Great Wolf Lodge
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Historical Traveler Reviews Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine
We stayed at the Great Wolf the last Saturday in January with our teenage daughters and had a blast. The theme of the hotel is a lodge in the Pacific Northwest, with soaring ceilings and a rustic decor, and, of course, the great wolf motif is everywhere. The lobby is large, with a warm gas fireplace. There is a floor-to- ceiling wall of windows which overlooks the huge indoor waterpark, which is the main attraction and reason for going to this hotel. If you don't like being with children, this is not the place for you! There is a small lodge in the lobby with audiotronic figures - a boy, moose, owl, native American and trees which all come to life during an evening storytime and sing-a-long. Lots of kids in their pajamas were watching.
When we got to the front desk early, there was no line, we received a friendly greeting, and were thrilled to hear our room was ready early. We paid the introductory promo rate of $159, so our room was a great deal. The room was spacious with two queen beds and a sizeable living area with sofa and table with two chairs. There was a nice size fridge and microwave, and I was glad there were plenty of bath towels for the entire family so I didn't need to call down for more like I need to do in every other hotel we stay in. There are towels at the waterpark, so you don't need to bring your own. Don't forget flip-flops and a cover-up: many people seemed to and were walking through the lobby barefoot and in their bathingsuits. It's chilly when you leave the confines of the waterpark!
There are two restaurants at the Great Wolf, one which serves only a buffet breakfast and/or dinner. We ate dinner there, and
thought it was a good deal. Dinner was $20 for adults, $11 for children, and there was a good selection, and the food was delicious. A server was slicing prime rib with yorkshire pudding. The dessert bar had fresh berries along with other yummie selections. Service was mature and attentive. The kiddie buffet was cute with typical selections for young children. There is also
a snack bar at the waterpark ,where outside food &/or drinks are not allowed.
One complaint about the waterpark is that people were taking the supplied inner tubes, and saving them by their chairs, where they were not being used, and no one was even sitting with them. A park attendent needs to retrieve the tubes so there are enough for everyone to use. People were also saving hordes of chairs that went unoccupied for literally hours, making it hard to find one seat to place your beach bag on. Overall, we had a great time. Don't forget your water camera!
Needs to work out kinks
Stayed at the Great Wolf during it's soft opening. I knew it was a new hotel, but being a chain I thought the service would be better. On the website it says it is a full service hotel, but there is no valet or bell service. We had to park in a back corner of a huge lot. We arrived after check-in time to wait in a long line only to be told are room was not ready. We explored the hotel while we were waiting for our room which was not ready until almost 6:00pm. The room was clean and large with a king bed and pull out sofa. The in room fridge was nice. There are only four elevators and they are located together, so jump on when one opens or you will wait a good while. On the plus side, my children loved the water park. The water could have been a little warmer, but there are lots of activities. The outside area was not finished yet. We will give it another chance and would book one of kid suites instead of a standard room next time.
I am sad to say that I was a little disappointed. We recently stayed over MLK weekend for my Daughter's b-day. I don't want to sound like a broken record but unattended cars were parked everywhere in the front which made it difficult to unload. NO VALET!!!The check-in was chaotic. There were people everywhere in the front lobby with all of their luggage wating for their rooms to become available. The lines for the check-in were pretty long. After a long wait, our oom was available and we get up to our room and or armband keys would not work. We called to see if someone could come up to the 8th floor to help us and they told us we had to come down and they would switch out the arm bands. I was not happy about this b/c we had to wait a long time for an elevator. So we went down to get our new keys and went back up to the 8th floor and they would not work again! I felt exhausted at this point and we had just checked in. We reserved the loft and it occupies a max of 8 people and I was shocked that there was only one full bath for 8 people. We payed a little over $500 for one night. The water park is nice and has something for all ages. The lines were not too long. They had to close the wave pool twice b/c someone got sick in it. The chlorine smell was definately strong and gave a couple of us a headaches. Our family did enjoy the magiquest game even though one of the main parts of the quest was broken so we kept having to go down to the magiquest store to give us credit for what was broken. There were a ton of kids unattended running everywhere. The food is overpriced. We heard the restaurants were not the best so we chose to just order some pizzas at the Pazza hut located down stairs. We asked a young gentlemen how long would it take for us to get our pizzas and he said 8 min. We ordered 5 pizzas and it took 40 min. and they messed up our order. It was $70 for 5 pizzas! It concerns me because we understand that there are 200 rooms not even open yet. I can't imagine what it will be like after those rooms are open. I just felt like they could not handle the business. You really could not find anyone that acted like they wanted to help you. Alot of very young people working there with little customer service skills. Not a relaxing stay for us at all.
