I recently stayed at Madden's for one evening for a work event. I was looking forward to this, as my husband's family owned a home on Gull Lake for many years and we frequentlybalatad past Madden's and I had been curious about this resort. I arrived late on a Sunday afternoon in anticipation of a conference on Monday morning. I was assigned a room in the voyageur, which had a nice view of the lake,and a lovely outdoor balcony to enjoy the lake view. There was a small refrigerator and sink (wet bar) but no microwave. The rooms seem to have been somewhat recently redone, although keep in mind this is an older resort, so don't expect everything to be new. I thought the room was very nice, the bedding and bed was very comfortable. I also enjoyed the flat screen TV. I was there after Labor Day, so I was aware that this is the off season, and didn't expect to get the full Madden's experience. I wanted to use a hot tub, but it was too confusing to figure out where to go to find one, so this was disappointing. I ate dinner at the restaurant at Madden's Inn, which was a terrible experience. As I was there for a work function, I was alone. I have no problem eating alone and do so regularly when traveling on business. However, it was incredibly uncomfortable to eat there alone. First, the waiter was very strange, asking me several times if I was really alone. It was uncomfortable. I also was not able to really order what I wanted, because their entrees do not come with any sides, and you have to order sides separately. No problem, except each side served three people. So if you are by yourself, you can't order the walleye, and have a veggie or potato with it without spending tons of money for food that will go to waste! I really wish I had picked up something to eat in
Baxter on my way to the resort, but by this point I was hungry and tired and had no choice. I could not get out of there fast enough after eating.
When I checked in at he Lodge, I was told that breakfast would be served there. However when I went there in the morning, there was no breakfast and I was directed back to the Inn. Since i was there, i checked out, although the staff had a terrible time dealing with my bill because of some computer problem and had to run my card multiple times. Finally, I ate at the lobby cafe, and other than being overpriced, it was fine. Since I had already checked out, I gave them my debit card to run. The server was gone for over ten minutes, and then came to my table and whispered loudly that their Internet was down and did I have another form of payment? It was super strange, and other diners would get the idea that my card was rejected, which would have been impossible. So luckily I had enough cash and paid with that. It was very strange. Once again, I had a bad feeling leaving the restaurant.
So overall, the accommodations were ice, but the service was just strange and made me feel uncomfortable being on my own. I stayed at Grandview Lodge for a similar work conference a couple years ago and had a much better experience. If my husband and I are going to ever vacation at Gull Lake we will probably look to stay there instead.
- 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