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“Wow!” 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
Atlanta
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
“Wow!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2010

I booked this hotel late and got a suite on the 4th floor. Our room was beautiful, the veranda off our room was a treat. Great views. The "grand" porch was impeccable. Absolutely wonderful place.
The hotel has a lot going on. There are multiple tours and visitors paying to see the hotel. It feels a bit like a cruise boat. In the dining room you are met and escorted to a table. Either the buffet at lunch or a dinner menu just like cruises is offered. It's not bad but not comfy cozy either.
I had some miscommunication with the front desk. This was immediately remedied by the manager. A woman, I wish I could remember her name.
Definitely stay here if you visit.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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
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English first
Michigan
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2010

The key to great service is TIPPING!! Yah...I know...they have a "no tipping policy." It doesn't take a Bachelor of Science to know that is B.S. We tipped EVERYONE for their service/advice. I put myself through college as a server, and have a special appreciation for how money can talk.

We started at the registration desk. We gave the girl at $20 when we checked telling her we wanted an upgraded room. She tried to say "no" but I said, "we insist." We got a beautiful, beautiful room! Then, prior to our arrival in port via the ferry, I called to inform them we were arriving at Shepler's Ferry and to have a taxi waiting for us. There were two Grand Hotel taxi's (the only way to travel)! So when we got to the hotel on the taxi, I asked for Dondi (remember that name!). Dondi is the primary Doorman. (You can see who some of the other people are that work there by going to http://grandhotel.com/blog/. ) I tipped him for helping us acquire our taxi. From then on, he recognized us, greated us and greated us by name. Sure makes you feel like a big frog in a small pond among the other guests. One of our first tasks upon getting our room was to look for the Maitre D'. We explained it was our anniversary, and while we are aware that seating is first-come-first-served, we would appreciate his help in getting us into the private room at the end of the dining room (of course, tipping him with our request). Later that day, they called to inform us that there is a private party in that room, so they could not accommodate our request. I just said okay, thank you. Then after that, they called again to ask us when we thought we would be coming for dinner. I told them between 6 and 7. When we arrived for dinner, and for every meal after that, we were provided a fantastic window table. We also tipped the servers $20 per meal. And....did I forget to mention that we were greated by name by the maitre d' each time as well?

We took advantage of the anniversary/honeymoon package. This package included a 1 hour carriage ride. So, one of the four days we were at the Grand, we received a phone call asking if we would like to take advantage of a carriage ride in the owner's personal carriage. So of course we made plans to do so the following morning. We had a WONDERFUL ride in the areas we requested (we have been to Mackinac Island many times ---we got married there--and have done many carriage rides).

We also took advantage of the awesome pool. There are two hot tubs as well. Most of the kids were at the shallow end of the pool. That end of the pool had a hot tub. But the deep end (9 ft) had no people. There is also a hot tub that no one was using....except for me. The pool provides float noodles, which makes it nice for floating in the deep end of the pool without being bothered by the kids if you are so inclined.

As for eating, we dined at Woods one evening, which is a great ride deep into the woods. The atmosphere of the restaurant is also great, as well as the food. We also had lunch out by the lake at the Iroquois....WONDERFUL!

We had scheduled a West Lighthouse cruise through Shepler's, but due to high waves, it was cancelled. (FYI---DON'T FORGET YOUR CHARGERS FOR YOUR PHONE/BLACKBERRY/CAMERA, ETC). But...if you do, the service desk has crates of chargers that you can search through. Dave helped me alot with searching for chargers for our Blackberries and camera.

We are mostly day people rather than night people. While we had high hopes for watching the sunset at the Cupola bar and dancing at the Terrace Room, the days at the pool in the sun pooped us out. One morning we had breakfast in the room and one evening we had dinner in the room.

The flat panel TV's in the room have a DVD player in the side of the screen...another FYI. We bought "The History of the Grand Hotel" and watched it in the room one evening. They also show "Somewhere In Time" and some other movies in the evening.

Each morning they give you a schedule of events at the hotel. It may look like this:

6:53 am Sunrise
8:25 pm Sunset
6:30 am - 8:00 am Morning Coffee, Audubon Wine Bar
7:30am - 9:30am Breakfast, Main Dining Room
7:30 am Geranium Bar Opens
7:30 am Sunrise Stretch, Pool House
9:30 am - 11:00 am Continental Breakfast, Geranium Bar
11:00 am The Jockey Club at the Grand Stand, the Gate House Restaurant and Fort Mackinac Tea Room Open (we've had nice times at the tea room)
11:00 am Quattro's Quarters Game room opens at the Gat House (shuffleboard, air hockey, skeeball, the claw, and more)
12:00 - 2:00 pm Grand Luncheon Buffet, Main Dining Room
12:00 pm cupola bar, Bobby's bar and Pool Grill opn
2:00 pm Audubon Wine Bar Opens
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm Afternoon Tea, Parlor
5:30 pm Woods Restaurant opens
6:00 - 9:00 pm Hotel photographers will be availalbe to take your pickture, Parlor
6:30 pm - 8:45 pm Dinner, Main Dining room (Menu #)
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm Demitasse, Parlor
8:30 pm Music-with-a-view, Cupola Bar
9:00 pm S'mores, The Jockey Club
9:00 pm Movie,, Somewhere it Time
9:00 pm Children's Movie, Ice Age - Dawn of dinosaurs
9:30 pm The Grand Hotel Orchestra, Terras Room
10:00 pm Live Entertainment, That 80's Band, The Gate House (must be 21 after 10pm)

The Jockey club is just across the street within walking distance. The Gate House is a bit more of a walk down into town. Manageable going doing, but steep going back up.

