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“Grand Hotel is pretty grand”
Review of Grand Hotel

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Grand Hotel
Ranked #5 of 12 Hotels in Mackinac Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 November 2012

This is an excellent place to tour in October. We stayed with a package for two nights and five meals. The island itself is a great place to bike and tour, so we biked around and on the inner sides of the island as well. But the hotel itself is steeped in history and tradition. As with many of the hotels on the island, if you are looking for modern sleekness and state of the art, this is not for you. This has the feel of when it was built in the 1800s. Everything is a step back in time, in accordance with the island itself.

Mackinac Island is the only State Park with no entry fee, but I guess you could call the ferry costs the entry fee.

The Grand Hotel is a one time experience for us, as the costs are quite high for our taste. But they have enormous amount of staff and dining there was full of terrific wait staff. The food was excellent, although it is tough not to excessively eat. Plenty of courses and plenty of selections. Well presented, and the staff is right there for your every need. The patrons in our party all felt like we were on a huge cruise ship.
We decided try everything, gain a few pounds, and lose the pounds after our stay. We can all say we gained weight, even with the biking.

The outdoor whirlpool near the outdoor pool was terrific. The pool itself was closed for the season. We enjoyed the ballroom dancing in the evening as well. The rooms are fine, although if you plan on staying in your room all the time, you are missing out. The traditional rooms have thin walls, and sounds from other rooms do intrude, but we only used the rooms to read and sleep, so it didn't bother us. The island is the place to tour! We have been on the island before, so the carriage rides are fine, but we prefer biking around now, or walking.

Touring the hotel itself was fun, but the view from the porch is the best. Looking down on the Straits, with the Mackinaw Bridge to the right and the harbor to the left, was something. You could watch freighters glide by. You can't see main street, as the tree canopy allows your eye a natural view to the water over the streets of Mackinaw Island's downtown.

The rocking chairs are fun to sit in no matter what the weather. The sprawling porch and lounges always has the view. It is pretty amazing to see the island from this perspective. However, would we return? Not to stay, because the price is just not in our range. We prefer staying on Main Street is a smaller hotel or day tripping here, and staying off the island. It is too bad, as more people should be able to stay here just once for the experience, just to feel pampered once in your life.

Again, the service is top notch, the food is top notch, the view is tremendous, and the facility matches the decor of the island itself. But the price far exceeds the American dream. There should be some value weekends, maybe for middle class travelers with less staff on call, maybe? Just a thought.

Room Tip: Just be prepared to pay for your experience. If money is no object, and traditional decor is fine wi...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank soub7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,083 - 2,089 of 2,745 reviews

Reviewed 1 November 2012

This was on my bucket list and we went last Wed and Thursday nights the 25 and 26 th of October, we were not disappointed . The hotel is beautiful, elegant , clean, interesting, all good things and everyone should go at least once. The rooms were great and are all different, we saw several, they now have TV's.
The food was delicious, breakfast, lunch and a five course dinner were included, kind of like on a ship., You ordered off the menu and it was very good.
The best thing however is the service, it is excellent . We were treated very well, everyone was so nice and went out of their way to make us feel special. Sure hope I get to return someday.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank SUNDAE01Michigan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2012

This is one of the most beautiful and elegant places I have ever stayed. It's as though you've turned back the clock. All of the staff are excellent and make you feel like royalty. This hotel is the epitome of class. It's hard to find a hotel to compare this one to. They don't exist anymore. The gardens are amazing and well manicured. The front porch is relaxing and afternoon tea with harp playing made my stay the most memorable experience. Can't wait to return to The Grand Hotel!

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank jane m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2012

The hotel was as Grand as the name! The staff was so Nice and helpful because the hotel is so large. The front porch rockers was the place to sit and relax with a wonderful view of Lake
Michigan. There was so much to do with hiking trails, lawn games, spas, movie theater and so much more. The rooms were all so beautifully decorated andeach one was different, You just wanted to sneak a peak at each room. It is certainly on my list of places to go back to!

Room Tip: I like the rooms on the higher floors versus first floor. Not as much people with so much being loca...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank 21Kathy21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 October 2012

The Grand is still grand. Staying here is very much like being on a cruise--if you eat in the main dining room, you dress for dinner which is served by waiters in white ties and tailcoats. Even breakfast is a multi-course meal (I loved the banana-raspberriy smoothies). The lotions and soaps and indeed the whole place smells like geraniums.
If your package includes meals, the trip is really less expensive than it would be if purchased separately. There is no tipping and your luggage transfers are included. For entertainment, the ballroom opens at 9:30 every evening for dancing and the Cupola Bar offers a great view. The Fort was also free with our package. We also love the porch. I wouldn't recommend the lunch however; it is just a buffet. There are so many great pubs on the island that I wouldn't want to have all my meals in the hotel.
We were there in the fall and the autumn colors were glorious. We walked all over the island and shot an enormous number of photos. It was an all around wonderful trip.
One thing--It is a little disconcerting in this day and age that the waitstaff are all people of color. I am told they are from the Caribbean and work the cruise ships in the winter and the resort hotels in the summer, but that is one element of the 1885 hotel that feels like a class distinction.

