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“Grand Mistake!”
Review of Grand Hotel

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Grand Hotel
Ranked #5 of 12 Hotels in Mackinac Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 September 2010

My wife and I travelled to Mackinac Island for our wedding anniversary. We chose to stay at one of the other hotels one night and then one night at the Grand Hotel. We were excited to stay at the Grand Hotel because we thought it would be a treat for our wedding anniversary. I stayed at the Grand Hotel once when I was twelve years old. I remember a great place with that I experienced with my family. I was sorry that we came back because the hotel hasn't changed in twenty years. As we walked up to the hotel, we were both amazed by the hotel's architecture. We chose to sit on the front porch and have a glass of wine while admiring the beautiful view of the straits, though, as we were viewing, we saw that the American flags were torn and had holes in them. Not only was this surprising in general for a hotel like the Grand Hotel, but also quite disappointing and disrespectful. We then chose to go see our room because we heard other guests complaining that their rooms were lacking in quality. We ended up getting a suite that was large and spacious with a fantastic view. However, we again were disappointed by the peeling wallpaper in both the living room and bathroom, as well as stains on the carpet and couches. This was just surprising coming from the Grand Hotel with standards it holds for itself. In regards to food, we did eat at Woods restaurant, off-site, the previous night of our stay at the Grand Hotel and had good dinner. The carriage ride to Woods was fun and charming. The Woods building was quaint and cozy and the food was good but not exceptional. The service was fast and efficient, though at times the waiter was indifferent and abrupt with us, to the point we sometimes felt rushed and guilty about asking questions on the menu. We did eat in the main dining room the following night and was looking for a great dining experience, though again, we should have known when the front desk asked us twice if we wanted to eat somewhere else when we checked in. We were pleasantly greeted by the host and seated quickly. We were again disappointed by the sub-standard quality of food by the Grand Hotel. The appetizers were good, especially the rock shrimp and wild mushroom soup. The entrees my wife and I were mediocre, at best, definitely not worth the $70 price tag per dinner. The whitefish was bland and covered in a very strong almond sauce and the stuffed chicken was something you would see from a banquet hall at a bad wedding. The desserts, however, were probably the best part of the dinner in regards to the mango cheesecake and pecan ball. It did feel a lot like a cruise ship, though not a top-of-the-line company at all. After dinner, we thought we would should try the entertainment, and we went to see the Grand Hotel orchestra. The listed "orchestra," however, was a four-piece jazz quartet. My wife and I are both music lovers and was disappointed by the quality of the music, as well as the singing. The breakfast the next morning was good, but again, nothing extraordinary that you wouldn't find at a breakfast place down the street from the hotel. Overall, my wife and I had a good time on Mackinac Island. Staying at the Grand Hotel was definitely an experience, but we were expecting something "Grand." My wife and I have travelled frequently and can say we know the different quality levels of hotels. Grand Hotel proclaims an exceptional experience in a hotel, directly stating it in its informational TV station. We didn't feel the Grand Hotel gave us that. Though my wife and I were able to stay at the hotel for the discounted Fall Getaway package, we still don't believe it is worth staying for the price of the room, service, entertainment, and especially the food. The hotel's beautiful porch and long, storied history is just not enough anymore to justify the extremely high prices at the hotel. Granted, you are paying for the location on the island and that is part of the charm, but there must be some quality to back up the claims as an outstanding hotel. To be an outstanding hotel, attention to details like the fixing peeling wallpaper, replacing holed and shredding American flags, hiring qualified musicians to be labeled an "orchestra," and extra smile at dinner from the wait staff need to done to make the customer feel like they are at a special place. The customer needs to feel like their money being spent at the hotel is worth the "grand" experience. The last point we would like to make is that there is not much thought to the younger age group at the hotel, especially the entertainment. The orchestra could definitely play music through many generations. My wife and I do not usually write reviews but we felt like we had to on this one. We would definitely see the porch and views from the Grand Hotel but would never stay here again.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Cottage2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,469 - 2,475 of 2,747 reviews

Reviewed 25 September 2010

What a grand place to have some R&R. 5 course dinner, great breakfast included and large room!

Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Investor51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 September 2010

the Labor Day Weekend Jazz Festival couples a beautiful hotel with great music in a fantastic setting

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank skifree57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2010

My wife and I spent two nights at the Grand Hotel to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. We knew about the Grand from the movie "Somewhere in Time" and had always wanted to stay there. We both thoroughly enjoyed the Grand experience and would return there again.

What we liked about the Grand was its ability to create a unique romantic experience. Its Retro Gilded Age ambiance was enchanting, from the 600 foot porch overlooking Lake Michigan to its interior furnishings, artwork, and immaculately maintained grounds. Our interior room was spacious and comfortable, with a flower (roses) motif. The staff was cordial and polite, and the food was delicious. We enjoyed the romantic atmosphere, dancing in the ballroom, strolling along the tree-lined paths, and sitting in the Parlour with an after dinner drink listening to talented harpist. For us it was the perfect place to spend a "togetherness" weekend.

The Grand is not cheap, but we knew that ahead of time and decided that for this special occasion the experience was more important than the cost. The Grand is a large operation and there were a few minor glitches, such as the waiter forgetting to ask us if we wanted coffee after dinner one evening, but we didn't let such a small inconvenience spoil our stay.

I think whether or not you'll enjoy the Grand will depend on your perceptions and expectations. What one person views as tacky another will view as eclectic; if you enjoy the cuisine on cruise ships then you'll probably like dinner, but if Joel Robuchon is your standard then you'll probably find it disappointing. With almost 300 TripAdvisor reviews, there's more than enough information to help one decide if the Grand Hotel is for you.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Bob W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2010

Who are the people that give this aging grand lady 5's? I would love to tour the place with them and point out all the dirty/worn/ and broken furniture. Also our room with it's worn/dated/chipped/stained furniture and rugs. Also the poory cleaned bathroom.
then we could have dinner adn they could try to explain to me how the tastless dried tough meat was gourmet.
We;ve not stayed at a hotel with the Grand's high rating - we usually stay at places that provide guest accomadations - the Grand offers visitor toleration. We were bluntly told by a waiter and the dinning captain that we could not take our continental breakfast on the porch (a continental that included paper cups for coffee -elegant and 5 star!)
The concierge acted put upon whenever we asked a question - he was very busy and acted upset we bothered him - very 5 star!
This place is living on reputation and as long as people confuse paying a lot with getting a lot, this place will not change.
Jennifer the Pool Manager should be put in charge of the place. She shows pride in her job and genuine warmth in accomadating guests and making them feel they matter.
At half price I felt we overpaid.
This place is extremely overated - the $10 they charge to walk the grounds and sit on the porch is the only value.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank KAG102013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2010

The hotel is beautiful in the aging queen kind of way. Landscaping and grounds are gorgeous. We got a great off season rate, which made the value more attractive. It was a lot of fun to stay there once, but I think once will be enough. A copy of "Somewhere in Time" DVD was in our room. Fun touch!

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled with family
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Thank leslie06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2010

It was always our dream to stay at the Grand Hotel, and we did so earlier this month. We can now mark it off our list. It is, indeed, grand. The property is immaculate, the hotel itself is beautiful and evocative of an earlier, elegant period. We had no qualms with service. We did the afternoon tea, dinner, dancing. We sat on the porch and sipped champagne. Was it worth the expense? Probably not. As we left the island we agreed we wouldn't be in a hurry to return. But we have some lovely memories to help fill up the empty bank account.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank clokpo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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: £277 - £670 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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