Monday, June 13, 2011

The Great Wolf Lodge - Poconos Mountains: First Impressions

Last month I went to my second blogger's conference, the first Reviewer's Retreat.  While I was certainly very interested in the topic, review blogging dos & don'ts, I have to say a big reason we attended was because it was held at the fabulous Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos Mountains

We actually live closer to two other locations, in Traverse City and Sandusky, and have heard great things about both from friends and neighbors.  We've been wanting to go to one for a couple of years now, but timing never seemed to work out.  Plus I wasn't sure if there would be enough for a toddler to do at a water park to make it worth it.  We jumped at the chance to go because the Poconos Mountains are also by our family in Philadelphia.  We combined a visit to them with the conference.  It was a win-win and an unforgettable long weekend.  BTW, there is PLENTY for a little one to do at a Great Wolf Lodge!
The first thing we saw upon entering was the cool looking Clock Tower that is the focal point lobby.  We caught the eight o'clock show and saw the animatronic forest creatures move and sing nature songs before the eight-thirty Pajama Story Time on our second night.  ER liked it so much she watched the show again the morning we left.

Check in went smoothly and one of the first things I noticed about the Great Wolf staff was how friendly and helpful they were.  Even though it was crowded with guest checking in and the lobby was full, when Kirby got us set up she wasn't rushed.  She had a way of making us feel like we were the only people in line.  That was something she had in common with all the employees we interacted with, each was unfailing nice and upbeat.  That might not seem like something worth commenting on, but having had bad service at other places, I can't tell you how much that helps me as the guest have a positive mind set.  It just set the mood for a great stay.
The feel of the Great Wolf Lodge is as expected, like a hunting lodge in the woods.  There's lots of knotty pine and nature theme elements to the decor.  We were especially impressed with the murals on our hallway.  Our room was a family suite on the top floor, with vaulted ceilings that gave it a very spacious feel and even a private balcony.  It also had two queen beds and lounge area with couch, table, desk, and chair separated by a halfwall.  To me the most important part, was the included as a standard feature in the room mini fridge.  That's something that's crucial for diabetics like me, who need to keep insulin refridgerated and so nice not to have to pay an upcharge.

The one draw back we found to the Great Wolf Lodge was their dining option, we found most things we tried on the buffet quite salty and inedible.  I filled up on salad the second night but it was a very basic salad bar.  I balance carbs with protiens to manage diabetes.  My meals were lacking in sufficient protien and to pay the posted price for the adult buffet and just eat salad makes it very expensive. 

Yes it was convienient and we paid a discounted meal plan price, but if we'd had more time between conference activities we would've ventured out to local eateries for meals.   As it was, we gave away our lunch ticket for a pizza the second day.  We'd already had it the first day and didn't feel the need to repeat the experience.  The food issue is fairly minor to us, it would not stop us from returning to a Great Wolf Lodge, we'd just know to schedule time to head to local eateries for meals.
I'll end part 1 of my Great Wolf Lodge review with this picture of ER all tuckered out, after the first half day there.  It pretty much tells you how much fun there is to be had there!  She was exhausted from playing and that was after the first few hours! I'll be back with more on the water park tomorrow, there are so many things to do that to put everything I want to tell you in one post would make it a novel!


Disclosure: Our stay the the Great Wolf Lodge, including lodging and meal plan, were part of a discounted conference package.  Opinions and experiences related within are personal and unbiased.

4 Friends Said:

jess@balancing the dream said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog!! I'm glad you like the art!! It is an honor for you to feature this project on Thursday!! I'm still a new that exposure would be great!! :)

-your newest follower! :)

Alex,Lex,Lexi said...

Are you going too give a vacation away?Or are they?Weve never had a family vacation and this sounds great !The closest one to me in wa.

Ticia said...

How were the beds? The ones in Texas are I think rocks disguised as beds. You know to keep that rustic theme.

Tara said...

Sounds like a great trip but it is so expensive that we would have to save for a while. Looks really nice!!

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