Booking the room: We booked several months ago when a Thursday night rate was $102 and Friday night $126 for two double beds, lakefront view, non-smoking. (If we had waited until the week we wanted to go, the rate would have been $126 and 228 for the same room.) The front desk staff had a friendly smile and checked us in even though we arrived early. She gave us coupons for discounts at local restaurants and activities like putt-putt.
We stayed at the Clarion a couple years ago in a courtside room and it was small, clean and dark. (We had to keep blinds closed so passersby couldn't see in our room. I would recommend the courtside room to anyone looking for a clean place to sleep for under $100.) This time we wanted to get the lakeview and WOW! My opinion of this hotel went up! New carpet has been installed (old remnants of carpet were being carried away from a different room that was being remodeled the morning we arrived. We never heard any noise or saw workers during any other point in our stay.) The fiberglass tub/shower looked brand new and the floors and counters - while plain- did look new. The room smelled fresh and clean. I previously considered this a 2-star hotel but staying in the lakeview room changed my opinion, it is a three star! (There is still no room service, spa services, robes or anything that a four-star hotel would have, but our room was clean, in a nice location and gave us plenty of space!)
Inside the room you will find PLENTY of storage, in addition to the closet there is a large armoire that holds the tv and has drawers. I did like that the armoire isn't the same one you find in every hotel. It seemed like an antique your grandma may have, it is made of wood with heavy drawers. The room also has a cedar chest and a nightstand. For dining in your room you will find a small fridge and microwave, a table with two chairs, a balcany with two chairs and a little table, a sofa and plenty of extra space to streach out.
In June the temperature was a high of 85-degrees and a low of 64-degrees. During the day we enjoying relaxing on the beach. (Bring sandals since it is rocky, too. Also bring your own beach toys since none are provided.) The beach seemed clean, every morning we noticed it had been raked clean. There are 21 blue chaise-style beach chairs to relax in. Yes, I did count them for the purpose of this review.
We also swam in the Clarion's pool (it was as cold as the lake!) and hot tub. We didn't see where to get towels but a friendly housekeeper gave us some from her cart. The pool area was empty every time we used it and seemed clean. There is also a fitness area, laundry area and game area in the same building as the pool.
Another swimming option is the Pirates Adventure Waterpark. The Clarion has an agreement with another hotel that its guests may use their waterpark. At check-in you are given wristbands to prove that you are Clarion guests. The Waterpark is not large like the Kalahari Waterpark or the competing Thunder Falls outdoor waterpark. It does have a large Pirates Head that fills with water and dumps out every 15 min or so to a delighted crowd of 5-15 year olds and some adventurous parents. There are also two little slides and three bigger slides for the braver kids and lots of water gadgets so that you can squirt each other. You will find plenty of towels here, another large, mostly unused pool and jacuzzi. A staff member was there the whole time we were (5 hours) and kept busy checking wristbands, mopping floors, cleaning windows and restrooms so we felt pretty good that this was a clean place to let our 6 and 9 year old play.
We also enjoyed the free breakfast. The breakfast room has plenty of light, plenty of seating and is constantly being cleaned. There is a nice variety of eggs, sausage, cereals, bagels, donuts, English muffins, fruit, etc. My personal favorite item was the waffles! You pour the batter in yourself and in 2 minutes have a fresh waffle!
I would recommend the Clarion (Lakeside Rooms) for families. (For honeymooners I would recommend the Island!) Also good for those on a budget, since you can walk next door to the Arnold ferry line and visit the Island for the day!
- Also Known As:
- Clarion Hotel Mackinaw City
- Clarion Mackinaw City
- Mackinaw City Clarion
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