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“Way overpriced. Water fun, but bad food & uncomfortable beds.”
Review of Great Wolf Lodge

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Great Wolf Lodge
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Centralia
Seattle
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Way overpriced. Water fun, but bad food & uncomfortable beds.”
Reviewed February 26, 2011

This was our second trip to the Great Wolf Lodge (first in '09) and I was hoping it would be better. Nothing had changed.

The good:
*Water park is tons of fun for the kids (the whole reason we went)
*Lifeguards-a-plenty, life jackets available, you can tell safety is important
*Lodge-oriented style
*Nice gift shop
*Starbuck's
*Arcade had a decent variety of games
*Ice cream parlor is really, really good
*Mostly pleasant staff
*Handy to use wrist bands to enter rooms and charge to room
*GWL was "sold out" when we were there and while crowded, it didn't feel jam packed

The bad:
*WAY overpriced for what you receive
*Food - snacks - mini-pizza/fries/drink combos were around $9 and tasted like cardboard. Hot dog wasn't much better. Snacks took about 20 minutes to prepare which seems like an eternity with hungry kids. Even vending machine snacks are way overpriced. Dinner - don't eat at the Bar & Grill. Our total for 2 adults and 2 kids meals was $60 (no cocktails) and it was horrible. The next morning we ate at the breakfast buffet which tasted alright, but led to nausea for my husband and I. Not worth it.
*Kid-friendliness - this surprised me, but they have no crayons (or even activities) for the kids in the restaurants while you're waiting for your food. The server said they used to have crayons but spent hours cleaning so they rid of them. They should contact Crayola and have color wonder markers at every table. The other thing are the kids cups. We ordered juice for our toddler and they basically put a flimsy lid on a hard permanent cup, with a straight straw. This happened at 2 different restaurants. You'd think they would have a type of kids cup (permanent or not) that was easier for little ones to handle with a bendable straw. Kids love to keep that stuff too.
*Beds - both queen beds sank slightly in the middle and were not comfortable.
*Holding tables/chairs - they are "reserved" early by guests setting their towels on them. There should be some sort of 30 minute policy so people move along and let others sit for a bit. Or offer more seating.
*Extreme smell of chlorine in the water park (not sure how they can avoid that)
*Extreme noise from "rides" and water gushing (not sure how they can lessen that)
*Smell - the room had a mildewy odor. Not something you'd expect for their room rates.

They have a variety of other items and activities - for an additional fee - to keep kids busy (Magi-Quest - the game where kids run around with wands), but it seems like they should all be included in the price.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank TripGalSeattle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (341)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2011

My family Checked in on feb 21 and 22 2011. On feb 21, we decided to check the casino close to Great Wolf which is the lucky eagle..lint story short we came back to the hotel around 12:30am. After parking our car, we were running back to the hotel entrance when this security guy came driving and stopped us yelling at us " where is your wrist ".. My husband showed his wrist band right although we were still shocked with the way he approached their guest!! He didn't stop there, he continued to asked every one where our wrist .. We explained to him that we are actually a guest at the resort.. He escorted , yes butthat is not the bottom line here!! He saw a bunch of Asian and he assumed rift away that we are trespassing and not a welcomed guest at the hotel!! Calling out great wolf upper management.. Is the best way to treat your Asian guests????!!! You guys are VERY RUDE to us!!! Why would you think badly first instead of greeting us first and politely asking us if we are a guest or how can you help us??? Why assume the wrong thing about people!!

  • Stayed February 2011
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Helpful?
8 Thank Bhullets
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 22, 2011

