23 June, 2010

The Grand Hotel

By Emily Anderson
The Grand Hotel is the apple of Mackinac Island's eye. And it is stunning. Built in 1887 out of white pine, Michigan's state tree, the hotel is on the National Registry of Historic Hotels. It's 661' wide porch is the largest in the world, and is visible as you approach the island from the Straits of Mackinac. And don't forget there is a strict dress code after 6pm -- men must wear a jacket and tie and ladies must wear a dress or other appropriate resort wear (whatever that means).  It's all part of the cache though, it is a beautiful structure with a grace and history that cannot be denied. Unfortunately, we did not stay here, maybe next time. We stayed in another grand dame, The Island House, down the street.
[caption id="attachment_4494" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="www.michigan.org"]www.michigan.org[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4491" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Mightymac.org"]Mightymac.org[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4492" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="www.michigan.org"]detroit.about.com[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4493" align="aligncenter" width="221" caption="igougo.com"]Front porch[/caption]
The outside is stunning, but the inside is stellar. For an interior designer, it doesn't get much better. Designed primarily by well known American interior designer Carleton Varney, every one of the 385 rooms features a unique design. Varney is the president of Dorothy Draper & Co. Inc. and is known for restoring and decorating countless hotels and resorts all over the world. His work includes The Waldorfs and Plaza Hotel in New York, Greenbriar in West Virginia and The Breakers in Palm Beach. As you can see, his design aesthetic is bold color and pattern and the blatant rejection of anything he considers "drab." See more at www.dorothydraper.com
[caption id="attachment_4497" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Dining Room, www.michigan.com"]www.michigan.com[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4495" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="www.michigan.com"]www.michigan.com[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4496" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="detroit.about.com"]detroit.about.com[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4465" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Roslyn Carter suite"]Roslyn Carter suite[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4466" align="aligncenter" width="240" caption="Jackie Kennedy suite"]jackie-kennedy-room-stefania[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_4467" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="hotelchatter.com"]grand_hotel_flowers[/caption]

If you ever want a glimpse of the Grand Hotel from your very own home, rent the cult classic Somewhere in Time. Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve star in this syrupy romance filmed on site. And now the hotel even offers a Somewhere in Time suite. Hey, it's worth a NetFlix rental for sure.


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