Today, Monday, October the 29th marks the final day Grand Hotel is open for its 132nd season. Opening this year on Friday, May 4 and open for 177 nights we were hosts to over 150,000 overnight guests.
This past weekend we ended with Somewhere in Time Weekend, our last themed weekend of the season. Somewhere in Time Film Director, Jeannot Szwarc made an appearance where guests heard first hand his vision for the romantic story, filmed in 1979 and released in 1980.
Sunday evening 787 guests stayed for Close the Grand, a one-night package where guests get a chance to see what happens as we prepare the Grand Lady for the winter.
At 9:30 a.m. on this final day the season officially comes to an end with the ceremonial bell ringing by President Dan Musser, III.
As Dan said last season when accepting the Historic Hotels of America Preservation Award, “We are caretakers, not owners,” and the sound of the bell and a speech from Mr. Musser officially ends the season every year and allows the staff to become the caretakers they are and get ready for the next season.
This season was particularly exciting with the new addition of two brand new named suites – the Prentiss M. Brown Suite and the Lilac Suite.
The Prentiss M. Brown Suite located on the third floor is named after Michigan’s former United States Representative and United States Senator. Prentiss M. Brown also served as the first Chairman of the Mackinac Bridge Authority who oversaw the construction of the Mackinac Bridge. Mr. Brown was also the grandfather to Marlee Brown, wife of Grand Hotel President, Dan Musser, III.
Carleton Varney styled the suite with a scholarly feeling, including family and personal memorabilia and photographs.
The Lilac Suite also located on the third floor is named after the famous flower Mackinac Island is known for. Mackinac Island is home to 130-year-old lilac trees and all 23 species. With picturesque views of the Straits of Mackinac and Grand Hotel Tea Garden, which features many lilac trees this suite was imagined by Carleton Varney as a place where guests can be surrounded by a garden filled with lilacs and other Mackinac blooms.
2019 will bring exciting new additions to the hotel that our staff will begin working on this week. Stay tuned for more information coming in January!
This year the Grand Gardens were spectacular! Our grounds crew has already been busy planting 60,000 bulbs this fall (See video here), which includes over 30,000 tulips. Also, did you know the Grand Hotel Gardens were named among The Top 25 Most Magnificent Gardens by Historic Hotels of America.
The Secret Garden was fun this year! Using Grape Hyacinths, our gardeners created the illusion of a river flowing to Grand Hotel. The project included planting more than 8,000 Grape Hyacinths to form the purple river, with over 1,000 daffodils and tulips to line the river’s edge.
Over 100 Grand Moments
This season we hosted 116 wedding events! 2019 Wedding date reservations will begin Thursday, November 15th.
This season was also the first-ever Princess and Superhero package in July where children enjoyed Princess Charm School, Superhero Training in the Tea Garden, Afternoon Tea, Princess Ball, Bedtime Stories, and a graduation. It will happen again July 7 – 9, 2019. Book Here
Did you visit the Magnificent Mile in Chicago?
Grand Hotel was a sponsor for the inaugural Lighthouses on the Magnificent Mile Public Art Display in Chicago this summer. The Friedman Place, a non-profit Supportive Living Community for blind and visually impaired adults in Chicago designed a six-foot tall lighthouse sculpture on behalf of Grand Hotel. This lighthouse was one of fifty featured as part of the event Lighthouses on The Mag Mile from June through August. We were honored to be part of this special event this year. Read the blog here.
Grand awards thanks to you!
Every season we are particularly thankful to our guests and followers on social media who help cast their vote or leave a thoughtful review. Every vote and review helps garner very special recognitions throughout the year.
Here are a few of the noteworthy accolades:
- One of the Best Historic Hotels in the Country by USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards.
- Travel + Leisure named Grand Hotel one of the Top 5 Resort Hotels in the Midwest as part of the 2018 World’s Best Awards, and one of the 2018 Best All-Inclusive Hotels.
- Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards named Grand Hotel the #2 Resort in the Midwest and Texas.
- Smart Meetings selected Grand Hotel as a 2018 Platinum Choice Award Winner
- Michigan Meetings + Events honored Grand Hotel with a Best of 2018 Award.
- SmarterTravel named Grand Hotel one of the 12 Best All-Inclusive Resorts in the United States.
- The Grand Hotel Gardens were named among The Top 25 Most Magnificent Gardens by Historic Hotels of America.
- MSN named Grand Hotel The Most Historic Hotel in Michigan for a Timeless Getaway and recognized it as One Hotel You Cannot Miss in Michigan!
- Grand Hotel restaurantSalle à Manger received 2018 Best of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator for its outstanding wine program marking the 2nd consecutive year that Grand Hotel has been recognized by this publication.
- Grand Hotel, four Grand Hotel restaurants and the Grand Luncheon Buffet received the 2018 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor.
- Received the AAA Four Diamond Award for the 25th consecutive year
- USA Today recognized Grand Hotel as one of the 10 Most Beautiful Places the Editors Visited
- TheKnot named Grand Hotel to The Knot Hall of Fame for receiving the Best of Weddings award for 4 consecutive years.
We are thankful for our loyal guests and those that tried us for the first time this season. Behind the scenes we couldn’t do it without the dedicated staff of 715 employees from 21 countries who help to make sure all of the details of your stay are taken care of.
We appreciate everyone who helped to make Grand Hotel’s season so successful, and hope you will continue to choose Grand Hotel as a special place to create memories.
We look forward to welcoming our first guest on Friday, May 3 2019, for the hotel’s 132nd Season.