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“A Rare Place” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Madden's on Gull Lake

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Madden's on Gull Lake
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   11266 Pine Beach Peninsula, Brainerd, MN 56401   |  
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Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Brainerd
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Madison
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“A Rare Place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2013

Just returned from a conference at Madden's. Everything was superb, and I was treated royally Especially since I am somewhat handicapped and limited in mobility, I found the understanding service staff a wonderful assist throughout my stay.

  • Stayed May 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cara L, Manager at Madden's on Gull Lake, responded to this review, May 20, 2013
Thank you for visiting Madden's and for sharing your review!

You are so kind to share your experience of the service you received. We love taking care of our guests and appreciate your kind remarks very much.

Thank you, again. We hope to see you at Madden's again soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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177 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    116
    45
    6
    5
    5
See reviews for
66
40
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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
St.Paul, Minnesota
Top Contributor
523 reviews 523 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 103 cities Reviews in 103 cities
282 helpful votes 282 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

After more than 200 reviews all over the world, I'd recommend avoiding Maddens unless you like "hospitality" people who are way too impressed with themselves. I've had numerous negative experiences at Maddens. Here are 3 recent ones

Called 10 days before I was to make a presentation in early May at a small conference. Only room available was $180. That's just for the room. No apology, no perhaps you could come another time.
So I booked a room at Crossings 12 minutes way which had a nice FREE breakfast, nice swimming pool and nice room. MUCH better than paying $180 at Maddens.

When I arrived,, it being a lovely spring evening, I stopped at the Madden's Classic to play a twilight 9 holes. No, there were closed for maintenance. Again, no "sorry, the course isn't available but we hope you will stop by again." No suggestion to check another of their courses. Just - no "this course is closed for maintenance."

So I drove 5 minutes to Craguns where they welcome me, gladly allowed me to play one of their (award-winning) courses. Had a very nice twilight round.

Next morning went to Maddens for the conference. Walked into the conference center - looked for a map of the rooms. No map. Walked around but found no one to help (quality conference centers have such people - I've seen them all over the country).

Turns out that the room where I am speaking is not in the conference center. Would it be a good idea to have a map in the "conference center" showing where other conference rooms are? Yup, that would be a good idea

I have lived in Minnesota more than 40 years. I've spoken at several conferences held at Maddens. There are much better places for conferences.

We checked out staying there a few times as a family. It's overpriced. It's snooty. It does have some good golf but I'd check carefully to see if you could save money by staying elsewhere and playing golf there (if you really want to play gold there - Grand View Lodge golf is considerably better, if you are looking for the best in golf)

For families, Craguns is much friendlier. So is Ruttgers.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 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.
Cara L, Manager at Madden's on Gull Lake, responded to this review, May 9, 2013
Thank you for sharing your experience. We are a family-owned resort that has been in business for 84 years and is now entering its third generation. We appreciate your feedback very much.

We regret that our lowest-priced rooms were no longer available when you called days in advance of the conference. It is difficult to compare our resort to a hotel in town, as the amenities that we offer include spa, golf courses, restaurants, lake views, multiple swimming pools, fitness center, business center, etc.

The Classic is Minnesota’s only 5-Star Top 100 golf course, so maintaining the course so that it is always in perfect condition is important to us. This sometimes requires us to close the course, which we schedule during times when it is least disruptive to our guests. You are right, we should have offered other options, as Pine Beach East and Pine Beach West were available, and we apologize that we did not do that. Our staff has taken your comments to heart.

All of our guests who stay on the property receive a map at check-in so that they can easily navigate around the property during their stay. Please know that next time you visit, the folks at our front desk are always an excellent resource when trying to find a specific area of the resort.

We would love to see you and your family at Madden’s, as we do offer some very economical options. For instance this Memorial Day Weekend, we are offering a package for just $121 per person per night including all meals, golf, recreation, kids program- and kids stay free. You can always check out our Special Offers on our website for the best deals available, as well.

