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“Family Fun Weekend”
Review of Great Wolf Lodge

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Great Wolf Lodge
Ranked #4 of 128 Hotels in Niagara Falls
Certificate of Excellence
Belleville, Ontario
Level 6 Contributor
189 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 301 helpful votes
“Family Fun Weekend”
Reviewed July 8, 2014

The ease of Great Wolf Lodge keeps us coming back again and again. The onsite waterpark that is only open to guests of the Lodge, the spacious and family-friendly rooms (with things like a fridge and a microwave in each suite), the ability to add a meal plan, and the other onsite activities (mini golf, bowling, arcade, etc.) all make it the kind of place where the parents can relax while the kids still have tons to do.

While it wasn't a perfect stay, per se, it was still a great one. Our room request was happily honoured (top floor, view of the outdoor waterpark), our room was ready before the promised check-in time of 4 pm (just after 2 pm, to be exact), and the both the common areas of the lodge and our family suite were very clean. Staff, for the most part, were super friendly (with a few exceptions) and the waterpark provided hours of enjoyment, even for our "aging" family (two adults and two older teens).

The breakfast and dinner buffets at the Antler Shanty were excellent, with an abundance of yummy items to suit every taste. We did have a server at our second night's dinner that was a bit of a disappointment...she lacked the Great Wolf friendliness that we have come to enjoy and didn't have the knowledge of the meal plan inclusions (specifically, a Shirley Temple as a drink option). Hats off to the fabulous young chef who was cooking up the cheese raviolis at the saute station on Saturday, June 28th...what a joy to chat with and the raviolis were divine.

The quick service meals were, sadly, nothing special. The pizza at Northwoods was greasy, and the sandwich combo at the Bear Claw cafe needed a side or dessert (chips, cookie, or something) to round it out other than included drink (otherwise, paying more than $8+ for a small kaiser with meat and a fountain pop seemed excessive at best). The chicken tenders and sandwiches at Spirit Island were passable but nothing to write home about. Definitely the value in the meal plan comes from the fabulous breakfast and lunch buffets.

We visited over a long weekend, so the waterpark was noticeably busier on the Saturday of the Canada Day weekend than on our Friday arrival day. The lifeguards, though, were plentiful and the park was very enjoyable despite the crowds.

What needs to change? The awful (and I mean AWFUL) shampoo/conditioner/body wash in the dispensers in the bathrooms. Total garbage. I was so grateful we brought our own hair care products, as the "green" options in the suite washrooms are beyond bad and a nightmare for anyone with long hair. Also, the water temperature in the suite bathroom never did get hot enough to enjoy a comfortable shower, despite having the water turned on as hot as it would go and allowed to run for some time (hoping it would eventually reach a suitable temperature.....but it didnt).

While we already had our next visit (Christmas 2014) reserved before arrival with a 15% discount code applied, we visited the front desk before departure to inquire about the "book your next stay before you leave and save 20%" promo that was advertised throughout the lodge. They were able to apply the additional 5% savings to our existing reservation, albiet after a lengthy wait and a check with multiple supervisors. So we are happily awaiting our return to our "home away from home" in the beautiful Niagara Falls. See you in December, Great Wolf Lodge.

Room Tip: In the summer, we like the top floor rooms with the view of the outdoor waterpark. The vaulted ceil...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Markham, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2014

We stayed at the Niagara location right after Canada Day and had a wonderful time. This was our first stay and our 2 kids (ages 6 & 9) and we loved everything about it. It was great having both the indoor waterpark and outdoor pool. There was so much to do. There are plenty of food options and having a fridge and microwave in the room was great for snacks. There is a meal plan available, which we didn't purchase because we wanted to check things out on our own for the first time. I think the meal plan is only worth it if you want a big buffet breakfast and dinner, otherwise don't bother. We grabbed coffee and Tim's from down the street and enjoyed that before going to the waterpark which opens at 9. Outdoor pool opens at 10. We grabbed lunch at one of the snack bars (at the waterpark and by the pool).
It was great to have the ability to use the facilities even after check-out, so you got another full day of fun. We were on the main level, room 2054 and it was a perfect location. We didn't hear any noise and yet we were very close to the lobby and down a quick flight of stairs to all the attractions. We didn't even get to everything so we will definitely be back!

