The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Gets an HGTV Makeover

The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Gets an HGTV Makeover


HGTV designer makes over the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Michigan.

The Grand Hotel in Mackinac County, Michigan is getting a big makeover and HGTV’s veteran designer Vern Yip is at the helm.

The announcement was made on the hotel’s social media page:

We are excited to announce and honored to be working with renowned designer Vern Yip this season. Known for his years on TLC’s Trading Spaces and HGTV’s Design Star, his designs will appear in the reimagined Esther Williams Swimming Pool, pool house, meeting space, and cabanas as well as a timeless refresh to some of our guest rooms and bathrooms throughout the hotel.

Read the full statement below.

In February the historic hotel reported that most of the major changes would be seen at the Esther Williams Swimming Pool. Executive Vice President of Operations Doug Dean had this to say on the renovation:

We are continuing to use the same architects that have worked with Grand Hotel as well as local officials. All of these folks have tremendous insight into the history of the Grand Hotel they have a passion for the Grand Hotel and what’s it’s been, they share a vision of balancing what Grand Hotel is with improving the guest experience.

Other notable changes will include adding a play area for children, cabanas with food and drink areas, an adult-only pool and a waterslide.

Hotel officials expect the redesign to be completed by Memorial Day.

Guests React to the Changes at the Grand Hotel

The Grand Hotel opened in 1887 on Mackinac Island in Michigan.

Hotel officials refer to the historic location as “America’s Summer Place, family nurtured and a highly acclaimed and much-beloved getaway.”

With so much history associated with the hotel, responses to the announcement brought on mixed reviews.

One commenter wrote, “Please keep the classic traditional look of the Grand Hotel! The Grand is special to so many people, including myself. Please don’t modernize it, it’s so special and unique for what it is right now”.

While another added, “Not sure how I feel about this. We love the bright and bold colors and patterns of the Grand Hotel so much that we’ve tried to duplicate them in our own house for years. If they changed the decor too much, I’m not sure we’d go back”.

Although some people appeared to be unhappy with the changes others welcomed a new look and were pleased with the designer.

One person responded, “Vern was my fave designer on Trading Spaces! 🙂🙂 Fun to see this collaboration”!

And yet another replied, “Please get a few Peloton bikes for the workout room! 🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻Also very hopeful Vern can get his hands on the Theodore Roosevelt room. We got that room when we came to the hotel and I literally cried because I wanted pretty flowers and bright colors. Instead I got a dark room with a view of the utility spaces and a bunch of taxidermy”.

Vern Yip’s Professional Journey

Yip has an extensive professional resume.

The interior designer was one of the original cast members of TLC’s Trading Spaces, which first aired in 2000. From there Yip went on to host several HGTV shows, like Deserving Design, and HGTV Showdown, just to name a couple. Yip was also a judge on HGTV’s Design Star.

In addition to interior design, Yip is a writer. He has a column with HGTV magazine and the Washington Post. Yip has also published a book, “Vern Yip’s Design Wise: Your Smart Guide to a Beautiful Home”.

The author designs fabric and trim collections for Trend too, he shared his latest collection on Facebook.


And as if Yip isn’t busy enough, he owns a design firm based in Atlanta. The 52-year-old is showing no signs of slowing down.