Thank you, again.
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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Top Contributor
108 reviews 108 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

What can i say. We keep coming back to Madden's every year with our golf group. this will make our 8th year in a row. With all the golf and golf resorts in the Brainerd Lakes area to choice from we keep coming back to this classic resort. the reason is the service, food, lodging and of course the golf. the number one reason is the set up of the lodging. we always get the golf villa's ( 1st floor) over lokking the 9th green on the east golf course. the rooms are GREAT with the outside patios. after golf my group all meet for beers and cocktails on our private patio and watch the other golfers coming up the 9th hole. it's great !! the other thing that makes this the perfect place is the dining room is just a few steps away. We always do the package that includes 2 night lodging, 2 breakfasts, 2 dinners, unlimited golf on the east and west course and 2 outstanding rounds on the famous CLASSIC !!
The set up at Madde's can't be beat for the price. !! WE LOVE IT !!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cara L, Manager at Madden's on Gull Lake, responded to this review, April 30, 2013
Thank you for sharing your review of Madden's on Gull Lake!

We are honored that you have chosen us for your annual golf get-away and glad that you have enjoyed your experiences with us in the past. We plan to open The Classic this Friday, May 3rd, so we'll be all ready for your group!

Thanks, we look forward to seeing you again!
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Willmar, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

I stayed at Maddens for a conference during a late spring snowstorm. Their service and staff were excellent. Anything we needed they provided. The roads and sidewalks were kept plowed and cleaned even very late at night. They even cleaned off my car. The room at Wilson Bay was clean and large with a small patio. Too bad the view of the lake was obscured by fog and snow. My only negative is the distance from the lodging units to the restaurant and conference center. It was more pronounced due to the inclement weather and necessitated driving to different locations on the resort.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cara L, Manager at Madden's on Gull Lake, responded to this review, April 30, 2013
Thank you for sharing your review of Madden's on Gull Lake!

We appreciate your positive remarks about your experience and for our staff. I will be sure to let them all know.

Thank you, again. We hope you'll visit us again soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MINNESOTA
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

I had the privilege of staying at Maddens for a business conference. The area received about 10 inches of snow in the two days I was there, so I didn't get a chance to experience the resort activities or ambiance that would be available in a typical Spring/Summer visit. But they did a great job of accommodating our large group. The facilities were comfortable for the sessions during the day. The rooms were spacious and well appointed with typical amenities, coffee, refrigerator, etc. The food was tasty. We had breakfast buffet in the dining room both mornings, which was excellent. The staff were attentive throughout the week and went out of their way to even brush the snow off our cars in the parking lot after our last session. The property is quite spread out, so one needs to be aware of that if there are mobility issues.

Room Tip: There are several room/housing choices. Be sure to review all on their website or call them before...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cara L, Manager at Madden's on Gull Lake, responded to this review, April 30, 2013
Thank you for sharing your review of your stay at Madden's on Gull Lake!

We're thrilled that you enjoyed your time with us. The snow storm threw an interesting twist our way and your kind words for our staff have been shared with them all- thank you!

Now that the snow has melted, we hope you'll visit us again when the golf courses are green, the water is blue and the flowers are in full bloom!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
minnesota
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

Beautiful setting with nearly every summer activity available that you can imagine. Water skiing, fishing, boating, pontoon, kayak, shuffleboard, croquet, swimming, and I would say GOLF as their main attraction. Great beach, too.

Be aware that there is a large variety of accommodations--from cabins to lodge rooms to townhouses and some look nicer than others. A big property and some areas have seen better days but it's kept up well overall. We stayed in a lodge room which was quite small and overlooked the golf course--quaint, old, nice enough.

We popped into the Irish Pub hoping for Irish music but got live country western. The dinner quality was good--not out of this world--in the main lodge. But their breakfasts and brunch were delicious.

While there for two nights, we golfed, got massages at the spa, walked around the property and just relaxed by the water.

This place is mostly popular for corporate events and it helps to be on the company dime because everything (except the golf rates) is expensive and really adds up.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, Minnesota
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2012

The time spent at Maddens was so perfect in every way. Each employee took an interest in us and visited about us and themselves, used excellent manners, met every request...including needing Super Glue to repair a golf shoe...and were very friendly and acted like they loved their job. Perfect weather helped us experience beautiful fall color, a full moon reflecting over the lake, to enjoy trails, boating, and 3 fantastic rounds of golf. The courses were in absolutely perfect shape and so friendly for a visitor with excellent signage. The food was delicious and with great presentation. What a spot! So relaxing lived up to and exceeded expectations.

Room Tip: The Lodge rooms are convenient for meals but the steps can be a problem. Some refreshing needed. T...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
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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): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Madden's on Gull Lake 3*
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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