We are birders, so we planned our stay for when the migration was high. We were not disappointed! The lodge is set overlooking the Illinois River, and just by sitting on the terrace we were able to see birds galore–including a Mississippi Kite! We hiked the trails through the woods on the bluffs and were rewarded with great views and several unusual birds. Even if you are not a birder, the serenity of the setting is a wonderful experience by itself. We enjoyed staying in a cabin–it had the authentic feel of the CCC era but with modern amenities. The meals in the dining room were excellent, reasonably priced, and the staff very friendly.”
– Bruce D. Trip Advisor
We stayed in the older part of the lodge. We had a huge room with a king size bed. We did a couple of the packages they had to offer. Well worth it with the vouchers you get to use in the restaurant. Andrew at the front desk was so helpful. We would love to go back and stay again!!”
– Karen A. Trip Advisor
My husband and I were so tired of being cooped up and we decided to just runaway from everything and everybody. We had been to Pere Marquette Lodge before and loved it. When I saw they were having a music fest, and craft show March 3 we just had to go and have some fun.
This time I booked a cabin and it was just great. I slept better that weekend, than I do at home. The bed was so comfortable and the cute cabin made us wish we had been born at another time in history. When we arrived, lovely Renee checked us in with her beautiful smile that made us feel so very welcomed. I had requested our cabin to be nice and warm and she did not let us down. It was so cozy and toasty and sooo relaxing. We always love to visit the nice town of Grafton. The shops are great. Sunday was the highlight as the great lodge room was filled with crafters, with the most unusual handmade crafts and jewelry galore. My favorite purchase was an autographed book from a wonderful Illinois author. I am already on the 5th chapter, it is so good. We loved watching the dancers. The cloggers were great as was the folk dancers. If you want a clean, safe place to have fun I highly recommend this wonderful place.”
– Ann251, Trip Advisor
Having been raised in the Alton area, I know Pere Marquette Lodge (PML) pretty well. I was amazed by it’s splendor as a kid. Pere Marquette has an enduring allure, a storied history and a “feel” of being an old friend. As an adult I find myself staying there at least a few times a year and in fact my family does an annual reunion there once a year. While the lodge cannot be everything to everybody, it does have something to appeal to every individual and you will always leave with a warm feeling toward the place.
A product of the WPA /CCC days when a person worked in order in exchange for the government feeding one’s family and it is no coincidence this grand lodge is very much like a few of the National Park lodges I have visited. You will note the similarities as soon as you walk through the door and the lodge has that monumental “feel” that one has to appreciate.
As for lodging, I have stayed in both the cabins (if you want solitude) and in the newer wing of the main lodge. While I cannot speak for the original rooms in the lodge (though I’d like to try them sometime) you will find the in-lodge accommodations nice in the winter months as when it is bad outside, you never have to leave the building. You will get a room that is nice sized, tastefully decorated and a darn comfortable bed. Like most, I don’t do well with sleeping at hotels, but I never have that problem at PML. The cabins are just as nice (maybe even more appealing with the limestone walls) but weather does dictate choice of room location.
The indoor swimming pool is clean, nice sized and a few years back they upgraded to the saline purification system, thus avoiding the damaging effects of chlorine. The building being nice and solid, affords more quiet rooms than most modern hotels can offer. You will enjoy strolling the halls and getting to know the place.
The dining room is also appealing. The menu sticks to some key items but if you are there for an entire weekend you will not have to worry about eating the same thing twice. A good fried chicken dinner is increasingly hard to find these days and when you have the craving; PML is known for their fried chicken dinners with a “special recipe” and ample portions that make it worth the drive on any weekend afternoon. The chicken is always (I have found) fresh, tasty and you will have more than the average person can eat on your plate. I’ll also add that I recently had one of the best hamburgers I have eaten in a long time in the PML dining room.
And, the park also boasts a nice campground (both developed and primitive) which I have recommended numerous times as it is within walking distance to the lodge.
If you choose to visit the Pere Marquette State Park/Grafton area, the PML remains the best choice for lodging. It really is a jewel of a place and you will do yourself (and your family) a favor by staying at least two nights. One evening is not enough to take it all in. You really need a full day and two evenings to fully appreciate what the area, and the lodge, has to offer.
I can ramble on, but hope I have made my point. Pere Marquette and its lodge offer a wonderful opportunity to relax and get away in Southern Illinois.”
– D L, Trip Advisor
Awesome, This place is located so close to the St. Louis area yet while we were there it seemed so far away. My wife and I enjoyed our stay in one of the stone cottages. We had a wonderful meal in the lodge then shared a bottle of wine pool side. The lobby is one of the coolest anywhere and the history of how it was built made me appreciate it even more. We will be back again!”
– Ken Landry
We attended the Beaujolais Nouveau French Wine Party, where we were warmly welcomed by management. The food exceeded our expectations, the wait staff attended to our every need and request, the atmosphere was perfect, table settings lovely and we would surely return. We were impressed that it was a more intimate gathering and not oversold. Our room was quite comfortable, the grounds are a nature lover’s delight and breakfast the next morning was delicious.”
– Susan M.
I had a weekend getaway with my hubby and loved it!! Everyone was so helpful and nice, the food was great! The room was really nice! We stayed after the renovation was done. We did some hiking in the park and the trails were awesome! The views are fantastic! We definitely want to go back sometime in the spring or the fall when the leaves are on the trees!!”
