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“Disney of the north”
Review of Grand Hotel

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Grand Hotel
Ranked #5 of 12 Hotels in Mackinac Island
Certificate of Excellence
Granville, Ohio
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Disney of the north”
Reviewed 10 August 2014 via mobile

If you are looking for an escape, this is the place. Starting with horse drawn carriages to bring you to the hotel. When you arrive, the hotel staff immediately waits on your every need. The room we had was beautiful with an amazing view of the lake and Mackinac bridge. I understand some of the rooms on the inside are small with not much view, but that's fine. Like Disney you aren't here to sleep. The food was delicious and table service terrific. There is no tipping on grounds which is very relaxing. There is music in almost every room with a ball room dance in the evening. Make sure to bring formal wear for dinner and anything after 6:30pm. There is a strict dress code for parts if the hotel. Very fun place yes pricy, but like Disney, they make it worth every penny. This will be a yearly adventure for us.

Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank jimjim12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
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English first
New York City, New York
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2014

We had a very mixed stay at the Grand Hotel. On the positive side, the overall property and its traditions (namely its jacket and tie evening environment) make for a unique experience that feels like tasting a part of bygone American culture. On the other hand, we found the service frustratingly bureaucratic and user-unfriendly and the property is in at least the beginning process of falling apart.

We enjoyed dressing up for dinner – being business casual during the day nearly 100% of the time it’s rare I wear a tie so that was fun. Dinner was good as was spending time afterwards on the world famous porch with its wonderful view of the lake. Something probably worth experiencing once. Worth watching the classic/cult movie “Somewhere in Time” where the Grand Hotel is as much a star of it as Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour.

That experience was offset to a great degree by the bureaucratic service. Made us feel like we were on a big cruise – or as my wife suggested, a decent cruise ship wouldn’t treat us this poorly. All staff we interacted with were courteous and nice -- it’s largely the stupid policies and poor oversight of management that angered us and took a lot away from our stay.

We arrived early afternoon, a few hours before check in (please note it’s at 4pm as opposed to a more typical 3pm) and reception had zero idea when our room would be ready. I would add that we booked this special (and expensive) stay because we had just been camping the previous few nights. When we told reception that we were quite in need of showers before we could properly rejoin civilization, we were told that she would be happy if we rechecked with her as often as we liked….no other options in terms of different rooms or at least a room where we could take a shower was offered.

What really bothered us about this episode was that we asked reception to please call us when the room was ready. She told us they could not do that. AGAIN THAT MADE US REALLY ANGRY…WHY GRAND HOTEL DOES THE PHONE NOT WORK TO DIAL YOUR GUESTS CELL PHONES? C’MON… WE’RE PAYING A HIGH PRICE FOR A FANCY ROOM AND YOU CAN’T DO THAT? SHAME ON YOU GRAND HOTEL. WE WERE SO ANNOYED AND TIRED WE CONTEMPLATED NAPPING ON ONE OF THEIR FANCY COUCHES IN THEIR LOBBY (IN OUR DIRTY, SMELLY POST-CAMPING CLOTHES).

When our room was finally available, we found our luggage outside of the room. Seems a pretty dumb idea as our luggage and the computers/ipads/etc. inside were all there for the taking. REALLY, GRAND HOTEL, YOU DON’T THINK YOUR BELL STAFF HAS THE EXTRA 2 MINUTES TO PUT BAGGAGE SAFELY INSIDE A ROOM? Grand Hotel makes a big deal about it being a no-tipping environment but perhaps that would be helpful.

There were other examples of this poor, sloppy service. On our bill, for example, we were billed for multiple items/services we did not order so had to point that out (if you have the hotel take your bags from the ferry, its $8/person but we did not have them do that which didn’t stop them from blindly billing us for that).

Our suite (the Laura Bush) was interesting with some personality and a great view but already showing its age. Grand Hotel, before someone you really care about stays in this suite, you could benefit from fixing it up….like painting over the wall stains and replacing the bathroom door stop (which was broken off).

Again, overall the Grand Hotel and Mackinac Island are very unique locations but we had a very mixed experience at the Grand Hotel.

