Amway Grand Plaza is ideally located in the middle of downtown Grand Rapids, right along the Grand River. Construction of the original hotel building began in 1913 and it was known then as the Pantlind Hotel. In 1925, it was ranked “One of the 10 Finest Hotels in America”. But by the late 1970s, the hotel and the city of Grand Rapids were experiencing some hard times. That’s when the Amway Corporation acquired the hotel and restored it to its former glory. The hotel reopened in 1981 as Amway Grand Plaza, and construction of the hotel’s glass tower was completed in 1983. Soon thereafter, downtown Grand Rapids and the riverfront began to thrive once again.
During my recent stay at the hotel, I was lucky enough to have a river-view tower room. My corner unit was contemporary and comfortable, elegant and spacious. With two queen beds, a chair by one of the windows overlooking the river, and a giant desk with a downtown view, I had plenty of space to make myself at home. I took advantage of the complimentary in-room wifi and the comfortable working space to get some writing done. The classic, plush bedding was a real luxury. The only problem I had was deciding in which of the two beds I should sleep each night.
I truly loved my room at Amway Grand Plaza, and there is so much more to enjoy around the property.
- The grandiose Pantlind Lobby is something to be seen. Its classic, elegant design provides a glimpse of a bygone era. It’s a very dramatic scene: enormous chandeliers hang above opulent fountains; ceiling-to-floor velvet curtains are draped across French doors; and the marble floors lend to a feeling of timeless sophistication.
- Dining and entertainment options abound. Guests can relax with an adult beverage by the fireplace in the historic Lumber Baron bar, then move on to Ruth’s Chris steakhouse for an exceptional meal. Bentham’s, with a prime view of the Grand River, is a less formal setting perfect for families (especially the breakfast buffet). And if you just want to catch the game and have a burger and a beer, head over to GP Sports.
- The on-site spa and salon is the place to get pampered. Since the purpose of my trip to Grand Rapids was to relax and decompress, I knew prior to my arrival that I’d be spending some time at the spa. I originally made an appointment for a deep tissue massage, but the Spa Concierge and her staff convinced me to instead try the warm bamboo massage. I was wholly unfamiliar with the technique but it sounded interesting so I agreed. I learned that hollow bamboo canes are first warmed and then rolled over the muscles. The canes allow for a deeper, firmer massage, and the heat takes the tension release to another level. It was amazing! When the massage was over, I then was treated to a deep-cleansing facial, something I haven’t had done in a decade. It’s a miracle that I was able to walk out of that spa under my own power because I had been turned into jello.
- Though I did not take advantage, there is an indoor pool with two tubs, outdoor tennis courts, a racquetball court, and a fully-equipped fitness center. If my kids were with me, we definitely would have spent time in the pool!
There will be more trips to Grand Rapids in my future; I am sure of this. If these upcoming visits require overnight lodging, I will not hesitate to stay at Amway Grand Plaza again.
I was a guest of Experience Grand Rapids and Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and Spa, but I was in no way swayed to gush about my stay and write positively about my experience. It was just that awesome. All words and opinions, as always, are my own.