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“Needs improvement” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort

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Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Utica
Colona, Illinois, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Needs improvement”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 February 2012

My family went on a Saturday night stay for a Boy Scout gathering. We were told they would do their best to get us into our rooms ASAP, as obviousley they knew we had a large group coming and we had reservations in place long before. But that didn't happen, it took 3 hours for them to get our room ready. Room was just OK. No freaking coffee pot, which I believe is an outrage. We had to call for more towels and pillows, as they stock just the minimum. I thought everything was clean and the place was nice. The resort is huge in regards to the occupancy they could put there. But the size of the waterpark doesn't fit. The waterpark is WAY to small for the amout of people they have. The amusement park is a great idea and I thought again it was really nice. But again they have to expan, they HAVE to get bigger. So overall I see potential, but the customer service was lacking and the resort is just to small. I want to have a family reunion there next this fall, but I am really hesitant because of our experience. HEr if a manager comes across this, please contact me and tell me what we could work out to ensure my family won't be disappointed. p-rob.13@hotmail.com

Room Tip: Avoid until needed expansion happens
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Patrick-Chrissy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GBRCustomerService, General Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this review, 19 February 2012
Thank you for choosing Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort! We are sorry to hear that your recent stay with us was not GRAND. In regards to the availability of your rooms, we do allow all guests to arrive as early as 1 pm to start using our facilities however, rooms are not guaranteed until 4 pm. Also, we do not provide individual coffee pots in our rooms; however, we do provide complimentary coffee in our lobby by the front desk. We are making several changes to our amenities on property that we hope our guests will enjoy. We will be in contact with you so that should you choose to have your family reunion here we can make sure that everyone has a GRAND time. Thank you again and we do hope to see you all in the future. Have a GRAND day!
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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 (319)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Coal City, Illinois, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 February 2012

I have never had a worse experience at a water park before this visit to Grizzly Jack's. I brought three teenage boys to the park and they were bored to death. There are only 2 slides for for adults. It's very small. The amusement park wasn't any better three rides for older kids. The restaurant was terrible as well. It took us over an hour and a half to get our food which was no better than frozen pizza, but cost a whole lot more. The restaurant should be in the main hotel complex, not across the parking lot. I spoke with the manager Brett before I left and he said the website is not deceiving it gives accurate square footage of park. I never even mentioned that I thought the web site was deceiving. Perhaps he heard this before. He was interested in hearing me let alone helping to resolve the issue. I won't be back and I told my friends don't waste your time or money.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Carolyn P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GBRCustomerService, General Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this review, 19 February 2012
Thank you for choosing Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort! We are sorry to hear that your stay with us was not a GRAND experience. Our mission, as a resort, is to ensure that each family that visits our property leaves feeling satisfied with their stay.

Grand Bear Falls is our 24,000 square foot waterpark which features a wave pool, lazy river, two large body slides, a family slide, heated spa, toddler pool, and large play structure with water features. The Enchanted Forest, which is our indoor amusement park, does feature several carnival style rides as well as bounce houses and inflatables. Also, we are currently in the process of making some changes to our amenities on property that we feel will be very enjoyable for all ages.

Our main restaurant is located inside our indoor amusement park which unfortunately is not connected to the main lodge. We can assure you though that our pizza in Jack's Place is fresh and made-to-order. We do try to make our prices as economical as possible for families. Average cost for a meal is going to be between six and nine dollars per adult with the option of a kids menu.

We do take any and all feedback from our guests seriously, and please know that we are sincerely sorry. Thank you and have a GRAND day!
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Travellers are raving about these Utica hotels

Kankakee, Illinois
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 February 2012

We just took our granddaughter there, 2-10-2012, it was great!.The staff were very professional and went out of their way to make you feel welcome. There were four adults and one very acctvie 5 yr old in a 2 bed room with a pull-out bed. The room was very clean, but the pillows were flat if you like a fuller pillow. They serve a buffet style breakfast that was good, especially if you don't want to cook in the mourning. The rest of the day the smell of waffle cones fills the air.
The water park was not as big as some in the Dells, but a nice size for younger children, with a smaller area for the very young, with nice warm water and a small slide. There is a larger slide along the wave pool that also was good for even the youngest of children. The youngsters can walk right into the water and sit in the shallow end, and it only gets to about 5 feet deep at the end. The lazy river is also smaller and does not have tubes for very young children, but still makes for a nice trip. There is a body slide and tube slide for the older children/adults.
The amusement park is a good place to go when you need a break from the water and the rides are a nice mix for the young and old. There are plenty of games, but go to the lodge to exchange your tickets, they have a better selection. The food if average, but again the staff was good.
Overall a good place for young children, and we will be going back again!

