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“Wonderful New Years Get Away”
Review of Great Wolf Lodge

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Great Wolf Lodge
Ranked #20 of 73 Hotels in Williamsburg
Reviewed January 9, 2014

This was our first trip to Great Wolf but we were referred by friends and GW did not disapoint. We arrived on checkin day on January 2 which is one of the busiest times of year at 11 am. We were immediatly given water park passes and our lovely, well appointed, Queen Loft with fireplace was made available by 2 pm. A friendly voice mail to our cell phone let us know the room was available and the room key had been activated which was built into our water park wrist band. This is the first time I have seen this feature while traveling and found it clever. We found the room to be spacious, very clean and the only argument was over which children would have the loft area/bed. While at the resort our 2 children below the age of 12 participated in nearly all activites including the Water Park, Arcade, Scoops Spa, and Magiquest and thoroughly enjoyed it. The staff at Great Wolf from the baggage men, check-in, store staff to the bartenders were personable and showed outstanding customer service. We dined in all areas inlcuding the buffet, pizza shop, dunkin donuts and the bar for lite-fare. GW's Cream of Crab soup is as good as it gets. My only guidance to parents, with teens, which we also had two traveling in our party is GW is more geared toward children under age 12. It would be nice to have a few more attractions geared for teens such as a teenage night club or indoor basketball courts. Overall though I can't say enough positive things about GW. GW is expensive as many report but quite frankly its understable since I would assume much of their business is seasonal, holidays, etc.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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Thank Salisbury_MDRob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,403 - 3,409 of 4,622 reviews

Reviewed January 8, 2014

We had great service unlike others that have reviewed, however, we did arrive at 1pm and there happened to be a room available. When we looked at the check-in around 4pm - there was a huge line. The let you swim after 1 on the day of check-in so you should let them know you are there so you can get your passes.

It is VERY noisy. Children running up and down the hall until 11 pm at night. Apparently, that is a common complaint. The children's evening show is quite late for little ones (8:30 pm) but is cute.

The waterpark is a lot of fun but very crowded. We only stayed for one night but took advantage of the watermark for two days before driving home as we live within 4 hours.

For those of you who can't take the twists and turns of the slides - the DRAMAMINE really helps. My husband had no problems the second day. :)

Overall, it is a fun place for kids and that is why I rated it so high. The rooms are average and ok. The staff was very helpful and nice. It was super noisy until about 11pm.

3  Thank SNJ C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2014

Apologies in advance for the random review. We have stayed at Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg twice now. Once in October and again January 1-3, 2014. Both visits were for 2 nights.

We have a two year old and the first visit in October time was a test in case he was just too young or hated he experience altogether. For the first visit we got a good deal on a King room and I purchased a Pup Pass as a way to try out the various things that the resort offered. The room was all the way down at the end of the building on the first floor. At first the walk was tiresome BUT after hearing all of the craziness with kids running up and down the halls we were happy to be where we were. The room was a bit tired and worn. Hubby didn't care for seeing trash in the hallways. But otherwise the room was decent and we were there for the waterpark anyway.

Our little one LOVED the waterpark. We stuck mostly to the little kids area the entire stay and he learned to do the water slide thing very quickly. For this age we did need to pull him out for mandatory breaks in the room.

Plenty of warm towels in the pool area-- though chairs are at a premium so get there early. Bring a war robe or coverup fir the Little ones along with crocs for the walk back to your room. Everything was really clean, plenty of life vests for kids of all sizes if you choose to use them. Lifeguards are on it. Check in on this first trip was fine, no line (we got lucky). We ate out for all meals except breakfast (we used the dunkin donuts in the lobby).

Second visit we got a bigger room (Majestic bear suite) and requested the 4ht floor. Very happy. Line for check in was long, but moved quickly. Went to local walmart to stock up on food which is the way to go. The fridges in the room are large dorm size and its just smart to stock up on beverages and snacks on the cheap rather than paying through the nose at the resort. We did breakfast in the room and spent as much time in the water park as possible. Our little one spent time in the little kids area but also loved the wave pool and climbing on the central slide apparatus.

Tips:

Bring multiple bathing suits-- one for each time you plan on visiting the water park. There is really no way to dry suits and I don't fancy putting a wet bathing suit on a toddler. We brought 5 shorts and rash guards. Generally with a toddler we were able to visit 3 times a day with breaks in between. We did late checkout so we went a last time in the AM. I know they say you can use the park until closing even after you check out but I don't like to be homeless and have to change.

Look for good deals. These rooms aren't cheap but it is worth it IMHO -- even with a toddler. I generally can find 20-30% OFF.

Plan for two adults (one up top; one at bottom of slides) if you have a toddler.

Buy food at walmart

get a paw pass for the first visit--it helps you experience all that the resort offers.

If you like noise stay anywhere. If you value quiet ask for a top floor or for a room at the end of the hall (but be prepared to walk).

This is not the Ritz Carlton. But it's a fun place if you come with the right attitude and are all about doing it for the kids. We had rooms at both ends of the spectrum. Since we prefer not to be with all the craziness in the lobby we like having a nicer room.

Spring for a nicer room especially with a little one that needs naps. We spent plenty of quality family time in the room reading and playing -- to give the little guy a break.

For food we are big fans of Pierce's BBQ. This last visit we did breakfast sandwiches and sandwiches for breakfast and lunch. That's the way to go IMHO.

Also, some fabulous outlets nearby on the way out of town (Hanna Andersson and Janie & Jack are faves).

