Close your eyes and think about the most relaxing place you can picture. Does this image have thick lush forests, gently rollings hills, meandering sparkling creeks or sand covered beaches? Does it include a relaxing spa treatment, a round of golf, a memorable dinner. Which of these, work their magic on you?
We in Michigan are fortunate enough to have all those things within a few short hours of driving distance. The location that encompasses all of these is the upper part of the lower peninsula and particularly the Traverse City area.
In our decision to see the fall trees dressed in their finery we made a trek north. We were excited to stay at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Acme. It is a 900-acre resort located on the shores of East Grand Traverse Bay.
Upon arrival, our check in was quickly processed and we were on our way to our room.
The room that we would call home was located in the tower and was spacious and appealing. It had all the amenities to make our stay pleasant and comfortable: a wet bar, refrigerator, coffeemakers, whirlpool tub, makeup mirror and heat lamp and two bathrobes.
We decided that this would be a perfect opportunity to explore the resort. We were extremely surprised with our discoveries. There are three 18-hole championship golf courses – The Bear, The Wolverine and Spruce Run. It even has a Golf Academy.
After our all day adventure on Leenlanau Peninsula, stopping at various points along the way to take shoreline pictures and admiring acres of grape vines we did a quick dinner at Jack’s Sports Bar located in the resort. We shared a plate of nachos. The chips were crispy and the lettuce and tomatoes were fresh. It was exactly what we needed and plenty for the two of us.
The next day we breakfasted at Sweetwater American Bistro located in the resort. Randy had Salmon Benedict. He said the smoked salmon was perfection. It was tender and paired perfectly with the rest of the combinations. I had the Eggs Florentine Benedict. The sauteed spinach was not mushy, but rather had a fresh taste and the egg was cooked perfectly.
I had a Cherry Infused Manicure. The soak smelled just like cherries. The moisturizing massage was relaxing and the technician even found a knot in my arm that she worked on until it was loosened. My nails hadn’t looked that good in a long time.
Randy chose the “Grand” Stone Massage. He was really sore from all the walking we had done over the previous three days. The massage therapist worked out all those kinks and knots and he was like a new man. He said that he would highly recommend it. He was was so sore before the massage and afterwards he was pain free for several days. That, in his case, rarely happens.
After spending our day traveling around Old Mission Peninsula and Traverse City we returned to the Resort to have dinner at the Aerie Restaurant & Lounge located on the 16th floor of the Tower. Someone put a lot of thought in the design of this restaurant. The tables are on a type of raiser so that even those without a window view can see out the window.
I don’t know if it was done intentionally and since it was dark out by the the time we ate, so instead of no view the windows reflected the large wildflower paintings that was on the wall behind us. It was beautiful.
The waitstaff was extremely attentive and helpful. We started our dining feast with lump crab cakes. They were served with vanilla rum butter and mango salad. I have to say they were the best crab cakes I have ever had. They melted in our mouths. I still think of them and go m-m-m.
For our main courses I decided to be adventurous and had Chilean Sea Bass. t was a citrus beurre blanc, truffle squid ink risotto and a seasonal vegetables. It was a beautiful dish. A white plate with jet black risotto then the sea bass on top. So good. The sea bass was tender and tasty.
Randy had fidelidade mariscos. This was Mediterranean linguine served with grouper, langoustine, shrimp, mussels, scallops, clams and calamari. It was a beauty to behold and he said everything could not have been better.
For our last course we chose the baked apple tart. It was served with creme fraiche ice cream, Jack Daniel’s honey caramel, candied maple bacon and fustini’s sweet balsamic reduction. One word superb.
We decided the restaurant lives up to it’s code of providing the freshest ingredients available. Everything had that taste of just being picked from the garden or plucked from the sea. There was no frozen taste or rubbery texture of anything. Just all melt in your mouth flavor fullness.
The Grand Traverse Resort and Spa is not just for the better weather, but rather a resort of all seasons. They offer all the winter activities you can imagine from cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating and snowmobiling. Nearby is downhill skiing and horse drawn sleigh rides.
It is a Resort that you can come to again and again and never get bored. The perfect place to get away from the stress of daily life.