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“BEST family vacation ever!”
Review of Great Wolf Lodge

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Great Wolf Lodge
Ranked #6 of 18 Hotels in Mason
Clarksville, Tennessee
1 review
“BEST family vacation ever!”
Reviewed October 17, 2010

This place was amazing! We loved being able to stay in a place where the waterpark is just a few steps away. We have a 4 year old, a 2 year old, and a 6 month old, so there were many times when the littler ones needed a nap, and one of us could hop back to the room and surf the free wi-fi while the rest stayed in the waterpark. The Cub Club was also a wonderful, quiet place to unwind from the fun of the waterpark. It was DEFINITELY worth the cost of the room. The restaurants on site were pretty expensive, though. Next time we will be dining outside the hotel. There are plenty of restaurants only a block away.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with family
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Thank sunaftertherain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Louisville, KY
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 13, 2010

Great Wolf Lodge is a “ fun” place to go, but I don’t think we will go back.

Check in time is a 4 p.m., but you can arrive at 1 p.m. to start using the water park and if your room is ready, like ours were, makes it more convenient. Otherwise, you will have to bring a bag with your swimsuits to change into in the locker rooms. No need to bring towels because they provide them; however, you cannot leave the water park with the towels.

We spent two hours in the water park for our entire stay, even thought they were open until 10 p.m. (normal closing hours is at 8 p.m., so call to check on times). The water park itself is really nice but we all felt the water was too cold. We let staff know this too. They said they would let management know about the problem.

After we left the pool, our daughter insisted on playing the game “MagiQuest.” She knew about it beforehand because a friend told her. BIG MISTAKE. First, you have to purchase a wand and the game for $31.00 plus tax. That doesn’t include any additional accessories. The children use the magic want to open treasure chests, go on quests, and battle dragons.

You think the game only lasts for maybe an hour after you have walked up and down to the second floor or use the elevator to the third and fourth floors trying to figure out all the clues. Nevertheless, it will take five to six hours to complete. We tried to tell our daughter to stop for awhile and we can go swimming but no, she wanted to continue on. If you have a young child or only one child, you will have to help them the entire time. FYI, we saw so many frustrated parents those two days, instead of smiling faces.

Although my child had a great time playing the game and even found a friend to continue her quest, we found that it wasn’t worth the money to stay at this hotel. We paid $268.00 for their smallest room, on a Thursday, with free breakfast. for one night. The room was a handicap room, which we didn’t request, but it was clean and included a mini-refrigerator, microwave, sink, coffee pot and cups. The bathroom had a hairdryer, walk in shower with holding bars in shower and toilet. We were in room 1027, the first floor, which was close to everything.

We did eat at the Camp Critter Bar & Grille and found the food to be very good. I thought the prices were normal for a hotel. We also ate at the Loose Moose Cottage for our free breakfast buffet. The food was good but if we didn’t have the voucher, we would have probably left the hotel and went to McDonalds down the street. We didn’t go to Pizza Hut or the Bear Paw, which was also in the hotel.

After we check out at 11:00 a.m., our plans was to go to the water park again until we got tired but our daughter insisted to do MagiQuest again and finish her quest. While my husband stayed with her, I went shopping at the Buckhorn Exchange and had some Starbucks too, which was located inside their gift shop.

We didn’t use the Cub Club, Northern Lights Arcade, Elements and Scoops Kid Spa, or the Iron Horse Fitness Center so I can’t comment on any of those areas. However, my daughter did put her Pjs on for the Pajama Story Time in the Grand Lobby. She found it slightly entertaining (The Great Clock Tower Show) but disappointed in the story teller.

Overall, my daughter had a great time, all due to MagiQuest. We had an okay time, so unfortunately, due to the cost and not really using the water park, we will not be coming back.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank guidetolouisville
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Springboro, Ohio
1 review
Reviewed October 12, 2010

A great place to take the kids in the winter. They all had a great time from the 2 year old to the 10 year old. 4 kids and it was a blast. Nice winter break from the daily routine.
Price is too high but once every few years and if you catch a special, it's doable.
Rooms are very noisy, you can hear everything going on on every side of you.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank mrbeans1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
centerville, ohio
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 11, 2010

We visited GWL for a birthday party on a Sunday afternoon. According to the hosts, we could arrive anytime after noon, check in at the front desk, and swim as long as we liked. Pizza would be served at 5:00. Upon arriving at the front desk, we were told that we were "late," by one staff member and that the host of the party had been waiting for guests to give armbands, but he had finally given up. The second staff member didn't seem to know what to do with us, and the third that came to give us armbands did not address at all. We gave the name of the hosts 3 times before the three people waiting on us determined that which group we were with. They then charged the parents admission, telling us that the hosts "were not paying for adults," which was not the case. It took us nearly 15 minutes to checkin for a birthday party. The host told all of us at the party that the front desk would not let him prepay for guests and that if we had been charged he would reimburse us. He also complained about the front desk, and having known him for 17 years, I must say that he isn't easily upset.

