The Grand Hotel is an older hotel with a ridiculously massive and enchanting porch as its signature feature. The Grand Hotel is located on Mackinac Island, Michigan which features horse powered transportation, tons of fudge shops, beautiful scenery, cool breezes, and......no automobiles! Despite the waste from horses (clean-up workers endlessly scoop up the fragrant horse apples) the clip-clopping of the huge percheron horses as they haul tourists in wagons is almost hypnotic..... and very relaxing. The Grand Hotel itself is a living and breathing history lesson. The rooms range in price from expensive to crazy-expensive. Each room is decorated by a designer named Carlton Varney. Mr. Varney seems infatuated with retina-melting flower patterns on every wall and is not shy about overkill. The basic rooms (Category I) are nothing special and can run you north of $350 a night. Named rooms and cottages ....well, if you have to ask you (and definitely me) probably can't afford it. The Grand Hotel tries to market itself as an modern example of a more refined and sedate period in our past. I couldn't care less about this aspect and the required suit and tie after 6:00 p.m. is a little on the pretentious side. On the other hand, dressing up does add a bit to the unique experience. Music is emphasized at the Grand Hotel so the harp player in the parlor, the jazz band in the theater, and the piano player in the Cupola Room Bar atop the Hotel are nice touches. There are all sorts of references to an earlier time at the Grand Hotel like a formal High Tea, interesting art seemingly plastered on every wall, and an in-house historian who gives group lectures about the evolution of the Grand Hotel......BTW, he is very interesting and entertaining. There is a huge pool, a workout room, an enormous restaurant on site, a mini-art gallery, a few specialty shops, concierge service, tons of bikes to rent (YOU MUST DO THIS!...the island is gorgoeous and seeing it from the 8 mile bike ride was a highlight), off-sight restaurants owned by the Grand Hotel, and a zillion other things that add to the experience. A few negatives included hearing kids crying at all hours, horrible window views if you stay in a Category I room, and you may feel your room is overpriced. Other highlights besides the ones previously mentioned were the breakfasts...outta this world great, taking in the view from the porch while waitstaff bring you drinks (for a price) is very nice, the overall service is outstanding, and the beautifully landscaped grounds with millions of flowers, a fountain, topiary, and a fitness path provide a picturesque backdrop for a stroll with the love of your life. One more note...you will need to take a ferry to the island (unless you take a chartered or private plane) and I recommend the catamarans leaving from the Arnold Lines dock......they are more modern and smooth riding than the older Shepler Dock ferries. The ferry ride takes about 10 to 15 minutes and they take care of your luggage so it arrives at your door when you get to the Grand Hotel. Overall, my wife and I had a relaxing and memorable end of Summer vacation at the Grand Hotel. Highly recommended.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to America’s Summer Place. Every year since 1887, Grand Hotel has welcomed guests and families to Mackinac Island, where cars are not allowed and bikes and horse drawn carriages are the favored modes of transportation. As Travel + Leisure’s 500 World’s Best Hotels and Conde Nast Traveler's Top 5 Midwest Resorts in 2012, Grand Hotel offers outstanding accommodations where no two guest rooms are alike. Enjoy spectacular views of the Straits of Mackinac in a rocking chair on the world’s largest porch,complimentary children's programs, The Jewel golf course, swimming, tennis, lawn games, gardens, bicycling, carriage tours, shopping, Sadie's Ice Cream Parlor, and an experience you will never forget. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Hotel Mackinaw Island Michigan
- Grand Hotel Mackinac Island Michigan
- Grand Hotel Island Mackinaw
- Grand Mackinac Island