Midwest Living Review
We visited the Ramsdell Inn on a frigid December weekend during Manistee’s Victorian Sleighbell Parade and Old Christmas event. It turned out to be a lovely fit for the occasion, providing a nostalgic vibe and a bird’s-eye view of the downtown River Street district where most of the festivities take place. Even during this popular event, the inn was quiet and seemed understaffed. The lobby closes at 6 p.m. (guests use a key to come and go via a side door) and no breakfast is served in the morning. There’s also no elevator, which requires guests staying on the top floor to lug their bags up several sets of long, steep stairs.
Formerly the First National Bank, the lobby is full of character with an old vault converted into a tiny gift shop selling local wares. Our top-floor, two-room Ramsdell Suite ($199) was charming and richly furnished with unique, high-quality pieces. One room held a massive king-size bed and TV; the other was a living room with a fireplace, a dining table and chairs, and a fantastic portico. The whole suite gleamed with polished woodwork, and the sun shone through small stained-glass panels in the windows overlooking downtown. It felt old and quaint, like a beloved aunt’s downtown apartment, yet the Wi-fi was fast and dependable. We also appreciated the mini fridge and coffee pot, and found a great little market just across the street for cheese, wine, sundries and snacks. Standard rooms start at $139 during the high summer season, $79 off-season.
Hungry? TJ’s Pub is located in the basement of the inn. Be sure and try the bruschetta.