FRANKENMUTH — Travel agents and maps are no longer our first step in vacation planning. Research shows most travelers now use social media for trip preparation.
TripAdvisor.com, which rates destinations based on user experience, lists the Bavarian Inn Lodge in Frankenmuth the highest ranked family resort in Michigan. The travel site also names the Lodge the “most reviewed/talked about” hotel in the state.
“This is an exceptional honor for us,” said Judy Zehnder Keller, president and founder of Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn Lodge. “The ranking is important because it is determined by guests. There is no greater reward than exceeding your customers’ expectations.”
The Lodge recently completed a $3 million renovation of its indoor Family Fun Center, which features two four-story water slides, and a facelift to its popular 18-hole, indoor mini-golf course.
“That buzz is critical,” said Zehnder Keller. “Not only are we being discussed in the same conversation with all Michigan resorts, but it demonstrates that we are relevant with a younger generation of travelers using social media. My father Tiny would be proud to know that we are popular with a new generation of families.”
The Lodge offers many activities and its loyalty program, the Bavarian Inn Perks Club, rewards its 19,000 members who live in 20 states.
“Our close relationship with our guests resulted in this high score,” said Zehnder Keller. “Our Perks Club members receive special rates and exclusive offers. It also helps us engage guests in a very personal way and to make them feel more at home during their stay.”
The lodge also stays fresh by offering family-focused events throughout the year, such as the Dog Bowl, an Olympic-styled dog event on Memorial Weekend, a Hot Air Balloon Competition and events focused Halloween, Christmas, Chinese New Year, St. Patrick’s Day and as many other seasonal events.
“The lodge is unique in that it offers entertainment for all ages and abilities,” said Zehnder Keller. “Some destinations are just for kids or young adults or seniors. Our facility provides a wide variety of activities that appeal to every interest, and that can be enjoyed together as a family.”
Zehnder Keller said she and her staff monitor many of the online travel sites for guest input. Her team is quick to respond to any concern or feedback on visits to the lodge.
“With winter and spring break soon upon us, mobile apps and other virtual trip advisors are a great way to plan your trip in no time,” Zehnder-Keller said. “These are highly trusted tools, based on actual customer input. There’s nothing better for me as an owner than seeing a recommendation in print or hearing the words, ‘I’ll definitely be back.’”
Judy Zehnder Keller designed, developed, and leads the Bavarian Inn Lodge’s seven-acre resort, which features 360 guest rooms and a conference center.
In 26 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. To learn more, visit www.bavarianinn.com.