We stayed at the Grand Hotel for 4 days and 3 nights. It was our second time staying on the island but the first time at the Grand. Our visit was in the off season (Memorial Day to Labor Day is the busiest time of year and the most expensive. By staying the third week in September we payed significantly less ($800/3nights).
Luggage transfer from ferry (Star Line) to hotel was seamless. We arrived about 5 hours before the 4pm check-in. Our room wasn't available immediately, but was ready around 2pm. We were upgraded to the Eisenhower Suite, which was spacious and had a beautiful four poster bed. Luggage was waiting outside our door when we arrived. The furniture is antique and therefore a bit worn, but clean. The bathrooms are unimpressive (comparable to the average budget hotel - clean, but with basic fixtures). There is a small flat-screen tv in the room; we didn't use it much but did enjoy the history of the Grand Hotel by the hotel historian.
Breakfast and dinner were included in our room rate. There are three dinner menus which alternate, so we did experience all three. The food was good overall; sometimes it was excellent (escargot, lobster bisque, appetizers in general, whitefish) and sometimes it was a disappointment (new york strip, desserts in general). It was very much the quality of a Carnival or Norwegian cruise line menu. Breakfast buffet was nice (crepes, waffles, eggs, cold items) but average. Afternoon tea was delightful: champagne or sherry, english breakfast tea in individual tea pots, a plate of tea sandwiches and a plate of desserts. At ~$25 it was a good value and on par in terms of quality for high teas in most big-city hotels.
Lunch is on your own - we ate at the Jockey Club (which overlooks the first 9 holes of the Jewel - very peaceful), the Gate House, and The Woods. All were good. Excellent soups, large salads, and grill items. Average price was $11-20, which although expensive, was fairly typical for food on the island.
Entertainment in the off season at the Grand was a little lacking, especially for families with children. The pool is NOT heated past Labor Day (too chilly to swim) but there were complimentary snow-cones by the pool in the afternoons and the hot tub was very warm. Croquet and Bocce Ball is set up for anyone to enjoy on the lawn. After dinner there is live chamber/harp music in the parlor with complimentary coffee which was nice. There is live orchestra music and ballroom dancing at 9:30, which we were never able to stay awake for. We had a glass of wine in the Cupola Bar which is an excellent place to watch the sunset. We also watched the movie "Somewhere in Time" which features Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve, which was an average movie but fun to watch because it was set at the hotel. The movie viewing room was disappointing (just a room with chairs and a projector - hard to see over heads beyond the second row and only accommodating about 30 people). I had one spa service in the hotel's Astor Salon which was a great price and good service. The salon is located directly underneath the main dining hall, so around meal times you can hear LOTS of set-up noise overhead, which isn't as relaxing as I would have liked. The no-tipping policy at the Grand was a refreshing change and definitely kept spa costs down, making it a good value.
Overall we had a great time at the Grand and found it to be a very relaxing and nostalgic place to stay. I would definitely recommend watching for deals online at the hotel's website, because prices can vary drastically.
- 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
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Hotel Mackinaw Island Michigan
- Grand Hotel Mackinac Island Michigan
- Grand Hotel Island Mackinaw
- Grand Mackinac Island