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“Perfect location for my family.”
Review of Windermere Hotel

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Windermere Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 July 2011

I loved this place! First of all they are one of the few places that has big enough rooms for my whole family. Ask for the large family rooms. The room was clean and pretty. We loved sitting on the porch. It's the perfect location to me. On the main drag but far enough down to be quiet and quaint. The breakfast was nothing good and the drain was slow but still, I'd go back.

  • Stayed: June 2011
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1  Thank Lauraonthego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (113)
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88 - 94 of 113 reviews

Reviewed 29 June 2011

I have visited Mackinac Island for the past 14 years. I have been coming since I was about 7 and now at the age of 20 I have come up here at least once a year with family. While some family stayed at Main Street Inn down the street, I wanted to find a room of my own as I appreciate some privacy. For about $200 a night, my family had a room with a view of a wall on the back of Main Street Inn. My room was a beautiful "one queen with waterview" room overlooking the Windermere Doghouse and Windermere Point. It was the room dead center on the hotel right above the sign that says "Windermere".

The owner and manager of the hotel is Mackinac Island Mayor Margaret Doud. Many Islanders have dissenting opinions on here but she has been mayor for over 30 years. She is a bit hard to get to warm up, and if you are expecting a over the top warm welcome at the hotel you won't really get it unless she knows you. Nevertheless she is pleasant enough and it is interesting to stay at the Mayor's hotel.. Her mother's house is right next door in the same yellow white and green color scheme with the same red geraniums (as is Margaret's house on Market Street). This color scheme has been used for who knows how long and it is very bright and cheery. The yard at Windermere is beautiful with tons of flowers and a spectacular shade garden on the east side filled with impatiens, begonias, astilbe, and lots of other beautiful annuals and perennials. Their geraniums along the porch couldnt be bigger or more perfect.

The room was VERY bright and cheery. Everything looked pretty new from the paint to wallpaper to carpeting. A few tiny stains near the closet weren't very noticeable. Newer hotels like Main Street Inn show more wear than Windermere. And having stayed at about a half dozen hotels on Mackinac, Windermere didn't disappoint. The view was unprecedented, and I loved how you could hear the water from the door before I even opened it to the room. Magical. Bed was VERY comfortable pillowtop. Sheets and pillows smelled extremely clean. I put my maid sign out early and the room was cleaned promptly. Some older hotels (Lake View, Iroquois) and even some newer (Lilac Tree), seem to have a definitely bug problem at night. Spiders especially. I thought this would be the case at Windermere but even with the windows open at night only a few gnats and noseeums came in. No big deal. The room was cleaned immaculately.
TVs aren't in rooms, and I didn't really miss it. It would be nice to get wifi throughout the hotel other than just the porch and lobby. I thought being right about the lobby (2 floors above) I might get decent reception, but it was hit and miss. I would have liked a way to heat water for tea. There was a small kitchen in the back of the hotel, not for guest use I assume, but I didn't notice a microwave anyway. Pop machine did not seem to work, at least it didn't take dollar bills. Ice machine was appreciated but the buckets were thin plastic and didn't do anything to keep it from melting. No fridge like Main Street Inn/Lilac Tree boasts, but it's not really a "suites" hotel. And the room rate is very good for the view you get.

Continental breakfast was a nice touch. Donuts and pastries were served still rather chilly from the fridge. Coffee was good as was the orange juice. Being served from 7-10 was also nice, longer than some hotels. Would be great to have cofffee all day though. Sun room and porch were both great places to sit and watch Main Street. Windermere's location near the edge of town makes it a little quieter. I can appreciate a good porch as most hotels lack one, or lack one with such a view. Much nicer than the Grand Hotel porch if you ask me. Nicer with a better view. Grand is overrated!!!!

