Saturday, July 3, 2010

Mackinac Island Part Two: The Grand Hotel

The longest porch in the world! I think it is 600 feet long.

Another shot of the porch, this time with a little sun shining on it. I had to cleverly use the branches to shade the camera from getting too much sun. Most of the time we were on the island the weather was cloudy and/or rainy, but on Saturday afternoon we had a lovely few hours!

View looking off the porch towards downtown (which you can't see because the Grand is on a big hill and surrounded by a lovely garden).

As part of our Arts Weekend package we had a lovely reception every evening before dinner. They offered lots of different types of alcohol, including champagne, fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese, crackers, shrimp, chicken skewers, and these absolutely scrumptious little spinach, sundried tomato, and feta mini quiches. They were so good I was forced to have about five!

The view looking down the porch. We were serenaded by classical jazz during our reception hour, and always served by an impeccably dressed wait staff. As my dad says, it is all very civilized - you are served a full five course meal by uniformed waiters, there's a special wine staff, the food was delicious and elegant. I especially loved the fact that there were always activities in the hotel, which made it feel like an old time vacation resort for the very wealthy. There is afternoon tea, and after dinner you can have an espresso, there's dancing with live jazz music, and of course more cocktails. The jazz band plays during dinner too. There are shops in the hotel where you can buy all kinds of knicknacks, and lots of public areas where families liked to play card and board games or just relax. Did I mention that after 6 PM you have to be dressed in your finest? Oooh la la!

The dining room at break fast on our last day. Aren't the mirrors wonderful?

Looking out the window from the dining room onto the porch.

Shots of the parlor, where afternoon tea, espresso, and the evening cocktail take place.

The room. It was quite large and perfectly set up for my parents and me. You can see we had a nice living area as well as two good sized beds. The only thing that I found a little disappointing was the decoration of the hotel. I was expecting more of a Victorian influence but it was more modern English cottage with big, bold prints and colors that sometimes clashed. But this is a minor criticism. The service is really the big selling point and it was really fantastic.

Commemorative pictures from the filming of "Somewhere in Time" in on of the lobbies.

Shots of the garden in front of the Grand.

A shot of the Mackinac Bridge (The Mighty Mac) at sunset from the porch of The Grand. The Mighty Mac links the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan and is the third longest suspension bridge in the world and the longest in the western hemisphere.


Monique said...

Wow those are awesome pictures!!! I feel like it's very Southern, especially with the gigantic porch. You know, now that I think of it, this totally reminds me of scenes from Titanic haha. The interior looks like the ship!

Still, awesome :) looks like fun!

getyourselfconnected said...


Absolutely beautiful. Great pictures, they really came out well. No wonder they made the film there and not the crummy Coronado Hotel in California!

Thanks so much for the visual treat.

Zhu said...

Ah ah, not quite the hotel we are currently staying in in Paris! That one is.... er... quite bigger :-D

I love the third picture, it captures a certain atmosphere.

au soleil levant said...

Monique - They definitely strive for a turn-of-the-century elegance. I could definitely imagine the carriages pulling up with big steamer trunks and women with parasols!

GYSC - glad you liked the pictures! I'm a terrible photographer, but I was really glad these turned out decently.

Zhu - Ha! I would like to see a hotel this big anywhere in Europe! Glad you like the pics, what a compliment!

Emily said...

Great posts about Mackinac. I've never been to the Grand Hotel and enjoyed seeing your photos. I thought of you guys as I huddled by the campfire under pouring rain at Tahquamenon Falls on Friday night....

yaeld said...

Oooohhh La La...

This place looks very elegant indeed...Maybe I can come next time... you know how I feel about good service.

Although as a general rule, I do resent being forced to wear anything other than pajamas...Also, I tend to stick out like a sore thumb in 'elegant' locations...and I've forgotten how to bike ride...actually, I might kinda be a drag. I'm pretty much only useful for ordering room service in my pajamas :)

au soleil levant said...

Emily - oh no! I'm sorry you got stuck in the rain! Hope you had a good time anyway?

Yael - I agree, not really your type of vacation, although as far as sticking out, this is Michigan, elegance is relative! I think for our next vacation meet up we should pick a nice all inclusive resort. Preferably somewhere with an extensive cocktail list.