The Stonecliffe Adventure – The Rest of the Story 6/21/15

Having the opportunity to spend a few days at the Inn at Stonecliffe gave Ted and I a whole new Mackinac perspective.  When we lived on the island for six months out of each year, we – like most folks – got into our little comfort zones.  We’d go to certain restaurants, certain bars, certain shops, and certain areas of the island.  It wasn’t that we had anything against other places – we were just unfamiliar with them and – I guess – too lazy to give them a try.

Now that we’ve stayed at Stonecliffe – and eaten there – we’ve definitely added this gorgeous area to our comfort zone list.  We’ll be back later in the summer to have dinner and try out the fabulous new Sunday brunch they’ve recently added – as well as head up there in the evening for a drink on the patio or to watch the sun go down from Sunset Rock.

When I explore new places where I’ll be staying a few days, one of my favorite things to do is seek out cozy spots to read – or just to sit and be quiet for a few moments.  Stonecliffe is one of those places where “out of the way” spots are plentiful, and when you go looking for those special spots, you’re also bound to open doors to special rooms, special outdoor spaces, and special people!

The back porches of the Summer House Suites are cool and shady, and the ferry and freighter sound effects from the Straits add to the "Mackinac" experience.

The back porches of the Summer House Suites are cool and shady, and the ferry and freighter sound effects from the Straits add to the “Mackinac” experience.

I loved this little alcove on the second floor at the mansion.  Comfy chair and lighting through stained glass windows - perfect spot to curl up with a good book!

I loved this little alcove on the second floor at the mansion. Comfy chair and lighting through stained glass windows – perfect spot to curl up with a good book!

The Inn's staircase is a spiral masterpiece.  There are rooms on both the second and third floor, with the staircase winding up to the third floor through the turret.

The Inn’s staircase is a spiral masterpiece. There are rooms on both the second and third floor, with the staircase winding up to the third floor through the turret . . .

. . . . with stops along the way to look out on Stonecliffe's beautiful grounds.

. . . . with stops along the way to look out on Stonecliffe’s beautiful grounds.

This little nook on the first floor is all about Stonecliffe weddings.

This little nook on the first floor is all about Stonecliffe weddings, with albums filled with past wedding photographs.

My favorite "daytime" hidey-hole - a half-hidden bench beside the fireplace in the Inn's bar.

My favorite “daytime” hidey-hole – a half-hidden bench beside the fireplace in the Inn’s bar – a nice spot for journaling or to just get away.  And if you want to read, there’s a window seat on the other side of the fireplace which, on cool evenings, is filled with a crackling old-fashioned wood fire!

Not exactly a "hidey-hole", but the pool at Stonecliffe is awesome and was just being filled for the first time the week we were there.

The pool at Stonecliffe (as seen from a Summer House suite) is awesome and was just being filled for the first time the week we were there. . .

. . . and - like everything at Stonecliffe - the pool is just a stone's throw from an unbelievable view of the Straits!

. . . and – like everything at Stonecliffe – the pool is just a stone’s throw from an unbelievable view of the Straits!

A big surprise when this door was opened.  The resort has its own beauty salon - to the delight of all the wedding parties who stay there.  Hair and makeup stylists come up from town, and this room turns into "party central" in the hours before a wedding!

A big surprise when this door was opened. The resort has its own beauty salon – to the delight of all the wedding parties who stay there. Hair and makeup stylists come up from town, and this room turns into “party central” in the hours before the ceremony!  You see that big white hook in the upper left-hand corner of the room?  Yep – that’s for the wedding dress!

 

Trey

Trey and Matt are always ready to load luggage onto or out of the taxis, get everything up to your room, and help answer questions!

The kitchen at Stonecliffe is sparkling clean and highly efficient.  It's hard to believe that this was once a private family's kitchen space.

The kitchen at Stonecliffe is sparkling clean and highly efficient. It’s hard to believe that this was once a private family’s cooking space.

The huge laundry room in the Summer House Suites handles the linens for both properties.  This is Tyiana's third season at the resort (she works at several positions there).  She is the only person I've ever seen fold a fitted sheet into a perfect square!

The huge laundry room in the Summer House Suites handles the linens for both properties. This is Tyiana’s third season at the resort (she works at several positions there). She is the only person I’ve ever seen who could fold a fitted sheet into a perfect square!

I poked my head into an office door and met these two hard working ladies -  Intern Extraordinaire Margaret McGovern and Sales Manager Becky Miller.

I poked my head into an office door and met these two hard working ladies – Intern Extraordinaire Margaret McGovern and Sales Manager Becky Miller.

I can't end without reintroducing you to Stefanie Congdon, who was the lady who invited me up to write about Stonecliffe.  Little did I know that Bree's Mackinac Island Blog played a small part in Stefanie's arrival on Mackinac.

And I can’t end this series without reintroducing you to General Manager Stefanie Congdon, who invited me up to write about Stonecliffe.

A huge thank you to Stefanie and her gracious staff for making our stay at The Inn at Stonecliffe a magical few days.  We were treated like royalty, fed well, and made to feel like family.    But – that’s the way every guest is treated at Stonecliffe.  I saw it over and over again in the days we were there – all the special touches, the attention to detail, and the time being taken to answer questions, make suggestions, and ensure each guest feels special.

Martin Buber said, “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”  When we started our Stonecliffe adventure, I thought I knew what we’d find – a magnificent family home rich in history, beautiful in design, and filled with the luxurious trappings of an island paradise.  We found all of that . . . and we also found many of the “secret destinations” at Stonecliffe.  It will all keep us returning to this special spot over the years, and I encourage you to go and discover it all for yourself.  Don’t be bashful about roaming the halls and walking the grounds. The Stonecliffe experience is another part of Mackinac that will reach out and grab your heart . . . and not let it go.

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12 thoughts on “The Stonecliffe Adventure – The Rest of the Story 6/21/15

  1. Thank you for showing us this extrodinary property. It’s been too long since we’ve been up that way. Hopefully they still have the duck pin bowling alley. Hope to see you in August when we visit!

    • Joleen, the bowling alley is in the Woods Restaurant, which is owned by the Grand Hotel. But . . . the building that houses The Woods was originally built as a playhouse for the Cudahy children, the family who built Stonecliffe as their family home.

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  2. What a wonderful place to stay when I go to the island for the first time. I hope it will be soon. You have such a beautiful way to make a place seem so charming and comfortable. I hope to read more about your Stonecliffe Adventures.

  3. Rob and I bike up to Stonecliffe whenever we’re on the island, for a drink. I love sitting on the patio, sipping our drinks and looking out over the lawn to the bridge. We’ll have to stay there sometime when Bailey George, our Yorkie, is not in tow.

  4. Wow I didn’t know that if your not a guest you can still go in. Well, I know where we are having dinner one night while we’re there!. Love the staircase and can’t wait to see inside now. 🙂

  5. I love going to Stonecliffe. I stayed there years ago and had a great time. We were just there last week. They do not mind visitors exploring their property. Their restaurant is also wonderful. I look forward to their Sunday Brunch next visit. Thank you Brenda for the great article/pictures of Stonecliffe.

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