The Grand Hotel is a historic hotel and coastal resort on Mackinac Island, Michigan – a small island located at the eastern end of the Straits of Mackinac. Constructed in the late 19th century, the facility advertises itself as having the world’s largest porch and is well known for a number of notable visitors, including five U.S. presidents, inventor Thomas Edison, and author Mark Twain.
In 1886, three transportation companies united to form the Mackinac Island Hotel Company. Together, the group purchased the land on which the hotel was built. Designed by Detroit architects Mason and Rice, the hotel took a mere 93 days to complete.
When it opened on July 10, 1887, the hotel was advertised as a summer retreat for vacationers who arrived by lake steamer and by rail from across the continent. Nightly rates at the time ranged from $3 to $5 a night.
Mackinac Island does not permit motor vehicles (except for emergency vehicles and, in winter, snowmobiles), so horse drawn carriage is still the method of transport to and from the dock to the hotel. During the winter months, ice prevents ferry transport from the mainland, and the hotel is closed.