111 North Grand Avenue
Lansing, MI 48933
Main Contact: Kate
Chef: Chef Tony
Met Expectations: D
Words: Willing and flexible, but incapable and unorganized
Would you use them again? No for a custom menu. Maybe for the menu they offer. I really think they can offer a lot more if they just fix the little details.
Thao’s Grade: C
Site: Radisson in downtown Lansing
They are VERY flexible and offer something I couldn’t find elsewhere in Lansing. They allowed us to customize a menu, rearrange their space, and their contract actually made sense. We were really excited to find the venue *our first vendor booked*. If they improve the administration behind the scenes, they would be an AMAZING venue.
There are some cons… poor attention to the basics. Made many mistakes. They only had one custom menu under their belt and they won’t be doing it again after our wedding because they can’t do it – I disagree with that! I think they CAN do it. They just need to find a better system of relaying information to all of the departments that coordinate an event. It just seemed like too many hands/departments were involved which led to the ball being dropped on several occassions. The chef messed up an entire course. The wrong credit card was charged. The dinner took too long to serve. They served undercooked, dry rice to an Asian crowd. I would recommend them for a non-custom menu. The food that they DO serve was very good, i.e. hors d’ oeuvres, but don’t let the good taste tests fool you if you’re planning a custom meal.Very disappointed. They’re so flexible and could potentially be an AWESOME venue for huge weddings, but failed to deliver ours.
We had a large guestlist, which narrowed down our venue choices to the Radisson or the Lansing Center (read the Lansing Center’s review below). We went with the Radisson because they offered flexibility, allowing us to do basically what we wanted! That is a rarity. We were also able to bring in ethnic food from other restaurants and I am so glad that we were able to do so. We had a love-hate relationship with the Radisson.
We loved the following:
- The best part was not getting charged for things we did not want in their "wedding package" We don’t like packages, but unlike the Lansing Center, the Radisson allowed us to essentially cross off the line item we did not want and they did not charge us for it. If we wanted to add onto the list, they added the cost as expected.
- They DID hold themselves accountable for the mistakes which was professional and appreciated, unlike A Piece O’ Cake. We respected them for that.
- The costs for the dinner was superb. We had 6 courses and 2 available desserts and they gave us an itemized price sheet with the costs of adding and removing items. We liked knowing the details. There weren’t any hidden costs at all.
- The layout of their space was very practical. They had a prefunction room that we tranformed into our VIP area for the cocktail hour. This room was right outside of the ballroom.
- They gave us free reign of the space. We were able to bring in new furniture and hide theirs if we did not want to use it. They allowed us to hang light items from the ceiling too.
- Excellent wait staff and service. The service on the night of the wedding was good. They were attentive to me and Donny – in fact, I think they were the only people asking us if we needed anything. The event managers, Moses and Danny, were excellent.
- No limit to the number of tastings. We were able to schedule as many tastings as we needed to get all of the courses right. Donny went to three tastings (two were with me) and we could have scheduled more if it was necessary.
- They did not restrict us to the dinners they had. We were able to make a customized Asian-fusion menu with them. We did not have to order beef or chicken on their menu and they never forced us to do so.
- They let us and our other vendors store stuff beforehand so that we didn’t have to show up at the crack of dawn on the day of the wedding. They’re generally very easy going with logistics so it I loved working with them. For example, our chairs were delivered the day before. Donny and the guys were able to move everything in the day before too. The chair vendor would have charged me an arm and a leg if the venue required that the chairs be removed on Sunday, but the Radisson allowed us to keep everything there until the chair vendor was good and ready.
- They truly offered the most for our money.
The could have improved on the following:
- Attention to details. We had the wrong card charged, which caused the charged card to be maxed out and this was done with careful instruction. It was a disappointing mistake, but we moved on… until more mistakes were made. Read on.
