It’s The Grand! 9/4/09

We all know that a picture can be worth a thousand words, and today’s blog will be proof of that.  I wanted to show you the inside of the Grand Hotel, so today I walked down and met Jill in the lobby.  I needed a buddy on this photography expedition, and Jill is the best buddy to have with you when you are on any part of this island.  She knows everyone!

The Grand opened its door in 1887 after being built in only 90 days.  It was financed and built by two railroads and a steamship company to meet the needs of the Victorian traveler.

We entered at the east ground floor entrance and started the photo shoot there.  Instead of writing a lot of text, I am going to just caption the pictures.  The Grand tells its own story with its beauty, style, sophistication, grace and charm.

Looking down the length of The Grand's ground floor lobby all the way to the check-in desk at the far end.

Looking down the length of The Grand's ground floor lobby all the way to the check-in desk at the far end.

 

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In keeping with a 100 year tradition at The Grand, Afternoon Tea is served each day at 3:30 p.m. in the Parlor. Guests enjoy teas, sherry, and champagne, finger sandwiches, fresh-baked scones, and an array of pastries.

 

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During Afternoon Tea, guests enjoy a chamber music recital provided by a talented harpist.

 

The main dining room of The Grand, Salle a Manger, is a 3,400 square foot room that seats over 750 guests.  A five course dinner and full breakfast are included in the room rate.  Over 100 people make up the kitchen staff, and the Executive Chef oversees as many as 4,000 meals a day.

The main dining room of The Grand, Salle a Manger, is a 3,400 square foot room that seats over 750 guests. A five course dinner and full breakfast are included in the room rate. Over 100 people make up the kitchen staff, and the Executive Chef oversees as many as 4,000 meals a day.

 

The Geranium Bar is right outside the main dining room and a great place to have a before dinner cocktail.

The Geranium Bar is right outside the main dining room and a great place to have a before dinner cocktail.

 

The lobby outside the main dining room, looking east.

The lobby outside the main dining room, looking east. The interiors of The Grand are the inspiration of legendary designer Carleton Varney. Varney has been involved in the transformation of other historic hotels and Dromoland Castle in Ireland. He was the design consultant for the Carter White House and twice decorated the presidential yacht, Sequoia.

 

The "Above Mackinac" Room.  The aerial photography of Robert Cameron who has published 22 "Above" books featuring great cities and sweeping landscaptes from Hawaii to Paris.

The "Above Mackinac" Room, featuring the aerial photography of Robert Cameron, who has published 22 "Above" books featuring great cities and sweeping landscapes from Hawaii to Paris.

 

Looking into the Terrace Room.

Looking into the Terrace Room.

 

The stage of the Terrace Room, where the world famous Grand Hotel Orchestra fills the dance floor with the best big band dance music in the country.

The stage of the Terrace Room, where the world famous Grand Hotel Orchestra fills the dance floor with the best big band dance music in the country.

 

The Audubon Wine Bar, a popular gathering place in The Grand.

The Audubon Wine Bar, a popular gathering place in The Grand (I love the riding boot lamps).

 

Years ago, a Grand worker would pedal this coke wagon up and down the porch of The Grand providing ice cold Coca Colas to guests.

In days gone by, an employee would pedal this coke wagon up and down the porch of The Grand providing ice cold Coca Colas to guests.

 

The children's center, where planned activities throughout the day entertain the kids.

The children's center, where planned activities throughout the day entertain the kids.

 

Rows of candy jars, filled with every imaginable treat, fill the shelves in the children's center.

Rows of candy jars, filled with every imaginable treat, fill the shelves in the children's center.

 

The Grand Hotel winter sleigh.

The Grand Hotel winter sleigh.

 

Shops line the ground level promanade.

Shops line the ground level promenade.

 

Bright colors abound in the Oil Paintings by Marlee Gallery.

Bright colors abound in the Oil Paintings by Marlee Gallery.

 

Reported to be the longest porch in the world.

Reported to be the longest porch in the world.

 

Geraniums line the steps leading from the porch to the ground level, where carriages await.

Geraniums line the steps leading from the porch to the ground level, where carriages await.

 

My friend Jill, who loves to take pictures of me taking pictures.

My friend Jill, who loves to take pictures of me taking pictures.

Me sitting still a minute, so Jill can take my picture.

Me sitting still a minute, so Jill can take a picture.

NOTE:  Much of the information provided in the text and in the captions of the photographs was taken directly from Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island written by Robert M. Tagatz, the Grand’s resident historian.

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18 thoughts on “It’s The Grand! 9/4/09

  1. Your pictures and captions describing the Grand are excellent. I thought for a moment you were going to show the spot on the porch where I fractured my leg back in June. I’m bringing my best with me this time. This will be her first trip to the Grand and I can’t wait to show her today’s blog.

  2. What great photos of the Grand Hotel! It is nice to glimpse the inside. I did have the most interesting inside glimpse (without paying) back when the kids were tots and we went to the island. We took a carriage ride and I said “to the Grand Hotel” and clamoured to get off with a babe and toddler and they thought I belonged there and didn’t charge to walk the porch and get in. Apparently people are charged to walk the porch? Is that still true?

    • Yes, there is still a charge to go into the Grand if you are not a registered guest. If you eat dinner or lunch or breakfast while you are there, the “admission” charge is deducted from your meal. Fortunately, “locals” do not have to pay to go inside.

  3. When I worked there in 82 and 83 they charged just walk in front of the hotel. I worked up at Stonecliff and you know that’s a walk especially when you are walking! So my great friend Trish B. told me a secret tell them your staying on the West Bluff and then you have a short cut home and you get to see the Grand! How funny………….lol
    Great Pictures Brenda!

  4. Oh I wish I was there! It is just a beautiful place. My favorite spot to sit and have a drink is at the end of the porch looking out towards the golf course and watching traffic go up and down hill. Thanks again for the pictures.

    • That’s why we love where our condo is (up the hill past the Grand). We can sit on our balcony and people watch all we want. Wish you were here also!

      Brenda (Bree)

  5. Ahhhhh……

    Words are so inadequate when I think about describing the Grand. Next year brunch for 4 and tea for 2. Memo to self, take down attic stairs, run up and down 10 times and set up printing press. ($100 bills only) I’ve got it–we could charge to pet Bear and Maddie.

  6. Hey! Absolutely loved your pics of the Grand – can’t believe I’ll actually be there in a week!!! I am so jealous of you for living on the island!

    Hope to get a glimpse of you while I am there – send me your phone #.

  7. I worked on the Rock in 1971 and 1972 and I have so many wonderful memories and tales from those years as well. Like when we used to dress up and dance with the little old ladies at the Grand. And my GH adventures with my friend, Grand doorman Donny Edgecombe. And the scary bike ride all the way around the island in the dark. And skinny dipping near British Landing at midnight…Ho ho!!

  8. Brenda, love your blog! I am so envious. Saw that Pat Lanier left a message. There is a large group of Albany people staying two nights at the Grand next week. Thought you and Ted would want to know this.

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