The 2022 season on Mackinac Island is building momentum! We were thrilled to return to the Chippewa Hotel Waterfront the week of May 9th! We love going in May and usually go a week or two later but they were booked solid which is great for them! It was a much anticipated return to our home away from home.
I always have an amazing transformation in my heart as I drive across the Mackinac bridge. I have excitement coupled with child-like anticipation as I board the ferry boat in St. Ignace, then churning through the majestic blue waters feeling alive as the glory of Mackinac Island unfolds in all its majesty. As always, my eyes fixed on the Chippewa Hotel as we pulled into the bay, and I had this warm inner peace that collided with excitement as the boat reversed its engines and slowly pulled into the dock.
We rode our bikes down Main Street, seeing our familiar sites and it felt like we were home again when we pulled up to the Chippewa Hotel Waterfront!
It was great seeing our good friends Bart, the Front Desk Manager, and Ntombi who works at the front desk. So yes, we had to pose for a reunion selfie!
It’s hard to believe it’s our 20th year staying at the Chippewa Hotel! It was kind of like my wife’s and my 20th anniversary but that’s in September and we’ve spent many anniversaries on Mackinac staying at the Chippewa Hotel Waterfront! It was great being back and speaking of anniversaries, it was also great finding out that it’s the Chippewa Hotel Waterfront’s 120th anniversary!
Here’s some cool information about my favorite Mackinac Island hotel. The Chippewa Hotel Waterfront was originally built where it sits today back in 1902 to serve the growing number of people staying on Mackinac Island. The Chippewa is proud to have 31 guest rooms as well as 26 luxury suites. It’s the home of the famous Pink Pony, which is my favorite place to have a great meal, listen to music and enjoy a Pink Pony drink plus their waterfront patio bar and grill is the best! There’s been many renovations done over the years to make it even better for the Chippewa guests. It keeps the beautiful Victorian elegance that is unique to Mackinac Island and also has wonderful modern-day amenities for guests that we all love to enjoy!
In our 20 years, we’ve stayed in many of the rooms that have all been great and we were super happy to check into suite 310 again! We stayed in the same suite last Spring! Great memories again!
And then, more happy surprises as there was a knock on our door and we were happy to see our good friend Bart as he handed my wife Brenda a beautiful welcome back note, plus some great Pink Pony gifts that was a pleasant surprise! This is another reason why the Chippewa is our home away from home!
Our waterfront suite was beautiful and made us feel like home and the views off of our balcony were spectacular as always and they always inspires me in many ways.
It’s always great seeing our good friend Brian Bailey and having a great lunch at the Pink Pony, talking and catching up about our families. And yes, I was wearing my Pink Pony shirt! Brian is the General Manager of the Chippewa Hotel, Pink Pony and their sister hotel the Lilac Tree Suites and we’ve become good friends with him and his family over the years.
For early May, even though a bit windy at times, we had great weather with the sun shining and we loved biking around the island and exploring our favorite spots.
It was great seeing the amazing work that’s been done to re-surface the road and also the hard-working crews constructed a new rock wall to protect the road from being washed out by rising waters. We enjoyed taking In the majestic shoreline views with crystal clear water that is Pure Mackinac!
We stopped at our favorite places like Arch Rock.
Then enjoying the view on the shore facing the Mackinac bridge.
And I love British Landing where I’m always amazed at the role Mackinac Island played in the birth of our great country. Then, as I head back towards town, I re-enter Main Street and cruise toward home- the Chippewa Hotel Waterfront.
Speaking of inspiration, the Mackinac Arts Council is sponsoring a poetry and photography exhibit titled; Poetic Visions Of Mackinac. People who entered had to submit an original poem they wrote about Mackinac Island along with a photo of Mackinac to go alongside. They were accepting all original poems including previously published poems. The best part was that my first draft of the poem I submitted was inspired and written while we stayed at the Chippewa on one of our vacations on Mackinac Island! Along with my poem, I submitted a beautiful sunrise photo I took from our balcony at the Chippewa Hotel Waterfront! Here’s my poem, written from my heart, and the photo I submitted. Enjoy!
And recently, I was notified by the Mackinac Arts Council that my poem and photo were accepted into their show exhibit and they’re in the running for an award recognition! I was super excited to be granted this honor and it will be on display from June until October at the Mackinac Arts Council Center for the Arts! So if you’re on Mackinac this summer, go check it out!
A few years ago, my same poem was also accepted and published in a poetry book sponsored by the Mackinac Island Community Foundation in honor of the Lilac Festival! Another great honor!
After a great week, it was tough checking out of the Chippewa Hotel as we remembered our great time and yes, time for another selfie, as we said good-bye to our good friends, Bart, Ntombi and Archie, the amazing dock porter! We don’t say good-bye. We say, until we see you again!
The Chippewa is filling up fast this season! If you’ve made your reservations, great! If not, give them a call at 800-241-3341 to make your reservations at the Chippewa Hotel Waterfront. They’ll have a room or suite ready for you with your name on it. Have a great time and tell them I said hi!
George Piliouras for the Chippewa Hotel Waterfront