We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“AMAZING GET AWAY”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 4 more sites!
Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Utica
illinois
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“AMAZING GET AWAY”
Reviewed October 21, 2012

We had the BEST weekend @ Grizzly Jack's this past weekend!!!! Already planning our next visit!!!! The cabin was so big, so clean and so so BEAUTIFUL!!!! We have traveled all around the country, out of the country and on cruises and our cabin @ Grizzly Jack's was and is around the top of the list on how nice it was. The pizzas yummy, the amusement park was soooo fun for every one of us from 50 to 9 months~~~~~~there were 9 of us in our family ~~~~the white chocolate carmal cappicinno was to die for, The teens LOVED the zipline and rope walk, the shuttle came around so often we joked that if we would have had to call them 5 of them would have probably came, the cave arcade had soooo many games for even the toddlers it was GREAT. The pool was big and clean but the chlorine was not ever powering like alot of indoor resorts WOW I just cant think of everything we did, but I do know we do not have one complaint.......well ok just one....wish our weekend could have lasted longer!!! It was one of the best weekend getaways our family of LOTS of different ages could enjoy!!!! Definitely will be a return guest, I am so lucky it is only 3 hours away LOL We will probably be on first name basis with the employees. Oh and the front desk people.......sooooooo friendly and so so helpful, even suggesting things for us that we didn't even know we wanted hahahahaha LOVED THIS PLACE!!

Room Tip: the Cabins are so big and sooo beautiful, if you want cozy quarters but VERY spacious book a cabin...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank setirc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

1,794 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    410
    506
    357
    233
    288
See reviews for
1,378
43
8
17
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (331)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed October 21, 2012

We actually live in the area and thank god it was a 10 min drive home to grab bleach and other cleaning supplies for our overpriced villa! Mold growing in a bathroom! The master balcony wood actually rotting away! The place was filthy! Not to mention the black stuff coming from the master suite bathtub jets! The pool is so cold the kids lips were purple! Every dish we used in our villa had to be washed prior to using to get the dry food off! The pool chlorine in the air is unbearable! Also good thing we were close to home to grab band aids and peroxide for my foot where I stepped on carpet nails sticking out because the carpet is coming up! Never ever ever again! Waste of money! I feel I should be reimbursed for the 2 hours spent sanitizing the place and all the damn bleach I used!

  • Stayed October 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Amci70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Utica hotels

Illinois City, Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2012

We went here last year (3 hr drive) and trip was okay, so decided to give it another try. Living in the midwest, you're limited on recreation during colder months, so decided to take kids swimming & to ride rides for our 4 yr old's bday. Big mistake. Soooo many things wrong this time it is unbelievable. This place is going downhill FAST! I'm just going to list our biggest complaints/issues to save time.
1) The water in the park was FREEZING! We were told it was 82 degrees. Not even close! We stayed on a Thursday to take advantage of a special room rate, but were told only the main pool area was open until 4pm because they had to wait for the lifeguards to "get out of school". No waves, slides, lazy river, for the whole day! Plus, they make you get out for safety checks or something and stand around until you're dry again. The lifeguards just stand around and chit chat, so I don't know what the purpose of that is.
2) The lifeguards and the majority of the staff are kids. Some were nice, some very rude and acted like they'd rather be anywhere else. They don't know much about anything. The rules are inconsistent too. My 4 yr old had rode the tilt-a-whirl 3 times and the 4th time they said she was too short. What??
3) The ride selection is pitiful. They have 3 rides for teens/adults and 2 rides for very small kids. The rest of the junk in there is an additional cost and they use arcade games to fill up space. It didn't look like this the last time we were there. You have to wait for everything, even though there may have been 15 patrons max in there, because they don't staff all the rides. Sometimes we had to go search someone out to let us on a ride.
4) The "restaurant" is in the amusement park. It's basically a bunch of picnic benches in a big open space. It's dark and loud. The 1st night they offered a pizza buffet (no ordering off the menu allowed), which sounded okay, until we found out it was the exact same thing the next night! We had to leave the "resort" and drive to the next town to find a McDonalds! The restaurant is your ONLY food choice for lunch and dinner. You pretty much have to eat what they offer, which is VERY limited, rent a villa or cabin and cook your own food, or leave the property, which is out in the country, so you're going to drive a bit to get anywhere.
5) Our advertised special included a "free" breakfast buffet. We were given a $25 gift card for this. The next morning when we went to the buffet, the girl rang it up and said we had $5 left on the card. She then proceeded to tell us drinks could not be purchased with the gift card. We had to pay cash when our "gift card" still had $$ on it! What?? I asked what could I use the gift card for? She said, "I guess you can come back tomorrow morning and use it for the buffet." Hmm.. thanks. The buffet was completely empty when we arrived and we had to wait for the same girl to fill it because she was running the counter too.
6) The beds and pillows were horribly uncomfortabe! They are either old as can be or the cheapest money can buy...or both. I think I slept 3 hrs the first night. We also had 2 washcloths in our room for a reservation of 5 people.
7) The least expensive lodge rooms are around $200 and up per night and you get old tube TVs, no coffee maker, no clothesline for all your wet swimsuits, uncomfotable beds, and very minimal amenities. The room was dark and we had to go down to the desk to get a lightbulb for the lamp. My 4 yr old brought me a huge wooden stick and when I asked where she got it, she showed me it was in the sliding glass door. I realize this is not an uncommon practice, however, I was a little upset when I found out that there was NO LOCK on the entire door and the stick was the only "security" after having already slept overnight in the room!
8) Don't hurry to the story time in the lobby. It's right in the middle of the common area and near the front door and front desk. It's up so high, you'll get a kink in your neck staring up at it and the audio is horrible. You can barely hear it or understand a word they are saying.
Of course, my 4 yr old didn't notice all these things, but she's not the one paying for it either.Thank goodness for Starved Rock State Park and some other sightseeing, so this trip wasn't a complete bust. I'm done here. I'd rather drive the extra mile to Chicago, The Dells, or just about anywhere else!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank christine v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GBRCustomerService, Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this review, November 12, 2012
Our team at Grizzly Jack's strives to serve our guests to complete satisfaction. We highly value your feedback and appreciate you taking the time to bring these issues to our attention. Responses like this help us to continue to improve. We hope you'll accept our deepest apologies as we regret your disappointment with your experience here. We would be most grateful if we could better understand your experience wile you were here and would like to renew your impression of our resort. Please contact us at bsullivan@grandbearlodge.com.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bartlett IL
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 15, 2012

