Great Northern MI Casino / Kewadian Lakefront Hote
(Updated: October 25, 2011)
Amenities or Hotel
Food & Drink
The casino is rather new, with a modern floor and amenities. We stayed at The Kewadin Casino Lakefront Inn, a nice hotel for the money. Our room (and I think most all do) faces right out to the lake. We had the standard king room and it was suprisingly very, very spacious (there would have been room for another king bed!). The rooms have been recently updated, and I saw a renovation-in-progress on the west wing of the hotel (we were in the east wing). The pool area was older but very clean and maintained. If you are a gambler the hotel has an extra value; they give you bonus tokens to play at the casino for staying with them. We won $30 with our tokens, so it was like a $30 discount on the room. Overall, for your basic motel, I have no complaints. They also now have a hotel attached to the casino, but we find the lakefront a better value.
What to say about Kewadin Country in St. Ignace, MIchigan. For years they were in a building with many additions and many different rooms so it was actually hard to find your way around. They really stayed in that building too long and it was run down and very below average. Finally several years ago they decided to build a new casino and hotel attached which was long overdue. Only problem they built it about 20 yards off of tribal land. So for the next 18 months or so they had to put all gaming in this temporary type tent attached to the new casino on their land. They finally settled that lawsuit and for the past 4-5 years they have been in their new building.
It is still a very average place, but so much better than the old location. Start with the slots - they have a good selection of slot machines in all denoms from 1 cent to $100 per pull. Overall, it could easily be described as a tight casino although there are some diamonds in the rough. They have several .05, .25, and $1 9/6 jacks or better video poker machines and although they are old have some great payout percentages. Probably one of the few casinos that still has many coin in/out and token in/out type machines instead of all titos. So a nice mix of older slot machines and many newer digital machines make up a good variety. Personally I would say about 3.5 stars out of 5 overall - I have seen casinos tighter with slots and some that you will win more - it is about middle of the road - sort of like the casino overall.
The table games are very fair. Dealers stand on soft 17, double after split, surrender option, etc. At first some of the dealers will not show much customer service and will either seem rude or not interested. Although once you get to know most of them they do get more friendly and so forth. The poker "room" or tables have been moved around many times and now reside next to the Keno area in the back of the casino. It is too bad they don't have any walls or anything but slot machines surrounding them now so it isn't quiet or very private there. Probably because of this they rarely have a game going although on Wednesday nights they offer a low entry fee poker tournament. Overall they do quite a bit with what they have to work with but it could stand some improvement - 4 out of 5 stars.
Customer Service/Player's Club is another story. But again they are only doing as management suggests they do.....for slot players they do offer a pretty fair amount of comps both by points and direct mail. 1 point for every $4 spent on slots or video poker but a few double point days will work in your favor. 1 point is worth 1 cent in cash or restaurant/hotel/etc. But if you are a table game player you might as well not even bother giving them your card. I believe their table game comp system gives you about 10 cents in comps for an average 1 hour of play at $25 a hand. Obviously kidding but it really isn't too much higher. I will usually play for at least 10 hours before I can get a $10 meal comp. The employees are fair - not really friendly but fairly knowledgeable and not normally rude. They are doing their job. 3 stars out of 5.
The overall Atmosphere is usually pretty fair. When they are busy it can seem crowded and somewhat smokey, and sometimes it just seems to have a tense feeling in the air of the place. Nothing really fancy about it - just a lot of slot machines and table games in a fairly empty room with a waterfall and a couple nice bars on either side. The enterance is very nice although can get very slippery when wet because it is a highly glossed floor in the main area. They do have some nice views in that area and in the sit down restaurant and one of the bars. Personally I would say 3.3 out of 5 stars just because it will give a "stuffy" feeling at times
The hotel is an average hotel that is modern since it was just built about 5 years ago - although very basic. They could have spent a little more on the beds as they are quite firm and not plush at all. The bedding is clean though and well maintained. A rustic feel in the rooms with what looks like hand made coffee tables and desks. Overall your very average hotel room. It is quite clean though and they do offer room service at a reasonable price from about 6am to midnight everyday. They do have a fitness room and pool area along with a game room for the kids or adults that like pinball and arcade type games. Overall about 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Food & Drink is pretty fair to good. They have 3 restaurant areas along with room service for hotel patrons. The deli is just that - basic food like hamburgers and hot dogs along with pizza and sub sandwiches. The subs are quite good, the pizza is about average along with the hot dogs and hamburgers. But the prices are quite reasonable - nothing over $10.00 - most around $5.00. But they do sell coffee or soft drinks for over $1.00 when less than 50 feet away you can get all the coffee and pop you desire for free and you are allowed to bring it in with you. So why pay for something when you can get it free almost next door to the deli? The sit down restaurant offers a buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Friday nights they offer snow crab legs on their buffet and they are excellent - at least the several times I have visited. And priced well under $20.00 for an all you can eat buffet with crab legs and many other tasty items. Other nights the dinner buffet is about $12.50 and offers a selection that is very fair for the price. A lot of basic items but most are quite tasty. The breakfast buffets are about $8.00 and offer everything you could want on a buffet - including belgium waffles which are excellent along with many toppings for the waffles. Bacon, sausage, corned beef hash, variety of eggs, hash browns, pancakes, french toast, fresh fruit, pastries, the list goes on and on. 4 out of 5 stars for overall good (but not fancy) food at reasonable prices. They also recently made a change to Coke products on all their bars and free drink stations which is a positive change in my book.
If the slots could pay a little more, the dealers and staff be a bit more friendly, and maybe offer a bit more atmosphere it would be an excellent casino. As it stands it is right about average or slightly above average for the area.