Location within the hotel can make a difference A review of Bavarian Inn Lodge
There is an old section and new section of the hotel. Some of the older
rooms are dated, and instead of a doorwall to the balcony you get a
solid door that is not attractive nor see-thru. The hotel decor is
bavarian, of course, with very nice murals depicting mountains on the
walls. The staff were very nice. On one trip we got a suite, mistake,
as alot of the younger teen and 20-something partiers get the suites
and we had noisy partiers keeping the kids up all night (the walls were
like paper, even quiet conversations in the next room could be heard).
The older section is closer to all the fun, the newer section, it is
quite a walk to everything and the car, but it is newer construction
and so the room (and hall) is quieter - thicker walls? - anyway, you
don't hear as much from the next room.
The pools are great, check open times as I believe there is a time of
day you cannot swim at all, inbetween the checkout time and checkin
time...so arriving early to swim doesn't always work out.
But if you do arrive early the kids can play in the game center that
runs practically the whole length of the hotel on the lower level.
Miniature golf usually stays open, too. The kids can also make wax hand
statues and collect tickets from games to cash in for prizes (same as
most arcades, need alot of tickets to get a decent prize). The
restaurants are good for kids, even the pickiest of eaters can find
something they like, especially at the cafeteria-style restaurant by
the miniature golf course.
We have come for many years, when my kids were pre-schoolers they
absolutely loved the two-story playhouse and the pools (the new splash
pool is terrific for this age group). As grade-schoolers they loved the
arcade and mini-golf. As pre-teens being cool by the pool and shopping
in town and at the Birch Run Outlet Mall were big. As teens (last trip
they were 13 & 14) the big hit was KARAOKE! We were there with many
other families from our school and we had about 20 kids between us and
they ALL spent the evening doing karaoke and loved it! They were of
course, silly, and loud and boisterous and it was nice that these teens
had a special place in the hotel where they could be themselves and not
be disturbing anyone. I was surprised to see they enjoyed the trip as
much as when they were younger as I had expected this last trip to be
our last but they are begging to go again! My only complaint about the
cafeteria-style restaurant in the fun center that hosts the karaoke
Friday and Saturday nites is that is more like a bar - it has pool
tables and alcohol and allowed smoking when we were there.
Being that this place is designed specifically for kids of all ages, I
think that the smoking and alcohol should be limited to the other
restaurant in the hotel that is not near the fun center or around the
kids. We had several problems over the years with both men and women
who get drunk and make shameless passes at "mom" or "dad" in front of
the kids. These drunk guys watch as your 14 year old daughter sings on
stage and their eyes follow her movements around the fun center and it
was a bit creepy. We complained about the smoking, but got no relief.
Don't expect alot if you are unhappy with your room or the noise, we
have had absolutely no luck in changing rooms on several visits (they
seem to never have another room available - even when our group had
booked 8 rooms of families on our last trip they were still
unresponsive to complaints when one person was getting smoke smell in
their room even though it was non-smoking - someone in a nearby room
must have been smoking and it drifted to their room). We come back each
year because the kids like it so much, it is inexpensive if you go on a
club nite and it is a great place for multi-family gatherings - we
always go with alot of other families so moms and dads have friends to
sit and talk with (and shop with) while the kids swim and play (it gets
boring quick for adults otherwise).
Luckily, the drunk adults have only been a problem on a few trips. I wouldn't advise just letting the kids run around unsupervised, it is not secure enough, so be sure to be close by and keep an eye on them.
They have a club which is definitely worth joining ($5/yr) if you plan
to go more than once, on my last trip I earned a $40 gift certificate
good for my next trip, and they have special pricing nites that can run
as low as $60. So I plan on going on and getting a room for only $20!
The hotel has a shuttle service that will take you over the bridge into
town, although it is a short walk, it is nice to use if it is raining
or snowing. It runs regularly and was very convenient.
There is an adult-only pool in a quiet section of the hotel tha also
has a hot tub...I recommend this if you don't have the kids in tow. It
is a pretty setting. There is a multi-story window that runs the length
of the pool and it gets the morning and afternoon light and has a nice
view - it is so relaxing and you can catch some rays, I have only seen
other people in it after dinner, so it is a nice quiet daytime getaway.
The adult-only area also has a lounge and pool tables.
There is a new shopping center, called River Place next to the hotel,
it looks like a small Bavarian village with rock walls and a pretty
stream running through it. It has some unique shops and funstuff like a
house of mirrors, for the kids. It is on the river and there is a
riverboat cruise you can take down the river. Interesting to note is
the large blocks of pretty rock that line the walkway down to the
riverboat, apparently these were cut from the Niagara Falls area and
brought there. They also constructed a man made waterfall that looks
very natural and is quite large and can be viewed fromt eh boat and
from a walkway-bridge that runs across the river into the heart of
town. The sidewalks in town are heated in winter.
We do ocassionally have noise problems by other guests. This is most significant during "winter school breaks (Easter, Winter, Christmas, etc). We do significantly beef up our staff to manage the experience. We also have very specific policies on noise in rooms and do evict guests who are unruly or disrespectful to other guests. Fortunately, this does not happen more then 3-4 times a year.
I appreciate the guests concerns regarding smoking. We have minimized further the areas where smokes are allowed. There is no longer smoking available anywhere near any pool. Also over 80% of our guestrooms are smoke free.
It is a very rare circumstance that we cannot provide alternative rooms if a view isn't just right or you need a larger room. I believe this guest is coming during a school break which is about the only time we are limited with 360 guestrooms.
We take all guests concerns seriously. I have been with the Bavarian Inn - Zehnder family since I was 15 years old. I am now in my 28th year of service and I know that no hotel will survive without repeat guests. I can tell... this guest does plan to return.
Jim Engel, General Mananger
Bavarian Inn Lodge 989-652-7200