Opinion: Awarding the best resorts and spas

Paul W. Smith
Mackinac Island's iconic Grand Hotel is in the final stage of building the Cupula Suites, adding bedrooms and parlours on the fourth floor roof. The project began in 2014, adding suites for guests. (Special to the Detroit News/John L. Russell)

“Outta’ My Mind on a Monday Moanin’ "

Coming to you from Grand Traverse Resort and Spa at the 2019 Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism.

First, congratulations to CFO and Assistant General Manager Scott Chouinard and Public Relations Manager Jillian Manning for the great job they did in welcoming hundreds of travel professionals to their vastly improved resort and spa. I think it’s in the best shape ever. The improvements are vast.

My executive producer, Ann Thomas, and I were once again asked to take part in the AAA Michigan Four Diamond Award luncheon as emcees. 

After Nancy Cain got us to the stage and Dan Schrock, senior vice president of field operations, AAA – The Auto Club Group and Randy Williams, vice president of field operations, AAA Michigan did a fine job opening the show, Ann and I were off to the races with the announcement of this year’s coveted AAA Four Diamond Awards.

This year, 18 hotels and four restaurants have been bestowed this high honor, including the hotels with the longest tenure in this exclusive club, starting with the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, earning it’s 34th consecutive four diamond award for lodging. Accepting the award was Ross Bartlett, the assistant General Manager. 

Next up was The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, picking up their 31st consecutive and well-deserved four diamond award. Andrew Altemann, Director of Rooms, had the honor of picking up the award. 

General Manager Alan Osborne picked up the 30th AAA Four Diamond for Henry Hotel Autograph Collection.

The grand dame of Michigan hotels, and the only award winner found on an Island, Grand Hotel, earned its 25th four diamond award. R.D. (Dan) Musser III, president and owner, along with Managing Director Ken Hayward proudly picked up their award and headed back to Mackinac Island.

Paul W. Smith is host of “The Paul W. Smith Show” on WJR-AM (760) from 5:30-9 a.m. Monday-Friday.