Situated at the top of Lake Huron between Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas, Mackinac Island is known for its ban of motor vehicles, making horse-drawn carriages, bicycles, and walking the preferred modes of transportation. Downtown, visitors will find quaint small shops, restaurants, and pubs, most of which are family owned and offer a relaxed atmosphere reminiscent of the late 19th Century.
A quick jaunt from downtown sits Island House Hotel, established in 1852 making it Michigan’s oldest hotel and one of only two Historic Hotels of America in the Straits of Mackinac area. This status hasn’t been taken lightly ever since the Ryba and Callewaert families recognized the intrinsic value of this Michigan landmark, established with the State of Michigan as an historical site in 1973.
It is because of this dedication to the building’s authentic grandeur that the hotel still boasts striking architectural features on its exterior, including the large columns, spindles on the veranda, and many of its original windows and doors.
“This commitment to what makes Island House so special has guided us as we strive to offer our guests a complete resort experience, as this hotel has done over the past 165 years,” said Alan Sehoyan, general manager at the hotel. “With every new generation, there are new challenges, and we are meeting them with classic historic charm,” he added.
Redesigned rooms, new poolside amenities, and an expanded gift shop highlight enhancements to the 2017 season at the historic hotel. Ten percent of its guest rooms received a complete remodeling over the winter to retile showers, install granite vanities, upgrade furniture and lighting, as well as add more power outlets to charge electronic devices. On the patio overlooking Mackinac Island State Park, a second hot tub and additional poolside furniture were added, offering guests new spaces to congregate.
“One of the features that we are most excited about for the 2017 season is our new indoor and outdoor bars at the Ice House Bar & BBQ, located behind the hotel,” said Sehoyan. “The new bar will allow guests to better enjoy our beautifully landscaped slice of the state park as we are the only hotel residing within the boundaries of Mackinac Island State Park.” Additionally, Ice House Bar & BBQ will offer expanded deck seating and live entertainment in casual, relaxed garden setting. In addition to your favorite Ice House menu items, a full barbeque menu has been added in addition to the classic menu. Inside the hotel, the existing gift shop has also been expanded, to satisfy a common guest request to include more items that remind them of their visit to Mackinac and their stay with Island House Hotel.
“The best way to experience all that we have done is with one of our new packages,” said Sehoyan. “The first is our Explore Mackinac Package and includes a two-night stay with breakfast daily, dinner in the hotel’s 1852 Grill Room, a one-hour bike rental, and round-trip ferry tickets. For those looking for a quick, one night stay, we have our Mackinac Getaway Package, including breakfast, round-trip ferry transport and one-half pound of famous Ryba’s Fudge.” Package pricing depends on high, low or peak season reservation dates detailed on the hotel’s website.
Island House Hotel, located at 6966 Main Street, Mackinac Island, MI., 49757, opens May 6 and closes October 29. For more information, interested parties are encouraged to call the hotel at (906) 847-3347 or visit www.theislandhouse.com.