Hidden in the Midwest is a gem of a city known as Grand Rapids, Michigan. Hidden inside this little gem are some of the most stunning and elegant hotels I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing.
While the city itself continues to grow and gain an abundance of popularity—likely due to the Midwestern-style hospitality and famed art competition known as ArtPrize—the hotel scene continues to thrive as more accommodations are needed.
The Amway Grand Plaza (Curio Collection by Hilton), the JW Marriott and the upcoming AC Hotel by Marriott are three beautiful properties located in the heart of downtown, all managed by AHC+Hospitality. While each hotel has its own unique charm, the different personalities of each building seep out as soon as you step inside.
Amway Grand Plaza, Curio Collection by Hilton
The Amway Grand Plaza is probably one of the most remarkable and enchanting pieces of architecture seen around the Midwest.
The historic building began construction in 1913, with what is known as the Pantlind hotel. The Pantlind lobby holds the world’s largest gold-leaf ceilings and two of the most fascinating and gorgeous chandeliers to ever adorn a hotel’s interior.
In 1979, The Amway Corporation acquired the beautiful hotel and in 1983 added what today is known as the Glass Tower—a beautiful addition that sits 27 stories into the sky and offers the best downtown views around.
Inside the hotel you will find a plethora of stunning chandeliers hanging from everywhere imaginable, making it impossible to look away as you watch the light reflect and glisten from the hundreds of glass pieces that make up the elegant fixtures.
In addition to the chandeliers, a rather large and beautiful fountain sits in the Pantlind lobby, directly in front of a staircase that anyone aboard the RMS Titanic would have envied. The feel of the entire room gives the illusion that you’ve stepped out of reality and into a classic and opulent castle fit for nothing less than royalty.
The hotel consists of 682 rooms, including 44 suites, ranging from historic to contemporary, all with their own personal touches meant to make them even more unique than the last. Inside the rooms you’ll find some of the most detailed and beautiful decor, along with mattresses so pillowy-soft you may not make it to anywhere in the city outside of your room.
Apart from the bedroom, you’ll find a second room inside the suites, complete with an additional television and additional seating. The walls of the luxurious corner suites, located in the glass tower, are lined with window after window, offering the perfect nighttime view of the bright city lights below and the twinkling stars above.
The Amway Grand Plaza offers over 47,000 total square feet of meeting space to accommodate multiple groups, large or small in size. With four separate ballrooms, it makes the perfect venue for weddings and any other special event you’ll want to impress with and remember forever.
With dining options around every corner, literally, a multitude of different culinary experiences are available to you. Inside the Pantlind lobby, you’ll find a simple Starbucks—perfect for your everyday coffee and grabbing a pasty or sandwich on the run.
Rendezvous offers a delicious, mouth-watering breakfast experience in the morning and craft cocktails and fine spirits in the evening. The Kitchen Counter by Wolfgang Puck serves made-to-order breakfast and lunch items that are sure you leave your stomach full and your taste buds happy.
Experience fine-dining at Cygnus 27, located atop the hotel on the 27th-floor. Indulge your senses in beautifully plated gourmet dishes that appear to have been plucked directly from the pages of a magazine, and pair it with some of the finest wine in town.
Additional on-site dining and bar options include The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, GP Sports and the Lumber Baron Bar, where you can settle into a leather chair next to the warmth of the fireplace while you relax with a drink in-hand.
Hotel amenities include a fitness center complete with a pool, two hot tubs, a gym, and tennis, racquetball, and basketball courts. Inside the hotel you’ll also find multiple boutiques where you can purchase attire for any occasion, jewelry and other accessories you may have forgotten at home. Before you leave, be sure to stop by the luxurious full-service spa and salon and feel all of your worries melt away.
Built for business and pleasure, the JW Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids is a chic and sophisticated, beautiful property. Connected to the Amway Grand Plaza via skywalk—perfect for getting around during those windy, blistering cold Michigan winter days and nights—the uniquely curved JW exterior is surrounded by gorgeous floor-to-ceiling reflective windows, with an equally impressive interior to match.
The lobby of this world-class hotel combines at-home comfort with modernized and contemporary decor. Grab a drink and relax around a table while sharing a few laughs with friends, or bring your laptop and satisfy your need for some quiet time while you work your day away.
The JW holds 337 guest rooms, including eight beautifully unique suites, all carefully inspected to ensure every fine detail is perfect upon your arrival. With the feather-soft pillows you’ll love laying your head on to the luxurious shower heads guests have been known to purchase after their stay, you can rest assured you’ll be fully immersed into every aspect of the property.
Still need more? Enhance your stay with a concierge level experience. Guest on the Concierge Floor are afforded the added benefit of same time check-in and check-out—meaning if you arrive at 6:00 p.m., you’re more than welcome to check out at 6:00 p.m., based on availability. In addition, you’re also granted access to the 23rd-floor Concierge Lounge, which includes awe-inspiring views of the city and beverages and snacks in a most relaxing atmosphere.
While every accommodation is perfect for the modern-day traveler, the Founders Suite, also known as the Presidential Suite, is one room that should not be missed.
Boasting an unparalleled view of the Grand River with an upbeat vibe and stylish surroundings, make the most of your stay with the separate living quarters and dining room, spacious enough to entertain your co-workers, friends, or anyone else you’re hosting.
With more than 15,000 total square feet of meeting space and a flexible-use ballroom measuring at 12,320 square feet, the JW Marriott can be transformed into the ideal space for parties, weddings, company meetings and a wide array of large or small events.
The hotel’s signature restaurant, six.one.six, offers an extensive menu of multiple gourmet options to satisfy any craving imaginable. Weather permitted, enjoy your meal or sit back and relax while sipping on a drink on the jdek, the hotel’s outdoor patio. As an added bonus, enjoy 24-hour in-room dining without having to leave the comfort of your own room.
Other hotel amenities include a heated pool, a relaxing hot tub, a unique eucalyptus steam room and a state-of-the-art fitness center—open 24-hours, allowing you to burn off those unwanted calories at your convenience. Before you jet off, give yourself some additional time to relax with an extravagant spa experience meant to rejuvenate, revitalize and heal.
AC Hotel by Marriott
The newest addition to the AHC+Hospitality portfolio is set to open Spring of 2019. Once a warehouse and office space, the 127-year old building is currently being stripped, restored and converted into a brand new AC Hotel by Marriott.
The new seven-story property will house 130 guest rooms, two of those being suites, a fitness center, the AC Kitchen, the AC Marketplace, the AC Library and the AC Lounge.
While following the general standard for the AC Hotel brand, this specific location will have a few stand-out features that are uniquely their own. Wanting to keep a piece of the building’s history intact, restored and refinished floor-to-ceiling wooden pillars can be found throughout the hotel.
The AC Lounge will offer hand-crafted cocktails, including two signature Gin & Tonics, and a small-bites Spanish tapas menu. Since Grand Rapids is known as ‘Beer City,’ the hotel will have a major focus on serving beer from local breweries.
The AC Kitchen, the hotel’s breakfast room, will remain the same as current AC properties. Shying away from conventional breakfast options and dipping into something new, the kitchen will serve a European-style breakfast, priced separately and not included in your stay.
One of the more unique aspects of the AC brand is their desire to acquire partnerships with local business in the area. The entire first-floor will include furniture by Herman Miller, a local award-winning furniture company nationally recognized for their design and quality.
Although the property won’t have a specific meeting space, the lobby is designed with flexibility in mind to accommodate different types of groups. Much of the hotel details currently remain unknown, but the finished product is guaranteed to be just as beautiful as the rest.
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