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“Like an elegant cruise ship on land” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Hotel

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Grand Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   286 Grand Avenue, P.O. Box 286, Mackinac Island, MI 49757   |  
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Ranked #5 of 13 Hotels in Mackinac Island
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Like an elegant cruise ship on land”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2012

The Grand is still grand. Staying here is very much like being on a cruise--if you eat in the main dining room, you dress for dinner which is served by waiters in white ties and tailcoats. Even breakfast is a multi-course meal (I loved the banana-raspberriy smoothies). The lotions and soaps and indeed the whole place smells like geraniums.
If your package includes meals, the trip is really less expensive than it would be if purchased separately. There is no tipping and your luggage transfers are included. For entertainment, the ballroom opens at 9:30 every evening for dancing and the Cupola Bar offers a great view. The Fort was also free with our package. We also love the porch. I wouldn't recommend the lunch however; it is just a buffet. There are so many great pubs on the island that I wouldn't want to have all my meals in the hotel.
We were there in the fall and the autumn colors were glorious. We walked all over the island and shot an enormous number of photos. It was an all around wonderful trip.
One thing--It is a little disconcerting in this day and age that the waitstaff are all people of color. I am told they are from the Caribbean and work the cruise ships in the winter and the resort hotels in the summer, but that is one element of the 1885 hotel that feels like a class distinction.

Room Tip: All the rooms are unique and frequently decorated in the the geranium colors that are the symbol of...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,414 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (470)
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English first
Meadville, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2012

Our weekend at the Grand Hotel is one that I will personally cherish forever. Under normal circumstances, this place would not have been within our vacation budget, but the hotel's 125th Anniversary package included our rooms, reception, five course dinner, breakfast, lunch and hotel ammenities. A real treasure. We now plan to return for a special anniversary of our own.

Transporation tip - Free parking at Shepler's ferry in St. Ignace. Once on the island, you can catch a horse drawn carriage from the ferry to the hotel for $5.00 per person. If you walk, plan on hiking uphill.

On the day of departure, the Grand will arrange for your bags to be sent on the ferry ahead of you. We also asked the hotel to arrange for us a private carriage tour around the island after lunch. This actually ended up being less expensive for our small group than each paying for the public tour. We had a local driver who knew the area well, and we saw more of the island. Our driver paused at places of interest to us, and answered all our questions. We ended our tour by having him deliver us near the ferry dock in town. Since our bags had been sent ahead, we were free to shop before catching the ferry back to the mainland. Perfect way to end our visit and so easy.

Dinner tip - go easy on the smoked salmon and cheese at the reception, you'll want to save your appetite for the five course dinner that follows.

Room tip - just enjoy it! Our rooms were lovely, very clean, and well supplied. The beds were full sized but very comfortable - as were the linens and pillows. We did not have a lakeview, but were in the back overlooking the fire escape. Still, we looked down onto a little patio and flower boxes spilling fat red geraniums - not at all unpleasant. For a lake view - we preferred the the Grand's sprawling front porch, and that sweet fresh lake air.

Besides, the Grand Hotel is far more than a hotel room. Its a waltz with history, and a gift you take home with you. The bright colors, the beautiful lake, the clompitty clomp clomp of the horses, dressing up for dinner, dancing afterwards, the theater, the art gallery, croquet on the sweeping lawns, and of course - that infamous porch. These were the pleasures of a bygone American era, and the Grand delivers them today without being snooty or pompous. If you wish the walls (and crooked floors) of this elegant old place could talk, be sure to attend the Grand Hotel history lecture with resident historian and author Bob Tagatz. You'll find the hotel's history anything but dry.

What I wish I'd known sooner- there is a small handicap elevator in the art museum that willtake you up to the theater level (and closest ladies room). This would have been much easier for my Mom than the short flight of stairs she had to navigate.

