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“Reasonable Budget Hotel - except for weird experience.”

Grand Traverse Motel
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Grand Traverse Motel
Ranked #27 of 40 Hotels in Traverse City
Reviewed September 13, 2008

My experience began with a quote over the phone for a week stay. When I arrived on the day of check-in, the price was $50 higher than the quote. I tried to show the owner my notes made during our telephone conversation but she wasn't interested. I don't have time to look for something better, so I pay the new price. I am told that the price will go down after the fall colours. I'm wondering why they are willing to chance my leaving for a few dollars. My original plan was to stay monthly through the winter.

The female owner showed me a couple of rooms. To her credit she was very patient and accommodating.

The room is small but not bad. It smells odd but many hotel rooms do. The curtains are shoddy, the carpet is stained. There is a mouldy smell in the bath and the caulking around the tub is specked black. Obviously there are some small issues that could be better with some attention. The other guests kept waking me up at 6 a.m. because they aren't quiet when they leave. Nobody seems to be around at that time to improve that situation.

But here is the weird thing. I noticed that sometimes a red light would appear on my phone. The button that is lit up says "front desk". At first I don't mind because I think it's just another maintenance issue. A phone with a wonky button. But I began to notice that sometimes the light was off, while other times it was on. So for a test I began to talk to the "front desk". I said "Comon' you aren't actually listening to me are you?". A moment later, the light went off. It creeped me out.

The next day I noticed the light on again. Once again I said "hey front desk, turn that light off". The light went off. This happened a third time and now I'm convinced they can hear me. I saw the light on a few times and said nothing. It remained on.

It could be an issue with a phone malfunctioning, but if they can hear what I'm saying in my room, that is a clear breech of privacy. That phone should be removed immediately. I did not address the issue with the owners and there may be a perfectly reasonable explanation, but it made me uncomfortable and for that reason, I'm not staying and I won't be returning.

I am a seasoned traveller and this is the first time that I've felt so uneasy about any place I've stayed.

I try to be fair and I'm going to say that this place is reasonably priced for the budget traveller. The rooms are in fair condition. It has a good location close to downtown and walking distance to the water. If you happen to be braver than me, and you see that "front desk" light on the phone - ask them what's up with that? Unplug it if you want to be assured of your privacy.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
4  Thank D A W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gregsix, Owner at Grand Traverse Motel, responded to this reviewResponded March 3, 2010

It's hard to put any credibility on a review that thinks she can "talk at the hung up phone" and somehow think that the front desk can hear her. So then when the light goes out, she thinks that confirms her fears of being listened to via a phone that's hung up. It seems other than her unsubstantiated fears, she liked the place. In response to her claim... No, we can not listen to guests in the rooms when the phone is hung up, even if we wanted to. I am not convinced lights were blinking either.

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68 - 73 of 73 reviews

Reviewed June 25, 2008

Do not stay at this Motel. They ripped me off for $200. I was smoking a cigarette outside and put the butt in a cup. It was windy outside so it would not blow off of the table I brought the cup inside. When I got home they had charged my credit card $200 for extra cleaning!!!
This is fraud and I'm filing a complaint with the Traverse city Police Dept.

Also the rooms were old and smelled musty! The cleaning and front desk people were rude and would enter your room at all hours with out knocking. These people are terrible flat out. Beware if you stay here. Keep your valubles with you at all times. We had items that kept disappearing.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
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2  Thank hellmic1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gregsix, Owner at Grand Traverse Motel, responded to this reviewResponded March 3, 2010

This person signed a form at check in stating that he/she agreed to a $200 smoking fee. Guests are also told verbally, and instructed to read the agreement carefully prior to signing. Smoking fee's are common industry wide. Its hard and costly to get smoke out of a room, and afterward, many guests can still smell and are not pleased with their stay. Thank you for understanding.

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Reviewed September 9, 2005

late entry at night caz we could not be in 109$ holiday Inn at the corner of the same street. The price is very reasonable, less than half of above.
There were 2 young staffs who are very friendly and welcome. Room is clean, video is complimentary too.
In the morning, we went back to take Sun rise at Bear Sand dune early AM, so I left the key and video in the room. They made thing so easy for us when we called in.
Very very cozy atmosphere, really love it.

  • Stayed: September 2005
    • Value
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1  Thank chak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
michigan
111
Reviewed July 5, 2005

We have stayed here yearly for about 5 years. Not a 5 star mind you but ALWAYS warm and friendly. They also boast rooms upstairs with 3 beds instead of 2. The owner and his wife have always been as friendly as your own relatives. They sit with you at the pool occasionally, they are always available, and they always go out of their way if you need something. It has been this way without exception. I am not sure about the other reviews. But, it's always clean and the videos for the kids( and parents) are good time erasers.The motel is close to everything. Beaches, fast food, downtown, and across the street from the lake. It's priced great, especially during the week when it's slow and rarely full.
I plan on going back here soon and look forward to it.

  • Stayed: July 2004
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
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11  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2004

We stayed here for a week in May and it worked out perfectly for us. This motel is right down the street from the downtown area. The room we had was slightly shabby but comfortable- there was a microwave and fridge and a lazyboy chair. There was also a vcr in the room and at the front desk you could borrow movies. Now, in response to the previous review, I agree about seeing the owner just waltz right into occupied rooms- in fact, when I got there and asked if I could see a room before I made my reservation, he took me to one and peeked into the window, saying, "Yeah, I think this guy left for awhile." He then unlocked the door and went in. I knew this was not kosher- you pay for a room and you get privacy for the entire time you are occupying it. Guess the rules don't apply to this owner. That was the main complaint I had about this hotel. But during our stay, the owner unlocked the laundry room and said for us to help ourselves to towels and microwave popcorn, which was surprising but anyway, I'd reccommend this motel to people on a budget, not traveling with expensive items. Oh, and also the bathroom was very clean and well-maintained.

9  Thank annalist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2016 via mobile
Google Translation

Stayed: June 2016, traveled as a couple
Thank Silberpfeil1967
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Traverse Motel

Address: 1010 E Front St, Traverse City, MI 49686-2708
Location: United States > Michigan > Grand Traverse County > Traverse City
Amenities:
Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #27 of 40 Hotels in Traverse City
Price Range: $109 - $288 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Grand Traverse Motel 2*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are a family operated motel with 18 units. We provide in-room coffee, refrigerators, microwaves & air conditioning. We do not accept pets. The Motel is located just eight blocks from downtown shopping and dining and only one block from the beach. The Grand Traverse Motel is nonsmoking facility. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Traverse Hotel Traverse City
Grand Traverse City Hotel

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