I read several reviews on here (after booking) to get some tips and found it helpful, so would like to contribute our feedback. This was our first time to Great Wolf and we left with the kids wanting to make this an annual family trip! We’re a family of 5, with 2- 8 yr old boys and a 12 yr old girl. We just stayed one night and decided to book the Kids Cabin suite so that the kids had their own sleeping area and their own TV. This is our breakdown:
Check in: We got there right about 1pm and the line was fairly long, but it didn’t bug me too much. The kids went with their dad to the gift shop in the meantime so it kept them occupied. It didn’t take that long to check in when we actually got up there so not sure why it took awhile to get through. Maybe because we booked and prepaid online? They also hand out the bracelets to go into the park if you want to come back and check in later which is a nice option. We decided to just get it over with. If you check in and your room is not ready, you can go to the park and they just call and leave you a VM with your room # and you can go up whenever. The bracelets you have to wear the whole time but they act as your room key and entrances into the hotel which was pretty cool. No worrying about a separate room key.
Food: Yeah, can be seen as kinda spendy but I didn’t think it was awful given it’s in a theme park so it depends on your budget when you go. The Burger Claim next door is good with decent prices. (about $8 for a burger, fries, and drink). We walked there and ate dinner. We bought the breakfast buffet for all 5 of us for $50 when we booked. It had a lot of good reviews on here, but we probably won’t get it again when we go back. Our 3 kids eat like birds and we didn’t think the quality was all that great, though there was a large selection. But we’re not big buffet people so you can take that for what it’s worth :) Starbucks is great and the snack bar in the pool area is nice. Not bad either- $3.50 for nachos, corn dogs, fries and so forth to give you an idea. I think the kids meals were about $8. The potato stick things there were eh… we saw a lot of people with them so wanted to try (they just looked like chips on a stick)- thought they’d be crispy but they were greasy and soft… for $4.95 I was hoping for something better.
The Waterpark: Kids loved it- we had fun too! The Tornado ride was awesome! Go back at night- they turn on lights and music for one of them and the Tornado one was a bit more thrilling because it was dark. They have areas for everyone – we could’ve taken the kids here when they were toddlers and had just as much fun I think. I agree, lifeguards are good and take their jobs seriously which is comforting to see. Don’t try to cram too much stuff into the lockers. Since we went first before we had our room we had to squeeze 5 peoples worth of tennis shoes, jeans, tops, and hoodies into it. Next time I’ll have everyone change into flip flops in the car before we go in so at least we don’t have as much bulky stuff to fit in there. It’s $10 a day per locker so I’m really not trying to pay $20 for 2 of them.
MagiQuest: Yes, spendy, but worth it. We paid $92 for all 3 kids- standard wands, one game, and no toppers. But they loved it and it was a nice break from the water park. It takes about 4-6 hrs to complete. They’d do a couple hours at the park, then run around and do that. Plus park closes at 9pm and you can do the Magi Quest till 10pm so they ran around for an hour after that. Again, great park, but it’s not super huge so the kids pretty much had done everything within the first day. The next day we went back for only a couple hours and they wanted to finish their MagiQuest till we left.
Length of stay- 1 night did it for us. We checked in at 1pm and stayed until 3pm the next day. You can go into the park as early as 1pm the day you check in and can stay until 9pm the next day. We’d pretty much seen and done all that we wanted to do. Next time we will probably just get a normal family suite. We barely spent any time in the room and the kids didn’t even turn on their separate tv. It was fun for the 1st time there though so no regrets on paying extra for that.

I’d like to suggest building an actual parking structure. It seemed like the parking lot was huge and wrapped around the entire building, but even then we were fighting for parking. At least in WA, which I know gets as much rain as in OR, why not build up, provide some more needed parking which would provide some covered areas at the same time. Then maybe you can use some of that back space to build more rides ;)

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Kalina003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 18, 2011

It sucks sorry. This is not caddyshack in 1970 something. The hotel needs to put some freaking chemicals In the water and let us have some fun.

  • Stayed February 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sadman1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mountlake Terrace, Washington
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 31, 2011

We just had the basic room, two queens and a pullout sofa (which is a hard sleep). And that is what it was..basic. For over 270.00(including tax), I expected something dazzling. Nope. Dont do the pay per view. Bring a laptop and dvds. They are clean though. The nice thing were the little fridge and microwave..bring your own food, as dinner/lunch/snacks are pricey. We did get the breakfast buffet and it was a kids dream...cereal dispensers, made to order omelets, smoothies, fruit galore, everything for every tastebud..the waitstaff were incredibly nice. That was worth the 43.00 for 3 adults and 2 kiddies. There is a starbucks (Thank you!!) and the staff there were funny and provided excellent service...The gift shop was a hit or miss in terms of price, but they did have some kid (and wallet) friendly momentos. The waterpark was awesome! Since we were there during a weekday, there were no lines. You can also stay until 9pm after check out to play in the waterpark. The wave pool, all the slides, and baby friendly areas are great. Towels towels towels. No worry there.
They also have a wizard thing that requires purchase of wand. This costs over 38 per kid!!! They run around the hotel pointing that wand at certain objects, getting clues for the next object. Now, thats fun, but should be included in the room purchase. It was kind of outrageous how you pay a lot of money for a below average room, and then have to purchase "extras". That are not cheap. Far from it. Its not Disneyland, but it acts like it. Oh there is also a gr8space area for kids 12 and up. Thats 10 dollars per kid. Its just video games and whatnot, but a nice break for the older ones. Also an arcade, Chuckie cheese type. Watch out for that. I can say that the staff in all areas were the best. But if you are going to stay there, make it one night. The kids can play in the waterpark in the afternoon till evening, enjoy the animated storytime in the lobby (younger set)and play again until 9pm next day. Dont bother with the free computer service in the lobby..its terribly slow. Oh, and if you need cheap eats, there are plenty in the area surrounding the hotel.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank misssmartypants00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GWL_Management, General Manager at Great Wolf Lodge, responded to this review, February 8, 2011
Thank you for sharing this review with us. We are very glad that you enjoyed the waterpark and breakfast buffet. We are particularly proud that you had such nice things to say about our pack members.

