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“Worth a visit” 4 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
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Worth a visit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2014

We got off on the wrong foot with this lodge last year when we had to cancel a reservation two months ahead of the date when my husband lost his job. The manager gave us a bit of grief, but made good on a full refund. My advice is, first, if you make a reservation, make sure you understand they will ding you $25 if you cancel for any reason. Second, understand that this huge property requires income to survive —the $25 policy is probably not the best way, but I understand their concerns.

That said, we stopped in last week to see if we'd add it to our list of favorite CCC properties. Here's what we found:

The manager is eager to be of service, maybe a little bit shy, but a nice man. He let us visit a small cabin and we found it to be like a budget hotel room, but clean, and it looked comfortable. Pere Marquette and Starved Rock have somewhat newer accoutrements. We probably will stay here at some point, though. It's quiet and pretty during the week.

The lodge itself is very attractive, cozy, and clean. Well taken care of. The dining room is huge, and very pretty. The food smelled great.

There's lots to do in Giant City, and the park is one of the most impressive in our state. If you dont need five star accomodations, I'd advise you to give this lodge a try. It's nothing special in the way of the room, but the scenery, the rustic calm, quiet, and the natural beauty are worth the visit. The historic lodges will not always be around for us to enjoy.

Room Tip: Though the small cabins are cheaper, I'm told the larger ones are nicer, with a living room and...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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69 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (21)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
Farmington, Missouri
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2014

My husband and I wanted to stay in the cabins for our 10th anniversary. We had trouble from the start. The screen door on cabin #8 stuck so badly that we thought we were locked out, twice. He turned the knob and pulled on the door with both hands before it finally opened. Not many people would even care if their TV worked, but after we had a large steak meal on our anniversary, we just wanted to relax and watch a little TV. Ours was an old analog set with a converter box. We were able to get 1 channel. I wanted to call the front desk, but couldn't find a notation for the front desk on the phone. The gentleman at the desk told me, the next morning, that I should've called or walked down to the main lodge and he would've fixed it. "I should've just spent the night with you" was his reply when I told him I couldn't get the TV to work properly and couldn't find the number for the front desk. We had a choice of basketball or going to sleep at 9 pm on our anniversary. Even though I dislike basketball, I was willing to watch it for awhile just to let my food digest. My husband wanted to go to sleep rather than watch basketball, so I turned off the overhead light, which also killed the power to the converter box, so all I had on TV was static/snow. Needless to say, we won't be staying at Giant City again. However, we did have the chicken for lunch on the day of our arrival and it was fantastic. Our waitress was great. We had breakfast in the lodge the next morning and it was just as good. We'll be back to eat at the Lodge, but not to stay in the cabins.

Room Tip: If I ever run into problems like this again, I WILL go to the front desk and ask for some satisfacti...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
41 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2013

1 night stay. We had a duplex that had 1 queen bed and a murphy bed in living room. TV had good reception, cabin was quite large and clean the lighting needs to be brighter. They do supply soap, however no shampoo. I will say I found it disheartening that the toilet paper had to have a lock on the extra roll. That is sad to think that people do steal toilet paper!
Suggest bringing a car air freshner into the room with you as it is a cabin and smells of such. (I always have a freshner available for hotel rooms ) not really bad but freshners help! Coffee pot in room enough for 2 cups of coffee also a refrigerator.
Colors were beautiful in state park.
We had dinner at lodge which is really nice. We had chicken, my only complaint was the food was just luke warm. The food comes out really quick so you know the chicken has been sitting. However I will give the servers high praise as they were extremely accomodating and very good. They did bring some additonal hot chicken and zapped the potatoe's for us. Very nice stay in a lodge setting!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Saint Charles, Missouri
Level Contributor
74 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oak Park, Illinois
Level Contributor
22 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
148 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 153 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Good Hope, Illinois, United States
Level Contributor
40 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Makanda
Number of rooms: 34
Also Known As:
Giant City Hotel Makanda

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