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“Awful, awful management”
Review of Island House Hotel

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Island House Hotel
Ranked #6 of 12 Hotels in Mackinac Island
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago, Illinois
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Awful, awful management”
Reviewed 21 June 2012

I will start this out by saying I have been to Mackinac many times. We take a family trip at least once a summer. We currently live outside of Chicago and it's quite a hike to get there. My experience at the Island House was horrible. I have read some of the other reviews and if you look at any of the other negative reviews, most of them have to do with interaction with the manager.

The hotel is fine. It's about par for the island. Expect to spend a lot of money for not much.

My specific problem with the Island House unfolded like this... My husband and I went for a family wedding. We arrived on the island via the Arnold Line at 12:30 in the afternoon. There were no porters from the Island House to greet us so we left our bags on the dock (common practice) and took our tags to the Island House to check in. It was too early so we gave the porter our tags and went to the Chip to drink, be happy, and wait for our friends and relatives to arrive.

When we checked in at the prescribed time, we were informed that they could only find one of our bags. The second (which contained all of our toiletries, contacts, shoes, and EVERYTHING else we needed to get ready for the wedding) was missing. I took it in stride. I asked if this happened a lot and the likely hood of it being found. All of my questions were met with disdain and downright rudeness. Like it was our fault. I asked what they were doing to find our missing luggage, and it really made them mad. I felt completely helpfulless.

Fastforward to that evening, I asked to meet with the general manager. She pretty much told me tough luck. Mind you, there is no Target, WalMart, CVS, etc on the island. No where to replace simple items like shampoo, toothbrushes, hair products, makeup, shoes, glasses, etc.

Not once did the manager (Iliana) ask if there was anything she could do to help us replace any of our missing items. She was completely indignant about the whole situation.

This could have ruined our vacation. I was able to rent shoes for my husband, I went and had my hair done at a salon, we borrowed contacts (not the correct prescription) from a cousin. This was all very costly. I didn't get to go on my leisure run around the island and we couldn't rent bikes because we didn't have the proper shoes without our bag. We rebounded (no thanks to the Island House) and really enjoyed the wedding.

Now, because we were a little pissed off about the situation we looked around at the rest of the Island House package. The continental buffet breakfast was awful. First, the staff mills around and does NOTHING. You even have to get your own drinks. The food is completely subpar and apparently the air in the dining room either didn't work or wasn't turned on.

The room we completely overpaid for was in the fourth floor, essentially the attic. Our bed didn't have a headboard because the ceiling sloped down to where our heads were. If you sat up too fast, you clunked your head. We had a window unit a/c unit that didn't work properly.

The wedding was held at Mission Point. We poo-pooed staying there because most people who are "islanders" do. I have to say, we really wish we would have stayed there instead.

The day before we checked out Iliana had the girl at the front desk deliver the message that they would no longer be looking for the bag and that all communication should go through the Arnold Line from that point forward. When I asked to speak to her directly, she made me wait for 10 minutes (while I'm sure she was doing nothing useful.) I contacted the Arnold Line and Iliana was caught in a lie because she told the Arnold Line that a porter was waiting for us when we got off the 12:30 boat and we only had one bag. The porter didn't even come on duty until 1pm! She also said we only gave him one tag and that we probably left the bag in our car. Really?

I asked if there was anyone above her to speak with and she said the only person above her was the owner and he didn't want to talk to me. We were also told that if our visit to the island was so disappointing maybe we shouldn't come back.

In the end, I found the bag. When we returned home, I emailed every hotel manager on the Island. The manager that found it was so helpful and nice. She said the bag was picked up accidentally and returned to the Island House. I was surprised since I still had not heard from Iliana. I waited one more day and called her. She said I was the next call on her list (caught in a second lie???) She UPS'd it to me.

The really sad thing about this story is that there are a few people we ran into at the Island House that were friendly. The housekeeping manager was very helpful and our housekeeper was very nice.

We will NEVER return to the Island House and I would suggest that if you are looking for nice accommodations there are many other places on the island that would be better. I would suggest trying the Chippewa, Mission Point, or the Lilac Tree. We have stayed all three places. The people are much nicer.

