May 17th, 2022
Hotel Walloon is a poised, vintage elegant property that is going on its seventh year of welcoming guests through its doors. Many guests who visit Walloon Lake think Hotel Walloon has been a landmark in the village for years. Although Hotel Walloon was newly constructed in 2015, its build and design was inspired to reflect the rich history and charming hospitality as an homage to its Progressive Era predecessor.
The name ‘Hotel Walloon’ was originally coined in the 1890s by Mrs. James Hass. It was the first boarding house in the village. It was later moved and placed beside the New Walloon Hotel Clubhouse (which is the current location of Hotel Walloon) and was used as a kitchen and to house the help. The name was revived in 2015 when Hotel Walloon, built from the ground up, was established as a (32) room luxury boutique hotel.
Prior to Hotel Walloon’s development, the village was facing a recession (like the rest of the country), years of neglect, and managing a court battle over the village lakefront. It gave locals little reason to feel optimistic about the future of the village located at the foot of this beautiful glacial lake that Hemingway once called home.
In 2012, Jonathan Borisch entered the scene as a developer and visionary the village needed. He retired as a defense contractor and spent his initial retirement years reviving and rescuing Walloon, the place where he grew up and spent his summers as a boy. His family summered on the lake for several decades in a cottage that is said to have sheltered a young Hemingway one night when his rowboat was forced off the lake by a storm. Prior to Jonathan and the Borisch family’s investment into the village, there was only one business – a longtime general store. Today, the village boasts about (20) businesses and is still on the path of growth.
The village is welcoming one of its latest builds by a newer developer, The Lofts on Walloon. This new space is directly across the street from Hotel Walloon. The top two floors will offer (6) luxury condominiums and the bottom floor will be retail space. The retail space owners are yet to be announced, but the Hotel is excited to welcome new businesses to the village for the guests and travelers. The retail space will be a great addition to the unique merchants located in the village.
The Vintage Mercantile, owned by Katie Ross, is an antique store that helped source items for Hotel Walloon while it was in the process of design. Katie recently added a coffee store in the back of her store and has named it the Rumpus Room.
The Rumpus Room is named after a fond memory of conversations with her grandmother. Katie’s Grandmother would call her living room the rumpus room when the grandkids and cousins were over.
Tulips Little Pop-Up Shop claimed a new retail space off the docks of Tommy’s Walloon last summer, right near the Barrel Back Dock Bar, and offers resort wear, jewelry, and more. The Walloon Lake Inn has added a private dining room, The Varnish Room, available for events and exclusively offers (5) courses with wine pairings. The merchants and businesses in the village have grown and adapted to the constant stream of visitors this area is once again beginning to see.
Hotel Walloon is a destination. When guests travel to Walloon to experience the hotel, they are seeking hospitality and services that they don’t typically receive. Many guests that visit Hotel Walloon are repeat guests who enjoy the property multiple times a year in different seasons. There is excitement building regarding some new projects on the horizon for repeat and new guests. The outdoor back patio of the Hotel will feature a newly built, large stone hearth fireplace overlooking the water.
The genuine welcome that every guest receives from the Hotel Concierge will also now include a welcome glass of wine. The Hotel already offers an immediate sense of relaxation and wellbeing upon arriving to the property, now one can enjoy a glass of wine in the Hearth Room while luggage is brought to the guest room. Two new seasonal lounging locations are also being introduced this year, including a cabana in the summer and a geodesic dome for the cooler months. The guest experience is constantly being evaluated and elevated to ensure an unparalleled level of hospitality.
For the 7th year in a row, Hotel Walloon has achieved the AAA Four Diamond award. The Hotel has been given this award since it’s opening and is thankful for the passion and drive the Hotel team possesses. Without the dedication to outstanding levels of service standards partnered with a culture of passionate service, the award would not be possible. It’s the ladies and gentlemen who serve our guests that continuously go above and beyond, surpassing expectations in service excellence.
We look forward to connecting with you for your next stay at the premier lodging destination in Northern Michigan.