We just got back from spending over a week and THOUSANDS of dollars @ Grider Hill Dock & Marina. We stayed 3 nights in their lodging (Friday, Saturday & Sunday) & then rented their biggest Houseboat (The Magnificent- 733) for a week (Monday – Friday). I had read some bad/disappointing reviews of Grider Hill, but because they were dog friendly (And the fact that back in the 70's my dad stayed/rented here & had a great time) we decided to give them a shot for our family vacation. BIG MISTAKE. I would like to say that they do have a few very nice people working there (A young woman at reception & their maintenance man, ***), however, the rest of them were very rude & non-accommodating from the moment we arrived. We felt like we were there on vacation, but couldn’t relax because we had to do everything for ourselves. When we asked the staff for something (who were all just always sitting/standing around) they would look annoyed at us for even asking them and then look around at one another to see who was going to have to get up off their behinds and “help” us. We had 2 rooms there, one regular room & one “suite” … well right outside our suite was the dumpster that smelled just horrible and not only was the trash in it, but also ALL AROUND IT, it was just strewn everywhere and not in the 3 nights that we stayed in the rooms did anyone ever clean it up. The 2 dog clean-up stations had birds nests built inside them (So that shows just how long they haven’t cleaned that up or took care of it). We actually found an old rusty knife & potato peeler in our silverware drawer in our suite… when we brought it to them they just told us it wasn’t theirs & must have been left by a previous guest (So who is cleaning those rooms? Wouldn’t a maid see that and dispose of it instead of keeping it in the drawer!?). The TV in our suite had no reception (Again, their excuse is that all TV’s out there get bad reception, yet my parents room had a TV that came in fine).
One of the biggest problems we had with Grider Hill was that even though we were staying with them for over a week in their lodge and renting a houseboat, nothing was included for their guests (Not even free coffee). In fact, we had to pay $5 just to put our boat in the water one time at their dock… we also had to pay $15 dollars a night ($45 total) for a boat slip for the 3 nights we were there (Even though over the phone they don’t tell you this part – they just mislead you and tell you that you get a guaranteed boat slip). We were also required to pay fees for the dogs, which were $65/per dog (Which is fine, because a lot of places charge a dog fee), but we were also required to put down a $200 deposit per dog (We had 2 of them) …then we were required to put down a $600 deposit on our houseboat, so all in all they had $1000 dollars in just deposits once we checked in…
Now on to the houseboat we rented. The houseboat was big & pretty clean (except for the spiders & spider webs all over the boat – why they couldn’t spray those down I will never know), however, here were the issues with this:
- We were told we had TV’s in every room (There were 6 rooms) we had only 2 rooms with TV’s.
- The steering on the boat was pretty much gone; it was impossible for the boat to steer straight.
- The checklist you must complete before taking off was very out-of-date
- The directions to the Entertainment center was hand-written… and not well
- The Satellite TV NEVER worked (Thank god we brought a bunch of DVDs)
- The Radio NEVER worked (Again, glad we brought CD’s)
- The screen door was broken, and we had to fix It ourselves
- Lounge chairs were sun rotted – I actually fell back in one after it busted
- The Water hose to the slide was broken and we had to keep fixing it (The hose had been patched about 5 other times it looked like- this hose would have costed them maybe $1.50 to fix)
- The Grill was terrible… it was a gas grill, but only had one circular burner in the middle that took forever to preheat & FOREVER to cook anything. And it didn’t grill it roasted everything.
- And lastly, they never once told us or put any emphasis on the fact that you couldn’t flush TOILET PAPER down the toilet! There was a tiny little picture and warning underneath the toilet seat (that thankfully) one of us caught before we could have had problems. Of course we couldn’t believe that you couldn’t even flush toilet paper down the toilet so we called them up and THEN they warned us not to flush toilet paper because if we did it could stop up the flow of the toilets and they’d have to come out and fix it and OF COURSE charge us an extra $250.00 dollars … that’s right. Now, on to the fact that you can’t flush toilet paper down the toilet… Don’t you think they’d give you some sort of sanitary disposal area for this? Well NO! What do you do with all the toilet paper? Well they don’t give you anywhere sanitary to put it so we had to bring in an extra garbage bag and take it out daily to get rid of it – Pretty Gross.
Another thing I might add about our time spent there is that on our first night on the houseboat around 2am we had a black boat with no running lights and turned off try to come up to our houseboat in our cove – Luckily my dad was awake and saw them slowly creeping up and yelled for my brother to grab his gun (An empty threat of course), but as soon as that boat heard that, the lights sprang on and they jetted out of there. Creepy, I Know - and to follow that the very next morning a very old looking boat with 2 guys in it came over to our houseboat and said they were with Grider Hill and if we were having any “troubles” – which we weren’t and was kind of strange after the previous night and since all the boats have radios so we could call in to Grider Hill if needed. What our thoughts are (and this is just our thoughts) is that since Grider Hill (a bunch of young looking guys) helped us load our boat and saw how much beer & alcohol we had & made several comments about how they take “beer donations” (That area of Kentucky is a DRY COUNTY – NO Alcohol for sale there) We think it was some of them coming out to our boat to steal our alcohol @ 2 in the morning (Yes, Lake Cumberland Pirates) because they are the ones who helped us stack it right on our front porch of the boat.
When we did get off the houseboat and were ready to check out of Grider Hill completely we brought everything we were angry about to their attention and they simply stared back at us and made up excuses, such as “Well we’ve always heard good things about our staff,” well actually that was the only thing the lady said to us and completely ignored everything else we told her and just wanted us to pay our remaining balance (which was only gas for the houseboat – yes of course that’s extra too) and they never apologized or offered any type of compensation.
If you are going to spend as much money as we did on a vacation please go elsewhere, you’ll be very glad you did. Lake Cumberland is a BEAUTIFUL vacation spot & house boating is fantastic - just make sure you rent from somewhere who is actually customer driven & care about having your business. There is no way this place will last when treating customers this way – not when there are so many other choices on Lake Cumberland (Such as Jamestown, State Dock, Burnside, Conley Bottom…etc) I only write this review because I don’t want any one else to spend that type of money on a vacation & not get what you expect out of it – it was very wrong.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.