Monday, 28 July 2014
Great Wolf Lodge...
SO. It's been a painfully hot summer here in the Pacific Northwest and we were gifted a really brief reprieve from the heat by my oh-so-beautiful mother-in-law, who booked us a room at a resort we've been desperate to stay at pretty much since the day I arrive back in the States.
Every drive by its outdoor water slides would send me into a fit of jealousy that I could barely contain as I murmured under my breath about how poor we were and how much I hated EVERY person in that water park because I couldn't be there.
Great Wolf Lodge is marketed as a gigantic water park that's inside (which is wildly necessary because Washington makes me want to die with all it's OMGITNEEDSTORAINEVERYDAY bullshit) a humidity-controlled resort. What it REALLY is, is a money sink. The rooms themselves are outrageously with absolutely nothing included. No meals, no transportation, no nothing. You get to go play in their actually pretty small water park and then sleep in their rooms, which are one of the only things I appreciated about the trip.
Upon arrival, Muffin was forced to wait in line to check in for nearly an hour, as there were only two staff working the front desk at peak check-in time. Once he finally made it up to the counter, after getting the key and purchasing a "Paw Pass" (which is a glorified sight-seeing pass for a facility that isn't big enough to need to see the sights. The pass itself gets you a wolf-themed Build-a-Bear, a small cup of Mike and Ike's, a small sundae, a t-shirt, and a glitter tattoo. Molly got to spend her own money on this waste, as we were not going to drop forty dollars for fifteen bucks worth of junk) for the child, he had to all but fight the staff for two more sets of ears (that easily had a wholesale cost of fifty cents) for the two of us.
Our room wasn't ready when we arrived, so we were allowed to go out into the waterpark and the staff assured us that they would call the instant our room was ready for us to move on in. They assured us that it wouldn't be more than an hour, and that we could play in the park to our heart's content, so we did.
The park itself? Small and not good enough. For being marketed as a fabulous indoor waterpark, it was disappointing. I can totally understand why, as a ten-year-old, it would be the most fabulous place in the world, but for THIS almost thirty-something? Terrible. Lockers were twenty dollars each to reserve for the remaining eight hours of the day, band-aids and log strands of hair kept entangling themselves with my toes, and the lifeguards and staff were atrocious. I am a particular fan of good customer service. I personally feel that if you are going to work with the public, you should take a specific interest in being respectful, kind, and helpful, especially if you are going to work in a place where your patience is going to be tried. So why, in the name of god, would people with such bitter, negative attitudes, work in a place where they not only need to be sensitive to people with herds of small children, but also people who are insecure or uncomfortable in their own skin, being thrust into a bathing suit for the sake of their children's joy? The staff were atrocious. They were unhelpful, disrespectful, and intolerable, which is unacceptable.
Two painful hours in the tide pool later, no phone call had been received. Muffin called the front desk, only to have them have no idea who we were or why we were wanting a room. We made our way to the front desk, finally gained the secret knowledge as to where our room was, and went to dry off in the safety of our room. A room that was, like I said, the only good part about our trip (apart from spending a wonderful night with our favourite friends). The room was huge, had a balcony (which didn't come cheap, by the way), a tiny TV (which was broken and had to be replaced), the littlest shower in the world, and OMGCOMFYBEDS. The beds were easily the best part. They were plush, huge, and covered in pillows.
I didn't want to leave my bed, but the lure of food enticed me. Unfortunately, the foodplace in the hotel was a buffet at a whopping twenty bucks a head, so there was no way we were going to eat THERE. We instead walked en masse to a burger place next door (who really deserve their own poor rating, but I just can't stand to drone on for ages about their overpriced burgers, which were tasty, but not worth the pennies) to have some chow before going back to the hotel so that Molly could buy a thirty buck piece of plastic with the last of her money that she could wave around to see paintings come "alive" in front of their very eyes (OMGMAGICAL).
We then swam for another forty minutes and then made our way between the ice cream parlour (where we promptly gave up one of our limbs), the build-a-bear workshop, the arcade (which was my second-favourite part of the trip, as, after an hour and many dollars of trying to win a specific toy, my whining prompted the staff to open the machine and GIVE me a toy), and the disco going on in the great room.
It was overall just exhausting and nearly put us in the poor house. We were lucky that someone else paid for the room, because otherwise we wouldn't have made it through the trip financially. A lot of improvements can stand to be made, and I hope that they shape things up.
Two-and-a-half stars out of five.