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“Epic Fail”

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Grand Casino Mille Lacs
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Onamia
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Epic Fail”
Reviewed June 22, 2011

I've stayed at this hotel, eaten at the restaurants,played in the casino numerous times. In the past my experiences have always ranged from OK to bad. I've never had a stay here in which they exceeded my expectations...even as I've lowered them following each visit.
My last visit, last weekend, will be my final. I've read all the reviews on here, some people think this place is great, some don't. In my opinion the casino here is tight fisted. The restaurants are mediocre with the exception of the steakhouse, which I have found to be excellent. I have actually gotten food poison on two occasions which forever ended my dining at Plums and the Grand Northern Grill. The buffet is somewhere between medicore and just OK.
Staying in the hotel...is an experience. I have many experiences on which to base this evaluation, the place is a dump. As others have mentioned the rooms stink, literally. On one recent occasion I asked and was given a non-smoking room...entered the room and it smelled like smoke! Complained to the front desk and they said they could send somebody up with some kind of spray to neutralize the odor. Sorry but that is unacceptable. The clerk seemed very disturbed that I instead requested a different room, one that had not previously been a smoking room. I found it sort of amusing that I was the one being polite and speaking calmly and the clerk was the one that was indignant. Shouldn't those roles be reversed? I let it slide though, I just wanted a room so I could crash in a non-smoking environment.
The final straw was pulled though this past weekend. Was with my girlfriend, we both had our laptops with and decided to check out the coffee shop, relax a little and use the wi-fi. Upon entering the shop no employee was visible. There was a big screen tv in the back with the volume turned up what had to be close to max and a lady sitting at one of the tables eating something and tapping away furiously on her little netbook. We looked at the overhead menu and waited for whomever worked there to show up. A couple minutes later this lady at the table gets up in a huff and wanders behind the counter, and proceeds to ask in a very very rude manner what we wanted. When we didn't answer quickly enough for her she added a "hello" spoken in a petulant manner I would expect a 9 year old brat to say, not a 40 something woman. I decided right there not to order anything as I didn't want to interact with this lady. My girlfriend ordered a coffee. We moved to a table and set our computers up. I should add that this lady did not wash her hands before preparing my girlfriend's beverage, something I found to be completely disgusting since she had been eating food with her hands and I saw her licking her fingers too. Gross. Gross. Gross. At some point my girlfriend politely asked the lady to turn down the tv, as it was quite loud. You should have seen the look on the lady's face. It was as if we just asked her to chop off her leg. Next some little kids came in, obviously related to the lady either her own or nieces. The kids go behind the counter. Another red flag and at this point I'm wondering just what is this a place of business or the lady's home? Then...they all disappear. A little sign on the counter saying be back soon or something to that effect. Around this time we decided to leave. My girlfriend threw her beverage in the garbage and in the process a little bit spilled onto the floor by the garbage. Oops, but nobody is there so we leave. Went to the hotel lobby where it was actually much quieter. And this next thing that happened is why I will never return. About 5 so minutes later this coffee shop lady comes storming over to where I'm sitting and very rudely asks if I was the one that spilled on the floor in the shop. I told her I didn't have a drink in there. She says yeah I know so why where you even in there? Unacceptable. Then she says we should have waited in the shop and told her about the spill. No. No. No. First of all she left the shop, second we didn't know when she would return and there is no way we are accommodating her in a situation like that, particularly with the way she had acting. If she had been in the shop where she was supposed to be we probably would have alerted her, but we're not about to wait around for an unknown time for her. LOL. She said she was using the bathroom (haha gone at least 20 minutes) demanded an apology that we didn't tell her about the spill. I told her to go away. She kept persisting and I kept telling her to go away and she went over to one of the security guards and told him what happened. He looked at her like whats he supposed to do. Then she comes back over to get some last words in and I told her we're done here and go away. I still can't believe it happened. I was stalked and accosted by an employee of Grand Casino because she was derelict in her duties and obviously felt entitled and comfortable enough to try and start a fight with a customer over her dereliction. I have on often occasions felt the employees in all facets of Grand Casino lacked customer interaction skills and basic politeness and etiquette. Obviously they aren't trained in that area. It doesn't seem to be important to Grand Casino.
There is nothing here that stands out enough to make up for the severe deficiencies and maniacal employees. I won't return. I would rate this place zero if the system on this site allowed it. There are plenty of other casino's in Minnesota.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank Jettsett3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (93)
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English first
United States
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed June 3, 2011

I came here for a business meeting but I would definitly not choose to stay here if I didn't have to. This property reminds me of an old unrenovated Holiday Inn. I don't care how cheap the room rate is it is just a cheap room. The bathrooms are old and the beds are uncomfortable and this was in the "new" tower! It just seemed dirty.
The lobby is the best part of this hotel- at least it looks renovated. Hopefully I will not be returning anytime soon.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank lillah19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Paul, Minnesota
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 21, 2010

I can't complain too much about Mille Lacs. For $39.00, (player's club coupon) it's a good value. Check-in took longer than it should have. There were only a couple people in line, but the person at the desk was new and not well trained. Our room was clean for the most part, but the bed sheets had numerous small stains on them and many, many holes. Time to replace them! There was also a good size stain on the carpet. We had a view of the lake, which was nice.

