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“Might return when the kids are older”
Review of Great Wolf Lodge

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Great Wolf Lodge
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Centralia
Reviewed June 13, 2008

We just returned from the Great Wolf Lodge and won't be returning until some kinks get ironed out. To start, our kids are on the young side (3 and 1), and the water thing got old quickly. Really, the only other thing to do is visit the arcade or gift shop. The Camp Critter bar and grill had great food at a reasonable price. Starbucks just opened up, which was great, but they didn't have breakfast sandwiches, pastas, yogurts, etc that a typical Starbucks would have. Nowhere, could you get anything other than a pastry for breakfast for less than the $13.99pp buffet....not even a banana. If you brought breakfast and lunch food (rooms have microwaves and mini fridges), you can save alot. The water was too cold for all of our tastes. The warm indoor park made the water seem all the colder. I spent much time with goosebumps. We upgraded to a kidcamp suite, but be warned that there is no door, so the kids are pretty much in the same room. We started with a basic room...the pictures show the divider wall extending to the length of the bed, which isn't accurate. The wall extends about a meer 3 feet. The t.v. isn't in the sitting area, but rather the bed area. This provides for no escape from the kids. The resort itself is well-kept, clean rooms etc. I think they have the right idea, but need more healthy food, more activities and cheaper prices. The spa prices seemed absurd for the clientele. I would have gotten a massage had the rates been cheaper. We left a night early. If you're planning a trip, I'd say one night is more than sufficient. Just arrive early, use the facilities prior to check in and you'll have an entire day in the water, which is more than enough, I think.

Stayed: June 2008
1  Thank sheajs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 13, 2008

First off, let me say that I did NOT stay the night at the hotel, so I have no comment on guest rooms. My son won two day passes to the waterpark in an Easter Egg hunt, so he and I went to that this past weekend.

The hotel itself looked very nice, with lots of fun things for kids to do. The arcade was about average in cost, with most games taking several tokens. Lots of arcade games to choose from though.

There were plenty of places to eat, but we chose the snack bar inside the waterpark. Prices were average for snack bar (both of us ate for $18) but food was very low quality.

The waterpark itself was a lot of fun and would be a blast if you had smaller children with you. Older teens might get a little bored, as there are only a few faster slides. The Howling Tornado is extremely overrated. Don't get me wrong, it was fun and it scared the crud out of me the first time I rode it....but the wait was an average of 15 minutes to get on and the slide itself lasted less than one minute. After riding it twice my son agreed that the wait in line was not worth the actual slide itself. We really enjoyed the Alberta Falls (Green and Blue) slides more. They were fast, fun slides and the lines were not that long.

The wave pool could have had more rafts in it. The lifeguard said they couldn't bring more rafts over into the wave pool...yet I saw people wait in excess of 15 minutes for other people to give up their rafts at the wave pool.

Smaller children will love the park. There is a very nice toddler/preschool area with lots of hoses and smaller slides. The park provides life jackets which is a nice plus. The hottub was nice but kids 8 and older can go in, so instead of it being a relaxing atmosphere for the adults, it quickly turned into screaming kids splashing around in the nice warm water (all other areas of the park are cold water).

The swimming pool was great. My son loved the giant snake, beaver and the floating lilly pads. We spent most of our day in the pool.

I would return and I would encourage friends to visit. Prices for overnight stays can get high, but promo codes can often be found on the website for decent discounts. I hope to take my family back in the dead of winter, when we could really use a "pick me up". If the prices are reasonable, we'll stay a couple of nights.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
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Thank StormFan76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2008

We stayed one night at Great Wolf Lodge. We were a little concerned after reading some of the early reviews, but ended up really enjoying our stay. We arrived about 1:30 pm and our Wolf Den suite was ready. Check in was a breeze.

The room was a nice size for our family of 4. My 3 year old was so excited to have a tv to watch from the bunkbeds. The room was clean and the fridge and microwave were a nice touch. The bathroom was a little on the small side and the towels were a bit rough, but that is about the only negative thing I can say.

