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“A lot of fun packed into one beautiful resort” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort

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Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort
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2643 IL 178, Utica, IL 61373   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Utica
Worth, Illinois
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“A lot of fun packed into one beautiful resort”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2011

Grizzly Jacks is a beautiful resort packed with a lot of fun for children and adults alike. I was a little skeptical after reading some online reviews, but as I suspected there are many who choose to take the time to write a poor review and not enough who make the time to write a review of praise. The amusement park was awesome, and no we did not wait a long time for someone to operate the rides. A few minutes maybe, but how long do you wait at any amusement park? The waterpark was cool and yes it does smell like clorine, not a big deal. We stayed in a villa that was beautiful and clean, The service and staff was very pleasant and helpful. They could use a family style restaurant but if you drive a little you'll find one. The pub style food is of good quality though so don't hesitate to order. Being located about a mile or so from Starved Rock was pretty cool too. You can take a boat ride, hike, or do many other things. We all enjoyed the stay, and definately would visit again. Hats off to Grand Bear!

Room Tip: Rent a villa they're spacious and clean and have all the comforts of home
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
StephanieCasstevens, Public Relations Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this review, August 2, 2011
Thank you for choosing Grizzly Jack's and for taking them time to write a review as well! We truly value your feedback.

We're glad to hear you had an enjoyable stay! Thank you and we hope to see you back again in the future :)

I encourage you to visit our Facebook page to stay updated on future events and upcoming offers! Thanks and have a Grand rest of your summer!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,450 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (258)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Tampa, FL
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2011

Excellent accomodations, very clean and spacious, the staff was wonderful and very helpful, my baby was crying and the cashier at ice cream shop was so sweet she offered her a sample of ice cream, my daughter was so happy. We all had an excellent time at the Waterpark, Enchanted Forest, Minature Golf, Jumpy houses, even playground was awesome. Train ride to main lodge and different places on the resort was the best best part for my little one, kids and me. I cannot say enough good things about our stay, everyone in family had an excellent time. Everything at this resort gets a 10 in my book!!!!!!!

Room Tip: Stayed in Luxurious Cabin, definitely the way to go. Beautiful view, very large, very clean, kitchen...
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
StephanieCasstevens, Public Relations Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this review, July 21, 2011
Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a nice review! We're really glad you enjoyed your stay at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort!

Thanks for all the nice comments and we hope to see you back in the future! The train will be waiting for you :)

We encourage you to visit our Facebook page to stay updated on all our events and offers.
Have a Grand day!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Midlothian, Illinois
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2011

Extremely overpriced. Our cabin was horribly kept. All the sliding doors were broke and if we tried to plug the lamps in upstairs, we would blow a circuit. When I complained, I was told that a manager wouldn't be in until the morning. The next morning, they couldn't seem to locate a manager. Their customer service skills were horrendous. We will not be coming back to this place ever again. The place has turned into a dump in the last year. This was suppose to be a great family vacation. I had relatives fly in just for this trip. It was a big waste of money.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
StephanieCasstevens, Public Relations Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this review, August 2, 2011
I know we contacted you personally about this review but I still wanted to respond publically. Thank you for choosing Grizzly Jack's and for taking the time to write a review and bring these issues to our attention.

The issues you experienced are not any reflection of the level of satisfaction we strive to maintain and we greatly apologize for this. As we said in our email, you definitely deserve a unit that has been properly inspected and is fully functional and suitable for use. Please be assured we have addressed these concerns so that we may rectify any outstanding issues.

We have spoken with our staff on how to properly handle issues and management requests. The last thing we want is for you to feel disrespected in any way.

We realize that explanations and apologies do not make your stay any better or take away the negative experiences you had. We hope you feel your concerns have been addressed and are important to us.

