This Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania Is Getting a $125-million Redesign — and an Even Bigger Water Park

In Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains, Great Wolf Lodge is getting a refresh by celebrity designer Nate Berkus.

Rendering of living room area in Nate Berkus designed Great Wolf Lodge villa

Courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge

The beloved Great Wolf Lodge, a family-friendly indoor water park resort in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, is getting even better with a stunning $125-million expansion. 

The expansion will introduce a new lodging option on the property: private villas. Slated to welcome guests in October, each of the 30 Woodland Villas will come with their own private outdoor space created by celebrity designer Nate Berkus

Portrait of designer, Nate Berkus

Courtesy of Nate Berkus

Great Wolf Lodge is a popular, family-friendly indoor water park resort with 18 locations across the United States. Now, its Pocono Mountains location, which has been welcoming visitors since 2005, is elevating the guest experience for parents and kids with these new villas.

The villas will be in a secluded part of the property, with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Though the villas are separate from the main resort, guests will still have access to all the resort's amenities, plus additional perks like a private lounge, an outdoor recreation space, and a separate check-in area. (Guests will receive Woodland Villas’ exclusive robes, slippers, and a keepsake beach bag, too.) 

Each of the 1,500-square-foot villas can accommodate up to 10 people — with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a living area with a queen-size pull-out sectional. The living space will connect to a kitchenette with a stove, refrigerator, pantry, and a large dining table. You can even opt to have the fridge and pantry stocked prior to check-in, so you don’t have to worry about leaving the villa for meals and other provisions. (Though, the resort has seven food and beverage spots, including a market with grab-and-go fare, a pizza spot, a lunch and dinner buffet, and an ice cream shop.)

Rendering of lounge with rustic modern furnishings and a wolf mural in Nate Berkus designed Great Wolf Lodge villa space

Courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge

What truly makes these villas special are the outdoor living spaces that were thoughtfully designed by Berkus with families in mind. “This is one of the first times I’ve been given this sort of exterior square footage and been asked the question, ‘What would you do?’” said Berkus, a father of two, in an interview with Travel + Leisure

The outdoor area features a custom-made sectional and two chairs by a gas fire pit. There’s also a barbecue and dining table to host family meals. Finally, the villas will have plenty of multifunctional design elements, like dining tables that double as ping-pong tables, or the end tables with built-in game boards.

“I want parents to feel like the vacation is also for them and they’ve been considered, which is not easy to do,” Berkus said. “It's really about making it easier for parents to enjoy their time with their kids. In the end, that’s really the point of a family vacation.” 

Rendering of kids room with bunk beds and gaming chairs in Nate Berkus designed Great Wolf Lodge villa space

Courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge

Berkus also designed eight outdoor pool cabanas that will come stocked with fresh towels, a mini fridge, and a small eating area. (The cabanas are available to all resort guests.) The patios and the cabanas will have a soothing color scheme that mimics nature — think deep browns, beiges, and greens.

“What's stimulating about the Great Wolf Lodge is the sense of adventure and all of the activities people can do. So, I had to think about what I felt should not be stimulating, and should be tranquil and natural,” Berkus said. “I asked myself, ‘Where would you spend the end of the day to take a break?’ That’s what all of these colors were really designed to do.”

The expansion will also add 200 family-friendly guest rooms to the main resort, as well as a 40,000-square-foot extension to its indoor water park. 

“I think the Great Wolf Lodge is a really unique and special place children always remember,” Berkus said. “A water park is something that I loved as a kid. So I’m sort of marrying my childhood fantasy with my now-adult reality of what it's like being a dad and a designer.” 

Great Wolf Lodge is currently accepting reservations for the Woodland Villas from Oct. 1, onward. Rooms start at $500 per night and, as with all room bookings, access to the indoor water park is included. Learn more at

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