Foodie Find and a Still-Great Hotel in Grand Rapids, MI

by Julie Royce /
Julie Royce's picture
Aug 12, 2009 / 0 comments

Foodie Find and a Still-Great Hotel in Grand Rapids, MI

Cygnus 27 and the Amway Grand


Recently my husband and I visited Grand Rapids. The trip was spurred by an article I read in the May issue of Delta Sky Magazine on a flight from San Francisco to Detroit. To my utter amazement Meijer Gardens was listed among the must-see-museums of the world – right up there with the Uffizi and the Van Gogh. I nudged my husband who was feigning sleep, “How can we live in Michigan and have missed one of the top thirty museums in the world?” That got his attention and we promised ourselves a trip to the sculpture gardens this summer.


It’s nearly criminal for someone who has written two travel books about the state and writes a monthly column for Wandering Educators to have missed such a treasure. In my defense I was only writing about the Lower Peninsula coastlines. And, upon learning of this huge gap in my travel awareness I set about correcting the situation. (The article about the Meijer Gardens will be posted in November in time for you to incorporate a visit into your holiday plans.)   


Besides the gardens, however, we experienced another small pleasure during our trip and I wanted to share:


The Amway Grand is truly the Grand Dame of hotels in the area. A few minutes in the lobby makes the stay worthwhile. The gracious, double, curved stairways and the exquisite floral arrangements make you feel you have just been invited into the world of the rich and famous. The rooms are fitted with classic furniture, comfortable beds, white down comforters, guest robes, marble bathrooms and all of the accoutrements, including bed turndown and chocolates left on the pillow. The staff is dedicated to meeting your every need. Sometimes you just deserve to be pampered.


Browsing the boutiques in the Amway Grand is special. I fell in love with a multi-colored, to-die-for, all-weather coat. Unfortunately I didn’t feel quite rich or famous enough to pay $395 for a lightweight coat I would wear rarely, either because it never seems the right temperature for light coats or because finding the perfect place to wear it might prove a bit daunting – not quite right with my walking-the-beach outfits.  (I may have to go back to see if it ever goes on sale).


During our stay we discovered Happy Hour at Cygnus 27 and imbibed in 2-for-1 mojitos and martinis while overlooking the Grand River and the city skyline. The restaurant décor is contemporary and edgy, the view, literally, heavenly. The restaurant (on the 27th floor) was named for the northern constellation Cygnus and you feel as though you are sitting among the stars when darkness descends and lights twinkle all about you.


Cygnus 27 at Amway Grand, Grand Rapids, MI

Bright and contemporary interior overlooking the city


We had other plans for dinner so missed the opportunity to test the intriguing menu. Maybe next time. There is a Togarashi Crusted Filet Mignon with my name on it. The wine list is extensive and you can pay as much as $480 for a bottle of dessert sauterne but we’ll more likely indulge in a $30 bottle of Shiraz. The free panorama of Grand Rapids is priceless.


Cygnus 27 at Amway Grand, Grand Rapids, MI

Sit at the bar and enjoy the view



Cygnus 27

187 Monroe Ave., NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 776-6425


Julie Albrecht Royce, Michigan Editor, is the author of Traveling Michigan's Sunset Coast and Traveling Michigan's Thumb, both published by Thunder Bay Press. She writes a monthly column for, entitled Michigan's Small Town Treasures.