bavarian Inn Lodge resort & indoor waterpark
Our first stop on the "Indoor Waterpark Tour" brought us to the Bavarian Inn Lodge located in beautifully historic Frankenmuth, Michigan. The lodge was built in 5 phases with the first phase opening in 1986, culminating with the opening of the last phase (as of now), in 2012 which included the the addition of 2 wild water slides!
The Lodge is located across the Cass River from the famous Bavarian Inn Restaurant which you can access via Michigan's largest covered wooden bridge, the Holz Brucke!
From the time you pull up to the lodge you immediately feel as if you are in a european setting as the architecture is spot on. This isn't one of the new "modern Ikea" type hotels, but one that exudes charm and warmth without feeling fabricated or dated.
The lobby houses a large cathedral type ceiling with a terrace over the entrance decorated with items suited to the holiday as there were several Christmas pieces set up directly across from a Christmas tree that if it was in your home, no one would dare touch! O and the tree just happens to be hanging UPSIDE DOWN with every ornament resting perfectly in place. Beautiful during the day, but it really comes to life at night!
The front desk staff are polite in such a manner that it seems as if they not only work here but also own the hotel as you will immediately notice they really have a vested interest in the guest experience. To underscore this fact, Joanna, took the time during check-in on a Saturday, the busiest day of the week, to not only tell us where things were located within the resort, but to also give us a guided tour! Pointing out some very interesting facts about the hotel and the area and the synergy between the two, she explained that each room is named after an original Frankenmuth family and inside you'll find facts on the wall about them. Munchie and myself being huge history buffs found this very interesting as we spent a considerable amount of time not only reading the material on the wall, but researching them further courtesy of Google!
We stayed in rooms 1203 & 1205 (you didn't think we were going to cram all 8 of us in one room did you?) which are Double Queen rooms with an adjoining door located on the 2nd floor in the Tower section.
Our rooms were relaxing and the beds were comfortable and not the usual stiff hotel mattresses you find at many other establishments. There is also a sitting chair that was so comfortable, I sat in it and while doing some work on my computer, I fell asleep and didn't wake up with back pains or upset that I dozed off there.
Adding to the country or European feel is that our room included a balcony that overlooked the serene Cass River, perfect for sitting out and watching the sun set or in my case, sun rise. If we could ever find time to take a trip sans the kiddos, The ole lady and I could spend half the day sitting out and just talking.
dinner with a surprise!
A compliment to the hotel is the 3 restaurants on site, Oma's, The Rathskeller in the Fun Center and The Lorelei Lounge. We decided to stop by the Lounge for supper and to our surprise it was Family Fun Night!
The kids played several games with the other kids and everyone had the chance to win Fun Center game cards, Mini Melts Ice Cream and other prizes. It was a real fun event and a great way for all the kids to meet each other and well you know, be kids.
The kids menu has all of the usual suspects (Cheeseburgers, Spaghetti, Chicken, Pizza, etc.), but unlike most places, the portions here are about twice the size of a normal kids meal which is a very, very welcome change as our kids (aside from MJ whom orders off the adult menu) will eat more than a regular kids meal, but definitely not an adult portion, So eating here will be great for families.
the fun center!
"The Largest In ANY Midwest Hotel!"
(Click arrows to scroll thru photos)
The Fun Center is MASSIVE and lots of fun for every member of the family! The first stop after dinner (and in fact the first one after breakfast the next morning) was the Arcade which is loaded with over 160 video & skill games.
The kids went ticket crazy and tried their hand and at what seemed like every game available. Mj and Scoop spent the most time playing "Crossy Road", amassing over 2,700 tickets! While cousin Cali racked up an impressive win at the "Claw Grab" with a 600 ticket band! I'm sure you understand how big of a feat this is if you've ever played these Claw style games, yes THAT GAME, the one where that shiny silver claw grabs the toy you've always wanted and just as you begin to celebrate and call your friends to come look, it slams against the side of the machine, dropping your prize back down into the barren field of dreams inside. Crushing your spirit. Oh well, Go Cali!
Also located in the Fun Center is "Willy's Mini Golf", a cool indoor, 18 hole golf course that's designed like a little village with obstacles, fun colors and capped with a waterfall in the back.
This was the first time we've all played as a family and needless to say we had a blast. Vegas and Syd even joined in with their own mini putters and made a hole in one! Well in keeping with full disclosure, Vegas actually picked his ball up and walked it down to the hole then dropped it in laughing but hey, it was still one attempt right?
The older kids got pretty intense as they battled to see who would win and even made a bet that whomever came in 4th place had to do 20 pushups... Congratulations Munchie... She went above and beyond and did 21 pushups instead 😂🤣
What's a Fun Center without a snack bar? Or better yet, what's a HUGE Fun Center without an equally as big Snack Bar?
