Mackinac Island is a BEAUTIFUL island. Both times we have stayed on the island, we have stayed at Stonecliffe. A friend recommended it, because they also had a larger family, and it is very family friendly. Both times, we brought our bikes, which I highly recommend.
The Inn is quite a ways from town, and this is really the only negative. But if you have your bike, it isn't so bad. I do regret that we never took the carriage ride into town. We were deterred by the cost (for a family of 5, it was up there) -- but it would have been such a different experience.
We were with our 3 kids, ages 7, 9 and 12. They all did a great job pedaling themselves around the island, seeing the sights. It was a great family experience. The Inn at Stonecliffe has a pool, which is not very deep. It also has an incredible view of the Mackinac Bridge. And at night, if you walk a little ways, to the neighboring rental place, there's a big balcony (looks public), you can get an awesome view of the sunset.
The rooms are very nicely decorated. The beds and pillows were excellent. The place was very clean, and felt new -- no signs of wear. We had 2 bedrooms and 2 baths. The family room had a pull out sofa bed that our 12 year old slept on. The rooms have balconies. We could see pool and Mackinac bridge from ours. Some of the smaller rooms, and huge balconies.
The first night, we ate at the restaurant at Stonecliffe. The food was good, but expensive. We ate outside on the patio, and the view of their grounds, with the bridge in the background was really beautiful. The 2nd night we ate at the Woods restaurant. Food was as good as night before, and just as expensive. Great atmosphere (indoors, Bavarian, nice fire and ambience). We wanted to walk to town, eat more casual (less expensive) and take carriage back, but it was raining.
The breakfast is a big breakfast, with lots of hot options (eggs, sausage, etc.). It is a big plus for staying at the resort -- especially if you are doing a lot of biking -- get your energy early. We stayed in the 2 bedroom suite, and it has a mini-kitchen. So we brought over a cooler with food. We made lunches, so we didn't have to eat out, except for our dinners.
We stayed 2 nights, but I recommend 3 nights. I also HIGHLY recommend going to the Fort -- no matter what age you are. They do a fabulous job there -- educational, interesting (fun and interactive for the kids) and the view up there is great. The gift shop is great too :)
My 12 year olds favorite part of the island to bike on, is through the middle of the island (going from town towards British Landing). It is a long downhill ride, and he loved going fast down it. Do NOT go the opposite way (we saw many people going UP -- not fun).
When you get to British Landing, there's a stand that sells soft serve ice cream as well as fried pickles (my husband really liked these).
One of our favorite bike rides on the island, is Leslie Avenue. It is heavily wooded with lots of up and down hills. You can take it to Arch Rock, and then cut over to Garrison which turns into British Landing, which is the long downhill our preteen likes.
I recommend Stonecliffe. Just be aware of the fact you are not in town. But is is really nice and quiet. There are bats out at night. Also -- for the last 2 years, they have had a special, where if you book by December 31st, for the upcoming summer, you can get certain dates 1/2 price. We did this both years (but had to travel at the end of Augsut to do so) -- and saved a lot of money. It is a good deal though.
Stonecliffe is a wonderful place to visit if you are going to Mackinac. I highly recommend staying ON the island vs. in St. Ignace (have done this before) or Macinack City.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Inn at Stonecliffe enjoys a storied place in Mackinac Island history. Built in 1904 as a family summer escape by industrialist Michael Cudahy, Stonecliffe has enchanted guests for nearly half a century. Situated high on the west bluff, Inn at Stonecliffe lodging comprises a classic Tudor-style mansion that offers 16 bed and breakfast style guest rooms, and the more modern Summer House Suites, with 31 richly appointed suites decorated in a classic summer cottage style with a light Victorian influence. Overnight visitors to Mackinac Island often observe that the best time to enjoy the island is in the early morning or late evening when the last ferry has carried the daily visitors back to the mainland. At The Inn at Stonecliffe, you’ll enjoy that feeling every moment of your stay. Anywhere you turn, tranquility and relaxation await, from the breathtaking bluff-top views of the Straits of Mackinac and Mackinac Bridge to the Inn’s lush, rolling lawns.Special Services and / or Features: • Breakfast Included• Air Conditioning• Onsite Dining and Cocktail Lounge• Weddings and Events• Kitchenettes• Bike Rentals • Cable Television• Outdoor Heated Pool• Private Baths• Telephones• Complimentary Wireless Internet• Non Smoking ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Inn At Stonecliffe Hotel Mackinac Island