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“Best family resort”
Review of Grand Hotel

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Grand Hotel
Ranked #5 of 12 Hotels in Mackinac Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 3, 2012

We visit the island at least once a year and have stayed at Grand Hotel several times. We most recently stayed last year for a weekend, but this is a review of the hotel as a family resort from a week-long stay with our kids (then 14, 11, and 4) a few years ago.
Most people asked what in the world we did on the island for a whole week, but honestly we left not having done many of the things on our list. The older kids went to the pool, played games in the parlor (now Sadie’s trophy room), hung in the arcade (complementary tokens given out), and endlessly explored the island on their bikes. Mackinac is a safe place and our only instruction, after arming them with a cell phone, was, “Don’t get on a ferry”. They loved the freedom. Our younger daughter went to the children’s programs for about three hours each day, which included lunch and is complementary…that’s a remarkable amenity! For any families more accustomed to the $50 - $80 daily fees at other resorts, this is a huge savings. Rebecca’s Room is like a giant play room where younger kids can play, draw, read, whatever. We also played bocce and croquet on the lawn, enjoyed pre-dinner cocktails and Cokes on the porch while the kids played giant chess, and ran over to the Jockey Club in pajamas for s’mores at night. There is a special menu for kids at dinner as well as a buffet of favorites like pizza, chicken nuggets, and mac n’ cheese.
There are a lot of adult evening options in the hotel and related restaurants, but we hung out mostly at the Audubon and Cupola when we weren't in town. You’ll see the same servers in different locations throughout the week, and they’ll remember what you drink. The service throughout the hotel is consistently very good and frequently outstanding. One night we mentioned to the sommelier how bummed the kids were that the pretzel bread served at dinner isn’t available at breakfast. The next morning: pretzel bread in our breakfast basket. Service does occasionally lack (ironically, often at the main restaurant, Salle a Manger), but if you have a problem tell someone because our experience is that service recovery is taken seriously. I was not happy with our server at dinner one night and the maitre d’ came by to correct the situation immediately. The food is generally very good but we have had a few disappointing misses, along with a couple of questionable management choices (Lipton tea at breakfast? Really?).
We upgraded to a lake view room, requesting more space over a better view, and got a great dbl/dbl room with a rollaway that had plenty of space for our family. I’ve stayed all over the hotel and I’m certain this was one of the largest rooms that isn’t a suite. We couldn’t have put our whole family comfortably in some of the smaller interior rooms.
A general note about the rooms and the setting: this is an historic hotel and the entire guest experience is designed to reflect that. It creaks, it has exposed fire code pipes, the televisions are grudgingly included, and I'd never decorate my family room like this. But there is something cool about getting a metal key that says Room #8 instead of a plastic card for room 2019. If your expectation of a great vacation setting is the Emirates Palace, this might not be the place for you. I was one who was mildly disappointed when the A/C was installed. We find it elegant but comfortable, where we can relax, sink into the lobby sofas and laugh with the kids without getting the stink eye from some disapproving matron. We don’t let them run through the hallways and there is a dress code to respect, but that’s just common courtesy. Proper dress is required on the main floor, porch, and entertainment areas. The 4-yr-old daughter loved dressing up; the tweenaged son…not so much. Guests wearing jeans or other casual clothes in the evenings can exit/enter the hotel near the salon and take the elevator by Marlee’s gallery to the guest room floors upstairs.
Away from the hotel on the island there are so many things to do besides eat far too much fudge: take horses through the trails up island, hire a carriage to tour the residential areas, fly kites. Some things we weren’t sure about, or thought would be lame, were more fun than we thought. We hadn’t been to the Fort in a few years and ended up staying way longer than expected. The new Manoogian Art Museum is an absolute gem, with a space downstairs where kids can spend a lot of time coloring, drawing, and generally creating whatever they feel like. Highly recommended! Behind the museum, off the park, there is a stairway that leads up to the East Bluff. If you walk it at night tons of bats will fly around you. It gives me the heebiejeebies but the kids think it’s awesome.
If you’re considering where to take your family, Grand Hotel is a super option. Check their website for packages with rooms and you'll find rooms for 2012 from $310/night in the summer, less than many other island hotels. We’ve been to some great family resorts in the US (Wequassett, The Broadmoor, and Sea Island/ The Cloister) but our favorite is Grand Hotel. We’ll be back again this summer

Room Tip: A room with a (small) balcony, even in the back of the hotel, is a nice place to have a glass of win...
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  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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6  Thank lifeisgoodtome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,255 - 2,261 of 2,708 reviews

Reviewed April 22, 2012

Suites are comfortable and charming. Dining room was full service to say the least with delicious food. The Big Band at night was so much fun to dance to. Mackinac Island is one of my favorite places to go and The Grand Hotel is one of my favorite places in the nation to stay.
Really love it!!

Room Tip: The island is lush, but often times if you are in the back, you aren't looking at the island, bu...
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  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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5  Thank VacationJunky4445
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2012

Room was beautiful and so bright and cheery, very spacious with a balcony overlooking the Mackinac Straits/Bridge.
Location is perfect. Food was very good - in the main dining room for breakfast and dinner, afternoon tea, room service breakfast and restaurants (Jockey House and Woods). Pricey but worth it when you consider the location, history, and meals included.

