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“One of the truly great places in America” 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
Naples, Florida
2 reviews
“One of the truly great places in America”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2011

WE have been going to the Grand Hotel for 25 years and never tire of the great golf courses, food service and bike rides around the island to say nothing of the gracious service of the staff. A truly once in a life time experience!!! No cars and trucks on the Island make it a truly fun experience..

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled on business
    • 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
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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
NY
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2011

The Hotel porch is the length of a football field. No cars allowed on the island, just horses and buggies as taxis. Expensive but worth it. The Grand Dining Room is to back in time, like the movie filmed there, "Somewhere in Time" with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. Views spectacular. Esther Williams opened the pool in the 40s. Food is well-prepared and delicious. Every room is a picture out of an old movie. Would go again and again. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled solo
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marco Island, Florida
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2011

Being the romantic that I am, and knowing how much my wife enjoyed the Movie, "Somewhere in Time", I decided more than four years ago to surprise her with a trip to the place where the movie was made. We have returned every years since, taking more and more family members and friends with us. Now our friends are taking their family members as well. This is one of the most relaxing vacations and experiences that we or they have ever had. They have now added another adventure, The Titanic week-end and since we have the clothes for the time period, may avail ourselves of this week-end as well as the famous one in October.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Grand Rapids, Michigan
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2011

I have traveled the world spending time in anything from a tent in Saudi Arabia to the best hotels in Dubai or NYC, and can honestly state that the Grand Hotel is my favorite. I have spent several evenings every summer since 1985 and look forward to it every year. The hotel provides something one of a kind and unmatched anywhere. You have breath taking views, solice without the existence of motors cars, a quiet serene setting but within a short walk you have access to golf, water activites, night life, and a great family or single/couples atmosphere. The service is great, the food and wine selection is fantastic, and when you factor in the stay with included breakfast and dinner the cost is quite reasonable. To be truthful there are factors to a hotel of it's age that may turn the pretentious off, but that vision of a by gone era provides a gift to all that stay. Turn off your cell phone, leave your PC at home, and enjoy spending time walking, hiking, horseback riding and swimming with your family. In the evening and after dinner put the kis to bed early and take your elegantly dressed wife for a cocktail or a moonlite walk. You will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled on business
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
st. joseph, michigan
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2011

My family has always gone to the Grand Hotel, from when I was little until now. The restaurant, waiters and food, as always, are spectacular. The rooms...uneven. As with any historic/vintage hotels, some rooms are wonderful, with views, square footage etc....but others, not so much. A friend paying the SAME amount got a room with a view of the straits, while we had a tiny room tucked in the back, with views of the kitchen. Frustrating. I would have to label it as inconsistent. We always enjoy our time at the Grand, just wish we could've had a fabulous room too. Clean, classic, gorgeous lobby, porch etc.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Erlanger, Kentucky
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2011

My husband and I stayed 3 nights at The Grand and we loved every minute of our stay. The weather was perfect, sunny and mid 70's. We biked around and through the island. The historic Ft. Mackicac was a neat historic experience and the evenings of dressing up for dinner and strolling around the beautiful grounds of The Grand made for perfect days. The staff goes out of their way to make your stay an enjoyable one. We can't wait to go back for another visit.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2011

My wife and I have visited Grand Hotel every other year for an extended stay since 1988, and are long-time satisfied customers of this property and the people who work there. I swam in the pool there as a kid. Readers of this blog know this is not unusual. Families from all over the Midwest and many from other parts of the country return here regularly across decades.

Regular visitors and those considering a first visit will be pleased to know that the property was operating at peak quality during our 2-week stay in August, 2010. The glorious flowers, tea lawn, porch and dignified friendliness so highly spoken of by reviewers were all there as before. The quality of food and service in the restaurants was what I expect in my private clubs.

You might choose to go elsewhere if you want to have that anonymous experience my wife and I will have when we go to our firm’s annual corporate meeting at a Ritz resort. This place might be too friendly and personalized for your taste. The place is run by a family that actually lives on the island all summer. Their daughter pedals an old-fashioned Coke-dispensing bicycle down the porch. The hotel president’s father (who also is Chairman) greets you in the lobby, and he recognizes everyone. The stable manager lives here year-round and is on the island school board. Somehow all the Jamaican waiters and housekeepers know my daughter’s name and age. The resident manager is a gracious woman who really, really, wants you to have a wonderful time. This is about as Midwest-friendly as you can get.