I was very concerned after booking due to the mixed reviews...but overall it was a great time! We had 4 adults and 3 kids in a vacation villa, very spacious and rustic. No issues with the villa, just wish we had stayed another night. There is a $20 fee per person in addition to the room fee, but I knew that ahead of time so wasn't surprised. Just something to read in the fine print if you missed it.

The water park was great for our kids, ages 5 - 8, adults enjoyed the lazy river. The chlorine level was high but that is standard for most water parks. The arcade and adventure park were perfect for them with all the games, tickets, rides. The food was fine, thought pizza was very good and wings were great.

All in all, we were very happy with our stay and plan to go again! Check Groupon too, they have some good deals available from time to time which includes a specific number of guest and the $20 per person additional fee.

The resort offers a shuttle service via a bus or train from the villas to the main building which is the location of the water park, which was fun for the kids. The wait was a bit long once, but the train wasn't running due to rain so I figured they were only able to shuttle with the bus.

Thanks for a nice stay for my son's birthday!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sher1434
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oak Lawn, Illinois
1 review
Reviewed October 7, 2012

Best weekend we have had in a long time. Excellent service, had an issue with the heat in our villa. Front desk had someone out within 5 minutes, and we were in a new villa within 10 minutes. Best service. Great waterpark, great great great location. Our family travels frequently and we have never had such a good time. Everything was clean, and comfortable. We will be making another trip there soon.

Room Tip: Rent a Villa, They are well worth it, and will provide you peace and quiet.f
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Richard D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rockford, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 21, 2012

Space was wonderful. Kitchen exceeded expectations. Had great cookware and plenty of utensils. In DIRE need of upgrade for TVs and WIFI. The furniture looks good but is not the most comfortable. Water park is for very little ones. Don't expect a "Dells" experience. The bar and resturant was in the giant arcade/amusement park building, therefore, very noisy. If you have kids under 10 they will have a blast. Starved Rock state park is right across the street.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BHenbest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GBRCustomerService, Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this review, October 1, 2012
Thank you for choosing Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort! We appreciate you taking the time to let us know about your stay. We would not be able to improve upon our services otherwise. We do hope you visit us again! Have a GRAND day!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Streator, Illinois, United States
1 review
Reviewed September 19, 2012

We rented a vacation villa to go to a wine tasting festival right down the road but was very disappointed that even though they have a shuttle, they offered no service to the festival like other places in the area.
The villa was clean and have tons of space but I thought it was overpriced. We found out they charged you per person, I wouldn't want a villa that sleeps 8 all to myself, common sense says you booked it because you intended to have more then one person in it.
I would have like to see some picnic tables to enjoy the outside but I did not see any by our villa.
The water park had WAY to much chlorine to really enjoy the hot tub or anything. The amusement park looked like it would be fun but we didn't try anything in it.
It was nice that they had a train so you could get to the main lodge and not walk if you didn't want to.
Next year we will probably stay at a place that offers shuttle to the wine festival.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nancy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Utica
0.9 mi away
Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center
3.7 mi away
Days Inn Oglesby/ Starved Rock
3.8 mi away
Best Western Oglesby Inn
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
6.9 mi away
La Quinta Inn Peru Starved Rock State Park
7.1 mi away
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Peru
6.9 mi away
Fairfield Inn & Suites Peru
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz and Priceline so you can book your Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Grizzly Jack`s Grand Bear Hotel Utica
Grizzly Jacks Grand Bear Resort
Grizzly Jacks Grand Bear Hotel

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing