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“Fantastic Hotel, Poor High Tea”
Review of Grand Hotel

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Grand Hotel
Ranked #5 of 12 Hotels in Mackinac Island
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Fantastic Hotel, Poor High Tea”
Reviewed 20 August 2014

First, understand that this experience is all about sitting in the main parlor of the Grand Hotel and NOT for the quality of the High Tea. If you are going and paying for a High Tea experience, you should save your money.

The Grand Hotel staff is a mess. Sure, they are friendly and from around the world, but we were approached 6 times by 6 different people to place an order. This was clearly a mess. Also, the seating is open, and a free-for-all. Get there early.

The tea service? Luke warm English Breakfast tea (no choices), a plate of stale finger sandwiches, a tiny scone that had been refrigerated, some assorted mystery sweets, some whipped cream (instead of clotted cream we guessed) and a jar of preserves we couldn't use, as there was nothing on the plate to put jam on. The service also comes with champagne or aperitif.

If you have ever attended a High Tea before at a luxury hotel, you'll quickly realize this is a McDonald's version of that experience.

As I mentioned, this was a huge disappointment, and certainly not worth $30 per person... but this was really about visiting the Grand. It's my guess the folks at the Grand know this.

If you want a better experience, find a pair of rocking chairs on the porch and enjoy their bar and snack service. We had cocktails and a cheese/charcuterie plate that was terrific. Money well spent.

Room Tip: Not sure you need to stay at The Grand Hotel to enjoy it. We stayed in town and enjoyed a balcony su...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank geauxtger
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, 22 August 2014
Thank you for your review. Your experience with our Afternoon Tea service will be shared with our staff. We certainly do not wish for our guests to feel they are getting "McDonald's" treatment, and your words will help to better this experience in the future.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2014

All about the hotel is grand, the porch, decorations, pool, gardens were all very classy. We enjoyed pool, lawn games, and 2nd night dinner.
HIcked-up started upon check-in. We arrived at 4pm, no warm welcome greeting, just "how can i help you", without a smile. He explained about our package, and that's it. I have to ask where is the restaurant, and where is the elevator to our room!! Room was small with a view of roof top, and we can hear tv from the next door, and their conversation too,and babies screaming!! bathroom were small.
To make things worst, upon reservation, i ordered fudge as a welcome surprise for my husband and son. It was not there, i waited for turn down service, as i thought it will come by then. No sign of it. Called the front desk, they were clueless, the guy look in the system and figure out it should be there and he told us that our room has been moved around during check in, so probably in the different room, and asked me to call again the next morning to let the front desk know. Can't they put in the system like any other normal hotel? The next morning I went down to ask front desk, she asked me about a piece of paper from booking to proof it, and asked me to get it from the shop, really??!! i did not have the paper, was searching for it, and do not want to waste time. By the time we came back, the shop was close, someone vacuuming the shop and did not hear us knocking!! I went to the room and called front desk again, and again they asked for a piece of paper, by this time, my patient reached limit, it is just a fudge, look in your system, it was there!! they took 10 mins to look in the system, and came to me saying that they will deal with it, within 2 mins someone knocking on the door to deliver FUDGE!!!! It is not about fudge, it is about how they handle things.
We dressed up according to guide line, and happy to join the crowd, tho some came in informal(ladies in slack and shirt). We were happy to experience it, with a nice music and all that. But our server rushed us to ordering food, and are not familiar with the sauce that comes with fish. I asked if the sauce contained alcohol, and he said he could not recall and did not offer to check. Table next to us help us with it. The moment we put down the silverware, he came and pick up our plate, and in no time, our next meal was there. Food was not so good, i enjoyed kids bufffet more.
We had great experience with our 2nd night dinner. A lady server from Hungary was good and attentive. Food was great. We had a good meal, and good time. Stop by the dancing room for 10mins, and it was a nice experience too.
Overall, the hotel itself is grand, love the landscape, arcitechture. Service for us not too good as i read mix review about service, some are extraordinary, and some are poor.
We will be back to the island, but will not stay with Grand hotel, probably will try their lunch buffet next time.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with NOT a roof view
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank nina_journey
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, 22 August 2014
Thank you for your review. We are sorry to hear of your experience with some of our staff not being as helpful as they should be. This is not how we want our guests to be treated and we do apologize. It is nice to know you did enjoy your time with us otherwise, and we do hope to see you back for the Grand Luncheon Buffet.
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Galesburg, Michigan
Level Contributor
58 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2014

Fifty years I have watched this beautiful building stand among the hills on mackinaw island. Each summer trip to the island we were only viewing the sights, finally I got to be a part of the history that takes place each day in the grand hotel. This is not a hotel you stay in, but a place you can live the history of all the rooms and furnishings. Much of the decor has been purchased throughout our world at famous auction houses. Huge chandeliers ,art, gilded mirrors,and frames,
Marble tables , many over two hundred years old are interwoven into modern design by world famous designer, Carleton Varney, the remodeled hotel is beyond beautiful . At each corner we were treated like royalty , the entire staff is dedicated to you ,the guest of this house. Do expect this experience to feel like you are the guest in someone's palace, not a large hotel. Do not
Equate this to a large high end chain of fancy hotels. This is an experience that is more personal,at each area of this visit, you will feel like you were invited here by the owners. Food is nicely presented, but be prepared for a large crowd, this is a large building, go at off times to eat in a quieter setting.