Great for families
My family of four just returned from Great Wold Lodge. We stayed one night (Monday, Martin Luther King Holiday).
We arrived at 1:30 the day of check-in. This was a very busy day for the hotel. Cars were parked everywhere..In the covered drop off area, along the drive way leading to the door. We did find parking in the last 1/3 of the lot. We entered the lobby to find a line of 20+ people waiting to check in. We got in line and waiting 30 minutes for our turn. There were 7-8 people working the front desk, so the line moved quickly. Our room was ready (Wolf den suite), so we took our bags to our room and changed for the water park. The suite contained a kids suite painted like a cave on the outside with cute wolf pictures on the inside with a set of bunk beds. It also had a queen size bed and sleeper sofa. Like others have noted, the bedding was not high end, but the hotel caters to families therefore the bedspread was appropriate. The room also had a refrigerator and microwave.
We had difficulty finding a table or chair(s) to leave our things on while at the park. We walked around for at least 10 minutes before we secured a chair. We enjoyed everything we tried. The park may seem small, however the space was designed efficiently. All of the water slides that used float/tubes were all built on the same platform and some of the slides tunnels went under sidewalks within the park. We did not use the snack bar or locker rooms.
Options are limited and overpriced: Buffet, not sure of the price for lunch or dinner, but breakfast was $13.99 for adults and $9.99 for children. We decided to pass on a $50 breakfast.
Full service Starbucks Coffee. (yum)
On the first floor there is ice cream store, Pizza Hut express, and store that offered pastries and fudge. There is also a bar and grill on the third floor open for lunch and dinner.
Grapevine has many places to eat. There are a least 20 within five minutes of the hotel.
Arcade with many games that give out tickets.
Magi Quest: yes, many people participated in this game including many unattended children. We spent at least eight hours between the two days, completing the quests. You do have to look for clues on all eight themed floors. They recommend you use the stairs for the game and we saw plenty of people doing this. There were times when the elevator was necessary (going from floor one to eight). The only time we had to wait for the elevator during our stay was from 10:00-11:30 AM when many people were trying to check out. The hotel provides carts for the guests to use to haul their luggage to their cars (same carts you can rent at the airport). The elevators will not hold more than one cart at a time. Overall we had a great time and cannot wait to go back.
So far below our expectations!
I had family come in town for this past Holiday weekend. We thought it would be fun to stay a night at the hotel and enjoy the water park. I live locally and have a 2-year old little girl who loves the water. We picked Friday night and paid $249 for the basic family suite (this was the cheapest room rate for that night).
We arrived at 4:45 on Friday night (check-in is supposedly at 4:00). The parking lot was completely full and the entry area was cluttered with cars, so our immediate response was to valet. Guess what? No valet service is offered. So we grab a cart and unload our stuff. My mom went and stood in line for check in. My sister watched the cart and my daughter. I parked the car (by following people who were walking out to their vehicle ... the only way to secure a spot at that time). Luckily, my mom booked the room because since her address was out of state, we got a room right away (and we're making this assumption). But most of the people in front of her did not get rooms until they were called.
The elevator situation is a complete joke! There are 4 in one area for the entire hotel. It took us at least 15 minutes to get on one to get up to our room. The room itself is decent. It's not high end at all, but it's comfortable enough.
