Amway Grand Plaza Hotel

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Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
Amway Grand Plaza Front.jpg
The Old Front Door
Former names Pantlind Hotel
General information
Type Hotel
Architectural style Beaux-Arts
Location Grand Rapids, Michigan
Address 187 Monroe Ave NW
Owner Amway Corporation
Design and construction
Architect Warren & Wetmore.
Renovating team
Architect Marvin DeWinter & Associates

Amway Grand Plaza Hotel is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan and is named after Amway Corporation, which is based in nearby Ada Township.

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.

The hotel is owned by Amway Hotel Collection, a subsidiary of Amway's holding company Alticor.[1] Amway Grand Plaza Hotel is a member of the Curio Collection by Hilton, an affiliation which began in December, 2015.[2]

History

Pantlind Hotel

Pantlind Hotel in the 1940s.

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.[3]

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.[4] The Pantlind featured one of the largest gold leaf ceilings in the world,[5] with the hotel having a Mediterranean atmosphere that was seen in its classical columns and terra cotta designs.[3] A two-story bank was also originally located on the corner of Monroe and Pearl.[3]

Ten years later in 1923, a 189-room addition was made to the hotel on Lyon Street.[6] By 1925, the Pantlind Hotel was gaining national recognition after it was named as one of America's top 10 hotels.[4]

In 1954, Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld of the Netherlands stayed at the hotel, with a "royal luncheon" that included 250 people occurring at the facility.[7]

Amway Grand Plaza Tower

Amway Grand Plaza Hotel Tower
Amway Grand Tower.jpg
General information
Type Hotel
Location Grand Rapids, Michigan
Address 187 Monroe Ave NW
Completed 1983
Owner Amway Corporation
Height 318 ft (96.9 m)
Technical details
Floor count 29

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.[4]

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.[4] In 1979 after many turned towards the suburbs, the Pantlind Hotel was purchased by Amway, with Amway funding a $60 million renovation project[4][8] that was described by The New York Times as being "extensive".[9]

On September 15, 1981, the renovated Pantlind Hotel, now known as Amway Grand Plaza Hotel opened.[4] The reopening of the hotel was presided over by President Gerald R. Ford and his wife Betty Ford during a formal black-tie gathering.[4][9] 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.

In 1985, two years after the tower was constructed, Jack Schnedler of the Chicago Sun-Times stated:[10]

"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[4] In 2011, Grand Rapids mayor George Heartwell credited the development of the Amway Grand Hotel of reshaping downtown Grand Rapids.[4]

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.[11]

Preceded by
McKay Tower
Tallest Building in Grand Rapids
1983-1991
318 feet
Succeeded by
Plaza Towers

Amenities

Dining and shops

The hotel features eight dining experiences which include:[5]

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.[5]

Grand River Promenade

Skyway to Amway.

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.

Gallery

Trivia

See also

References

  1. ^ "Alticor, Which Owns and Operates the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, Planning a 300-400 room Marriott in Downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan". Grand Rapids, Michigan: Hotel Online. October 5, 2004. Retrieved August 27, 2016. 
  2. ^ Harger, Jim (June 1, 2015). "Hilton adding Amway Grand Plaza Hotel to Curio Collection". Retrieved August 27, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c "Hotel & Bank Buildings, Downtown Area". History Grand Rapids. 25 March 2014. Retrieved 28 September 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i 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. 
  5. ^ a b c "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. 
  6. ^ "Pantlind Hotel". History Grand Rapids. Retrieved 28 September 2016. 
  7. ^ "Mayor Goebel and Visiting Royalty". History Grand Rapids. 21 July 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2016. 
  8. ^ "HISTORY". Amway Grand. Retrieved 28 September 2016. 
  9. ^ a b Peterson, Iver (17 September 1981). "Grand Rapids Dedicating Ford's Museum in Aura of Prosperity". The New York Times. 
  10. ^ Schnedler, Jack (28 July 1985). "A DOZEN GRAND HOTELS ...and a few that missed the mark: [FIVE STAR SPORTS FINAL Edition]". Chicago Sun-Times. 
  11. ^ 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. 
  12. ^ McCrea, Paul (June 1950). "He Never Met an Evil Man". Nation's Business. 38 (7): 35. 
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-10-16. Retrieved 2007-01-22. 
  14. ^ "The Department Store Museum: Jacobson Stores, Inc., Jackson, Michigan". 

External links

  • Official website

Coordinates: 42°58′00″N 85°40′27″W / 42.96666°N 85.67407°W / 42.96666; -85.67407

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