Room Tip: 4th floor seems to be quiet,
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Nana529
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 capturing the feeling of who we are, and how we wish our guests to experience Grand Hotel in your kind words.
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Rochester Hills, Michigan
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2014

I travel to Mackinac island usually twice a year. For the fudge, no! For the Grand Hotel!

Approach the hotel either from the long drive by carriage or on foot or stroll through the often overlooked gardens and across the yard (possibly re enacting the scene from somewhere in time.....Richard, Richard!) to the white staircase and red carpet stairs. Exit by the jockey club in the morning and smell the days flowers!
The Coupola Bar is one of my favorite places in the world and continues to produce great memories. Go in the morning and watch the sunrise or in the evening and listen to the piano while sipping a Grand Celebration. Great place to get away!
Afternoon tea is a must at least once. Long islands by the pool also a must...but only one!
The main dining room never disappoints. Whether it is the Grand luncheon buffet or dinner, it is amazing. Be sure to dress up and be sure to get your moment captured by the photographers on the historic porch! Sitting by the window at sunset is nice and by the ensemble for entertainment. In the evenings, there is dancing in the ballroom for the guests....fun even if you are just
watching.
Lastly, the rooms. Each unique in its own way.... I have had the privilege to stay in the Woodfill suite ( I believe it is renamed but is the half round room as you approach the hotel...yes that is one room!!! ) the Barbara Bush suite on the other upper corner of the hotel and view the brand new Musser suite!!! on my list !! So amazing. I can't remember all of the others, but they are all special. My last room was 412w ?... what a beautiful view of the straights.

There are many places to stay on the island and I am quite sure they are all lovely, but staying at the Grand Hotel is unique and unforgettable...an experience not to be missed! See you in October....

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TheWaxQueen
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 Grand Hotel experience and look forward to seeing you again in October!
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Georgia
Level Contributor
170 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2014

Everything you saw in the movie is still here (although they cut all the trees on the entrance road). Elegant, stunning porch is worth the trip alone. Meals included w/ phenomenal service just a wonderful place to visit. Take the walking tour w/ Mr Taggart (sp.) for some of the history. Walk everywhere. Arch Rock well worth the stroll. Rent a bicycle & go around the island (clockwise as the hoard from the ferries go the other way) & just hang out. Lincoln Suite wonderful but bed rocky & small for two adults. The "Grand" is truly a treasure that many have spoken about. Should have given a 5 but the bed....

Room Tip: It is the "Grand". It's all good.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bob G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2014

I spent two nights at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island and it was a wonderful experience. The hotel is beautiful. We enjoyed wonderful meals. The service was outstanding. Rodney in the Pontiac room was a perfect server.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Charles H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canton, Connecticut
Level Contributor
290 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 252 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 August 2014

If you are going to visit Mackinac Island this is the hotel to stay at. It is a classic beauty overlooking Mackinac Island. The wrap around porch in itself is an experience. We stayed in the Vanderbilt Suite and the decorations are overwhelming. We had to smile when we opened the door because it is so colorful and eclectic. The bed was comfy and the bathroom was nice (good water pressure). Plenty of sitting room and a beautiful view. We didn't spend much time in the room but it was very nice. We were greeted on our first day with a bottle of wine and some local chocolates. There is turn down service every night and they have a stocked mini-bar. After 6:30 at night you need to be dressed up in order to be on the parlor level for meals. The dining room is enormous and while our meals were included we only actually had one dinner there. The service was ok - dinner music was good. Food was okay. The cupola bar is a must visit and despite the price tag the 125th Anniversary Cocktail is to die for.

The Grand Hotel charges $10 per day to people not staying at the resort which means the hotel gives it's guests cards to show when the enter the property. I didn't like this system. We walked by the same employees multiple times a day and each time we had to stop and show proof we were staying there. I would almost suggest something along the lines of a wrist band or some more convenient visible way of showing you are a guest.

Outside of that we wouldn't have stayed anywhere else ... it's a classic hotel and was a wonderful home away from home.

Room Tip: Vanderbilt Suite was great and good views.
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Santucci1
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, 22 August 2014
Thank you for your review and for your suggestion on other ways for our guests to identify themselves when entering the hotel. We are always looking for ways to make the guest experience better.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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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