Midwest Living Review
Mackinac Island is only 8.3 miles in circumference, but by the time you arrive at The Inn at Stonecliffe via horse and carriage, you'll swear you should be in the Upper Peninsula. Because motorized vehicles are banned on the island, your transportation choices from the downtown ferry docks to the inn are walking, riding a bike or taking a 30-plus minute horse and carriage ride. (Luggage must go by carriage). The inn's remote location is both a blessing and a curse. The setting is gorgeous; this is genuinely a step back to a time when the the most strenuous activity of the day would be a brisk round of croquet. If you're looking for peace and quiet and lots of downtime, this is the place. But if you like having quick access to restaurants or a drug store (an hour's walk away), or need dependable cell phone service, be warned that you'll find none of that at Stonecliffe Inn. The rooms in the main inn (the Cudahy Manor, built in 1904) are deliberately kept free of some modern amenities. There is no air-conditioning, no television and, as was the case in our room, no electrical outlets in the bathroom. Our room was large and despite being painted bright red, felt frumpy with seen-better-days furniture, an uncomfortable bed and chairs, and a broken lamp. However, the bathroom was spacious and had a nice combination of old and new: original white subway tiles on the walls, a new tub and fixtures, and a new pedestal sink with an old, leaking faucet. And the closet was huge with built-in drawers, a window that opened into the bathroom for ventilation and lots of shelves, hangers and hooks -- we wanted to take that closet home with us. The best thing about the room, however, was the view of the expansive backyard, the water and the Mackinac Bridge. Looking at the lighted bridge at night from bed made us (briefly) forget our boredom and other discomforts. More modern facilities are available in the Summer House next door, but its cookie-cutter chain-hotel look lacks charm and a sense of place. A complimentary, standard-issue breakfast buffet (scrambled eggs, sausage, plain bagels, yogurt, coffee and tea) is served in the dining room each morning, but it's nothing to write home about. A heated swimming pool is open Memorial Day to Labor Day; there is a lounge in the manor (not open during our stay in early October), and the Cudahy Chophouse (the same dining room space used for breakfast) serves dinner nightly from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Room rates range from $90 to $275 in the manor, and from $195 to $495 in the Summer House, depending on time of year (the inn is open from mid-May through late October).