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“Beautiful location - poor customer service” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Giant City Lodge

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Giant City Lodge
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Indianapolis, Indiana
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Beautiful location - poor customer service”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014

My family and I planned an overnight stay to meet with our friends, who live in Illinois (we are from Indiana). When we found this place online, we realized they didn't have online reservations, so called and were told we had to mail a check. Right away we knew that was fishy...who doesn't take a credit card over the phone?? The man on the phone told us we would be given adjoining cabins if we told him our names; we reserved the mid-grade level cabins. My friend mailed a note with her check just to be sure we would be together. However when we arrived (they got there a little ahead of us), the man at the desk pulled out a book - no computers here apparently - and told them there was no reservation in their names, and no availability. My friend's husband offered to show him the canceled check on his phone, and thus ensued an argument, wherein the manager offered to take out his gun and shoot himself if that would make them feel better!!!!!! What?!! He then tried to make them "feel guilty" by suggesting that if he bumped another customer out of a cabin for them, then someone else would be disappointed. That was the worst of our experience, but it took some doing to convince the man that my friends they should have their cabin. The manager then tried to act like he was giving them the room complimentary, as though they had not paid for it. Obviously these people have no accounting, and no customer service skills. I recommend you double and triple check your reservations. We had a few other incidents, they do sell ice at the desk, but there is an ice machine near the pool I think. They just don't have any signage to let you know, you have to ask. So, we ended up finding that out too late. Everyone says the food is good, but we are vegetarians and they don't offer anything on the menu that is veg-friendly. As far as the cabins, they were clean and what I would expect for a park cabin, no complaints. I don't worry about things like TV's when I'm in a park, that's not what I'm there for. The trails are great and the kids loved climbing the water tower and swimming in the pool. Although, the pool is not ADA compliant. My friend's husband works in that field - he is going to make sure they will be soon :). I work for state parks in Indiana, and I can tell you our lodges are 200% better!

Room Tip: The mid grade cabins were nice for a family, with a pull down bed in the living area. The cabins are...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Busymom2268
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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93 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
40 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2014

This is not a review of the restaurant, which is excellent in every way.
This is a review of the overnight lodging in the small "Historic Cabins".
It had 2 very short double beds. If you're more than 5'5" tall your feet will hang off the end..
If you like to read at night & have less than perfect vision, forget it. The cabin has 2 lamps with 40w bulbs & heavy shades. Reading at night in the main building is not an option as it was closed & doors locked from 8:30 p.m. til 8 a.m.
The HVAC has a too powerful fan & one outlet that blows directly on one of the beds, which freezes & wakes anyone in that bed several times each night in warm weather.
If you like a morning cup of coffee or tea before 8 a.m., forget it or bring your own pot, filters & coffee or tea. There is no coffee maker in the cabin, and the main building & restaurant do not open till 8 a.m..
Ice machine for guests was out of order, so no ice available when restaurant was closed 8:30 p.m. to 8 a.m.
Antiquated analog TV and 4 local TV stations.
No wi-fi in the cabin. Wi-fi is reportedly available in the main building which is closed from 8:30 p.m. to 8 a.m. No business center so bring your own computer.
There is a nice swimming pool, but no accommodation to hang wet suits and towels to dry anywhere in or out of the cabin.
It's not clear to me if & how it's possible to summon help in a night time emergency without a working cell phone. There's no staff on the grounds from 8:30 p.m to 8 a.m. There is a sign on the main building listing emergency phone numbers, but the pay phone has been removed. Perhaps the antiquated phone in the cabin has 911 capability...not sure about that.
If you can tolerate the above, the historic main building, restaurant & scenic surroundings are spectacular.
If you can't tolerate the above, I see on their website that there are larger cabins with more amenities. These were not known to us as we were on a pre-arranged group trip. Therefore, I also cannot give a rating on Value

Room Tip: If you have trouble carrying luggage, beware of long walk from parking areas to some cabins. No bel...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank J R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clayton, Missouri
Level Contributor
3 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2014

We did not stay overnight but did eat at the Sunday evening family style fried chicken dinner. It is all you can eat and is wonderful! We have been there many times. The lodge looks nice. The cabins look basic but nice. The park is wonderful.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Dtthackrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Illinois
Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2014

