Island House Hotel

The first time I ever stayed on the island was for a girls weekend. There were 5 of us and we crammed into a room at the Island House Hotel. If you aren’t familiar with this hotel you actually might be without realizing. Meaning that you can’t help but notice this hotel when arriving on the ferry. With its huge porch and almost Grand like appearance it is easily picked up in eyes view.

Some history about this hotel includes beginning over 165 years ago as a waterfront beach house to the family-restored historic luxury hotel it is today. Constructed for Charles O’Malley in 1852 (makes me think of Grey’s Anatomy) this was one the first summer hotels on Mackinac. In 1865 Capt. Henry van Allen purchased the resort – beginning a family tradition for nearly 75 years. The Captain moved the hotel 300 ft off the shore to its present location for future expansion. After his passing he left the property to his daughter Mrs. Rose Van Allen Webster. With her husband (who she met while he was stationed at Ft Mackinac) they added the now imfamous East and West Wings. After her passing the hotel was in the hands of many various owners. By 1969 it had deteriorated so much fear was it needed to be tore down. But local businessmen Harry Ryba, son James and son-in-law Victor Callewaert leased the hotel form the Mackinac State Park.The incredible restoration took 2 years and was closed to the general public. Eventually opening in 1972 and the final triumph came withe the State of Michigan anointed the Island House as a Michigan Historic Landmark. In 1995 the property underwent a thorough archeological dig to assure there were no burial grounds or fossils ,clearing the way for more additions. This included:

  • indoor pool
  • hot tub
  • sauna
  • 3 suites
  • the Ice House Bar & Grill
  • 1852 Grill room reconfigured at that time too

The one thing I enjoyed about this hotel is the porch. To sit on there and watch everyone ride by, see the ferries come in, and just relax. This hotel also has their own bike rentals which is great because it takes you away from the sometimes hectic downtown traffic. 1852 Grill Room located inside the hotel. It features a firs class menu served in a a relaxed setting. you can dine inside or on the terrace patio. A breakfast buffet or all cart selections are available too. Live pianists allow you to indulge at dinner and over look the Mackinac Views.

Ice House BBQ serves deliciously creative selection of classic home style smoked barbecue favorites. Served either under an umbrella table, garden or under the tent on the deck. It is on the path to the left of the Hotel tucked away from traffic and downtown hustle.

The Island House is also part of the 903 rewards. Once you sign up and activated you will earn 10% spend like cash rewards when you eat, dine or shop at the following locations:

  • 1852 Brill Room
  • Ice House Bar & BBQ
  • Island House Bike Rental
  • Mary’s Bistro Draught House
  • Pancake House
  • Ryba’s Fudge Shops
  • Seasbiscut Cafe
  • Island House Hotel
  • Pine Cottage Bed and Breakfast

The Island House Hotel has lodging options are fantastic. They have many amenities to make your stay even more magical. Vacation packages to fit all budgets, waterfront views, bicycle rentals, discounted ferry tickets, trail access, dining options, indoor and outdoor bars, hot tub and sundeck, outdoor activities and heated indoor pool. The rooms are as followed:

  • Deluxe 2 Queen
  • Deluxe view King
  • Deluxe View Queen
  • Deluxe view 2 doubles
  • One-bedroom King Suite
  • One-bedroom view Suite
  • Premium View King
  • Premium View 2 Queens
  • Suites
  • Traditional 4th floor Queen
  • Traditional King
  • Traditional Queen
  • Traditional 2 doubles
  • Traditional 2 Queens

We were there our room was on the first floor in the East Wing. I loved being tucked back like we were. But we still got the sounds that is live for. Meaning horses trotting by and seagulls chirping madly. Whether it be a romantic getaway or a family vacation- The Island House is truly a gem to stay at.

Here is the link to the hotel itself- check it out.



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