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Grand Hotel
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All reviewscupola barcourse dinnerno tippingthe main dining roomjockey clubgrand experiencebucket listlongest porchhigh teaonce in a lifetimedress codecoat and tiecelebrate michiganpecan balllunch buffetcruise shipterrace room
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Reviewed 21 August 2014

The hotel is beautiful and was a unique experience that we appreciated very much. There were several small annoyances that negatively colored our experience. When booking, we were assured several discounts as part of our package, but every time we tried to use one, we were told no, and had to waste our time going back to the desk to get things straightened out (free fort tickets, discount on lunch, ability to apply meal plan to Jockey Club, etc.) When we first checked in, we were given a room with two twin beds. All I could do is sigh. I don't pay the kind of prices that the Grand Hotel demands to stay in a room with my husband with us both sleeping in separate twin beds. Bed configuration should be agreed upon at booking and confirmed at check-in - not a surprise after a 10 minute trek to the room! This caused yet another trip to the front desk. The Pool Grill is ridiculously slow. We waited 50 minutes for our order, and my husband had to go get it himself. What are we tipping for? (Tips are encouraged at the Pool Grill and Jockey Club, while they are forbidden elsewhere - although no one turned any down that we offered!) The couple in chairs near us said they waited an hour! It was also disappointing to see that there was so much grassy area available, but there weren't enough lawn chairs to accommodate those who needed them. Sitting on buggy grass was not exactly appealing. The (cold) pool itself, while large, was overrun with loud, splashing children We were also surprised to see several areas of carpet, walls, and furniture in disrepair. For a hotel of this caliber, these details should be taken care of immediately. Even the famous long green porch was in bad shape, with paint chipped everywhere. The faded yellow awnings were less than impressive as well. As for positives, there was never a long wait at the front desk, the name-imprinted amenities were nice and luxurious, the loaded mini-fridge in the room was welcome, the food in the main dining room for dinner was exceptional (as was the service), the golf course was fun (albeit pricey), and the room was large and comfortable, both in furnishings and temperature. There was a selection of live music throughout the hotel nightly, from the band during dinner, to the harpist the main hall, to the band in the ballroom after dinner, to the pianist in the Cupola Bar, which was all wonderful! I must also mention that I loved the free sno-cones poolside. I only wish there was an attendant helping with it, as the children frequently helped themselves with dirty little hands into the clean ice. It was, overall, a lovely experience. We never left the grounds once we checked in, until we checked out. I also recommend that a complementary carriage ride from the ferry and back to the ferry be included in the future. Our luggage was treated better than we were: It was silly that as we hiked up the hill, we watched the horses pull our luggage comfortably past us. I would like to return some day to see if improvements have been made. It really is a unique hotel with a wonderful history, certainly a must-do for all Michiganders. As a personal aside, please dress appropriately. Women do NOT have to wear a skirt/dress each night. Basically, you are just asked to dress nicely. Those who did not, stuck out like a sore thumb and degraded the experience.

Room Tip: I would be cautious of a room near an elevator or the stairs, as there is a lot of traffic at all hours, particularly early morning. Be sure to request your bed configuration at booking and then re-confirm it at check-in. There are lots of twin and double beds in this hotel.
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank chucktgirl
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 reviewResponded 22 August 2014

Thank you for your review and for pointing out the Grand and not so Grand parts of your experience. Reviews like yours let us know areas we may need to work on, and help us to see areas where we are living up to the level of service our guests should expect.

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Reviewed 21 August 2014

I've been coming here since before my crush on my kindergarten teacher - and this weekend I put my 8 year old into a jacket and clip on tie to do my part to keep the tradition going. First what is fantastic: the first glimpse of the porch, flags and geraniums as the horse clip clops up the hill; spacious clean rooms with twice daily service; big formal dinners with a Jamaican staff that is very professional and friendly; the crazy dragon float in the pool that all 4 of my kids have wrestled on over the last 15 years; a sun downer in a rocking chair on the porch; and finally an after dinner drink in cupola bar with the lakes and the island below. Tea was good but crowded. I love this place and I pay way too much for a room in the hopes that the management will love it back and take care of it.

They are doing an OK job - but this last visit had some concerning signs. First there was a HUGE tour group staying at the Grand - not just walking through - but literally sleeping in that magical place. This is not a place for a tour group - - sorry 50 folks all over 70+ flowing like an elderly amoeba across the lobby and dining room is not OK in my hotel! Next there was a buffet option for breakfast - and it was the typical steam table mush that is OK at the Big Boy - but at the Grand - I didn't know whether to cry or burst out in anger. The food is excellent and prepared by professionals, served by professionals why oh why would you pick the buffet? So note to the management - you have a jewel - keep paying the staff too much - reward them for coming and living away from their families for the summer, and DON"T let the tour groups in - the easy money and high occupancy rates from tour groups will turn the hotel into an empty husk of itself. Love it and your guest will love you back.

Room Tip: splurge and get a category 2 or better room and ask for the view when you book and when you check in.
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank poolpond
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 reviewResponded 28 August 2014

Thank you for your review and for bringing your family to continue a Grand tradition. We do have large tour groups that stay with us annually in the early and late months of our season. Being a seasonal hotel, having large groups at slower times keeps from having empty rooms. We are always happy to let guests know when making reservations if there will be any large groups in-house. Please, feel free to inquire about the possibility of a group being in-house when making future reservations. We want you to enjoy your stay in every way possible.

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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 suite overlooking the bay, and saved $400 a night. I love the Grand and will stay there before I die... but the prices are brutal.
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
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 reviewResponded 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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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
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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 reviewResponded 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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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,
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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 reviewResponded 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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