Room Tip: Main floor room was great. We were in 2054 and didn't hear any noise at night. Nice and close...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank mrovos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thornhill, Ontario
Level 6 Contributor
119 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2014

Great Wolfe is a wonderful location to enjoy water and swimming. It is great to get away with family and enjoy some wet fun. The food is pretty good. If you don't eat in all the time, you can always get a pizza delivered and I am sure other food. The selection on the food and the quality is quite good. While you need to be out of the room (doors locked) at 11AM, you can use the facilities and get a locker on the day of departure. That is pretty good. The theme rooms are quite good. It is great if you can take advantage of room rate specials as advertised. They save money. We were a family of 9 with 3 rooms and it was a wonderful 2 day adventure.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank cmikey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
80 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2014

This was our second trip to Great Wolf Lodge with kids 9 and 11. We took advantage of the 20% discounted rate for booking your next stay when checking out and have booked our third stay this way as well. We live close enough that a one night stay is an option and choose a weekday opposed to weekends to avoid crowds. Microwave and fridge in room are great for having snacks/meals. The Paw Pass is the best deal going which gets the kids many activities that would cost far more if purchased individually. The kids loved the Magi game, mini golf, stuffing station, bowling and arcade. They spent hours in the water park enjoying slides, lazy river, rope course and pools. Even though they're exhausted after all the fun activities they can't wait to go back!

Room Tip: Guests returning to Great Wolf Lodge have a preferred check in line. It is not well marked when you...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DragunFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mississauga, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 3, 2014 via mobile

It was our first visit and we stayed one night, two days. We stayed in a camp themed family suite. The room was well furnished and laid out. The kids loved their tent themed partition with a treasure map inside. They had their own TV so more freedom for everyone. The place is clean and very well organized. I liked that we hadn't to carry anything while going around the lodge the door keys, the shopping,the spa everything is managed with the water proof wrist band we were handed at admission . the water park is a blast. It was amazing that we were in our swimming suits enjoying 24°c pools when you can see the snow layered outside! In the evening there's a bedtime story for all the children We wanted to stay even longer and will be visiting this summer again. I recommend it to every family looking to have a guaranteed great time. This place is worth every dollar, try to strike on the midweek deals though it is much cheaper. Enjoy!

Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank pansy A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mississauga, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
43 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2014

We just returned from a one night, two day stay at GWL and I could not be more pleased! We opted for the all inclusive package where breakfast, lunch and dinner were included. (Bonus our 3 year old twins ate free! 3 and under eat free when you buy an all in. package).

Our first impression was a little overwhelming (we arrived when it seemed everyone else was too!) I was very pleased that the line up moved so quickly and we were checked in and given our room early!!! (Does this ever happen? Like anywhere? We were so happy!) The lobby has so much to see and do but we were able to coax the kids to the room quickly with promises of swimming and fun! So it was up to the room quick for a change and then off to the park.

We stayed in a family suite I think it is called (2 beds and a pull out couch). The room was very clean, and super spacious (with the exception of the bathroom was small but we didn't spend a whole lot of time in there so not a big deal). The beds were comfortable and it was lovely to have the balcony to sit on and relax after the little ones fell asleep. We were on the third floor but I think the next time we will request the 4th floor because I was kept up very late by the kids above us running back and forth in their room. We had requested bed rails (which they supply) they were quickly brought up to the room for us. The bed rails were unfortunately very dirty.

The park is very well kept and we had read in other's reviews that the pools were often closed because of children messing them. This did happen once while we were there but it really wasn't closed too long and there is so much else to do that it really didn't bother us. I do however have a complaint about the jets in the hot pool (the one that allows children). They are way too strong. They actually hurt my spine. I would avoid sitting anywhere near these jets and certainly do not allow your children to. Even my husband found them brutal so I know I am not just being a suck about this. You can refresh your towels as many times as you need to which is nice. We traveled on a long weekend so it was busy (which I suspect it often is but maybe a bit more so it being a long weekend?) it would have been nice if they had a few more lazy river tubes available as the wait was annoying and people were going around 3 or 4 times before they would give up their tubes. I would think that if you see a long line up of people waiting for a tube you would be considerate and go around once and then hand it off to someone in line but obviously not everyone is as polite as I would hope they would be. There are no staff monitoring this type of thing but I guess they can't police everything.

Our children loved the bedtime story and are still singing "bad jokes" from the song portion of story time.

The food, we all thought, was fantastic! The selection in the buffet was great. Our kids can be a bit picky and so can this momma but we all found lots of stuff to eat and enjoy (probably too much!) I loved that you were able to charge everything to your room (even after check out) because we didn't have to worry about carrying around wallets or cash. It made it super easy to grab the kids a drink and a snack without running up to the room to grab money or having to purchase a locker.

