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“Beautiful property, snobby staff”
Review of Grand Hotel

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Grand Hotel
Ranked #5 of 12 Hotels in Mackinac Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 20, 2008

This was my second stay at the historic Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. The good stuff... beautiful surroundings, clean rooms and great proximity to the highlights of the island. Unfortunately, I continue to go there with high hopes and am somewhat dissapointed. First of all, the dining room service, while it has improved in the last four years, it's nothing special. The food is marginal at best, which is really surprising. The beautiful dining room and formal dress code wet your appetite for a special dining experience, but it is clearly not. If the dining room were it's own restaurant, I don't know why anyone would go there. We were there for three consecutive nights and they served the same rice as a side dish every night. They throw raw onions into everything which is just not a sign of culinary excellence (however this is just personal taste).
My biggest complaint is the concierge service. Being a concierge must be an easy job when you sit there and don't make any creative suggestions. They were consistently unapproachable with their rude "what do you want" vibe. They should really take a look at their staff and realize they are ambassadors for the hotel.

I'm torn because it's such a beautiful property and it's a pleasure to stay there. If only they didn't keep screwing it up!

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank veer27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,538 - 2,544 of 2,671 reviews

Reviewed June 6, 2008

We celebrated our first wedding anniversary at Grand Hotel in 2001, so we were excited to return for a weekend on the Opening Weekend special rate (we paid $75.00 per person per night, including breakfast and dinner!).

As usual, we found that Mackinac Island is a magical place. The sound of horses hooves, the historic buildings and the neverending waterfront are an charming and relaxing combination.

Although we loved this trip and our stay at Grand Hotel, we did find that some of the details we enjoyed in 2001 were no longer offered. In 2001, we received a turndown service nightly where mints saying "sweet dreams" were left on each pillow. Not this time. In 2001, we were offered complimentary Grand Hotel fudge following every meal. Not this time. In 2001, a "hotel newspaper" and listing of the next day's events was left under our door each night. Not this time. In 2001, you could choose to eat at any Grand Hotel restaurant on the island, and it would be at no charge (included in your rate). This time, there was a $20.00 per person maximum for this benefit.

Still a beautiful place, still unique, still charming, still romantic, still grand. But the removal of those small details is noticeable. We got a great deal, so we have no regrets. Not sure if I would pay full price at summer rates. I might stay at another place on the island, and just pay the visitor fee to use the magnificent pool during the day.

We still LOVE Grand Hotel and Mackinac!!!

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Barrie_Girl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2008

We have stayed at the Grand Hotel over the past 10 years and never experienced this bad of service. Even had planned to stay there in July, but are now booking other plans. It started with receiving our luggage in two different groupings an hour apart. Then went to the Jockey Club for lunch to endure a 40 minute wait. Ok, so they were busy..but went to the Gate House to see if that would be different and waited 30 minutes..walked downtown to which we were served within 15 minutes including snacks at one of the local restaurants. The next morning closed the deal when it took 40 minutes to get coffee and order taken in the grand dining room. We have stayed at 3-5 Star Hotels around the world, but never came across this bad of service even if their staffing was down. I've been a great fan of the Grand and my family has grown up going there, but after this last experience it has lost our confidence in ability to service our basic needs.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled on business
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10  Thank nicolelonghini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2008

I just love the Grand Hotel in every way, this was my second trip.
We lucked out and had great weather so we were able to explore the town, ride the horse drawn carriages and have a back scene
tour of the Grand's kitchen, which is unbelievable and huge.
I loved the food, our room was nicely decorated, the beds are a little uncomfortable but that can be over-looked, we were near an
elevator, the staff was curtious and pleasant. We had a high tea
which was great and we just loved our stay. We also liked the
band that played at night so we could dance and watch the others in our group dance.

