A Winter Stay at Amway Grand Plaza Hotel Grand Rapids

on February 27, 2019

When in Grand Rapids, Michigan, you need to stay somewhere grand. And really, in Michigan’s second biggest city, there is no better option than the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. This historic and luxurious riverside hotel is well known among us Michiganders. Personally, I’d wandered its halls at Art Prize festivals past, or walked the skywalk that connects the Amway Grand to neighboring buildings (it’s useful in a Michigan winter… trust). But I’d never actually stayed at the Amway Grand… until our recent visit to Grand Rapids with Experience Grand Rapids!*

Related: Grand Rapids ArtPrize Guide: How to Get the Most out of ArtPrize

*Our stay at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids was sponsored by Experience Grand Rapids. All opinions are 100% my own and I was not asked to write this or express a particular view – we just loved our stay!

See the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel Grand Rapids through our eyes on this winter stay. Including recommendations diriving and walking distance from the hotel. #amwaygrandplazahotel #amwaygrand #grandrapids #grandrapidsmi #puremichigan #experiencegrandrapids

Being a tourist in my home state at Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids

I’ve really been loving exploring Michigan as a tourist this past year. As many of you know, I grew up in Michigan but left for life and travels abroad. The heart definitely grows fonder with distance, and when I returned to my home state last year I wanted to see all the things. I wanted to share Michigan with all of you readers from all over the world. And, really, I wanted to keep some of that magic of “travel” alive in my life, even if I was only traveling an hour down to road to Grand Rapids.

Of course, having a long distance boyfriend helps with this. Whenever Dan visits from England, we set off on some kind of Michigan adventure. I think at this point he might know more about Michigan than most Michiganders! On his most recent visit, we took to the wintery roads and made our way to the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel Grand Rapids!

Related: Explore all my Michigan posts here

Our experience at Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids

The Amway Grand Plaza Hotel is an unusual mix of sleek modernism and elegant historicism. Depending on which lobby you enter, you could find yourself among trendy bars and restaurants, or in the early 20th century chandeliered lobby. The hotel was originally built as the “Pantlind Hotel” back in 1913, but was remodeled and opened as the Amway Grand Plaza more recently in 1981. Nowadays the hotel retains both aspects of history and modernism, and does a very good job at balancing them without seeming incongruous.

Dan and I were lucky enough to snag a corner room with a river view. The city of Grand Rapids is divided by (you guessed it) the Grand River. On our first night there was a classic Michigan snow storm (poor Dan – what an introduction!). The roads closed and snow days were announced to the school children. Meanwhile, we awoke to this beautiful view in our cozy room…

See the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel Grand Rapids through our eyes on this winter stay. Including recommendations diriving and walking distance from the hotel. #amwaygrandplazahotel #amwaygrand #grandrapids #grandrapidsmi #puremichigan #experiencegrandrapids

Of course I didn’t mind being indoors as the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel has such comfy and massive beds! I’m a sucker for a floofy duvet (in all seasons) and the Amway Grand certainly does that right.

Avoiding the snow for a bit longer, we hit up the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel fitness area. There is a big pool and two hot tubs (!) which I jumped straight into. Sitting in a bubbling hot tub and looking out the big windows at the snow fall brings a certain kind of smugness. There is also a gym, which we used on our second morning.

See the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel Grand Rapids through our eyes on this winter stay. Including recommendations diriving and walking distance from the hotel. #amwaygrandplazahotel #amwaygrand #grandrapids #grandrapidsmi #puremichigan #experiencegrandrapids

Of course we couldn’t stay snuggled up in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel forever. I mean we could… but Grand Rapids is such a fun city that we really wanted to explore. Not to mention that the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel is ideally located for exploration, being right on the riverfront in downtown – perfect for walking.

Related: Explore all my Michigan posts here

See the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel Grand Rapids through our eyes on this winter stay. Including recommendations diriving and walking distance from the hotel. #amwaygrandplazahotel #amwaygrand #grandrapids #grandrapidsmi #puremichigan #experiencegrandrapids

Venturing out into the snow!

What to do in Grand Rapids during your stay

There are so many things to do in Grand Rapids, in all seasons. As you all know, my personal favorite thing to do during travel is EAT! (As long as it’s gluten free). I have a full gluten free guide to Grand Rapids coming up. In the mean time, though, here are some of my top picks for Grand Rapids activities (edible and non-edible).

Related: Grand Rapids ArtPrize Guide: How to Get the Most out of ArtPrize

Walking distance from Amway Grand Plaza Hotel

  • Grand Rapids Public Museum – Such a fun museum. Definitely do the riverside carousel! We also spent about an hour playing pinball in the children’s exhibit – lol!
  • Gerald R Ford Presidential Museum – A very educational museum to one of the USA’s presidents who is from Grand Rapids.
  • Grand Rapids Art Museum – A favorite art museum of mine and highly recommended to visit while in Grand Rapids.
  • The Blue Bridge – A really unique bridge perfect for a photo op
  • Madcap Coffee – Some of the best coffee and specialty lattes in Michigan!
  • DeVos Performance Hall – A beautiful indoor space, go here even just to admire the architecture.
  • Lantern Coffee Bar – One of my fave coffee shops (serves GF and vegan donuts from Rise!)
  • Downtown Grand Rapids Market – Such a fun indoor market with lots of boutiques and eateries
  • Happy Cat Cafe – A cat cafe where you can play board games!!
  • Wealthy Street Bakery A lovely small bakery with TONS of GF options. More of a trek but we did it in about a foot of snow, so you can too!
  • Outside Coffee Co. – A year round outdoor cafe where you can sip on coffee and eat (GF, vegan!) donuts in heated igloos! Also a bit of a longer trek but definitely doable, and you can enjoy the Grand Rapids architecture along the way.

Worth driving for…

  • Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park – One of the best gardens I’ve ever been to, yes even in winter! There are multiple indoor greenhouses to explore. Before Christmas there is a great Christmas Tree display and an entire village made of plant materials featuring replicas of famous international and Grand Rapids based buildings. I also recommend the butterfly exhibit in Spring!
  • Terra – A really lovely farm to table restaurant with great gluten free options and wonderful cocktails.

The details

What: Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids

Where: 187 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49503

Why: A historic and luxurious hotel with modern amenities, in the best location right by the river!

How to book: For the best prices check out TripAdvisor and Hotels Combined. You can also book directly.

We loved our stay at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel! I will certainly be returning. Grand Rapids has so much to offer and is quickly becoming one of my favorite cities in Michigan.

Sarah xx

Book your stay…

Pin it for later…

See the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel Grand Rapids through our eyes on this winter stay. Including recommendations diriving and walking distance from the hotel. #amwaygrandplazahotel #amwaygrand #grandrapids #grandrapidsmi #puremichigan #experiencegrandrapids

*Our stay at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids was sponsored by Experience Grand Rapids. All opinions are 100% my own and I was not asked to write this or express a particular view – we just loved our stay!

*This post contains some affiliate links. If you click on these links and make a purchase I may make a small commission, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting Endless Distances!

Visit the best Korean Spa in NYC, which is actually not in NYC. Sojo Spa Club features a rooftop infinity pool with views of the NYC skyline. #NYC #wellnesstravl #sojospaclub #koreanspa #koreanspanyc #dayspanyc

You may also like