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“Big Pricetag - Uncomfortable Sleep”

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Grand Geneva Resort & Spa
Ranked #4 of 15 Hotels in Lake Geneva
Certificate of Excellence
jackson, mn
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Big Pricetag - Uncomfortable Sleep”
Reviewed July 10, 2013

FKA Hugh Hefner's Lake Geneva Playboy Club opened in 1968 - on 1300 acres - it is a beautiful sight to behold. Two golf courses, 3 restaurants, pool area, etc.

My husband and I went there for an extended stay over the 4th of July. - They hold the local fireworks show right there at the resort - which is awesome, but all the townspeople come into the resort for the show as well.

Pros:
No bugs
Beautiful Landscape
Live music some nights
Drinks were made well
Restaurants- food was well prepared and delicious
Staff was helpful and friendly
Small TV embedded in the BR mirror

Cons:
Lost our reservation the first night so they put us in a standard double bed room - we had reserved the King Suite.

*We could feel the springs through the mattress and noticed they just had a flimsy feather comforter under the fitted sheet to supposedly help - well, it didn't.

Seems you have to go to whichever bar and buy your first drink before a wait staff will wait on you.

Decor throughout the hallways and stairs is dated. Plan to use the stairs throughout your stay as well - not really any other options.

Pool area is much too small for the number of guests staying at the resort. With people hoarding or saving seats - you will have to just stand and wait until someone is willing to relinquish their spot - and plan to move quick too or you'll lose it to another poor soul desperately waiting just like you. There's a pool bar area but with only a dozen stools - that's not an option either.

Basic Cable - did not seem like HD quality.

*When we got to our King Suite that was priced considerably higher (Around $399/night) than what the Deluxe Guest Suite would have been - we saw the same decor, same bathroom, same everything- no fireplace - except that it had a king size instead of 2 twin beds...and, this one at least, had a golf course view which was a nicer view than the one they had to place us in the first night. But the mattress was just as uncomfortable as the other and the pillows were even standard size pillows - which may seem like no big deal - but at over $300 per night, you're hoping for a little upper class bedding with all the comforts that it can offer - NOT HERE.

So you're paying for the amenities on and throughout the resort...everything on the resort except for the pool, will cost you a pretty penny. Drinks about $10 each

All in all, we enjoyed our stay - but much of it was off the resort. We won't be back.

Room Tip: Just make sure you get a golf course view and not a parking lot view! Really, all the beds and the...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jenn s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MDGGRS, General Manager at Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 13, 2013
Thanks very much for your comments regarding your recent visit to the Grand Geneva Resort and Spa.

I sincerely appreciate hearing from you and appreciate your comments both pro and con!

I do want to inform you that we are beginning a major project to replace all of the beds, bedding, and pillows this coming week. While it will take us a couple of months, I am confident that you will find the sleep experience much better on your return.

We are also in process of purchasing additional pool chairs for the resort. We recognize that the pool can be very busy and additional pool chairs will help solve the problem that your referred to in your comments.

We do appreciat your patronage and be assured that I have already discussed your other comments with the appropriate members of our staff.

I do sincerely hope you will give us another opportunity to be of service to you in the future and experience a better example of the Grand Geneva hospitality.

Michael Carsch
Managing Director
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (719)
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English first
Chicago
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2013

We arrived at 2 pm knowing we would not be able to checkin till 4. At 4 the room was not ready, they gave us vouchers for dinner. We chose not to take the drink tickets they offered first since we don't drink and we had our kids with us. Called at 5, room still was not ready. Offered us waterpark passes for our whole group for the next day. I was super please with this. Then at 6:30 called again and on top of everything they gave us the comped our room! I was not expecting this but it was so nice of them to do this. We have stayed here many times before and we love it here. It's close to home, the grounds are well kept, service is wonderful, rooms are nice, and there is lots to do. Having a late checkin was disappointing but would not have me wanting everything they gave me! Congratulations on the exceptional job GGRS! I will be returning!

