Harbour View Inn
What We Love
- Daily continental breakfast is included in the Jetsetter rate
- The authentic Victorian look — the property was built in the 1820s by fur trader/philanthropist Madame La Framboise (Room 1207 was her bedroom)
- Taking in the view of the harbor and Round Island Lighthouse from one of the cushioned white wicker chairs on the original pillared porch
- Friendly, personalized service: Return guests are often greeted by name
What To Know
- A stay here is about stepping back in time (it’s a car-free island) and enjoying the scenery
- There’s a laid-back approach to modern amenities island-wide; some TVs are dated and fireplaces in the rooms may not be operational
- Although there’s no restaurant, you’re just a quick walk from plenty of options
- Free WiFi
Built in 1822, the Harbour View Inn nods to its Victorian roots with mauve walls, floral carpets, exposed wood beams and pink patterned furnishings. In the main lobby hangs a painting of Madame Magdelaine La Framboise, the home’s original owner and one of the most successful fur traders of her time. The pillared double-decker porch hasn’t changed much since the original construction, and details such as vintage Shakespeare books in a locked antique cabinet keep the look authentic.
Bed and Bath
The guestrooms were refreshed in 2013 and are more staid than the public spaces with their deep, rich colors such as burgundy, slate blue, pale yellow and sage. Some have gas fireplaces, antique dressers, air conditioning and two-person whirlpool tubs. The adjacent B&B annex offers rooms with a more contemporary lakehouse style, thanks to a lighter color palette, floor-to-ceiling bay windows and bright checkerboard bed skirts. All accommodations also have access to a private or semiprivate terrace — perfect for taking in the views of the garden or harbor.
The best seats in the house are the cushioned white wicker chairs on the original pillared porch, which overlooks the harbor and oft-photographed Round Island Lighthouse. Guests picnic on the grounds or enjoy the inn’s occasional barbecues of grilled chicken and burgers along the sidewalk in front of the B&B annex. There’s a continental breakfast that offers oatmeal, toast and fruit served in a parlor room or on the porch (heaters are available if it’s chilly).
In the Area
Rent a carriage you drive yourself at Jack’s Livery Stable or get a bike (rentals are available on-site) and cycle the 8.2-mile water’s edge loop trail. Afterward sip a Rum Runner on the lively patio of the Pink Pony. There’s hip, casual island cuisine at spots like Millie’s on Main, but the island’s not-to-be-missed dessert is the fudge at Murray’s. Visit historic sights or watch the film Somewhere in Time, and then take a self-guided tour of filming locations such as Mission Point Resort and the Grand Hotel.
How to Get There
We booked this for a special occasion and were very disappointed. The carpet was dirty, and the paint peeling on the window sills, and some broken sticks in the window. Though the view was nice from our room, the room itself was very plain. When we have gone to bed and breakfasts they have little touches that make the stay special, not just like a motel chain.In the main lobby of their main building there was coffee and hot water and a water dispenser, but in the 'cottage' where we stayed there was nothing to make it inviting. When we expressed our disappointment, the answer was, "Well it IS a victorian house." I have stayed in other very nice victorian houses; it doesn't have to be rundown.
Our room was on the third floor. The room was good. We were up-graded to a room with a jacuzzi tub. The bed was Ok. The mattress seemed a bit worn out. The queen bed tended to depress in the center; so we were moving toward the center. We had trouble connecting to WiFi. We were able to connect on the first floor. Later we could connect on the third floor. The staff seemed disinterested. Not very friendly or welcoming. They visited together. But, did answer our questions. Strangely, no one knew the hours of the buffet lunch at the Grand Hotel. The buffet is a popular draw. The hours are noon to 2pm. There was a binder of restaurant menus. It is easy walking distance from the ferry docks. The Shepler Ferry delivered our bags at no charge. The hotel returned them to the docks. We tipped the wrkr.
The Harbourview is a great place to stay on Mackinac Island. Good location and convenient to downtown. Awesome view from our room.There were 3 friends staying together and there was more than enough space in the room. The grounds are beautiful with colourful flowers. Next time we would ask to have a balcony.
My hotel search started in February for the 4th of July overnight. This was the cheapest I could find. WOW!!!! What a great place! Very impressed. Rooms are big! We stayed on the first floor in the garden view rooms. We had air conditioning. Only thing I really missed is a small fridge and microwave. Other than that, we WILL be back. Nice continental breakfast. Staff is awesome. Housekeeping every day.
Beautiful flowers and setting. Staff was very helpful when needed and invisible when not needed. Quaint place where we slept with our windows open and not fearful at all. The porches are beautiful with ample tables for games, cards or snacks.