Located within walking distance of downtown Traverse City on East Front Street, the Delamar Traverse City is an upscale resort hotel. Nestled on the shores of Lake Michigan, this 173-room, full-service hotel will welcome you year-round.
What I love most about Traverse City is that it’s right on Grand Traverse Bay and Delamar has amazing water views and a waterfront patio. Add to that the local art galleries, boutiques, antique shops and restaurants downtown, and you won’t need to get in your car to have a good time. But if you venture out by car, you’ll be near some of the best vineyards and wineries in the country. Nature is also a major attraction with Sleeping Bear Dunes, a four-season lakeside national park that offers miles of hiking and biking trails.
While in Traverse City, basecamp the Delamar Traverse City. Here are nine reasons the whole family will love this decision.
Delamar Traverse City hosted my stay; however, the opinions expressed are my own.
1. Location, location, location
While visitors from surrounding states typically arrive after a road trip, Cherry Capital Airport (TVC) serves this northwest Michigan city via Delta, American, United, and Allegiant airlines. Hotel amenities include a 24-hour airport shuttle and ample free parking on site.
One of the reasons the whole family will love the Delamar Traverse City is its proximity to downtown Traverse City, just steps from local shops, restaurants and cafes. This means you won’t be dependent on transportation if someone wants a change of scenery. If you’d rather not walk, ask for the hotel shuttle at valet, and they’ll give you a lift.
2. Stunning views
The lobby offers stunning views of the bay through floor-to-ceiling windows, a terrace, and a roaring elongated fireplace to sit and enjoy a good book.
While window seating at the Artisan Waterfront Restaurant and Tavern inside the Delamar offers great views of the West Bay, they also offer alfresco dining on a terrace that positions you closer to the water. Make your dinner reservations at sunset; dinner will be even more memorable.
3. Chimneys and hearths
With fireplaces and fireplaces throughout the property, you’ll be just as comfortable on cool fall days as you are in summer. The lobby is at the rear of the property, so you won’t be interrupted by new guests checking in from the car park.
The main dining room at Artisan Waterfront Restaurant features a large fireplace to make those hearty fall meals even more special. Comfortable sofas and armchairs surround a handcrafted Swedish farmhouse fireplace for a cozy evening by the lake.
4. Waterfront Restaurant and Artisan Tavern
The Artisan Waterfront Restaurant & Tavern offers a Great Lakes-inspired menu reflecting the seasons. Sustainability is an essential aspect of the menu. Serving lunch and dinner every day, you’ll find yourself coming back to try that other special dish you couldn’t fit in on your first visit.
Some of their signature dishes include a Great Lakes chowder ladled over a mound of smoked whitefish and served with homemade fennel crackers. Another local favorite is Michigan Lobster Roll, where they replace the lobster with local whitefish, made with apples, corn, fennel and dill, and served on toasted brioche. It is then garnished with crispy shallots.
Of course, you will find locally grown cherries in various forms on the menu. Michigan is the nation’s top producer of tart cherries, and they show up in desserts, salads, and even dishes like bruschetta.
5. In the heart of Michigan wine country
Traverse City is located on the 45th parallel, halfway between the equator and the North Pole. It is the exact parallel of the great wine regions of France and Italy. You will find more 40 wine estates in the region, where many wineries offer on-site hiking trails. Plus, be sure to sample the hard cider offerings. Sip a flight of cider in one of the tasting rooms, and you’ll enjoy the sampling and panoramic views.
6. Fitness room
You will find Fitness Yen Yoga, an on-site fitness studio that offers yoga and workout classes. Hotel guests receive a discount on their lessons. When you call to make your reservation or register for an online course, note that you are a Delamar guest. They would even provide you with a sanitized mat if you forget your yoga mat.
On Friday afternoons they have a Lavender Chill Restorative and Vino activity that will help you unwind after the crazy week you just had. The session ends with a lavender and peppermint infused cloth, then the group heads to Artisan for a glass of wine.
7. Family activities
You could spend your entire stay at the hotel, that’s all you’ll find to do there. Delamar has two heated pools, one indoor and one outdoor. They heat the outdoor pool all year round and the indoor heated pool has a sauna and jacuzzi for added luxury.
Lawn games on the patio do the trick for families who like a little competition. Challenge the defending champions of pétanque or cornhole or try the giant Jenga.
Outside, you can dine under the pergola by the lake, lounge by the fire or meet friends at the bar for a cocktail or a game of pétanque. Several nights a week during the summer they offer live music.
If you want to get out on the water, they offer on-site watercraft rentals and Nauti-cat sail charters to make it easy for you.
8. PIE Trail
If you decide to venture out, the paved, non-motorized path Traverse Area Recreation and Transit Trail (TART) is a 10.5 mile route that you can access just steps from Delamar. You can cycle, walk, jog or rollerblade. Renting a bike from one of the many local bike shops is a fun way to get out and explore, then rest up a bit at one of the restaurants or wineries on the trail.
While the stunning views of Grand Traverse Bay are paramount, you’ll find plenty of eye-catching artwork throughout the property. For example, a mural depicting the Tree of Life, hand-painted by Stockholm artist Jonas Wickman, adorns the walls of the Artisan restaurant. In the main dining room, a second mural by Wickman of birch trees reaching for the sky is visible through glass walls covering the “birch room”.
Pro tip: While Traverse City is a year-round destination, I like to visit during the warmer months. Spring offers the beauty of cherry blossoms, summer showcases cherries during the National Cherry Festival, and you can’t beat the spectacular fall foliage in mid-October.