The Ratskeller is another onsite restaurant that serves all of the usual suspects and a few things that are "Very Frankenmuth", such as Fudge and not just Chocolate, but several different kinds of Fudge. Quite possibly enough to make Charlie mistake the Rath for the real Chocolate Factory!
I had a Pepperoni Pizza while the kids redeemed the vouchers they won during the games we played earlier in the lounge to purchase Mini Melts, which are similar to Dippin Dots but somehow much better and Tatostix, which are akin to fresh potato chips but a bit thicker, stacked on a stick and flavored with one of 8 different toppings. We tried Cheesy Cheddar, Wild Buffalo, Flame Grilled BBQ and Salt & Garlic Pepper with Cheesy Cheddar and Wild Buffalo being selected as the 6 Kids Crew's favorite. Give them a try and let us know what your favorites are.
The Rath also has a full bar for Mom & Dad and host family Karaoke in the evenings and a host of other fun activities.
Ladies & gentlemen, the reason we are here!
As the first stop on the "Indoor Waterpark Tour" the kids were super anxious to get down to what they do best... Hit the pool!
From the time we checked into our room and the kids looked off the balcony and saw 2 waterslides jutting out of the side of the building, they have been wondering in excitement. Primarily at the blue and white slide due to the large "flying saucer" (Munchies words, not mine) attached to it.
The Bavarian Inn has 1 pool, wait that was a typo.. They actually have 2 pools, shoot, that was ANOTHER typo as The Bavarian Inn has not 1,2 or even 3 pools, they actually have FOUR! 2 are family, one is a kiddie pool with water geysers (when you go, step on 2 of the 4 geysers and watch what happens with the other ones!) and the remaining is an adults only pool and hot tub which is located in the atrium separate from any and all children (insert eye winking emoji).
Venturing into the slide area you'll find the Tower Twister a high speed bodyslide and the aforementioned blue and white "flying saucer", professionally known as the Bavarian Blast which you can ride by yourself or with a partner on a single or double inner tube.
While Munchie and Chips played the pools, the older kids took to the slides with the Bavarian Blast being the crowd favorite (due to their fear of the Tower Twister). Now I won't spill the surprise inside of the Blast, but just know it's not your typical "bowl slide" as it packs an unknown element to that you'll not soon forget!
The pool behind Willy's Mini Golf includes a fun waterfall and 2 water cannons outside the pool that Vegas had fun using to spray London and Cali with. Not sure if this is a mainstay at this pool but there were beach balls the kids used to bounce back and forth between each other.
Roll out of bed late to the soothing sounds of the piano echoing softly off the interior of the atrium and enjoy the Sunday Brunch Buffet with over 30 items, a carving and omelette station from 10am-1pm. The environment is very relaxing and spacious allowing your visit to feel intimate even when in the presence of other guest.
Reservations are suggested and you can make them 24 hours a day by dialing 0 from your room phone.
Pretzel rolling class
One thing that the kids enjoyed most about The Castle Shops located across the river was the Pretzel Making class. I never knew this was even a "thing" until I scrolled across the option on their website and at only $6.49 per person, it was a no brainer & well within our budget!
The class runs about 25 minutes during which time you will learn not only how to roll dough and create your own pretzel, but also the story behind why Pretzels are shaped the way they are and I will say, none of us had any idea of the very cool backstory to them (Do you know why the pretzel crosses in the center? Take the class and fill us in)!
Our course was lead by David, who kept things fun, the kids engaged and didn't mind taking "a" picture with them afterwards (sorry for the 30 retakes 😎)
When visiting Frankenmuth, this HAS to be a stop on your itinerary! After class allow about 45 minutes for baking and don't forget the German mustard! It is recommended to make reservations a day prior, which can be done by calling 989-652-9941
Soooo... should you stay here!
Absolutely! The Bavarian Inn Resort truly has everything your family needs directly on site (& next door), that allows you to park your car and leave it until it's time to go home!
We had an amazing time and with all of the different activities, we were really able to not only have fun, but bond as a family (without spending a mortgage payment may I add).
In addition, I'd like to point out that the staff was exceptional and really made this experience THAT much more memorable. Knowing that in hospitality, especially a high energy place with a million kids takes a lot, so I want to give an extra special thanks to Evan, Jesse, Jarred, Dave, Joanna & Mandy, not to just single them out because everyone was great, but they went above and way beyond to keep a smile on the kids faces from Check-In to Check-Out & we appreciate it sincerely!
**Full Disclosure, Our room and mini golf was provided for us to visit the resort and provide our opinions and that is what we are bringing you, OUR OPINIONS, which are not influenced or swayed. In other words, our review is our review. With that being said, You will love this place!**