We had 2 category II rooms looking out over the front lawn this year. One was a blast of vibrant orange, and the other a mix of green floral wallpaper and summery blues. The effect is, basically, that you are sleeping in a garden -- the carpet is grass-green and the ceiling is blue to complete the effect. Over-the-top drapery effects you would never try at home work perfectly in this setting. The rooms we have stayed in through the years have never been the same, but have always featured a particular combination of brilliant colors and mix of furnishings that is simultaneously a throwback to the 1800’s yet contemporary. The Breakers and The Greenbrier are the only other places that quite approach it, but somehow Grand Hotel is able to take it just short of the point of excess, as it is a summer hotel.

The staff had thoughtfully placed side barriers on the bed our 2 1/2 –year-old daughter occupied. The bathrooms had black and white tile floors with the full compliment of geranium-scented toiletries. Floral pieces and basket of fruits and cheeses finished the effect. For previous visitors, the miniature televisions have been replaced with small flat screens, and the new air conditioners work great (although we hardly used ours, preferring the lake breeze).

Breakfast is pretty fun, and is a lavish multi-course, served meal. This is old-fashioned, gracious service. More plates and silverware than you have ever used during a morning meal – it barely fits on the table. I always opt for the baked goods, pancakes, waffles – all those things Austrian chefs are skilled at producing. My wife eats the healthy things, which seem to measure-up very well. While a buffet alternative is provided, I would skip it. The best buffet will never measure-up to fresh food and table service.

Daytime activities are mostly included. We head for the pool and gardens, bicycles, hanging around on the porch or lobbies and reading, or viewing the classical paintings on loan from a major museum. The pool is huge. Walking around town in fun, but after a while we just settle-in on the hotel grounds – which are extensive. Be sure to head over to the stables behind to hotel to get an idea of what it used to be like in the horse-drawn days. The stable personnel are very happy to see you, and are especially accommodating to children. You are really foolish if you don’t bike the scenic 8-mile road that circles the island. We are not regular golfers, but friends who are like the course.

Lunch meals are offered across the property, but are not included in your fee. There is a huge buffet offered in the Main Dining Room for lunch, and it is always filled with an over-abundance of seafood, poultry and beef dishes. It is sometimes filled with day-trippers, so you don’t always get as much Grand Hotel “atmosphere”. Since the large breakfast and dinner are included, we go for lighter lunch fare. Our favorite lunch place to eat is probably the Jockey Club, located on the first tee of the Jewel golf course. It has probably the finest view off its patio of any resort I have visited. Make sure to have a couple of glasses of wine and slouch around there for a couple of hours. Another favorite spot for us is the pool grill, which offers simple chicken sandwiches and hot dogs. The Gate House is very nice – kind of like a high-class Benigin’s – but we have not eaten there. For a real treat, take a horse-drawn taxi to the hotel’s Woods restaurant, which is a Bavarian-theme offering. Everything seems just a bit more expensive than on the mainland, but I figure it is okay to charge more because everything has to arrive by boat and horse-drawn transportation.

Evenings are when this place seems to shine its best. The Main Dining Room is an experience every Midwesterner should have before they die. Where else can you go where 800 people nearly simultaneously sit down to dine in their best? Accompanied by live music and an entertaining parade of couples and families, the 5-course dinner is something to take your time with. I’ve seen some critical reviews through the years from folks who are really expecting atmosphere and service akin to 5-star restaurants in big cities. Dining here is different – it is a festive, sometimes noisy, and slower-paced place. The waiters – especially the best ones from Jamaica – want you to have a good time without bugging you like the wait staff at your local TGIF. That’s right; these guys are actually professional waiters who will leave you alone to converse for hours about whatever. The quality of cuisine is similar to what we get on a Cunard ship. If you want a casual alternative, the meal plan lets you have dinner in the Jockey Club at the golf course.

Finally, some tips from a long-time customer. Arrive on a Thursday and stay through a weekend. The place really hops on Saturdays, and the various parties and weddings being held on Saturday add to the festive atmosphere. Get the standard meal package with breakfast and dinner. It is a relative bargain for what you get, and there is no point in staying at the Grand if you eat hot dogs down in the city. Spend at least one entire afternoon on the pool lawn and walking around the tea garden in your shorts. This is pretty much what heaven is going to be like according to the Episcopal Church. Rise very early, get a complimentary coffee in the wine bar, and take a walk through the quiet downtown before the day trippers arrive. Finally, thank the young hosts that keep the non-paying visitors out of the hotel. Otherwise you couldn’t get a seat in th

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 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 4
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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