The waterpark fit our needs perfectly. We had 8 kids ages 6 to 6 months in our party and they all had a great time. The adults all took turns riding the bigger waterslides and really enjoyed the few they had.

The lodge itself is nice. The buffet was priced a little high, but had a nice selection. The arcade entertained the older kids for a couple of hours. They also enjoyed the story/show they had at night.

The kids had a blast and slept really well after spending 2 days, and 1 night at the lodge. We will go back one day, but plan on bringing some food to cut down on expenses.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with family
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Thank PrincessKila
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2008

This was our second visit to the Great Wolf Lodge. We went the first time during Spring Break in April and planned to visit again in the summer but couldn't wait, so we had to go before May was over.

We loved the water park and the hotel so much. We stayed in the Kid Cabin and we loved it but our son really loved it.

I think the indoor water park idea is the best idea for Western Washington. We have lived here most our lives and we love it here but we also love to be in the water... There really are not many days during the year that allows us to be in the water all day long so this is what we call perfect.

We also really liked the arcade and the different places to eat all inside the hotel. I personally loved the fudge they sell, my husbands not a big candy eater so he didn't try any. We read and heard there will be a Starbuck's opening soon and he loves that idea.

I give this hotel two thumbs up. The staff all seemed really friendly and the hotel and water park is kept very clean. Overall this place was perfect for us and we will definitely be going back

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank AngieZ52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2008

We went as a big group for 2 kids birthdays. 6 adults, 4 kids ages 5, 6, 12 & 15. Three family suites at park level.

Check-In
We arrived on Thursday at 12:15 p.m. We were checked in and loading luggage into our room by 12:40 and in our suits at the water park by 1:00. I was worried after reading so many reviews that we were going to have to wait in long lines or our rooms were not going to be ready. The check-in staff was very friendly and helpful and arranged for all three rooms to be nearby. Excellent experience.

Family Suite
It’s bigger than it looks on the website pictures. The room was clean, the mini-fridge was quite big, and the two queen beds were comfortable with nice pillows. It suited our needs perfectly; we didn’t spend much time in it. The free high-speed Internet access was helpful for hubby who had to do some office work since we came during the week. When walking down the hall by a kid cabin style room the cleaning staff invited us in to see it. It was pretty cool and sleeps seven with three twin bunks in the “cabin”. Excellent experience.

Water Park
While it was smaller than I expected, it was still great fun. It was VERY clean, no garbage or spills anywhere. I noticed staff cleaning and keeping up on things the whole time we were there. It was easy to keep tabs on the older kids while supervising the young ones in the kiddie areas. The older kids did have a great time in the wave pool and the slides (and even the water fort) and didn’t get bored, but I think it’s a water park that is best suited for families with young children. The childless adults got bored pretty quick. The water was not cold as many have reported; especially in the kid areas it was pretty warm and the park area was steamy and warm as well. The hot tub needed to be a lot warmer though, it was like a tepid bath. The lifeguards did a good job, although some of the teenagers were bored and lifeless, but for the most part they were pleasant and helpful, no one was rude or on a power trip. The teen lifeguards at six flags are rotten awful kids who shouldn’t be employed at all IMO. The snack shack and the pizza hut express were nice for eating without having to leave the water park or get dried off and were not horribly priced. An 8-slice pizza for $10 isn’t bad. The BIG plus for this place is that you can bring in your own food and drinks, unlike the six flags water park where they search your bag and you can’t even bring in water and then they charge you $4 for a bottle. I saw people with water, soda, sandwiches, crackers, etc. Next time we will do this as well, it will be quicker, healthier and better on the AMEX card as well. There were plenty of tables and chairs for eating and lots of lounge chairs as well. There were lockers, three bathrooms, which were very clean and staff members were always around keeping things cleaned and stocked, and showers, so after checking out of your room you can get showered off, changed and ready to go. There were also plenty of towels which was great.

