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“Never again”

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Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Utica
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Never again”
Reviewed February 21, 2013

Reserved a suite for our wedding night . Fireplace did not work , the water in the room for the jacuzzi bathtub and shower was brownish yellow and stunk like the river . Bathroom was cleaned but had a box of tissues with 1 tissue left in it and half a roll of toilet paper . The best thing I can say about them is they gave us a complete refund when we decided to leave an hour after checking in . Don't waste your money or time here

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Charmed_guy1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grizzly_Jacks_Resort, Guest Relations Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this review, March 3, 2013
Dear Charmed_guy1984,
We greatly appreciate your feedback and extend our deepest apologies. We strive to create the most hospitable setting in an effort to produce a safe and comfortable facility for you and your guest to enjoy. You definitely deserved a clean and well-maintained room, ready for your use. We have forwarded your concerns to our Houskeeping team and we are in the process of evaluating our operations for future updates and enhancements. Once again, we greatly regret and inconveniences we have caused you and look foward to seeing you in the future. Please feel free to contact our General Manager, Brett Sullivan, at bsullivan@grizzlyjacksresort.com, with any further questions or concerns you may have.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (331)
Date | Rating
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English first
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 20, 2013

Allow me to set the scene a bit...
If you have never been, the resort is set up as if they began with a hotel with a small indoor waterpark, decided to build vacation villas, and then added an additional building for a small, indoor amusement park, not necessarily in that order. All three areas mentioned are in separate locations on the property; all broken up. You can see all three sections, and can walk to each with ease, but still separate. Some of the villas that I spoke of are toward the rear of the property and would be a bit further walk. We were there in the winter, so the walk from place to place was a chilly one, but that was our fault because the park does offer a shuttle from each area to the next. We just never felt like waiting because it is all, really, very close. It appears that they have a shuttle "train" that they run in the summer months, like at most zoos that I have been. Also by looking at the property map, there must be an outdoor playground of some sort as well but again it was February so we weren't looking to take advantage of that. So in a nut shell, draw a picture in your head, and thats what the layout looks like.
My expectations of Grizzly Jacks were not very high. I review Tripadvisor prior to booking most all of my travel and have found the reviews there to be overall accurate. I have to say, on the particular weekend we stayed, the other 3 resorts we had tried to book were all sold out. We had promised to get the kids away for the weekend so we booked Grizzly Jacks. At check in we were told that they had overbooked, Ugh!!! We requested (when I say "we" here, I should really say "my wife") requested an upgrade for our stay and was granted just that. What a beautiful unit they gave us for the two nights we were staying. It was one of the vacation type villas, two stories, fully furnished kitchen, two bedrooms, two bathroom, whirlpool tub in the master, two fireplaces...We loved it!! So much more than we expected. The hotel staff even called the villa phone soon after we arrived to make sure we were comfortable in our accommodations. What a great start to our visit. If I had to gripe about something in regards to the villa, it would be to say that the television reception is terrible. No cable or satellite, and no DVD, at least in the villa we were in. But, we don't let the kids watch TV while we are away anyhow so that was not an issue for us.
On to the facilities...
The amusement part section of the resort has a few rides, ie tilt-a-whirl, giant drop type ride, several bounce houses, and of course the dreaded redemption game area. lol. (I laugh because my wife says I spend more money there than the kids do... and I do... So what... don't judge me!! lol.) My girls are three and eleven, they both found plenty to do and seemed to have a great time. There is a bar and restaurant in the same area which was convenient. Now, I read some review that said the food and service was sub-par. They are right. But it was edible, hot and although our server seemed very frazzled at times, she was very nice. The all you can eat salad bar was very small and the place closed at 10pm. When our food came out late, the manager personally apologized and seemed sincere. This wasn't a trip for my wife and I, where I have certain expectations, it was a family outing and the girls were fed, hydrated and had a great time.
I have similar thoughts about the indoor water park. It is small, nothing over the top, but got the job done. The girls swam, met some new friends and slept well that night. Yes, there were kids in the "adults only" hot tub, but if that is not something you are prepared to live with, you have the wrong idea in your head for this visit. My gripe here is the chlorine. Lots of it. So much so that it bothered my wife's eyes and my daughters throat. I had no problem and my three year old seemed to be fine as well. Just be aware. There is another game redemption area across from the water park. "Every time I get out, they suck me back in!!"
Near the reception desk is a small convenient type shop. Yep, stuffs expensive. Supply and demand here folks. If you forgot it, or didn't even think to bring it, you will have to pay for it. But you have been warned.
Overall the place got a four from me. We had a great time. Staff and facilities exceeded my expectations. Food could have been better, they could resolve the chlorine issue in the water park, but really we were together, had fun, and relaxed.

Room Tip: Stay in the Villas, I will when we return.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Brew0607
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grizzly_Jacks_Resort, Guest Relations Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this review, March 3, 2013
Dear Brew0607,
We are very extatic to hear all of the wonderful comments, and to know that you and your family had an amazing stay. We look forward to seeing you in your future stays at Grizzly Jacks Resort. Be sure to like us on our Facebook Page to get a chance to participate in some of our specials we will be running.

