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Grand Hotel Lunch Buffet / Admission Fee Questions

Kalamazoo, Michigan
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Grand Hotel Lunch Buffet / Admission Fee Questions

We are visiting Mackinac this week and I wondered about the luncheon buffet at the Grand Hotel. Their website says $45 for adults and that admission fee of $12 will be credited. I assume this is the "fee" folks talk about just to get on the property and the porch??? So, you pay $45 but get $12 back off your bill, is that correct??? Also, this means that the fee onto the grounds is $12 per person just to tour around even if you don't buy a thing?

Is the buffet worth it?

Also, I'm assuming since it's lunchtime that the dress code is not too strict as the day trippers will be most likely in shorts and tee shirts. Is this correct, is there any dress code at lunch?

Thanks!

Manistique, Michigan
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for Manistique, Curtis
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1. Re: Grand Hotel Lunch Buffet / Admission Fee Questions

Hello snorkelgirlie, I will let others reply that know more about the Island then I do but I can see by your other post that you will have 4 kids with you. 9 to 16. I think your kids will find more things to do then go to the Grand Hotel and have a buffet. Do you know there are no cars on this island. There are bikes and horses. The kids will love this. I figure they will be so much into doing what kids do then wanting to go to a fancy buffet. There are nice places around that the kids can get something to eat at. You may enjoy the buffet and tour and I would go if I were you but I think the kids would rather rent a horse or bike with the money then see the Grand. If you can pack the kids bikes and take them with you that would be a plus.

I maybe all wrong about you thinking of taking the kids to the buffet with you and if that is the case and the grown-ups are just going I will let others on here explain what it cost and what the dress code is. I think the grown-ups would enjoy it.

Antrim, New...
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2. Re: Grand Hotel Lunch Buffet / Admission Fee Questions

Yup. That's $12, per person, just to walk around the grounds. And while you can SEE the swimming pool, you have to PAY to use it. I haven't met a kid yet who thinks that looking at interior decoration and fancy gardens is a whale of a good time. And the Buffet is supposed to be pretty spectacular. But $45 is a bit of change, unless this is your realm of life style. I would agree with the other poster. Your money for 4 kids will be much better spent on something like horse riding or sailing out in Lake Huron on a large catamaran sailboat. On the other hand, if $45 lunches fit your budget, then maybe you can do both.

As was said, Mackinac Island is bicycle heaven, especially for kids. With no cars, they can safely go anywhere on their own. While you can rent bikes, bringing your own and having them at your disposal is a wonderful way to enjoy the island.

By the way, will you be staying on the island (that is the assumotion I have been making) or visiting for the day? If you are just daytripping, definitely don't make the Grand your priority, and especially not for the kids. Renting bikes for a few houors as a daytripper may not be all that unreasonable, if you don't want them back on the mainland. But if you have them, it is cheaper to bring them over than to rent for a few hours.

Indianapolis...
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3. Re: Grand Hotel Lunch Buffet / Admission Fee Questions

As for the $12 "credited" for the hotel entry - I think that means it is just included in the price of the buffet. It's not money that you can get back. It is my understanding that dress for lunch is casual, formal dress is only required in the evening.

I've only heard good things about the buffet, but I have yet to spend the money on it. There are so many great things to do on the island, as the other posters have said, that I wouldn't make it a priority. Of course, we are a family who rents a condo and cooks nearly every meal there to save money. So it depends on your priorities.

And if you really just want to see the porch and grounds, there are ways to get in without paying. There have been several posts on that subject in this forum.

Have fun!

Kalamazoo, Michigan
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4. Re: Grand Hotel Lunch Buffet / Admission Fee Questions

Thanks everyone. It's our parents' 50th anniversary we're all celebrating, so we thought they might like the buffet, but we've kind of nixed it because of the reasons you've outlined above. I'm so NOT into paying for the right to set foot on their property that it's been a turn off. Thanks for your input and for making the decision easy:)

Indianapolis...
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5. Re: Grand Hotel Lunch Buffet / Admission Fee Questions

That sounds like fun! Great way to spend an anniversary! (Of course I'd be happy to go the Island to celebrate Groundhog's Day - any excuse! ;) )

Are you staying on the island, or just going for the day?

Kansas
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for Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City, Kansas
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6. Re: Grand Hotel Lunch Buffet / Admission Fee Questions

While I don't think the food is worth $45, I do think it is a good place to take someone for a special occasion.

Entering the dinning room is special with the spotless white tablecloths, row of uniformed servers, 8 piece tableware settings, ice sculptures and the beautiful view (if you get a window seat).

Kalamazoo, Michigan
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7. Re: Grand Hotel Lunch Buffet / Admission Fee Questions

We have a group of 10 so we got a condo at the Shores of Mackinac, big enough to fit all of us. Should be fun, we'll day trip one or two days depending on what everone wants to do.

Kansas
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for Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City, Kansas
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8. Re: Grand Hotel Lunch Buffet / Admission Fee Questions

Forgot to mention that the Grand has no tipping, so that is like paying $38 somewhere else.

NE Georgia
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9. Re: Grand Hotel Lunch Buffet / Admission Fee Questions

We just returned from Mackinac Island yesterday. The Grand charges $12.00 just to enter the hotel and then only charges $33.00 more when you purcahse your buffet tickets. That is how you are "credited". The hotel is incredible if you are into architecture, decorating and such. We have been to MI four times (2000, 2001, 2004, 2007) and have lunched at the Grand each time and I fell that each time the quality has slipped a little more. It almost seems as if the lunch buffet is something the don't really care about anymore. However, even at that it is the most incredible and biggest buffet you will probably ever eat. There is no dress code before six pm.

Indianapolis...
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10. Re: Grand Hotel Lunch Buffet / Admission Fee Questions

I'm very sad to hear that the quality of the lunch has been slipping! We ate there several years ago and it was wonderful! It's one of the few meals that I think about years after the fact. If it is even close to as good as it was when I ate there, it's worth every penny.

There are a lot of other things to do on Mackinac Island besides going to the Grand Hotel. It's just hard for me to imagine going to the island without going there at least once.

We were all adults, though, and I would definitely hesitate to take kids for that price. I wonder if there are any supervised kids' activities or babysitters on the island that could take care of them while the adults visit the hotel and have lunch?

Someone else mentioned that they don't allow tipping and that's like getting a $38 meal somewhere else. Then if you think about the fact that your $12 admission price is part of that, you're down to $26 for (as someone else said) "the biggest and best buffet that you will probably ever have." It's easy to spend that much for dinner at a typical mediocre chain restaurant.

I almost always prefer spending my money on something other than food when I travel. There are so many wonderful things to do, but this meal was one of the few times when I was very glad that I spent the extra money.

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