So we head to the water park. The place was crowded. It was very hard to secure a table to put your outerwear. The water was cooler than I would have liked. They do have a hot tub that is like warm bath water, so we were able to warm up my little one from time-to-time in there. The park itself is pretty nice. It's a good size. The adult slides are fun. The kiddie area is nice as well. There is a lot of variety within the park. The whole place is run by kids. And that is the theme for the entire hotel. Customer Service is minimal at best.
So we decide to go clean up for dinner. There is ONE true sit down restaurant in the entire place. At 7:00, there was a 45-60 minute wait. This was not going to work for a hungry 2 year old. So our options at that point were: the buffet restaurant, Pizza hut/pastry shop, Starbucks, or the snack bar back in the water park (which I never even checked out). So we head to the buffet. The cost - $19.99 for an adult. Three dinners, one soda, one beer, and one glass of wine cost us $85. There is less selection than what you can find at the Golden Corral and the food quality is the same if not worse (and this is not an exaggeration). Good thing my 2-year old was free.
They had a little story time which was cute and then we headed back to the room for the night. Did we mention the Wizard Game? I do think this is a neat idea, however it does result in kids running/screaming through the halls all day and night and jamming up the 4 elevators (we used the stairs for the rest of our trip until we checked out). So there was a lot of noise until after 10:00.
Unfortunately for us, we were located next to a room that had a true violent domestic dispute that woke us up at 11:40 that night. I had to call down to the lobby to report it. The hotel did send security. I did call a second time prior to their arrival because we really felt like someone was going to wind up seriously hurt/dead based on the language used and the violence of the argument and slamming noises. Security did calm the situation down. But at that point, we were wide awake and upset because it was truly frightening to listen to. So we try to settle down to go back to sleep and all of a sudden we smell cigarette smoke. This is supposed to be a smoke-free hotel. We looked out our window to find the same neighbors smoking.
But we finally manage to get to sleep. All we want to do is use the waterpark the next day for a little while before we leave. I get up and go get Starbucks for the adults and wanted to find a simple breakfast for my daughter. Guess what? The buffet and Starbucks are the only options. So we feed my daughter some snacks we brought with us and head to the park.
At 9:00 in the morning, the water park is nice. It is not crowded, it's clean, and for some reason felt warmer. My sister and I were bound and determined to try the Howlin' Tornado (the water park's main attraction). So we get in what should be a 10 minute line, but it ends up taking us 45 minutes because the conveyer belt that brings the rafts back up to the top is broken. People showed up to fix it, got it running, they all dispersed, it broke down 2 minutes later. So we had to wait for everyone to come back to get it fixed. We should have been able to ride all of the slides in the time that it took us to ride just that one. Frustrating to say the least. Note: There are lines (which is to be expected), but the lines would be more efficient if there weren't kids managing them.
We finally call it a day and head to check out. It took us 30 minutes to get an elevator (and we had to ride up first) to get our cart of luggage to the car. At checkout, my mom complained about our experience. Now I realize that it is not the hotel's fault for the people's behavior next to us, but this wasn't a case of mild disturbance. This was bad and upsetting. We felt they should have at least comp'd our overpriced dinner. The hotel did nothing and offered nothing!
This made me so mad that after we loaded up the car, I went back in and asked to speak to a Manager. I retold our entire story to the person at the desk. She went back to the back area where the Manager was. The person that spoke with my mom came out to verify it was the same situation even though there were now 2 of us complaining. I said it was. The original lady speaking to me came back and basically said "sorry ... I can offer you breakfast vouchers." Not once did the Manager come out to speak with me, which is just completely unacceptable in my opinion.
The concept of the hotel is good. The water park is nice. But for what you pay and the level of service (or basically lack thereof) that is given is so not worth the high price of staying at the hotel.
