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“Not the Kalahari”
Review of Great Wolf Lodge

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Great Wolf Lodge
Ranked #11 of 74 Hotels in Wisconsin Dells
Minneapolis, MN
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Not the Kalahari”
Reviewed March 30, 2011

We stay in the Dells at a waterpark every few months usually at the Kalahari. We recently stayed at the Great Wolf because they were offering a deal. Overall the stay was okay but the Great Wolf is not in the same league as the Kalahari. The rooms were cheaper but they were not as nice as the Kalahari, they were kind of tired. The couch sagged badly and mattresses were awful. The indoor waterpark is nowhere near as nice as Kalahari. Not many options for older kids. Might be okay if you have very little ones but mine are 10-15 and they were quickly bored. My advice is spend the extra $$ and stay at the Kalahari.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank zaboodle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1 review
Reviewed March 29, 2011

Check in was a breeze! We arrived early, registered, they took my cell number and a few short minutes later they were calling to tell us our room was ready! Room was spacious, family fireplace suite. We have 2 kids 11 years and 4 years and they had plenty of room to do their own thing in the room. Room had a small refrigerator, microwave, 4 cup coffee maker. Bathroom was large and was very pretty. Water park is huge! 3 seperate areas, all areas had a place for small kids and big kids. My kids had a great time at the water park, neither one got bored they had plenty to keep them busy. Mom and dad had alot of fun playing to! Buffet breakfast was good, plenty of variety. Dinner in the bar/grill was yummy but somewhat pricey. We ordered pizza in one night from a pizza place off hotel site. We brought breakfast and lunch food. We spent a day at knuckleheads indoor amusement park, that was very fun. We didn't do magiquest, but we seen many kids doing it. The clock tower story at nite was very nice, both kids enjoyed it.
I read reviews on here after making our reservations and I was concerned. Some say the hotel and rooms are in bad shape, they were dirty etc.. our room was clean and in good repair, nothing at all to complain about. The bathrooms in the water park were clean, the water park area was clean. The pools have alot of chlorine but that is to be expected with all the people, just shower after your fun.
The hotel did not look old, worn out or anything of the sort. It was very nice and I am a clean freak who drives my family crazy about cleanliness/germs etc. You will enjoy your stay!

  • Stayed March 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RonnieRae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peoria, Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2011

We arrived at Great Wolf on a Thursday afternoon & although they said that check in time was 4, they said that if a room was ready we could get it. We arrived at 3:30 and checked in and were given room keys. We were told what floor we would be on, but not a room number. They told us the would call our cell phone when our room was ready & give us our room number. We did not get a phone call until 4:15, so you can imagine our frustration with 3 kids under the age of 5 waiting in a parking lot for 45 minutes.

We stayed in teh Wolf Pack Loft, which had the kids' bunk bed room and two additional rooms. Upon entering the room it reeked of take out food and smoke. I was a little disappointed in our room. We stayed previously at Kalahari and the rooms there were much more spacious and much cleaner. I felt really crammed in this condo type room. The rooms were very dark, I'm sure to go along with the whole rustic feel of the hotel, but I was unimpressed with the amount of light in the rooms. It was just too dark. Our room faced Interstate 90 and all we heard were cars and trucks ALL NIGHT LONG. There was nothing to drown out the sound of the highway.

The hotel boasts that they have a Starbucks, but I found out that they have Starbucks coffee, not the full menu of lattes & mochas at a normal Starbucks, so don't get too excited.

The waterpark was great for my kids (ages 5, 3 and 1). They had slides for my fearful 5 year old and my fearless 3year old. Lots of tables/chairs around the park to put your stuff and I even brought my stroller.