Room Tip: This year they are offering rooms on Sunday nights for 45 dollars for their anniversary special. Ke...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank rjolie123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MDGGRS, General Manager at Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 13, 2013
Thanks so very much for your kind note regarding your recent visit to the Grand Geneva Resort and Spa.

I apologize for the delay in offering a room to you. We pride ourselves on service and as we fell short I am pleased that we offered you an alternative. However, I do recognize that we need to be able to offer a room earlier and we are working hard on that issue.

Again thanks for choosing our resort and we look forward to your return many times in the future.

Michael Carsch
Managing Director
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2013

I traveled with a couple of girlfriends for a relaxing weekend at the Grand Geneva. We were drawn by the on-site activities and the spa. The service was excellent, it was nice to be greeted with champagne at the front desk. The concierge contacted me a week before to ask if we needed anything - I did specify the occasion and we had a nice card with champagne & strawberries waiting for us in our room. The grounds were spacious & well kept and it was nice to sit out on the different terraces, we met some nice people and had our privacy when we chose it, as well. We didn't feel like dressing up, and chose to take the trolley the bbq restaurant at the sister resort. The food was great, and the ride was convenient. We had spa treatments, and varying reviews on the quality of massages - hence my average rating. The dressing rooms were a bit tight, there wasn't a large relaxation suite for pre- and post-treatments. Instead it was a large room with sections where you could wait in chairs or sit in the hot tub or sauna, but there weren't dedicated areas for each (They do have a room you can rent). Maybe if it was less crowded, it would have been better, but they also ran out of towels and overall we weren't impressed with the spa. However, I must note that the showers stalls in the dressing room were top notch. The gym was average and suited our needs, be aware that it is a full-service gym that locals pay a membership for. It would've been nice to try one of the classes, but our spa services interfered. Overall we were happy, and would have liked to return with our spouses if it weren't for the beds. They were lumpy and very uncomfortable. The lame attempt at adding a topper to an extremely uncomfortable mattress failed miserably. Out of the four of us, only one got sleep, and she has a newborn at home so could probably have slept anywhere. I really wanted to give a higher rating because our experience overall was good. However, the terrible bedding was a dealbreaker. We were in bldg 4. Maybe another building has upgraded beds?

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DzKyutee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MDGGRS, General Manager at Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 13, 2013
Thanks so very much for your feedback regarding your recent visit to the Grand Geneva Resort and Spa. We are so pleased that you choose us for your ladies getaway.

I apologize for your sleep experience but I do have an update for you on that issue. Starting this upcoming week and continuing for the next month we will be replacing the beds in every guest room in the resort. Additonally we will be adding new linens and plllows and we expect that this will significantly enhance your experience on your return.

Again, thanks for your correspondence and we look forward to your return very soon.

Michael Carsch
Managing Director
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Franklin, Wisconsin
1 review
Reviewed July 9, 2013

My wife and I have stayed at Grand Geneva many times. A year ago we got married at the resort, overlooking the 18th green of The Brute...it was wonderful to say the least. We recently returned for our one year anniversary and as usual, everything was perfect. From the kind and courteous staff, to the clean and spacious rooms, Grand Geneva does NOT disappoint. Our dinner at the Chophouse was fantastic as usual, and the complimentary valet comes in very handy after a long day of golf on two of the most challenging and majestic 18 holes courses in the state. We have never stayed at Grand Geneva in the winter time, as cold weather and skiing is not our thing:) But if you are looking for a summer getaway to relax and unwind, then Grand Geneva is the place for you and your family.

Room Tip: Balcony room overlooking the the golf course
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Shawn B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lyons, Illinois, United States
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2013

We were original owners at the Playboy Club of Lake Geneva and have seen the property rise and fall over the past 35 years. When it became Grand Geneva, we were thrilled at the new amenities and atmosphere and spent a couple weekends every summer and loved it all. And then there was the July 4th weekend last year. From waiting hours to check in (insisted on getting something for our inconvenience and ending up with a $50 dinner voucher), to a pool overrun by unattended kids (learned they were shuttled in from Timber Ridge since they were even more packed), to a less than 4* rated room, and the final touch to our 'perfect' getaway - an additional $150 on our bill for a dinner we never ate.

