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“Read the FINE PRINT before you make reservations” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Giant City Lodge

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Giant City Lodge
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460 Giant City Lodge Road, Makanda, IL 62958   |  
Hotel amenities
Saint Charles, Missouri
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Read the FINE PRINT before you make reservations”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2013

Prices based on 1-2 guests, only 5 and under are FREE. Additional guests are $10.00 each. Cancellation Policy is 3 days prior. So, if you get there and you want to leave because of the room--you can't get your money back. We stayed in the Bluff Cabins which are BIG--but, have not been kept up. The electric fireplace in 14 doesn't work and I asked twice about it and was lied to. The cabin smelled of mold--see photo of bathroom shower area. The refrigerator does not have a freezer section and there is no microwave or anyway to heat food. You must get your ICE at the lodge and bring it back to your cabin--good to know ahead of time. After I had made a couple of trips to my car to bring my things to the cabin, I realized the problems. I then read the fine print--too late for me. I really didn't expect a Cabin in the woods to be a hotel--but, I did expect it to be healthy and the items they listed (fireplace) to work. I payed over $300 for two nights.

Room Tip: Don't get cabin #14--the fireplace doesn't work. Cabin 13 is the closest to the parking lot...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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61 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    18
    29
    7
    5
    2
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Oak Park, Illinois
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2013

I had one of the bluff cabins which were very large, however, it was dated and very dark (not enough lighting). My cabin was at the end, and there was a bad smell in that area, which may have been from the septic tank. Considering the price, they do not supply any toiletries, like shampoo, only bar soap and plastic glasses. I also had to ask them to clean the bath tub because it was very dirty and to get rid of a pop can on the balcony that was covered with ants.

The bluff cabins are a relativity long walk down a somewhat steep winding path from the parking lot and have a large balcony, which the other cabins do not have. The prairie cabins are a very short flat walk from the parking lot. (They should really be called parking lot cabins.)

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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Chicago, IL
Top Contributor
149 reviews 149 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
157 helpful votes 157 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2013

You stay here not so much for the lodging, but because the entire area is beautiful and chock full of very cool hiking trails. For this reason, we will absolutely return and would recommend it to others.

However....
When we arrived there were several people checking in and only one of three people behind the desk actually assisting customers, so the wait was unnecessarily and unusually long. Once we got to the front of the line the staff were very helpful, friendly and nice.

We decided to have a drink at the cute little bar just off the lobby before heading to our cabin, and also had to wait longer than usual to get served. The few days that we stayed it seemed like no one actually worked AT the bar, but ran in from whatever else they were doing to serve customers when they noticed people sitting there. Again, though, once someone arrived to help us, everyone was super friendly and engaging.

We had reserved an "historic" cabin--the smallest and least expensive available--thinking that we were there for hiking, not for a glamorous room. Upon entry to our cabin, we were overwhelmed by an oppressive, debilitating mustiness that sent us both into fits of coughing and sneezing. We knew we couldn't stay in this room which, in addition to the terrible odor, was trapped somewhere in the 70's with terrible decor, fixtures and finishes.

We went to the front desk and were assisted by another very helpful staff person, who got us into one of the prairie cabins. It, too, had an unusual odor but was much larger and nicer and had a small bench on the porch to sit outside and enjoy the view. We decided to just deal with the odor, and had an otherwise pleasant stay.

While there, we checked out the bluff cabins, which seemed very nice. We'll try to get one of those next time!

The grounds were nice, and we saw all sorts of wildlife while staying there. We swam in the pool for a bit--it was clean and refreshing.

We ate several meals at the onsite restaurant. The food was excellent and the servers were all extraordinarily nice, but the service was very, very, very slow.

Overall, despite the 'nothing special' status of the cabins, this is a great place to stay given that you are really here for the hiking and enjoying nature piece of it all. It's a great location for that, and we'll stay again when in the area.

Room Tip: Historic cabins are small, dated and without an outdoor area. Prairie cabins share a wall with anoth...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Good Hope, Illinois, United States
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2013

My husband and I made last minute reservations for Giant City Lodge for our 9 year anniversary. I actually called on a Wednesday morning and we left that afternoon for 2 nights there. It was wonderful. We liked everything about the trip. When I talked to Lisa at the lodge she said since we were arriving after they closed there would be a key in our cabin and a key in the door to get in. We actually got there right before they closed but they had already left the keys in case we were late. Lisa was great, she had maps for us for all the hiking trails and the wine trail, she was very informative. The cabin was bigger then we expected, very cozy and comfortable. Lisa put us in a cabin with no one else around us. The next morning we had breakfast at the Lodge restaurant and it was also very good.
We hiked several trails and had a great time, the trails are really neat. After hiking for a few hours we decided to do some of the wineries and do some wine tasting. Let me tell you, there are some really pretty wineries in the area. That night we had supper in the Lodge and it was all homecooked food and it was delicious. My husband got a country fried steak with 3 sides and I got there special, bbq chicken, omg it was so good. Jacqueline our waitress also brought me a sample of their homemade chicken and dumplings.....to die for. Jacqueline was a great waitress with a good personality. If you can choose your server by name, choos her.
All in all the whole trip was great and we would go back again when we get a chance. It is a beautiful area down there and it made our anniversary very special. The staff at the Lodge was great and that makes it even better. Thank you Giant City Lodge for making our anniversary special.

Room Tip: There are 3 different kind of cabins with 3 different prices. We chose a Prairie Cabin, which I con...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Urbana, Illinois
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2013

The owner refused to honor what I was told when making a reservation for a cabin several months in advance for their busiest weekend in the fall. Not knowing if we could keep the reservation for sure I was told that as long as "I gave them plenty of advance notice I would get my complete deposit back". They only take checks and not credit cards. So two months in advance I called to cancel and was told by the owner that there was a $25 charge. As I tried to tell him in a calm and considerate way that this was not what I was told when I made the reservation, he refused to listen and just kept saying it was his policy and there was no exception to his policy. His attitude was extremely poor and very unprofessional, to say the least. Even though I got the last room available and the weekend I reserved was sold out months in advance, he continued to argue that their was no guarantee the room would get booked! It was a totally absurd defense. As a matter of principle, I will never go there again. I refuse to patronize a place who does business that way and treats people the way the owner treated me. Beware, if you have an issue of any kind you may just get told that's your tough luck.

Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Alton, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

The Lodge is located in the Giant City State Park. The accommodations consist of cabins in the woods that are clean and well maintained. Lots of outdoor activities are available including hiking, canoeing, and kayaking. The lodge includes a large dining room. Food very good. Also, good service.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Top Contributor
132 reviews 132 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2013

Hmmm... I can't figure out a way to separate the restaurant from the cabins - so I'll put it in the title.

We didn't stay here. After a day hiking around Giant City; we wanted a good place to eat and replenish the calories from all the activity. Giving perfect score to it. Why?

1.) The place was nearly packed (4th of July weekend) yet our server was pleasant, friendly, answered all questions, and service was prompt

2.) There were a lot of options from gourmet fare like filet mignon to standard fried chicken

3.) We got a LOT of food. Portion sizes can't be faulted. Even after all the activity (and everyone said they were starved) - we had to stall a bit before getting dessert.

4.) The restaurant had a view of the outside - and we felt still "in nature".

Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Giant City Lodge

Address: 460 Giant City Lodge Road, Makanda, IL 62958
Location: United States > Illinois > Makanda
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Makanda
Number of rooms: 34
Also Known As:
Giant City Hotel Makanda

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