There’s something magical about Grand Hotel

We would like to welcome guest blogger, Nadia Carriere , editor and publisher of

Nadia is a mom to 2 girls and a boy. As someone who appreciates travel and finding the ‘best of the best’ for families we recently welcomed her and her family back to Grand Hotel.  Her work has been published on, Huffington Post, and TripAdvisor. Below is her experience she shared with us.

There’s something magical about the Grand Hotel.

America’s Summer Place
Tea Garden

Nightly dancing after dinner

My family and I have been visiting this exquisite piece of American history for 3 years now and it continues to be one of the main highlights of our year, regardless of when and where in the world we travel. It’s a place that is filled with memories of generational families visiting year after year.

In the evening, children from 1-100 hit the dance floor in the ballroom where a live band plays classics from the past and present. It’s the only place I know (other than a family wedding) where children and their families can dance the night away during an evening of fun.

Five-Course dinner

You won’t find your typical resort-style dining at the Grand Hotel – no Sir! Proper table manners are a must, when you enter the Grand Dining Room. Delicious meals include healthy options and a full buffet option for the children.

It really is no wonder that this hotel has received award after award for their excellence in both service and grandeur. Last year, the Grand Hotel opened Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor, to tempt our tastebuds and thrill our inner child. I put together a feature of this new addition on where you can also view a video tour of the establishment.

For 2014, the Grand Hotel had another surprise up their sleeve. They introduced the Musser Suite this Spring and it booked up for the season shortly after.

A view from the Musser Suite

This new one-bedroom suite is located on the fourth floor of the hotel and provides an incredible view of the Mackinac Bridge and the entire Straits of Mackinac. It is the first room to be added to the hotel since it opened its Millenium Wing in 2001 and the first step in a 3-year plan to add seven additional two-bedroom suites.

Musser Suite

Of course, the hotel’s decorator Carleton Varney left no stone unturned in what he calls “the finest decorated projects” of his career. The room’s carpeting was custom-woven in Connemara Ireland and there are plenty of incredible unique and decorative touches found throughout the suite.

The suite is named after the late Grand Hotel Chairman R.D. “Dan” Musser Jr., who passed away a year ago. I put together an exclusive video tour of the room while I visited last month and would love to share it with you!


You can find out more about this suite by visiting the Grand Hotel’s website.
Now…who wants to join me in the Musser Suite for 2015?

Children’s Program Fun!

Each season, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, Grand Hotel’s Children’s Program is available twice daily for our young guests five and older. The program includes a special meal in one of our restaurants, with a Children’s Buffet the Main Dining Room on some evenings.  After everyone enjoys their meal, the fun continues with games, crafts or mini adventures.

Activities include walking to the butterfly house, visiting the Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum, arts and crafts, croquet and bocci ball, rock collecting on the beach, playground games, kite flying and scavenger hunts. Each program is complimentary for those guests staying under our Modified American Plan.  A fee is charged for young guests staying with the breakfast only or meal exclusive plans.  Baby sitting is also available for those under five through our Housekeeping Department.

Our Children’s Program is a great way for the kids to have fun and make new friends, and for mom and dad to enjoy a game of golf, or maybe a romantic dinner for two. Sign up at Rebecca’s Room when you arrive and let the fun begin!



Movies in the Tea Garden

Our Family Added Value Days package has always been a big hit with families looking to get away in August before the kids return to school.  With daily Ice Cream Socials, complimentary Children’s Programs, nightly family friendly movies, free golf for anyone 17 and younger, and half off golf for adults, this package has something for everyone.

This season, guests staying with us August 17, 18, and 19, will enjoy an added treat with movies in the Tea Garden.  Great Lakes Outdoor Cinemas will be showing Frozen, Despicable Me 2, and Lego Movie on the big screen (weather permitting of course). Sitting on blankets in the grass, watching movies together is the perfect time for creating treasured family memories.  Life can be hectic, and families can lose track of each other, so we strive to provide opportunities to bring you back together, to slow down, and enjoy each other.  Hopefully, we will see you at the movies this August!

