Sandy beaches, fresh-picked cherries and echoes of Ernest Hemingway draw visitors to northern Michigan every summer. A popular stopping point is the Perry Hotel, 100 Lewis Street, Petoskey, Michigan. It’s part of the Stafford’s group of six historic lodging and waterfront restaurants.
Built in 1899, the Perry Hotel still exudes classic turn-of-the-last century understated elegance while adding modern necessities (yes, there’s free WiFi in the 79 individually-decorated guest rooms and public spaces). There’s free parking, too.
While it fronts a city street, the gardens in the back overlook Little Traverse Bay — as does the H. O. Rose Dining Room, where breakfast and lunch are served year ’round. Seasonal al fresco dining is offered on the Rose Garden Veranda with its wide water view, and the Lewis Street Porch. The hotel guestrooms may remind visitors of Grandma’s house, but they’re comfy (and, did I mention the free WiFi?).
I loved the hotel’s first floor, with its formal parlor and classic decor. Colors trended to a deep rose red and evergreen. I peeked my head into the Noggin Room Pub, a casual bar & grille that’s open year ’round and features Michigan craft brews and local entertainment. Seasonal al fresco dining is offered on the Rose Garden Veranda and Lewis Street Porch. The quietly elegant H.O. Rose Dining Room has with an unmatched view of Little Traverse Bay.
The Rose Garden, of course, is a popular spot for weddings.
The hotel is located in Petoskey’s Gaslight District, an historic shopping area where the streets are lined with gaslights. This means it’s easy walking distance to lots of restaurants, bars and shops (you won’t have to get in the car once you’re there).
One of the traditional touches is the pineapple motif. It’s been a symbol of hospitality since Colonial days. Southern Living reports, “The ability of a hostess to have a pineapple adorn her dining table for an important event said as much about her rank in society as it did about her ingenuity. These beautiful fruits were in such high demand, but so hard to get, that colonial confectioners would often rent them to households by the day. Later, the same fruit was sold to other, more affluent clients who actually ate it.” You’ll find pineapples everywhere in the Perry, from the bedspread to occasional chairs to bathroom tile.
One reason you’d know the hotel is historic? The stairways are beautifully carpeted with elegant lighting and balustrades (rather than utilitarian metal ranks hidden behind fire doors). It made it easy for this exercise-averse traveler to take to the stairs instead of relying on the elevator.
The hotel isn’t just for summer. Those hardy souls who head north for Michigan skiing in the winter also find it a great place to stay.
(Photos and story by Susan McKee, who visited the Perry Hotel as a guest of the Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau)