Ive stayed at the Grand Hotel at least two nights each year since 1972, but no stay has been as nice as the one in the Masco Cottage which we occupied with our family to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary.
For those who can afford $2,850 per night for up to eight persons ($17,500 weekly or $55,000 per month), the Masco Cottage aims to please, including a full American Plan that includes breakfast, lunch and five-course dinner each day. Kids under 11 stay free, with special rates for teens.
The Cottage reflects the spirit of a summer home on Mackinac Island and makes available a new level of service for our guests, said R.D. Dan Musser, III, president of the Grand Hotel. It is the only one of its kind in Michigan.
The Grand Hotels interior designer, Carleton Varney, filled the Cottage with colors of summer flowers including the blues of sky and lake, incorporating Mascos furnishings, cabinetry and faucets into the decor. Varney told us that fantasy is what I want. I have the dream of the travel, culture and environment.
Amenities include the aforementioned America Plan meals with options for guests staying multiple nights, having their meals prepared at the cottage by a personal chef. Cocktails and hors doeuvres are served before dinner with a fully stocked bar and wine selection. We found Kettle Vodka, Tanqueray gin, whiskeys and soft drinks, olives, lemon, and even milk for refreshment.
Dishes, glassware and napkins are on hand, and theres a dishwasher, stove and small refrigerator. The Cottage has three baths, a library from which my wife Ellen selected several books to read, a media room with sofas and chairs, big plasma TV and a Play Station. Off the large dining/sitting room is an outside porch with patio chairs and tables, providing enough room for up to 50 persons.
On our first evening, waiter Jaffray Harris of Montego Bay appeared with a tray on his head bearing appetizers including shrimp with sauce, nuts, and crackers with several kinds of spreads. The second night he came with more of each.
Each evening the kids in our family along with their parents went to the Terrace Room for dancing, while Ellen and I retired.
We like to dine in the 200-foot-long Salle a Manger main dining room looking out over Lake Huron. I have prime rib one night and whitefish the next, while Ellen has Cornish game hen or pork tenderloin. There are always three soups and five appetizers, usually shrimp, pate or escargot, always one juice and many desserts including the iced pecan ball. One can lunch poolside on charcoal-grilled specials, and the Grandstand across the way from the nine-hole golf course has the Jockey Club for lunch and dinner with entertainment. The Woods Restaurant is a 20 minute ride by carriage and its informality is a contrast to the coat-and-tie attire required in the hotel dining room. Afternoon tea in the Parlour is also available.
Through the years, Ellen and I have stayed in one of the Millenium Wings 42 rooms and suites with balcony overlooking the golf course. At other times, weve enjoyed the 45 rooms and suites designed by Dan Musser and his wife Amelia in the 1970s and 80s, including five reflecting the tastes of former First Ladies. Some of the rooms have descriptive names such as the Lodge of Teddy Roosevelt with dark walls and mounted animal heads whose decor prompted former Boston Globe travel editor Bill Davis to shout, Bully! when he woke there.
If youd like to experience what the Grand Hotel has to offer, call 906-847-3331, or write Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, MI, 49757 for information or reservations.