Gardening with Guest Blogger Stacey Hirvela

Today’s Guest Blogger is Stacey Hirvela, marketing specialist for Spring Meadow Nursery.  Stacey is one of the guest speakers for the 2014 Grand Garden Show featuring Proven Winners.

Gardening rocks! There’s no better complement to a beautiful Michigan summer than a lush backyard, bursting with color and life (especially after the winter we had this year). For me, that means a mix of flowers AND vegetables – it’s the only way to satisfy my plant geek side and my foodie side. I’ve been growing vegetables in containers for most of my gardening life and I share my experience and ideas in my new book, Edible Spots & Pots, published by Rodale this past March. In it, I cover the details of growing edibles in containers and raised beds, sharing tips and tricks to set you up for a successful, beautiful harvest. For example, did you know that the secret to growing good cilantro like you buy at the grocery store is to grow more than one plant, and sow seeds regularly? Cilantro naturally has a very short life cycle, so to keep a continuous supply, you have to sow seed frequently. When your cilantro plant goes to seed, don’t just rip it out right away. You can let the seed turn from green to tan and sow it and grow more cilantro, or collect it and put it in a glass jar – it is the spice, coriander!

Because I work for one of the partners in the Proven Winners brand, colorful containers are pretty much a way of life. So in the book, I adapted the popular thriller-filler-spiller method of composing fabulous floral combinations to vegetables, herbs and edible flowers. The book includes over 30 “recipes” for gorgeous and edible combinations, plus all the information you need to mix up any herb or veggie that you like to grow into your own unique combo.

But I’m going to need to leave my container garden in the care of my husband (who fortunately loves to garden as well) when I head up to the Grand Hotel at the end of August for the Proven Winners Grand Garden Show. I am so excited to go back and enjoy the grounds of the Grand and all of the gorgeous private gardens on the tours. And, I get to do my favorite thing – talk about plants and gardening – for three whole days! Last year’s show was amazing, inspirational, and so much fun. I mean, who wouldn’t want to enjoy a cocktail on that legendary porch in the company of P. Allen Smith, Jon Carloftis, and Jack Barnwell – three of the nicest, funniest, most talented gardeners you’ll ever meet? I hope you can find someone to mind your garden and take the time to escape with us. It really is an unforgettable experience!

P.S. Master gardeners ( can earn 5 educational credit hours for attending!

Gayle McCracken Trunk Show

Mackinac Market will be hosting a Trunk Show July 9-19, with products created by Stampin’ Up distributor Gayle McCracken.   Gayle has been with “Stampin’ Up” since 2005 and has won awards for her designs.  What started out as a simple hobby turned into a wonderful way for Gayle to share her creative ideas by holding classes in her community.  She now has her products for sale at a local shop, and sells her creations at local events and craft shows.

For this Trunk Show, Gayle has created a variety of fun Mackinac Island specific pieces.  She offers custom note cards as well as memory books, photo albums, and craft bags.  We hope to see you there!




Shelbie, Grand Hotel’s First Female Coachman

For the first time in its long history, Grand Hotel has a female Coachman driving the Musser family’s Hackney horses.  Shelbie Mosley was raised on Mackinac Island and has been around horses her entire life.  Shelbie’s love of horses and other animals has driven her to pursue a career as a Veterinarian.  She is presently in her last year of pre-veterinarian studies at University of Findlay in Ohio, hoping to get into Michigan State University to further her education.

This is Shelbie’s fourth year working at the Grand Stables.  As a very young girl she remembers visiting the stables and falling in love with some of the very carriages she now drives.  The Hackney horses Shelbie drives are used to haul the Musser family to various Island functions, they also frequently pull our wedding carriage, and transport some VIP guests on special rides.

Hackney horses are known as the aristocrats of the show ring. They have a very high knee action, high head carriage, and are natural showmen.  The carriages that are used with these horses are over one hundred years old, and many have a great deal of history on the Island.  Shelbie considers this job not only a valuable learning experience, but a true life experience, and something she can use in her further career.


“Man in the City” comes to Mackinac Island

You may notice something a little different when you pass by the Gate House this summer.  That something is a little orange man standing on the roof urging you to look up.  Crooked Tree Arts Center located in Petoskey, Michigan is currently displaying 40 “Man in the City” sculptures on rooftops throughout Detroit, and Windsor, Canada.  As part of Crooked Tree Arts Center’s Detroit @CTAC exhibit, Northern Michigan will host approximately 20 of the sculptures over the summer months.