We hope to have you back again for a chance to renew your impression of our resort. Thank you again for your understanding and have a Grand rest of the summer.
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McHenry, Illinois
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2011

This is our second trip to Grizzly Jack's..and it will not be the last! We are a family of 10 and all are pleased. The little kids love the water park and almost refuse to get out. The little train shuttle is also such the hit. The people working are pleasant and friendly. We have zero complaints...just lots of compliments!!! We stay at the luxury cabins and believe you me...it is luxury! See you next year, Grizz!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
StephanieCasstevens, Public Relations Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this review, August 3, 2011
Thank you for choosing Grizzly Jack's and for taking the time to write a review! We love hearing your feedback and hearing our guests enjoyed themselves is our ultimate goal!

Can't wait to have you back-visit our Facebook page to stay updated on upcoming events and future offers!

Thanks for some fun photos as well, see you next year! Have a Grand rest of the summer!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2011

The hotel and waterpark was nice, clean and lots to do for smaller kids. We had fun at the waterpark, indoor amusement park and mini golfing. I would not compare Grand Bear with the Dells (because I have never seen anything like the waterparks at the Dell). This place is close to our home, very close to Starved Rock and priced accordingly. The villas are clean and well stocked but they have been used alot since their last update and another is needed. Having a full sized washer and dryer is great for any stay at a waterpark. They fireworks on Saturday was really a great show, too. We did not eat at the resort because there are so many places within 10 miles to suit anyone's tastes or needs. Casa Mia, in Naplate, is highly recommended.

Room Tip: If you stay in a Villa, don't forget the paper towels (they don't provided them).
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
StephanieCasstevens, Public Relations Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this review, July 18, 2011
Thank you for taking the time to write a review! We appreciate your feedback.

We're glad to hear you and your family enjoyed your stay at Grand Bear Resort and had a good time at the amusement park, waterpark, mini golf and fireworks! We hope to see you back again soon.

Thanks again for your review and have a Grand day!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peoria, Illinois
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2011

We were so disappointed in our stay at Grizzly Jack's. I am really upset the amount of money that was paid for the little we actually received. We have a 15 month old, and the whole time we were there the baby pool was closed. Much to the parents disappointment the hot tub was closed the whole time as well.

From all the signs they have around the place you would think they would have had a salad bar. It was NEVER set-up. So we ended up ordering pizza one night, which came with another disappointment. It was not that good. Actually we ended up taking to the room and had a piece of it later, it was much better cold then it was hot.
We wanted to eat a little something at the hotel instead of having to go some place. So we ended up going downstairs to the pool cafe. We ordered 3 hot dogs and a order of nachos to take back up to the room. The REALLY rude lady informed me that she didn't have any hot dogs cooked at this time (it was 12:30 pm) and that it would take 20 mins or so to cook. I really question if I would want a hot dog that was cooked for 20 mins. I know they weren't frozen because I saw them in the cooler behind her.

As for our room......were to start. The flip lock on the door was completely gone and the turn lock on the door wouldn't lock either. Come to find out the door was falling off of it hinges. The A/C well it would start to kick on for like 3 sec. and stop right away and then it would start smelling like wires burning. I did end up going downstairs to talk to a manager and he sent there very young maintance guy up to the room. He was there for about 3 mins and said well everything looks fine. REALLY, then why does it smell so bad in here! The manager said he would follow up with me after he heard from the maintance guy. Well 2 weeks later and I still haven't heard from anyone. Our toilet would run all the time. They leave surveys int he rooms for you to fill out, and we did. But after I filled it out I thought maybe I would get an "I am sorry you didn't enjoy your stay" or something. I still once again haven't heard a thing.

Honestly, the place could be really cool if it was managed a little bit better! It is really sad to say!

I planned Grizzly Jacks as a little family get away, and I really wished we had gone to Fun City instead!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
StephanieCasstevens, Public Relations Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this review, August 11, 2011
First off, thank you for taking the time to write a review. We truly value your feedback and opinion. I'm also very sorry to hear you did not hear back from our other outlets for feedback but I assure you your comments are seen and taken into consideration.

I would like to formally apologize for the incidents with the door. Please be assured this is an isolated incident that does not normally occur nor is it any representation of the level of quality we strive to maintain. We do our best to ensure this issue does not occur again. I've verified that our maintenance department is aware of what happened.

