I stayed here with my family a few years ago and now we have a new addition and have returned as I promised in my previous review from that time. Once again, I was impressed with this place and have no real complaints. There are always some minor things that happen, but nothing that merits a real complaint. If you want a lakefront room, you HAVE to book a "lakefront" room, just like the other reviewer said. There seem to be complaints about this as if it's the hotel's fault. It's the fault of the person booking not paying attention, not the hotel. And like another reviewer said, if you're reserving online go to clarionhotel.com not priceline or hotwire. The rooms are cheaper and more accurate if you book directly through the hotel itself. I couldn't agree more with this advice!!
Check-in was fairly quick, only held up by the receptionist trying to accommodate my request of an "upper level room please" that I filled in online when making my reservation. She couldn't find any ready (at the 4pm check-in time) on the top floor, so offered me the 3rd floor, which was fine. I just didn't want the 1st floor, I wanted a view. And a view I got. Wow does it help when you arrive on a sunny afternoon with a lake front room, upon entering the room you're greeted to the shades opened and a fantastic view of the blue-green water & sky through the latticed windows. Beautiful!
Beds were comfortable, with 4 pillows each. Although the covers felt a bit thin, there were extra blankets in the closet. The AC unit is just about the right amount of white noise and did a great job at cooling the room. The beds were supposed to be queen and maybe they were, but they seemed a bit narrow for queen. They could have been double. I don't know. They were nice though. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. The shower head needed replaced. It was and adjustable one, and it leaked, I couldn't get all the water to come out in the stream, a lot of it just 'fell' out straight down. This led to a slightly low pressure experience. But it wasn't the end of the world. I'm used to my giant high pressure one at home.
The room was nice, although some furnishings are showing some wear. The carpet under the armoire entertainment center (which housed a nice 40"? 42"? LCD TV) was grey, the vacuum wand hadn't been under there in some time. Otherwise our room was very clean and welcoming. The fridge was TINY. The freezer part of the fridge was about the size of half a loaf of bread, nestled in the upper corner of the fridge. The microwave was small but adequate. I like the nightstand that sits between the beds. Granite top? It sure seemed like it. Nice!
The balcony was nice too. Only a couple small spider webs, but nothing that you wouldn't expect or that would be a turn off. The view of the Arnold ferry dock a few hundred yards out is kind of cool, especially for the kids to see the boats coming & going. The beach is nice, sandy, and there are generally plenty of lounge chairs to go around, even some tables and a trash can for convenience. The water is very nice too, it stays quite shallow a long way out- perfect for smaller kids.
The breakfast room is located on the southernmost building on the second level. An easy walk and it's covered in case it's raining. It's large, but it needs to be. In peak season it is BUSY. To the staff's credit, the food is kept quite well-stocked. Scrambled eggs, sausage patties, biscuits & gravy, and make-your-own waffles are the hot selections. There's also cereal, a milk machine, and variety of juice machine, and of course coffee with a creamer machine. There's even an upper balcony for overflow seating. The only real complaint about the breakfast room is the serving line is in the same short hallway where folks enter & exit. This creates quite a traffic jam full of "oh- excuse me"s. And to matters worse, when food deliveries occur (which they did on our stay) the boxes of GFS products seem to get stacked either right there in that same short hallway or right outside the door- either way creating that much more of a traffic jam. Minor. The food tastes good. And there's plenty of it.
Arnold ferry dock is right there, you don't need to drive you can walk through the parking lot if you're visiting the island. Unless you want a different ferry, but Arnold's catamarans are quite fast and smooth, and they all cost the same.
I did not use the pool or fitness room, which are located in the center (or island-like) building on the property. We also did not take advantage of the two waterparks you get free access to. One is bigger for kids 8+ and the other is for all ages. I don't believe the bigger one was around 3 years ago on our previous stay.
On the morning we checked out I was planning to get a small bag of ice for our cooler stuff for the way home, but the machine on the lakeside building was out. A short time later I seen the maintenance worker with a ladder working on it. I heard him telling another guest it was about the third time this summer he's had to work on that machine, and why can't they get a newer machine for peak summer season like this. I would have to agree. The money they must be raking in should allow them to get a better more dependable ice machine.
All in all, you have to expect some little glitches here and there. But our room was as ordered, very clean, and I was happy. I didn't expect luxury or I would have went to the Grand. But it was 3 notches above most Super 8s or Days Inns I've ever stayed in.
I'll be back. This just might become our "place" for our Mackinaw vacations.
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- Also Known As:
- Clarion Hotel Mackinaw City
- Clarion Mackinaw City
- Mackinaw City Clarion