Room Tip: having a lake view is very nice
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
3 Thank Scott J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GHKellie, Social Media Manager at Grand Hotel, responded to this review, 28 August 2014
Thank you for your review. We will take your comments into consideration and look into bettering our service to our guests in the future.
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Wi
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2014

Traveled with a Red Hat group,stayed at the Grand Hotel two nights, just a beautiful and timely hotel.Was great fun to be treated so royaly.Put this on your bucket list.There are no automobiles allowed on the island.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank shayneWi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Walnut Creek, California
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2014

We love to stay in historic hotels and Grand Hotel on Mackinac island was on our bucket list. We were not disappointed. Once you leave the ferry and arrive on Mackinac Island, which has no automobiles, and survey the grandeur of this old beauty from the horse and carriage, you truly feel as though you are stepping back in time. It is one of the few wooden resort hotels built at the turn of the century that is still surviving and I believe is the only one that is privately owned. The service is outstanding. The employees come from many countries to work there and your every wish is their command. They are friendly and interesting to talk to.

We elected to stay in the level III room which was spacious and had a lovely view of the lake and bridge. We enjoyed breakfast and dinner in the grand dining room. The majority of people did adhere to the evening dress code which added a touch of elegance.

The hotel policy is to provide music from noon until midnight. We especially enjoyed the harpist who played in the lobby twice a day. There was either a pianist or trio at dinner and a dance band after 9:30 p.m. There is a good pianist in the Cupola Bar which has fantastic views of the area.

This is not the place to go if you are trying to adhere to a strict budget. But I do believe if you get on their mailing list there are specials which you can take advantage of. One reason this hotel is expensive is that it can operate only six months a year because of the hard winters. Maintaining a wooden building that is over 125 years old is a constant effort. We are so grateful that the family which has owned the hotel for several generations has elected to maintain the original character of this special place.

We especially enjoyed the hotel tour given by resident Hotel Historian Bop Tagatz. They charged $15 per person for the two hour tour, but it was definitely worth it for those interested in historical buildings. We also learned that the food is brought in fresh every day by truck, boat and then horse drawn wagons. They have had the same chef since 1983. The food was very good considering the large number of guests.

I think this the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion. There were many family groups and people of all ages.

We came from California and flew Delta to Detroit where we changed planes and headed to Pellston airport. We made reservations in advance with the Mackinac Shuttle. They met us at the plane and handled our luggage. They took us to Sheffler's Ferry where our luggage was put on the boat and taken to the hotel. We didn't have to deal with any suitcases from the time we left San Francisco airport until we were in our room.

We have wonderful memories of this trip and to us it was worth every penny. The weather the first week of August was perfection.

Room Tip: You can save money by getting a smaller room with no view. You would still get the same food and cou...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NancyP988
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver, Colorado
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2014

I didn't stay here, but paid a fee to enter just to see the place and sit on the largest porch in the world! It was pretty cool. The interior is very gaudy. And there's even a room dedicated just to dog shows. So it's pretty over the top. But there are a lot of beautiful paintings and odd furniture and photographs and history from the hotel's past.

And the porch is very relaxing. We played chess on one of those life-size boards and then had some good iced tea and other drinks. We left on a horse-drawn carriage, which I thought was the best part! I wouldn't stay here, because the fees are astronomical. But it's a pretty quirky, weird place to see.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AnaTomp23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Louis
Level 6 Contributor
101 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2014

I've been wanting to visit Mackinac Island and the Grand Hotel for some time. Being able to stay here in June was a dream come true. This hotel is truly amazing and so charming. It really brings you back in time when things were much simpler and people were much more social, courteous, and respectful of one another. From the largest front porch in the world (which is incredibly relaxing - sitting in a rocker, reading a book in the sunshine) to the incredible service of the employees to the attention to detail in the décor of each one of the guest rooms and public spaces, it truly is an experience! You will not be disappointed, and I believe it's worth every penny!

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the west side by the Mackinac Bridge; corner rooms are small but have fantastic vi...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled on business
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AimeeT5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orangeville, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed 6 August 2014

I was very fortunate to be apart of my best friends bucket list trip....The Grand Hotel! We were
there for two nights, the first night in a very small room. My friend doesn't sleep well, so I asked
at the front desk if we could upgrade the second night and we were moved to a more spacious room at no extra cost:). The hotel, rooms, dining areas are all very clean and uniquely decorated.
We had two suppers and two breakfasts, all were great tasting and awesome service. We went on a horse and buggy tour which was interesting. I bought fudge at two places and both were yummy. The lilacs were still in bloom and lots of them everywhere, one of my favourite flowers.
I would love to go back, but it is very expensive to stay at the Grand Hotel.

Room Tip: If paying for a category one room, ask to upgrade to a category two at no extra cost. Fourth floor...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Fun_in_the_Sun_KT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Hotel

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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 
Also Known As:
Grand Hotel Mackinaw Island Michigan
Grand Hotel Mackinac Island Michigan
Grand Hotel Island Mackinaw
Grand Mackinac Island

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