I took what you said about the salad bar not being open during the week and we've come up with a solution! Our salad bar will now be open from 4pm-8pm Monday thru Wednesday and 12 (noon) to 9pm Thursday thru Sunday. The hours it is not available we will offer a side salad option. We hope this helps renew your impression of Jack's Place Restaurant and our effort to have healthier food options.

I also greatly apologize for the poor service you experienced at the Wave Cafe and regarding your room's air conditioner. We are now using a new coaching tool at our weekly meetings to better train staff on how to work with customers and constantly be aware of their level of service. We know this does not change the poor service you had but please know we are working hard to resolve these issues as they are not acceptable.

We're sorry to hear you were not satisfied with your recent stay at Grizzly Jack's and do apologize. Feel free to contact our General Manager with any further comments or concerns at bsullivan@grandbearlodge.com.

We hope you will return again and allow us to renew your impression of our resort. In addition, we encourage you to follow our Facebook pages to stay updated on all our future events and offers. Have a Grand day!
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Geneseo, Illinois
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2011

This is a great place for tweens. It wasn't packed, so I felt comfortable letting my boys (10 & 11) wander around without me having to be on top of them. They loved all the rides, and loved the waterpark as well. We usually go to Wisconsin Dells, which is much bigger (but also MUCH more expensive), and the kids STILL loved this place. We arrived 6 hours before check in. . .they were able to get our room anyway - AND we got a better room than I had actually reserved! Sweet! The room was clean, amenities were clean, and staff was very friendly. We WILL go back!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
StephanieCasstevens, Public Relations Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this review, August 11, 2011
Thanks for the nice review! We really appreciate your feedback, hope to see you back again soon. Visit our Facebook page to stay updated on future events and upcoming offers! Thanks for choosing Grizzly Jack's!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort

Address: 2643 IL 178, Utica, IL 61373
Location: United States > Illinois > Utica
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Utica
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 272
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort offers skin-drenching fun all year long right in the beautiful setting of Starved Rock State Park. Located just 90 minutes from Chicago or the Quad Cities and an hour from Bloomington or Rockford, our 60 wooded acres offer all of nature's wonders, featuring 60,000 sq. ft. of Indoor Entertainment! This includes Grand Bear Falls Indoor Waterpark and Enchanted Forest Indoor Amusement Park, beautiful lodge accommodations, as well as our 1800 sq. ft. vacation villas and luxurious 2800 sq. ft. cabins. Enjoy a variety of dining options, including wraps, salads, hot sandwiches and made to order pizzas at Lumber Jacks Pizzeria and Sports Bar. During the summer months guests can enjoy a view of nature at our Bear Island Pavilion & Curtis Canyon Deck. Next to Bear Island enjoy our “Castle in the Woods” playground area and test your skills at our 18 hole Canyon Creek Miniature Golf Course, Laser Tag, Ropes Course and Zip Line (additional costs apply - open to the public). All lodge rooms include a microwave, mini-fridge, hair dryer and wi-fi internet access. Our Vacation Villas are a 2-story townhome with a fully-applianced kitchen (basic pots and pans and place settings are provided), 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Our Log Cabins offer 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a fully-applianced kitchen (basic pots and pans and place settings are provided), 3 fireplace, s and an oversized Great Room. Other resort amenities include the Cave Arcade with over 60 games, the Wave Cafe Snack Shop, the Honey Pot Sweet Shop & Grizzly Bean Gourmet Coffee Shop, the Moose Crossing Convenience Store and the Northwoods Niche Gift Shop. Our Grand Bear Conference Center includes over 8000 sq. ft. of meeting space, including 6000 sq. ft. of Grand Ballroom space to accommodate your larger functions such as weddings, family reunions and corporate events. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Grizzly Jack`s Grand Bear Hotel Utica
Grizzly Jacks Grand Bear Resort
Grizzly Jacks Grand Bear Hotel

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