The Buffet was mediocre at best, which is odd because I love Hinckley's Buffet. You think they would pretty much be the same, but I have eaten at the Mille Lacs buffet twice and both times were never as good as Hinckley's buffet. The casino itself is alright, but seems smaller than Hinckley and there is no bar/lounge. In my opinion, Grand Casino Hinckley is the better property of the two. I have stayed at Grand Casino Mille Lacs twice and Grand Casino Hinckley numerous times.

Grand Casino Mille Lacs is not a horrible place to play and stay by any means, but I'm just not as impressed with this property as I am with Grand Casino Hinckley. Pick Hinckley, it's more fun!

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mradam10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Motley, Minnesota
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 15, 2010

At the end of our summer jobs, 8 of us girls like to get together for a girls night out. We spent the night at Grand Casino. We reserved the parlor room and 3 rooms with 2 queen size beds. The parlor room was the main room for socializing. This was perfect for us because it has a large table with chairs, a couch, love seat, microwave, fridge and a tv. It all so has a rollaway for extra sleeping. The rooms were on each side of the parlor room so we could all be together. We went on Crab Night at the buffet and we all ate to our hearts content.. We all spent some time at the hot tub and the pool.And of course we spent some time playing the slot machines. This was a perfect place for us to get together and spend some time together away from work

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank iamgypsywomen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed June 6, 2010

I was amazed at this place. We drove straight there from airport and were checked in not only early but extremely fast. I asked the lady at the counter if all beds in hotel were the same or if they had upgraded rooms with better beds. She said they do and asked what size room I needed, I told her a just a nice comfy room with an extremely soft bed because of my back injuries I must have a soft bed. She said not a problem and asked me how long we were staying and I told her we were there for a 5 nights but according to what I had read on this site I would only do one night and see how it goes. Well folks it was better then I expected by 100%. The bed was more then perfect and the room was very very nice. Had a huge flat screen tv on the wall, free wifi which I bring my own anyway, also overstuffed chairs and very spacious. The next morning I went down and said thank you very much and if they were not booked I would like to stey the rest of my trip there. She quickly added the rest of my stay and asked if there was anything they may do for me. I said no everything was better then I expected and will be staying there again next month. Peeps all I can say is check out for yourself, I am hard to please when someone tells me something different then what I asked for and they made sure what I wanted was right on the money. And speaking of money the room was only $70 a night!!!!! So if you are in the area this is the place to stay without a doubt and I will be there again in a few weeks for another stay. And also the food in all the places in there is excellent and the casino is up there with the rest of the big boys too.Only one down fall if you are a drinker as I am not, this is a dry casino folks so dont down them for that.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank AzFlash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toledo, OH
Level 6 Contributor
345 reviews
134 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 327 helpful votes
Reviewed December 29, 2009

We came up to visit an employee of the hotel over the holidays (Hi Becky!). I wasn't going to write a review because you may think I am biased, but I list both some good and bad points, so you'll reconsider. Check-in took 10-15 minutes, which is a little longer than most hotels. The lobby is non-smoking, but it drifts out from the casino. All the decorating in the common areas was beautiful. Rooms 210 and 211 were really nice and we could not smell any smoke. The whole second floor is non-smoking. I believe there are 3 other non-smoking floors, as well. Our room was newer or else it had been recently remodeled. The decorating was nice and it had a huge (37"?) flat screen t.v. An earlier review mentioned lack of channels, but there were at least 30 channels, including KARE, CNN, ESPN, FOX, etc. The bathroom had new tile, wallpaper, and a Corian countertop. If they had gone with granite and those curved shower rods, it would rank with the 4 strars I've stayed in. We ate breakfast at the Grill, a non-smoking restaurant. The food was o.k. Of course, you have to walk through the casino to get there. We did notice a small non-smoking area of slot machines, but with 3/4 height walls, I'm not sure how much smoke they keep out. My 19 yr. old son also found a slot machine with money left on it, so he finished it out. He also found one with a ticket (points?) that hadn't been picked up. He took that and used it. We were not stopped by security. We're not gamblers, but I think most people would be happy with this hotel.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank tamaralea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plymouth MN
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 9, 2009

Wonderful suite. Nice layout. Roomy jacuzzi. Nice glassed in shower. Excellent personal service. Attentive staff. Great restaurants. Everything you could possibly want.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MrsSorenson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Casino Mille Lacs

Property: Grand Casino Mille Lacs
Address: 777 Grand Avenue, Onamia, MN 56359
Location: United States > Minnesota > Onamia
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Onamia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Grand Casino Mille Lacs 3*
Number of rooms: 494
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Grand Casino Mille Lacs Hotel is one of the largest casino hotels in the state of Minnesota featuring 494 rooms designed specifically for comfort and convenience. Our hotel property is a short walk from Lake Mille Lacs and features spacious luxurious suites and personalized service you would expect from a premier destination. In addition to our lively and exciting casino gaming floor, our hotel property boasts an oversized tranquil swimming pool, a 20-person Jacuzzi surrounded by a rock waterfall, a fitness center featuring high end Precor equipment, five delicious restaurants including a coffee shop, retail outlets featuring products such as Coach, a grand arcade with over 80 games, a daycare facility with special rates for players, and a nationally recognized events and convention center. Our all-season property offers a convenient central Minnesota just a short drive north of the Twin Cities location right off Highway 169. See you on your next visit to Mille Lacs! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Casino Mille Lacs Hotel Onamia
Grand Hotel Mille Lacs
Grand Hotel Onamia

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