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Grand Hotel
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Reviewed June 24, 2008

While it was a great experience to do once, I don't think I could talk my husband into staying there again. The view was beautiful from the room, the food was nice, and the pool and gardens were great. My 5-year old daughter loved dressing for dinner, and they do have a kid-friendly buffet in the main dining room. However, we've had nicer rooms at Motel 6. The beds were sagging, the pillows flat, and the decor was nothing less than hideous- pink and green flowered walpaper with matching curtains. It was a visual overload. They are known for their decor, but it was a little much. The furniture looked like cheap thrift store- definately not antiques. For $375 per person per night, we expected much more.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank 95,678
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 23, 2008

We recently stayed at the Grand Hotel to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We stayed here previously on our honeymoon and again on our 10th anniversary. I'd made the reservations months ago, booked a category 3 room which has a balcony that overlooks the gardens and water. I had a great conversation with the reservationist months ago about it being our anniversary, coming back to the Grand, wanting a room that overlooks the front of the hotel with a balcony, blah, blah. Well, apparently all she caught was the blah, blah part because to my surprise, the hotel apparently has balcony rooms that overlook, not the front of the hotel, but the side of the hotel. Yes, you can see a bit of water from the balcony - but you're on the first floor and you can also see what I believe is a service entrance to the hotel, along with what appears to be a vegetable or herb garden for the kitchen. This was NOT the room I recalled booking. So we call the front desk, explain the situation, and a manager says that they are all booked and the room we have is comparable to the others. Well, no, it's NOT comparable. View is nowhere near the same. Alas, we are stuck with the room. So, we decide to get some fresh air and wander down the beautiful front porch. As we walk by the dining room, we see some tables for two by the windows with "reserved" signs. Hmmmmm.....I wonder if maybe we should try to reserve a table for two by the window for our special night? We ask what appears to be the maitre'd in the dining room and he advises us "we are a convention hotel and those tables are reserved for convention heads." Oh, ok, didn't know that. Trying to salvage something here, I head to the concierge and explain that we're celebrating our 20th anniversary and is there any way to reserve a table for 2 by the window - any time is fine - I don't care when we eat. He makes a call to the dining room and then says, "they will do their best to accomodate you." Ok, that's all we can ask for at this point. He then finds it necessary to add "and you know, EVERYONE at this hotel is celebrating SOMETHING so it's hard to accomodate everyone." At this point, I'm thinking don't trivialize my event - my anniversary. We do end up with a table by the window for dinner - it was a lovely view and the wait staff was wonderful - as usual. We took our time with dinner and finished our desserts with the dining room almost empty - it was quiet and the gentlemen waiters were busy setting the tables for breakfast. Listening to their jamaican lilted conversation, with a bit of melodic humming was so nice. :-) That's the grand hotel experience I remember from years ago. As for the food - actually it was just so-so. Nothing fantastic.

We headed to the Cupola bar to see the water at night - the view from here is fantastic. However, all the tables were either filled with kids (from the convention goers, I suppose) or the tables were dirty with glasses & bar nuts. So, we headed to the main ballroom and danced for a bit. Wonderful 4 piece band - fun music and dancing.

Breakfast the next morning at the Grand was good - the most wonderful basket of yummy pastries. Very fresh and delicious. I will say that the wait staff the next morning seemed to have more women who spoke very, very little english. I overheard one guest asking for ketchup and then trying to explain to the waitress what ketchup was.

All in all, I don't think we'll be back to the Grand. It seems to have lost the magic it once had. It did seem to be catering more to conventions than special get aways.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank CottageGirlUpNorth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2008

The grounds are beautiful. We did have a gorgeous view from our room, which was a treat. The rooms are small, which isn't surprising in a hotel of that age, but they are also a bit shabby. For the price, I would have expected them to be a little better kept. Given the hotel's age, it also wasn't surprising that we could hear our nextdoor neighbor's entire 45 minute cell phone conversation & hear every movement by our upstairs neighbors. If you are a light sleeper and are wanting a restful place to stay, this probably isn't your best option.

The dining hall was elegant, but the food was just mediocre. Our waiters didn't seem to want to be bothered with us. They honestly just seemed too busy trying to both serve food and bus tables. It's impressive that they're able to serve so many people in such a short period of time, but I really wasn't at all impressed with the food. When we arrived at breakfast, we were told that we could have the buffet but were not offered the option of a breakfast off of the menu. (My guess is that the menu option would be better because it was hot.) There were excellent selections for breakfast ranging from cereal to eggs & waffles. The waffles, however, were cold and fairly tasteless. We did finally discover excellent grapefruit that could be ordered from the menu.

The front desk staff was extremely helpful when we checked in, and the luggage stewards were also helpful during check out.

I'm glad that we chose to spend one night at the Grand Hotel for the experience, but it was quite expensive & I'm not convinced it was worth the money.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank LLMCK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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.
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