We had the pleasure of heading to Frankenmuth Michigan with our niece and nephew to stay at the world famous Bavarian Inn Lodge. What a delightful stay! It is kind of funny because the town of Frankenmuth is only about one hour away from home but we admittedly had not spent much time exploring the town, or the Bavarian Inn. We jumped at the chance to discover more about this resort in our own backyard (kind of), and to eat at the Bavarian Inn Restaurant as well. Known as Little Bavaria, the entire town has a German theme and if very family friendly.
To get to the hotel we had to cross an old time wooden bridge, which was really interesting. This bridge is made entirely of wood and has a great old world rustic charm. You can also walk across the bridge if you wish; the bridge is the only way to access the Bavarian Inn Lodge.
The grounds are pristine and since we arrived in the Summer, the flowers were blooming and everything was lush and colorful. The inside of the hotel is just as welcoming, you feel an air of elegance and old world charm as soon as you enter. It’s obvious that the resort, which features 4 indoor pools, 3 whirpools and 2 water slides, is family friendly and dedicated to an excellent experience. The decor highlights the German heritage. Our room was on the 3rd floor and it had a balcony! What a pleasure that was, to sit on the patio chairs and enjoy the warm Summer breeze. To gain access to our private balcony you used a screen door, which allowed the Summery breeze to enter the hotel room as well, a welcome change to the stuffy hotel rooms we usually experience.
After checking in we decided to explore a bit, and that started with a trip to the Family Fun Center within the resort. Oh my! What a fun place for kids of all ages (including Jim and I!). There was a newly renovated 18 hole indoor golf course that we played. It features hand painted murals, brightly lit trees (I loved the hot pink lights) and a well maintained course.
We also explored the pool areas; it is nice because they have different areas to swim which results in a less crowded atmosphere. We checked out the gift shops and the 2 on site restaurants as well as the game room area. The game room area was impressive – over 100 different video and redemption games to tempt players of all ages. Clean and family friendly, the entire lower level is dedicated to fun! After mini golf we took a walk around the grounds of the hotel, which are picturesque. Don’t miss the opportunity for some fantastic adventure photographs!
As luck would have it, the Detroit Hudson car club was having a conference at the lodge and there was a car show in the parking lot featuring old Hudson cars. Our niece loved the Hudson Hornet car, complete with props from the movie Cars. The owner was kind and even let her get inside! What a nice memory that will be for her. Frankenmuth is a busy town; in looking at the various tourist publications available at the lodge it seems there is always some event going on that would be fun to investigate. Don’t miss the large tourist information area within the resort, in the lobby.
Next up for our adventure was dinner at the Bavarian Inn Restaurant. This is not located within the hotel, but just a short walk over the covered bridge will put you at the doorstep. You can also hop in your car and drive there if you would rather do that. Dining in Frankenmuth is very popular and the Bavarian Inn is one of those places that many people make a “must visit” destination when they tour Michigan. Admittedly, we had not dined there either….so we were excited to try it.
The Bavarian Inn Restaurant is huge – there and 12 European themed dining rooms. Along with dinner guests they have the ability to host events like weddings as well. We were lucky enough to be seated in the Bavarian Room that features beautiful hand painted fairy tale themed murals on the walls. Our nephew and niece recognized all the scenes that were depicted and enjoyed looking them over. Once seated we were greeted by a very friendly server who explained the menu and their specialty, “family style” dinners. After much consideration we decided that 3 of us would go for family style dining with ribs and chicken, but our nephew would order steak (he loves steak). The family style dining is a very unique experience, one we would highly recommend. First, we were each brought a small bowl of chicken noodle soup. Then we were served our salads which consisted of 4 different types in large bowls placed in the center of the table. This allowed us to sample the different salads, which was nice.
After the salads came the main course and the side dishes. Oh my goodness – there was an abundance of food. The nice thing with family style dinner we chose was that it was all you can eat, meaning we were able to refill any side dish, chicken or ribs we wanted to.
Look at all the yummy goodness!
The food was truly delicious; everyone enjoyed the savory dishes. It was fun to be able to try various items and have the ability for additional servings of those that you favored. Our kind server reminded us that ice cream was also included with our dinner. Oh boy – we had to save room for that. Luckily they provided take out containers that allowed us to leave with the left overs. There was a refrigerator in our lodge room so it was convenient to store until we left for home.
The Bavarian Inn Restaurant exceeded our expectations; we would highly recommend it to anyone traveling to the area. The variety of entrees for lunch or dinner can satisfy any appetite; if you are looking for German style dinners they are also available. We stuck with ribs, steak and chicken – you can’t go wrong there! You can view the Bavarian Inn Restaurant’s dinner menu. After dinner we returned to our hotel room to change and head to the pool area. It was pleasantly uncrowded and featured many places to sit and relax. Jim and the kids rode the 2 water slides many times, while I took some time to unwind in the pleasant atmosphere. Well maintained and sparkling, the pools and whirlpools were an inviting way to end a busy day. There is also an adult only pool within the hotel; we did not swim there but it is a nice feature to point out for those of you looking for a bit of quiet relaxation during your stay.
Back to our room in the evening, we all fell asleep quickly on the high quality bedding. The hotel is quite sound proof so we were not bothered at all by other guests in the hall.
The next morning I awoke early, as I tend to do. I quietly dressed and left the room, stopping for a gourmet coffee at the gift shop on the main floor. My coffee and I went onto the outdoor veranda and took in the beautiful scenery. It was so calming, so relaxing – a perfect morning!
After an hour or so I walked across the covered bridge and stopped for some pastries at the Bavarian Inn Bake Shop located on the lower level of the Bavarian Inn Restaurant. There were many delicious options to pick from so I ordered several items and took them back to the room for the rest of the bunch. Along the way I soaked in the gorgeous beauty of the place, including the lovely flowers outside.
After enjoying our pastries we took the kids down to the game area.
Their grandparents had sent along a little spending money so they tried their luck – and had a blast. We played some of the redemption games too, with Uncle Jim trying to earn as many tickets as possible so that they could redeem them for fun prizes. I’d like to mention that of all the places we have visited with a game room/redemption center, the Bavarian Inn’s is the most reasonably priced.
Most games take 1 or 2 tokens (tokens are $0.25 each) and even those kids with the smallest amounts of tickets to redeem can walk away with decent prizes. It is nice they keep the ticket levels low on the prizes; it makes for very happy children and adults as well. We spent over 2 hours in the game room before taking another dip in the pool and zipping down the water slides. When we checked out of the hotel, we felt sad that we were leaving. We all enjoyed our trip immensely. We can not believe that we waited so long to explore this gem of a destination – and we are certain you too would enjoy a visit to the Bavarian Inn Lodge and Restaurant.
Disclosure: We were provided complimentary stay at the hotel and dinner in exchange for this review.