Saturday, March 21, 2009

Great Wolf Lodge is Only Average

When you spend $200 a night for a hotel, there are some expectations. One of mine is that there are no residuals from the previous people who occupied my room. The first thing I did when I checked into my room was to use the bathroom -- probably what a lot of people do. There, behind the bathroom door was a pile of dirty towels. EEEWWWW! I called housekeeping but it still took two hours for them to come up and get rid of them.

In addition to cleanliness, you expect everything to be in working order. The one thing I was really looking forward to was sitting in the hot tub with the jets of water pounding into my neck and back. I threw my upper back/neck out the day before my vacation. Even after an hour massage, I still couldn't turn my head to the right very far. I've been in a lot of pain and was just really looking forward to the hot tub. Well, wouldn't you know, the jets weren't working. So on a positive note, at least I could sit in the hot tub up to my neck and stretch. But man, I really needed those jets.

Great Wolf Lodge is not some place one should go by themselves. I wish I would have asked around to see if anyone would have wanted to go with me - - however, I'm sure they wouldn't have wanted to do the battlefield in the cold rain all day prior to check-in. The coolest slides, I couldn't go down by myself and of course, wouldn't you know, some creepy old man about my dad's age asked if I wanted to go down a particular slide with him. I'm sorry, but I'm not going down a water slide in an inner tube or raft, half naked in a bathing suit, with a man I don't know.

I went down a couple of the big slides a few times. Lots of fun. Boy, can I say going down a pitch black tube on an inner tube is scary! After I did that, I floated on the tiny lazy river for a while, then soaked in the hot tub and went back to my room.

This would be a great place to come with kids in the winter. If you have kids, I highly recommend this. Way more fun with kids.

I was also a bit bummed that there wasn't a business center for adults. There was a computer and gaming room for teenagers but adults couldn't get computer access there. You have to bring your laptop (which I don't have) and rely on the wireless connection in the rooms.

Below is the lobby. I really like the rustic lodge theme and many of the animals are animatronic and are triggered by these magic wands that kids can get for this scavenger hunt kind of game they have in the hotel.


Three times a day, they have a show at the clock. I only watched part of one show and it was about being afraid while lost in the woods. I assume it is the same show throughout the day. The animatronics are a little scary.


Don't know how this happened, but my room got upgraded. I think I reserved a single queen but I ended up getting a family suite. I'm not going to complain. It was a little large for just me. However, I thought, it would be a great photo op to show all my friends with families what a family suite looked like.


On the other side of the partition is a sitting room with a sleeper sofa. The sleeper sofa is not queen size and really would only sleep two, maybe three small children comfortably.

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This is the view out my window. I had a nice balcony. I didn't take any pictures outside of the Lodge because it was raining both days that I was there.


From my balcony looking to the left (since turning my head to the right really hurt). The suites next to mine were the super large ones. Its very pretty.


All of the hallways were painted to look like a forest and along the hallways were these little treasure chests that were part of the scavenger hunt thing. I think the wands are $20 each. You should let your kids do this if you go with your kids because it looked like everyone was having a really good time - - and it sure kept them busy.

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Ok now for the water park portion, or what I can show you. They keep this room heated to 85 degrees and it is VERY humid. Since I don't really remember what 85 feels like, it felt HOT. However, the water is nice and refreshing, not too cold. The main 'jungle gym' water slide dumps 10,000 gallons of water down every 10 or 15 minutes. A bell starts to clang to warn you and the kids start squealing with glee and running to stand where the water will pour down on them.

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I would have to say, going off season was the best thing I could have done. While it was crowded, it wasn't jam packed. Sunday night when I arrived, I had a difficult time finding an empty chair to set my towel and beach clothes. I can't imagine what it is like during holidays and in the summer. Can you just picture each of those inner tubes being occupied?

This is the "lazy" river. I put "lazy" in quotations because it really isn't lazy as it is very short and there are two places where ice cold water gets dumped on you. So I was alert and figuring out how to time my approach to these areas so as to not have ice cold water dumped on me (the old neck muscles did seize up the one time I got a bucket of water square on the head).


I really liked the detail throughout the Lodge. I suppose, what you are really paying for is the experience and the details such as this. This is the wave pool. I didn't do the surf rider thing as by the time I got to the pool after a day walking miles and miles, I was so tired and my neck was hurting.


The food was only average - - but very expensive. I only ate dinner at the hotel and that was out of convenience. I did breakfast at IHOP and lunch out in Yorktown or Williamsburg.

Now, even with my average rating. I would go back. However, I would find other people to go with me. Had this been the only thing I had planned on doing, I probably would have asked around for some friends to go with me. Great Wolf will be opening a location in Fredericksburg, VA, a little closer to home. There are many locations throughout the US, including one in Sandusky, Ohio, near my hometown. So maybe I can convince my sister's family to go for a day and night sometime. This is not a place you want to go solo.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

yeah dude. go with a family or friends its much better