Amway Grand Plaza Hotel Celebrates 100 Years

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MI_GrandRapids_AmwayGrandPlazaHotel_Pantlind_lobbyIt’s been 100 years since the completion of Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Finalized in January 1916 as the Pantlind Hotel, the storied 682-room property is anything but dated, says Mike Donnelly, general manager. Modern-day elements—like the 285-room glass tower renovated in early 2015 and The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck that opened in September 2015—add a contemporary vibe to the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel’s 20th century backdrop, detailed with ornate plasterwork, gold-leaf ceilings, crystal chandeliers and dark wooden staircases. Managed by Amway Hotel Corporation—which also runs the neighboring 337-room JW Marriott Grand Rapids and the 214-room Courtyard Grand Rapids Downtown—Amway Grand, now a Curio Collection hotel, has 47,000 square feet of meeting space paired with 10 restaurants that “cover all bases,” says Donnelly. Try the seared ahi tuna at Ruth’s Chris Steak House or a Michigan Reuben at GP Sports, which sources craft beers from local breweries like Founders, Bell’s and Perrin. Or take the elevator up to floor 27, where the high-end Cygnus27 serves Latin American cuisine alongside panoramic views of Grand Rapids and has two private rooms on the 28th floor for groups of up to 90.   MI_GrandRapids_AmwayGrandPlazaHotel_skylineThe hotel’s location on the banks of the Grand River is good for more than gorgeous views. In 2015, one group took to the waters for its national convention and hosted a party on a pedestrian bridge linking the Amway to the nearby Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum. The hotel worked closely with the city and tented the entire bridge in case of inclement weather. Also within walking distance of the Amway are the 162,000-sq.-ft. DeVos Place convention center and many downtown attractions such as Grand Rapids Art Museum or Downtown Market Grand Rapids. Coordinate a tour of one of Grand Rapids’ 32 breweries or take a 10-minute drive to Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, where a serene Japanese garden opened in June 2015. Insider Tip Spend afterhours Prohibition-style at Lumber Baron Bar—a not-so-hidden speakeasy where you can imbibe cocktails by a cozy fireplace and nosh small bites like calamari or beef carpaccio. Photo credits: Amway Hotel Corporation