Trip Review: Bavarian Inn Lodge, Frankenmuth, MI

Review: Bavarian Inn Lodge, Frankenmuth, MI
*Disclosure: I received a free one-night stay at Bavarian Inn Lodge in exchange for this review. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

This past Friday, I had the pleasure of staying at the Bavarian Inn Lodge, in Frankenmuth, Michigan, for one night. I've been to Frankenmuth many times, and even stayed overnight in the neighboring Birch Run, but I had never stayed directly in the city before, so I was excited to stay at the Lodge.

Review: Bavarian Inn Lodge, Frankenmuth, MI

Friday was a rainy day, but we didn't let that stop us from having fun. We stopped at Halo Burger, in Birch Run, for lunch—there used to be locations in Novi and Troy, but both closed, and their food is very good—and then hit up Bronner's Christmas Wonderland, which is the largest Christmas store in the world. 

Bavarian Inn Frankenmuth

For those who are unfamiliar with Frankenmuth, it is a German/Bavaria-themed town, about an hour north of the Metro Detroit area, nicknamed "Michigan's Little Bavaria." There is always a lot of things to do in Frankenmuth—whenever I visit, I have a few "must-sees" such as the Frankenmuth Cheese Haus, the Fudge Kitchen, and a restaurant for an all-you-can-eat chicken dinner, which I have yet to find anywhere else in my travels. 

We arrived at the Bavarian Inn Lodge after shopping at Bronner's for about an hour. The Lodge is rather huge—it has 360 "European-themed" guestrooms, and we had a nice room in the corner, with a view of the river.

Bavarian Inn Lodge, Frankenmuth, MI

Each room has a fridge, which I appreciated. We stayed in a King room but they also have rooms with two queen beds, and even family and whirlpool suites. 

We had a reservation booked at the Bavarian Inn restaurant for that evening—which is actually in a separate building than the Bavarian Inn Lodge, but it's a quick 5-minute walk—but we had some errands to do first, such as dropping by the Cheese Haus and Fudge Kitchen.

Frankenmuth Cheese Haus

The Cheese Haus is one of my favorite places to shop in Frankenmuth—it has more than 150 variations of cheese—and we bought a lot of Swiss, my favorite, plus a few others. When we checked into the Lodge, they gave us a coupon book/"fun book" and it had a coupon for a free gift at the Cheese Haus when you spend $20+, which ended up being a pretty nice oven mitt. It also had a coupon for the Fudge Kitchen, for 10% off, in addition to their "buy 3 pieces, get 1 free" policy, so I used both of those deals too.

Bavarian Inn chicken

If you go for AYCE chicken at the Bavarian Inn Restaurant, come hungry: you get all the chicken you want, plus sides, as you can see above. My favorite sides are the buttered noodles—it's interesting because "that restaurant across the street" (Zehnder's, the other chicken option) does their buttered noodles slightly different, but I liked that Bavarian's had a cracker garnish on top. I also really liked the chicken soup and the mashed potatoes. 

Fun fact: The Zehnder's family owns both Zehnder's and Bavarian Inn (both the hotels and the restaurants, I believe) and members of the second, third, and fourth generation are currently in management at Bavarian Inn Lodge.

Bavarian Inn pool

We rested our stomachs a bit after eating all that food, and then got to check out the Lodge's pools, of which there are a LOT: four indoor pools and there whirlpools, plus two water slides. I LOVE water slides so of course I had to check those out.

We started at the adults-only pool, which is located near the lobby area, around 10pm, as the pools stay open till midnight on weekends. This was relatively busy, but nice because it had a whirlpool plus the regular pool. After that, we went "downstairs" (actually level 1, but in a different part of the hotel) to check out the rest of their pools.

I went on one of the two waterslides, the one that did not require a tube, and it was fun but I didn't know it was going to be pitch dark in it! I think that's because it was around 11pm at that point. We also tried out one of the other pools, pictured above, plus the whirlpool that was off to the side.

Bavarian Inn Lodge Frankenmuth Michigan

The next day, checkout was at 11 a.m., and then we went downstairs again to try out mini golf and the Family Fun Center, as the hotel had graciously provided us with passes for the mini golf and a loaded Fun Center card.

Bavarian Inn Lodge Frankenmuth Michigan

I was surprised they managed to fit an 18-hole golf course in with all of the other pools and whirlpools down there; I thought maybe it would be 9 holes, but it was a true 18-hole mini golf. I hadn't played mini golf in quite a while so this was a lot of fun.

The Family Fun Center is HUGE and spans most of the "basement" (first floor). There are no tokens here—you purchase a swipe card for $1, and then can add money to that, and that's where your points show up too. I think I ended up with about 160 points, so I'll have to come back at some point to redeem them for prizes. I *believe* the mini golf and the Family Fun Center is open to the public—definitely check on that before you go, though—but the pools and whirlpools are for registered overnight hotel guests only.

Bavarian Inn

Things to know before you go:
  • Sometimes they run specials—check the website for pricing and/or any specials before booking. It's definitely more inexpensive to stay during the week then on a weekend. 
  • The Lodge is walkeable to "downtown" Frankenmuth—it was about a 5-minute walk to the Bavarian Inn Restaurant plus the Cheese Haus. 
  • The Lodge has two water slides: the Bavarian Blast with the Bullet Bowl is a tube slide for one or two riders (must be 48" alone or 42" with an adult to ride), and the Tower Twister, which I rode, is a body slide for kids and adults 42" and up.
  • The Mini Golf is normally $6 for adults (ages 13 and up), and $5 for kids ages 12 and younger, which I thought was a very fair price; in Metro Detroit, mini golf is usually much more expensive. 
  • The Family Fun Center has over 160 video and "redemption" games, plus a Children's Village play area for kids 2-8 years old. 
  • If you don't want to walk to the Bavarian Inn Restaurant, there are dining options inside the hotel too: breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Oma's restaurant, or the Ratskeller Cafe, near the Mini Golf and Family Fun Center, which has pizza and a full bar. The Ratskeller also has weekend family karaoke and activities for kids. The Lorelei Lounge also has free nightly entertainment and drink specials. 

Have you been to Frankenmuth before? If so, what's your favorite thing to do or see there?

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