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“A good place to make great memories”

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Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Utica
New Lenox, Illinois
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“A good place to make great memories”
Reviewed November 26, 2011

Grizzly Jack's has a lot going for it, the first thing being its location. It is just about an hour from the southern Chicago suburbs, and is still a pretty easy trip the farther north you are. With kids especially, that's a time frame that avoids a stop at a questionable gas station bathroom, and THAT is worth a lot in itself. The resort is really nice. The water park is not big when compared to places in Wisconsin Dells, but I liked that - I felt like I could actually see and keep track of my children, not lose them easily amongst a vast sea of inner tubes. When compared to the cloudy, red, burning-eye inducing hotel pools of my youth that I prayed for when on road trips with my family, it's an oasis of aquatic magnificence. We thought we were in heaven if the pool had a heater. Seriously though, it's perfect if you have kids ages 4-12. The indoor amusement park is cool too, fun rides, lots of flashing lights and music - most tweens and younger teens would like it I think, plus the little ones too, and the bar/grill there was good. We've stayed in a villa, which was clean, pretty, and big with lots of room for the kids to play and run. Would be perfect if you're planning a multiple-family trip. Plus, a full kitchen allowed for making/bringing your own food, also an asset with kids. It was set back away from the busy resort and felt secluded amongst the trees. Speaking of trees, it's in Utica, which is where the Starved Rock state park is located, (along with some other nice state parks) and this is a place that you must explore. (Although there's plenty to do there, consider not limiting yourself to the resort.) Perfect place to escape the facilities for a bit, to put down the electronic devices for an hour and go for a walk in the woods with your family/friends/by yourself, most times of year. It's absolutely beautiful, but especially explore the areas and canyons that are away from the visitor's center. Just across the street from the lodge, you can drive down, park, and it's a 10-15 minute walk to St. Louis canyon, which has a little waterfall. THAT'S probably one of the most amazing things there - nature-made and it's free! It would also be a great place for a big wedding weekend, if you're looking to do a getaway wedding that all your guests can actually drive too. So, if you've been needing a change of scenery, and been thinking about a trip to this place, give it a shot for sure.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Anne S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GBRCustomerService, Guest Relations Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this review, January 20, 2012
Thank you for choosing Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort! We would like to thank you for taking the time to let us know about your stay. We are very happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and were able to enjoy our beautiful, natural surroundings. Hopefully you will be able to visit us again so check out our website or Facebook for our promotions. Thank you and have a GRAND day!
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (325)
Date | Rating
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English first
Lemont, Illinois
2 reviews
Reviewed November 26, 2011

I am so happy that we finally found a Waterpark/Amusement Park/Cabin that could compete with the Dells. We had a blast and for what you spend...what you get is unbeatable! There are always some that just don't like the water activities and the indoor amusement park answered all of those concerns!!!
All around great trip and great time...I highly recommend it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Room Tip: All good...especially when using the Villa's!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Darren M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GBRCustomerService, Guest Relations Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this review, January 20, 2012
Thank you for choosing Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort! We are very pleased to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us. We do hope that you will come back and visit us soon so stay updated on any promotions that we may have on our website or Facebook. Thank you again and have a GRAND day!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orland Park, Illinois
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 24, 2011

Went to rest up before the rush of the holidays. I am not sure if the kids like the waterpark or the amusement park better. The dads definitely like taking the kids to the amusement park with the sports bar attached. They had some beers and did not miss the precious game. We rented two villas just to give a little separation. We took turns hosting meals, which was great because then there were leftovers all day long. The appetizers at the sports bar were good. The surroundings are beautiful and we hope to return in Feb or March to see the eagles flight at Starved Rock, have heard it is awesome. They did have a train or a bus depending on the weather to get you around the property. I liked walking, everything is right there. We did hop on the train for a sightseeing tour of Grand bear.

Room Tip: The villas, which are not in the main building gave you room to spread out or put the kids down for...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank shar0223
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GBRCustomerService, Guest Relations Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this review, January 20, 2012
We are so glad to hear that you had a wonderful stay and for choosing our resort! It sounds like everyone had a GRAND time and we are very pleased to hear this. We do hope that you will get a chance to visit us again so stay updated on current promotions either on our website or Facebook page. Thank you and have a Grand day!
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Chicago, Illinois, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 20, 2011

We have been to the Grand Bear Resort several times in the past 6 years and have consistanty gone back because it was a nice facility close to home, where we could bring our own food and just enjoy family time:) However, the last two time were quite disappointing. Maintanance in the homes and the water facility have massively declined!

Last time we went the pool was closed one day and absolutely freezing the next!!!! We had several things wrong with the house we were staying at....they gave us a free weekend to come back as compensation....we thought "great"...it is possible that it was just a fluke and things will be back to normal.....

It is very sad to say, we were just there. There were government signs saying the facility is closed because they do not have the proper drain covers! BUT the pool facility was still open...they only closed the whirlpool (called Spa). We also noticed an unusually extreme amount of green, white and black fungus growth on the artificial rocks, rusting metal on the decorations and bridge, the floors of the pool were discolored, peeling and dirty, and slimy water walls. There was black mold on many of the wooden posts. The lockers were FILTHY!!!! The kids were afraid to walk on the floors.

The house we had this time was better than last time...but again there was black mold growing on the wood in the bathrooms. The upstair shower was absolutely disgusting and unusable!

This was very disheartning, as we have been here several times in the past and have not felt uncomfortable. This is a wonderful facility and with a bit of maintanance, paint, and soap could be a great facility again. Starved rock is a huge tourist area and very beautiful...there is so much to see and do no matter what season...It really is such a shame to see a facility that is only 6 year old just rotting away.

Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank AMH1999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GBRCustomerService, Guest Relations Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this review, January 20, 2012
Thank you for choosing Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort! We are very sorry that you had a few problems with your most recent stay. We do value our loyal customers and we would like to continue to have you visit us. If you would like to contact our Assistant General Manager, Brett Sullivan, at bsullivan@grandbearlodge.com he would be more than happy to address the issues that you have brought to our attention. We do hope that you return to see us in the future. Thank you again and have a GRAND day!
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Travelers are raving about these Utica hotels

Morris, Illinois
Level Contributor
115 reviews
73 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed November 19, 2011

After reading some of the review, I was a little concerned about staying the the Grand Bear. The rooms were large, clean and we loved the fireplaces. And I loved how all the condos were beautifully situated in the woods. I was suprised that the walls still had the contractor grade paint, and many of them had scuff marks on them. Overall, it was a good experience.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JulieAp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GBRCustomerService, Guest Relations Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this review, January 20, 2012
Thank you for choosing Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort! We are glad to hear that you chose to judge our resort for yourself. We hope that you can return to visit us soon so make sure to stay updated on our website or Facebook. Thank you again and have a GRAND day!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orland Park, Illinois, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 18, 2011

I had high hopes for my stay at Grizzly Jack's, however I was very disappointed. My family and I stayed in their family deluxe suite which was very nice and was clean. The waterpark was small and disappointing. The air and water temperature were much too cold and I and my girls were freezing. The cleanliness of the waterpark was not the greatest and the snack shop was extremely overpriced and the food was nothing special. The main restaurant that they have on the property is a bar and grill set up, which is fine except that they had some guy up on the make shift roof above the bar singing. It wasn't just bad singing it was extremely loud bad singing. We tried to give our order to the waitress and she couldn't hear us, that's when we got up and left. Another food disaster was at breakfast at the Honey Pot where they serve a breakfast buffet for $6.95 per person. The breakfast was not that good and there wasn't much to pick from, then they took forever replacing items that were gone. Also they make you pay extra for drinks and were charging $2.95 for an orange juice. I've had better spreads at a free breakfast from different hotels. I won't be coming back! Key Lime Cove has a better park and alot warmer.

Room Tip: Family Deluxe Suite is nice.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank Victoria S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GBRCustomerService, Guest Relations Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this review, January 20, 2012
We would like to thank you for choosing Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort and for taking the time to let us know about your stay. We are sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your visit. If you would like to contact our Assistant General Manager, Brett Sullivan, at bsullivan@grandbearlodge.com he would be more than happy to address some of the issues that you mentioned. Thank you and have a GRAND day!
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Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed November 18, 2011

Closer to Chicago than most waterparks, this one is clean, nice and priced well. We loved the FAST lazy river and the whirlpool - the wave pool was also fun. We loved taking hikes at Starved Rock and going to the carnival-style amusement park. The vacation condo was clean and large - great for 2 families. BUT the condos are far from the waterpark, so you HAVE to drive or take the shuttle to the waterpark and we FROZE! Also, the waterpark is kind of small compared to something in the Dells and the hot tub was out of order. The slides are ONLY for kids 48 inches and above and there are only 2 of them. The kid-only areas seemed sort of lacking compared to other bigger resorts.

Room Tip: Take a room in the main hotel so you don't have to drive to the cabins and offsite rooms!
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank leighod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
StephanieCasstevens, Public Relations Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this review, November 19, 2011
Thank you for choosing Grizzly Jack’s Grand Bear Resort and for taking the time to write a review! We truly value your opinion and feedback. We hope to have you back again soon! We encourage you to stay updated on upcoming offers and events by visiting our Facebook page!
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Additional Information about Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort

Property: Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort
Address: 2643 IL 178, Utica, IL 61373
Location: United States > Illinois > Utica
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Utica
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 272
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort offers skin-drenching fun all year long right in the beautiful setting of Starved Rock State Park. Located just 90 minutes from Chicago or the Quad Cities and an hour from Bloomington or Rockford, our 60 wooded acres offer all of nature's wonders. This includes Grand Bear Falls Indoor Waterpark, beautiful lodge accommodations, as well as our 1800 sq. ft. vacation villas and luxurious 2800 sq. ft. cabins. Enjoy a variety of dining options, including wraps, salads, hot sandwiches and made to order pizzas at Jack's Place. During the summer months guests can enjoy a view of nature at our Bear Island Pavilion & Curtis Canyon Deck. Next to Bear Island enjoy our “Castle in the Woods” playground area and test your skills at our 18 hole Canyon Creek Miniature Golf Course. All lodge rooms include a microwave, mini-fridge, hair dryer and wi-fi internet access. Our Vacation Villas are a 2-story townhome with a fully-applianced kitchen (basic pots and pans and place settings are provided), 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Our Log Cabins offer 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a fully-applianced kitchen (basic pots and pans and place settings are provided), 3 fireplace, s and an oversized Great Room. Other resort amenities include the Cave Arcade with over 60 games, the Wave Cafe Snack Shop, the Honey Pot Sweet Shop & Grizzly Bean Gourmet Coffee Shop and the Moose Crossing Convenience Store. Our Grand Bear Conference Center includes over 8000 sq. ft. of meeting space, including 6000 sq. ft. of Grand Ballroom space to accommodate your larger functions such as weddings, family reunions and corporate events. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grizzly Jack`s Grand Bear Hotel Utica
Grizzly Jacks Grand Bear Resort
Grizzly Jacks Grand Bear Hotel

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