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Review of Thunder Bay Resort

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Thunder Bay Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hillman
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 10, 2012

What a wonderful place, service with a smile..rooms were great, very neat and clean..I even took advantage of the whirlpool tub in our room, very relaxing. We really enjoyed the carriage ride in the woods to see the Elk and the dinner at the cabin..great food. I would really love to go there again. Melanie, Jack (her dad) and the rest of the staff were very nice, and helpful.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank TeaCookie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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158 - 164 of 190 reviews

Reviewed June 7, 2012

I was very excited about this visit and left feeling confused and disappointed. As mentioned by other reviewers, the rooms are terribly dated, although they are spacious and ours was clean - however it was in a dark corner with a trash bin and housekeeping supply closet as our view out the front window. Our back window did look out over lovely golf green and a little pond. It was adequate.

The property is beautiful, 600+ acres of woods and river, 18 holes of golf, and RV camp.

This is a family owned business and it appears everyone in the family works the resort. Kind of nice. We were greeted and loaded onto a horse drawn carriage for a guided trek through the impressive woods to see the elk. Our guide told a lot of jokes but really didn't impart much information about the resort or the elk at all. When asked questions, he gave vague one or two word answers and told more jokes. We stopped once and slowed once to look at the elk and then were rushed on to dinner. I feel like the elk viewing should have been a highlight, but it was more like "oh there are the elk"...I was bummed.

We arrived at a very pretty lodge nestled in the woods and entered to find ballroom tables set for our gourmet dinner and wine tasting. I'm a foodie, so take this with a grain of salt. We were served shrimp cocktail and a "apple pear crepe", which was really phyllo dough with pie-like filling. I would have expected a crepe with brie and perhaps compote...at any rate the phyllo dough was very hard and we were unable to cut it, so we mostly picked it up and ate with our hands. Next was homemade chicken noodle soup - very, very good - but not gourmet and at odds with our appetizer. The Napa sweet salad was yummy, we call it Chinese cole slaw at home. They added dried cherries in place of raisins. It is a very tasty dish - in fact I make it often for picnics and pitchins - but gourmet? No way. The entree was a roast crow pork, which was proudly displayed by the staff. The dark meat was tasty, the loin was dry and tough and therefore no one at our table completed their meal. Dessert was a yummy little white chocolate mousse, which I think everyone enjoyed. All in all...a tasty pitchin style meal not deserving "gourmet" advertising. I think they would be better served to tout the meal as home cooked or family style, keep the soup and salad and serve meatloaf or something comparable. The service staff were nice and polite, but really had no formal "gourmet" meal service training (serve and remove from the right, water in beer pilsners, etc.)

And the wine...oh dear. Terrible representation of Michigan wines, syrupy sweet and served in shot glasses. Terrible.

As other reviewers have mentioned, we were then regaled with stories from the Mrs. of the ownership team. Amusing, but it was getting late at that point. Then, we received the dreaded sales pitch of "Velvet", the aforementioned antler product. Eewwe. It felt like they took advantage of having a captive audience to force their marketing agenda on us. By then, I was over the whole experience.

Breakfast the next day was adequate. Most everyone else staying at the resort were men. Some of my traveling companions enjoyed the folksi-ness of this resort, but I'd not recommend it to anyone unless they are sportsmen looking for a golf getaway.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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5  Thank blazn7s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2012

Had a wonderful time! The accomodations were great! Everything was neat and clean. The food was excellent. The staff was very friendly and helpful. It made you feel like you were a part of their family. The murder/mystery was fantastic! We had a great experience. Will definitely go again!

Room Tip: Rooms on the golf course side have a better view.
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Deb M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ThunderBayResort, Guest Relations Manager at Thunder Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded March 29, 2012

Murder Mysteries are a blast, never a dull moment during these weekends! Thanks for coming.

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Reviewed March 26, 2012

I've been organizing a golf group of 12 to 15 golfers for over 20 years and I'm so glad we found Thunder Bay. We use to go to a different resort each year but when we went to Thunder Bay we knew we were at home. Melanie and her staff are 2nd to none and this is coming from someone that has gone to Garland, Lakewood Shores, Mcguires, etc.. We have stayed in the villas, suites and a couple of my golfers stay in the RV park. If you are looking to play an elite, scenic golf course then Thunder Bay is not for you but just see how you do because nobody in my group has ever mastered that course. It is plenty tough enough. Compare pricing and you will find that Thunder Bay and there golf packages are the best value around. All the years we have been coming up to Thunder Bay and I can't think of one negative except one year the hot tub (Thunder Bay Staff can't control) broke down which for a bunch of middle aged golfers with sore muscles it was missed.
See everybody in August but I'm sure I'll be coming uo before then.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with friends
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4  Thank dave h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2012