Overall, I was a little disappointed in the hotel. I thought it was supposed to be THE waterpark hotel to stay at when visiting the Dells. I can say without a doubt that Kalahari and Great Wolf aren't even comparable......Kalahari is the absolute premier water park to stay at when visiting the Dells. Spend the extra buck, it will be worth it.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bbergschneider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 27, 2011

Took my son and his friend to this resort for their Spring break. reserved a Black Bear condo which had two bedrooms, fireplace, balcony and a full kitchen. There was just one large bath; another 1/2 bath would have been really a plus but we did fine.
They were busy almost all the time. The location was great because they could go off property when they wanted to stay dry a while. The outlet mall was within walking distance as was numerous restaurants. A movie theatre is close but they would have to cross a pretty busy road so they passed on that option.

They enjoyed going to the onsite Pizza Hut (which also delivered to the rooms) and the Little Critter breakfast buffet. I enjoyed a quiet meal at the bar watching the Badger game. A great trip! Just a 3 1/2 hour drive from the Twin Cities. An easy to do Mom adventure with teens. Don't miss going into town to eat at Pedro's a great Mexican restaurant.

There is a casino nearby that will pick you up and take you to their casino. If I'd been there longer I might have tried that.

i enjoyed going over to the outlet mall and shopped at Ralph Lauren, Gap and Banan Republic.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KimmLSI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Apple Valley, Minnesota
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2011

After doing our research, we booked a Lone Wolf condo for 2 nights midweek at Great Wolf Lodge - a combination spring break vacation and celebration of our daughter's 12th birthday (we also have a 9-year old son). We choose the Lone Wolf condo because it was basically the same price as a standard hotel room (2 queens), but it had 2 TVs and a fireplace. They all came in handy during the trip.
We arrived a little after 4 pm on a Wed., there was no line to check-in - it was fast and friendly. I asked for a top floor condo based on reviews about floor and wall noise. We were very pleased with our room - turns out the top floor condos also have vaulted ceilings, so the room seemed spacious. The kids loved having their 'own' TV; the fireplace was a great way to stay warm while we took turns in the shower after the waterpark. There was also a table and chairs, fridge, coffeemaker, microwave and sink; again, all very handy. The bathroom was big, with two sinks. One thing to be aware of, as others have said, is that the condos are on one end of the complex, the waterpark is in the middle, and MagiQuest is on the other end. So there's a LOT of walking - my husband sometimes has problems with one of his legs, and so at one point he elected to stay in the room rather than venture to MagiQuest again - it was just too much. Another inconvenience was that the condo elevator was also the service elevator; it was big, but at certain times of the day was very busy and full of housekeeping and food service carts.
The room was pretty clean, although there were a couple of spots (like in the corner behind the toilet) that could have been cleaner. All the places we were likely to touch seemed clean, though. The mattresses were quite firm, which I personally don't like; I only slept OK on them. There was quite a bit of noise from the hallway and through the walls - it was a very good idea to have a top floor room. Also, I would not recommend getting a room on the first or second floor of the main hotel as they are throughways to the waterpark and Magiquest -- so there is lots of hall traffic all day long.
The kids had a blast! The indoor waterpark is in 3 parts; each part has something for all ages. I know other reviewers have commented that their 'tweens' were bored, but mine were entertained for the 2 days we were there. The wave pool was a favorite, along with the tube slides. Mat racing was also fun. The water is very, very chlorinated, so be aware; by the time we were done, my son had a rash from the chemicals, even with rinsing and showering.
My kids favorite part, though, was MagiQuest. We splurged on 'tricked out' wands since it was my daughter's birthday; total cost for 2 wands, 2 toppers & 2 games: $93.00. A bit spendy, but it turned out to be a great investment, because the game literally kept our kids busy for hours. They completed all the quests and adventures and earned the coveted "Questmaster" badges -- I would guess it took them 5-6 hours total, and that was working together, and working fairly quickly (I had to keep telling them not to run). So we were very glad we started the MagiQuest adventure right away in our stay. And the kids love having the wands at home - they are nice looking wands, worthy of Harry Potter games or other magic adventures.
This hotel is a very family-friendly hotel; there are kids everywhere, of all ages! You need to be OK with that in order to enjoy your stay. There are kids going up and down the halls at all hours, I saw high-school kids playing ball in a stairwell, and all the hotel amenities are aimed at families. We did not go to the clock/story time, but it looked packed and entertaining when we walked by one evening.
Perhaps our biggest complaint was the lodge food. It was all very expensive. The only room service is from Pizza Hut, and only for supper. There is no place like a deli to grab a salad or sandwich. The sit-down restaurant had OK food, but we stopped at a Ground Round on the way home and had much better food for about 2/3 the price. The breakfast buffet had a good selection, but it was packed and the lines for the omelet/waffle station were long. We opted for the muffins/pastries at the sweets shop the next morning, and they were very good but pretty much the same price as the buffet. The sweets shop has Starbucks coffee, which is much better than the stuff stocked in the rooms, but again, a cost. We had brought our own snacks for the room, but I would highly recommend considering bringing more food and beverages.
One last thing...we had very good service from everyone who helped us. All staff were friendly and knowledgeable. The lifeguards were very vigilant, but I didn't feel they were overly strict. It was clear they were doing their job. There was always a staff person available when we needed help or had questions.
Overall, the kids had a fabulous time, and we were happy with our choice. We were a bit shocked at the food prices, but loved the fact that the kids were completely entertained for 2 days in the lodge and we didn't have to leave the hotel for anything (although in retrospect, we might have saved some money on food if we had).

