While we loved the outside fun at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, the inside of the hotel was just as fantastic. This is super important to me as a mom because we plan our vacations in advance and have no control over the weather. It’s great to know that if it would have been cold and cloudy, we still would have had a memorable time. We are even thinking of making a winter visit to enjoy the resort in the cold. Here is why:
. We were lucky enough to stay in the tower which has been renovated and the rooms and bathrooms are spacious and beautiful with desks, small refrigerators, delicious smelling toiletries, huge soaking tubs and nice beds. I enjoyed the more contemporary yet warm decor and we especially loved the wall of windows. Our family stayed in adjoining rooms, one with a king size bed and the other with two double beds and they rolled a great crib in for my 2 year old. It was a real crib, just smaller in size but with a good mattress. I love it when hotels make it a priority to take great care of the kids. One note: our family friends stayed in a condo that had not been renovated recently. While they were happy with the extra space, kitchen and cleanliness, they felt for the amount they paid per night it should have been nicer. Check out the variety of interiors, here.
The pool. The indoor pool was the main attraction for my kids when it came to swimming. It is really fantastic. There is a large twisting and fast water slide that shoots you out at a super high speed. It was lots of fun for the older kids…even if some of the shorter ones were required to wear a life jacket to go down the slide. There is a lilly pad cross that kept everyone challenged, water basketball, a more shallow pool for the younger tots, life jackets if you need them, a little splash area with water spurts, a family hot tub, an adult hot tub, and plenty of lounge chairs and lifeguards on duty. I loved that it stayed open until 10 pm, and we spent one late night at the pool and a little time the next day. It was great family fun. One note: it is highly chlorinated. This may put you at ease for health reasons, but it does pack a strong smell.
The courts. Our family has recently tried to play tennis together (“tried” being the operative word), and Grand Traverse Resort has both indoor and outdoor tennis courts. We had a lovely time hitting balls around one morning and getting a little exercise. To use a court, it costs $20 per hour and comes with 2 rackets and more balls than you will ever need.
The fitness room.
The resort has a wonderful fitness room, equipped with all the machines and weights you need to stay in shape while you are away. They also offer classes each day and personal training if you are interested for an additional fee.
Dylan’s Candy Bar.
When you walk into the hotel and back to the elevators, you can’t miss Dylan’s Candy Bar. It is a child’s dream with bins full of favorite and specialty candies, ice cream and other fun novelties. One of my kids’ favorite moments was when I let them each choose 1/2 pound of candy…you wouldn’t believe all the praise and hugs that came with that one little gesture. Totally worth the sugar high. The candy is priced at $10.99 per pound…of course a little pricey but you are paying for that magical experience (plus, I snuck a few of their best picks:). We also loved the ice cream. It’s perfect yet dangerous to have dessert at your fingertips!
I was lucky enough to slip away for a cherry massage at the Spa at the Grand Traverse Resort. The spa is beautiful and serene and I would highly recommend it. My massage was exactly as it was described with just the right pressure and I felt rejuvenated after only 50 minutes. The accommodations at the spa…hot tub, mineral pools, sauna, showers, lockers, robes, and toiletries were all top quality and made the experience feel extra indulgent.
The childcare. The resort also offers many options for childcare, which is really amazing if you are spending an extended period of time there, have an important event to go to, or just want a few hours to enjoy the spa or grab a nice meal. They offer Kids Night Out every Saturday evening from 6pm-10 for ages 6-12 for $25 and the kids do all kinds of fun and active things. They also offer in room babysitting 24 hours/7days week $15 per hour for one child and $3 per hour each additional child or the Cub House Day Care for ages 3 months to 13 years M-Friday 7am-6pm for $8.50 per hour.
There were a few cute stores and shops to wander through that had everything from kids classic toys and swim gear to outdoor and Traverse City wear to a fun women’s boutique. The most popular shop, especially in the morning was Starbucks! If you need your coffee, get in line early.
The little extras. There is always something going on at the resort and they are so happy to have children staying with them. Even when my kids were not on their best behavior, the staff was still so kind and welcoming. A few other perks: we loved that they had a ping pong table in the pool area for a little swimming break. We didn’t hit the arcade, but if we would have been there longer or the weather would have been rainy, we would have definitely spent some coin there. We got so excited for the high quality chocolates left on our pillow each night too. On Friday night when we came back to the hotel we loved hearing the live music as we walked in. It’s the little things that make this resort perfect for families. We can’t wait to get back!