A State of Romance
It’s easy taking a shine to Michigan for a honeymoon. These scenic, comfy spots offer plenty of amenities, as well as romantic settings.
Two 30-minute massages, sparkling wine with a pair of engraved champagne flutes, and Aveda bath salts are part of the Romantic Getaway at the Inn at Black Star Farms (231-944-1251, blackstarfarms.com), a 160-acre winery in Suttons Bay. Named for stars in the northern galaxy, the inn’s eight guest rooms exude a European-style simplicity, with private bath (some with fireplaces and spa tubs), luxury linens, and down comforters. A complimentary bottle of “Red House” awaits guests’ arrival, as do snug robes and views of the rolling countryside.
After an in-room full gourmet breakfast, options include sunbathing on the deck, private pampering in the inn’s sauna or spa room, a winery tour, or exploring the surrounding orchards, vineyards, and trails on foot, cycle, cross-country skis, or snowshoes. Take along a personal picnic prepared by the inn’s chef and, afterward, settle in for a nightcap in the Pegasus Bar (try the Eau de Vie brandy made from local fruits or the ice wine, which has been served at the White House). Another option: Sign up for the “Wine and Roses” bath, a sensual experience that includes Aveda bath salts, a basket of rose petals, and a bottle of sparkling wine that arrives with the flutes.
Room rates start at $225 a night. Dinner — including pasture-raised beef tenderloin, fresh fish, and greens grown at the inn — is served on weekends. Manager Jill Ryan says honeymooners often return year after year to celebrate their anniversaries.
Also recommended: Chateau Chantal (231-223-4110, chateauchantal.com) is an Old World-style winery and inn on the Old Mission Peninsula. Its 11 French-inspired guest rooms offer vineyard views.
The first glimpse of Mackinac Island and the majestic Grand Hotel from the deck of a ferry never fails to impress. It doesn’t hurt that Somewhere in Time was filmed here. Mackinac Island and the Grand Hotel (800-33GRAND, grandhotel.com) rank as one of Michigan’s — and the Midwest’s — most popular honeymoon destinations.
Visit on the “Somewhere in Time” weekend in October and join the thousands who gather to honor the movie that starred Jane Seymour and the late Christopher Reeve. Come when it’s less crowded and stay in one of the historic inn’s 385 rooms, including suites with such names as the Empress Josephine, Teddy Roosevelt, and Britain’s Lord Astor. Rates have risen since the original $3 to $5 in 1887 (they now start at $235), but still include dinner and breakfast. The Grand offers regular rooms and a honeymoon package with champagne basket and the Grand Hotel fudge, but why not splurge on a night or two in the new Masco Cottage, a private retreat connected to the east end of the hotel by a private walkway. Like the rest of the hotel, it’s decorated by go-to New York designer Carleton Varney, and features two main-floor bedrooms with baths, a kitchen, living room, a dining area, two more upstairs bedrooms, a bath, and media room. Three meals are included daily.
Also recommended: Try the 96-room Island House (800-626-6304, theislandhouse.com), recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Romantic Retreat package includes two nights’ lodging, lunch at the Grand Hotel, a one-hour carriage ride, and in-room champagne and strawberries. Package rates start at $710.
Julee Rosso (of Silver Palate Cookbook fame) and her husband, Bill Miller, created the ultimate country escape at the Wickwood Inn (800-385-1174, wickwoodinn.com). It was named “one of the world’s most romantic inns” by Travel & Leisure. The charm begins with its Saugatuck location, a southwest Michigan town that bills itself as “the Cape Cod of the Midwest.” The area has plenty to offer, including a beautiful shoreline, many galleries, and lively nightlife. Take in a play at the Mason Street Warehouse Theatre or a jazz concert at the Women’s Chamber before retiring to one of 11 charming guest rooms, each with a different theme, including the Adirondack lodge, Florentine Villa, Swedish cottage, English Garden, or Summer in Santorini. Rates start at $175.
The food is a highlight. At 6 each evening, guests gather in the garden room for drinks and hors d’oeuvres: Roquefort pecan tart, smoked Michigan whitefish, and red-pepper pesto tart. Breakfast may include truffled, roasted asparagus frittata or apple bread pudding with vanilla sauce. Room snacks include ginger tea and hot chocolate. The inn is also known for its signature gorp and famous homemade chocolate cookies.
Also recommended: The Castle in the Country in Allegan (888-673-8054, castleinthecountry.com) was voted “Most Romantic Hideaway in North America,” by Inntravel magazine. Its “Escape to the Castle” package includes an hourlong side-by-side massage, picnic-basket lunch, dinner, and horse-drawn sleigh, wagon, or buggy ride.