100 Lewis St.
Petoskey Michigan 49770United States
The Perry, a striking pastel yellow hotel in downtown Petoskey, features historic (if a bit tired) waterfront lodging and fine dining.
Situated in downtown Petoskey's historic Gaslight District, the fabulously convenient, century-old Perry Hotel puts visitors in walking distance of shopping, dining and spectacular sunset views over Lake Michigan. You can't argue with the location, and the exterior is beautiful, but inside, the Perry feels tired, with a small, unremarkable lobby and dated rooms. Staying here isn't a bad experience, not at all, but one senses that the hotel is scared to update for fear of losing historic charm, when in fact, the best tribute to Victorian-style luxury would be a good facelift. Take, for example, the double-queen room where we stayed. It was spic-and-span, but the matchy-matchy curtains and carpet looked dated, rather than elegant. (The wallpaper frieze, in particular, was a hoot, with plump cherubs nestled in floral garlands.) In the public areas of the hotel, you get the same sense. The fitness area crams a few machines and a not-terribly-tempting hot tub into a tiny space, with wicker furniture adding a supposedly Victorian charm. But then you go outside, and the wide front porch and rose garden terrace are simply lovely, with tables for a tempting al fresco breakfast. Inside, the pub-style Noggin Room is also appealing with casual meals and live music. The Perry books weddings throughout the summer, and the parking lot is often full, so perhaps other visitors find the atmosphere more charming than we did -- and it certainly explains why the Stafford's group hasn't opted for a more contemporary look. For our money, however, we look at the Perry and think of the countless big-city hotels (or, for that matter, small-town B&Bs) that successfully balance modern style with historic character, and we'd like to see the Perry follow their lead. Rooms from $119.