The whole place is just simply under managed. This is a hotel that gears itself to being the "destination" and the amenities that are provided can no way accommodate a fully occupied hotel!
I would definitely hold off on going for some time until they get a chance (if it is even possible) to work the kinks out.
Our family of five booked a one-night stay - we live local and were looking for a fun way for our kids to enjoy their 4-day weekend.
We arrived at 4 p.m and check-in was total chaos. It began before we even entered the hotel - there were no available parking spots in the huge parking lot, cars were parked everywhere with families trying to load/unload their things. There were two lines at registration - the first one to "check in" where they give you your arm bands to enter the water park and tell you your room isn't ready yet. The second line you stand in is to get your room keys once your room is ready (they call you on your cell phone to let you know.) We waited in the first line over 30 minutes, and then waited another 2 hours for our room to be ready. (We got our room at 6 p.m. when check-in time was supposed to be 4 p.m.) The lobby was a madhouse with kids running around and many, many families sitting with their piles of luggage waiting for their rooms.
The room was just okay - we paid $339 for the kid cabin suite. For that rate, we expected a little nicer room. There was a queen size bed for the adults which was disappointing - the room was large and could have accomodated a king easily. The linens were very "Motel 6" - we expected better for that price, especially how hotels now compete based on the comfort of their beds. They had the tacky polyester bedspreads, not the more sanitary duvets that most hotels have now gone to. The large fridge was a nice bonus. The kid's portion of the room had its own t.v. but it competed with the t.v. in the main room - it was difficult to watch either one.
Our kids enjoyed the water park, and even though crowded, the lines were'nt too long. One downside is that there is a full bar INSIDE the water park. It was disconcerting to see adults walking around with beer, margaritas and mixed drinks in a supposed family-environment. As I was standing in line at the "bar" to buy a bottle of water, two seemingly intoxicated males were holding up the line trying to distract the female employee. The snack bar inside the water park also serves frozen drinks, beer and wine. The combination of alcohol and water and kids seems like a bad one to us.
One more down side in our opinion is scantily clad people everywhere. If you don't mind eating dinner (in the hotel restaurant) seated next to women in bikini tops and bare feet, then don't read this paragraph. We ate in two of the restaurants, and there were wet people, wearing nothing but towels over their bathing suits, everywhere. Teenage girls stroll about in their bikinis, as well as kids of all ages. We saw a barefoot mom in her wet suit having coffee in Starbucks.
On a positive note, we felt like the food in the resort was good and a good value. We had dinner at the upstairs bar and grill and breakfast at the breakfast buffet. Snacks inside the water park were also moderately priced.
Don't visit this resort if you are looking for a relaxing stress-free getaway. The chaotic check in, the millions of unattended kids running everywhere and the high priced room are enough to keep us away until our kids wear us down enough to go back.
Great 4 Day weekend!
I had a professional conference at the Dallas Convention Center, so I needed a place to leave the family during the day where they wouldn't be bored. They definitely weren't bored at the Great Wolf Lodge. We checked in on a Wednesday afternoon, unloaded, and headed to the water park. It was mainly deserted that entire day We had NO wait on the water slides and the pools only had a few people in each of them. The lifeguards and hotel staff looked bored, and some commented that they couldn't wait for the weekend to come so it would get busy. Boy were they right! on Thursday, droves of people came and checked in and the water park began to fill up. I belive they were 67% occupied that night. Then came the weekend. On Friday, there wasn't a parking palce to be found and people were parking their cars long-term in the covered entry plaza and all along the entry street. They were near-capacity that weekend (it was a holiday weekend MLK). The park was elbow to elbow and there wasn't a chair or table to be had (they were all occupied with towels and drink bottles, no people). Anyway, we had planned to spend the weekend shopping in the Dallas area so it didnt alter our plans. We did experience the issue with the chlorine being too strong. On Wednesday and Thursday, the chlorine wasn't noticable. On the weekend, they must have dumped in double amounts as our skin turned red and the kids complained about the pain on their legs -- they thought they were being bit by ants! Anyway, we didn't stay long on Saturday night as our eyes were burning from the strong scent of chlorine in the air. Overall, the water park was great.