We stayed at Giant City Lodge while visiting the area to do some canoeing with friends. The lodge is historical in nature having been built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1936 (I believe). The lodge is made of native sandstone and oak timbers. It is absolutely beautiful! The connecting Bald Knob dining room is very large. If you meet a group there, make sure you order the family style chicken with the works. Your only regret will be that you don't have a bigger stomach. Hubby and I stayed in a smaller cabin with 2 double beds. It was much nicer than I anticipated. The room (and park) was dead quiet at night, the mattress was comfortable, but the pillows were hard (okay, 2 out of 3 isn't bad).
If we are EVER in the southern part of Illinois again to stay and play, we will stay at the GCL!

Room Tip: I agree with other comments. This is not the place to sit in your room and watch TV--the TV is old...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank NosyTrekker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia,IL
Level Contributor
568 reviews
90 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 150 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2014

Some people come to this area thinking the cabins are like Cedar Lodge in Mo. This is a state park and they do offer a very nice experince at an affordable cost. The cabins are not size, clean and well keep. If you come here for TV, your in the wrong place -- please get outside and enjoy this wonderful park.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rollinsthomas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2014

We got off on the wrong foot with this lodge last year when we had to cancel a reservation two months ahead of the date when my husband lost his job. The manager gave us a bit of grief, but made good on a full refund. My advice is, first, if you make a reservation, make sure you understand they will ding you $25 if you cancel for any reason. Second, understand that this huge property requires income to survive —the $25 policy is probably not the best way, but I understand their concerns.

That said, we stopped in last week to see if we'd add it to our list of favorite CCC properties. Here's what we found:

The manager is eager to be of service, maybe a little bit shy, but a nice man. He let us visit a small cabin and we found it to be like a budget hotel room, but clean, and it looked comfortable. Pere Marquette and Starved Rock have somewhat newer accoutrements. We probably will stay here at some point, though. It's quiet and pretty during the week.

The lodge itself is very attractive, cozy, and clean. Well taken care of. The dining room is huge, and very pretty. The food smelled great.

There's lots to do in Giant City, and the park is one of the most impressive in our state. If you dont need five star accomodations, I'd advise you to give this lodge a try. It's nothing special in the way of the room, but the scenery, the rustic calm, quiet, and the natural beauty are worth the visit. The historic lodges will not always be around for us to enjoy.

Room Tip: Though the small cabins are cheaper, I'm told the larger ones are nicer, with a living room and...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Maryan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Farmington, Missouri
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2014

My husband and I wanted to stay in the cabins for our 10th anniversary. We had trouble from the start. The screen door on cabin #8 stuck so badly that we thought we were locked out, twice. He turned the knob and pulled on the door with both hands before it finally opened. Not many people would even care if their TV worked, but after we had a large steak meal on our anniversary, we just wanted to relax and watch a little TV. Ours was an old analog set with a converter box. We were able to get 1 channel. I wanted to call the front desk, but couldn't find a notation for the front desk on the phone. The gentleman at the desk told me, the next morning, that I should've called or walked down to the main lodge and he would've fixed it. "I should've just spent the night with you" was his reply when I told him I couldn't get the TV to work properly and couldn't find the number for the front desk. We had a choice of basketball or going to sleep at 9 pm on our anniversary. Even though I dislike basketball, I was willing to watch it for awhile just to let my food digest. My husband wanted to go to sleep rather than watch basketball, so I turned off the overhead light, which also killed the power to the converter box, so all I had on TV was static/snow. Needless to say, we won't be staying at Giant City again. However, we did have the chicken for lunch on the day of our arrival and it was fantastic. Our waitress was great. We had breakfast in the lodge the next morning and it was just as good. We'll be back to eat at the Lodge, but not to stay in the cabins.

Room Tip: If I ever run into problems like this again, I WILL go to the front desk and ask for some satisfacti...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jma64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Giant City Lodge

Property: Giant City Lodge
Address: 460 Giant City Lodge Rd, Makanda, IL 62958-3218
Location: United States > Illinois > Makanda
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Makanda
Number of rooms: 34
Also Known As:
Giant City Hotel Makanda

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