If it hadn't been for my children, we would have turned and walked out. We had been thinking of staying at GWL for my son's birthday in November, but the front desk experience alone was enough that I do not wish to return.

The staff at the gift shop where you rented lockers was very nice and helpful, and the pizza at the party was great.

Cleanliness of the changing rooms was deplorable. We changed into suits in the family changing room. There was standing water on the floor and numerous wet towels. When we were ready to leave, I took my son into the Women's changing area, and it was even worse. Every toilet stall, changing room, and shower was full of wet (wringing) towels. One shower had a double handfull of hair sitting on the drain. I took my children home to wash them.

Overall, the positives of the trip did not outweigh the negatives. The front desk experience coupled with the filth of the changing rooms convinced me that this facility is not worth the money. Maybe the experience would have been better if we had spent the night and had our own room, but at these prices, who wants to give them another shot. If they are going to charge Disney prices, then they need to provide Disney service.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank untiggeredp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed September 21, 2010

We stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge Mason shortly after it opened about 4 years ago, and have returned several times since. We have never visited any of the other GWL's so I can't compare; this one is conveniently located for us.
After staying in a variety of the smaller rooms, I decided to "splash out" (pardon the pun) on our most recent visit and get a two-bedroom suite. The room was spacious and had a good layout and location within the hotel (top floor -- no kid noise overhead). HOWEVER, the carpet was stained and worn, the room overall was tired-looking and the air conditioning vent in the ceiling leaked quite a bit onto the foot of one of the beds. This for a room that goes for about $500 a night. Yes, $500 a night.
We called housekeeping about the vent; a man came promptly and replaced the AC filter, saying this is a frequent occurrence. He suggested we get housekeeping to replace the comforter; she snippily said she'd "just replaced it," but gave us a new one anyway. It proceeded to get wet again, but we didn't want to move rooms, so we just kept the AC a little warmer than we woud've liked which kept it somewhat under control.
As usual, my kids enjoyed their stay. They're elementary-aged boys, and really like the Magiquest interactive game and the arcade as much or more than the waterpark. When we returned home, I answered an email survey from GWL asking about our stay. When it asked if I'd like to be contacted about our experience, I said yes -- but never heard back from anyone.
I'd recommend this place if you can get a rate of about $200 or less per night. It's fun for the kids, and has a nice gift shop and Starbucks to make it a litlte more bearable for parents (plus several bars, ha). But for anything close to $500 a night, I expect a lot better.
Also beware their fairly strict booking policies: if you cancel your reservation even the same day you make it, you must pay a $25 fee. If something happens -- kid comes down with a fever, for example -- and you have to cancel within three days of your booked stay, they keep the charge (which is immediately billed to your credit card) for the first night.
One final note: they don't have WiFi, and had only one or two public computers in a small room over by their conference center, at the far end of the hotel. This is really inconvenient.
A couple of times, we've stayed at the Comfort Inn and Suites right across the street, which has a pool and free continental breakfast., and "visited" GWL during the day. You don't get access to the GWL waterpark, but the kids can do everything else: Magiquest, Cub Club, arcade, etc. I would recommend this to those who don't care that much about the waterpark. You can usually get rooms at the CIS for under $100/night.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Ms4All
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, Tennessee
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed September 15, 2010

