Editor’s Review of The Grand Hotel
The Grand Hotel on Mackinac is often called America's Summer Place and has been a vacation destination for families since the 1870s. Located just off the northern tip of Michigan's Lower Peninsula (the part shaped like a mitten), Mackinac Island is renowned because of the decision by its residents in 1901 to permanently ban motorized vehicles. Instead, more than 500 horses and hundreds of bicycles take people where they want to go. That in itself creates an intriguing vacation setting for families hoping to slow down and decompress from modern society.
The Grand Hotel continues that immersion into a slower, more relaxed time and place by its iconic 660-foot-long porch outlined by American flags and red geraniums. Dozens of wicker rocking chairs line that
porch offering a spectacular view across the Straits of Mackinac.
The elegance of the Grand Hotel speaks to an era of refinement and good taste, when families dressed for dinner, practiced the art of conversation and celebrated the events of the day over a leisurely evening meal.
While The Grand Hotel is indeed very family friendly, it is certainly a place where parents may implement those lessons in good manners, particularly at the evening dinner. Young men must wear a coat and tie and young ladies should wear a dress. While the kids may gripe and complain in your rooms, once everyone appears in the Main Dining Room, they become entranced by the setting and usually enjoy themselves, even if they won't admit it.
The grounds of the Grand Hotel are equally well-groomed and include tennis, swimming, golf, croquet, Bocce ball and an oversized chess set. Families may explore these together or kids 5 and older may enjoy it all in the company of others their age via the Children's Program while adults enjoy the day or evening together.
The Grand Hotel is owned by the Musser family and several generations of the Mussers are on the property most days and evenings. Currently Dan Musser is the third generation to lead the family business. However, guests may often see or hear a reference to Quatro, particularly when it comes to programming for children. This is young Dan the fourth, known by family, friends and staff at the Grand as "Quatro."
However, the most celebrated member of the Musser family is Sadie, the Scottish terrier who won Best in Show at the 2010 Westchester Kennel Club Show. A room devoted to Sadie's accomplishments is furnished with board games and quiet activities for families.
As a family-owned resort, the Grand Hotel is particularly attentive to the needs and interests of families while providing optimal service for adults celebrating special occasions without their children.
Although most children will not recognize the names Esther Williams and Jimmy Durante, they will most likely learn them during a visit to the Grand Hotel, which was the filming site of the 1947 movie "This Time For Keeps."
Older children may recognize the names or images of Hollywood stars Jane Seymour, Christopher Reeves and Christopher Plummer. They stayed at the Grand Hotel which shot the 1980 film "Somewhere in Time" with the hotel as its back-in-time backdrop. Today, fan club followers make a pilgrimage to the hotel to pay homage to film. less
Our Editor Loves
- Horseback riding
- Picnic basket meals
- Family movie nights
- All Inclusive
- Water Sports
- Horseback Riding
- Children's Program
- Connecting Rooms
- DVD Player
- Family Room 5+
- Game Room
- Kids'/Theme Meals
- Meal Plan
- Onsite Dining
Not my cup of tea
Reviewed on 06/08/2014
The hotel is beautiful, but a bit stuffy and uptight. I understand they are trying to recapture a part of history, but recruiting most of their wait and housekeeping staff from Jamaica and the Philippines was done intentionally ...
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The Grand Hotel has 390 guestrooms and suites, each with a distinct floor plan and decor. Choices include lake view or island view, balconies or bay windows, one- and two-bedroom suites, Jacuzzi tubs and more. Some of the suites are named for celebrities who have stayed in those rooms, as well as seven first ladies and numerous heads of state. All rooms have mini bars, but only the suites have full refrigerators. Children under 11 years of age stay free in their parents' room. Adjoining rooms are also available. Cribs are available at no additional charge.
For larger families, the hotel's four new Cupola Suites are ideal. Each Cupola Suite has four bedrooms and two parlors. They are located on the fourth floor of the hotel and are reminiscent of when the hotel first opened in 1887.
Much of the splendor of the Grand Hotel is its vastness and sprawling nature. Guestrooms and amenities are located on four floors, which sometimes appear confusing in their layout and accessibility via stairways and elevators. In the first day or so of your visit, make sure children (and adults) have maps with them before exploring the property on their own.
Also, each individual guest will be presented a guest card, which should be carried at all times. If teenagers explore on their own, it is important that they carry their own guest card. Not only does this facilitate dining and shopping, but also helps verify which guests are authorized to be on various floors of the hotel.
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