Great Wolf Lodge
Travel Blogs from Centralia
Wow! A late night equals a big sleep in. The boys didn't get up until 10! When we got started we headed downstairs and hooked up with Darren and the girls who were about to start a Magic Treasure hunt. It's quite a scavenger hunt through the hotel, which tasks the kids with finding certain objects that once found illuminate through a IR magic wand …
The Great Wolf Lodge is located about an hour and 1/2 drive south of Seattle.
We hired a car (best deal from BUDGET $300USD for one week for a Nissan Versa). Luckily Wayne had no problem adjusting to driving on the opposite side of the road and we were on our way!
Heading south on the I5, we arrived at our destination and were …
This morning we stopped along the Columbia River at Kennewick, before heading over a high pass (??) with the aim to do some hiking in Mt Rainier National Park and to camp in one of the campgrounds there. Mt Rainier is a dormant volcano just north of Mt St Helens (which erupted in 1980) and At 14400ft is the highest mountain ...
... to show me the water falls. Right in the middle of Olympia is Tumwater Falls, which the town/city was basically built around back in the 1800's. At first used for saw mills, they eventually were used to power the Olympia brewery, which was one of the city's largest industries for most of the 20th century (the brewery shut-down in 2003.) If you're interested in reading more about the falls, here is a link: http://www.olytumfoundation.org/park.as p
They have ...
... opening, searching and closing everything. We were having visions of this mouse forming a nest to lay babies... only to come back in a week to a nest of hundreds. FINALLY under our bed in a storage compartment jeff finds the lone mouse. Scared and cowering under a camping frypan- it seemed his fate was sealed. (Better to be sealed than seared in the frypan) Jeff thought as he held the industrial vacuum over him. "what if his body gets stuck as he gets sucked ...
How has this resort rated in the past?
TravelPod Member ReviewsGreat Wolf Lodge Centralia
A great place to stay for a family friendly experience and to leave reality for a couple of days.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Great Wolf Lodge Centralia
Don't Waste Your Money $$$
We arrived for a Spring Break get away. Arrived at 3:50 for the written 4:00pm check in time and was told rooms weren't ready and they would call me when the rooms were. Any time estimate? No. I received my call a little after 6:30pm. They said check in 'begins' at 4:00pm and you can't expect to get your room at 4:00. Our room was the cheapest at 299.00 per night. There is no valet parking, bell boys or room service at this "hotel" (they call it a "resort"). The restaurant is tiny and can't accomodate the numbers, and isn't very good. The buffet restaurant is a grease train with no salad bar or vegtables. Yuk! We went to Safeway down the road about 7 miles to stock up. The rooms are decent with fridges and microwaves. The beds are foam and very uncomfortable.
The water slides for my kids 11, 12, 14 - were fun, but they are almost too old for this place. The slides they liked had VERY long waits. (no lazy river like the web site says) The arcade was a hit, but a money pit for me.
Overall, I wouldn't waste your time or money. A GREAT concept just very poorly executed and very, very POOR service.
Good and bad, opened too soon
As far as a venue for a fun good time, the waterpark is excellent. The only issue I had with the waterpark itself, was the snack shop that was selling alcohol. The problem is a small sign was on the counter stating to keep it inside of fenced area, but there was no enforcement. The beer was all over the park, including some sitting unattended on tables. We have to remeber this is a FAMILY fun park.
The hotel was unorganized and unprepaired. When we booked our room we were told it may not be ready before 4pm, but will be by 4pm. We were told we could still access the water park at 1pm, we just have to check in first. We arrived just before 2pm and the line was very long. I waited about an hour and then was given writsbands for the waterpark, but told I could not officially check in until after 4pm. I was told I had to wait through that same line again. I came back at 445 and again waited through that line and was told a room is still not available. I was told they were more than 40 employees short for housekeeping.
When I finally got my room, the door lock was not finished and the door did not secure to my satisfaction. The manager said being on the 8th floor is security enough. This obviously is a manager that does not have a clue. Only after being demanding and arguing, did he send maintenance to fix it. I don't mean to be picky, but I had children with me and secuiryt is very important to our family. We were also paying close to $400 for one night.
The arcade is fun for the kids, but expensive and several of the machines did not work. When I pointed out one of the more popular ones to staff, they looked at it and did nothing. I did not expect them to fix it on the spot, but they could have and should have put a sign on it. Kids were losing tokens on this machine.
The food was absolutely horrible. The snack shop at the pool repeatedly sold cold stale soft pretzels. We tried both Sunday and Monday. We were told it is just the way they are. At $3 for one, I demanded my money back.
All the food is very very expensive. There is only one restaurant in the hotel that serves breakfast. It is a buffet setup and is $18 for one adult and $8.95 for each child...are you kidding me $50 + for breakfast for my family! The rooms have refridgerators, bring your own breakfast.
