The Perfect Summer Getaway: The Grand Hotel

Truly grand, for more than a century. America’s original grand hotel.

No summer trip to Northern Michigan would be complete without a visit to Mackinac Island’s famed Grand Hotel.  Before I get into the details about this amazing resort, I’ve got to tell you a bit about Mackinac Island first.  Mackinac Island is only accessible by boat and the easiest way to get there is to take Shepler’s Ferry Service from Mackinac City.  The ride is especially fun if you sit up top in the open air.  There are no cars allowed on the island so the preferred mode of transportation is either horse and carriage or bicycle.  It really is like stepping back in time!

The island is dotted with Victorian summer cottages and gorgeous gardens.

Okay, now back to the hotel!  The Grand Hotel opened in 1887 as a summer resort.  At the time, it had the world’s longest front porch and the record still stands today.  White rockers line the porch (or promenade as it’s called) giving guests majestic views of the Straits of Mackinac.  My family visited the hotel a few summers back and I can honestly say that the porch is truly awe inspiring.

Look at that view!

The hotel is absolutely gorgeous inside and was designed by Carleton Varney who heads The Interior Design House of Dorothy Draper and Company.  Inside, Carleton stayed true to Draper’s bold and dramatic aesthetic by using a palette of bold colors and dramatic patterns.  And each of the 390 guest rooms is different.

The lobby with it’s geranium patterned carpet.

A view of the dining room.

A grand suite.

The Jacqueline Kennedy Suite.  There are a number of suites named for former first ladies.

Carleton Varney- America’s Interior Designer.

 The grounds also boast an Esther William’s designed swimming pool and a legendary golf course.  If you do visit the hotel, remember to take home a box of the island’s famous fudge from Ryba’s!  It’s kind of a Michigander’s joke that everyone who comes over on the ferry is a fudgie since you can’t visit the island and not take home a box!  Here’s to Mackinac Island!

  • Judy Jenkins
    July 23, 2015

    One of favorite vacations!!! Felt like the “queen”!

    • Cait
      July 27, 2015

      Hi Judy!

      I am so glad that you got to stay there and enjoy it! Amazing place!


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