For my birthday, my family and I enjoyed a getaway to the Bavarian Inn in Frankenmuth. The last time I visited Frankenmuth was in high school when my family and I hosted a German exchange student. My mom thought it was a fun idea to take her to there to see how authentic it is.
That's when we learned about how different all the area's of Germany are from each other! Our exchange student was from the North of Germany while Frankenmuth is modeled after Bavaria in the south of Germany. Even its name is a nod to southern Germany as "Franken" comes from the name Province of Franconia. "Mut" means courage. So, Frankenmuth's definition is the courage of the Franconians, which is where many of its original settlers immigrated from in the 1840's.
Throughout the 1800's, additional settlers from the Franconia region of Germany continued to immigrate to the area. And the Bavarian culture was preserved and passed down. Many of its buildings are designed in the Franconian-style of architecture. Today, tourism is a big component of the local economy. Many hotels, such as the Bavarian Inn Lodge, opened up in the late 1980s to accommodate locals and visitors to experience 'Little Bavaria.'
Nestled along the Cass River in Frankenmuth is one of Michigan's largest indoor water park hotels. The Bavarian Inn has 360 European-themed guest rooms, including whirlpool and family suites, an adult-only pool and whirlpool, two gift shops, two lounges and two restaurants - all under one roof.
In addition to those, there are tons of amenities to enjoy. There is an expansive 35,000 square foot Family Fun Center housing two thrilling water slides, three pools and two whirlpools, over 160 video and redemption games, a two-level children's play village and Willy's Kingdom indoor mini-golf course. One of the water slides requires a tube, the other does not. Both require a height of at least 48 inches to ride.
Guests can also enjoy live, nightly entertainment year-round. During the weekend, test your musical skills during the family karaoke shows. In over 30 years of business, the Bavarian Inn Lodge has been an important destination for travelers, evidenced by the 1.25 million room-nights that have been booked there since its opening, along with its top rating on TripAdvisor.
Once we checked in, we headed to our room. As we walked through the hallway, I noticed different names on each door. The room we were in has the name 'Popp' on it. After entering our room, I noticed some historic family photos and a coat of arms decorating the wall. There is also a letter in the rooms explaining why there are names on all the doors. Each name is from a family that originally settled Frankenmuth, the area or had a significant impact on Frankenmuth's development. And, the Bavarian Inn employees an historian who helped research the details and worked with the local families to acquire some of these old photos.
In our room, we had two Queen beds with a bunch of great amenities like fridge, microwave, and sink. Our room also opened up to a spacious balcony with Cass River Views. We could also see the pool slides at the waterpark! Besides sleeping, we didn't spend too much time in the rooms. Although, the beds were extremely comfortable!
When you book a getaway to the Bavarian Inn in Frankenmuth, you can chose from many room sizes and view locations. Rooms even have balconies or windows that open up to the pool areas.
On site there are a couple dining options. Our family enjoyed breakfast from Oma's, which offers both a buffet and menu to pick from. Oma's is open daily from 7am to 11pm. Oma's dinner menu is also available for takeout as well as at Lorelei Lounge starting at 4:30pm.
The Lorelei Lounge opens at daily at 4:30pm. During the warmer months, enjoy your drinks outside in the bier garten. Even though the Bavarian Inn embraces its German roots, you can find a wide selection of bourbon at the Lounge. This includes two speciality bourbon's the Inn partnered with Makers Mark to curate.
The final option is cafeteria style dining at the Ratskeller where no shirts, no shoes, no problem is welcome! It is open daily from 7am to 11pm and on the weekends until midnight. The Rathskeller is also a great place to pick up a pizza to enjoy from your room. It is conveniently located within the Family Fun Center.
There are so many perks to take advantage of when you stay at Bavarian Inn. One of which is its 'perks' club. For just $10, sign up for its Perks Club to receive a card to start accumulating points towards discounts for future stays. Use the Perks Card when you stay at the hotel, dine at the Bavarian Inn Restaurant, and shop at the Cheese Haus and the Covered Bridge & Leather Gift Shop.
Other free perks of staying here include the on site peacocks, being at a great location to watch the Bavarian Belle riverboat go by, and being walking distance to the River Place Shops and Bavarian Inn Restaurant. All you need to do is cross the Holz-Brücke Wooden Bridge!
Celebrating over 130 years of service, the Bavarian Inn Restaurant is a Michigan landmark. Generations of diners, lodgers and tourists from around the globe have discovered Bavarian hospitality thanks to founders Dorothy and her late husband William 'Tiny' Zehnder.
For dinner, we experienced the old-world European charm of a classic chicken dinner. When you order a chicken dinner, you'll receive a starter course of appetizers like cucumber salad, chicken salad, and cole slaw. Chicken noodle soup is also served in preparation for the main course. Finally - dinner! Chose from all white meat, all dark, or a mix of both. The chicken is served with a side of seasonal vegetables, mashed potatoes and gravy, and butter noodles. And for dessert, there are a variety of options; however, if you order a chicken dinner, you'll also receive a cup of ice cream.
We absolutely loved the atmosphere at the Bavarian Inn. It felt like we were transported to another time in Bavaria seeing all the wait staff and hosts dressed up in Bavarian attire. The authentic German architecture with murals of classic German fairy tales painted on the wall added to the ambiance of the dinner.
If you're looking for a unique getaway, year round family friendly destination, or just a fun change of scenery, book a getaway to the Bavarian Inn in Frankenmuth!