Room Tip: Stay somewhere else. Make sure you aren't on the fourth level. The elevator stops on the third l...
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
22 Thank Jessica L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
, Manager at Island House Hotel, responded to this review, 22 June 2012
In response to the issue with our guest’s missing luggage during her stay, it was brought to management attention immediately upon discovery of the wayward article during check-in. As per standard protocol our staff performed a sweep of each dock, all Island hotels and each room inside the Island House Hotel. When the article still had not appeared after completion of this checklist, which is quite unusual, the process was repeated. However, if the item has been claimed by another hotel and mis-delivered to a guest at that establishment, there is little we can do but wait for all parties involved to notice the error.

I met with the guest at approximately 4:00pm on the date of their arrival, 25 May 2012, and this process was explained in detail. This was again explained to the guest, in detail, when I met with her at approximately 11:30pm later that night. It should be noted the guest was extremely loud at this time. In this situation I could do little more than listen and re-state that we were doing everything that we were able to do. I also explained we had kept a staff member on solely to travel to each hotel continuously.

In the end, we received a phone call from the ferry line, stating the bag was waiting on the dock. The articles location for the duration of the guest’s stay is still unknown to me. I sent a dock porter to retrieve the bag, contacted the guest and sent the bag via UPS Ground to their home address.
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (220)
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English first
Indianapolis, Indiana
1 review
Reviewed 16 June 2012

We stayed two nights in a "deluxe view" king bed room. The room was located on the third floor in the center section of the hotel and had a great view of the harbor. This hotel is located just a short walk from the downtown area and the fort. Very convenient, but quieter than staying downtown. The food in the 1852 Grill was very good.

Room Tip: Deluxe view room is worth the extra cost
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Tom A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Channahon, Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 June 2012

We loved our stay at the Island House. We stayed 4 nights and had a room with the harbor view. Once we figured out the air conditioner it was very comfortable. Though it was in the 50's every night so it was lovely to have the windows open. The staff was very helpful and nice. I LOVE the way they get your luggage to and from the ferry esp since we brought our own bikes. We had ourselves on a waiting list for an extra night and they could accommodate us when we arrived. It was great being down the street from town and there was always plenty of chairs to get comfy in the afternoon shade. I fell asleep many times on the great cushion chairs on the grass. The fire places outside at night are a nice touch. Breakfast has a huge choice and is delicious with warm items, cold items and tons of fruits (my favorite!) And they have an excellent granola that I would love the recipe for. Make sure your get the bed and breakfast package. We will definitely use the Island House again.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank mjminarich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 June 2012

The hotel is in a great location with a view of the Lake from the front porch. They have plenty of outdoor seating and you can even make s'mores on the front lawn in the evening! The restaurant menu is excellent for both breakfast and dinner...highly recommend!

Room Tip: We had a room that had a backyard view on the second floor, but had a King size bed!
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Carcoverlady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rockport, Indiana
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 May 2012

We just returned from our Memorial Weekend stay at Mackinac Island. We really appreciated the Island House staff getting our luggage from the ferry dock to the hotel - very convenient. Each and every staff member we encountered was very friendly, professional and pleasantly eager to please. We purchased a package deal and knew ahead of time that our room wouldn't have a lake-front view, which was fine with us because we left early each morning and returned late evening. The room was on the small side, but that has been the case with most historic hotels we have stayed at so again that was fine with us, and really we were only in the room to sleep. The room was quiet, the 2 double beds were comfortable. the bedding of good quality, the shower was hot and we enjoyed good nights' sleep.

The hotel is very clean and well-maintained, including the exterior, common areas and the room. Staff were continually sprucing areas up, cleaning, doing maintenance work etc and their efforts are not in vain - the hotel looks fantastic. The elevator worked fine - the 2 times we used it...the rest of the time we used the spiral staircase (I suppose we were hoping to work off some of that Island fudge!) The lobby area has several pieces of comfortable furniture which would be great for small group gatherings.

