When the results for the 2023 World’s Best Awards resorts were announced by Travel + Leisure earlier this month, Michigan came out as the winner, claiming four of the top ten resorts in the Midwest, including No. 1.
In response to its annual “World’s Best Awards” survey, nearly 165,000 T+L readers ranked resorts worldwide based on their rooms/facilities, location, service, food, and value. From those rankings, the resorts were categorized by geographic location, and a list of their 10 Favorite Resorts in the Midwest was announced.
Northern Michigan not only claimed the top spot with Hotel Walloon, but it claimed three additional rankings with several iconic hotels on its famed Mackinac Island: Hotel Iroquois, Island House Hotel, and Grand Hotel.
No. 1: Hotel Walloon | Walloon Lake, MI
Reader Score 98.37
At the turn of the 20th century, vacationers from all over the Midwest flocked by train and steamer to Northern Michigan to take advantage of the region’s world-famous boating, fishing, and fresh air. Before constructing private homes on Walloon Lake near Petoskey and Charlevoix, many visitors relied on boarding houses and hotels for lodging.
Inspired by the vintage charm of these historic hotels, Hotel Walloon was built in 2015 and is Northern Michigan’s only privately-owned AAA Four Diamond Hotel. This Michigan resort is located on Walloon Lake (made famous by Ernest Hemingway) and boasts 32 spacious guest rooms and a wealth of lake views, offering a luxurious lake resort experience.
“Thank you to our guests and the readers of Travel + Leisure for voting for us to receive this prestigious award. We are extremely proud to have been named a Top Resort in the Midwest last year and to be the No.1 Resort in the Midwest for 2023. These achievements are the result of the pride and hard work of our dedicated staff over the last eight years,” said Nathan Bean, Hotel Walloon Resort General Manager.
“As visitors continue to discover our hidden gem, Hotel Walloon Resort, it is time for us to work even harder to create the experience that guests have come to expect. This award strengthens our dedication to being the premier lodging destination not only in Michigan but in the Midwest and providing an unparalleled level of hospitality to each of these guests during their stay.”
Guests appreciate the hotel’s assistance in arranging outdoor adventures – from hiking to horseback riding – and guides to area museums, wineries, and other attractions in nearby Petoskey and Charlevoix.
No. 4: Hotel Iroquois | Mackinac Island, MI
Reader Score: 91.82
Located on Michigan’s iconic Mackinac Island, Hotel Iroquois has welcomed guests during the busy tourist season – from May through October – for the past 60 years. This boutique hotel charms first-time visitors and devoted patrons with its unique combination of 46 individually decorated guest rooms and suites, outstanding dining, and an unrivaled waterfront location.
Carrie Brown from Illinois loved the property’s convenient yet quiet location. “Hotel Iroquois is close to the main downtown area but near the edge, so it is very peaceful and relaxing,” she stated in a recent Google review.
Along with its proximity to the best things to do on Mackinac Island, Hotel Iroquois offers unique views of the historic Round Island Lighthouse in the Straits of Mackinac and can arrange a variety of island experiences such as golf, kayaking, history tours, and carriage rides.
No. 6: Island House Hotel | Mackinac Island, MI
Reader Score: 90.06
Multiple generations have cared for the iconic Island House Hotel on Mackinac Island. This historic establishment combines charm, elegance, and nostalgia to create a remembrance of simpler times and set the stage for memory to last a lifetime.
Ann Turner from New Mexico appreciates the resort’s history and views of the harbor. “Island House is a beautiful historic hotel close to downtown but far enough away to escape the crowds. Beautiful views of the harbor from the rocking chairs on the porch,” she said in a recent review on Google.
The Island House Hotel is the only hotel located within the boundaries of Mackinac Island State Park and is both an honored state landmark and a Historic Hotels of America award recipient. Guests of this Michigan resort can anticipate a relaxing getaway in a luxurious setting.
No. 9: Grand Hotel | Mackinac Island, MI
Reader Score: 88.43
Welcoming guests since 1887, it’s not a surprise that the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island ranks among the top ten favorite resorts in the Midwest. This famous Mackinac Island destination is known for its iconic architecture, including the world’s longest porch and its domed cupola.
The details make this historic hotel stand out among the many places to stay on Mackinac Island. Carefully curated gardens, vintage Victorian decor, and 388 uniquely designed guest rooms welcome guests “back in time.”
Guests of the Grand Hotel can enjoy a meal in one of fourteen restaurants, get pampered at the full-service spa, take a swim in the Esther Williams swimming pool, go dancing in the Terrace Room, pick up a racket on the tennis courts, or swing a club on the Jewel Golf Course to make the most of their stay.
Make the Most of a Northern Michigan Getaway
Just a short drive north of Walloon Lake, the famous Michigan Tunnel of Trees winds its way along the Lake Michigan shoreline through Harbor Springs, Good Hart, and Cross Village. From there, travelers can continue through Wilderness State Park before arriving in Mackinaw City and catching a ferry to the island.