Grand Hotel’s Woods Restaurant Celebrates 100 Years

Woods Restaurant Celebrates 100 Years

Exterior of 100 year old Woods Restaurant
Exterior of 100 year old Woods Restaurant
Woods Grand Hotel
Duckpin bowling – a family favorite.

The building of Woods Restaurant located on Cudahy Circle celebrates its 100th year!  Located in the interior of Mackinac Island – a short horse-drawn carriage will take you to a Grand Bavarian atmosphere that is beautiful, unique and one of a kind. It is also home of America’s oldest duck pin bowling alley and Bobby’s Bar.

After 100 years Woods Restaurant has rich history. Stonecliff, the opulent Tudor Mansion located near Woods Restaurant was built in 1905 by The Cudahy Family. The mansion was first sold to the Hert family in 1915 who built the building that is now Woods Restaurant as a playhouse for their children. Later, Stonecliffe housed several religious and educational institutions until George A. Staffan acquired it in 1977. Mr. Staffan concentrated on improving the mansion’s infrastructure, developing it into a distinctive resort property. Currently Grand Hotel owns the restaurant and the golf course property at Stonecliffe, while Mr. and Mrs. Bob Pulte own the mansion itself.

Woods Grand Hotel
Interior seating area
Woods Interior Lobby
Cozy entrance and lobby

Entering Woods you step into the lobby where a variety of mounted trophies are displayed.  Almost all of the deer, moose and ducks throughout the restaurant were taken for their meat by islanders during the appropriate hunting season.  Woods provided hunters a place to display their trophies which adds to the hunting lodge appeal.

The restaurant of today owes much of its beauty and ambiance to the Musser Family and the devotion of Stonecliffe’s former owners. The raised stage in the back was added by the Hert family as part of their Amusement Lounge. This area is now used for seating and provides a view of the entire restaurant. The ski-motif stained glass windows were added by the Rex Humbard family, who also made major improvements to the infrastructure. In 1991 the Musser family wanted to create a restaurant away from town and completely different then any of the other downtown restaurants. Today’s Bavarian theme is the creation of renowned New York designer, Carleton Varney who is also Grand Hotel’s Interior Designer. In 1992 Carleton Varney completely renovated the structure of Woods and redecorated the interior.  His vision for the Woods came true in 1993 when the restaurant had its grand opening. 

The combination of live piano music and fireplaces provide just the perfect ambiance and make you feel right at home. Woods Grand Hotel

We look forward to charming guests for another 100 Grand years.

Take a full tour of the inside of Woods Restaurant above.


Announcing Grand Hotel Summer Celebration by Hudsonville Ice Cream

Grand Hotel Summer CelebrationMemorial Day Weekend is finally here and with that comes the arrival of Hudsonville’s Grand Hotel Summer Celebration Ice Cream!

We are excited to announce that we are extending our brand partnership with Hudsonville Ice Cream for the 5th consecutive year. Hudsonville Ice Cream has developed this year’s featured flavor, Grand Hotel Summer Celebration – a delicious combination of vanilla ice cream with swirls of raspberry and blueberry sherbet. Its red, white and blue color palette echoes the beauty of Grand Hotel’s flagged porch and the rich Americana of the summer season from Memorial Day to Labor Day. “My family and I are honored that Hudsonville Ice Cream continues to develop flavors for Grand Hotel that allow our guests to enjoy a taste of Grand Hotel all summer long. It has been a privilege to work with another family owned Michigan business and we look forward to the continued partnership.” – Dan Musser III, President Grand Hotel

Sadie's Ice Cream Parlor

Grand Hotel Summer Celebration is Hudsonville’s newest limited edition flavor available in stores across the Midwest for Memorial Day Weekend. “We are excited to continue our partnership with Grand Hotel in 2016. We value working with other great family owned companies who deliver great experiences for their customers, our partnership fits so naturally – summer, family and relaxation.” CJ Ellens, Hudsonville Ice Cream

Just a few weeks ago Paul W. Smith from WJR  760 AM in Detroit sampled the new ice cream on-air at Grand Hotel during his Pure Michigan Tour.