Since this was something we had never experienced in our 35+ years at this facility, we chalked it up to bad timing. We vowed that never again would we come up over the 4th of July. But now I see it wasn't a fluke at all, but rather a complete breakdown in management. Did they get too big or just big-headed? Did they lower their standards to accommodate the Red Roof Inn crowd? What the heck has happened to make Grand Geneva not so grand? I don't want to sound snobbish, but this was always a kind of retreat for the more sophisticated traveler. Sure, people brought their kids, but they looked after them and taught them to respect others at the pool and in the restaurants. Our two sons, now 39 and 41, pretty much grew up there. The Brute is our favorite golf course and we love the Chop House as well as Braggios. So what do we do now? Do we have to give up what we have come to think of as our home away from home because some corporate idiots don't have any concept of customer service? Well, I guess we do.

Actually, rumor has it that Playboy is looking to buy the property back. Maybe that's why the current owners are letting it go to down so much. That's the only explanation I can think of for allowing something this good to become something so crappy.

Thanks to all for the heads up. I was just about to give it another try until I read your comments. See you at The Abbey.

Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank Karen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MDGGRS, General Manager at Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 13, 2013
Dear KarenB,

Thanks so very much for your comments regarding your recent visit to the Grand Geneva.

Our business can be very humbling at times and certainly your many appropriate comments are on target. However I want to assure you that no guests from Timber Ridge or anywhere outside of the resort were allowed into the pool area over this busy holiday. I also assure you that Marcus Corporation has no plans to sell the property and will continue to invest in it.

It is wonderful to have the perspective of guests who have been coming here for a long time and understand how they view the many changes that have transpired here over the years. I assure you we have never been more committed to making this a resort for everyone however there are times such as July 4th when we do have many famiiles that can make it a bit less relaxing than other times of the year.

I sincerely hope you will allow us to be of service to you and assure you that your comments do not fall on deaf ears. The Brute, as do all of us, await your return.

Sincerely,

Michael Carsch
Managing Director
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Fort Worth, Texas
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2013

you want to have a grand Experience this is the place. I love to be far away from lobby, I was in building 2 Nice and relaxing with a great view. The resort offer anything you want to do winter or summer also for the kids the water park is a great amenity.
I will be back .

Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank Paulina P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MDGGRS, General Manager at Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 13, 2013
Thanks very much for your comments!

We commit to always staying "Grand" for all of our guests. We don't always succeed as well as we would like, but comments such as yours inspire us to keep going!

Michael Carsch
Managing Director
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 7, 2013

First the good: the grounds are beautifully manicured and the rooms are nicely decorated. The in-mirror television in the bathroom was a nice touch. The champagne at checkin was lovely. Breakfast was delicious.

We arrived on Friday afternoon for a two day stay. Yes, I realize it was a holiday weekend so I did not mind paying inflated rate. If it was a different week, the $300/night rate for a view of the parking lot would have been laughable.

We were looking forward to a couple of days in the sun around the pool. If you can tell by my title, that did not happen. It is completely absurd that the hotel management believed that the number of lounge chairs around the pool would adequately accommodate the number of hotel guests.

Late afternoon Friday, we decided to try to snag a few chaise loungers by the pool and catch a few rays. After multiple passes around the pool deck, we saw one chair. Yes, one chair for two people. As soon as we put out our bags and towels down to settle, we were met by a woman demanding the chair for herself since she had four kids with her. Astonished by her brazen request, we were left, jaws on the ground as she plopped her her belongs down. To my knowledge, every hotel guest was assessed a $15/day resort fee, how she felt more entitled to the chair still baffles me.