- The menu was messed up. The chef met us during the second tasting alone and did not write down ANY NOTES. By the time of the dinner, after THREE taste testings, he messed up one of our dishes entirely. He mixed the vegetarian order with the chicken order and somehow our walnut encrusted chicken that was supposed to be served on julienne cucumbers and pineapple with sweet and sour sauce was served on plain, sauceless noodles. The meal they served made no sense. The chef messed it up and blamed it on Kate when it was clearly not her fault. Had he paid attention during the tast testings, he would have remembered that we enthusiastically told him NOT TO CHANGE A THING. That was so unprofessional. It was another lack of attention to
details BASICS. Chef Tony needs to take pictures of his dishes so that he can remember cucumber does not equal lo mein noodles.
- The rice for the duck dish was dry and undercooked. You cannot serve dry, undercooked rice to Asian people. I got an earful from our Asian guests about the rice along. We even clearly instructed Chef Tony during those three taste testings that the rice must be soft and moist.
- Donny has a background in food management and explained to me that the food we eat at a taste testing would be different from the food served, especially if this is not a menu of which they are accustomed. I understood, but the soup was less than lukewarm, the salad was thrown onto the plate without any attention, and the rice was dry. Food was so important to us and ESPECIALLY to our Asian guests who worried about attending a wedding in a hotel and not a Chinese Restaurant. Because Donny explained these things to me, I was prepared. I was more upset about the fact that there was a blatant mistake on one of the courses.
- They threw away our votives. Simple mistake and they reimbursed us – no biggie!They charged the wrong credit card which maxed out the one they charged. They fixed that too, but it was a headache.After the wedding, I caught that they charged us the wrong service charge. Our contract was always written for 19% service charges, but we were charged 20%. That amounted to a large sum of money that was overpaid. We are currently fighting this one.
- Dinner took too long. While the service was excellent, it took way too long to get through dinner. It technically helped Donny and me to actually speak to every guest (all 300), but it was too long. I’m not sure what happened there.
- It took awhile for us to get responses on questions via email and phone. Sometimes we had to leave messages in every medium to get an answer back.
- Food presentation. Some of the dishes looked atrocious, not like what we planned. The salad was thrown together, the rice was not shaped. The sauce was missing in some dishes.
Donny divulged all of these details to the Radisson and unfortunately, they won’t be using any of our concerns/suggestions to improve. Instead, they told him that they will not do another event like ours again, which is too bad. I think they have the ability to offer something amazing to brides and grooms in Lansing. They were so flexible and easy to work with and this was a great new feat to add to their portfolio if they improved on the mistakes.
After the credit card mishap and the lack of answers, they were more attentive. It was frustrating that it had to be a little bad before we would get answers, but there aren’t any hard feelings to anyone save maybe the chef. It was imperative that he knew the details of our meal and it was necessary for him to pay attention and REMEMBER what we liked and did not like. The presentation of some of the dishes were awful, not like what we planned.
Ability is different from willingness. They were willing to go to the end of the world for the day, but at times, seemed incapable. I think that they did a decent job. In the end, the guests enjoyed the hors d’ oeuvres and our American guests enjoyed the food. The majority of our guests, Asian, realized that their preemptive fear of eating at a hotel for a wedding was justified. We tried very hard not to micromanage by sending pictures of the food, but I’m thinking that it would have probably fared better. Still, no bride or groom should have to micromanage a vendor. The lack of attention to all of the administrative stuff too caused us to feel like our business was nothing to the Radisson. They did not take care of us.
I would do a wedding with them if I did not want a custom menu. Their flexibility for everything else was welcomed and saved me from working with an inflexible wedding factory like the Lansing Center.
Didn’t Make the Cut
The Lansing Center offers packaged weddings. If you didn’t want something in their package, you still had to pay for it. The best part? You might not be the only bride there on that day. You might even share the bathroom with one or two other brides. The lady we met with seemed very out of touch with what brides today might want. I heard a lot of "No’s" during our meeting and actually left feeling bummed. Really? Weddings are packaged like that now? "Ah yes, please mark me down for Wedding Package C." Ugh. We ran out of there so fast.
The Radisson had horrible service. They paid no attention to detail. They made mistake after mistake, after mistake. The food was bad and undercooked. The chef didn’t write anything down. Bad review for Radisson in Lansing. Radisson Lansing review for weddings. Don’t have your wedding at the Radisson if you want something elaborate. Venue review for the Radisson Lansing
<< Read about other vendors