My 8 year old had cut the bottom of both his toes on the rough ground inside the pool area. We managed to limp him to the bathroom, where I stopped a lifeguard who was wearing a first aid bag. I asked for two bandaides. He told me he could not help us and referred us to the other side of the pool. I pointed out my boy could not walk without pain and simply needed a bandaid. I also told him he would be risking infection by walking on the floor with open cuts. I also told him that he would be tracking blood all over the place. He then said that would be ok, because they would clean it up for us. So much for being health minded and educated on health issues.....this is a paid lifeguard.
It is my oppinion is that this waterpark is a fun place for the kids, but is very overpriced. It opened too soon. The facility was not ready, they did not have enough employees, and their staff are not trained and familiar with state laws.
It is my hope that they fix these issues, because it has potential to be a very nice experience for families. As is now, it is not worth the price.
Great for families
Arrived at 1:00 and received wristbands to use the water park before 4:00 check in time. Went to the lobby to check in at 5:00 and waited in line for 45 minutes. I would advise anyone to not check into their room until after 6pm. to avoid the lines. The rooms are very nice. We had a "wolf den" room and the kids really enjoyed their own space. You really don't need to spend the extra $ for the kid room because we only spent 2 hours of awake time in our room. We ate at the buffet for dinner. It was a little pricey and our waiter wasn't very helpful. The kids enjoyed that we didn't have to leave the facility. After dinner, we walked out to the clock tower and the kids watched the show/storytime. Starbuck's still isn't open and one slide still isn't working. They don't have iced coffee, so I drove to a drive-thru espresso stand and swung over to McDonalds for breakfast sandwiches while the kids already started swimming with their Dad. The breakfast buffet looked good, but it is pricey for us to do the buffet twice. Overall, we loved our stay. We had all day to swim on arrival day and swam until 2pm the next day. Plenty of time for a 1 night stay. I think they need to better their arrival check-in procedure and make the buffet more affordable. We will definately go back!
Great waterpark--So-so hotel
The water park is awesome. My kids (9, 7, 4) said it was the best time they ever had. They would not stop thanking me for booking the trip. The thrill rides are thrilling, the wave pool is exciting, and the play areas are a blast.
Now, for the constructive criticism.
1. Everything involving the front desk is painful. We arrived before the official check in time. But, we read the hotel's FAQ and knew that we could play in the pool. After waiting in line for 15+ minutes, we finally got checked in, but were told our room was not read. Fair enough ... off to the waterpark.
At 4:30, I went to the front desk (dripping wet) to get a room key. THE LINE WAS OUT THE DOOR. Since I had already checked in, I asked if there was a way I could get my key without having to wait in line. NOPE, wait in line again (45 minutes this time).
2. The room was nice, but missing little things like a phone book and pens and paper. The beds are cozy and the temperature was just right. Note: The ice machines are waaaaayyy at the end of the hall.
3. The food service leaves a lot to be desired. Coffee is from one of those push-button Douwe Egbert machines. Coffee, lattes, and hot chocolate all come out of the same spout. We skipped the buffet because I did not want to pay $18 to eat what looked like dorm food. The Camp Critter restaurant, while pricey, had much better food. I had pulled pork that was pretty good and my wife raved about her salad. For breakfast, you are stuck with pastries from the ice cream shop (with the push-button coffee) or the dorm food buffet. (There is a McDonalds/gas station about a half mile away though ...)
4. The front desk is painful. The (graciously) permitted us a 1:00 pm check out. However, after returning to the room (dripping wet) we found that we were locked out because it was past "official" check out time (11:00 am). Back to the front desk. Only after some cajoling did I get to jump the (out the door) queue to get a new key. Oops, key did not work. Only after 35 minutes, did some one show up with a working room key. Ugh!
Again, waterpark: AWESOME. Hotel: not so much.
Poorly managed abd riddled with design flaws
DON'T GO - NOT WORTH THE MONEY!
I could write a whole dissertation on all that went wrong, but I'll just hit the highlights:
Great Wolf Lodge great family experience!
We brought our 8 year old son and 5 year old twin daughters to Great Wolf Lodge on Friday the 28th of March. The kids had a fantastic time on the scale of visiting a large a theme park!
The waterpark has a LOT to do: a wave pool (which creates waves about every 10 minutes), a small area suitable for toddlers, a fort with 2 small slides and lots of water toys, and a tower with 2 waterslides you ride with tubes (either singles or doubles) or with a quad-tube -- the biggest thrill ride The Howling Tornado. This ride starts out in the dark, takes a big drop, and then has a large sloped area that causes you to go back & forth up the high walls on either side. From tots to teenagers, the kids will be entertained. It's VERY loud in the waterpark, so be prepared for the need to leave periodically ...
We stayed in a "Kids Cabin" which has a small room made to look like a cabin with a day bed and bunks, as well as its own flatscreen TV. This made the trip, from the kids perspective! It's hard to believe that other family resorts don't use a similar concept. These beds are short, and not suitable for taller kids. My husband and I shared a queen, and our part of the room had a gas fireplace and a separate TV. The rooms are simple but functional -- with a dorm-sized fridge & a microwave.