Our package included the buffet breakfast in the 1852 Dining Room and was very good both mornings. We are early risers so were able to get window-side tables, gorgeous views and it was such fun to see the town come to life in the mornings. The buffet offered a nice variety of choices including scrambled eggs, bacon (done just right!), biscuits, gravy, yogurt, fresh fruit, some really tasty granola bars, french toast, and several other selections along with juices, milk and good coffee. We found the experience a great way to get our day off to a perfect start. We also dined in the 1852 one evening; my husband enjoyed the (plentiful!) half rack of ribs and the Mackinac Chicken was very good. Service was excellent and all wait staff were very pleasant and efficient.

The Hotel is conveniently located to town, a short 5 minute stroll and you're there. We enjoyed sitting in the comfortable lawn furniture on the front lawn each evening, enjoying the beautiful views and just relaxing - they light a fire in the 2 fire pits for making s'mores (you can get the ingredient packs at the front desk). Staff delivered our luggage back to the ferry dock, and all too quickly our 2-night stay at Island House Hotel was ending. We really enjoyed our weekend there and hope to return again some day!

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank justus0875
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milford, Michigan
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2012

I booked 2 rooms and must say that the price was pretty high. The porch, lawn and view are unmatched on island (expect for Grand Hotel) but the room, food (vouchers) and comfort was pretty sparse.
For $240 per night, the room was small and uninsulated. I could hear kids, romantic adults throughout the hallway to room and in the room. It is a lovely historic site and well worth the stay but this comes at a painful premium. The pool restaurant (Ice House) has great food and a friendly college-aged staff. If you want the best view it is worth the price for the porch but I think next time I will try a bed and breakfast as it might be just as quaint but the price would match the value and I can find a view by the marina. The family that owns this inn has an extensive list of properties on the island but quantity doesn't always mean quality.

Room Tip: A queen is for 2 small adults. Try the king if you are an average or tall person.
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Mrs C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glencoe, Minnesota
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 May 2012

If your coming for the service, don't stay here! When making reservations we requested a room with a lake front view, when we got here we were given a room so small in the corner of the 4th floor that you could honestly just get in the door, and even then you walked around the edge of the bed, which in itself probably is a violation of a fire code! We went back down to the front desk and asked for a room change, the front desk person said they would have to talk with their manager, she left the desk for 30 seconds, came back and said that there was nothing else. I requested to talk to the manager, she went to her office again and came back saying that the manager was busy now. I told her I would wait. Looking rather uncomfortable she said that she was "busy". I said that I wanted to talk with her and would wait. I could see that there was no way that the couwardly manager was going to come out so I asked for the name of her manager. Somone else named Nicole came out and gave us a key to another room. Still no view, but atleast we could actually get in the room. We called down again to ask if there was ANYTHING better available, we would pay ANY aadditional costs for an upgrade..No. Now the bell boy brought our bags and said that there were other rooms available. If your coming here for the view, try someone else!!!!

Room Tip: Don't reserve here!!
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
10 Thank katiep55336
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Island House Hotel

Property: Island House Hotel
Address: 6966 Main Street, Mackinac Island, MI 49757-1410
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Michigan > Upper Peninsula > Mackinac County > Mackinac Island
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 12 Hotels in Mackinac Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Island House Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 94
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Island House Hotels offers modern conveniences within a historic setting. This family owned property is Mackinac Island’s oldest hotel, a registered Historic Hotel of America and an official State of Michigan landmark. Guests return time & again for our stunning waterfront views, historic charm & the ideal location. Whether relaxing on the porch or enjoying drinks with friends in the garden, Island House Hotel delivers the complete Island experience. All guestrooms have air-conditioning, private bathrooms & cable television. Hotel amenities include: indoor heated swimming pool, whirlpool, dry sauna, evening bonfire, gift shop, concierge service, onsite bike rentals, as well as two restaurants, 1852 Grill Room & Ice House BBQ. Discover the charm of a Mackinac Island stay at the Island House Hotel - where fine service, warm hospitality and memorable vacations have been a Mackinac Island tradition...since 1852. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Island Hotel Mackinac

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