When it’s cold and gray outside this season, cozy up and enjoy Grand Traverse Bay views or lounge in an outdoor pool at the rebranded Delamar Traverse City. It’s the hottest new hotel in town, and you can swim outdoors in an 80-degree heated pool illuminated by colored lights, with steam gently rolling off the water. Music, limited igloos for outdoor dining, outdoor bar service, and resort amenities add to the ambience.
The former four-story West Bay Beach property, situated on the north side of Front Street just east of the downtown shopping district, continues to update its 173 guest rooms as part of an ongoing, multimillion-dollar renovation project.
Its new owners, Greenwich Hospitality Group, turned their focus to renovating public spaces first, including the lobby and pool areas, the Artisan Waterfront Restaurant, event and meeting spaces, and outdoor spaces along the bay, according to General Manager Brandon Sheldon. He joined the Delamar last summer after working nine seasons at Mackinac Island’s Mission Point Resort, where he was GM for his last three years.
“We wanted to take a fantastic blueprint and fantastic location and turn it into a destination,” he says. “The team emphasizes the guest experience.” Complimentary guest amenities include a welcome glass of local sparkling wine, valet parking, concierge services, and airport and downtown shuttle service.
“The welcome was one of the most important pieces we did,” Sheldon adds. “It’s that arrival experience for guests.”
The hotel has kept its outdoor pool open during the remodel and COVID-19 restrictions, and that’s been a big hit with guests. An added bonus for couples: The outdoor pool is adults-only in the evening.
There are other perks to visiting Delamar and Traverse City during the cold weather season: fewer people, off-season rates, and a slower pace. The hotel provides a cozy escape for those who want to be near downtown.
“The Delamar is basically a little snow globe,” Sheldon explains. “You don’t have to leave. We have two different pools, and large open spaces with fireplaces. We have everything right here to keep you cozy.”
The hotel has a bar for evening artisan cocktails and West Bay Bistro, with a coffee bar, serves breakfast. The Artisan restaurant, open to the public, features New American cuisine with an emphasis on farm-fresh fare from local and regional farms, plus outdoor patio seating during warmer months.
“Our hope is Artisan is the place to be. We want to lead the pack with creative and innovative experiences,” Sheldon says.
Guestroom renovations are ongoing, so there could be minor inconveniences in some areas. Updates include glass-enclosed showers in bathrooms, 55-inch TVs, mini-fridges, and Bulgari bath amenities. Airy standard guest rooms are about 350 square feet, while suites measure about 700 square feet. Rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows.
The lobby, a mix of modern, rustic, and locally crafted décor, offers views of Grand Traverse Bay and a fireplace that’s the perfect backdrop for those who want to enjoy a drink or relax on a snowy day. Guests can swim in the outside pool or use the indoor pool, Jacuzzi, and sauna. For those serious about exercise or who are on a business trip, the hotel’s renovated fitness center includes Peloton Bikes.
In the summer, Delamar bustles with boaters, wedding guests, and tourists. The hotel, an easy five-minute walk to downtown’s Front Street district, has private event space for corporate meetings, social events, and large receptions. Warm-weather seasonal activities are offered on the hotel’s waterfront property, and guests can hop on a nearby biking or hiking trail to explore the region’s wineries, lakes, attractions, and more.
Guests can sit by the bay or poolside cabanas, book add-on excursions including sailboat and catamaran cruises, rent watercraft on-site, and rent an eBike or beach cruiser.
Greenwich Hospitality Group operates three other luxury Delamar hotels in Connecticut.
Delamar Traverse City