Regan H on Trip Advisor
9 years ago
07/10/2012, 02:10 AM
Wedding Weekend at Stout's Island Lodge
We selected Stout's Island Lodge as the main lodging for our close family and friends for our wedding weekend and are extremely happy that we did! We were not married on the island (our ceremony and reception took place at The Enchanted Barn, which is about 45 minutes from the island), although I know that they do host weddings on the island. It was the perfect space for all of us to gather and the variety of accommodations worked well so that groups of friends could stay in cabins together.
Everyone commented on the beautiful grounds and the variety of things to do while on the island - croquet, canoeing, swimming, tennis, hiking and just lounging around! We also enjoyed s'mores around the fire in the evenings (they sell small bags of s'more fixings in the main office), providing a perfect end to each great day.
The Gardener House was perfect for larger gatherings with a kitchen and a nice screened in porch and picnic table on the grass out front. This is a great place for a larger group or family to stay as it has several rooms, a decent kitchen and is close to the main lodge, but feels private.
The rooms in the Shore Lodge have gorgeous views of Red Cedar Lake and are very spacious. The beds are very comfortable and the sitting areas by the main windows are perfect for relaxing. In a desk in one of the rooms my friend found a tin with pastels and a sketch pad, which was a nice element as the view does inspire the inner artist! My bridesmaids and I gathered in one of the Shore Lodge rooms for hair and makeup and it was wonderful sitting in front of the windows looking at the lake while getting our hair done. The bathrooms in the Shore Lodge rooms are wonderful, with large bathtubs and a separate shower. There was also a great assortment of books in the Shore Lodge rooms and in many of the rooms in the main lodge.
The bar and lounge area in the main lodge has tons of great games and the perfect Northwoods ambiance. If you're looking for the quintessential Northwoods experience - this place is it! If you are looking for a romantic getaway or a family vacation with a larger group, Stout's Island really has what you need. I do recommend that if you're planning an event there that you go visit and take a tour of the grounds and the rooms. We were able to hand select each room and cabin based on our friends and we could also determine what spaces would be best for those of our family and friends who had difficulty walking (they provide golf cart service from the boathouse to your rooms and will handle your bags for you, which was especially great for my grandparents and when we arrived with our wedding crowd with our loads of bags)!
The staff at the boathouse was wonderful and willing to help out in any way they could. They would get 10 stars if the tripadvisor rating went that high! They were always very calm and positive and helpful, which was a great thing for us on our wedding weekend! The trip from the landing to the island just takes 10 minutes and was amazing in the evening. As the boat approached the island it was sparkling with the glow of lights.
We did have some issues with details related to reservations and it did not always appear that the staff in the office communicated with each other. This is the main reason we rated the service average. Some of our guests were told they did not have room reservations when they called to leave their credit card info to book their rooms, when in fact we provided a spreadsheet with information to the staff on several occasions. We let the management know about our issues and they were very apologetic. We had several special needs that they were willing to accommodate, although sometimes we had to come up with solutions for certain things that we felt they should have been able to work through.
The Gardener House was being reroofed and most unfortunately the roof leaked over one of the beds in the house and when our guests staying in that room returned from the wedding their bed was soaked. When I reported this to the main office they apologized, but did not immediately offer a discount, which I thought should have been offered. We asked them to give a discount to guests staying in that room, but we are not yet certain if a discount has been provided.
The food was good and the buffet-style continental breakfast had a nice assortment of cereals, yogurts and breads. The lunch menu was small but nice. The wait staff seemed a bit inexperienced and given the quality of everything else on the island this stood out a bit more than it might have if the rest of our experiences hadn't been so good! We had the island cater a BBQ dinner for us and reserved the Ice House on the island for the BBQ. The food was fine and the service for the dinner that night was great. We really appreciated the chef's help with the A/V equipment! We did not dine in the main lodge for dinner, so I cannot comment on the dinner menu.
If you have questions about our stay, please don't hesitate to ask. I use reviews on tripadvisor regularly to help plan trips and the reviews have always been helpful to me.