There is an art gallery right near the concierge desk. Make sure you go up the steps in the art gallery to see the reproduction in miniature of the Grand Hotel.

If you give the doorman 2 hours notice, you can just leave your luggage outside your room and they will take care of having it delivered to the dock in Mackinaw City or St. Ignace. You can also ask for assistance with moving it down to the entrance by calling the Service Desk. That way, you can bring it with you on the taxi to your ferry.

If you use Shepler's and stay at the Grand Hotel, you get $4 off your ferry fee. And if you take the 9 am or 10 am boat from Mackinaw City to the island, you get a great cruise under the bridge.

If you want to stay in Mackinaw City, CHECK OUT THE RIVIERA MOTEL. Its right on the water, looking at the bridge, with a nice pool by the lake and right next to the lighthouse park. Rooms 212 and 112 are the best, but we had 203 and it was perfect too!

  • Stayed August 2010, 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 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Detroit, Michigan
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2010

I came her for my mother's birthday and my gosh it it GORGEOUS!! The outside of the hotel is breathtaking and the inside is GREAT! You'll especially love it if you appreciate vintage decore and history. The dinner was wonderful and I loved having to dress up for it! I

I will say the rooms are not that breathtaking but you have to consider the year it was built, they are beautiful but not that roomy. The staff is very friendly BUT I did have one issue. I used my card for incidentals and told them to charge another card when I checked out but they charged my incidentals card. The staff screwed up big time and it really upset me. However the hotel is so beautiful that everytime I come to Mackinac I will stay here.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Atlanta
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2010

The hotel was nice but not great. I thought the front desk was somewhat condescending. The breakfast was nice but not as nice as I would have expected. Rent bicycles in town. Walk from the Ferry. Your bags are transported separately. Ask to first see your room. We were told ours had a nice view but it didn't.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2010

We just spent a wonderful 2 nights at The Grand with our sons, ages 8 & 10. I was concerned given some prior reviews, but we LOVED the total Grand experience and hope to return some day. The hotel is indeed old, but that is the charm - the historical aspect of it. Yes, the rooms are smallish and not the most modern - but we expected that, they were clean and well kept. The beds in our room were doubles (vs. queens) so upon arrival we requested a rollaway cot so I boys didn't have to share the small bed and it was delivered no problem. We paid the "walk-in" rate of about $350/night and that included breakfasts and dinners for 4! The 5 course dinner cost for non-guests is $70, so in my mind the room cost was a good value. (The upgrade cost to a lake view was about $500 per night so we declined that - we weren't in our room much) Our boys enjoyed ordering the "fancy" food even though they didn't necessarily like it all - we were proud they didn't go to the offered kiddie buffet of hot dogs, etc. We enjoyed the food and beautiful hotel and grounds! We recommend visiting Fort Mackinac, going on a carriage ride, and the bicycle ride around the exterior of the island (8 miles-mostly flat).

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
chicago, usa
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2010

We stayed here for (2) nights with our children, ages 8 and 11. It was wonderful! Our boys loved the grounds, the hotel, the porch, the large chess set, the pool (the WORM was a BIG hit), everything about The Grand. They did not even mind getting dressed up for dinner. My husband and I loved it, too. The food was wonderful. The service was top notch. The view from our room was spectacular and having drinks up in the Cupola bar is highly recommended.
If you are looking for new, modern rooms and design. This is not the place for you. The walls are a bit thin, the floors are a bit uneven, the color scheme and finishes are traditional. It's an old, wonderful hotel.
Two faults: the carpeting in the public areas - particularly the stairs, needed to be vacuumed. It was grubby. And, the bed mattresses should be replaced. I know the logistics of running a hotel on this island are incredible. Everything must be delivered or taken away by horse drawn wagon. Even so, for this caliber of hotel the beds should be very good.
Part of the reason we stayed here is for the history of the place. There are so few Grand hotels left from this period. This one is wonderful and we hope it is around for our boys to stay at with their kids.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2010

My wife and I stayed at the Grand Hotel during a business conferece. As first time visitors to Mackinac Island, it was definitely worthwhile to stay at and experience the Grand Hotel. However, the experience was definitely not worth the exorbitant price tag and I would not do it again if I had to pay for it myself.

My wife and I enjoyed walking around the hotel and grounds, and sitting on the porch looking out at Lake Michigan was the best part of the Grand. We also enjoyed pre-dinner drinks at the Cupola bar, which had a near-360-degree view of the island and Lake Michigan. But everything else was less than extraordinary. The rooms were relatively small (we had the smallest category room), and the decor felt outdated. The included meals were typical of mass-produced banquet fair, or cruise ship dining. I would not have paid $70 per person at a respectable restaurant for the meals they were serving. The service during meals was also less than stellar. There is no tipping at the Grand, and therefore the servers really have no incentive to try hard or work to please you. They follow a script and if you ask for something not on the script, it gets forgotten or takes repeated requests to fulfill.
We spent two nights at the Main Street Inn prior to transferring to the Grand, and we prefer the Main Street Inn by far. You can get a large suite overlooking the main street and docks, for half the price of a tiny room with no view at the Grand.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.

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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 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*
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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