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“Absolutely loved this place!”

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Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Utica
Bensenville, il, United States
1 review
“Absolutely loved this place!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 September 2012

I rented a villa for my family for the weekend to celebrate my sons 2nd birthday, and it was a great choice! I was nervous because after booking I had read some bad reviews, but I ended up being very pleased with the entire experience! First, the villas are gorgeous and huge! I was very impressed at how well they made you feel like you were in a cabin in the woods. Second, the water park (although not huge) was alot of fun, we had people ages 2-73 in our group and everyone had a great time! There are tables for those who are not joining to sit and watch, there is a concession area in there that even sells adult beverages (which was appreciated by those who werent swimming), there were no lines for anything or congestion (unlike places like keylime cove) and I was very impressed with the friendly pool staff (most places hire teeny boppers who could care less about you). Third, the amusement park area was also a blast! Again, everyone in our group enjoyed the entire experience. Lastly, the staff at the front desk was amazing! They were there to help at every turn (especially Stephanie!). We even went as far as asking the front desk if they could change in dollars for a variety of coins, and they did it no problem!! (We were having family poker night with dimes and nickels). Overall, it was fantanstic! There were only a few issues (too strong of a word but cant think of another way to word it). 1- We did have a couch in the villa that had a cracked bottom--but- when we called they offered to come fix it right away, but we didnt need them to we were only there a couple days, but it should have been noticed before our arrival. 2- Although the pool area is great, it would be even more excellent if the seating area was in a cooler place (maybe a seperate room or some fans, not sure, but I do know the people who werent swimming were a little warmer than theyd like to be, but completely understood it considering we were of course in a heated waterpark. 3- I would have enjoyed more rides for smaller children, my son is only 2, and big for a 2 year old, but could only go on 2 rides, one by himself and 1 with me, and then of course the jumparoos--it was a very nice amusement area but it would have been better if there was more he could do. Lastly, it would have been an even better experience if there were benches or picnic tables or something outside near the villas for you to sit on to enjoy the outdoor weather (especially with morning coffee :) ) a bench by each villa would exceed all expectations! But, even without the few suggestions, i would reccomend this place to everyone and will DEFINITELY be returning!!!

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with family
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Jenelle B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,760 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (323)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 September 2012

We recently stayed in one of the 3 bedroom condos with 10 people (7 adults and kids ages 5,3, and 1). The condo itself was clean and spacious with a nice sized kitchen and dining area. The rooms were good sized and the beds were moderately comfortable. However, upon checking in, our room only had 10 towels, and a few hand towels. After reading the price list of everything in the room, we learned that we were missing 8 towels and many wash cloths and hand towels. When we called the reception to get the additional, they told us that we wouldn't be changed for the missing items and to make due with what we had.

The location is nice if you are going into Starved Rock.

Shuttle- multiple times we called the shuttle to go up to the lobby or pool and gave up after waiting 20+ minutes. We were at the far end of the resort and it would have been too far to walk with small children.

Water park-- good for small children. Only had 2 waterslides that were for older kids or adults and they were not that great. Be ware-- it is very cold as you walk through the hotel leaving the water park.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank WeLove2Travel1998
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chicago
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 September 2012

This is my second time coming here and my last, service was poor didn't leave enough towels or wash cloths,when I called down for additional I was told it would be at least a hour,I went down about a half hour later and got them myself.Once I got to the second floor I noticed the girl taking back the items that I had requested from a worker who was sitting down coffee clutching with other employees what ever happened to the customer comes first.If you decide to go there bring food or plan on going out.Buffet so they call it is slim pickens and the amusement park restaurant you could eat downtown Chicago for what you will pay.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sarge240
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GBRCustomerService, Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this review, 15 September 2012
Our team at Grizzly Jack's strives to serve our guests to complete satisfaction. We highly value your feedback and appreciate you taking the time to bring these issues to our attention. We are sorry to hear that you were not satisfied and we hope you will accept our deepest apologies. Our goal is for everyone to have a GRAND stay. Since we did not accomplish this during your stay please contact me at bsullivan@grandbearlodge.com. Thank you!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Utica hotels

Glenview, Illinois
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 September 2012

We decide to take the kids to a last minute getaway at Starved Rock. Grizzly Jacks is apparently in receivership or something, and it showing its age and lack for resources.

The room was ok - clean, but dated, and the beds not very comfortable.

The waterpark was on the small side, but we knew that coming into this, and was otherwise all we needed.

The indoor amusement park was also small, but what bothered me was the lack of staffing there. They have 6 or 7 rides that require an operator, but it looked like they only had 5 employees on staff - we often had to wait for an operator to open up the ride for us (Labor Day Weekend!).