Paul W Smith

Take a look at the exciting production process of Grand Hotel Summer Celebration Ice Cream:  

Grand Hotel Summer CelebrationWhen producing Grand Hotel Summer Celebration , the Hudsonville team begins by batching ice cream mix using locally-sourced fresh milk, cream and a sugar blend. Once the mix is prepared and cooled to the proper temperature, it is brought over to the production room where we start by then making our famous Original Vanilla ice cream in specialized ice cream freezers. Once complete  the containers are filled.

 At the filler, the cup, ice cream and lid all come together as one. After each container is checked for the proper weight, coded with a manufacturing date and put through a metal detector, it immediately enters our deep freezing system.

Grand Hotel Summer Celebration

From start to finish, each carton of ice cream is produced and travels into the freezer in under two minutes! This ensures Grand Hotel Summer Celebration is made as fresh as possible, and then frozen fresh to lock in a rich, creamy taste and texture as quickly as possible so it can be enjoyed by everyone!


Learn how to scoop ice cream from the pros at Hudsonville Ice Cream and Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor.


Look for Hudsonville Grand Hotel Summer Celebration Ice Cream in retail stores across the Midwest beginning this Memorial Day Weekend as well as Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor while visiting Grand Hotel and Mackinac Island this year.


Grand Hotel and Trinchero Family Estates Raise a Glass to #ChadTough

ChadTough Foundation

In 2015 the ChadTough Foundation was started to raise awareness for pediatric brain tumors and has an emphasis on Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma or DIPG.  Because this disease is rare there is little research and funding generated. However, brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer related death among children and after accidents cancer is the leading cause of death for children in the United States. 4 year old Chad Carr was diagnosed with DIPG on September 23rd, 2014.  Chad is the grandson of former University of Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr, son of Jason Carr, former University of Michigan Quarterback and Tammi Curtis Carr.  In Chad’s battle through cancer he underwent 30 rounds of radiation and participated in a clinical trial at a cancer center in New York.  Chad was fortunate to have so many people supporting him throughout his journey. Michael Sydlowski, a family friend, came up with the slogan “ChadTough” so that people could show their support to Chad and his family.  Thousands of people followed the family’s emotional story shared by his mother, Tammi Curtis Carr on the Pray for Chad Carr Facebook page (now the ChadTough Foundation) and people helped spread the word of Chad’s fight through social media by using the hashtag #ChadTough. The color orange also became a favorite being it was Chad’s first choice after hearing it was his brother Tommy’s favorite color.

Chad Carr

His story received national recognition through Huffington Post, TODAY show, ABC News,  University of Michigan athletics, as well as Ohio State University and Michigan State University collegiate athletes. A true testament to the strength of the disease and the power of bringing people together. Chad’s fight ended on November 23, 2015. His journey was an inspiration to so many and his legacy now lives on through the ChadTough Foundation setup by his parents Jason and Tammi Curtis Carr.

In support of The ChadTough Foundation for every bottle of Grand Hotel private label wine supplied by Trinchero Family Estates served this season the Musser family of Grand Hotel and Trinchero Family Estates will make a donation to the ChadTough Foundation.  Raise a glass to #ChadTough!

Carr Family
The Carr Family


Grand Illusion Quilt by Bonnie Hunter

Bonnie Hunter’s Grand Illusion Quilt is exactly what you need to GET INSPIRED!

