A Guide to Wine, Food & the Good Life

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A Grand Experience on Michigan’s Famous Mackinac Island

Many renowned hotel properties fail to live up to their press releases, but as I would discover during my four-day visit, the world’s largest summer hotel, does not disappoint.

Forget resort casual attire. It’s coat and tie for men and dresses for the ladies (only recently were pants approved) in the Grand dining room, truly a step back in time when guests dressed for cocktails and dinner each night when on holiday. But I had been invited to the Grand for more details on their wine and food program and to meet Executive Chef Hans Werner Burtscher and the new head sommelier, Sebastian Ruggieri – not to review the dress code. I know of no other single resort that pops more than 50,000 corks in just a six-month season.

I should note that the Grand, built in 1887, stands alone in formality on this historic island summer playground. The island hosts millions of visitors during the short summer season from May through October each year, and most bring shorts, tee shirts and flip-flops in their back packs and duffels. They may pay the small fee to tour the Grand’s lobby, but they won’t be visiting the Grand Dining room.

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