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“"Voted Best Buffet" What the????” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Embers of Mackinaw City

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Embers of Mackinaw City
810 S. Huron Ave, Mackinaw City, MI 49701   |  
Hotel amenities
Petoskey, Michigan
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“"Voted Best Buffet" What the????”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2012

After a long trip through the UP, we arrived in town after 8PM and thought we would avoid the downtown rush and try, what the owners claim to be, the "Best Buffet" in Mackinaw City. Well, I would sure like to know who was voting, because there wasn't a person in the house on the night that we were there, that would have called what we found on the buffet anything but crap! We were seated quickly (hardly anyone in the restaurant) and the waitress seemed very nice when she came to the table. Being that it was 8:30PM (and we were very hungry), we opted for the buffet to avoid any wait on getting our food. NEVER were we told that the buffet closed at 9PM, and either were the other two tables who made the same decision and arrived after we had been seated. When we got up to the buffet we found dry, unappealing lettuce and cold salads that had obviously been unattended for some time. (A simple "stir" would have freshened them and made them more appealing). As to the hot food, the majority of the bins were empty, or contained one or two, dried up and overcooked pieces of deep fried and baked fish; there were about a dozen, deep fried shrimp in the bin (which we all scrambled for); potatoes were obviously instant and the gravy was thin and obviously from a can; three dried up chicken legs and a thigh in another bin; crab cakes that were so dry and overcooked that they resembled (and tasting) like hockey pucks; and an entirely full container of a goulash concoction. We managed to put a few odds and ends on our plates (as did the other diners not at out table), and we all went back to nibble and wait for more food to be brought out. When nothing was forthcoming, we FINALLY managed to flag down our waitress to inquire about additional food. We were THEN informed that the buffet was closing in 20 minutes and that the "chef doesn't usually restock things so close to the end of the night!" We explained that we had not been informed of this, and had we known, we would have ordered from the menu or gone elsewhere... as we had not eaten since early morning. She said she would go to the kitchen and ask them to replenish "something" if we told her what we wanted. We tried to explain that it was difficult to request something when nearly every bin had been empty, and what they contained was almost inedible. She then offered to have the "chef" make us chicken tenders! At this point we made it clear that we were not going to pay 15.99 per person for a few tablespoons full of macaroni salad and a dried up chicken wing... oh, and 1/2 dozen greasy shrimp! We were told that they were only going to charge us for the lunch buffet... making our final bill 9.99 for the "meal" and 2.25 per soda!!! I guess they felt that 13.00 per person was a heck of a deal for such fabulous fare! Unbelievable! Of the food that was present, two of the salads had gone "sour" and the "goulash concoction" was entirely tasteless and the pasta overcooked to a mush... (no wonder that bin was nearly full!) NEVER would we return to this restaurant and NEVER would we recommend it to anyone or to any business/corporation booking in this area (the latter being what we do for a living and why we had been traveling in the UP and in Mackinaw that day!). Very anxious to contact the Mackinaw Chamber of Commerce tomorrow to inquire about the "vote" that placed this buffet in the number one slot. My guess is that it consisted solely of employees who receive their paychecks from the owners- the same owners who no doubt compiled the results as well. Don't get burned... go on down the street and brave the downtown crowd! It will be worth your efforts to eat elsewhere.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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11 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2012 via mobile

This is the second time we've stayed here.. It's a great deal for the price.. You are right in mackinaw city.. Every other hotel around are over $100 easily.. Here it's only $80, you can't beat that. The Front desk is very friendly! The rooms are not too bad.. Very big and roomy. Only negative is they don't have microwave or fridge. Also, no ice machine outside. Other then that for the deal you cat beat it!!

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Saginaw
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2012

We just wanted a breakfast besides the one offered at the hotel we were staying in -- This was the WORST ! I looked at the buffet - of which their sign says best breakfast buffet in town -- everything looked like it was sitting there for a long time but the worst was the sausage links floating and drowning in a tub of grease ! My husbands omlett had chunks of FAT from the ham that was suppose to be in it -- he might of found 1 or 2 pieces of edible meat. The coffee was old and nasty !! Will never go back for anything - stay away !

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 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.
Alpena Mi
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2011

We didnt stay at the hotel but did eat there after finishing the Mackinaw Bridge walk.
We all had the lunch buffett at a price of $15.99 a person. It had a very simple salad bar with bagged salad a few toppings for it and half a dozen types of salads that seemed like they were all bought pre made. The pasta in the pasta salad was over cooked, the potato salad tasted only of green peppers and the fruit salad only tatsed of a heavy coconut milk. The hot bar...hmmmm Instant mashed potatoes, packet or canned gravy, pasta floating in water and getting over cooked, raw hush puppies, greasy fried fish, dry baked fish and flavorless beef. The dessert bar looked good but the cake tasted like it was a box mix with canned frosting the bread pudding tasted only of nutmeg and was under cooked and I think the pies come in frozen and they only bake them there. Its Mackinaw I know things are more expensive but for $15.99 you would think something would have been made in house and not all packet instant and pre made. The staff was not that great we waited about 10 minutes till we ever saw our waitress, my guess she was on a break and then we only saw her one time after we ordered. The fact that the place was almost empty on such a busy day for Mackinaw should have tipped us off. Was very unimpressed and would not go there again. Also avoid the bathroom, its filthy and you need a passport to use the toilet since the seat is broken and will take you on a trip right off the bowl

Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
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Leesburg, Virginia
2 reviews
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2011

Very unimpressive... My wife and I had the Mackinaw Muffin. Not bad, but $7.00 for a thomas english muffin, with american cheese sausage, and egg. Everything was way over-priced. The only redeeming value was its location across the street from the Arnold Ferry.

Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
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MI
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2009

The room was tidy and looked fine but was not exactly clean. The bathroom fixtures were filmy, the bathtub felt gritty and it was pretty dusty in places. The TV was very old with poor picture quality. All of that I could live with but the bed was horribly uncomfortable - it felt like you could feel every spring poking you. In addition, if you turned on the air conditioner it made an awful sound - duga, duga, duga...all night and made the room smell bad. I was not impressed.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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ypsilanti
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2008

You cannot beat the price and location. It was way cheaper than any of the Days Inns and Holiday Inns and it was right across the street from the docks so we didn't have to pay to park when we went over to the island. The staff was very friendly and the hotel was pretty cute, food was good in the lounge.
However.
The room smelled funny. We kept the windows open when we were in the room to air it out a bit but it didn't really help. I don't know what it was, whether it was cleaning chemicals or what but it was pretty bad. There were dead bugs smashed on the walls. The mattress and pillows were covered in bedwetting plastic that crinkled whenever we moved. Some of the staples in the carpeting were sticking through and got me in the foot a few times. I just did not like being in the room at all. I felt uneasy and was glad when we left during the day or went out to dinner. That was just one room, though, so maybe it was not one of their best rooms.
I would recommend the Embers to those who just need a cheap, convenient place to stay, because it was certainly that!

  • Liked — The staff, location and price
  • Disliked — The room
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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 Embers of Mackinaw City

Address: 810 S. Huron Ave, Mackinaw City, MI 49701
Location: United States > Michigan > Cheboygan County > Mackinaw City
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Mackinaw City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $

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