. We ended up heading out to by more groceries, and ate off resort the second night. We went to Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville and spent the same amount of money but got a much better quality meal.
It is a good location, close to the falls. The facilities were well maintained and overall we were happy and will definitely be going back. Next time we will likely use the spa and our DD will be older and able to take part in more activities.
Loved that our wristbands unlocked our rooms! So handy when carrying our girl.
Tips:
The lockers in the waterpark are very expensive. Try to get in early so you can save an area to keep things nearby. Or try to limit what you bring into the park
Bring lots of fresh food/snacks to save yourself from having to eat greasy french fries

Room Tip: We asked to be away from the main elevators. This worked out for us because we were at the other en...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Mcfeely
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: 3950 Victoria Avenue, Niagara Falls, Ontario L2E 7M8, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > Ontario > Niagara Falls
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) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Niagara Falls
#5 Family Hotel in Niagara Falls
#14 Business Hotel in Niagara Falls
Price Range: $217 - $498 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Great Wolf Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 406
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
From the moment you arrive at the Great Wolf Lodge, expect to be amazed and amused. Situated close to awe-inspiring Niagara Falls, the entire Lodge is designed to capture the spirit of adventure and the atmosphere of the great Northwood's. The Northern theme inspires everything from the spectacular stone fireplace and timber in the five-story Grand Lobby to the cabin-like comfort and decor of our all-suite guest rooms. The Lodge features an indoor/outdoor waterpark of over 100,000 square-feet; an 18-hole interactive miniature golf course; Ten Paw Bowling Alley; our 7,000 sq. Ft. Northern Lights Arcade, including a ticket redemption center; MagiQuest, interactive adventure game; Elements Spa & Salon and Scoops Kid Spa. Five themed restaurants, including a confectionary cafe and Northwood's Pizza. We assure your stay will be a howling great time! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Great Wolf Hotel Niagara Falls
Great Wolf Niagara Falls
Great Wolf Lodge Niagara Falls

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