Finally, thank you for sharing money saving tips such as bringing your own food and using the wet bars in each suite. That is a great way for our guests to save during their stay. We hope you will join us again soon!

Best,
Michael Lusky - General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Stevens, WA
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2011

So, two years later, we decided to visit the Great Wolf Lodge again. This time we stayed for just one night and opted for the Wolf Den Suite. We went on a Friday night, and we went knowing it would be crowded, but seriously, it was way more crowded then I could have ever imagined. One night really is perfect if you can get to the hotel early. You can use the waterpark starting at 1pm on your arrival date, until closing time the next day.

Regarding the waterpark, the good things are it is clean, lots of lifeguards, and a well balance of things to do for most everyone in the family. Bad things - I was a little disappointed that the small children's area was overrun with older kids quite often. This area is for kids under 48" tall and everytime I turned around, there were bigger kids trampling over the little ones. One or Two of the lifeguards took time to move these kids out, but for the most part it was overlooked.
Regarding the hotel: Good - we got there early on Friday(about 1pm) and the check in wasn't long at all. Last time we waited a very long time. I did notice as the day went on, it got pretty long. Our room wasn't ready, which I expected, so they said they would call us when it was and we headed to the waterpark. Only problem with that is for whatever reason, after we got the call, we went directly to the room and our keys didn't work, so we had to go stand in line to get that fixed. The Wolf Den room was great. Our daughter loved the bunkbed. The room is spacious, clean, fridge is nice size, has all the amenities we needed. The rooms are suprisingly quiet for as many kids that are running around the place. The Staff - very amazingly friendly people and very helpful.
Bad - the Beds....I don't know what it was but they are very uncomfortable. I think they should really look into getting some new mattresses. The elevators - ugh, probably the thing I complained about the most. Literally, there are three and if you are there like we were, on a weekend, you will be walking the stairs constantly or standing and waiting for 15 minutes. Seriously, that was insane. Cub Club - I get the idea of this place, but really, there should be a few more free activities than color sheets. A craft project that is free would be nice...even if it was just something simple.
We did not eat onsite. It is convenient, but seriously, the pricing is crazy. There are plenty of restaurants outside the hotel(in driving distance) that have better food and better prices.
We did not watch the storytime as it was just too crowded to actually get a spot to see and it was during a good time to be in the waterslide park (6pm-8pm).
So, will we go back? Most likely, but I will never ever go on a weekend again. It was serious chaos....Just way to crowded...plus midweek has better rates.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank girlwolf68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GWL_Management, General Manager at Great Wolf Lodge, responded to this review, February 8, 2011
We appreciate that you took the time to share your thoughts about your recent stay at Great Wolf Lodge. It is great to hear that your family enjoyed their stay, for the most part. Your comments have been forwarded to the appropriate members of our management staff. We do our best during our busiest periods to keep crowds under control, and the elevator situation that you mention is something that we are discussing.

We hope to host your family again soon!

Best,
Michael Lusky - General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
meme15
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 24, 2011

I've never had so much fun while staying in one place. Between the indoor waterpark and the magiquest game, there was not a bored moment. My kids stayed so busy throughout the day that by bedtime they were worn out. I loved the winter theme inside, it was beautiful and the "snow" was fun. We are looking forward to our next stay at the lodge.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank meme15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GWL_Management, General Manager at Great Wolf Lodge, responded to this review, February 8, 2011
Thank you for sharing your review. We are looking forward to when you stay with us again!

Best,
Michael Lusky - General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
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

Property: 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 11 Hotels in Centralia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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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