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Reviewed December 19, 2011

My son and I just returned home from our third trip to the Traverse City Great Wolf Lodge. Each time, our trip has been memorable. We stayed three nights (Friday through Sunday) in a Wolf Den Suite and spent several hours in the water park each day. We also dined in the restaurant a couple of times, took part in story time each night in the lobby, and painted a craft in the Cub Club kids' area. Since our visit was during the holiday season, it snowed in the lobby area and the inn was beautifully decorated for Christmas.

Overall, everything was clean, and the service was top-notch. The employees in each area of the inn are clearly well-trained in customer service. They greet everyone with a smile, and they make sure the guests are happy. Keep in mind, though, that the downside of this is the cost. Everything at the inn was more expensive than it would be somewhere else. A bottle of soda pop was $2.50 both in the vending machines and at the gift shop. Our meals were in the thirty-dollar range each time, and this was just for my eight year old son and me, and I didn't order any alcoholic drinks. Our dinner, for example, consisted of a kid's order of mac & cheese, and an order of beef nachos, along with a Diet Coke for me and a smoothie-type drink for my son and it was over thirty dollars total . (The kids' meals are $7,99 and don't include the drink.) Renting a locker for the day in the waterpark costs ten dollars. I felt like I needed to pull out my calculator and keep a running tally of all the ways my money was disappearing. Still, it was convenient to have so much available under one roof. Want ice cream? There's a ice cream store. Fudge? It's there, too, as well as chocolate treats, donuts, and other sweets. There is even Starbucks coffee available near the entry to the water park. There is also a full-service spa where I went for a pedicure. They also have WiFi available for free, which was very nice for keeping me entertained when my son fell asleep early after being worn out from playing all day.

The rooms are comfortable, and having a microwave and refrigerator is very handy. My only complaint about the rooms is that there isn't anywhere to hang wet swimwear or towels except over the shower curtain rod. The only hangers in the room are attached to a rack near the entry area, and there isn't even a towel bar in the shower area. Next time, I'm bringing a few plastic hangers so I can hang our suits up overnight. The Wolf Den Suites have two tv's--one for the adults and one for the kids. This was nice, too, so my son could watch kids' shows while I watched t.v. in the main area of the room. (Watch out for the price of the pay-per-view movies, though. I thought of renting one until I saw that it would cost over sixteen dollars and it wasn't even a new release.)

A couple of suggestions: Parking can be a little difficult. They do have luggage carts by each entrance, and it is best to check in first before trying to lug all your stuff into the inn. If you can park near your entrance, it will save you a lot of trouble. The hallways are long and winding. The elevators are slow, and usually very crowded, so if you're able to do so, take the stairs or expect a long wait for an elevator. There are only two, and kids who are playing the MagiQuest game often tie up the elevators as they rush from floor to floor completing their tasks. (We didn't play the game this time, but we did on our last visit, and it's fun, but also quite expensive.) Also, in the bathrooms of the water park, there is a little machine that will spin a lot of the water out of your swimsuits. This was our third visit, and this was my first time even knowing the machines were there. It was nice to be able to pack relatively dry swimsuits since we stayed in the water park even after checking out of the hotel and tried to fit in all the fun that we could before our drive home.

I highly recommend the Great Wolf Lodge for anyone with kids. It is a fun place to make some memories, and although it is not inexpensive, it is nice, and the employees are wonderful. (Get on the e-mail list, too. You'll get special offers that can save you money.)

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank Skye9988
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 19, 2011

We had such a wonderful weekend at the lodge. We traveled with another family and our rooms were very spacious with fridge and microwave. The water park had plenty of fun for kids and adults. The staff at the front desk,housekeeping and water park were always friendly and helpful. It was nice to see the lodge in Christmas colors and decorated well for the holidays. It was nice to see Santa and watch the kids have story time with Santa. The magiquest game they offer is very expensive for a normal family. I feel that is one area in which GWL could improve in value. The arcade is more budget friendly, but some games do cost a one dollar per play. The staff in the arcade is very friendly and helpful. The restaurant is on the higher end for a family on a budget. We chose to eat at other places and brought some of our own food during our stay. There are plenty of more affordable options nearby. All in all, we had a great time.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank hadfam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2011

We took our family to Great Wolf Lodge for their Christmas gift;Our son, wife and almost 3 -year old daughter and our daughter, husband and two kids, 6 and 9. I booked through Hotels.com which caused a little confusion, but after 2 calls to the lodge, everything was straightened out.
Everyone had a wonderful time. Our ages ranged from 67 to 2 1/2 years. The staff was so very friendly and went out of their way to help us out, from early check in to the great service in the restaurant. Daughter- in- law loved running in the gym. The water park was what our grandson called "better than Disney." It was so nice and warm and we all played. Adults only hot tub was a nice break.
Overall I would recommend it to any family. We felt extremely safe with all the diligent life guards around. The only thing that we would change is keeping kids from running in the halls all night long. Maybe just a gentle reminder to parents at check in to keep the kids under some control or else a wolf might just have to reprimand them.
The mattresses could use some updating. But the kids loved their wolf dens.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank muskratroadtroupe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2011

We rented three rooms for our extended family of 15. Rooms are very nice and fairly spacious, sofa beds are terribly uncomfortable and they charge for everything extra, like forgot your toothbrush, no problem you can buy one in the gift shop for $5! So, umm don't forget your swimsuit, also the front desk people were not overly friendly, when I tried to get a complimentary 1 hour extension of our room on a Sunday, after being there for two nights and spending well over $2000. I was told no and when I tried to explain how many people we had there and how much we'd all spent over the course of 3 days, they just got more rude about it and imagine this at 10:59 am housekeeping was knocking at our door telling us they needed to clean the room, I'm like really, there are hundreds of rooms and hundreds of people already out of them and your knocking on my door, did the front desk send you here specifically? Suffice it to say, I will not be staying here again, for $250 per room (regular room at that) we can stay in a great suite somewhere else, but my kids did have a blast and there are tons of activities for about 4-12 year olds. My teenagers, however, were not impressed- I thought for what they charged they could at least show a movie every night for the teenagers in the theatre they have on site. The restaurant there, however, is awesome, great food, not bad prices and the service is excellent! Will definitely go to the restaurant there again, just not the hotel.

Room Tip: We had a regular family suite, that sleeps 6 (includes the sofa sleeper). It was fairly spacious, but after 3 days with 6 people in the room, it was a little cramped. I would go for the loft suite or the wolf den if affordable
  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank dfirack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2011

We made a quick trip to Traverse City in August. Thinking that the kids would enjoy it, we stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge. We stayed in a regular room and made e reservation for one night only. Our friends who live in TC talked us into staying an extra night and I told my husband that I would check at the front desk in the morning.

Procrastination was my friend. They not only slipped our bill under the door, they also had a half price offer if we extended our stay. Made the price of the stay more reasonable.

Room was clean and water park was enjoyed by my 7 and 8 year old.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank LSlycord
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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