Swimming and summer go hand in hand. When I visited Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan, recently, I spent a glorious afternoon (read: three) swimming and lounging by Grand Hotel’s new pool deck. It had some of the most magnificent views, not to mention how aesthetically pleasing all of the blues and yellows were. This is one of the most beautiful pools I’ve ever seen, and it was such a joy to enjoy the vistas on one of my favorite islands in the world.
This pool was unique because it is one of the largest swimming pools I’ve ever seen and had a very clever design and beautiful views of the Straits of Mackinac and the Mackinac Bridge. All the amenities designed to entertain children, like the water slide, splash pad, zero-depth entry, and the pool’s shallow end, were all on one side, near the changing rooms and bathrooms. This keeps kids and their families on one side of the pool while adults can enjoy a dedicated adults-only pool and a deeper side on the main level all to themselves.
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I thought this was clever to keep children safer and give adults and kids the different pool experiences each expects without compromising anything. When I heard Grand Hotel was adding all of these things to the island during the 10 million dollar renovation, I was thrilled! The Esther Williams pool is named for the movie star who filmed the movie ‘This Time for Keeps’ here after WWII and left the hospitality business (and Grand Hotel) in shambles. The film breathed new life into Grand Hotel itself and Mackinac Island as a whole and is credited for keeping its doors open back then.
While the previous iteration of the pool captured guests’ hearts for decades, this new makeover pays homage to the original shape and size of the famous pool with a more modern and luxurious twist. While the old pool was always so much fun to swim in, it did need some TLC, and this upgrade once again elevates Grand Hotel even further. I’d come back to swim in the pool again, not to mention everything else I love about visiting our favorite Michigan destination!
The pool bar and snack bar were included in the makeover, as were the restrooms, changing facilities, and loungers. The entire thing was overhauled. The private cabanas were one of the coolest parts of Grand Hotel’s new pool deck. To rent one, head to the hotel’s front desk. They offer things like bottle service and space for private events upon request.
This was our 22nd visit in a decade to Grand Hotel, and our first since moving to the East Coast around the time the hotel changed hands in 2021. Though it’s no longer family-owned as it had been, it still has all of its charm and wonderful traditions like Afternoon Tea, drinks and dancing each night, lawn games, and events around the hotel for guests to enjoy, like garden tours. As always, we had the most wonderful stay here, and I’m so excited to tell you more about it in my upcoming posts. It’s genuinely a resort unlike anywhere else!
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