We will be back and will make this a regular stop in the future. The little guy seems to love it and is building confidence in the water. We won't stay more than two nights at a time though and will likely continue to visit in the off months when the outdoor pools are closed for the summer.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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2  Thank GromitVA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2014

We recently stayed at Great Wolf after buying a deal on Zulily. The kids had a GREAT time. That being said, it is geared for the kids. Lots of family's, lots of strollers, lots of running kids and strollers. If that's not your thing, don't go. Because of the deal we got I felt it was worth the price but I can certainly see how many folks say it's overpriced. We stayed in a kids kamp room and it was clean and well managed. The beds were VERY comfortable and I slept great, which is rare. The staff as helpful and courteous. It could be a bit warmer in the waterpark for the little kids but it was manageable. We did eat out for dinner as we'd heard the food was overpriced and not great. The pizza looked great though. We visited the arcade but didn't partake in any of the other kids activities. All in all we had a really good time and will be returning.

Room Tip: Lots of traffic if you get a room on the lower level because it's on the same floor as all of th...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank beeskneesmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2014

We have visited Williamsburg's GWL at least once a year for the past five years, sometimes two or three times a year, and this is the first time I am writing a so-so review.
Likes:
- the deals they send through e-mail for repeat customers
- the snow show in the lobby
- the amount of attractions open through out the day and night for all ages
- the addition of Dunkin Donuts

Dislikes:
- the loss of Pizza Hut
- the amount of chlorine in the hot tubs and pools (it seems to have increased this year to the point of red skin rashes after 15 minutes of use)
- the lack of a teen hot tub- with older teens that travel with us, I am not thrilled with young children being allowed in the hot tub with parents that allow them to use it as a swimming pool! Not only did our teen get constantly splashed, but grabbed and kicked as well. So GWL, either have lifeguards that enforce the safety rules or build a teen only hot tub!!
- the lack of knowledge of the front desk staff. We requested a room with a fireplace, and was placed in one with a KNOWN broken fireplace. The young man manning the desk that night explained to us that it had been broken for a few weeks with parts on order and that no one should have been placed there Really??
- the attitude of a certain front desk attendant that treats teens with complete disrespect! We tried to call the front desk to extra blankets for our daughter, but they were slammed (understandable being the weekend before Christmas). However, when we sent the teens down to get the blanket, this individual completely argues with our teens about "not hearing the phone", rolling her eyes, and giving a complete unwarranted lecture about how there should be enough blankets. Again REALLY?
- the lack of "manager-on-duty" customer service. When the teens return, I called the front desk (and after fifteen minutes of busy signal) finally reported the incident to the young lady answering the phone. I asked that the manager on duty be told and the issue be addressed. We never heard from that manager about any of the above issues.....

GWL I have to say" Where is that wonderful and genuine customer service you are known for? Where is the top notch resort standards we brag about to everyone?" We were so disappointed that we told our friends not to drive down and join us for another night!

TIP: For great food with generous portions and easy on the wallet, turn right out of GWL, drive about a mile to Pierce's BBQ! Get take-out and go back to enjoy in the comfort of your room!

2  Thank LiveLaughLovePray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2014

Small Children were running up and down the hallways, drinking adults were on the stairs. The rooms were NOT handicapped as stated, and only 'kids rooms ' were available' . The room was hot and stuffy and it was noisy all night long.

Thank LupusRessurexit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2014

Beg for a room away from the lobby. If your room faces the highway, you'll hear it at night. Walls must be very thin b/c could hear people above, below and to sides of us. The noise is constant so don't expect to sleep. The magic wand game creates a lot of traffic anywhere near the lobby and it's very expensive to play. The park is fantastic. So great for families; safe and fun! Nothing is inexpensive so plan on recreating as much as possible in the water park. Chairs were all taken as there aren't many so of course they'll charge you for a locker if you want one instead. Nothing is included so it's either say NO or get out the wallet at every turn. The check-in line took over an hour. Rooms are spacious but we had trouble with a malfunctioning air unit.
Best bet is to stay closeby and play all day here.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on top floor facing away from highway, far from lobby for best chance of quiet
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank rmbj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GWL_Management, Guest Relations Manager at Great Wolf Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded January 7, 2014

Thank you for choosing Great Wolf Lodge - Williamsburg! I am glad your family had fun in the waterpark, and more importantly felt safe. Safety is our highest priority. Regarding the check-in process, keep in mind that you are able to arrive as early as 1pm on your day of arrival to begin using the waterpark. This early arrival time can help you get around those busier check-in times.

When price becomes a concern, definitely look into our bundled add-on packages like a Paw Pass or Wolf Pass. These passes bundle activities and amenities at a discounted price, which is a great value for our guests.

Something that we take great pride in is that our waterpark is exclusive to our overnight guests. By doing this, we help manage wait times while keeping it safe for our guests and maximizing the time families get to have fun.

We look forward to seeing your family again soon!

Jason
Great Wolf Guest Relations

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Great Wolf Lodge

Address: 549 E Rochambeau Dr, Williamsburg, VA 23188-2148
Location: United States > Virginia > Williamsburg
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Williamsburg
#7 Spa Hotel in Williamsburg
#22 Family Hotel in Williamsburg
Price Range: $254 - $557 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Great Wolf Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 405
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are home to Virginia’s premier 79,000 square foot indoor entertainment area featuring our water park, bear track landing. The indoor water park features a 4-story, 12 level tree fort with 1000 gallons of water and dumps down every few minutes. The water park also features a gigantic indoor wave pool, eight water slides, including 3 tube slides, three kiddie slides and two body slides. In addition we have a zero-depth entry children’s pool, indoor pool, two oversized hot tubs, an endless lazy river. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Great Wolf Hotel Williamsburg
Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg Va
Great Wolf Resort

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