John Suave created the “Man in the City” project in 2008, and the sculptures have been exhibited on New York City’s Highline and on Governors Island.  The project creates a metaphor for life that transforms the skyline and encourages people to look around.  The purpose of looking around is to get people engaged in the discovery process, helping an individual gain a sense of place within the city.

The Man in the City will be watching next time you visit, encouraging you to look up, look around and discover something new.


Fort Tea Room Receives Certificate of Excellence

We are pleased to announce that the Fort Tea Room has received the 2014 Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor.  This award is especially treasured because it is the result of Tea Room guests providing “Excellent” reviews time and time again on Trip Advisor.

Located inside Fort Mackinac, the Fort Tea Room provides stunning views of Lake Huron, downtown Mackinac Island and Marquette Park, and The Jewel golf course.  Guests may dine outside under sunny yellow umbrellas, on the upstairs veranda, or inside, next to the real wood fire on a cool fall afternoon.

Open daily from 11 until 3, the Fort Tea Room is perfect for lunch, an afternoon snack, or just relaxing with an adult beverage or a refreshing lemonade while enjoying the view.  The menu includes soup, salads, sandwiches, personal pizzas, and if you are a Sloppy Joe lover this is the place for you! Piled high with oh-so-much deliciousness, it is a favorite of those who make the Fort Tea Room a summer tradition.

Next time you are on Mackinac Island be sure to include a trip to Fort Mackinac. After you have taken in a bit of history make a visit to the Fort Tea Room your next stop.  Daniel and his crew absolutely love it when new friends drop by.




A New Addition to the Grand Stables

The newest arrival at the Grand Hotel Stables is a Flandrau Wagonette Break (carriage). A Wagonette is a four-wheeled carriage with passenger seats running the length of the carriage and a high box seat for the driver and groom. It is equally appropriate as a formal summer drag or as a sporting and outing vehicle often times fitted with wine lockers, ice boxes and all the provisions for a picnic. This carriage is appropriately pulled by two, three, or four horses. A Wagonette was a favored carriage of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband, to haul family and friends on less formal occasions.

Founder William Flandrau started the Flandrau Carriage Company in 1830 and ran it until 1868 when his son, A.S. Flandrau took it over and ran it through the 1900’s, in the mid 1870’s it was for a short time the largest retail carriage builder in the world. The company had a great reputation for extreme quality, which in a carriage of that day meant comfort, stability, durability, graceful contour and a thousand and one other little things.

President McKinley and Cleveland both preferred Flandrau carriages for their own use.

This carriage will be a great addition to the Musser Family’s carriage collection.

Summers at the Shore – Manoogian Art Collection

For more than 20 years Grand Hotel has had the pleasure of displaying select pieces of art from the private collection of Richard and Jane Manoogian.  ”Summers at the Shore” is the title of the collection displayed throughout the Art Gallery and Parlor for the 2014 season.  This selection of pieces depicts leisurely days spent seaside, as well as busy harbor images from the late 19th and early 20th century.  Mr. Manoogian was quoted in this week’s Town Crier on this season’s selected pieces, saying  ”We wanted to pick pictures that people visiting Mackinac Island and the Grand would like. Water, sailing, beaches; all the things that make Mackinac Island.”

Mr. and Mrs. Manoogian - courtesy Mackinac Island News and Views

On vacation many years ago Richard and Jane Manoogian visited Mackinac Island, they became so enchanted with the area that they purchased a cottage and became summer residents. Through their appreciation of art, they have not only enriched the guest experience within Grand Hotel, but also throughout Mackinac Island.

Two years ago the Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum was opened on Main Street, Downtown Mackinac Island. The museum, located in the renovated Indian Dormitory,  features art by local artists as well as pieces of Mackinac history.

We are proud to showcase many beautiful pieces of the Manoogian collection at Grand Hotel, and we hope you have a chance to enjoy “Summers at the Shore.”


Photo of Mr. and Mrs. Manoogian courtesy of Mackinac Island News and Views.