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“"Memorable Anniversary Get Away Weekend"”
Review of Thunder Bay Resort

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Thunder Bay Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hillman
Certificate of Excellence
Caro, Michigan, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“"Memorable Anniversary Get Away Weekend"”
Reviewed February 1, 2013

We were looking for something different to do for our anniversary and friends told us of the fun they had a few weeks earlier. So we decided to try it for ourselves. We arrived early on a very cold (16*) snowy Sunday to be greeted by a friendly receptionist who wished us a happy anniversary and proceeded to let us know the details of our weekend. We booked a suite which was very large, warm and cozy. We warmed up in front of the fireplace in our sitting room before we headed over to the clubhouse for the carriage ride. It was an awesome experience to see the elk up close and to have Jack tell us about the story of how they came to raise them & the care it takes. The ride ended at their lovely cabin in the woods. We got to warm up before the beautiful fireplace & have our picture taken. The dinner Jan prepared was wonderful & she put effort into making sure everyone at our table enjoyed it in spite of allergies. The wine was very good & the decor like a western movie. Jan told us about their family & the cabin, making it an interesting & personal touch. We returned to our suite for a very comfortable night's sleep. The following morning, we had a nice breakfast in the clubhouse. We would like to thank Jack & Jan & their friendly, courteous staff for a unique anniversary experience.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank ChrisAllen719
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JackMatthiasTBResort, Owner at Thunder Bay Resort, responded to this review, February 4, 2013
Thanks for the nice review - we are glad that you had a good time. It is a great way to cellebrate an anniversary or any occassion with family and friends! We look forward to a return visit and appreaciate anything you do to help spread the word with friends and associates.
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184 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Spring, Texas
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2013

We booked our weekend with friends so we opted for the Villa. It was plenty big enough and roomy for the four of us (could of had a few more for the size of room). The mattresses do need to be updated as they were very hard and old. The shower head could be updated too. We did the wine tasting sleigh/carriage ride. There wasn't enough snow for the sleigh so we went by carriage (which was fun) into the woods to view the Elk. We did get a better rate due to Pure Michigan offer. The dinner was very good and plentyful. We dined with some very nice poeple too. I would recommend this trip and look forward to coming back for a golf outing. We really enjoyed ourselves.
Very friendly staff!! Great food, wine and gift shop.
I didn't like the talk about the Elk Antler tablets, that should have been another time...maybe breakfast!

Room Tip: View their website. Call they are very helpful.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank hartsgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
229 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed January 21, 2013

Our family had a reunion here to try something a little different, and we had the best time. The accomodations, staff, and overall experience was above fabulous. The Elk/Sleigh ride event was breathtaking and the dinner following was superb. I recommend this resort highly for anyone who wants a beautiful and relaxing experience along with excellant staff.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Cheritaylor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Lansing, Michigan
Level 6 Contributor
249 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2013

Milady and I spent New Years' Eve here. We had a bit of a hunt locating it at first; a sign on the highway would have helped a bit. Attitudes and service of all personnel here, were top notch. All workers were serving in multiple tasks. This occurs only when both management and workers are performing as an integrated team. That, and the geniality of all workers, is a positive indication of a strong organization.

The 11 course meal accomplishes a subtle effect. We were told ahead that there would be more than we would be able to eat. True. The subtle effect is that no one in the crowd became obnoxious or belligerent. Food kept us all mellow while we drank, and celebrated, all evening.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Realkayakjack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Detroit, Michigan
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2013

