110 Battle Alley
Holly Michigan 48442United States
Thirty miles outside Detroit, a former hotel turned gourmet restaurant has been serving fine cuisine in a Victorian setting for more than a century.
From the outside, the Holly Hotel looks like a tired small-town hotel, but don't be fooled. It's actually a beloved fine-dining restaurant. Inside, guests find a Victorian symphony of mahogany, velvet, crystal and candlelight. (The property has not hosted overnight guests since 1978, but it's housed an outstanding restaurant for three generations.) Savvy owners have introduced theme dinners, holiday events, daily tea and a popular brunch, and a dining club even promises 20 percent discounts. All smart business moves, but the real reason people keep driving the 30 miles from Detroit is the excellent food, including locally sourced whitefish, lamb chops and beef (entrees from $21). Other attractions include a fair trade wine list featuring over 50 selections at only $19 per bottle. The Hotel's ambience works best in wintry weather, when red velvet and heavy damask are a soothing backdrop to the huge mahogany bar and brass candelabra. Two less attractive dining rooms and the lone restroom are a steep climb up two flights of stairs, making the hotel a poor choice for guests who need an elevator. That's a pity, as its antiquated charm might make for a nostalgic, delightful evening.