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The Inn at Stonecliffe Reopens With New Events Pavilion

After being closed for two years to complete $40 million in renovations, The Inn at Stonecliffe is reopening June 17 on Mackinac Island

By Kathy Gibbons

The Inn at Stonecliffe offers views of the Straits of Mackinac. || Photo by Sara Wright, courtesy of The Inn at Stonecliffe

With many developments to share, The Inn at Stonecliffe on Mackinac Island reopens June 17 after being closed for renovations over the past two seasons.

Owned by the Pulte Family Foundation with 100% of net profits supporting charitable initiatives, the property has undergone $40 million in improvements. These range from the updating of public spaces, guest rooms, and suites to the construction of three private cottages suited for groups or families, a backyard restaurant, the new Sunset Pavilion event center, a wellness center, an adults-only pool with cabanas, and a general store, according to Director of Sales Bethany McCann.

“When it comes to meetings and events, the fact that we’re a humanitarian hotel is great [for meeting planners], with 100% of our net profits going back to serving those most in need,” McCann says.

The Mansion at The Inn at Stonecliffe debuts its new makeover. The new pavilion is pictured to the left. || Photo courtesy of The Inn at Stonecliffe

The 120-year-old Mansion is the focal point of The Inn at Stonecliffe. With its Tudor architecture, stained glass windows, gables, timberwork, fireplaces, and 16 guest rooms, its new renovations are among the most notable changes, McCann explains.

“I think the biggest difference people are going to notice is how in the mansion we really brightened everything up,” McCann says. “There’s still the original woodwork, but we sanded everything down and painted it white, and we added air conditioning—it does stay cool up here on the island, but having that air conditioning is going to be a huge help.”

A separate structure known as the Summer House holds 32 newly updated suites. “We’ve got some great, spacious rooms over there,” McCann says. “If people are coming with meetings and events, they’ve got workspace built in, which is really wonderful.”

The patio at The Inn at Stonecliffe || Photo courtesy of The Inn at Stonecliffe

In fact, The Inn at Stonecliffe is better equipped to support meetings and events now with its new fully enclosed 3,000-square-foot Sunset Pavilion. A bonus: it offers sweeping views of the Straits of Mackinac.

Those renting the new cottages can take advantage of in-house catering as well as order grocery delivery, McCann notes. The general store will be open to guests as well as the public and feature a coffee bar, homemade ice cream, souvenirs, and items for picnics.

An old apple orchard on the property has been revitalized as well. “We planted more apple trees, we added pear trees, we’ve got a great garden that the chef and food and beverage team are going to be utilizing,” McCann says. “We’ve also got chicken coops down there so we have farm-fresh eggs every morning at breakfast and we have some beehives as well.”

Joseph Nardo recently joined The Inn at Stonecliffe as executive chef. Past posts for the chef include The French Laundry in Yountville, California, and Lazy Bear in San Francisco; most recently he was at Natalie’s Restaurant at the Camden Harbour Inn in Camden, Maine. Besides catering, he’ll be overseeing menus at the property’s fine-dining restaurant, The Straits; The Backyard, a casual outdoor restaurant; Horsey’s Pub for cocktails and snacks; and The Lawn & Patio for after-dinner cocktails or morning coffee with a view.

McCann has been giving tours as the property prepares to reopen and said the response has been enthusiastic. “[The renovations are] really keeping to the history and charm of the space,” she says, “but give it that modern amenity feel everybody’s kind of expecting these days.”