This was our first trip to Grand View Lodge and we loved it. A couple of notes though:
Generally when we travel we stay at The Ritz. the Four Seasons, etc. This was the type of experience we were looking for in Minnesota, but on a lake with lake activities. This was the only property we could find that seemed like it may be close to matching our expectations, however, many of the cabins, rooms, etc looked rather dated online. Therefore, we didn't know if it would be worth the $250+ per night so we waited and booked a last minute deal at $99 per night for two nights to give it a try. At $99 per night, we loved GVL and felt it was a great deal. I don't think we would have felt the same way had we paid $250+ per night. We will definitely go back if we can book a last minute deal again, but would probably not go back if we had to pay full price.
1. We stayed in the main lodge as it looked to have the most updated rooms. Our room was incredibly large with a nice sitting area that contained a leather couch, chair and armoire. There was also a small seated table for enjoying morning coffee and a large very comfortable king sized bed with nice linens. The room was clean, modern, nicely decorated and spacious. There was also a small kitchenette type area with a Keurig coffee maker. I loved that they offered both Keurig coffee and tea cups. I would be very careful and look at the online photos before booking your room as it was our impression that some of the rooms/cabins are updated and others are not. Ours was updated and was lovely.
2. The service was top notch. Everyone was friendly, attentive, kind and helpful. I would definitely rate the service as 5 star. For example, our Keurig coffee maker didn't work so we called the front desk and they brought another one within 20 minutes. While sitting at the beach, the sun started to come out and immediately the hotel staff walked the beach asking guests if they would like complimentary umbrellas. We said we would and within 5 minutes they set up a large umbrella in the sand for us.
3. The activities are outstanding. Many of the activities are free such as bonfires and smores, pontoon fishing, pontoon stargazing, etc. The rest have very reasonable charges. I went waterskiing which was only $20 and horseback riding which was only $30. The staff overseeing the activities were professional, helpful, patient and kind. In addition around the property there are additional activities such as shuffleboard, checkers, etc. One night we were tired and were able to simply check out a complimentary DVD from the front desk to watch in our room. We couldn't decide which DVD to check out so the front desk let us check out three for free. Absolutely loved all of the activities. This would be the main reason we would return.
4. The golf courses are top notch. I'm not really into golf, but my husband absolutely loves golf so the first day we played the Garden course which is a 9 hole course. It was beautiful, well maintained, and extremely inexpensive (only $30 including a cart). The Pines is a gorgeous 18 hole course; be sure to play it.
5. The spa was small, but fabulous. We regularly visit spas and really enjoyed this one. During the course of our three day stay we each had two massages and a facial. My therapists were fantastic. One of the best massages I've ever had (ask for Jennifer D.). My husband loved his facial, but felt the second massage therapist he had was not very good. The relaxation room is cozy and the locker rooms, while small, have all of the amenities needed. We loved the spa so much we ended up just sitting on the porch holding hands and chatting for about an hour after our treatments.
6. The chocolate ox is the onsite candy shoppe/ice cream parlor. It is a must do. Some of the best ice cream we have ever had. And very affordable. We each got a single scoop which was only $2.50.
7. We ate at several of the restaurants on the property and loved the Italian Garden. It's a must eat at while at GVL. The food was delicious, reasonably priced and plentiful and the service was fabulous.
8. Free parking. We're used to paying $25+ a day for parking at a resort, so this was a nice change. Plus, the parking is incredibly close to the lodge, cabins, etc which is convenient, especially if you have children (we don't).
9. Breakfast at the main lodge. I really enjoyed the breakfast each morning although my husband wasn't the biggest fan. There was a wide variety of items and each morning they switched up a few items so it always seemed new and fresh. All of the food was hot, fresh and much better than at most hotel breakfast buffets. Be sure to try the waffles - they are delish!
10. This is really an ideal place for families. If we had kids, we would come here several times each summer as the kids activities seem wonderful and are included in the price when you pay the full normal rate.
1. We came during the week at the end of the summer and the resort was almost empty, which we loved. While we had made reservations for dinner each evening, we were able to simply walk in early and get seated. However, had we come during a weekend in the summer, I think the resort would have been incredibly overcrowded and that we would not have enjoyed our experience nearly as much.
2. You have to sign up for activities the evening before at 5:30pm when the activity reservation sheets are put out for sign up. This is problematic as it means that you have to make sure you are at the front desk at 5:30pm on the dot and wait in line to sign up for all of the activities. We didn't know that the first night and had really wanted to sign up for the pontoon stargazing the second night. Unfortunately, our massage appointments were at 5:30pm. We explained this to the front desk, but they said they couldn't sign our names up for us and that we'd have to check back after our massages. Unfortunately, by the time we got back to the front desk at 7pm, the star gazing was already full. For most of the activities they only take 4-10 people so they fill up very fast, and the resort was almost empty when we were there. I would be concerned that it would be hard to actually reserve any activities if the resort was full. I wish that for really popular activities that they had more spots available or offered them several times per evening.
3. We ate at Cru, which is their newest restaurant and is touted as their "best" restaurant. We were not impressed. The decor is nice, although it's in the basement of their conference center, which leaves a bit to be deserved. I expected it to have a lake view, given the property is on the lake. Regardless, the food was mediocre at best. We love small plate restaurants and ordered 8 plates to share. None of them were impressive. We would not go back.
4. The walls between the rooms are paper thin. We could hear the conversations of all of our neighbors. Fortunately, we are both very hard sleepers, but if you're looking for a quiet romantic weekend, I would perhaps look at one of cabins instead of the main lodge.
5. The game room was gross. We thought it would be fun to play air hockey, ping pong, etc after dinner one night, but took one look at the dirty and old game room and left. It looked like it had not been cleaned in months and reminded me of the frats on campus in college. It is in desperate need of a deep cleaning and updating.
6. Overall the resort could have been cleaner. The windows were rather dirty and the main lodge building was pretty outdated (other than our rooms) with worn carpet, etc.
Overall, we came for the activities and that's what we enjoyed the most (the golfing, spa, water skiing, etc). We picked our room carefully to make sure it was updated and had a great experience at a very good price ($99 per night). We would come back again, but only at the last minute rate at an off peak time. With those things in mind, I think we would have another fantastic stay, although this time we might bring ear plugs and try some of the restaurants off property that we have heard are good.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Create a lifetime of memories at Grand View Lodge Golf Resort and Spa, located along the beautiful shores of Gull Lake in Nisswa, MN. The Historic Grand View Lodge offers deluxe accommodations, exceptional dining, 45 holes of championship golf, the world-class Glacial Waters Spa, full-service meeting, events and wedding facilities, and activities galore on 2,500 feet of beautiful sandy beach. Grand View's lodging facilities are immaculate, convenient and comfortable, accommodating up to 900 people. Spread across several hundred acres, Grand View provides the maximum privacy, enjoyment, and scenic views for guests. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand View Hotel Nisswa