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“Mostly 5 stars, but some negatives as well” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Grand Hotel

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Grand Hotel
Ranked #5 of 12 Hotels in Mackinac Island
Certificate of Excellence
Wisconsin
Level Contributor
216 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
“Mostly 5 stars, but some negatives as well”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 August 2014

PROS: The staff is over-the-top attentive. They are always smiling and truly seem to enjoy their jobs. They are also very knowledgeable of the hotel’s history and the island’s history, and are happy to take the time to tell a story or answer any questions.

The property is squeaky clean. We were told a story about how they ended up putting up a very thin wire to keep the sea gulls off the porch. Apparently they set out some very nice caviar for a porch party/function, and the sea gulls got to it before the guests did. “The wires went up the next day!” we were told. They are thin enough not to interfere with any picture taking, but do help in keeping the porch spotless.

The swimming pool is spectacular. 220’ of warm, clear water.

The food was excellent. The buffet was always kept full and warm and there was no chance of running out of anything. It was well-monitored. The staff in any dining area was very pleasant and made certain your meal was enjoyed.

The view from the Cupola Bar is spectacular! The Grand mimosa isn’t bad either!

The guests are all happy! We exchanged cameras with several couples so we could all have couples pictures. We sat and chatted with folks from several places near and far. Everyone seemed to be celebrating something. It made sitting on the porch feel very homey.

The harpist in the main floor area after dinner was excellent. When she played “Somewhere in Time” I couldn’t help but tear up – both for the beauty of the movie and the loss of Christopher Reeve. She added a wonderful touch to the elegance of the Grand.

The Musser Suite, which we were told was the “best room in the hotel,” was spectacular; the view outstanding. It featured a very comfortable king-sized bed. Two sitting areas were large and comfortable. The wet bar was well-stocked. We were presented with a bottle of the Grand Hotel wine and chocolate covered cherries, both in wood carrying boxes, making a perfect souvenir from our stay. Thank you Grand Hotel!

CONS:
The most notably was the infraction of the rules. We saw smoking on the porch, tipping (which is not allowed and supposedly should be turned down by the staff). We also saw several people after 6:00 p.m. on the main floor that were not in the required attire. Further, we saw people enter the dining hall which also requires, according to the sign, a tie and jacket for men, and NO slacks for women. And yet we saw open collars on men and very casual pants on women (these were not pant suits). When I inquired if slacks were ok, I was told they were.

The pool hours are short. I understand closing it at 7:00 p.m., mostly in deference to the attire rule. But it doesn’t open until 10:00 a.m. and check out is 11:00. Being able to take a swim before checking out would be a nice option. You can, but it’s going to be a very short swim.

The “minimal charge” for high tea is $30.00 per person. Considering it is tea and a finger sandwich or two, that seems far more than “minimal.”

The Audubon Wine Bar is a large room with a old-library appearance and a grand piano. Unfortunately, it also has two televisions and was turned into a sports bar. We were hoping to enjoy a quiet glass of wine in this beautiful setting and instead we heard baseball, and then golf. All the rooms have a television for viewing such events. Several places on the island remind you that you have stepped back in time when you are on the island. The televisions aren’t in keeping with that old-fashioned charm of the island.

Overall, the Grand Hotel is still one of the finest places to stay. It’s important to remember that it is different from the other accommodations on the island. It really can’t be compared to the Main Street Inn and Suites (the other place we stayed) because they offer a totally different experience.

Room Tip: Make sure to ask for a room with a lake view. Otherwise, the view isn't very good.
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Voice1234
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 your pros and cons both. Letting us know we have some cons out there helps us to discus them and improve how we serve our guests. Knowing the pros helps us to bring attention to those offering Grand service to reinforce repeat performance in the future.
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2,380 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (823)
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English first
Michigan
Level Contributor
27 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 August 2014

The Grand Hotel has an amazing PR advantage. The movie "Somewhere inTime" has helped create a strong sense of history, glamour, serenity and class that carries a tremendous amount of expectation of quality when you think about "The Grand Hotel"... Many people go there for very special events and some out of tradition. This past week my husband and I stayed for a business conference and were very much looking forward to our first trip to the Grand. We, too, had high expectations and were not too happy to realize the reputation and mystique greatly exceeded the reality of this property.
The staff were terrific throughout. Very polite, efficient and professional. The room was clean but very gaudy in decor. The room was quiet since we were at the corner end of the hall on the fourth floor. Landscaping was kept up but very uninspired, to say the least. The pool looked nice but no lifeguard on duty and full of children(having a lot of fun). So, what was the big problem?... The food was awful! How is this possible? The omelets at breakfast were the best things that we ate. The Grilled Onion Swiss cheese soup was very good, too. Other than these items, the food was outrageously poor! The Main Dining room was very loud and hectic. Tables and chairs were packed in tightly and we were constantly holding our wineglasses or wine bottle when when a staff or guest squeezed past.
I believe that while many people may feel that a 3-day menu rotation is "fine", even if the food was of better quality, it would be so redundant and boring that it would become unacceptable after a few days. When a 2-week cruise can offer excellent quality along with variety, I find it completely ridiculous that their "Austrian Chef" cannot do better than this! For over $800/night with a Group rate, this experience was not even close to acceptable and I have absolutely NO desire to repeat this experience. If not for the fine staff, the history and that the property was clean, I would have rated it barely 3stars. Good food is a vital component of staying at any property, particularly one as expensive as this one.
Another point of concern is the strong odor of horse manure throughout the property and area. There was a wedding reception on the porch Saturday evening and we could not imagine having clothes reek of that odor during and after a wedding...
A suggestion: Take a private carriage ride to the other areas of the island. Much better than one of those 35-passenger carts packed with all of your "new best friends"....

Room Tip: On the fourth floor at the end of the hall at the sides, not along the front of the hotel.
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled on business
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank HPYTRVLRS
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 are happy to know you had an enjoyable stay. Your comments regarding dining and the food itself will be shared with our staff.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lake Isabella, Michigan
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 August 2014

Listen to Bob Tagatz, resident historical tell the story from birth to present of the "Grand Hotel" then take a walk along the 600+ foot long porch to relive the history of this magnificent wooden structure built in some 90 days. Imagine in the earlier days taking the train, then boat to a Island to spend a month or more at a hotel, with beautiful grounds filled with flowers and an inside opulence maintained to this day-it takes you back-"somewhere in time".

Each room, today, is individual in decoration, and is cared for to make your stay enjoyable. The dining experience, breakfast and 5 course dinner included in your overnight stay, is top notch, ask for a table that will allow a view over the porch to the gardens and lakes beyond. Eating early avoids some of the crowding that takes place during the dinning hours.

Afternoon tea, lunch and gift shop items are expensive, somewhat by design people, believe it or not expect it to be, the ice cream shop has a good selection, and is name after the Owner's dog "Sadie" a winning show dog, now passed on. The staff is most friendly and helpful. Golf is available as are bikes for an island tour.

Do not forget that some 80 percent of Mackinac Island is a State Park not all is commercial, take advantage of its tours, and historical aspects.

Room Tip: Ask if, there are any handicap room not being used, if one may be available Ask if a front room if...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank dover1d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Waterloo, Ontario
Level Contributor
58 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Travel2DiveandFun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Indiana
Level Contributor
57 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      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.
Report response as inappropriate
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
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      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
5 of 5 bubbles 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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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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