Grand Traverse Resort
You could get one floor higher in the tower of the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, but then you couldn’t stay in the Presidential Suite. Room 1456 was home to President George Bush once for three hours when he buzzed through Traverse City on a quick campaign stop. From 300 feet above Grand Traverse Bay, he reportedly took in the view of both peninsulas and Sugar Loaf Mountain in the distance – and then opted for a nap. Play commander in chief to a crowd of friends in the two-room sitting area or enjoy a romantic getaway outfitted with plenty of options – the room has three hot tubs. 800-236-1577, grandtraverseresort.com
Bay Harbor Resort
You’ll find six penthouse suites at Bay Harbor Resort and Marina Hotel and Conference Center, all with panoramas of Lake Michigan and the yacht-filled harbor. You’ll get an eagle’s-eye view from any one of them; even better, you may spot the eagles that have reportedly swooped past the windows. Penthouse rooms 200, 300 and 400 are on the building’s northwest side, affording a particularly stunning sunset view from the deck. The 2,200 square feet leaves plenty of room for sharing. 888-BAY-HARBOR, bayharbor.com
The readers of Condé Nast Traveler – a discriminating bunch – put Mackinac Island’s century-old Hotel Iroquois on its prestigious gold list this year, thanks in part to a perfect 100 score for location. Take in that fine island scenery from the 15-window tower suite, with views of the Straits of Mackinac and 1895 Round Island Lighthouse. 906-847-3321, iroquoishotel.com.
Manistee Lakeshore Motel
Manistee’s Lakeshore Motel is upretentious enough, but its location on a stretch of Lake Michigan sugar sand beach is first class. The best room in the house? Room 33 with a balcony overlooking the beach. All rooms come with in-room coffee, cable television, and the sound of waves. 231-723-2667, manistee.com/Lakeshore.
Kim Schneider was travel editor of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.
Note: This article was first published in April 2005 and was updated for the web February 2008.