Bonnie has the amazing opportunity of being able to do what she loves for her career, which is quilting! She calls herself a Quiltaholic! “Not a day goes by that I am not dreaming, plotting, planning, cutting, stitching ((and un-stitching!)) on SOMETHING Quilt-Related!”  Bonnie is known for her scrappy quilting technique.   She goes all over the world teaching different quilting classes; and loves meeting fellow quilters! You can check her calendar to see if she is teaching a class near you. We were fortunate enough to have Bonnie at our 2016 Needle Art Seminar this week at Grand Hotel. In 2014 is when she started working on a quilt called the Grand Illusion. (see below) She will also join us in 2019 which we are already excited about!

Grand Illusion Quilt
Grand Illusion Quilt by Bonnie Hunter displayed on Grand Hotel’s Theatre stage

Inspired by Grand Hotel’s vibrant wall colors and elegant décor Bonnie Hunter set out to make a quilt that reflected the hotel’s bright and lively essence. She incorporated yellow which can be found in the flowers and in the awnings of the hotel. Turquoise to resemble the ceiling of the porch and the interior ceilings. She also used bright green grassy patterns, Pink Geranium patterns, and some black and neutral colors. This beautiful quilt is known as the Grand Illusion. For all of you savvy quilters out there who were not able to join us this week you can buy the pattern on her website.

Check-out all of the BEAUTIFUL Grand Illusion quilts from many Grand quilters. What a true inspiration and the theme to this year’s event – GET INSPIRED!

Grand Quilters

Grand Illusion Quilt

You can view other quilter’s Grand Illusion quilts on our Pinterest page.

Happy Quilting!

Welcome to our 130th Season at Grand Hotel

Dan Musser III

My family and I, along with close to 700 staff members welcome you to our 130th Season at Grand Hotel. This will be the 83rd year our family has owned and operated the hotel and we look forward to seeing a lot of familiar faces as we open our doors today.  This winter we were busy updating 334 feet of the Iconic Front Porch. Looking out over the Straits of Mackinac and the Mackinac Bridge the west end of the porch will be brand new for the 2016 season. Next winter we will renovate the east end. The old flooring and steps were removed and taken down to the original foundation from when the hotel was built. It has waterproof flooring by Tremco in our Grand Hotel green. In addition masonry work on 14 pillars took place on the bases of the stately white pillars. The porch wouldn’t be the famous Front Porch without the red carpeting up the newly built stairs.

Red Carpet

Hundreds of pieces of white furniture were repainted and we replaced draperies, wallpapering and carpeting in many rooms. We renovated 16 bathrooms and made many additional upgrades and refinements throughout the hotel. I feel Grand Hotel is in the best shape it has ever been in my career in time to welcome you this year.

Grand Hotel

The biggest news is the addition of our sixth off-site restaurant, Sushi Grand. We hope you will stop in and check out the unique decore by Carleton Varney of Dorothy Draper & Company and experience fresh made to order sushi. This new restaurant will be located next to The Gate House at the bottom of Grand Hill and we are looking forward to it’s Grand Opening at the end of May.

Sushi Grand

We continue to collaborate with many of our valuable partners every year including our friends at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan with the Live Healthy Live Grand partnership. You will see many new Live Healthy Live Grand menu items at all of our restaurants. You will also find updated planners in every guest room with new ideas for wellness around Mackinac Island and recipes from our Executive Chef Hans Burtscher. Activity cards for all of our young guests will be available so they can check off fun things they did around the hotel and Mackinac to earn a free scoop of ice cream at Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor.  Live Healthy Live GrandHudsonville Ice Cream is working on a new flavor for this year called Grand Hotel Summer Celebration that you will find at Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor and well as in retail stores around the State of Michigan beginning Memorial Day Weekend.

Summer Celebration

We are also re-opening a completely renovated Business Center sponsored by Mlive Media Group. It will have state of the art technology and updated work spaces.

Last week for Early Opening we welcomed a few groups and guests who join us as we get things going. Today is the official opening day for the season.

Grand Hotel

My family and I appreciate your friendship and support and we look forward to seeing you on Mackinac during our upcoming  season.

Most sincerely,


Dan Musser III