Room Tip: All the rooms are unique and frequently decorated in the the geranium colors that are the symbol of...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Canny-family
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 October 2012

Our weekend at the Grand Hotel is one that I will personally cherish forever. Under normal circumstances, this place would not have been within our vacation budget, but the hotel's 125th Anniversary package included our rooms, reception, five course dinner, breakfast, lunch and hotel ammenities. A real treasure. We now plan to return for a special anniversary of our own.

Transporation tip - Free parking at Shepler's ferry in St. Ignace. Once on the island, you can catch a horse drawn carriage from the ferry to the hotel for $5.00 per person. If you walk, plan on hiking uphill.

On the day of departure, the Grand will arrange for your bags to be sent on the ferry ahead of you. We also asked the hotel to arrange for us a private carriage tour around the island after lunch. This actually ended up being less expensive for our small group than each paying for the public tour. We had a local driver who knew the area well, and we saw more of the island. Our driver paused at places of interest to us, and answered all our questions. We ended our tour by having him deliver us near the ferry dock in town. Since our bags had been sent ahead, we were free to shop before catching the ferry back to the mainland. Perfect way to end our visit and so easy.

Dinner tip - go easy on the smoked salmon and cheese at the reception, you'll want to save your appetite for the five course dinner that follows.

Room tip - just enjoy it! Our rooms were lovely, very clean, and well supplied. The beds were full sized but very comfortable - as were the linens and pillows. We did not have a lakeview, but were in the back overlooking the fire escape. Still, we looked down onto a little patio and flower boxes spilling fat red geraniums - not at all unpleasant. For a lake view - we preferred the the Grand's sprawling front porch, and that sweet fresh lake air.

Besides, the Grand Hotel is far more than a hotel room. Its a waltz with history, and a gift you take home with you. The bright colors, the beautiful lake, the clompitty clomp clomp of the horses, dressing up for dinner, dancing afterwards, the theater, the art gallery, croquet on the sweeping lawns, and of course - that infamous porch. These were the pleasures of a bygone American era, and the Grand delivers them today without being snooty or pompous. If you wish the walls (and crooked floors) of this elegant old place could talk, be sure to attend the Grand Hotel history lecture with resident historian and author Bob Tagatz. You'll find the hotel's history anything but dry.

What I wish I'd known sooner- there is a small handicap elevator in the art museum that willtake you up to the theater level (and closest ladies room). This would have been much easier for my Mom than the short flight of stairs she had to navigate.

If you are looking for a fast paced night life, contemporary, sleek, or high tech weekend, the Grand may not be a good fit. But from the moment you step off the ferry boat onto Mackinac Island, you enter a place unlike any other. So why compare it with any other? Its lovely, laid back, and charming. And the Grand Hotel is ....well, she's simply grand.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank roadweary65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 October 2012

The customer service is phenomenal from check-in to check-out time. The cleaning staff, luggage handlers, wait staff in the dining room, as well as help in all of the shops were very helpful, thorough, friendly and "grand" with their service. The room was clean. The grounds are beautiful and the location and views are amazing. The food is delicious. This destination can be a very romantic one for couples or a fun and "spoiling" weekend away with your friends. The theater room is very large and can accomodate a large conference with plenty of "break out" rooms for smaller talks. The porch is as "Grand" as everyone says it is and a great photo op with amazing background colors in Summer or Fall.

Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
1  Thank Brenda H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Hotel

Address: 286 Grand Avenue, P.O. Box 286, Mackinac Island, MI 49757
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Michigan > Upper Peninsula > Mackinac County > Mackinac Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 12 Hotels in Mackinac Island
Price Range: £287 - £696 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 390
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to America’s Summer Place. Every year since 1887, Grand Hotel has welcomed guests and families to Mackinac Island, where cars are not allowed and bikes and horse drawn carriages are the favored modes of transportation. As Travel + Leisure’s 500 World’s Best Hotels and Conde Nast Traveler's Top 5 Midwest Resorts in 2012, Grand Hotel offers outstanding accommodations where no two guest rooms are alike. Enjoy spectacular views of the Straits of Mackinac in a rocking chair on the world’s largest porch,complimentary children's programs, The Jewel golf course, swimming, tennis, lawn games, gardens, bicycling, carriage tours, shopping, Sadie's Ice Cream Parlor, and an experience you will never forget. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Hotel Mackinaw Island Michigan
Grand Hotel Mackinac Island Michigan
Grand Hotel Island Mackinaw
Grand Mackinac Island

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