  • Stayed: May 2008
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Thank Diazie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2008

We stayed at the Grand Hotel for the spring opening weekend as they run a special rate which is very inexpensive relative to their high season rates. I had never been to Mackinaw so I did not know what to expect. I think the grounds of the hotel were amazing. It is beautiful and I can imagine how it would be in the summer with flowers in full bloom. The rooms however are completely dated.....I know they probably want to keep the rooms in the spirit of the time the hotel was built, but the decor looked like it was from the 60's or early 70's. The bathroom was not updated at all either. I know that in the summer the rates are very pricey for this property and there is no way it is worth that kind of money in my opinion. Since we only paid $150 per night including breakfast and dinner with their opening weekend special rate, it was fine. As far as the service - it was opening weekend and they just were not prepared for anything. The spa was OK but not very prepared. The dining room staff seemed overwhelmed and running all over. They were not that attentive because they looked too busy. The food was average, not great. The breakfast buffet was lacking...no pancakes or waffles (that normally wouldn't matter to me, but I had my 21 month old son with me and he loves both). The babysitting service was nice as we had a kind woman sit for us for the two nights during dinner. She was great with the kids and we did come back to the room and check in unannounced and all was well. If you do travel with kids, be aware that getting food there all the time is difficult. Room service was only available until 6pm and there was no other restaurant on site open in the late afternoon. This was an issue for us as we wanted to feed the kids before we had a late dinner in the dining room while they were with the baby sitter. There are not many snacks available for purchase at the hotel either, so bring your own for kids. Overall, we had a nice weekend there. I just personally would not pay the high season rate for this hotel as the rooms were lacking and the food was not great. I would stay in town and select a hotel that was more cost effective where meals were not included so you can dine around town more. Don't get me wrong, I am comfortable staying at more expensive properties and have done that around the world, I just don't think this particular hotel would be worth the high season rate.

Stayed: May 2008
4  Thank mgfit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2008

As MSU alums, my husband and I visit the Grand Hotel every year for the Arts and Letters Weekend co-sponsored by Michigan State University. It features wonderful music, arts, and lectures presented by university staff and students - in the most beautiful setting in the country.
I don't think anything can beat standing on that lovely porch and looking out over Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, and the Straits of Mackinac. And the hotel is just as spectacular, exquisite rooms, delicious food, and the sense that you are living in a different, calmer time. It's the perfect respite for modern life.

  • Stayed: June 2007
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1  Thank MichiganHomeBody
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2008

First of all"Grand" is correct,not "The Grand". I have stayed there 5 times. Once with my husband. The other 4 visits were for Winsome Women. Three of these visits were in early Spring when the island was not yet open. One stay for Winsome Women was when it was Autumn and the colors were breathtaking. I live in northern Michigan to begin with. I have lived on Marthas Vineyard as well. And nothing compares to our Island and Grand Hotel. Staying there is as close to feeling like the Princess,which at one time or another, all of us women have wanted to be. Dressing in the evening was so much fun. High tea? Well Cinderella ,move over. Kind of like the Prom with out the date and you are older. The wait staff was truly amazing. Though I found it a bit demeaning to applaud them.
If they had not been from Jamaica , would they have still been applauded? I have stayed in 5 colorful rooms,all with different views. I have viewed smoke stacks, roofs of other homes,the harbor and the water, which is breathtaking. But no matter the view,walking that magically, long hall way to the door of your beautiful room, reminds you where you are. To sit in a rocker on the longest porch in the world, is just calming. People going down the staircase to the lawn just to walk,or head to the exercise room,or the beach. All of it is one of "feeling special". The staff is amazing. The only problem I had during my last visit,I had since become disabled,and getting to and from some of the rooms for lectures or just to go down the steps of the porch to the steps down to the lawn, I was not able to do. Though disabled or not,when the horses stop pulling your cab,and as the driver takes your hand to help you down, you will walk into the lower level to register and your journey will begin. You will be, "Somewhere In Time. I love Grand Hotel. I would highly recommend it for everyone. One word of advice. Wear stretchy waist attire after eating!!!

Stayed: May 2004
3  Thank islandgal-too
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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: $366 - $910 (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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