We went to Thunder Bay Resort for their New Year's Eve celebration with a sleigh ride to view elk and to have a dinner in a private cabin in the woods. We went with other couples & had a great time! The lodging was clean, nice accomodations for up north, very friendly service. The breakfast included each morning was a simple buffet in the golf club house -- nothing fancy, but a good start to the day. The sleigh ride to the cabin was very nice, but I was a bit surprised to learn the elk were in a fenced in area (thankfully on lots of acreage). The cabin was beautiful! The NYE dinner had 11 courses! Yes, 11. We were so full, we felt uncomfortable -- too full. We were disappointed to learn the prime rib entree we selected in advance turned out to be what they called "beef tips" ... but what I'd call shredded beef in stew/gravy. (I personally would have preferred a six course meal & have them spend their time/effort/money on offering steak/prime rib). Other than the disapointing "beef" switcheroo -- we had a very nice time. The entertainment was top-notch, Mike Ridley. Their local wine left a lot to be desired, so we were glad they offered other beverages.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank WanderGirl70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JackMatthiasTBResort, Owner at Thunder Bay Resort, responded to this review, January 4, 2013
Sorry that there was a misunderstanding, and it is very nice to get a 4 circle review in spite of that. I asked our staff to go back and check - neither the confirmation letter or the schedule given the guest at checkin said prime rib. We do say the beef tips are made from "prime beef." We use prime beef tenderloins (filet mignon) for the beef tips - served in a wine sause with mushrooms. It is very tender meat and some of it does shred during the cooking-serving process. We have done Prime-rib on occassion for private parties like a wedding reception instead of the "Crown Roast of Pork" which we normally feature. The Prime Rib is wonderful from wood cook stoves - but we do not have enough wood stove capacity to do both at the same time - so we would not be offering them at the same time. There are 5 entre choices on New Year's Eve - the others are Chicken, Pasta and White fish. 11 courses is a lot of food - more then many people can eat comfortably - even spread over 4 hours and we only do that three times a year - the Mike Ridley Weekends - New Years Eve, Superbowl and St Patty's Day. Beer, wine, mixed drinks and lots of food - New Years Eve is a night when some folks like to pull out all the stops and indulge in a little excess. The normal Elk Vieiwng Dinner is 5 courses. Our Anchor Creek Elk Preserve is large -160 acres - most of it densely wooded. The Elk Viewing event was started 21 years ago and for the first 7 years we did do this in the wild with the wild Elk herd. It is no longer viable to do this with the wild herd. Our Elk are not "tame" but they are enclosed. We don't handle them like livestock, but we can usually get fairly close to them. Amazingly we could usually get within 60 to 75 feet of the totally wild Elk during our first 7 years. Many of our guests are not serious wine drinkers and they tend to favor some of the sweeter fruit wines, but there are several dry and semi-dry offerings as well. There is a much wider variety of wines offered during our "Wine Lover's Weekends" in the spring and the fall - from five of the wineries on the "Sunrise Side Wine and Hops Trail." Again - sorry for the misunderstanding and thanks for the review.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheboygan, Michigan
Level 5 Contributor
88 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2012

We booked the elk viewing restaurant trip without lodging, as we have a retirement cabin an hour from Hillman (in Cheboygan). We booked for four, and one in our party had to cancel at the last minute due to a death in the family, and did not make the trip. We never even asked for a refund, since we did not inform staff until we arrived, as we were trying to find another person to take the spot. The reservation clearly states a two week window for cancellations, and we were well past that. Yet the front desk immediately called to cancel one dinner and took a full credit off our bill. We couldn't believe it. We are retirees, and have always wanted to go on this excursion, but have very tight budgets. Yet the experience was outstanding. The ride to the cabin for the dinner was great. Then the dinner, wine tasting and ambience was superb. The decor of the restaurant cabin in the woods was awesome. Jack was a great storyteller of the history and care of the elk, and Jan was a fabulous storyteller of history and family. It was relaxing, and the trip through the elk range was just fabulous. We were all taken aback by the close up encounters with the elk, and the horse ride was terrific. This experience lasted four hours, and every minute was well worth it. What a terrific value for what you get, a full meal, great hosts, great service, and a great trip. If you want a unique experience that you will remember forever, this is it! If you listen, you will learn a great deal about elk, about how the operation evolved, and fascinating information. On top of this being educational and fulfilling both from a unique natural encounter and with a lavish course meal to boot, everything is paced well, and the food is all cooked homemade on wood stoves. Unbelievable. The wines and cherry coffee, gift shop (including the rest rooms) just give you so much to experience. What a treat. This is a must and we will be returning a lot. We are now thinking of just how many of our dear friends we can invite to join us. Jack and Jan are unforgettable hosts.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank soub7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JackMatthiasTBResort, Owner at Thunder Bay Resort, responded to this review, January 4, 2013
WOW - what a nice review. We do ask for advance reservations for this event as it affects food ordering, preparation, staffing and how many teams of horses we need. You can often call in shortly before hand and we can add you if we have space, etc. Normally we do have a two week cancellation policy. But a death or a serious injury/illness is beyond the customer's control and the rest of the party did come and honor their commitment. So we didn't want to add to that pain by keeping someone's hard earned money. Thanks for the great review!
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Keego Harbor, Michigan
Level 4 Contributor
46 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed December 28, 2012

This was a really nice outing. We had a wonderful dinner and saw many magnificent elk. They offer you warm blankets and we were never cold during the ride at all even though the temp's were quite low. The cabin for dinner is very cozy with a warm and inviting fireplace. Very enjoyable experience well put together. Do it : )

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Piratesmile
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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