Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
|Amway Grand Plaza Hotel|
The Old Front Door
|Former names||Pantlind Hotel|
|Location||Grand Rapids, Michigan|
|Address||187 Monroe Ave NW|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Warren & Wetmore|
|Architect||Marvin DeWinter & Associates|
Originally known as The Pantlind Hotel (founded in 1913), the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel reopened in 1981 after extensive renovations done by Marvin DeWinter & Associates, including the addition of a 29-story glass tower. The Pantlind's designers Warren & Wetmore were inspired by the work of the Scottish neoclassical architect Robert Adam. During its prime years, the hotel was consistently rated as one of the top ten hotels in the US.
In the early 1900s, Grand Rapids was growing rapidly, the population reaching over 112,000 in 1910. As the city grew, iconic grand scale buildings began to arise.
When the hotel opened in 1913, the Beaux-Arts architecture attracted many, with visitors convening in Grand Rapids choosing the Pantlind Hotel during the city's furniture shows. The Pantlind featured one of the largest gold leaf ceilings in the world, with the hotel having a Mediterranean atmosphere that was seen in its classical columns and terra cotta designs. A two-story bank was also originally located on the corner of Monroe and Pearl.
Ten years later in 1923, a 189-room addition was made to the hotel on Lyon Street. By 1925, the Pantlind Hotel was gaining national recognition after it was named as one of America's top 10 hotels.
Amway Grand Plaza Tower
|Amway Grand Plaza Hotel Tower|
|Location||Grand Rapids, Michigan|
|Address||187 Monroe Ave NW|
|Height||318 ft (96.9 m)|
The Amway Grand Plaza Hotel Tower is a 29-story, 318 foot tall tower that opened in 1983. The tower was constructed following a renovation project of the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel initiated by Rich DeVos.
In the 1970s, the suburbs of Grand Rapids, such as Wyoming, enjoyed a great retail environment with many new developments happening along the 28th Street corridor. In 1979 after many turned towards the suburbs, the Pantlind Hotel was purchased by Amway, with Amway funding a $60 million renovation project that was described by The New York Times as being "extensive".
On September 15, 1981, the renovated Pantlind Hotel, now known as Amway Grand Plaza Hotel opened. The reopening of the hotel was presided over by President Gerald R. Ford and his wife Betty Ford during a formal black-tie gathering. Two years later in 1983, the 29 story tower was finally completed, becoming the city's tallest building after surpassing the McKay Tower, holding the title of tallest Building in Grand Rapids until Plaza Towers was completed in 1991.
Amway Grand Plaza: Here's a world-class hotel plunked in the middle of Michigan, occupying the opulently restored shell of the old Pantlind Hotel and a sleek 29-story adjoining wing. Service during my April stay was small-town cheerful, the room was richly furnished, and dinner in the top-of-the-line Cygnus restaurant stood up to New York or San Francisco standards.
Other guests who have stayed at the hotel include political figures and officials such as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Queen Noor of Jordan and General Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. as well as celebrities such as James Earl Jones, Cher, Joe Montana, Faye Dunaway, and Jerry Seinfeld In 2011, Grand Rapids mayor George Heartwell credited the development of the Amway Grand Hotel of reshaping downtown Grand Rapids.
In 2014, the tower had a $14 million renovation that included updating electrical outlets and network connections, as well as giving the room and bathroom designs a more modern look. It was the sixth renovation to rooms in the tower since 1983.
Starting in 2011, the hotel started an effort to rebrand first with replacing the 1913 Room restaurant with a Ruth's Chris Steak House. In May 2015, Cygnus 27 restaurant had changed its menu to a Latin one. The Cornucopia and Bentham's restaurants were redone as Wolfgang Puck restaurants opening the fall of 2015. Prior to 2016, the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel was affiliated with the Preferred Hotels & Resorts reservation system. In 2016, the hotel became a part of the Curio Collection by Hilton reservation system.
Amway stated in August 2018 that renovations to the tower would begin in January 2019 and would be scheduled to finish in April 2021. Changes include modernizing the function and appearance by making windows lighter colored which will span from floor to ceiling. The height of the tower will also increase slightly as a result of new construction.
| Tallest Building in Grand Rapids
Dining and shops
The hotel features eight dining experiences which include:
Various other various shops that are located within the lower level of the hotel.
Personal care and fitness
For personal care, the hotel has a full service spa, a salon as well as a sauna, steam room and two hot tubs. For fitness and other recreation, the fitness center features Precor equipment and an indoor pool. Near the fitness center, visitors can use outdoor tennis, racquetball and basketball courts.
Grand River Promenade
The Grand River Promenade, the official name for the skyway, provides a comfortable for visitors, with the Promenade spanning from the DeVos Place Convention Center, through the hotel and ending at the Van Andel Arena. The skyway is on the hotel's second floor as well as the hotel's parking ramp.
Amway Grand Plaza Hotel: This picture shows the original Pantlind Hotel from the vantage point of Rosa Parks Circle.
- Otto Seyferth, the 23rd President of the United States Chamber of Commerce, performed stone carving work on the facade of the hotel during its construction, earning 65¢ per hour.
- In honor of U.S. President Ford, one of the ballrooms in the hotel is named after him.
- Until September 2008, The Rapid ran the Grand Rapids Air Porter - a shuttle between the hotels in downtown Grand Rapids and the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. Routes 9 Alpine, Route 11 Plainfield, and two DASH routes stop near the hotel.
- WZZM-TV 13 originally had its studios at the Pantlind until a new facility was built and completed in Walker, Michigan.
- The 1913 Room, which closed in 2011, was the only restaurant in Michigan to be awarded 5 diamonds by the American Automobile Association. That area of the hotel had formerly been a Jacobson's department store and is now a Ruth's Chris Steak House.
- The hotel is prominent in the background in Trees, the third NOOMA film featuring Rob Bell.
- Harger, Jim (June 1, 2015). "Hilton adding Amway Grand Plaza Hotel to Curio Collection". Retrieved August 27, 2016.
- "Hotel & Bank Buildings, Downtown Area". History Grand Rapids. 25 March 2014. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
- Roelofs, Ted (15 September 2011). "As Amway Grand Plaza Hotel turns 30, owner Rich DeVos shares backstory: 'It was a total gamble' (photos)". MLive. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
- "A New Era Of Historic Grandeur Is Ushered In With Opening Of Amway Grand Plaza, Curio Collection By Hilton". Hospitality Net. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
- "Pantlind Hotel". History Grand Rapids. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
- "Mayor Goebel and Visiting Royalty". History Grand Rapids. 21 July 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
- "HISTORY". Amway Grand. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
- Peterson, Iver (17 September 1981). "Grand Rapids Dedicating Ford's Museum in Aura of Prosperity". The New York Times.
- Schnedler, Jack (28 July 1985). "A DOZEN GRAND HOTELS ...and a few that missed the mark: [FIVE STAR SPORTS FINAL Edition]". Chicago Sun-Times.
- Harger, Jim (13 October 2014). "High-End Hotel: New rooms in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel tower are edgy and modern". MLive. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
- "Amway Grand Plaza plans $40M renovation". Grand Rapids Business Journal. 28 August 2018. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
- McCrea, Paul (June 1950). "He Never Met an Evil Man". Nation's Business. 38 (7): 35.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-10-16. Retrieved 2007-01-22.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "The Department Store Museum: Jacobson Stores, Inc., Jackson, Michigan".
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