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Epidoc96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2011

We enjoyed our stay at the Great Wolf. We stayed in the Kid's Cabin which had a nice layout for our family. The kids had a separate sleeping area and enjoyed their "cabin" very much. The room was clean and spacious and perfect for our three night stay. The waterpark was overall very clean and diligently monitored by lifeguards. There were a variety of attractions for all ages to enjoy and was very spacious. One great feature about the Great Wolf is that you have to stay there to play there. They do not sell any outside passes. This is great during peak times as the waterpark does not get as overloaded as some of the other parks like the Kalahari. I was concerned about this especially since we stayed during spring break. Just a couple negatives- One of the few things I was disappointed about occured at the waterpark in the morning right when it opened. We went to use the restroom and found the stalls without toilet paper and the garbage overflowing. I would think that the restrooms would have been cleaned and restocked prior to opening. This was a slight glitch that I was surprised about since the waterpark seemed well maintained. Also, I felt the dining options were a little weak at this hotel. The snack bar at the waterpark was very disappointing. The burgers seemed like soy burgers. For the high prices, I would expect 100% beef. The Loose Moose was the best dining choice and was pretty good. Camp Critter breakfast buffet was marginal. Overall we had a very nice stay. And most importantly, our kids had a blast there.

Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank JEM05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Urbandale, Iowa
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2011

I'm not sure why the previous poster had such a bad experience, but ours was quite different. We arrived at the Great Wolf Lodge at 2 pm on a Sunday, checked-in in less than 10 minutes and our room was ready. We went straight to our room, which was spotless and then to the waterpark where we spent several hours before going to dinner. Everything worked fine in our room, we also didn't have far to go to the waterpark.

Food is a little expensive inside the resort, but we found a restaurant in the Dells that was really good and reasonably priced and stopped at the grocery store to pick up snacks and drinks for the room.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TravelinMom50323
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: 1400 Great Wolf Drive, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
Location: United States > Wisconsin > Wisconsin Dells
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge 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:
#2 Spa Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
#15 Family Hotel in Wisconsin Dells
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Great Wolf Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 204
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Also Known As:
Great Wolf Lodge Hotel
Wisconsin Dells Hotel Great Wolf Lodge
Great Wolf Lodge Wisconsin Dells
Great Wolf Hotel Wisconsin Dells
Black Wolf Lodge
Great Wolf Hotel Wi Dells
Great Wolf Wi Dells
Great Wolf Resort

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