When I arrived quite a few families were there. I wouldn't call the Windermere a great family hotel. To me it is more of a couples or singles retreat. The fact that they have rooms with multiple beds encourages the kids I believe. I think those rooms could be improved with just a King bed or one queen and some extra room. Without TVs, kid's are left to roam the front yard as several did when I was there, making plenty of noise, and typical parents did nothing to keep their kids under control. I don't go on vacaton to deal with other people's kids making a scene on the porch. Obviously this was not anything to blame on the hotel but I would say if you have kids take them elsewhere! Even with all the kids I heard no noise at night, the walls are obviously fairly soundproof.

Dockporter Glen has been there many many years. While I didn't need his help for one bag he was not at the closest dock, Star Line, when I arrived.

Windermere, CLEAN, affordable, and great views. Excellent place to stay.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled solo
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3  Thank west_suburbia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 June 2011

This hotel was great. The location can't be beat. It has a beautiful front porch that over looks main street. It is close to town without being right in the middle of the hussle and bussle if the island. It has no t.v or internet but I like that. It gives you a reason to get out and see this amazing island!

  • Stayed: June 2011
    • Value
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Thank Doc_Roesler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 May 2011

If you not sure about your time/date to reserve this hotel, don't stay here. I had to cancel my reservations and it cost $20.00 even with a two month notice. OMG The lady on the phone was not very pleasant either. Have fun at the Chippewa, the rum runners are the best!

Room Tip: There are better hotels on Mac Island.
  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with friends
    • Service
2  Thank icur2ys4mee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2010

The location is excellent with easy access to everything on the island. That being said I don't think there is a hotel on the island that isn't very well located. The older theme was nice and the other guests were nice to visit with in the sun room on on the porch. Beds were old and uncomfortable. Breakfast was a minimal continental breakfast. Wireless worked only in the lobby. I would recommend it except the staff were very unhelpful and even rude several times. Up side we stayed for $108/night. I guess I can deal with unfriendly hotel staff for that price.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank well2160
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2010

The Windemere seems pricey considering the lack of TV, telephone, A/C. But that's fine with us. We went to relax and enjoy the ambiance of an old fashioned resort hotel.
The interior is extremely well-maintained with tasteful combos of floral wallpaper and
very glossy paint. Very clean wall-to-wall carpets. Most all furniture is wicker painted white with green cushions. Brass key door locks which can be slightly difficult on the first try. The porch has no obstacles for viewing the lake unlike most others. A great place to sit and read with a glass of wine but smoking on the porch is no longer allowed. The Windemere is just on the edge of the main tourist district so the foot traffic is minimized.
The bed was comfy and quiet, windows crystal clear. Walls are a bit thin. Because there is no A/C we sleep with windows open which generally is a plus except that around 7 in the morning when it is incredibly quiet the street cleaning crew fires up very loud power washers and scours every square inch whether needed or not. Of course the Windemere has no control over that. However they do have control of the outdoor lighting and when I complained about a bright security light that shone into our room the night man turned it off. That was service!

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank pebblepolisher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2010

No internet, no TV, no hair dryer, no toiletries, no A/C, and a dried out sugary mess of a 2-day old pastry tray that they refer to as "Continental breakfast". There was a very bright hall light that burned all night and shone through the two-inch gap uder the door, so that I was up at 3am trying to find things to stuff under the door to block the light. Although, the light only made it slightly harder to sleep than the cheap bed and saggy foam pillows. This place is incredibly overpriced (only slightly less than the Grand, if you factor the meals that are included in the Grand price) with a really unhelpful attitude on the part of the innkeeper. No offer to help get my luggage up three narrow flights of stairs to a third floor room. These people really think tourists should just bring money, leave it on the doorstep and "go away". Seriously, spring for the Grand, it's really nice and totally worth it in comparison!

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled on business
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5  Thank zapango
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Windermere Hotel

Address: Main St, Mackinac Island, MI 49757-0538
Region: United States > Michigan > Upper Peninsula > Mackinac County > Mackinac Island
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 14 B&Bs / Inns in Mackinac Island
Price Range: £63 - £189 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 26
Also Known As:
Windermere Hotel Mackinac Island

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