The Delamar is a beautifully appointed and comfortable hotel hugging the far southeastern shore of Grand Traverse Bay, adjacent to downtown Traverse City, Michigan. The renovated property, which was completed in 2021, sports a large but cozy lobby area off of the registration desk complete with a view of the bay and a large welcoming fireplace, open airy walkways, a number of gathering locations, a yoga studio, a heated outdoor pool and bar area as well as an indoor pool. The beachfront patio provides a sweeping view of the boating activity on the Bay. The views from the guest rooms are inviting, looking across the waters of the Bay. The hotel’s accessibility, an easy walk to the bustling Traverse City scene, is impressive with convenient parking and a number of dining options located within. The Delamar is a “full resort” with boating, fishing, bocce ball, bicycle rental and other activities on the property available to guests.
Decorated with style
The Greenwich Hospitality Group, which owns and operates boutique style hotels in several locations, was founded in Greenwich Connecticut in 1999, The Group has a demonstrated passion for historic preservation, art and design which sets the tone for several hotels in Connecticut. The Delamar is the Group’s first venture into the midwest with a design that is elegant, yet simple and a feel that is welcoming, comfortable and downright friendly. When we visited the hotel on a weekday in mid-autumn the front desk staff was very accommodating and seemed genuinely interested in our plans and how they might be able to help, making suggestions for visits and intriguing sites in the surrounding area.
This hotel building has been at this location for some time, however, its former incarnation as a Holiday Inn is obscured by the artistic appointments, attention to detail and enticing furnishings throughout. The outdoor pool, heated to an indulgent 90°, was a welcome treat on a chilly night of our stay. The water was enticing, with light clouds of rolling steam beckoning would-be swimmers. Make no mistake, this is more than an accommodation for overnight guests, The Delamar is truly a place to get away and really relax.
The room was comfortable and well appointed with artwork adorning the walls and a nice view of Grand Traverse Bay. While several rooms of the three story hotel are at the end of a hallway facing directly onto the Bay, the way that the hotel’s rooms are configured provides an Escher-like angular regression from the water so that basically all rooms have a view, through floor to ceiling windows, to take in and admire.
Satisfying dining options
The Delamar boasts several dining options including a cafe with ready-made takeaway as well as made to order breakfast and lunch offerings. Barista based coffee and tea options along with egg sandwiches, salads and wraps along with other tempting treats are staples at the come-as-you are cafe.
The Artisan Waterfront Restaurant and Tavern, Delamar’s flagship eatery serving Great Lakes-inspired New American cuisine with an emphasis on fare from local and regional farms, is divided to include a finer dining area and a more relaxed and comfortable tavern. To be sure, there is a well stocked bar that lines one wall of the casual dining space including herbal and specialty liquors offered in blended drinks that fill an entire menu.
The finer dining area, more formal with white tablecloths and beautiful views faces the north and west for sunset viewing. In this situation, ‘on the water’ means that exactly, actually on the water. The lighting in the finer dining area is dramatic while the Tavern side boasted dark wood flooring and tables surrounded with woven back chairs, reminiscent of a casual European Bistro. The Scandinavian ceramic wood burning fireplace was a standout feature that invited guests to sit at the cozy tables near it and warm up with an inviting cocktail.
The wait staff, pleasant and attentive, were obviously well-trained.The wine list had some rare vintages plus some very good values and our waiter was impressively knowledgeable about the available selections.
A sampling of dinner entrees on the night that we dined at the Artisan ranged from a whitefish filet in a bean compote to a braised beef dish which was slightly spicy, perhaps akin to a paella. The cauliflower steak was hardy and filling, complemented by several oils and sauces for dipping, all poached on a base of warm burrata, a soft cheese.
The desserts are house made – almond spice cake, cheesecake and a chocolate mousse – all offered with ambitiously suggested dessert wines and drink pairings.
Shops and eateries abound
Adjacent to downtown Traverse City, the hotel is an easy walk away from many interesting shops and dining options, highlighted by brew pubs, art galleries, antique shops, boutiques, distilleries all providing unique shopping. One of the days that we spent at The Delamar was an unusually warm afternoon for mid- October but, with what should be expected with Michigan weather, the following day was chilly with a consistent rainy mist. Despite the weather, walking from shop to shop in downtown Traverse City was not a problem and the sheer number of shopping options was surprising given what has happened to many downtown mercantile circumstances throughout Michigan and, in fact, the entire Midwest.
Let’s do it again
From the time that we walked through the front door and throughout our stay, the Delamar Traverse City was a treat due to the staff, who made us feel very much at home, as if we had visited before, as well as the open, airy, artistic mood of the renovated property. The trip was memorable and we plan to return, all attributable to the comfortable surroundings of this unique resort hotel.