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“Nice relaxing long weekend!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Madden's on Gull Lake

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Madden's on Gull Lake
11266 Pine Beach Peninsula, Brainerd, MN 56401   |  
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53rd Best in the World!
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Brainerd
Minneapolis
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Nice relaxing long weekend!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2012

We stayed in a two bedroom cabin for three nights in July. We thought there was a queen bed in each bedroom but, only one had a queen, the other had two twin beds. Not very comfortable when you are used to a King size but, we managed. The cabin was cute and had a great view. It was close to walk to the restaurants and lagoon. We will go again but, hopefully be able to get a cabin with two queens and a dock would be prime!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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177 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    116
    45
    6
    5
    5
See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (62)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Berkeley, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2012

Our family travels extensively and has vacationed at various locations across North America, and we have never had a more enjoyable trip than our recent stay at Maddens. The location, quality and helpfulness of the staff, the daily roster of activities were all exceptional. Our children - ages 4 and 7 - have never been happier bouncing from one exciting activity to the next: swimming, water skiing, boating, birdhouse building (the "kids only" Adventure Cove is excellent), croquet, shuffle board. We felt safe and secure knowing that they were in good hands while we headed off biking, golfing, going to the spa. We truly hated to leave, and will be back. One last note - the guys that work the Water Ski School (Logan, Alex and others) are truly incredible and are the best instructors (entertainers?) of children that we have ever seen, bar none.

  • Stayed July 2012, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
david.pattison@chrobinson.com
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2012 via mobile

Stayed in one of the 2br cottages along the lake. Nice views and easy walk to everything. Food in the lodge was excellent. Can't go wrong with the walleye! All the service we received throughout the resort was very good to excellent. Need to give a particular shout out to Logan in the waterski school. He was a really good teacher and motivater for a 7 year old, and even got a 4 year old up on skis. We also played golf on the East course. Found it to be in nice shape.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Minnesota
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2012

We had a very disappointing experience at Madden's, which is a lake resort. We traveled with another couple and had booked two rooms close to each other. When we arrived at the resort we went to our rooms only to find that they were on top of a hill built above the swimming pool. So, straight out from our patio was a black tar roof that stretched out quite far and took up most of the view. This left us with a very small patio with an extremely hot black roof to look at, not to mention extremely loud air conditioners to listen to as we sat outside and visited with the other couple. When you go on vacation in MN in the summer, you want to be able to sit outside and enjoy yourself while you can as we have very long winters. That is why you go to lake places. So it was disappointing to say the least and surprising that a resort like that would even have rooms with this view. When we asked management if we could move to a room that was not on a large black tar roof, they said "no". Really. Was it because there were no others available? "No". In fact, they were operating at well below 50% capacity and had plenty of open rooms. When I asked why, they said it was because we got a great deal and that is the room you have to have for the package you booked. When we told them they never explained what the room was like when we made the reservation, management wasn't concerned. It never occurred to me that you would go to a lake resort in MN and be placed in a room with a large roof to stare at outside, especially for what we paid. If that had been explained, we never would have booked it in the first place. Anyways, we just really wanted to make our stay nice since we had already made the drive after several hours, so we asked if we could pay to upgrade to a new room. "No, not with the package you booked." It was just like we could not win with the management. And, by the way, this was going on for a couple of hours, while they discussed the situation. So we were losing precious vacation time. They were so concerned with sticking to their guns on the room they lost sight of making sure their customers were happy. This is not the kind of place I would like to spend a vacation. It might have been "a deal" in their eyes, but not in the eyes of their guests who were treated poorly and stuck with very disappointing accommodations after quite a long drive. We travel a lot and I can think of many other places that care a great deal about the experience their customers have and those are the places I will return to in the future. Not Madden's. From my experience, they do not value their customers. They value being right.

