by Lissa Poirot
Great Wolf Lodge has successfully operated in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Southwest and even Canada for years. Only in 2014, however, did the destination-in-itself chain welcome a location in Fitchburg, Mass., Great Wolf Lodge New England.
Great Wolf Lodge New England is technically situated in two buildings. The Tower, formerly the Holiday Inn Coco Keys Water Park Resort, houses 250 guestrooms, most of which are Family Suites that can easily accommodate five guests. It also houses the resort’s 68,000-square foot water park, complete with a splash playground and water slides, as well as an arcade, kids spa, coffee shop, pizza parlor, bakery and full-service restaurant. The newly built Lodge features 150 themed guestrooms, as well as a second water park with a wave pool and waterslides, and an activity area with mini golf, bowling and the chain’s first ropes course.
Great Wolf Lodge New England provides an ideal weekend getaway for families, especially during frigid winters in New England — the resort’s water park maintains an 84-degree temperature year-round. Plus, the hotel’s location puts families just a few hours from several major cities and towns, including Boston and Cape Cod. It’s also located just 20 minutes from Wachusett Mountain, where there are plenty of opportunities to ski and hike.
For more information, visit Great Wolf Lodges.
Our Editor Loves
- Two indoor water parks
- Grizzly Wolf Den Suites
- Five onsite restaurants
- Water Parks
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Game Room
- Kids' Pool
- Kids' Theme Meals
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
The resort houses 406 rooms two buildings: Tower and Lodge. Of those rooms, there are 12 suite configurations for families of four to 10. Connecting rooms are available, though can't be guaranteed. Each suite comes with a mini-fridge, microwave and coffee maker.
Double Queen Suites feature two queen beds and are the smallest offering at the resort, accommodating up to four people.
Families of up to five can choose from the Wolf Den Suite, featuring a queen bed, a twin sleeper sofa, and a Wolf Den with a set of bunk beds; the Royal Bear Suite, featuring a separate king bed and a queen bed and twin sleeper sofa; or the most common room option, the Family Suite, featuring two queen beds and a sitting area with a twin sleeper sofa.
A six-person Majestic KidCabin Suite, the first of its kind at any Great Wolf Lodge, is also available, featuring a queen bed, twin sleeper sofa and a themed KidCabin with bunk beds and a twin bed.
Families with up to seven people can select a Wolf Den King Suite, which includes a king bed, as well as the other Wolf Den offerings. Another option is the Royal Wolf Den Suite, which provides all the sleeping arrangements of a Wolf Den, with the king bed in its own bedroom.
Accommodations for eight are also available. The Family KidCabin Suite features two queen beds, a twin sofa sleeper and a KidCabin with bunk beds and a twin bed. The KidCabin King Suite swaps out one of the queens for a king bed, while the Grand Royal KidCabin Suite puts that king in its own bedroom.
For even larger families, the Grizzly Wolf Den Suite, also the first of its kind at any Great Wolf Lodge, sleeps up to nine with two queen beds, a king bed, a twin sleeper sofa and a Wolf Den with bunk beds. The queen beds and the king bed are in separate bedrooms, and a second bathroom is included. The Grand KidCabin Suite can sleep up to 10 with two queen beds, a private king bedroom, a twin sleeper sofa and a KidCabin with bunk beds and a twin bed.
We had trouble with our card upon arrival, but the check in staff was extremely accommodating and were able to make the process basically flawless. We needed extra blankets for our room and called at 8pm to get some and within 10 minutes had the blankets necessary. Everyone is extremely helpful and has a “can do” attitude. Just overall a great experience. The only thing I will say, is the vending machines and store to buy water and snacks is a bit over the top. We have already paid so much to be there and my daughter paid $3 for a water. I think setting it to $1.75 is more reasonable.
I have travelled all around the world and stayed in many, many places. From low cost back packers to super nice hotels... I have never been so inspired to review an establishment the second I left.
If you would like an insight into spoiled, over indulged, over fed, over screened kids.... its on a plate here. There were kids watching crap on their iPads while in the middle of an entertainment hall with climbing walls and high rope challenges. What is happening in the world. These poor kids.
If you're brave enough to take this place on your first step should be to remortgage your house. And, the daylight robbery isn't even disguised by quality of any kind. Everything is done here as cheaply as possible with minimum effort and I guess therefore minimum wages for staff. The staff clearly hate their jobs and would literally rather be anywhere else on earth! It was dirty. There was a massive wait for every activity which was as sh!t a version of that activity as any idiot could come up with and it cost a shed load of money.
'You can come in and pay for your hotel... I know its pretty pricey but.. with that you get ABSOLUTELY NOTHING INCLUDED!'
Rant over and needless to say it was not for me/ my kids enjoyed the pools but were so frustrated by waiting so long for everything and super disappointed that the wands didn't work, their arcade cards ran out almost instantly even with $$$ on them.
Without sounding pedantic.. i know, too late right but.. health wise.. most people don't go through the changing rooms to get to the pool and so just walk into the water without showering or even rinsing their feet! its archaic!! people were in the pool with flip flops on. It was disgusting. That's it. Good Luck.
