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Bavarian Inn Lodge 3.0

Frankenmuth, Michigan, United States

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Review Summary

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  • Designed like a traditional Bavarian lodge with a working bell tower
  • In city center of Frankenmuth, within walking distance to restaurants and shops
  • Large network of indoor pools, with water slides and adult pool with adjacent hot tub
  • Elaborate and colorful mini-golf course plus large arcade and outdoor tennis courts
  • Two gift shops selling souvenirs, snacks, and specialty foodstuffs
  • A choice of popular themed restaurants
  • Many repeat customers commend the hotel's seasonal decorations
  • Free Wi-Fi


  • Some complaints of threadbare furniture and leaky faucets
  • Some complaints about inconsistent housekeeping

Bottom Line

The 360-room Bavarian Inn Lodge is a mid-range property designed to evoke a traditional German country lodge. Popular with families, this hotel has an extensive network of indoor swimming pools (with water slides and hot tubs), plus a massive game and video arcade, mini-golf, and outdoor tennis courts. There is also a fitness center on-site. Rooms are pleasant enough, if dated, with patterned bedspreads (there is the occasional complaint about threadbare furniture, spotty housecleaning, and malfunctioning heat or plumbing) but overall this is a service-oriented hotel that earns many repeat customers, especially for its seasonal decorations.

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Large, family-friendly hotel inspired by traditional German lodges

From its tiled turrets to the 239-foot covered wooden bridge to the bell tower that plays several musical pieces throughout the day, almost every single part of this kid-friendly lodge and retreat celebrates the German heritage of the family who opened it. The property, which is most popular with families, is decorated seasonally; the staff in the hotel are dressed in traditional German clothing, and there are signs in German or in lettered Gothic font painted throughout (though some of the basics, including a lot of the furniture and carpeting, hark back only about to the 80s, when the hotel was built). The entire property, in particular the various restaurants, are hung with alphorns, cowbells, woodcarvings, and oxen yokes. The atmosphere is family-friendly and thus can be on the noisy side. 


In the center of and dominating the small city of Frankenmuth

Bavarian Inn Lodge, the adjacent Bavarian Inn Restaurant, and a couple of other properties owned by the proprietors of the hotel occupy much of the Frankenmuth city center, which itself is designed in imitation of a small German town, privileging pedestrian walkways around the village square and alongside the Cass River, which flows through town. The properties sit squarely within the main strip of the city’s boutiques and restaurants. Frankenmuth is about a 30-minute drive from the Flint airport.


Plain, if dated, rooms with carved wood headboards

Rooms at the Bavarian Inn Lodge are, on the whole, considerably plainer than the rest of the inn. Rooms are carpeted in red or blue and have simple pine furniture and carved headboards. Each room is named after a German family, and the addition of black and white or sepia vintage photographs add a nice touch, though does not take away from the fact that the rooms, including the bathrooms with their standard tubs, are relatively regular, with somewhat clinical features like industrial push soap dispensers. Larger rooms do have the nice addition of roomier bathrooms with walk-in glass stall showers, some with a built-in whirlpool tub. All rooms have irons, coffeemakers, hairdryers, mini-fridges, and wall-mounted TVs.


Game rooms, a fitness center, an extensive network of pools, and two souvenir shops

The water activities at the Bavarian Inn Lodge deserve special mention; in addition to separate pools for children and adults, there is also a system of large water slides, accessible via several flights of stairs, that winds outside and then back into the building (all parts of the structure are indoors). There are hot tubs, and special water features, including a waterfall cascading from an artificial rock formation. There is also an indoor mini-golf course, a large gift shop featuring specialty foodstuffs as well as souvenirs, a fitness center with a good handful of machines and some weights, a lounge with two pool tables, a game area with air hockey, skeeball, and an extensive array of arcade games complete with a prize redemption center, and outdoor tennis courts.

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1 Covered Bridge Ln, Frankenmuth, Michigan 48734-1900, United States

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