– Lovetohike636, Trip Advisor
We take our kids every year in the winter to just to get away and give them a chance to swim. The accommodations are very nice. Great service, great food, nice rooms, pool. The lodge is beautiful. We love hanging out in the great room by the fire and playing the giant chess board.”
– Michelle C.
My family has always been fascinated with Pere Marquette Lodge, so much so in fact, that we decided to take family photos there. We were able to capture not only the beauty of our family but the beauty of the Lodge as well. While we were there we decided to have lunch in the restaurant, and had the family style chicken dinner. The portions were more than we could finish and very, very good. Although the restaurant was really busy, our server was on top of tending to our needs as well as those of the other guests around us. I used to be a waitress and pay close attention to those details. She greeted us with a smile and while we had several children with us she never missed a beat in being attentive to our dining needs. After lunch we were able to relax a bit in the big room while the kids burned off some of their energy playing with the giant chess board. What a great afternoon and a great place to be. When we were leaving, the front desk staff smiled as said to have a great afternoon. It made us feel like we were welcome there. Even though we didn’t have the opportunity to stay that time, we do plan on staying in the near future. We have an Anniversary coming up and I can’t think of a better place to stay.”
– Marcella L.
I spent two days up here last fall and truly one of the greatest hidden spots in the State. Great food, comfy feeling, great service, and an experience like no other. They say sometimes you just need to get away. Well this is the place to go! You come back to the real world with a full tank of energy.”
– Adam W.
My wife and I traveled to Pere Marquette Lodge in the fall for a day trip. The grounds were wonderful and the lodge is in a scenic setting. Of course the lodge was enhanced by the fall colors. We spent several hours wandering around the property and taking in the fall colors. Upon entering the lodge, the rustic great room was totally relaxing. A musician was performing on the wine bar patio. We sat on the patio sipping wine, listening to the musician and taking in the scenery. We had a wonderful afternoon and will definitely return.”
– Budro4566, Trip Advisor
Once a year, during late summer but before Labor Day, my wife and I make our trek to St. Louis to visit relatives. The highlight of the trip, for both of us, starts with the drive from St. Louis to Pere Marquette Lodge in Grafton, Illinois. The view of the barges and boats on the river are a real thrill once a year. We have part of the morning and the rest of the day to walk the grounds, do a bit of exploring, and remember the “good ‘ol days”.
We had an early bird, signature fried chicken dinner (recognized in St. Louis as the best) usually is had by 4pm. This is followed by viewing nature at its best from the chairs and tables off the back lawn. Then off to our room at the lodge. We wake up to a very hearty breakfast of eggs, potatoes, coffee, etc. the next morning to prepare for a day of apple knocking at nearby Eckert Farms. If we sound like a couple of “old farts”, well…we are.”
– Rweber7539, trip advisor
Our family has stayed at this rustic lodge & cabins several times & loved it. The cabins or lodge rooms are both roomy and clean. Stay here only if you’d like a large lodge fireplace, huge chess board, stone & wood plank flooring, detailed tapestries, beautiful trees, clean indoor pool, peace and quiet. The restaurant is excellent, with an October Sunday brunch to die for. Best prime rib and catfish we have ever had.”
– Lalpizza, Trip Advisor
From St. Louis/St. Charles this strip is a breeze. Great rooms, excellent accommodations and service. We stayed in the original section of the lodge itself, the cabins really look fun but they were all booked! Easy access to Grafton, paved bike trail takes you from the lodge to downtown Grafton in under 8 miles. A nice activity to include for your stay if you are so inclined.”
– Luv2explore50, Trip Advisor
For our anniversary and husband’s birthday we returned to the beautiful Pere Marquette Lodge. Our first contact was lovely Rose at the front desk, who greeted us warmly with the smile of an angel. Our spacious room was clean and the bed so comfortable, you felt as if you were sinking in a big cloud. Supper in the gorgeous dinning room in front of the immense fireplace, was great and our waitress, Crystal, was so attentive and friendly. My husband enjoyed the succulent fried chicken and I ordered the French onion soup, that is like a first kiss; UNFORGETTABLE. We had such a great time, and I got some beautiful gifts at the craft fair. Our last meal was breakfast and our waitress Amy was a delight. She was so much fun, and we really enjoyed her gift of laughter to us. We hated to leave but before we left, we made reservations for next year with a gracious and beautiful Renee at the front desk. We thank them all for making us feel so special and we highly recommend this beautiful place and wonderful staff.”
– Carol and Jerry, Decatur IL.
The rooms are great, the service is excellent, the restaurant is AWESOME and very cheap for the excellent food they serve. We have been here for many different events (meetings, weddings, family fishing fair, just hanging out, etc.). The view over the river from the stone balcony is second to none….AWESOME place!”
– Klcj520, Trip Advisor
Wow!!! What a wonderful stay we had! Everything was excellent! We stayed in a cabin. The room was very clean the king bed was very comfy with a soft duvet and plenty of down pillows! We came for the Friday night Paranormal Investigation and it was most excellent! We had a great time. The staff was friendly and we enjoyed a tasty breakfast and dinner that was reasonable price. The great room is cozy and rustic we enjoyed wine from the in house Mary Michelle Wine Tasting Room. We plan to make this an annual trip!”
– Artl11, Trip Advisor
Enjoyed three relaxing days, with cabin accommodations. The scenery was breath taking, especially watching the humming birds from the dining room window feeders. Very friendly & helpful staff. The wine bar hostess was very informative regarding the local vineyard and wine process, plus very friendly. Looking forward to return in autumn, to enjoy another memorable three days, plus autumn colors.”
– Hortica, Trip Advisor