Hotel
We stayed on the second floor, which is park level and where most of the action is. The arcade, the pizza hut express, the bakery, elements spa, kids cub and teen club is on this level as well. The kids had fun in the arcade; it had lots of fun games to play and was a great ending to a very busy day. In the main lobby they had story time where a staff person read a bedtime story and then there was the clock tower show, where animatronics sang. The kids looked Magic Quest and decided for $25 plus tax, they would rather spend their money in the arcade. Magic Quest looked pretty cool, but was not that interesting or worth the money for the older kids. It’s geared toward younger kids. We ate dinner at the Bar & Grill. It was nice and the food was great and not over priced. The kid’s food came in a bucket, which they thought was cool. We ate breakfast in our room, we stopped and bought milk and cereal, so the kids were ready to get back in the water when the park opened at 9:00.

We had a great experience and will be going back sometime. We had no problems at all. Not one. I feel that it was a good value. For $177 plus tax for 5 people to stay over night and have access to the water park for two full days is a heck of a deal.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
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1  Thank lphagele
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2008

Come on! 3.5 out of 5 for the Great Wolf? It's better than that. Seems like the low ratings came from early adopters & people that paid too much. We just got back from a Mon-Tues night there over Memorial Day weekend. We were lucky because our kids had off that Tuesday. We paid $179 per room for a family suite. We also booked a room for our daughter & her friends so she could spend her birthday there. Everyone unanimously said it was the best birthday ever & everyone wanted to go back. It was definitely crowded though. I wrote it off as being caused by the overlap with Memorial Day weekend. Next time we head back there, it will likely be a Sun-Mon or Thurs-Fri situation where the kids have off on an odd ball district day. If you don't do it this way, expect to pay a lot more & expect it to be crowded. I wouldn't pay std rates ($300+?) for a room, because that is just crazy for any hotel, anywhere. At those prices, we may as well head down to LA or Orlando & go to Disney. But for a local 1 day getaway, this place is great. All the other tips read in the previous reviews are helpful. Bring some food & snacks, the fridge in the room is great. The only thing we bought from the hotel were 3 medium pizza hut pizzas. That only cost $36 & easily fed all 7 of us dinner. The buffet was too expensive for me to take a bunch of kids to, $18 per person for older kids & adults. Magiquest looked good, but was also very expensive. We didn't try it this time, next time (with fewer kids) we'll bite the bullet. It was $15 for a wand, $10 for a game (if you want the wand to do anything), $15 more if you want your wand to look cool with a topper. There were tons of kids running around playing the game. I wish it was either included in the price or there was a way to rent it. The rooms & looks of the lobby were very nice. It's really a great hotel. We'll absolutely be back. I hope it stays as nice as it is now over time. The waterpark was not quite as big as I expected, but it was still a blast. The lines moved pretty quickly. We didn't wait more than 10 minutes for anything. I will say that the wave pool seemed pretty dangerous. In fact my arm got scraped as I caught my younger daughter after we were wiped out by a wave. It was our fault though, we were sitting in a way that made the tube we were on back heavy & trying to ride the waves in (it flipped us). There were a lot of people in the wave pool without tubes & that seemed pretty unsafe because the tubes would keep hitting them in the face. There were so many people in there, I imagine some of the kids swimming underwater would occasionally hit into a tube while surfacing.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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1  Thank GoBlue2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2008

For all the hype about this place, it was nothing spectular.

Our family took advantage of grand opening discounts on the hotel stay. Its a good thing because it is barely worth the discounted price as is.

Rooms were nice, but hallways were noisy with doors slamming late into the night. The wave pool is too small for the amount of people they allow in it at one time. The slides were good.
Buffet breakfast and dinners available were good and reasonably priced.

Our kids enjoyed the Magic Quest that you can do within the hotel that we were unaware of when we booked. It was an extra cost but well worth it. Kids enjoyed it more than the water park.

I would suggest that GWL mix it up a bit every year or two to keep it interesting for returning guests.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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Thank sunwannabe
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: 20500 Old Highway 99 SW, Centralia, WA 98531-9708
Location: United States > Washington > Centralia
Amenities:
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:
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Centralia
Price Range: $247 - $441 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Great Wolf Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 398
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Also Known As:
Great Wolf Hotel Centralia
Great Wolf Resort
Great Wolf Lodge Washington/Centralia

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