Dining on site was average to poor - you're much better off going into town (Skoog's Pub was very good!)

In all fairness, every staffer we met was very nice and helpful - you can tell they're trying, but the facility is in need of a refresh and it looks like they are cutting corners with staffing.

Starved Rock is a great area, and a quick trip form Chicago, I only wish there was an alternative for family lodging.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Andy J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hollywood, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 August 2012

As a child, I routinely went to Starved Rock with my Grandparents and enjoyed my time there immensely. As a adult I decided to take my neices, along with my gf and her two children there for their own experience. Initially, I had planned on staying two nights at the resort and I am so glad that I decided only on one night. I could not see spending the kind of money they wanted to charge for a two night stay. We booked the kid cabin room, complete with two bunk beds, a sofa sleeper and a queen bed. We figured the sofa sleeper could accomodate a five and six year old sharing, if it was a standard full size which it wasn't. We also made the mistake of thinking the queen bed could accomodate two adults which it could if it was a queen, but it wasn't. The hotel staff claimed it was a standard size queen, but we are not stupid, it was a full size at best. So sleeping arrangements were tight needless to say, but thank god it was only one night. About the only highlight of staying in the hotel was the water park, but quite honestly for the money, a standard size pool would of sufficed. Aside from the misrepresentations about the bed sizes, the amusement park was also a big disappointment. After venturing into the amusement park the next day, there were only two rides operating, not to say that the other two weren't working just that they were not manned. Instead, individuals were operating the rides that would cost an additional fee aside from what was already built into the room charge. After complaining to the manager, the two additional rides were operated by him and a waitress from the restaurant who was tasked with the job. So now four rides, purportedly free rides were operating. The remaining of the space in the building was dedicated to other activities that each required additional fees not to mention other arcade games as well. I guess having the a full arcade room in the hotel wasn't enough, that they had to fill the amusement park up with more each bearing their own cost. Nothing like having your children tell you that they are bored and don't understand why you refuse to pay for more activities after paying close to $400 for a one night stay. Do yourself a favor, stay at a hotel in neigboring Oglesby or Ottawa or Peru with a pool and save your money to spend on other activities offered at the State Parks in the area, everything from horseback riding, canoeing or a boat trip, fishing etc....The hotel is not worth the money for the activities it boasts. It may look nice from the outside, but that is about it.

Room Tip: Go to another hotel
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank amy p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GBRCustomerService, Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this review, 22 September 2012
The Grizzly Jack's team is sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your recent stay with us. Unfortunately, the Kid Cabin Suite does only accommodate 5 guests. Based on your situation, we did allow you to have 6 guests. The Amusement Park rides do run on a rotation basis. We are sorry that you did not enjoy your stay but we thank you for letting us know about your experience. This allows us the opportunity to improve. Have a GRAND day!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort

Property: Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort
Address: 2643 IL 178, Utica, IL 61373
Region: United States > Illinois > Utica
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Utica
Price range (per night): $129 - $378
Hotel Class:3 star — Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 272
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort offers skin-drenching fun all year long right in the beautiful setting of Starved Rock State Park. Located just 90 minutes from Chicago or the Quad Cities and an hour from Bloomington or Rockford, our 60 wooded acres offer all of nature's wonders. This includes Grand Bear Falls Indoor Waterpark, beautiful lodge accommodations, as well as our 1800 sq. ft. vacation villas and luxurious 2800 sq. ft. cabins. Enjoy a variety of dining options, including wraps, salads, hot sandwiches and made to order pizzas at Jack's Place. During the summer months guests can enjoy a view of nature at our Bear Island Pavilion & Curtis Canyon Deck. Next to Bear Island enjoy our “Castle in the Woods” playground area and test your skills at our 18 hole Canyon Creek Miniature Golf Course. All lodge rooms include a microwave, mini-fridge, hair dryer and wi-fi internet access. Our Vacation Villas are a 2-story townhome with a fully-applianced kitchen (basic pots and pans and place settings are provided), 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Our Log Cabins offer 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a fully-applianced kitchen (basic pots and pans and place settings are provided), 3 fireplace, s and an oversized Great Room. Other resort amenities include the Cave Arcade with over 60 games, the Wave Cafe Snack Shop, the Honey Pot Sweet Shop & Grizzly Bean Gourmet Coffee Shop and the Moose Crossing Convenience Store. Our Grand Bear Conference Center includes over 8000 sq. ft. of meeting space, including 6000 sq. ft. of Grand Ballroom space to accommodate your larger functions such as weddings, family reunions and corporate events. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grizzly Jack`s Grand Bear Hotel Utica
Grizzly Jacks Grand Bear Resort
Grizzly Jacks Grand Bear Hotel

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