2019 Closing of Grand Hotel

Monday, October 28th marked the final day Grand Hotel was open for its 133rd season. Opening this year on Friday, May 3rd and open for 177 nights we hosted over 150,000 overnight guests. 2019 proved to be a very eventful year for everyone and here are a few of our favorite moments!

Grand Hotel framed perfectly by the red maple leaves of October.
Grand Hotel Bellman, Egbert posting one of the last daily schedule of events.
The view of Cadotte Avenue from the east end of Grand Hotel.

This past weekend was one to remember as we ended with a very special Somewhere in Time Weekend.  Somewhere in Time Film star, Jane Seymour attended this years’ 29th Anniversary celebration and guests were thrilled to have the opportunity to meet her in person – back where it all started. Mrs. Seymour brought her family along with her for the trip and was so excited to share with them all the wonderful things she loves about Grand Hotel. Jane’s family especially enjoyed the Terrace Room where they all stayed up late dancing to Alex Graham & the Grand Hotel Orchestra. Jane Seymour was ever gracious with her many fans, signing autographs, meeting and greeting and posing for pictures. 

Arriving on Thursday night, Jane Seymour was feeling right at home!
Jane Seymour with Grand Hotel Chairman, Dan Musser, III.
Somewhere in Time Weekend regulars, The Alexx Family.
Somewhere in Time Promenade
Jane Seymour with granddaughter, Willa.
Jane Seymour posing with Grand Hotel staff.
Jane Seymour posing for photos with guests.
A very special Somewhere in Time proposal.
She said yes! The newly engaged couple posing for photos on the east end of the porch.

The weekend was complete with the annual Somewhere in Time Promenade where each couple shows off their best period costume through the Parlor followed by the group photo in the Theatre. Guests were thrilled to see Jane Seymour walking in the promenade alongside her son, Kristopher.

Annual Somewhere in Time group photo

On Sunday 776 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. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon as guests helped Grand Hotel employees clear the porch of the rocking chairs. Everyone pitched in and in no time at all the porch was empty. Bob Tagatz hosted everyone’s favorite Close the Grand routine in the Theatre to a full audience. Guests laughed as Bob shared his most humorous and memorable moments of the season. Bob also payed a special tribute to Grand Hotel Concierge, Lois Tower, who will sadly be retiring this season after 18 years of service. 

Grand Hotel Employee, Patrick Conlon helps clear rockers from the Front Porch.
The guests love to help out for closing day!
Don’t forget the chess pieces!
Just like that the porch is empty!
Bob Tagatz Closing the Grand in the theatre.
Lois Tower will sadly be retiring after 18 years at Grand Hotel.

It was an emotional morning as Grand Hotel Chairman, Dan Musser, III walked across the Parlor with his sister Mimi Musser Cunningham and rang the ceremonial bell to conclude the 133rd season. Guests and employees stopped to say goodbye to Dan for the winter and have their picture taken with him. 

Dan Musser, III ringing the ceremonial closing bell.
Dan Musser with mother Amelia Musser and sister Mimi Musser Cunningham.
A little boy rings the closing bell with Dan Musser.
All the geraniums are taken out and packaged up for hotel guests.
Guests take home geraniums from the Grand Hotel porch.
All the furniture is removed from the parlor for the winter.
Grand Hotel is closed for the season.

This season was quite remarkable historically with the completion of the east end dormers, bringing the hotel back to its original architecture from the late 1800s. The Cupola Suites Project which began in 2014 came to completion this season with the addition of four suites on the fourth floor of the east end. The new suites were decorated by Carleton Varney and Dorothy Draper & Co. with inspiration drawn from the South Pacific for the Bali Ha’i suite, and St. Croix for the Songs of the Islands Suites.  

The original roofline of Grand Hotel is now restored.
The final additions to the Song of The Islands themed Cupola Suites. 
One of the final additions to the Song of The Islands themed Cupola Suites. 
The Bali Ha’i Cupola Suite.

Cupola Suite 452 is highlighted with lavish reds and golds and decorated with etchings and parisian-style drawings, a rich contrast from the tropical brazilliance patterns of the other suites. The last suite was inspired by the Biedermeier period, an era in Central Europe between 1815 and 1848, during which the middle class grew in number, and arts appealed to common sensibilities. 

The Bedroom of Cupola Suite 452.
The parlor of Cupola Suite 452.

Grand Hotel Interior Designer Carleton Varney released his latest book this year at the Annual Dorothy Draper School of Decorating Weekend. Rooms to Remember, A Designer’s Tour of Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel is the perfect addition to any Grand Hotel fan’s collection. Rooms to Remember features over 200 splendid photographs of the Named Rooms and Suites of Grand Hotel, with interior decorating details, history and inside stories behind each of the unique rooms. Get your copy here.

Carleton Varney sitting with Mrs. Amelia Musser in the parlor.
Rooms to Remember: A Designer’s Tour of Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel

Grand Gardens

Our gardening crew sure covered some ground this year! Here’s a look inside a day in the life of a Grand Hotel gardener with the transition of the front beds from tulips to mid-summer gardens where over 4,000 varieties are planted in one day! Historic Hotels of America Named Grand Hotel to the list of Top 25 Most Magnificent Gardens for the second consecutive year.


Thanks to our talented gardening crew, The Secret Garden was in bloom through the summer and into fall with the planting of brilliant red impatiens. Families and couples were able to enjoy the garden well into October. We can’t wait to reveal what we have in store for the Secret Garden in 2020!

The Secret Garden still in bloom in September with brilliant red impatiens.
Families enjoying the Secret Garden!