The next day, determined to get two chairs (and hopefully two together), we ate breakfast early and with the goal of being out by the pool nice and early. The restaurant has a huge panoramic window overlooking the pool. As soon as we were seated, are hopes were slashed. EVERY SINGLE CHAIR had some sort of towel, toy, or magazine on it marking it as reserved. Noticing our disappointment, our lovely server notified us that every chair was taken by 6:15 in the morning but there was actually a hotel policy against reserving chairs. She advised if we saw a chair that was obviously not in use, to notify the pool deck attendants to remove the articles and free up the chair. Well, that didn't quite happen. The pool attendants refused to remove anything, but they told me I could myself. I asked if they thought that perhaps that would start a riot. The girls laughed and said "maybe" but there was a sign that stated something to the effect of "chairs left unattended for 30 minutes will be cleaned and given to waiting guests." And if there was a problem, we could just refer to the sign. Great professionalism. Well we did just that and were met by some serious passive aggressiveness when the owners of the pool toys came along an hour later to reclaim their chairs.

Elsewhere on the pool deck that morning, I witnessed a complete hissy fit by a woman that had draped a sarong over three chairs at 6 am and was dismayed when she arrived at noon to occupied chairs. I also overheard countless conversations from very annoyed guests also miffed by the lack of available chairs. If the hotel wanted to avoid such strife, add more chairs or enforce your policies.

Other than that, as I noted above, the rooms were decorated very nicely, however, the smell was horrendous. Upon opening the door to our room, we were met with the heavy smell of a musty room. Everything felt damp. There was also, clearly a imprint of the prior guests' buttox on one of our beds. Clearly, he or she had sat down with a wet bathing suit prior to leaving and the cleaning staff neglected to rectify (or change the linens, ewwwww!).

Speaking of housekeeping, the vents in the room had fur coats of thick grey dust in and around them (especially bad in the bathroom). The smell of the refrigerator was ungodly. Both could have used a good cleaning.

The mattresses were old, but there was a pillow mattress topper added made things marginally better.

My advice for the hotel: $15/person/day resort fee is a joke if there are no seats available at the pool. For that amount of money, I can go to the Walgreens down the street and purchase a case bottled water.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sara R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MDGGRS, General Manager at Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 13, 2013
Dear Sara,

I was very, very disappointed to read of your important comments regarding your recent experiences at the Grand Geneva Resort and Spa. They are certainly not typical of our resort however we have failed you greatly.

I would appreciate it if you could contact me directly so that I can discuss further with your recent visit.

Thanks very much,

Michael Carsch
Managing Director
michaelcarsch@grandgeneva.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Geneva Resort & Spa

Property: Grand Geneva Resort & Spa
Address: 7036 Grand Geneva Way, at Hwys 50 East & 12, Lake Geneva, WI 53147-5105
Location: United States > Wisconsin > Lake Geneva
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Lake Geneva
#2 Romantic Hotel in Lake Geneva
#3 Spa Hotel in Lake Geneva
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Geneva Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 355
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Grand Geneva® Resort is the place to meet. Whether a corporate meeting, convention or a gathering with friends and family, the endless range of meeting rooms & space and activities will keep everyone engaged. Conveniently located between Chicago and Milwaukee, there is so much to do at Lake Geneva’s only four diamond resort.Corporate travelers and families alike will find what they need to re-focus, relax or rev-up. With over 62,000 square feet of banquet space, guests have multiple options to choose from for that important business meeting, church retreat, wedding reception or family vacation. Or take time and enjoy a relaxing experience at the newly renovated WELL Spa or one of many dining options, while an indoor waterpark and kid’s program offer the excitement kids crave. Enjoy a group bonfire at the horse stables, a fast plunge down a ski hill, a serene walk through the trails or a drive down a fairway on two championship golf courses – all situated on Grand Geneva’s seemingly endless acres.No matter your reason for meeting….it’s all here in one Grand location in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Geneva Resort And Spa
Grand Geneva Hotel Lake Geneva
Grand Geneva Lake
Lake Geneva Illinois

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