Sincerly,

Grizzly Jacks Resort
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Oak Lawn, IL
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed February 19, 2013

I have been to Grand Bear Lodge about twenty times since it opened. Unfortunately, the standard of service has declined steadily while the price has continued to rise. I'll admit, the waterpark is fun for young families. My 11 year old still enjoys it, and it is perfect for my toddler as well. When traveling to a destination like this, it is all about the kids which is why I still return to this property. I also want to mention that I have never had an issue with cleanliness at the resort, at least not in the rooms. Unfortunately, that is where my praise ends. Avoid the food all together, everything in both the amusement park as well as the snack shop is not only terrible, (think frozen and microwaved) it is delivered in the rudest manner imaginable. The service end of the resort is staffed almost entirely of local teenagers who it appears lack any sense of direction or standard of behavior. Much better off dining at one of the local places in downtown Utica. Also, make sure you are not forgetting to bring anything with you; the small convienence shop's prices are comparable to downtown Chicago. The condition of the outside of the property is in decline as well, it is a shame that the nickel and diming GBL is famous for isn't being used to maintain the resort and train the staff.

Room Tip: Stay away from the lower level rooms, they hear waterpark/arcade noise quite late!
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Jodi S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grizzly_Jacks_Resort, Guest Relations Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this review, March 3, 2013
We are very sorry your family was not satisfied with your stay. Every guest that stays at our property should receive the highest level of service that we can provide. I would like to further investigate your stay, and help resolve the situation. In an effort to do so, can you please email me with more detailed information during your stay? PLease include the name registered to the room and the confirmation number. I may be reached at bsullivan@grizzlyjacksresort.com.

Thank You for Your Feedback,
Grizzly Jacks Resort
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Chicago, Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed February 18, 2013

We just returned from a one night stay at Grizzly Jacks and sadly the reviews are true. I think the idea of this place was a good one, however, they need to start over. The water park is great to have on site but it needs some serious updating. Way too much chlorine and water was freezing. Food and coffee at the snack shop was ok...nothing special - same for the food in the amusement park. Many instances in the amusement park where some of the games and rides were shut down or not working. Also, found a small bug crawling on my blanket and our car got robbed in the parking lot. Obviously, some hoodlum kid but nonetheless I would have preferred to keep my I-pod, expensive sunglasses, change, CD's and car registration. Thanks Grizzly Jacks, but no thanks....we won't be returning. I knew I should have believed the reviews on here but my husband wanted to check it out anyhow...lesson learned. We did try out the Cajun Connection restaurant in town and it was awesome so at least there was one bonus on this weekend trip.

Room Tip: Choose another place.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank ericablondegirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grizzly_Jacks_Resort, Guest Relations Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this review, March 3, 2013
While we have had some failures during your staay, please be assured they are being addresses so that you and future guests can enjoy a Grand expierence. OUr ultimate goal is for all of our guests to have a Grand time so that they will want to return in the future. Since we have not accomplished this during your stay, please contact me at bsullivan@grizzlyjacksresort.com. Thank you for your feedback.

Sincerly,
Grizzly Jack's Resort
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Travelers are raving about these Utica hotels

Winnebago
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 18, 2013

We stayed in a villa, it was nice, clean and spacious! The amusement park was great, no waiting and it had something for everyone. The indoor water park was also nice, not crowded and fun but they could of turned up the heat a little. My kids were freezing, turns out they had a window open to clear out the chlorine. It was tok cold for us, including the water. But everything else was truly great!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank crystal M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grizzly_Jacks_Resort, Guest Relations Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this review, March 3, 2013
Dear Crystal M,
We are greatful for your feedback, and we look foward to seeing you in the future. As for the waterpark we have made note of the situation and have notified the Waterpark staff of your concerns. Be sure to like us on facebook to participate in some of our super savings in the future.

Sincerly,
Grizzly Jack's Resort
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bridgeview, Illinois, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 18, 2013

I am the Father of 3 kids ages 8, 7 and 4 from The Chicagoland area and every winter after our kids second grading period I tell them that we will go to Grizzly Jacks's if they all get good grades. They always do and Their Mother and I always take them to see the eagles and to enjoy a short stay at your resort. As a matter of fact, some years ago while I was dating their Mother. The two of us actually walked the land where you guys are now built. A year later we gave birth to our first son and we always joke saying that God must have put this place here just for us and our young family. It has become a bit of a family tradition and always seems to bring us back to a centering of what is really most important in this life. Our Faith, Our Love and Our Family. God Bless ~ Pastor Scott

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Scott B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grizzly_Jacks_Resort, Guest Relations Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this review, March 3, 2013
Dear Scott B,
We are very pleased that you and your family have been having a wonderful time at Grizzly Jacks. We strive to make Grizzly Jack's a memorable expirence for all ages. Thank you so much for making Grizzly Jack's a family memory.

Sincerly,
Grizzly Jacks Resort
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 17, 2013

We stayed at the resort over Valentine's day weekend. It was a great place to visit. My teenage girls had a blast at the amusement park and arcade. My three year old loved the pool. The water was so warm and it wasn't crowded. The food at the hotel was outstanding. We ate at the restaurant all three days and there was alot on the menu to choose from. I will definitely go back there.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank hooie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grizzly_Jacks_Resort, Guest Relations Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this review, March 3, 2013
Dear Hooie,
We greatly appreciate your comments and reviews. We are very proud that we could make your Valentines Day weekend a successand we hope to see you in the near future. Be sure to like us on Facebook to participate in some of our summer saving specials.

Sincerly,
Grizzly Jack's Resort
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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