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“Great Location, Poor Staff”
Review of Island House Hotel

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Island House Hotel
Ranked #6 of 12 Hotels in Mackinac Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 August 2014

My family has stayed at the Island House for many years on Mackinac Island, and has always had a good stay. The location is great, there are nice rooms in the hotel itself, and also suites that overlook the harbor. I would give this hotel 4 stars, but cannot this year due to the poor staffing in the dining room. The dining room itself is newly renovated, very light and airy, with a great view of the harbor. The piano player in the evening is great, something we all love. However, the wait staff was very poor and unprofessional this year. We love the morning breakfast buffet, but found this year we were having to chase down waiters to get any hot drinks, and noticed many of the staff hanging out as a group chatting while buffet warm dishes sat empty. Plates and drinks were whisked from under our noses before we were even done with our food. This behavior continued into our evening meals, with stiff and unsmiling waiters who could not answer our questions, and would not get answers unless pressed for them. I hope the hotel management will correct this for next year, it really is a nice place to stay, but we will certainly take any future fancy dinners to another island eatery.

Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
3  Thank L B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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619 - 625 of 972 reviews

Reviewed 11 August 2014

Our tour with Trans Bridge Tours had us booked in the Island House for two nights, and I wish we had been there longer. The room was clean and had everything we needed, but then we mostly needed the room just for bathroom facilities, a chance to change clothing, and to sleep. When on Mackinac Island, there is no need to sit in a hotel room, so the smaller room size was perfect. We ate two dinners and two breakfasts in the dining room, and the food was excellent. The front porch and lawn had great views, and the fires in the chimineas added a perfect touch. The hotel is midway between the shopping and Mission Point, making it a perfect starting point for romantic walks too. This is one of my all-time favorite places that I have stayed in the USA. This National Trust hotel deserves serious consideration when planning your vacation.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank TR3B-1962
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2014

We stayed for two nights at the Island House and was pleased with the accomodations. The room was small, but quaint. The common areas are just beautiful and the from porch is perfect to sit on in the mornings and evenings. However, was disapointed on the second eveing when we were told that we could not sit on the from porch because it was reseved for a 'private party'. The porch is one of the maim reasons we stay at the island house when visiting and for the high price of the rooms, I feel that we were robbed of one of it's main ammenities. Next time, I'll check first because if we can't use the porch, we'll choose another hotel. The holel is juct a short walk from the town center which was nice. Far enough away that you could gte away from the crownded streets whenever you wanted.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank J L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2014 via mobile

Location was good. Beds sloped in the middle . Bath tub drained slow. Never got wi-fi connection. Food was ok. When I come back to Mackinac will stay elsewhere .If you like a small bed and breakfast feel you might enjoy it.

  • Stayed: August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Melba S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2014

Island House has a wonderful staff, wonderful food, wonderful view, wonderful atmosphere, wonderful grounds, numerous amenities.

Yes, it's old, but that is what gives it character. The location is wonderful, close enough to town to easily walk and yet far enough away from the busyness of downtown. Their staff is wonderful. They have their own bike rental so very convenient to grab and go and check out all the fun stuff riding around the island. They have a wonderful restaurant with a beautiful view of the marina and harbor. If you do the bed and breakfast rate then breakfast is included and the food is wonderful. The adironack chairs on the lawn make it fun to sit and watch the boats, people or read your book. Evenings they have to fireplaces on the lawn with comfy outdoor furniture and they sell s'more packets at the desk, with free use of the sticks to roast your marshmallows. Now if it rains, that's a whole different story.

Room Tip: I prefer floor 2 or 3. I don't like the 4th floor because it is too many steps.
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank cslik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2014

I had booked this hotel months in advance. My wife and I were planning our 29th wedding anniversary. We had looked forward to dinner in the 1852 grill dinning room with views of the harbor. We had talked about how nice it was going to be to just sit on the front porch of the hotel and watch the people, horses and boats go by. My wife had purchased a new dress and
had her nails done prior to our trip. We could have stayed anywhere on the Island, and wish we would have. The hotel was having a wedding on the grounds out front and moved the wedding
to the porch due to rain. The manager came up to us all sitting on the porch and said, might have to move it people we have a wedding starting in 15 minutes. I thought the way she said it and the fact that we were not able to enjoy the front porch was rude. We later found out that the 1852 grill was closed to the public and the wedding party that had used the front porch now had the only access to the 1852 grill. So here we are no place to eat unless we wanted to travel outside in the rain. We didn't feel like dressing up and walking in the rain to another place to eat. I called to complain and the same gal that kicked us off the porch offered a bottle of wine
in order to make things better. I didn't accept the wine, that is not why I had called (to get something free). I called because we should have been told the restaurant would be closed, the porch would be off limits and the wedding party would have the rights to party in the hallways of the hotel as well as the lobby. It was a horrible stay. We didn't even stay the second night. The hotel staff that i talked to didn't care that they ruined our planned stay. I will never stay here or recommend this hotel to anyone. They are not set up for or have the space for weddings. In closing the fact is the money the wedding party was paying was more important. Principals are still important to many people and in this case the Island House had none.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
9  Thank Arron T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2014

Given the limited choices on Mackinac Island for under $300, I guess you could do worse than the Island House. Close enough to downtown without being downtown and the valet from Shepler's was a plus. The porch and lobby go well with the island's theme and the bike rental out front was convenient as well. They give you a coupon for a free hour if you ride for at least 3 hours. We stayed on the 4th floor and did not mind the stairs but the rooms could use some updating and was very very small. Again, not sure if it is part of the island theme that everything is extremely dated or if the room just needs a good refresh. Bed was old and not very comfortable. Breakfast was good not great but the view was great if you are lucky enough to get a table near the front windows.

Room Tip: Not every hotel has valet service from the ferry...this one does...at least from Shepler's.
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Mic9556
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

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: £115 - £357 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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