The Grand Hotel – Like no other in the world
DETROIT — There is a quaint magic on Michigan’s historic Mackinac Island, overlooking the Straits of Mackinac between Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas. No motorized vehicles are allowed, so the beauty of the Island and its historic landmarks remain as they were 200 years ago. Horse and carriage, along with walking and bicycles, are the only modes of transportation. Guests can enjoy the antique and fudge shops in the 19th Century Village, and tour Fort Mackinac and other historic sites.
But by far the main attraction is the beautiful Grand Hotel, the world’s largest summer hotel, open May 5 to October 26 for the 2010 season.
Many Michiganians consider a trip to Mackinac Island and a stay at the Grand Hotel a rite of passage in becoming a resident of the state. And now there’s additional incentive to take the trip and wind down a while. Recognizing the health benefits of a wellness lifestyle, BCBSM now offers a program called Healthy Blue Xtras, which gives discounts on products and other benefits that promote wellness. The insurance giant wants its members to take a proactive approach to improving and maintaining their health and they have recognized the benefits of downtime on everyone’s stress level.
And what do you know? Arabs and peoples of the East have long known a slower, smoother pace of life is better for one’s health. Socializing and community visiting are a priority in the Arab community, not a luxury one fits into a too-busy schedule if there’s time.
The Grand Hotel’s 385 uniquely decorated rooms offer guests a wide selection of room sizes, locations and views. There are 96 deluxe guest rooms, some with a balcony, as well as 53 Named Rooms. The luxury Named Rooms, which include six two-bedroom suites and one four-bedroom cottage, are appointed to complement each of their names.
But here’s what makes the Grand Hotel really grand for Arabs. At 660 feet, Grand Hotel has the world’s largest front porch. The genteel habit of gathering in the early evening on a wide front porch was lost to the Antebellum South, having never made its way north and then when arriving with ethnic immigrants being strained by sterile suburban socializing habits. Guests can linger long on this front porch and guess what else? They serve hot tea every afternoon! Having once heard a Palestinian priest graphically describe his amazement at being offered tea that was (gasp) cold, a long leisurely chat on the front porch with hot tea sounds like a hotel made for us.
The Grand Hotel offers a variety of activities for guests including golf on its 18-hole course, The Jewel, which is made up of the Grand nine and Woods nine. Additional activities at the hotel include tennis, croquet, bocci ball, swimming, bicycling, an exercise facility, vita course, saddle horses, carriage tours, duck pin bowling and much more.
The magic of Mackinac Island and Grand Hotel is the perfect setting for children. Grand Hotel offers special children’s activities including both an afternoon and evening program, at no charge to hotel guests, offering a variety of activities unique to Mackinac Island. Amenities include: game room, lawn games, biking, swimming, tennis and movies.
Music enthusiasts are right at home at Grand Hotel, enjoying a range of free, live entertainment nightly. Highlights include dancing to the sounds of The Grand Hotel Orchestra in the Terrace Room, live bands at The Gate House and live entertainment at the Cupola Bar and at Woods. In Grand Hotel’s Parlor, music recitals accompany Afternoon Tea and evening Demitasse.
Grand Hotel follows the long-time tradition of including a full breakfast and dinner in its room rate. Rates are subject to a 19.5% added charge, Michigan 6% state sales tax, and a one-time baggage handling fee of $7.50 per person. Tipping is not permitted within Grand Hotel. Visit www.grandhotel.com for a complete list of packages as well as other rates available. Also visit healthybluextras.com/ for information on other benefits.