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Wish You Were Here: The Grand Hotel on Michigan's Mackinac Island

July 13, 2012 at 10:01 AM | by | ()

This photo of the hotel and its Esther Williams pool is unedited. Yes, it really looks like this.

If we told you that the temperature is low 80s, the sun is high and the clouds are absent and the water is Bermuda-blue and clear, you probably wouldn't think that we're speaking of somewhere way way up near Michigan's border with Canada, huh? Well, we are and we give Mother Nature a gold star on this one. It's Mackinac Island, a vacation destination since the railroads constructed the imposing Grand Hotel in 1887 and started funneling genteel city folk up here for the summer season.

This year the hotel celebrates its 125th Anniversary—this weekend, actually—but what's being celebrated the most is the fact that it still exists, still is owned privately by a family and still made of wood. Consider that it was built in a remote location with basic handtools and underskilled laborers in only 93 days, with the intention of it not lasting nearly this long, and you can begin to understand the importance of it hitting the century-and-a-quarter mark.

Bell's Brewery's Big Porch Ale is only available up here at The Grand Hotel. We're drinking it on a carriage. Heck yes.

Naturally such a huge deal calls for huge tie-ins. There's already been a 125-foot cake. There will be more special Big Porch Pale Ales and wines in the 125th Anniversary bottles than you can shake a (silver-tipped) stick at. And all summer (until it closes for winter in October), the Grand Hotel will offer a $125 cocktail made of Remy Martin Louis XIII Cognac, Grand Marnier 100th and Grand Marnier 150th, plus edible gold garnish and caviar.

We'll have more from Mackinac next week, especially over on our sister site, HotelChatter, but for now we've just really got to find a willing partner for a game of croquet down in the Tea Garden. Wish you were here.

Disclosure: We're in Mackinac as guest of Pure Michigan, but rest assured that all images and opinions are completely our own.

[Photos: Cynthia Drescher/Jaunted]

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