As for the resort staff, we didn't encounter a single employee that offered excellent service. The staff at the desk during checkin seemed indifferent to receive us as guests, and didn't offer any information about the resort unless we asked specific questions. Checkin was speedy as there was no line mid-week. We did have to return to the desk 3 times during our stay; once to change the color of our wristbands and two more times to have our room key re-activated. For some reason, they kept de-activating the adult room key bands and only my 8 year old could open our room door. Finally got that straightened out.
As for our room, we stayed in a Kid Cabin Suite. We have 3 children, ages 8, 5, & 3, and we thought the bedding arrangement of one bunkbed set and a daybed would work best. Also, thought the kids would enjoy the "cabin" room. We were right, the bedding arrangement was great and the kids stayed in their "cabin" most of the time we were in the room. They watched their own TV, which allowed us to watch ours.
Our room had a queen bed and a sofa bed. The room was quite large, and there was definitely room for a king bed. The bed was hard as a rock. We slept, but not well. For the price of this room per night $269-319, they certainly could have sprung for a comfortable mattress. Also, the room decor was somewhat lacking. There was one picture on one wall and a metal sculpture on the other wall. Not a big issue, but had it not been for the cabin structure in our room, the theming would have ended with the door. The hotel is well themed in the lobby and hallways, but it ends there. Once inside your room, you could be convinced that you were at any chain hotel. Definitely nicer than Motel 6, but not near as nice as the Marriott hotels we normally stay at.
Bathroom was large, but lacking in storage area. We had to keep our toiletries outside the bathroom on the closet area shelf. Note I said closet area...there were no doors on the closet, just a clothes bar and ironing board mounted on the wall inside the door. Not a big problem, but we had to look at our clothes and luggage all the time. The wet bar area was nice and the fridge was a nice 3 foot tall unit similar to the ones we all had in the college dorms. There was a nice wall safe that would hold our laptop, DVD player, camcorder, camera, wallets, cell phones & jewelry.
Bring your own toiletries as all that is offered is a low-quality shampoo, one bar hand soap, and lotion.
Now to mention the Magiquest game--- they sell magic wands to play a interactive game of scavenger hunt. They have stations all over the hotel, including 4-5 on each floor near the elevator banks. Kids are running all around with their magic wands from station to station. They are told to use the stairs, but instead, the elevators are tied up with kids running amuck playing this game. We looked into buying this game for our kids to play, but decided against it as the content of the game of wizardry and magic was against our beliefs. There are 4 elevators and we always had to wait at least 5-10 minutes for an elevator. This got to be a real pain, especially on Sunday when we were trying to check out at 11:00. With all the luggage cards and kiddos playing the magic wand game, we waited almost 20 minutes for an elevator to get from the 8th floor. They are planning for 200 more rooms later this year, and I hope they plan for more elevators to service the additional rooms.
The only food service we used was the counter service. The Pizza Hut "Express" was far from express as both times we used it, it took around 20 minutes to get our personal pan pizza. There was a heating bin for pizzas already cooked, but there was never anything ready to grab and go. The pizza was good, but as it is a Pizza Hut outlet, it's hard to ruin the pizza. The restaurant was closed the first 2 days we were there.
I would highly recommend the hotel for families if your primary reason for visiting is to enjoy the water park. If you are staying here for the other amenities of the resort, I'd say stay across the street at the Gaylord Texan. We stay mainly at resort hotels and Disney resorts, and the water park is the only thing about this hotel that is resort-quality.
We'll go back as we live a couple hours away. I'm sure as time goes by, the bugs will get worked out. Hopefully they will train their staff on how to act to guests. A simple "welcome to Great Wolf Lodge" when we checked in would've made a big difference.
Get ready for a madhouse!!
