This past weekend, I had the amazing opportunity to go on a staycation with Curio – A Collection By Hilton in Grand Rapids at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. We travel all over Michigan, and are constantly out-and-about, but it was so much fun to stay downtown, and explore a few places we haven't been to before! It was also the start to ArtPrize, which is always a fun and exciting time in the city, and we had such a great weekend. Thank you to Curio for sponsoring our weekend, and as always, opinions are my own!
On Friday night, we checked into the hotel, and quickly headed up to our room to beat the busy crowds in the lobby! The hotel was filled with art from ArtPrize, so there were several more visitors than normal, which was exciting! Our room was in the Glass Tower, up on the 22nd floor, and we were lucky enough to have a corner room with a spectacular view of downtown Grand Rapids. We were greeted with a gift basket full of local treats, and a Hilton swag bag full of all sorts of goodies. Such a warm welcome!
We got ready for dinner, headed downstairs, had to take a few minutes to enjoy the insane lobby and chandeliers, and headed to dinner at The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck. We were seated right by the window, overlooking the Grand River. To drink, I ordered the passionfruit cosmopolitan, which was so delicious. For an appetizer, we had the blue cheese truffle chips (so yummy). For dinner, Eric ordered the pot pie, which was on special, and I had the half chicken with mashed potatoes and roasted carrots. Everything was crazy good. We finished off the evening with adult coffees, and a chocolate souffle. The girl who brought it out was so cute, and said she was "so excited" for us to eat it. Best service, really really good food, and amazing atmosphere. We truly had a great night.
After drinks, we decided to take a walk downtown, and check out Sidebar, which I've been meaning to try. They are known for their handcrafted cocktails. We walked past this place twice, because I had no idea where it was! Totally hidden. It's actually a door, inside a hallway, right next to Big O's Pizza. We had to wait a little bit to be seated, and when we got inside, I realized why. It was the size of our living room! Maybe even smaller. It was so tiny in there. But such a quaint and unique setting, with really delicious cocktails. I asked for something sweet, and the bartender whipped up something special for me. Definitely a fun visit in Grand Rapids.
We pre-ordered breakfast the night before, so we woke up on Saturday morning to breakfast in bed! I ordered the eggs benedict, and Eric had a classic scrambled egg breakfast. We ended up watching Scream 2 in bed all morning (haha), and then finally got ready to venture out for a day of exploring. It was a goal of mine to only visit places we haven't been to before. I've also been wanting to visit That Early Bird, so we drove into Eastown to check it out!
We each ordered a drink... I went for a caramel latte, and Eric went for a chai latte over ice. They were both good! And the decor inside was perfect. White, clean, and super Instagram-worthy. I wish we had been a little more hungry, because they had an awesome-looking menu as well with things like avocado toast and breakfast tacos. We'll definitely have to come back soon! And if you can see through the window, D'Arts Donut Shop is on our list next. That place looks amazing.
Afterwards, we walked across the street to pick up a few cards from Rebel Reclaimed. I've heard amazing things about this adorable shop, but have never been. I know, shame on me. It was so cute though! Right up my alley. Full of adorable gifts, Michigan-related items, yummy-smelling candles, you name it. I loved it. We ended up picking up a few cards, and an art print as well. This will definitely a favorite go-to from now on for fun gifts.
After browsing and shopping around for a while, we headed back to the hotel so Eric could watch the Michigan game. Compromise, right? ;) We ended up going downstairs at the Amway Grand Plaza to GP Sports to watch the game. We ordered a few snacks (garlic parmesan wings and a side of fries) and enjoyed a few drinks while watching the game. At half-time, we headed upstairs to take a nap (me) and finish watching the game (Eric).
Since our dinner reservation wasn't until 9:15pm, we decided to get ready and head downstairs to check out the historic Lumber Baron Bar in the Amway Grand Plaza. Eric ordered a whiskey cocktail, and I had a sparkling wine before dinner. After drinks here, we headed over to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse for the fanciest meal I've EVER had. I'm not typically an incredibly fancy lady, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't one of the best meals I've ever had. To start, I ordered the house salad, and Eric got the lobster bisque. For dinner, we each got a steak filet, which was the best steak I've ever had. They are broiled to 1,800 degrees, and served on 300 degree plates. So crazy! The au gratin potatoes were also incredibly delicious. For dessert, we split the cheesecake, and you basically had to roll us out of the restaurant.
After dinner, we decided to go for a walk along the boardwalk, which is so pretty at night. One of the best scenes in Grand Rapids are the several bridges crossing the Grand River, especially at night. I just remember when I was in college, I had to park across the bridge to go into downtown for classes at Kendall, and I just remember stopping and standing over the bridge, and taking it all in. Because it truly is such a pretty scene. I just love Grand Rapids. We checked out a few ArtPrize pieces too, one of them was a light show in the river, and a giant blow-up elephant you could walk through called Light Cave. Super fun. We went back to our room after that, crawled into our giant comfy bed, and watched Confessions of a Shopaholic.
On Sunday, we woke up, packed up, checked out, and headed upstairs to check out Sunday brunch at Cygnus27 on the 27th floor! We actually sat in this exact scene (second table from the left) and it was SO good! Brunch came with a cocktail, so we each ordered a bloody mary and whipped them up ourselves at their station. They had everything though, from Spanish potatoes, bacon and sausage, an omelette station, a sushi station, meats and cheeses, a crepe station, a table full of insanely delicious desserts, muffins, eggs benedict, and a tray full of chorizo, steaks and chicken that came around to serve. It was insanely good. The perfect way to end our super spoiled weekend. If you're ever in Grand Rapids and want a truly amazing place to stay, I hope you find this guide helpful! If you have any other tips/recommendations of places to see in GR as well, leave me a comment! I'd love to know your favorite places!