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Grand Hotel
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2,058 - 2,063 of 2,759 reviews
Reviewed 7 May 2013

We just returned yesterday from a long weekend at the Grand Hotel. We've been on the island many times, but never stayed at the Grand. The trip was a gift for my husband's birthday and we got a special deal that a friend turned us on to. Without the discount, we never would have done it. Seven hundred a day is just a bit out of our comfort zone. I do have to say, though, that with breakfast and dinner included and the fact that no tipping is allowed, you have to take that into consideration as a huge amount that you won't be paying out once you get there.
I'm a bit anal about planning, so it was frustrating to me that we had no idea what room we would be staying in when I made the reservation. I get it, though. We were using a deep discount, so they had to put us wherever there was availability. We lucked out, though and ended up in the Versailles Suite. Beautiful room on the 3rd floor with a lake view. It was kind of funny that we didn't even realize it was considered a suite until we noticed the sign above the door on our second day. Looking into some of the other rooms as they were being cleaned, we realized that our room was quite a bit larger. We had a fainting couch in our room that we put to good use since the view from it was amazing!
There were two small things that put me off during our stay and I'd like get those out of the way and then finish up with the positive things. One of our pieces of luggage went missing and when we went to the "luggage" office to check on it, the young woman there began to help us. A minute later two other staff members came in with gentleman who needed a suit jacket and tie for dinner. Well, all three of the staff, including the woman helping us, began to trip all over each other to help him and left us standing there as if we didn't exist. Odd. Don't know who the guest was, but he must have been someone extra special. Eventually we were helped and the bag was found very quickly. The other thing was how our request for a later check out was handled. Check out is at 11 a.m. and we asked for noon. We were told to return to the front desk in 15 minutes so the front desk staff could talk to a manager. Well, we were told we could do 11:30, but that noon would run us an additional $125!! Come on! For a half-hour? It was a Monday, so the hotel was not as busy as, say, a Sunday. On a Sunday, I wouldn't have even asked. So, a word of caution, when the website says they make every effort to accomodate later check-out, that is not true.......unless you have the cash. With both of these issues, you really got the sense that even though they say they treat guests exceptionally, in reality, they have their own culture and it's basically, "we are the best and we can do whatever we want." Hey, more power to them. Nothing I can say will diminish the allure of the hotel, but I just thought I'd point this out.
Okay, so everything else was amazing. The staff was great. I loved that most of them were from other countries. We spent a lot of time talking to staff about where they were from, how they liked being on the island.... Everyone seemed happy to be there. I would have to guess that they are trained really well, because no one ever didn't know how to answer a question. The food was great. We just did the breakfast buffet in the morning and it was very good, always well-stocked and you never had to wait long to get your food. The five course dinner each night was great, but I would stay away from fish if I were you. It's just hard to serve nearly 1,000 people each night without food cooling off a bit and the temp of the fish entrees was never hot enough. Each meal was a great experience. We just loved watching the choreography of the meal service. Very smooth, but a complete whirlwind at the same time. Very cool. We also had a drink at the Cupola Bar. The view is great, so it's well worth it. Did some dancing in the Terrace room. The band was wonderful! The last night we spent in the Audubon bar. Sit at the bar and talk to the bartender is my suggestion. Very relaxed and fun. It was a little cool so early in the season, but we did spend some time on the porch to soak up a bit of sun. We also had lunch at the Carleton in the hotel one day. Very good, but sit inside if you can. For some reason it's very breezy in the hallway where the is also seating. Oh, and there is a pretty decent fitness room near the pool - plenty of cardio and weight equipment If you are a runner, get up early at least one morning a take a run before the day-visit tourists arrive. The town is so beautiful and quiet. I only went as far as the Arch Rock, but enjoyed every minute of it!

Room Tip: If you can, try to get an even number room on the third floor. They face the lake and the view is amazing. I don't think they take requests, but it can't hurt to try.
  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank leezee63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 May 2013

What a beautiful hotel - a real trip back "somewhere in time". The Grand Dame is all one expects - except for the service. I made the mistake of going pre-season. I was informed many of the services would be unavailable but I didn't realize greeting guests cordially would be one of them. We were shown to a room below ground despite the fact that the 380 other rooms in the hotel were available and ready for guests. It seemed no one knew what was going on or could answer even the simplest questions.

