A group of us came up here with expectations of relaxation though I think we left more tired than when we arrived from all the activities.
This was all our first time here and made our reservations by phone. We ended up reserving a 2 BR cabin that overlooked the lake (with some trees in the way) and was also connected to the executive course. Each bedroom had one single bed and one double bed. The cabin was clean but is outdated and had an old, musty smell when we first walked in. It went away after we aired it out but looking at all the different lodging options, I would pick something else next time.
Being our first visit, we were surprised by the size of the resort and all the things it had to offer. There's a schedule of activities that they published (some free and some you need to pay extra) from bingo to happy hour cruises to horseback riding. I also highly recommend getting the "recreation family pass". It's a one time $25 fee for the entire stay and includes equipment use for games at the tennis/croquet center (tennis, croquet, lawn bowling, shuffleboard, indoor board games, badminton, volleyball, basketball) and use of their non motorized watercrafts (kayaks, canoes, paddle-boats and paddle bikes) for up to 6 people. They have 3 pools throughout the resort so it doesn't feel over crowded. They also have a bonfire every night and put out a basket for people to make s'mores.
The service was excellent across the board and everyone was super friendly. We even got free shuttle service to their Classic restaurant and barely had to wait.
Situation in the middle of the resort is a few shops including a mini liquor store, coffee shop, convenience store and an ice cream shoppe.
A couple of use drove to the driving range and afterwards decided to drive through a couple other close by resorts. One looked very new with their accommodations looking like townhouses. There was a beach, pool and playground. It was much smaller compared to Madden's but didn't see any rec center. The other resort seemed to be a similar size to Maddens and looked to have similar accommodations. I would say they tailor more to the avid golfer as I didn't see a lot of the extras that Maddens has.
Overall we were very happy with our resort selection and all agreed to come again. We saw prices can be a little on the higher side during their "peak" season so it would be worth it to wait for the first two non-peak weekends that follow.
Recommendations: It would be worth it to bring your bike as there are a bunch of bike trails around and the rental run $30/day.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Large resort with four golf courses, dining, spa, children's activities, tennis, croquet, watersports, miles of lakeshore. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Maddens Resort On Gull Lake Hotel Brainerd
- Maddens Hotel Brainerd