There is a reason the producers of Somewhere in Time chose Grand Hotel, on Mackinac Island in Michigan, located on Lake Huron, at the eastern end of the Straits of Mackinac, as the setting for the romantic time travel film.
In some ways, time has actually stopped at Grand Hotel, a place where you are still required to dress for dinner, there are no cars allowed on the island, and the primary method of transportation is horse drawn carriage.
Not to mention it boasts the world’s longest front porch. It’s the social center of the island, and you can relax in a rocking chair and watch the animated buzz around the hotel or contemplate the lake views.
But don’t get the idea that this family friendly resort has a lack of amenities or activities! The variety and quality is definitely 21st century, from the 18 holes of golf on The Jewel, to tennis, swimming and a daily children’s programs for kids five and older.
Built in 1887, the hotel offers a choice of 385 rooms decorated by famed New York designer Carleton Varney. Each one is different, with a series of deluxe rooms decorated and named after famous people or places, like the Teddy Roosevelt Lodge Suite and the Esther Williams Suite. There are six “First Ladies” rooms that were actually decorated with input from Jacqueline Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan, and Barbara Bush.
Every guest room, from the smaller (and less expensive) “Category I” rooms with interior views, to the the “Category III” deluxe lake-view rooms with balconies, comes with individually controlled AC, mini bar, in-room safe, cable TV, iron, and coffee maker.
The season at Grand Hotel runs from April through October, with room rates ranging from $395 night for a single person in a room, to $780/night for double occupancy in one of the luxury Named Suites.
One of the reasons that the rates are so high is that daily breakfast and dinner are included. There are several dining options on the property, including the main dining room, where you must be dressed for dinner, four additional restaurants with varying degrees of formality, four bars that serve light snacks and lunches, as well as three options for afternoon tea – the Fort Mackinau Tea Room, Carleton’s Tea Store and in the hotel palor.
There are several romantic packages at the hotel, worth checking if you’re planning a wedding, honeymoon, or anniversary trip. They also offer several “theme” packages, like a Labor Day Jazz Weekend, Murder Mystery Weekend and the Grand Hotel Lilac Festival.
As a fan of the Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour classic, my vote for the best package is the Somewhere in Time weekend!