Room Tip: Be sure to ask for details about the room you will be getting before you book, and for pictures. The...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
caralanz, Manager at Madden's on Gull Lake, responded to this review, July 19, 2012
Thank you for sharing your review of Madden's on Gull Lake. Madden's offers a wide variety of accommodations including the Strawberry Ridge units you have described in your review. These rooms have been very popular with our guests, as they are some of the only rooms where we offer our Companion Stays Free package. The Companion Stays Free package includes lodging, breakfasts, dinners, golf on Pine Beach East, Pine Beach West and Social 9, recreation at Tennis & Croquet Club and use of non-motorized watercraft for $189 per couple per night. We regret that you felt you were treated poorly and that you were disappointed with your accommodations. This is never our intention, as our guests' satisfaction is our number one priority.
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Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2012 via mobile

Way over priced. We stayed in the Pine West rooms and were the cheapest but they were the furthest away from everything. We had a great time but the rooms are way over priced for what you get.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
caralanz, Manager at Madden's on Gull Lake, responded to this review, July 19, 2012
Thank you for your review of Madden's on Gull Lake. You are correct, our Pine Beach West units are our most economical units as they are located approximately 1 mile from the center of the resort. Due to their location, we have priced them starting at $99/night, depending on the time of year. We have a variety of room types and packages to choose from on the main resort, including a Companion Stays Free package that includes lodging, breakfasts, dinners, golf on Pine Beach East, Pine Beach West and Social 9, Tennis & Croquet Club and non-motorized watercraft for just $189 per night per couple. We are thrilled that you had a great time and are sorry that you did not find the room to be a value. We look forward to seeing you at Madden's again.
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Philadelphia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2012

My best friend and I visited Madden's this week for a quick girlfriend getaway - and, while quick, it was our best mini-break in ages! We took the pontoon ride, went horseback riding, tried out the spa, and took a water skiing lesson. All of the activities were great, as were the room, the food, and the service. In short, no way to describe how lovely and relaxing this place is. Thanks, Madden's!

Room Tip: We enjoyed the rooms near the lodge along the beach.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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.
Saint Peter, Minnesota
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2012

My husband and I needed to get away for a few days after nearly a month without a day off. We reviewed many websites and the panaramic view of the Wilson Bay "cabins" had us intrigued. We have just gotten home from our stay at Wilson Bay....what a mis-representation the website gave us! The "room" is smaller than our bedroom at home. There is a wood fireplace in the "room", but if you were to light it, you would be cooked out of the small room.
We dined once at the restaurant, but chose not to spend over $70 for another "average" meal during our stay.
We chose to go to the Pub one evening and left because of the most annoying waitress I've ever met. When we went to pay our tab she said "Where are you going!?!" There is a fine line between hospitality and stalking! It was karaoke night and the young man running the karaoke was very meek and didn't know the first thing about running the system.
We did enjoy our time around the pool at the main lodge. The first day, the service was absolutely impeccable! The second day, however, we seemed to be invisible...we couldn't get a server to notice us and had to keep going inside to order drinks directly from the bartender.
With the economy the way it is for everyone...you realize that three nights at a resort is an extreme luxury...we really just feel guilty for having wasted our money at Maddens.
There are some great qualities at the resort, but not enough to send us back.

Room Tip: stay away from Wilson Bay! Althought they offer this as a special, $159/night is far over-priced fo...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
caralanz, Manager at Madden's on Gull Lake, responded to this review, July 20, 2012
Thank you for sharing your review. We regret that your experience with your accommodations was not what you were looking for. Although only one of our Wilson Bay cabins is on the virtual tour on our website, each of the cabins is configured a bit differently and some are larger than others. Our Wilson Bay cabins are some of our most popular units, as they are stand-alone cabins and are steps away from the Wilson Bay beach with amazing sunset views. The fireplaces typically don't get much use in the summer, but our guests enjoy them in the spring and fall.

We offer a wide variety of dining options from pizza to fine dining and try to satisfy all palates and budgets. We wish your dining experience had been exceptional. Our staff are extremely committed to providing our guests with a great experience and some are more outgoing than others. We would never intend to annoy or ignore you and apologize if you felt that way.

We value that you chose to spend your vacation time and dollars with us.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Madden's on Gull Lake

Address: 11266 Pine Beach Peninsula, Brainerd, MN 56401
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Minnesota > Brainerd
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Brainerd
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 287
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 
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Also Known As:
Maddens Resort On Gull Lake Hotel Brainerd
Maddens Hotel Brainerd

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