  • Stayed: October 2011
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2  Thank Familyvacationmom5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2012

I stayed at the Grand Hotel in the summer of 2011. I had stopped for a day once in 1988 but had only been on the fabulous porch and in the lobby, and had wanted to go back and spend some time. I went with my sister and we had a charming pink and green room with matching canopy beds and a geranium theme. Really charming and I didn't find the room small, as others have mentioned. Perhaps I have different expectations. We did eat in the dining room in order to have the whole experience. I found the food very mediocre and very overpriced. During the day we went to town but that was good for only one day. I mentioned to the hotel they need more night time activities. They have a bar/disco and showed us a documentary film about winter in Mackinac. I was ready to leave on the third day. I think they need to plan more activities or they are going to die out.

Room Tip: I suggested to the desk they put together a notebook with pictures of the various rooms. Each room...
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  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with friends
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9  Thank sandra99999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GHKellie, Manager at Grand Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded April 17, 2012

Thank you for your review and your suggestions. We do have nightly live music and dancing with Alex Graham and the Grand Hotel Orchestra in the Terrace Room along with a pianist in the Cupola Bar and a nightly movie. We hope you will visit again on your next trip to Mackinac.

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Reviewed April 5, 2012

The experience of a stay at The Grand Hotel should be enjoyed by all. Yes, it is pricey and yes it can be stuffy but it oozes Old World charm. The rooms are small but considerably larger than a hotel in Europe. The rooms are decorated just beautifully.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank janye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GHKellie, Manager at Grand Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2012

Thank you for our review, we are happy to hear that you will be back!

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Reviewed March 25, 2012

We stayed for two nights in late june. The weather on the island was awful, but we had an amazing time!
The hotel has amazing service. We had a room on the first floor. It was lovely, with a lake view, but it was a bit small. The first night, the people above us were making so much noise at four in the morning and the people in the hallway were quite loud. The next morning, we complained to the front desk, and they moved us to a larger, more luxurious room on the fourth floor. It was so quiet and nice! The front desk was very professional and understanding throughout the whole process. The staff in the dining room were also very nice. Whenever we asked them to take something off a certain dish, (allergies), they would.
The food was the only part of the hotel that wasn't amazing. The breakfast was good, eggs, bacon, pancakes, and smoothies, and the lunch buffet was interesting. The dinner was not bad but not great. The appetizers lacked flavor, the salads were decent, and the main courses seemed to be prepared to serve a large amount of people, almost like cruise ship food. The dessert, however, was AMAZING! I had a wonderful chocolate cherry cake that everyone at our table tried the first night and then ordered the second. I'd come back for the cake, certainly. There is also a dress code after 6:30 PM, so it's fun to dress up for dinner.
Like I said, the weather when we visited was terrible, fifty degrees or sixty degrees. However, we still could enjoy the heated pool when it was freezing an drizzling rain out. The pool would certainly be fun in hotter weather.
The decor at the hotel was also cool. It was very old fashioned and there were certainly bold color choices and mismatched rugs. It all fit together in a truly amazing way. Some other reviews complained about vinyl couches, but the furniture totally fit in with the cottage-y old fashioned feel of the place. The lobby also had an interesting array of little shops, including an art gallery, a cafe, and a candy cart. There was also a screening room where you could watch "Somewhere in Time", a movie filmed at the Grand in the 1950s. Interesting touch!
We will definitely be back next summer. We had an amazing time and will probably make plans on the spur-of-the-moment, as we want to enjoy the island when the weather is nice.

Room Tip: If you don't mind not having a view, go for an interior-view room. They are large and spacious!
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  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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5  Thank Kennedyo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GHKellie, Manager at Grand Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2012

Great information provided, thank you for your review. Sorry about the weather, if only we could control such things we would love to! Maybe on your next visit the weather will cooperate better.

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Reviewed March 23, 2012

This is a beautiful piece of history that allows you to come in and look around. As a hotel it is as glamorous as it looks and the food is impeccable. It is one of the finest "old school" resorts in the world.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled solo
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2  Thank James B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GHKellie, Manager at Grand Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2012

While you are here taking a look around, be sure to try the Grand Luncheon Buffet for an experience you will not soon forget.

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Additional Information about Grand Hotel

Address: 286 Grand Avenue, P.O. Box 286, Mackinac Island, MI 49757
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Michigan > Upper Peninsula > Mackinac County > Mackinac Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 12 Hotels in Mackinac Island
Price Range: $375 - $911 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 390
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to America’s Summer Place. Every year since 1887, Grand Hotel has welcomed guests and families to Mackinac Island, where cars are not allowed and bikes and horse drawn carriages are the favored modes of transportation. As Travel + Leisure’s 500 World’s Best Hotels and Conde Nast Traveler's Top 5 Midwest Resorts in 2012, Grand Hotel offers outstanding accommodations where no two guest rooms are alike. Enjoy spectacular views of the Straits of Mackinac in a rocking chair on the world’s largest porch,complimentary children's programs, The Jewel golf course, swimming, tennis, lawn games, gardens, bicycling, carriage tours, shopping, Sadie's Ice Cream Parlor, and an experience you will never forget. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Hotel Mackinaw Island Michigan
Grand Hotel Mackinac Island Michigan
Grand Hotel Island Mackinaw
Grand Mackinac Island

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