I gave it 1 star because 0 wasn't an option.
The main draw at Great Wolf Lodge New England (and any of the chain's resorts) is the indoor water park. At this location, 68,000-square-feet of fun is divided into two water parks, with more than 300,000 gallons of water dumped from buckets, chutes and more. The water parks feature River Canyon Run, a family raft ride; Crooked Creek, a lazy river (which is surprisingly small); Slap Tail Pond, a giant wave pool; Hot Springs, a warming pool; and Fort Mackenzie, a multi-level, interactive treehouse water fort with bridges, web crawls and more.
Little ones enjoy Tadpole Pond, a small spray area; Cub Paw Pool, a zero-entry children's pool; Whopping Hallow, a series of kiddie slides and Chinoook Cove, an activity pond.
A number of waterslides are spread across the parks, too, including Wolf Tail, a 360-degree enclosed tunnel ride; Howlin' Tornado, a six-story funnel slide (you can't miss it when you enter the resort's driveway); Totem Towers, with two, three-story body slides; Alberta Falls, with two enclosed tube slides; and Otter Run, a 100-foot body slide.
Out of the water, Howlin' Timbers Play Park, an indoor area, offers Ten Paw Alley for bowling; Howl at the Moon, a nine-hole mini golf course; and Howlers Peak Ropes Course, a 30-foot-tall climbing adventure with harnesses for all ages, and the first of its kind at any Great Wolf Lodge. There's also a smaller course for the younger set.
In the main Tower, families find more interactive fun at MagiQuest, a live-action game, and in exhibits that react with the flick of a wand -- kids can "fight" dragons and more! Wand costs range from $15.99 to $22.99, and require activation to work; the actual game costs $13.99 to play. A Master Magi Package provides your choice of a wand, wand topper, game, and cape for $46.
Families will also pass through Northern Lights Arcade, which reminds us of a casino. The arcade has more than 100 games, as well as the Howly Wood XD Theater Experience ($7 per person or $15 for three people) and Lazer Frenzy ($3 per person), a maze of neon lights. You can use the arcade with the purchase of a special card, which starts at $5 for 16 "Paw Points." Most games require three to four "paws."
At night, children in PJ's are welcome to meet for story time near the Great Clock in the Grand Lobby; they'll also have a chance to meet Great Wolf Lodge characters. Twice a day, an animated Great Clock Tower Show takes place here, as well.
Scooops Kids Spa offers ice cream-themed spa services for youngsters, such as pedicures, facials and more. Prices are a bit steep though, with manicures starting at $45 and pedicures at $50.
Other daily activities include Wolf Walk, a nature hike in which kids and families howl their way through the area's Northwoods, and Forest Friends Show, which takes place every morning and night in the Grand Lobby -- kids listen to stories, sing songs and meet new friends.
Throughout the year, special seasonal events also take place, including the Howl-O-Ween program in October, with a trick-or-treat trail and daily costume parade, and Snowland in December, with "snow" showers in the Grand Lobby and visits with Santa Claus.
The resort's main restaurant is the Lodge Wood Fired Grill, a full-service restaurant offering lunch and dinner, as well as a breakfast buffet.
Breakfast can also be had from the onsite Dunkin' Donuts, which is open all day.
Hungry as a Wolf, located near the arcade, provides freshly made pizza, salads and bread sticks for takeout. There are six tables located near it, as well, though many people opt to eat in their rooms. The prices are very reasonable; you'll pay $12.99 for a pizza, and a family-size pasta dish is $14.99.
Inside the water park, Buckets Incredible Craveables provides burgers, hot dogs, fries, desserts and beverages. In the Howlin' Timbers Play Park, Spirit Island Snack Shop features New England lobster rolls and chowder, as well as a one-of-a-kind French fry dipping station.
Desserts, fudge, ice cream and sweets can be found at Bear Paw Sweets & Eats, also located inside the arcade.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Great Wolf Lodge charges several extra fees, and you might find yourself having to say "no" to the kids a lot (or spending a pretty penny instead). The Souvenir Sipper, a 32-ounce refillable cup, is worth the cost for $12.99 though.
The Iron Horse Fitness Room is open 24 hours a day and offers a variety of workout equipment for anyone looking to get in some daily exercise while visiting the resort.
Bear Essentials Swim Shop is available for families who may have forgotten a necessity, such as a swimsuit, flip flops, tooth paste or tooth brush.
The Art of Smart Timing
Since Great Wolf Lodge New England offers plenty of indoor and outdoor fun, it's really an all-season destination. Families might prefer staying in the winter months, when New England is blanketed with snow. That said, weekends are a busy time at the resort, as are holiday and school breaks.
The resort is within a four-hour drive of many major cities, including Boston, Manchester, N.H. (where you'll find the closest airport), Providence, R.I., and Hartford, Conn. It's also under three hours from Albany, N.Y. and New York City. The resort is located just 30 minutes off of the Mass Pike, I-90, and a car is necessary to get there.
For Mom and Dad
The Lodge Wood Fired Grill has its own bar, separate from the restaurant, where parents can gather for a little adult time. There is also a tiki bar in the water park.