The Bavarian Inn Lodge in Frankenmuth, Michigan, looks like a great resort for families, and while we're more bed & breakfast or country inn types, we found the resort also worked nicely for a quick and quiet mid-week getaway during the off season.
We've visited Frankenmuth often for day trips over the years. The quaint German themed town is a little over an hour from home for us, and attractions like Bronner's massive year round Christmas store make it a fun trip for those seeking a little cool relief on hot summer days.
But as many times as I'd visited Bronner's and downtown Frankenmuth over the years, I'd never stayed there overnight.
We remedied that situation earlier this month when we found we could get out of town for a quick, quick trip and needed to go somewhere within an hour or two from home.
We arrived at the Bavarian Inn Lodge on a rainy Tuesday afternoon, approaching the massive motel along a lane leading through a covered bridge spanning the Cass River. The quiet approach almost made you forget you were going to a 7-acre resort that included a 360-room lodge, 5 indoor pools, a couple of restaurants and lounges, shops, and recreation options like an indoor mini golf course, outdoor tennis courts, tons of video games and other amusements.
Arriving when we did meant we were able to snag a room overlooking the river, and the serene view made it possible to forget you were in a big resort campus with a fantasy Bavarian architectural theme.
Frankenmuth has an interesting history as a town settled by a small group of German families in the mid-1840s. I enjoyed the fact that the lodge honored the town's ties to those original settlers and their descendants by naming each room for early settlers, other families with deep roots in the community, or those who significantly contributed to the area's growth and development.
Our room was the Veitengruber room, named for Johann Michael and Anna Marie Veitengruber, and their six grown children, who originally arrived in Frankenmuth in 1846. The room's decor included plaques tracing the history of the family through eight generations, plus a gallery of Veitengruber family photos and records like a church confirmation document (in German) and an attendance award for another family member from the Frankenmuth village school district during the early 1900s.
Other lodge features we especially appreciated included a free and strong Wi-Fi signal we were both able to access at the same time in our room with no hassle, an in-room refrigerator, and the adult-only pool.
The adult-only pool alone makes the lodge worth considering for a future visit. I've been at resorts in the past where a single indoor pool served all of the guests and the staff there didn't enforce the late-night adult-only posted swim times, making it a special misery if you happened to book a poolside room. The Bavarian Inn's multiple pools spread throughout the complex make it pleasant for everyone.
We were a bit disappointed that the Lorelei Lounge wasn't open the night we were there, but we were still able to get a late snack and a beer in the cafeteria-style Ratskeller (although its location in the Family Fun Center with its sea of video games probably wouldn't make the Ratskeller our first choice on a busy summer night). Tim, a root beer fan, tried the Bavarian Inn's lodge's own branded root beer and liked it.
We also appreciated being able to take a short walk through the lodge to Oma's Restaurant for breakfast the next morning. If you go, make sure you try a side of the potato cheese dumplings with your meal.
No trip to Frankenmuth, of course, is complete without an all-you-can-eat chicken dinner or visit to Bronner's Christmas store. Read more about our Frankenmuth experiences in my earlier stories, Frankenmuth's Bavarian Inn serves up chicken, German beer and nostalgia in Michigan and Bronner's keeps the lights on for Santa in Frankenmuth, Michigan.
Want to learn more about Frankenmuth's history? Check out Frankenmuth (Image of America) by the Frankenmuth Historical Association.
© Dominique King 2010 All rights reserved