Up at Mackinac Island's Grand Hotel: Getting There
How many US hotels do you know that've reached 125 years of business? Well, The Grand Hotel of Michigan's Mackinac Island is one of 'em, as well as being one of the last surviving wooden construction hotels. Its history is long and tumultuous, but its summers are sunny. This week, we'll take a look around the Victorian property and the features and amenities that have made it a top seasonal destination for the last century-and-a-quarter.
Today: Getting to The Grand Hotel
In the United States, there are the Great Lakes. In the Great Lakes, there is an island. On this islandMackinac Islandthere is a hotel. And at this hotel there is a fleet of carriages. To get to the airport, you must take a carriage. To get to the ferry, you must take a carriage. There are no cars on Mackinac Island, but there are these horse-drawn carriages of The Grand Hotel.
Now that we've already detailed how exactly to reach Mackinac Island, it's time to make that final mile up to the historical hotel and its white columned porch, which holds that title of "longest porch in the world." Grabbing a "taxi" at the ferry docks means hopping in a carriage, but guests of The Grand have the varnished wood ones complete with driver in top hat and finery.
It's part of the life of the island, watching The Grand's cabs and horses trot by; it's just as normal for guests to take a walk (or a carriage) up to the hotel's stables to visit the horses that take them into town.
This last weekend, the hotel inaugurated brand new stables, larger ones for the purpose of housing The Grand's extensive collection of vintage carriages, from Victorias to Phaetons and even sleighs. Many you may recognize from being named in Jane Austen novels.
Tomorrow: Inside a room, which goes from $362 per couple (but includes breakfast, 5-course dinner and gratuities).
Disclosure: We were at the Grand Hotel as a guest of Pure Michigan while on assignment for Jaunted, but rest assured that all photos and opinions are completely our own.
[Photos: Cynthia Drescher/HotelChatter]