The staff was great!!! From check in to check out! We had the pleasure of meeting Mary F who works in the change rooms. She was lovely! A true asset to GWL. Everyone from the buffet that we had the pleasure to meet were kind and could not do enough to help you. They were out of booster seats when we arrived but we were promptly brought two and they were so apologetic about it even though it was totally understandable.

We will be back for sure, we had to drag the kids out despite them being completely exhausted! It was a great family get away that is only a short drive from home!

Room Tip: Go with a top floor room if possible if you are a light sleeper.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank shannyann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2014

This is the kind of place that – before I had kids – was my idea of a total nightmare. It’s loud and crowded and there are over-stimulated, sugared-up kids everywhere. But you parents will all know that we do things we never would have imagined to see the joy in our kids’ little faces and I have to say, it was overall a very good experience.

We went on the Saturday after the last day of school and before Canada Day, so it was probably especially busy. It felt chaotic at times walking through the hallways, it was hard to find seating, and there was a good 10-12 minute wait for the waterslides. Next time I would definitely go back during the week instead.

PROS
- The staff was super friendly, patient, and helpful. Everyone seemed genuinely happy to try and make your day happier. When we called the front desk because the kids tv remote wasn’t working, a friendly guy arrived in minutes and when it turned out the remove had just been switched with the grown-up one (as indicated by stickers underneath) he was not bothered at all. In fact, he made a point of saying it happens all the time and stayed to adjust the tv better. The guy at the ice cream counter, the woman at the arcade prize-claim and countless others were so patient as my kids took the length of time choosing these things takes for kids their age. The wait staff, the lifeguards, the front desk – every staff we came across was incredibly nice and it went a long way to making it a pleasant experience.
- The food is surprisingly good. We had an excellent chicken parm sandwich at the café for snack. At the buffet supper, I had baked chicken with gravy, asparagus, sweet potato and it was all delicious. There were lots of options and there’s a little kids buffet area with mac n cheese, chicken nuggets, carrots, etc. For breakfast – again, they had every food you could have imagined – I had eggs benny and was somewhat shocked at how excellent it was. (Poached eggs is not an easy thing to serve at a buffet.)
- Our room came with a “wolf den” for the kids, a little room within the room with a bunk bed and their own tv - they loved it. The rest of the room was a little dated, but big and clean and had everything you needed.
- The arcade was really fun for the kids, especially how they can earn tickets and claim prizes
- The bracelets acting as a key and to charge things to your room is so convenient. I also really liked how they slip a summary under your door and it’s automatic check-out, so you can enjoy your last day without having to carve out time to line-up and sign papers.
- The kiddie area of the water park is great and well-designed – it’s big and shallow enough that you can hang out on the sidelines and keep an eye on your child (depending on age – mine is 3.5) while they safely explore and go on the 4 available slides on their own.

CONS
- I thought half the water park was outdoor but it turns out the only thing outdoor is mini golf and a big swimming pool. When we were there though, someone had an accident in the pool so no one was allowed in for 12 hours. That was disappointing because it was a beautiful day and it would have been nice to be outdoors for a bit of our visit.
- The water park itself is quite warm and smells very strongly of chlorine. If that’s something you’re sensitive to - be warned.
- It was really great for my (almost) 6 year old as he was tall enough to go on almost everything in the waterpark but my 3.5 year old was just under that height, which made the options more limited. She still had a good time, but by the second day was really wanting to go on the big slides and under a certain height, they don’t allow it even when accompanied by an adult.
- The changeroom is freezing (compared to the water park) and only has 3 showers, so there was a long line.
- Not a big deal, but I was surprised the restaurant didn’t have crayons or other things to keep the kids busy during supper.
- When we opened the patio door to our room (1097), we were instantly greeted but the very loud pumps that run the water park, so it wasn't a nice outdoor space to hang out in. And for some reason at night, the patio is lit by the brightest light on earth on – which cannot be turned off. Next time I would ask for a room facing a different way.

TIPS
- I only bought the breakfast meal plan this time but having tried the restaurant and food, I will buy the full meal plan next time - it’s convenient, there’s something for everyone, service is friendly and food is tasty.
- You don’t need hats or sunglasses or sunscreen. When we got there, I painstakingly applied sunscreen to everyone before discovering that all the action was indoor.
- You don’t need a locker. Just throw things into a beach bag and you can leave it on a chair (assuming there are no valuables).
- You don’t need towels, which is nice.

In conclusion, my kids had a blast (which was the main goal) and it was relatively painless for us too. Ok maybe we even had a little fun. 

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank jsk28
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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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