Room Tip: Get one with a view of the lake.
  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Mona P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GHKellie, Social Media & Internet Sales Manager at Grand Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 8 May 2013

Thank you for your review. We are sorry to hear that you did not receive the service we are sure you expected and your comments will be shared with our Management Team. Many employees were new to Grand Hotel during your stay, however, this is no excuse for poor service. We will use your comments to assist in training new staff, and we hope you will come visit again when things are in full swing.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2013

My wife had always wanted to visit, so for our 25th anniversary, I booked a long weekend to celebrate. It was a themed Titanic weekend and package prices were offered which made visiting for the first time affordable. Almost immediately after booking in early January, I began reading online reviews. After reading some comments I considered to be questionable, I called the Grand and asked to speak to someone in management. I was concerned that our investment coupled with a 6+ hour journey would not be "worth it." The person I spoke to addressed each of my questions and assured me our trip would be special.
Indeed it has been. I write this review with one more night left because I didn't want to risk not writing something upon my return.
Our room with a view of the lake 358 is exceptional. Though the first weekend, everything is in top notch working order and is dare I say perfect. We've never stayed in a room as spacious.
The food has been incredible! For someone who likes to eat, I was concerned about portions and quality, considering the size of the hotel and amount of people present. I have zero complaints about the food. Every meal has been tasty and filling.
The service has been without question, the best my wife or I have ever experienced. From Matre Ds, Servers, table setters to management, everyone has been "annoyingly" friendly in a great and unexpected but appreciative way. Coming from the NYC area we are not used to such a level of consistent kindness, that everyone being so friendly all the time, seemed awkward - at first. For someone like myself who worked in the service industry for nearly 20 years, it has been an incredible experience seeing people work so hard with no expected return. Though "tipping" is not allowed / required, one can't but help feel guilty by not extending a gratuity..
The owners must be doing many things right to have staff return year after year and to have faithful customers look forward to their next trip. Today alone, we met a couple who was visiting for their 5th time in a span of one year and a waiter who was back for his 20th season.
We have had such a great time, we dread returning to reality.
However, we have had such a great time, we dread waiting to return.
Best wishes to anyone who chooses to come to the Grand Hotel. We hope your experience is as good as ours has been. And thanks to everyone on staff. Have a healthy and prosperous season.

Room Tip: Book early. Speak to a reservation specialist, and be nice! Everyone who works here tries incredibly hard to make it a wonderful experience.
  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Anthony B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2013

My husband & I just returned from a short stay at the Grand Hotel. It was beyond perfect in every way. Highly recommend all areas and experiences. The Main Dining Room is beautiful and the food & service is beyond excellent. We used Sheplers Ferry and they and the Grand Hotel handled our car (inside, secure) and our luggage to & from the hotel. Completely carefree travel.

Room Tip: Request a Lake view room.
  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank westmichigan69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2013

We were here in late July for 3 days in celebration of my parent’s 50th Wedding Anniversary. Revisiting for the first time in over 20 years with my own daughter, I was quickly reminded how enchanting Mackinac Island is and magical the Grand Hotel is. The hotel grounds and view from the famous front porch are no doubt beautiful and the interior public rooms grand in wonderful old world way. Our days were structured around the dinner and breakfast provided (with room accommodations) in the colorful dining rooms each day. The service was great (loved Gary, waiter) and the food almost as good. What made the experience most memorable though were the kids getting up during desert each night to dance to the Swing Band. They had a blast!

If visiting with kids, you really must do the bike ride around the island and horse-drawn carriage ride as well as sample the local fudge fare. The pool at the Grand is very kitch in its datedness but the kids really enjoyed climbing on the giant snake they have in pool and the complimentary snowcone machine they have at poolside. The kids also enjoyed playing croquet on the front lawn. Strolling about the Grand property, you feel as if to be part of a painting from 100 years ago, “Somewhere (Back) in Time” indeed.

However, the downside of the property especially for the rates they charge here in the Summer, is that the rooms are just so antiquated and ours had little view of anything except for sky over hotel backside facility/parking lot. The bed linens were dreadful. The TV screen is also very small but at least the wireless Internet access worked well. They really need to update and upgrade the rooms. Also, while the dining room service was great, the front desk clerks could be a lot more welcoming.

Overall the Grand offers a wonderful family experience as long as you manage your expectations about the rooms.

Room Tip: Avoid rooms at back of hotel with slit window view of sky over parking lot
  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank polo-p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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