Room Tip: Bring food if you want or you can eat at the amusement park, or there are several other places to ea...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tim H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GBRCustomerService, General Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this review, 19 February 2012
Thank you for choosing Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort! We are so excited to hear that your recent stay with us was a GRAND experience. We strive to provide each guest with a fun, family friendly getaway. We are making some GRAND additions to the entertainment provided on our property so make sure to stay updated on our website and Facebook page for any updates. We hope that you are able to visit us again soon. Thank you and have a GRAND day!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 February 2012

I'm a travel agent and I've informed my agency , as well as, my clients that Grizzly Jack's is a waste of time and money. First, in my 14 yrs in traveling have I have NEVER heard of a 40% security deposit. That is crazy. What happened to credit card guarantee??? Upon check-in, we waited over 20 minutes, while 2 associates handled 1 reservation. Once another associate walked back and forth for what seemed to be another 10 minutes, she decided to assist us. Needless to say, she was beyond rude. She needs to be trained on how to give better customer service. Upon going back and forth with her about the security deposit, I requested to see a manager. How funny it is that he only charged a $50 security deposit, which I still thought it was ridiculous to be charged a security deposit. The restrooms in restaurant (if that's what they call it) and in the resort were unmaintained. The villas were nicely kept, but there was no iron, no children television stations (disney, nickelodeon, cartoon network), and you had to call the front desk for towels...... With the prices that we were charged, one would think unit would be stocked. There was VERY limited lighting in the villa areas, which made finding your villa feel like you were on an obstacle course. The driveway, walkways, and entrance to Enchanted forest were all icy Where's the salt, so you don't almost break your neck as I did???? The restaurant, as they refer to, reminded me of being at Chuck E Cheese. Needless to say, I will NOT be returning, nor referring ANYONE to this "so called" resort.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank vette40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GBRCustomerService, General Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this review, 11 February 2012
Thank you for choosing Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort! We are sorry to hear that your recent stay with us was not a GRAND experience. At the time of check-in we do require an additional authorization on the credit card for 40% of your total stay. This amount is a pre-authorization which is then release upon check-out. Our managers do have the ability to look into the situation, as needed, so that the guest can have an enjoyable experience at our resort. In regards to the television selections that we provide, there are several options for children's entertainment. We do have Cartoon Network and we also have two channels dedicated to family friendly movie showings. I would like to further investigate your stay so if you could please email me at bsullivan@grandbearlodge.com I would be more than happy to discuss any of our policies with you. Thank you again and have a GRAND day!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peoria Heights, Illinois
Level Contributor
88 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 February 2012

This is the second time we've visited and we wil definetly be back for more. We got a deal on a two night stay. It was great, but the waterpark is only open from 4-10 pm on Thurs night. There are a couple of shops and restaurants in the complex, but the big problem is that they are only open on the weekends. So you have to make do until Friday night. And then, it seemed like some of the things were not open until Saturday morning even. That is very disappointing. They charge a $9.95 a day resort fee, so I would expect that we would be able to get the "full use" of the resort. As for the waterpark, my kids absolutely loved it. Tha arcade was great, and the rides were fun, and this is all included in the room rate. It is even a very easy drive from Peoria, no car boredom. There is always room for improvement, but we enjoyed ourselves nonetheless.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank phreakmamapink
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GBRCustomerService, General Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this review, 11 February 2012
Thank you for choosing Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort! We do greatly appreciate and value any feedback we receive from our guests. We are sorry to hear that you were inconvenienced by our hours of availability. We do provide a calendar on our website with the hours of our facilities and also our reservation agents would be more than happy to assist with any questions you may have. We do hope that you and your family visit us again in the future. Make sure to stay updated on our Facebook page and website for any upcoming promotions. Thank you again and have a GRAND day!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
23 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 February 2012

The place is dirty, the restaurants should be shut down and someone dropped a duece in the hot tub. But the worst thing was that three days after we checked out they hit my credit card for $50, for "Pet damage".They claimed I had a dog in the room, only problem is I don't have a dog, or any pet for that matter. They company is in Bankruptcy and according to the North Utica Police Department, there have been complaints every weekend from customers for these mysterious charges. You can call the Police @ 815. 667.4613 to verify what I am saying.

Room Tip: Check out other hotels in the area other than this one, or camp outside.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank John K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GBRCustomerService, General Manager at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, responded to this review, 4 February 2012
Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort stands firm on its policies. Our pet policy is stated in writing during the registration process. Whether the pet was just visiting, or stayed overnight in the room, we will enforce this policy.

In regards to your stay, we have video surveillance of a dog entering and leaving the lodge. We also have eye witness employees who saw the dog exiting your room. In addition, a pet odor was noted inside the room by housekeeping staff, along with a window left open to "air out" the smell in the middle of winter.

The resort will continue to enforce the policies to ensure each guest has a memorable experience.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 January 2012

We had a very fun time at Grizzly Jacks. This was our second trip to this resort. The waterpark is fun (waves are cool) and the amusement park is perfect for children ages 5-10. The buffet was good and the kid cabin suite we stayed in was clean (one outlet didn't work). The resort is a bit pricey, but in my opinion, that's the only knock on the place. My family thanks you for a great vacation.

Room Tip: If with kids, Kid Cabin Suite is great - bunk beds and TV of their own.
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank mordecairigby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 (Based on Average Rates): $
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, featuring 60,000 sq. ft. of Indoor Entertainment! This includes Grand Bear Falls Indoor Waterpark and Enchanted Forest Indoor Amusement Park, 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 Lumber Jacks Pizzeria and Sports Bar. 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, Laser Tag, Ropes Course and Zip Line (additional costs apply - open to the public). 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, the Moose Crossing Convenience Store and the Northwoods Niche Gift Shop. 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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