The Grand Traverse Resort and Spa feels rather grand from the get go.
As you drive through the gates and into the plush grounds surrounded by a golf course, it’s easy to feel as though you’ve arrived in the lap of luxury.
But we were surprised to learn that the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa is only a three star hotel – it certainly felt at least four stars.
The Tower is the newest part of the hotel, standing 17 floors high with impressive reflective glass windows. By far the tallest building in the area, it stands out from miles away.
Upon entry, the lobby is airy with a large skylight letting in the sunshine and a bar at the back for drinks. On arrival, the staff were very friendly and greeted us at the door.
Even though the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa was originally a Hilton hotel built in the ‘80s, the resort is now owned by an American Indian tribe. This ownership is reflected in the hotel’s artwork, which has a native feel. I personally really liked these pieces dotted about the hotel.
Although built more than 30 years ago, the hotel feels modern and we learned that the furniture was replaced during a major refurbishment a couple of years ago.
Typically for a resort, the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa isn’t located in the heart of the town but instead is about a 15 minute drive from Traverse City, Michigan, in a little area called Acme.
The resort has a beach club a short drive away from the hotel building so there’s no need to trek all the way into town to enjoy the lakeside.
You would need a car to get around though.
Breakfast isn’t included with the room but we enjoyed a delicious dinner at the Aerie Restaurant located on the 16th floor.
It was a special bourbon menu where each course was served with a different glass of bourbon. The chef came out to explain each course and the bourbon really complimented the food, even for me – I’m not normally a bourbon drinker.
The dessert was my favourite – an upside down pineapple cake which had been made with added chocolate and a bourbon sauce to give it a different twist.
Because we only ate this special meal at the restaurant, I’m not sure what the everyday food is like but the restaurant was busy so I assume it’s good enough for it to be popular!
Just like from the Aerie Restaurant, the hotel rooms in the tower offer spectacular views. This is where we stayed. There are other rooms in the older part of the hotel which don’t offer views that are as pretty but they still overlook the gardens.
We were on floor 16 overlooking the golf course and we could see for miles. I had a quick peek in another room facing the lake and this view was even more spectacular.
Our beds were soft and comfortable with many pillows for the fussiest of sleepers. The room was a good size and came with ample storage space.
The bathroom was huge and we spent one evening in the spa bath which was big enough for the two of us (a rarity). It was very relaxing and we loved it.
I enjoyed a deep tissue massage at the spa and it was very good. I was given a dressing gown and slippers on arrival. Unlike a lot of massages, I felt as though this one really helped my muscles. Before and afterwards I was able to use the relaxation lounge to enjoy a complimentary drink of tea.
As a guest at the spa you get the opportunity to use the members’ bathrooms which come with razors, shampoo and bodywash, as well as hairdryers.
Dave and I also spent an afternoon in the pools at the hotel. There are three swimming areas – two indoor pools and one outdoor.
There’s also an outdoor jacuzzi for adults only. We spent some time in there and it’s in a very private area and a comfortable place to relax.
There’s a waterslide in the indoor pool which is fun and pool basketball hoops to amuse yourself (or the kids) with. Dave and I spent a good hour there acting like kids ourselves!
There’s also a 27 hole golf course and indoor tennis courts.
What we liked about the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa
Because the hotel holds many conferences, the internet has to be up to scratch. Last year the hotel spent much of its annual budget on updating their wifi system and as a result it’s very fast and we had no problems connecting.
Good for people like us who need to do some work from the hotel!
What we didn’t like about the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa
The Grand Traverse Resort and Spa charges you an extra $15 a day for use of the internet and phone (for local calls). We thought this was a bit steep. For our three night stay it would’ve set us back and extra $45.
What else you need to know
It’s best to check online for the lowest rate. Looking for September 2013, rooms are priced between $215 and $345.
The Grand Traverse Resort and Spa address:
100 Grand Traverse Boulevard
PO Box 404
Acme, MI 49610
Please note: Some of these photos are not our but taken from the media library of the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa’s database. We were given 3 nights complimentary accommodation at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa. But as always, our strong opinions are our own.
Video script for Review: Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, Acme, Michigan
Carmen PTC: Well here we are at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa. Unfortunately we just checked out after three days of bliss. I got a massage, we relaxed by the pool, and last night we enjoyed a four course dinner accompanied by different types of bourbon. Delicious.
Dave PTC: And if that doesn’t sound like it’s your thing, well there’s also three massive golf courses – one was even designed by the great Jack Nicklaus.
Carmen VO: So what’s it like inside Grand Traverse Resort and Spa? Come inside with us and we’ll take you on a tour.
Dave VO: The hotel has recently been refurbished and all the furniture replaced, giving the resort a modern touch.
CarmenVO: There are cafes, boutiques, children’s stores and even a candy bar to keep you busy if you’re into shopping.
Dave VO: Going up to our room on the 11th floor, we were blown away by the view overlooking the golf course.
Carmen VO: There are modern amenities in the suites, along with native American artwork. Our room came with a kitchenette, although not the Vegemite – that’s ours!
Dave VO: If you have a family, maybe a condo near the beach club is more your style. Set in amongst picturesque scenery, there’s plenty of places to pull up a chair with a good book and relax.
Carmen VO: In the summertime, the private beach has activities like paddleboarding, barbeques and volleyball that guests can enjoy.
Dave VO: There’s even a doggie daycare if you want to bring your pet.
Carmen VO: And of course, who could forget the golf. There are 27 holes to keep you busy. Voted one of the most difficult courses in the USA, the golf here is fun yet challenging.
Dave VO: And afterwards, feel free to retire to the golf club for a drink, or you could always go lounge by the pool, either outdoors or inside.
Carmen VO: Just check out that waterslide!
Dave VO: I think that man sums it up.