We hope you followed along with us on Instagram @grandhotelmichigan this year for #94GrandSummerDays. We posted a picture for each day of summer that our guests enjoyed here at Grand Hotel! Here’s an inside look at a few of our favorites!

We appreciate all of our fans on our social media and were so excited to announce that we had reached 150,000 Likes on Facebook!

Over 100 Grand Moments

This season Grand Hotel was proud to have been awarded The Knot’s “Best of Weddings” and WeddingWire’s “Couples’ Choice Award”! We hosted 120 wedding events at Grand Hotel this year!  

A Grand wedding party poses for a picture on the red steps at Grand Hotel!
The bride & groom saying I do at a west end porch ceremony.

Resident Historian Bob Tagatz had an eventful season with the launch of the Grand Hotel Q&A Series, Straits Talk. Guests had the opportunity to ask Bob questions pertaining to the history of Grand Hotel, Bob would then pick his favorite questions and provide the answer, insights and history on each episode. View them all 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.

Grand Hotel Named #1 Resort in Midwest by Conde Nast Traveler

Here are a few of the noteworthy accolades:

2019 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence Award

2019 proved to be another historically remarkable season with the sale of Grand Hotel by Owner and President Dan Musser, III to KSL Capital Partners and Davidson Hotels and Resorts. On Tuesday, September 10th Dan Musser made the announcement: “It has truly been an honor and a privilege for my family to serve as steward of this incredible Michigan landmark for nearly nine decades,” – Dan Musser said in a statement. “This is a role we have not taken lightly, nor was this decision to transfer ownership to KSL.” Dan Musser III will remain Chairman, and key staff members will remain in place to manage the hotel to ensure Grand Hotel will maintain her traditions and charm moving forward with new ownership. 

For more questions and concerns on Grand Hotel’s sale and new ownership, please visit our FAQ page here. 

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.

The last day open for the season for  Neil and his dedicated staff at Woods.

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 1st 2020, for the hotel’s 134th Season.

23 thoughts on “2019 Closing of Grand Hotel

  1. Love love love the Grand Hotel and it’s wonderful traditions❤️ Here’s to 2020, building on the past, looking forward to the future!!! We’ll be there 👍

  2. That was spectacular!~ Thank you for the postings. I had no idea all of that went on.

  3. Although people travel from all over the world to spend time at this treasure we call The Grand as a Michigander I am so proud to call it “ours.” It is close enough to be able to frequent it often, yet keeping it still so very special!!! We hope it can live on for many many more generations to come for all to enjoy!

    • Thank you Mary Ellen. We appreciate loyal guests like you that make Grand Hotel a home and truly treasure it!

  4. This is such a beautifully written article. The photos are remarkable, especially those of Mrs. Amelia Musser, she is such a gracious lady.
    Jane Seymour it’s so elegant and beautiful, how wonderful for her family to be with her!
    Thank you Grand Hotel for being the most special place in the world for so many if us!

    • Thank you Jacquie! It was certainly a season to remember. Thank you for making it all the more special by sharing it with us! We look forward to seeing you again in 2020.

  5. So grateful for all the many years we have enjoyed being with you. Truly you are the epitome of service & class. We will see you in 2020. Have a restful winter!

    • Thank you Andy & Barb! We look forward to your return in 2020. Have a wonderful winter!

  6. We are so glad we came to this year’s Close the Grand! Our first visit (together) was on our honeymoon. We had a Grand time, as always! Enjoy the winter.

    • We’re so glad you came too! Thank you for joining us for this special annual tradition!

  7. Exquisite
    Captures the soul.
    It is like walking through to another dimension and finding yourself among friends in a palace of flowers and high stepping horses. The colors stun the senses.
    Nothing like it on the face of this earth.
    A gift !!!

  8. Our first “Closing of the Grand” was a delightful experience! We will do our best to be part of the Spring opening in May. The grounds are beautiful, the service, staff and accommodations are exceptional! Thank you!

  9. Thank you to everyone at the Grand Hotel for an unforgettable “first time” stay. Everything was just wonderful, we’re still talking about it! Excellent service, food and ambiance, can’t ask for more. A true heartfelt magical experience. My husband and I look forward to returning again one day.

    • Thank you Barbara! That is wonderful to hear! We look forward to having you and your husband stay with us again!

  10. Grand Hotel has been “our place” since 1955. Harold Krutsch, President of Michigan Hotel Association, and Dan Musser Sr. we’re great partners in developing the Hotel and Motel Association of Michigan. Many vacation memories at the Grand are shared by The Krutsch Family over the last 64 years

    • Thank you for sharing Jacqueline! Grand Hotel has a special connection to so many people in Michigan. We are proud to have a special connection with you and your family.

  11. My husband, my son, Dean, and I spent an evening at the Grand a few years ago. It was wonderful. I hope to come again in 2020. It’s a very special place.

    • That’s wonderful to hear Diane, we hope to see you and your family in 2020!

  12. We always leave the GRAND feeling special and WELCOME!!!

    • That is great to hear Helen! You’re always welcome at Grand Hotel!

  13. My wife and I attended the “Ballroom Dance” weekend and were hugely impressed with the professionalism and ambience of the Grand Hotel. We were planning to come back for next year’s “Ballroom Dance” weekend and were sorely disappointed to find out it will not be a repeat. Is there a shareable reason as to why? I certainly hope it is on the agenda for 2021.

  14. I just like the article. Brilliant ideas shared here and i have shared the article with our partner hotels.

  15. The Grand Hotel looks so beautiful in the summer. I’m putting this on my bucket list of travels for 2020

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