A Lifetime of Luxury

Hotel Iroquois

Jun 26, 2018

Located on Mackinac Island, this quaint boutique hotel is surrounded by Lake Huron.

Having received countless awards, Hotel Iroquois offers unique rooms, gorgeous water views, and has been family owned and operated for three generations. The staff is overwhelmingly kind and meal time is not to be overlooked. During an evening meal, a pianist will artfully play the keys in the hotel's gorgeous open dining space. The hotel's restaurant is surrounded by two walls of windows, giving a stunning view of the sea beyond. In the mornings, the breakfast offered is unlike any other continental buffet; it feels like an extension of home with plenty of pastries and coffee to fuel the day. The signature pastry is their lemon blueberry muffin.

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In 1900, this stunning hotel was built as a private home. Within a few years, Samuel Poole, who ran the state park at the time, took it over and in 1954 Sam and Margaret McIntire bought it—and continues to run it.

“Mom is 92 and has quite the eye for detail. She still makes the flower bouquets,” says Becky McIntire, Sam and Margaret's daughter.

Becky is currently in charge of the hotel, with help from her son. Another of her sons also maintains the gardens as a side job.

Becky says that they are “very happy with the last sixty years” of the hotel. When they bought Hotel Iroquois, it only had 25 rooms and six bathrooms. They have now expanded to 45 rooms. Becky has also witnessed the hotel's technological transformation, going from having no phones or televisions in the rooms.

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In 1958, the hotel opened it's restaurant. The Carriage House was one of the few places to eat on the island at the time. Even then, they made sure to keep a pianist to play for the evening hours. The average stay is two to three nights, but back in the day people would come for much longer, staying for one to two months. "They were like family, you know, coming back every summer," Becky says.

The island itself is a perfect getaway, with a summer season ranging from May to October. This 3.8 square mile island is home to 500 to 600 year round residents—few people are willing to brave the winter months. Becky’s son, Sam, stays year-round and watches over the hotel while Becky and her mother stay in Florida. Only emergency vehicles are allowed on the island, so one must walk, bike, or take a buggy ride. Biking around the whole of this beautiful island takes only an afternoon.

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While there are many lovely locations to stay on the island, Hotel Iroqouis is unparalleled for its distinct charm, remarkable service, and luxurious rooms, many of which have stunning views of Lake Huron. Conveniently located near the center of town, it is only a three-minute walk from the ferry. This quaint, historical hotel offers just enough pampering for rest while fueling the next adventure. With old-world family charm, this hotel combines luxury with the comfort of home.

Words by Holly Moore
Photos provided by Hotel Iroquois