If you are looking for a fast paced night life, contemporary, sleek, or high tech weekend, the Grand may not be a good fit. But from the moment you step off the ferry boat onto Mackinac Island, you enter a place unlike any other. So why compare it with any other? Its lovely, laid back, and charming. And the Grand Hotel is ....well, she's simply grand.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canton, MI
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2012

The customer service is phenomenal from check-in to check-out time. The cleaning staff, luggage handlers, wait staff in the dining room, as well as help in all of the shops were very helpful, thorough, friendly and "grand" with their service. The room was clean. The grounds are beautiful and the location and views are amazing. The food is delicious. This destination can be a very romantic one for couples or a fun and "spoiling" weekend away with your friends. The theater room is very large and can accomodate a large conference with plenty of "break out" rooms for smaller talks. The porch is as "Grand" as everyone says it is and a great photo op with amazing background colors in Summer or Fall.

Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2012

The customer service is top notch once you get there (over the phone they can be a bit brisk and uppity). Full-service includes lunch and dinner (depending on your package plan), a pre-dinner reception, transportation of luggage to and from the ferry, and many beautiful halls and parlors to roam and browse. The atmosphere is a little stuffy, especially for the 50 and under crowd, but there's dancing and music available after dinner, which makes for a fun evening. There is also a great wine bar that's library/den-style and more comfortable than some of the stuffier options. The grounds are incredibly well groomed and make for a wonderful morning or evening walk.

Room Tip: Ask for a lake-view room to get the best view of the grounds. Make sure to pack a coat and tie for m...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2012

This was a dream come true vacation for me. And I was able to share it with two very good friends. The Grand Hotel was celebrating its 125th Anniversary and everything offered was over the top. The quality of service was outstanding from the wait staff, bellboys, room attendants etc.
The meals are served in a grand manne, 5 course and very elegant like a step back in time. Getting dressed for dinner was such a treat. And the food was very good, to die for desserts. It was a girls weekend for us and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. We spent evenings on the veranda with a glass of wine and chatted the night away. The attention to detail, the service, the beautifullly appointed rooms are something you rarely find at any resort. And to top it all off a horse -drawn carriage tour of the island, bellisimo. We stayed at the Grand during the summer
but my new plans are to return during the fall. I would recommend the Grand Hotel for any family, couple(very romantic), or girls road trip.

Room Tip: All rooms are decorated differently, but one facing the lake would be ideal.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Brookfield, WI
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2012

We are return guests of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island for many years, we just returned from our annual trip and just can't describe how happy we are with the hotel. The rooms are so charming and interesting in the decor, they are very clean. We had the Celebrate Michigan package which included the lunch buffet, the food is wonderful. The beds are very comfy but the pillows are a little hard. We love staying at the Grand and will return next summer!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Ann Arbor, MI
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2012

Staying at the Grand Hotel is like going back in time... in fact, the entire Mackinac Island experience is like going back in time. Dressing for dinner, horse-drawn carriages, butler services, and more. I was at the Grand Hotel for a conference, as one of the planners of the conference. It was a great experience, and the hotel has wonderful customer service. The food is amazing. I ate probably the best filet mignon I've ever had at the Jockey Club, the restaurant at the Grand's golf course. My only one minor negative are the sleeping rooms. For a Grand experience, the upkeep in my sleeping room was somewhat lacking. Peeling wallpaper, dingy curtains. However the room was clean and comfortable, and the shower had great water pressure. Overall, a great experience. This would make an excellent romantic getaway...too bad I was there for work.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Grand Hotel

Address: 286 Grand Avenue, P.O. Box 286, Mackinac Island, MI 49757
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Michigan > Upper Peninsula > Mackinac County > Mackinac Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 13 Hotels in Mackinac Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 390
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to America’s Summer Place. Every year since 1887, Grand Hotel has welcomed guests and families to Mackinac Island, where cars are not allowed and bikes and horse drawn carriages are the favored modes of transportation. As Travel + Leisure’s 500 World’s Best Hotels and Conde Nast Traveler's Top 5 Midwest Resorts in 2012, Grand Hotel offers outstanding accommodations where no two guest rooms are alike. Enjoy spectacular views of the Straits of Mackinac in a rocking chair on the world’s largest porch,complimentary children's programs, The Jewel golf course, swimming, tennis, lawn games, gardens, bicycling, carriage tours, shopping, Sadie's Ice Cream Parlor, and an experience you will never forget. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Hotel Mackinaw Island Michigan
Grand Hotel Mackinac Island Michigan
Grand Hotel Island Mackinaw
Grand Mackinac Island

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