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“Spectacular!”
Review of Grand Hotel

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Grand Hotel
Ranked #5 of 12 Hotels in Mackinac Island
Certificate of Excellence
Waterloo, Ontario
Level Contributor
62 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Spectacular!”
Reviewed 12 August 2014

This Grand hotel is a classic one that is worth visiting! Clean, different it makes you feel that you are back in time. Food and drinks are really good. The landscape around the propriety and view are fantastic.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Travel2DiveandFun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,422 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Indiana
Level Contributor
63 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 August 2014

This is a Grand Hotel; incredible, beautiful, ideal location. The hotel staff including wait staff were very accommodating. On our first evening at the hotel, our group purchased cigars and thought it would be a nice way to end the evening. We quickly discovered that no one had clippers to cut the cigars or matches. The evening manager opened the cigar shop to provide us with clippers and matches.

The hotel was beautifully decorated, landscaping was immaculate, the pool was refreshing. The croquet and bocce balls were setup in the morning. The hotel was very clean. We were just disappointed with the meals. It reminded us of cruise ship food... when food is mass produced there's no flavor to the meals... every was bland. The breakfast was even more disappointing... the buffet was very limited and the few items that were on the buffet were not replenished. Part of the issue is that large volume of people eating at the same time. We tried to order off the menu and it was just going to take too long. The wait staff discouraged us from ordering anything. We choose the Woods for dinner on our second night; wonderful location, excellent wait staff, engaging managers but the meal took forever. We had to make reservations for 9 but we were not served until after 10. By then we ate our weight in bread and the meal was adequate but not worth the wait. I would strongly encourage you to grabs drinks at the Woods in the afternoon. This place should not be missed; except maybe the meal.

We were told no tipping but when the luggage arrived in our rooms, it was obvious he was expecting a tip and when offered quickly accepted. We were confused with the tip jars in various locations and bars.

This was an adult only trip and unfortunately the dinner rooms were a play area for children. Kids were screaming, crying and very disruptive to our dinner. The wait staff had to maneuver through toys and small children sitting on the floors playing. If you except people to dress for dinner, then I want an environment that has a formal feel. Maybe there should be a formal dining room and a family dinning room.

Overall, it was worth the trip but not sure if I would do thing again... I can take this off my buffet list.

Room Tip: Meals are disappointing; like cruise ship food. The Woods is a must stop for an afternoon drink. I...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nonstop4
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 appreciate you sharing your experience and your comments on dining will be shared with our Executive Chef, and the rest of our management team.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
351 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 August 2014 via mobile

This was an interesting hotel visit as it was very beautiful and several things make it very unique: 1.it is on an island, 2. The only means of transportation on the island is by horse taxis, bicycles, or walking. For those reasons the lack of noise of annoying traffic made it more peaceful and charming. They have the most beautiful flowers and huge porch to stroll on. Inside the Grand Hotel had lovely decor and several restraunts and even a beautiful art display with paintings from the turn of the century of various American historical moments. The lunch buffet was good but expensive as they were just closing it up when we arrived. Otherwise good quality of foods and their chicken was fantastic. Beautiful fountain in front lower yard and walkways to explore. There is a historical fort located close by to visit as well. Lovely room, just smaller as it is in the older style. Would enjoy visiting again and recommend.

  • Stayed August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank tanyasm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Granville, Ohio
Level Contributor
25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
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
New York City, New York
Level 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
    • Service
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.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wi
Level Contributor
25 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 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
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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 
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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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