We made a weekend trip to Thunder Bay Resort. I picked it for the wine tasting and knew my husband would love the Elk portion of it!! Let just say it was one of the best weekends ever!!! (I have traveled extensively throughout US, Europe and many other placesand this was one of my favorite trips) The staff is very attentive. One example is our waitress by 2nd day breakfast had my diet soda waiting for us, now that is service!!! The elk viewing, wine tasting and wonderful dinner is something I would recommend to everyone, young and old!! We were there when there wasn't any snow and no golfing, but it was still fantastic. The food at the clubhouse was great, the many course dinner with the elk viewing was the best food I have ever ate!! What you get for the money is top notch!

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Cheryl A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ThunderBayResort, Guest Relations Manager at Thunder Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded March 29, 2012

Thank you for stopping by to leave a comment and super happy to hear you had a great weekend!

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Reviewed March 5, 2012

Saw the Pure Michigan feature; it sounded magical and lived up to its billing. Accomadations were really spacious and comfortable, the grill food excellent. Spent the weekend snowshoeing and exploring; the setting is beautiful and peaceful, the staff wonderfully friendly and accomadating. Breakfast was included and was ample and very tasty. The elk-viewing carriage ride was marvelous; the guide a great raconteur, the elk themselves wonderful to see and photograph. The gourmet meal was just that, punctuated with some wonderfully entertaining storytelling from the owners. And the cabin setting was lovely. Thoroughly enjoyed our dinner companions and the evening. There is a brief talk about the benefits of using elk antlers as medicine, but it's low key. We plan to return; looking forward to seeing this beautiful property in the fall.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank 841gailg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2012

We enjoyed our stay. Outdated yes, but clean cozy, a roof over our heads, and affordable. Our enjoyment came with the horse drawn sleigh ride (on wheels, not sleigh runners due to a lack of snow) during the night through the woods, cold it was, but blankets were provided for our comfort. We visited the elk refuge, seen a few elk and were given an opertunity to snap a few pictures, and was given a small lecture on the elk (enjoyable). we then carried on to a cabin in the woods, more less a larger dining cabin where a nicely cooked dinner with wine was awaiting us to a sit down dinner. The cabin is adorned as a museum type atmosphere with whoulder mounts on the walls, and other animal skulls and trinkets around. The only thing we thought was out of taste, was the promotion of far fetched antler dust that promotes pregnancy as was documented by the owners own daughters. Of course this was for sale as an elk antler was passed around the people in attendance at this gala event by the owner of the resort. Other then this, our stay was tastefully done. We enjoyed a two night stay, with live country music (requests for music taken, they were great) a bar on the grounds with food available. The package included (buffett style breakfast, nicely presented) for 2 days. During the day, we went ice fishing on very nearby Fletchers Floodwaters one afternoon, then the next day, went to see the Straights of Macinaw, quite a drive in the winter, but nicely pleasent. I am a pilot, so we stoped in at the Hillman airport, and enjoyed some chat with the airport manager. They also sell Venison in the supermarket in Hillman. Devout Catholics, we went to worship only a couple miles from the resort. Also visited the winery close by, about 20 miles or so. Would we go back to Thunder Bay Resort, but of course. Just loose the $ales pitch of captured audience to $ell antler dust to it's guests. A great market outlet for their push on elk antlers as an aphrodesiak needs to be exported.

Room Tip: Opt out of sales pitches. One goes on vacations not to be victimized to captured audiences .
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank viper4664
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Thunder Bay Resort

Address: 27800 M 32 W, Hillman, MI 49746-8674
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Michigan > Hillman
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hillman
Price Range: $69 - $275 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Thunder Bay Resort 2.5*
Number of rooms: 34
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Resting on over 400 acres of Northern Michigan's stunning landscape, Thunder Bay Resort is the perfect retreat for your weekend escape! Complete with a state-of-the-art, Full-Service RV park, Deluxe Lodging poised on our pristine 18-hole golf course and a 160 acre Elk preserve, Thunder Bay Resort is truly a destination for all seasons. Enjoy the outdoors? Then take advantage of the amenities hosted by Thunder Bay Resort including snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, biking, hiking, horseshoes, and the Resort's award-winning, signature Elk Viewing Carriage Ride, Gourmet Dinner & Wine Tasting Event! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Thunder Bay Hotel Hillman
Thunder Bay Resort Michigan/Hillman

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