We stayed at the lodge for my daughter's birthday. The lodge is really nice and everything was new. Our room was okay- I thought it could have been a little bigger- The bed was only a queen, which I knew before hand, but a king would be have been better.
The room had a fridge which was nice.
The food at the lodge is way over priced!! Be prepared to spend a bundle. It was just okay. It was not even great. There was some stuff still not open. When I booked I asked if in the summer was there going to be more of the water park. She said "no" but when we got there- it looked like a whole lot outside.
Okay here is the mad house part-- they have this game called magic quest. ALL the kids in the place are playing it. We went to buy the game, and ended up spending 55 $ on the wand! This game is over priced too. There are tons of kids running around all over the 8 floors doing this game. Alot are without parents. Some were old enough, but I think some were not! It felt like Disney World in a closed in environment.
The waterpark was okay. I don't feel like it was great. I expected it to be a little bigger. It got really crowded, and I kept wondering if they have a limit of people they can allow. I did not see anyone counting heads going in. The baby pool was closed most of the day due to some little one doing number 2 in the pool. The food inside the water park area was more expensive then the food outside?
Overall it was a fun 2 day trip. I don't think I would drive very far to stay here. It is not like a destination vacation.
Alot of fun but still has a few kinks to work out
My 8 yr old and I stayed at the GW over XMAS. We have been to other Great Wolfs so we were familar with the hotel. To start off our stay-the computer was down so we couldn't check in. I knew our room wasn't ready anyway so this didn't hamper our fun-we got our waterpark passes and off we went. One of the best parts of the GW is you can arrive early and stay well after checkout time(as long as your out of your room) My son started off by playing Magi quest, its a wand adventure that has them going on "quests" Alot of fun but a bit tiring going up and down 8 floors. At least with 4 elevators you don't wait too long. Our room was ready by 3:30-we had the kid cabin. It was very nice being new but the lights were a bit dim and housekeeping hadn't figured out how to dust yet. The beds were comfortable. I always use the fridge and microwave as it saves a bit of money to bring in your own snacks and stuff. If you have children or adults with sensitive skin bring your own shampoo/soap. The bottles they have are scented therapy type soap and my son wouldn't use it. The waterpark is huge with many cool slides. The water temp was just right. Even when it got crowded after XMAS there were still enough tubes-make sure you read the sign before you walk up the stairs as some of the slides don't require tubes and others do. The Howlin tornado is esp cool at night. My son enjoys doing crafts at the Cub club. The teen center wasn't open yet but it has computers and music and stuff. The arcade had plenty of games and decent enough prizes.
The only real pitfull is the food-while I expect prices to be on the high side-the lack of speed is a bit frustrating. It took almost an hour to get one personal pizza, plus they were still having supply issues. The staff is very friendly but still needs to learn the ropes Overall we had a wonderful time.
Great fun for Christmas!
If you are a very picky traveler, beware of this hotel. This is a new lodge therefore it has a few bugs to work out. We stayed during the first weekend that it was open to the public. I gave this lodge 5 stars because we enjoyed ourselves very much and even though there were some things we didn't like about it (which I will mention) the staff were all very helpful, eager to please and friendly. One issue the lodge needs to work out is the check in process. It took a very long time to get a room, the line was long, and people were confused because there were 2 lines, some people did a precheck in, others weren't told about this, etc. The rooms were nice (all new) but lighting was dim. I guess to give it a cabin feel, but more lighting would be nice.
As far as the water park goes, great fun for kids and adults. They may want to work out the situation for the waterslides. There are 2 sets of stairs. One has 3 slides at the top and the other has 2 slides. Sometime you have to wait on the stairs only to find out that there is no one waiting for the slide you want.
Restaurants: We purchased food from 2 food establishment near the waterpark area. Of course it was overpriced, as expected, but if considering buying from Pizza hut, order early. It took over 30 minutes for a personal pan pizza late in the evening.
TripAdvisor Reviews Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine
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