Up at Mackinac Island's Grand Hotel: Afternoon Tea for All
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: Afternoon Tea at The Grand Hotel
We may have spent nearly all week showing you the nooks and crannies that guests may enjoy at the 125-year-old Grand Hotel, but there is one very large way they welcome non-guests: with traditional afternoon tea.
Mackinac Island has its share of daytrippers and budget travelers just as it has the luxury and season-long visitors. Paying $400/night for the Grand isn't always feasible; for some it's a dream stay to work towards, but in the meantime there's always tea. The Grand Hotel charges non-guests $10 per person and enforces a basic dress code to enter the building, to prevent the place being overrun. While you're there, afternoon tea is only $25 per person (compare to $30+ in Chicago and $36+ in New York).
And, unlike those Chicago and NYC hotel afternoon teas, that $25 price includes a glass of champagne or sherry in addition to the usual individual teapots and plates of scones, savory sandwiches and sweet bites.
The tea service takes place from 3.30-5pm daily in the hotel's Parlor, just inside from the Porch, and the furniture includes priceless vintage pieces like a Chippendale table and two endtables from the estate of Joan Crawford. There is always live music; we had a harpist.
We have to be straight with you and say that we're serious hotel tea snobs and there's only one thing for which we could fault The Grand's tea: there was no selection of teasinstead we were just asked how we took our tea and a black tea was served. Considering the affordable price, we let it slide and we will be back.
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]