Tuesday, November 6, 2007

An elegant stay in Traverse City

On Saturday, we left early to check into the much anticipated Chateau Chantal. We drove north of downtown Traverse City on M-37, and within minutes it became a beautiful scenic drive. The foliage changed, the colors were stronger, and the landscape became more rustic and peaceful. Signs indicating 'Honeycrisp Apples', or 'Maple Syrup' dotted the road as we zoomed past. The comparatively higher speed limits in Michigan meant that the windy road trip on the peninsula in the Mazda Miata became all the more thrilling.

We discovered Chateau Chantal by chance. Long live Google. Both Abhijit and I wanted to stay there as soon as we finished surfing the website. It is unique in that it is a working winery with accommodation attached to it. It is located in one of the most picturesque regions of Northern Michigan. The Old Mission Peninsula is flanked by the Grand traverse Bay on other side, so you can imagine the views.

The drive up to the Chateau was spectacular. A windy uphill road took us past the vineyards and up to a commanding mansion. The view from the top was jaw dropping. We were greeted by the receptionist who was very polite, and showed us to our suite, the Behrens Suite, immediately.

Decorated in Old English style, it was exactly what we wanted. Looking at the view from our room and from the front of the Chateau, I felt as if we had been transported to Provence, France. How right we were to reserve this experience for the second night in Michigan. The fall colors from the high altitude were breathtaking. Look at the pictures below to get a feel. All furnishings and fittings were terribly upscale, as were the little touches: the exceedingly romantic jazz CD playing on loop or the luxurious and numerous silky down pillows .

We met and talked to a number of interesting people in the tasting room that night. They all informed us that they had reserved their suites months in advance. I guess we got lucky as we had only just stumbled across the website a couple of days ago.

The cost:$232 per night including taxes. The justification: The elegance and exclusivity. The huge space. The amazing scenery and views. The magnificent tasting session which was open all hours to resident guests. The complimentary glass of wine per night of stay. Access to complimentary gourmet coffee, tea, juice, toast and cereal in the morning. A stunning brunch, included in the stay. If you want to get away from it all in style, choose this. Look at the website for more details. Above is a view from the Chateau, and below, the Chateau itself, and the living room in our suite.
The Chateau Chantal

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