So, a couple weekends ago, our family hit the road for a short family vacation. Since Roman was born, we had never taken one, all 4 of us, and he’s finally getting to an age where we can actually enjoy it. We had the opportunity to stay a night and enjoy dinner at Bavarian Inn in Frankenmuth, MI as part of a travel review with US Family Guide, so I jumped right on it, because Raya has been asking about taking a vacation. It was definitely time! Kevin and I have taken a couple short getaways together, but this was the first time vacationing with 2 kids. It pretty much looked like this.
If you’re a parent, then you know what I mean.
Bavarian Inn gave us our first night and first dinner free, so that I could offer a review, but once we got there and started enjoying all they had to offer, we made the impromptu decision to extend our stay! (Good thing I have a tendency to over-pack.) ;)
We took Raya on a short vacation to Frankenmuth when she was Roman’s age, and going back, we actually had a much better experience this time around, so it makes a big difference where you stay! The whole town has an old-world feel, and there are pieces of German family history throughout the Bavarian Inn hotel and restaurant, and even in the rooms themselves. We had a standard room, and the only thing that didn’t work for us was that being a family of 4, two double beds weren’t quite enough. We got a crib for Roman, but I split with Raya because a) at 4 years old, she takes up considerably less real estate than my 6-foot husband, and b) the beds are insanely tall. It’s a cool effect, but I was really nervous that she would fall out, so I was right there.
What we LOVED about our room was that it was attached to a great big deck overlooking the river. So when it was time to wind down for the night, we put Roman to bed and actually had somewhere to go – we had space to let him wind down on his own (like he’s used to at home) without us keeping him awake, and it was a view and family time that we could actually enjoy – not just being cooped up in the room with the TV on.
Dinner at the Bavarian Inn restaurant was a family-style meal. If you haven’t experienced such a thing, let me explain how it works: you say to your server, “We will have the fried chicken dinner.”
And they bring you this.
And they bring it to you wearing lederhosen and German dresses. I’ve never eaten in Germany to compare, but they’re certainly going for the authentic experience, here.
Kevin of course had to order off their gluten-free menu (yes, they have one, and he didn’t have any cross-contamination issues). But the rest of us shared these all-you-can-eat specialty dishes, served up just like at home, from common dishes. That meant everyone could sample as much (or as little) as they wanted, and if we loved anything so much that we wanted more, they would bring more. (That did not happen to us. Little Man may be a big eater, but after devouring half the peas and carrots meant for the whole family and enjoying some buttered noodles, he wasn’t much help with the rest of it.)
We were lucky to go during Bavarian Festival, so our first day there, we took the kids to a parade, which they loved! We brought the wagon, which was a great way to explore around town, see the sights, and do some shopping, all while getting a bit of exercise and fresh air. We walked most of the time during our stay, and we only had a few sprinkles here and there (hence the umbrellas). Bavarian Inn is located perfectly in the downtown area to make it a nice walk without being too difficult for the kids.
Bottom line is that we’re Michigan natives, and we’ve visited a lot of the tourist destinations in Michigan. Bavarian Inn is definitely the place to stay when you come to check out Frankenmuth – and we can compare, having been there before. The location was perfect, and the staff was fantastic – even walking the hall to your room, we got a smile and a hello from everyone: housekeeping, maintenance, hospitality, everyone. If we happened to share an elevator with someone from the Bavarian Inn staff, they always asked the kids if they were enjoying their trip, what they had done that day, or what their favorite thing was. It’s one thing to be friendly to the paying adults, but the respect given to my kids really elevated our experience. We would definitely go back.
And for the record? Raya enthusiastically told all the staff that she loved the pool, and Roman did too! The hotel has several pools (including an 18-inch toddler pool, and an adults-only pool), a couple of water slides, mini golf, and two huge arcade areas. We spent a LOT of time at the toddler pool, because everyone could play there.
I’ve got a few more photos I’d like to share but this post is getting pretty long already, so I’ve put them together in a short YouTube slide show. If you’d like to see more of my family and of the Bavarian Inn property, I’ve put a 90-second story together highlighting our trip.
Have you been to Frankenmuth before, or is it on your list of places you plan to visit? Leave a comment below and let me know!
Disclosure: Bavarian Inn provided one free night’s stay and one family dinner so that I could review their service and amenities. We chose to extend our vacation there at our own cost. This post is a travel review, and not part of a paid campaign, and the opinions I’ve expressed here are all my own. I’m keepin’ it real.