Our girls are 8, 5, and 10 months, so I basically stayed with the baby and my husband had the other 2. I was expecting everything to be much more "babyish", but it was actually geared more for my 8 year old. We used a promotion code when we made reservations and got a discount, but there were no other discounts at the time since it was holiday prices, so you might get a better deal. We got the Wolf Den room. It was plenty big for us and had a room for the girls with a bunk bed and a tv. The den isn't completely closed in, and there's no door, so it's not exactly a separate room, but they loved having their own space. I highly recommend that you bring lots of snacks and drinks with you. Your room has a microwave and dorm sized refrigerator, so we had chips, capri suns, popcorn, and lots of lunchables. During the winter after everyone gets out of the water, it is REALLY hard to leave the resort to go out to eat somewhere, and the food is pretty pricy at the 2 restaurants there. There's also a Pizza Hut by the water park, which we didn't try. Also, there's a spa inside and a kids spa called "Scoops" where they can get pedicures and manicures with sprinkles and "icing." They get booked up days ahead, so if you are interested, you might want to call ahead and make an appointment. We were disappointed we didn't get to try this, so we're going to call ahead next time! Another thing is you might ask for a room on the 1st floor. The water park/arcade is on the 1st floor so you don't have to keep taking stairs/elevators. The 2nd floor was the lobby floor/restaurants/ gift shop. The top floor was the floor where the kids use these magic wands you have the option of buying. It's like a video game atmosphere where they can wave this little wooden wands around and make crystals light up, etc., and go to a channel in their room to see their points. We didn't do this because it looked like too much money for what it was, but there were a LOT of kids running around with wands. Think Tinker Bell magic as opposed to Harry Potter. At night in the lobby they had a story time with a robotic set (like Chuckie Cheese). I thought it was really boring and lame, and very much a "Mother Earth", Native American theme, and didn't enjoy it at all. But at the end they started singing "Let it Snow" and it snowed in the lobby on all the kids. They really liked that part, and that's all they remembered about it, but just wanted to warn you. After that a "Wolf" (again think high school game mascot) comes out and does story time. We left before the story, but I could hear parts of it about being green/recycling/ preserving nature, etc.
Overall, the kids really really enjoyed the water park. It is huge, and feels really safe. There is an area for small children (probably under 5) with 4 very small water slides and fountains. They can touch in this entire pool. And then there's a wave pool that is a gradual pool (beach style) that goes to 4 feet. The lazy river was colder than the rest of the pools, but I think it's because the water slides empty into it. But my 5 yo could touch all around in it also. There's 2 medium very tame water slides that my 5 yo did by herself numerous times. And then there's I think 3 bigger water slides that use rafts and have tubes in parts. One was a family waterslide. I didn't do these, but my husband said they were a lot of fun. Then there's 2 more pools for older kids to play basketball, etc. Oh, and I hear there's a hot tub that I didn't get to use! :)You get to use the waterpark on the day you check in (even if your room's not yet available) and every day including all day the day you check out. There are changing rooms/showers in the water park. You don't use keys, you use the bracelets that you wear your entire stay, so make sure that they are on good, but not so tight that you can't stand to sleep in them. When you hold your bracelet in front of the door it unlocks. I was reading that you can even use your bracelet in stores to charge things to your room.Also, be prepared to bring cover-ups and flip flops/water shoes. They want everyone to be covered up in the halls, and you don't bring your towels with you. Babies have to have Little Swimmers. And they have lots of life jackets there for kids who are not strong swimmers. You're not allowed to bring in your own floats. Oh, and don't bother bringing towels into the water park. They have towels in the park that you use and don't let you bring them out. But I did see people with snacks in the water park. We never bothered renting a locker. People just laid all their things at a table, and we never had any problems. Overall it is a very family friendly atmosphere, and they have rooms to accommodate very large families. It is a bit costly, but if you can go during the week or during a promotion it's not that bad considering you get the water park included.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
34 Thank Gardenmomof3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level 6 Contributor
102 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 152 helpful votes
Reviewed September 6, 2010

We were lucky enough to visit GWL in the middle of the week during the off season, which simply meant there was NOONE there and the price was more "reasonable" than during peak season.
We have three children under 9 and they immensely enjoyed the water park. The staff in the waterpark was sensational and the only complaint we could have about the park was the temps between areas varied from frigid to luke warm. The lazy river and hottub were warm while the water in the wave pool always seemed to be several degrees colder than the other areas. Not a big deal but our 2 year old got the "blue lip" in the wave pool (she survived).
The Hotel was a solid 2.5 out of 5. The room we stayed in was a family fireplace suite. It was spacious enough for the 6 of us. The bathroom was undersized compared to the room.
The HVAC unit in our room (3091) sounded like a Boeing jet engine at take off whenever it came on. That was our largest complaint was the poor maintenance of the room essentials (HVAC, Plumbing, etc.) for the very high rates they charge. (We stayed off season and still dropped $450.00 for 2 nights). If I was paying the normal 3-5 hundred per night I would have been really hacked at the poorly maintained room.
The housekeeping staff did a nice job keeping things clean and tidy and they actually left a thank you note after receiving a tip.... I have read other reviews here about service related complaints we had none. The front desk, housekeeping, and water park staff were all VERY friendly, helpful and professional. It mat have been the off season or whatever but they made us feel very welcome.
We ate at the Critter Cafe and Bar, was overpriced but not overly disappointing either. We had the strip steaks (27.5 each) and were very underwhelmed by the meat but very impressed with the broccolini and potato servings. The service was excellent and the beer was cold and served in mason jars, an interesting but very appropro way to serve beer considering the surroundings! The bar and cafe we felt was an 8 out of 10 overall.
The overall ambiance of the place is very cool. The woodwork, the paintings, the decorations all fit the western lodge motiff so was interesting to walk around and see the variation in wood tones, grains, and colors.
Overall GWF isan interesting place but after staying at numerous 5 star properties for the same money or less we felt it was grossly overpriced for the quality and upkeep of the room and the level of dining options available on site.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Neutralatbest
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: 2501 Great Wolf Dr, Mason, OH 45040-8085
Location: United States > Ohio > Warren County > Mason
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) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Family Hotel in Mason
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Great Wolf Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 401
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Also Known As:
Great Wolf Hotel Mason
Great Wolf Resort
Great Wolf Lodge Mason, Ohio

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