The theme of the Lodge is everywhere, with wolves on the roofs of cabins in the main foyer, and log trim throughout. It gave you the feeling you'd stepped into Disney's "Bear Jamboree". Kids loved it!
The video arcade was also a bit hit. Several games gave tickets and the kids were able to bring home a small momento of their trip (rather than spending other money in the gift store).
A couple of tips:
1. The kids need water shoes, particularly in the wave pool where they lose their footing often. Two of our children came home with small cuts on their feet. The Lodge recommends this.
2. Read the fine print on when you get the room. You may THINK you get your room @ 4:00, but they'll say it's not guaranteed. This was a UNIVERSAL complaint, esp because you had to wait in a 20 minute line AGAIN later in order to get your room (and even then it might not be ready). Ours took 1.5 hours. This is a bit of a mystery, because check out time is at 11:00, so they should have the rooms available by 4:00. Perhaps as the Lodge improves its processes, this will get better. We saw a group of 5 cleaning staff taking an extraordinarily long break in one guest's room while we waited for our room.
3. Count on spending loads of money for dinner. We ate in the main buffet, and they charge $9/child! The food is decent -- the kids loved their fare (gummy bears, mini corn dogs, mac & cheese, potato smiles, and desserts), but spendy. By the time we ordered drinks, we paid over $70 for our family of 5. Next time, we'll bring a cooler filled with food for breakfast and lunch.
4. While you're waiting for your room, you can check a small bag into a locker (for $5 with a $10 deposit -- which you'll get back if you bring the key back that day). You can also stay in the waterpark after checkout time @ 11:00 so long as you don't mind changing in the bathroom before you leave.
We'll definitely go again ... maybe once or twice a year, and perhaps during the week when the room prices are less.
Took my 3 kids for Spring break, 9, 5, 9 months and Grandma! We checked in early on a Monday, no bell hops no valet. Loved our room we had the family suite. Loved the waterpark although not everything is built yet, no lazy river. Food was horrible, priced too high for family's, if you didn't get right to the buffet when they opened food was cold and selection poor. The staff at every food venue kept saying we are out of this we are out of that we've 86'd this or that. Couldn't get fast service at any of the food venues they even forgot to bring my five year old her milk saying "adults make mistakes too" The elevators were constantly not working having to hike three kids and Grandma down the stairwell 6 floors! Loved the idea, Loved the waterpark, disliked the food and slowness of the staff. Constantly being told, '"Sorry were new". Not good enough for a well known Corporate venture.
Wonderful time at the Great Wolf Lodge!
We just returned from two night stay at the Great Wolf Lodge. It was great. We had a Kid Kabin Suite which was perfect for the 6 of us (2 adults, 2 teens, and 2 children aged 4 and 5). The suite seemed a bit pricey but when you consider that some outdoor water parks charge $33 per person, the room was a great deal. Everything was brand new and the staff was really nice. We arrived around 4:30 and were checked in right away. The hotel was totally sold out and there seemed to be cars lined up all the time with people trying to check in. But it didn't seem over-crowded. We put our name on the list for dinner about an hour before we were ready to eat and they gave us a pager and it worked out great. The only small complaint I have is that they need more places to hang wet clothes in the room and that there isn't all that much info provided in the room such as a hotel map and phone numbers. I tried to phone the spa to make a reservation but the only number listed was for the front desk and I tried calling that twice but got no answer because they were so busy. Overall, this place is great for families of all ages. Check it out.
New and awful so far
I've been here 2.5 hours and still am unable to get into my room. I booked over 2 weeks ago. A lot of "I'm sorry's" and quite a few "your room will be ready in 15 minutes" but still nothing. My son is enjoying the video game room and I'm sitting in the lobby watching our bags. No valet service, no where to store bags so you can enjoy your 2 hour + wait for your room. I'll have to rate the amenities later if I ever get a chance to see them. They say check-in is at 4:00 - save yourself the trouble and go have some fun - call ahead to see if maybe you may see your room before dinner.
Amazing Area Attraction
Staying at the new Great Wolf couldn't have been a better experience. The staff was amazing throughout the entire property. We even got upgraded to a better room free of charge. We ate at the Loose Moose Buffet and enjoyed it greatly. Bought some gift from the gift shop as well and things were priced very reasonably. For having just opened up I'd like to say the staff is doing an amazing job! There were a few bumps in the road (for example the squirrals didn't pop up during the clock tower show), but isn't that to be expected when a place hasn't even been open a week? The norhwest really needed a good family retreat and I'd like to welcome Great Wolf to the area with open arms. I would even say the rates are fair for what you get, we stayed in a Kid Cabin suite and it had everything, down to a themed sleeping area for the kiddos and a fridge and microwave and EVEN a fireplace.
Keep up the good work Great Wolf, your doing one Howl of a job!
Welcome to the area