Nestled just off the Grand Lobby, the Resort’s family-style bistro is a full-service restaurant designed to meet everyone’s tastes.
The cozy, inviting setting appeals to families, couples, and business colleagues alike. Start the day with Sweetwater's breakfast buffet, or select your favorite item from the menu. Lunch choices span a spectrum of fresh salads, sandwiches, and mouthwatering appetizers. Main dishes for dinner range from pan-roasted chicken and grilled salmon to delicious pastas. Just be sure to save room for dessert.
Substitute Egg Beaters or egg whites for any egg item
Croquet Madame - $12 sourdough bread stuffed with provolone, Swiss, and black forest ham, topped with a fried egg and velvety cheese sauce, served with fresh hash browns
Southwestern Breakfast Muffin - $11 spicy chorizo, sautéed onions and bell peppers in scrambled eggs, topped with cheddar cheese, on a housemade English muffin, served with fried hash browns
Power Breakfast Sandwich open faced egg white omelet with sautéed fresh spinach, Roma tomatoes, topped with provolone cheese and smoked salmon on a housemade English muffin, served with fried hash browns
Traditional Eggs Benedict - $13 twin poached eggs, house maple-cured pork loin on a housemade English muffin, topped with traditional hollandaise sauce, served with a side of fresh hash browns
Salmon Florentine Benedict - $14 twin poached eggs, fresh spinach and smoked salmon on a housemade English muffin, topped with traditional hollandaise sauce, served with fresh hash browns
Smoked Brisket Frittata house smoked beef brisket, eggs, sautéed tricolor sweet bell peppers and red onion, served on a bed of fresh hash browns, topped with a rich country gravy
Biscuits and Gravy - $9 buttermilk biscuits made in our bakery, hearty sausage gravy
Sweetwater Power Frittata - $11 fresh hash browns topped with baked egg whites, shredded kale, tricolor sweet bell peppers, and quinoa topped with crumbled feta cheese
Totchos fried hash browns topped with spicy chorizo, sliced jalapeños, fresh diced Roma tomatoes, and diced red onions, topped with a creamy white cheese sauce and a fried egg
Eggs Your Way two eggs, choice of bacon or sausage, fresh hashbrowns, your selection of toast
GTRS Cherry Stuffed French Toast - $12 cereal coated and fried French bread stuffed with spiced cherries and cream cheese
Housemade Pancakes - $11 three cakes stacked with your choice of fruit, whipped butter, and maple syrup
Malted Waffles - $11 malted flour batter, whipped butter, maple syrup
Buckeye Oatmeal - $9 housemade granola, brown sugar, dried Traverse City cherries, and your selection of toast
Custom Omelet Your choice of ingredients folded into a three egg omelet. Choose three: cherrywood bacon, peppered sausage, black forest ham, spicy chorizo, diced onions, pickled jalapenos, fresh tomatoes, baby spinach, mushrooms, sweet pepper blend, sharp cheddar, Swiss, feta, American cheese
Fresh Hash Browns
Maple-Cured Pork Loin
Croissant - $4
Bagel - $4
English Muffin - $4
Gluten Free Toast
Coffee regular and decaf
Gourmet Hot Teas
Milk whole, skim, chocolate
Bruschetta - $10 balsamic marinated fresh tomatoes served with goat cheese, smoked prosciutto, garlic crostini drizzled with evoo
Wild Mushroom & Prosciutto Flatbread - $13 grilled Italian piadina, sundried tomatoes pesto, mascarpone cream, fine herbs
Bistro Wings - $13 1lb of wings fried and tossed in Michigan honey, garlic, salt, and pepper
Mussels** - $14 sauteed in a white wine garlic broth with fresh basil, served with grilled ciabatta
Calamari Fritti - $12 house dusted, fried crisp, served with fra diavolo sauce
Classic Caesar** - $9 fresh romaine tossed in a classic Caesar dressing, garlic, and parmesan, topped with crostini
Baby Arugula - $10 baby arugula tossed with light Dijon vinaigrette, topped with carrot, candied walnuts, dried cherries, and crumbled feta
Chopped Salad - $10 diced romaine, cucumbers, red onions, red peppers, scallion, and garbanzo beans tossed with a cilantro lime vinaigrette
All sandwiched served with house fries
Burger - $13 grilled half pound custom blend patty, arugula, balsamic onions, beef steak tomato, garlic and herb housemade aioli on a toasted ciabatta roll
Herbed Chicken Sandwich - $12 6 oz citrus brined chicken breast, beefsteak tomato, arugula, balsamic onions, white cheddar, herb aioli on a toasted ciabatta roll
Salmon Piadina - $13 grilled salmon, baby spinach, sundried tomato tapenade, Dijon vinaigrette on Italian piadina
Veggie Wrap - $12 roasted mushroom, balsamic grilled vegetables, artichokes, pesto aioli, and feta on Italian piadina
Half portions available for lunch. Substitute gluten free penne for any pasta. Add chicken breast $6 | Add tenderloin $10 | Add salmon $8
Penne Pomodoro Italian plum tomatoes, garlic, red pepper flakes, white wine, and basil tossed with penne pasta
Rigatoni with Prosciutto & Peas prosciutto, garlic, and sweet peas, finished with parmesan cream, tossed with rigatoni
Tagliatelle & Wild Mushroom Ragu fresh tagliatelle tossed with a wild mushroom cream sauce finished with parmesan
Available after 6:00p.m.
Tenderloin of Beef - $32 grilled tenderloin served over a bed of wild mushrooms, sundried tomato cream, and roasted rosemary potatoes
Chicken Peperonata - $24 pan seared chicken breast simmered with bell peppers, plum tomatoes, onions, finished with capers, served over creamy polenta
Pan Seared Salmon - $26 Scottish salmon, Michigan maple citrus glaze, oven roasted rosemary potatoes, and sweet thyme peas
Corona Rita - $12 Avion Silver Tequila, Cointreau, Lime Juice, Corona, Lime Wedge
Michigan Mule - $7 TC Cherry Whiskey, Lime Juice, Ginger Beer
Green Tea - $9 Jameson, Peachtree Schnapps, Sour Mix, Sierra Mist
Draft Beer - Pint
Domestic - $4
Premium - $6
Premium Local - $7
Draft Beer - Pitcher
Domestic - $16
Premium - $24
Domestic Beer - $4
Founder's All Day IPA
Short's Local's Light
Short's Huma Lupa Licious
Short's Bellaire Brown
Short's Soft Parade
New Belgium Fat Tire
Bell's Two Hearted
Starcut Cider Mosa
Cosmopolitan - $9 Absolut Citron vodka, Cointreau, cranberry, lime
Old Fashioned - $9 Buffalo Trace, Angostura bitters, sugar cube, orange twist
Smash it - $10 Gypsy vodka, cucumber, basil, lemon, soda
Michigan Light - $9 Ann Arbor Spring gin, ruby red grapefruit, pomegranate, soda, lime
Paloma - $8 Sauza Blanco tequila, ruby red grapefruit, soda, lime
Moscow Mule - $9 Tito's vodka, ginger beer, lime
Pinkies Up - $12 Iron Fish gin, sparkling wine, lemon, simple syrup Luxardo cherry
Bourbon Revival - $11 American Fifth Bourbon Whiskey, Crème de cassis, lemon, simple syrup
Pierre Chainier "Seduction", Brut, France
M. Lawrence "Sex "Brut Rose,' Leelanau Peninsula, MI NV
L. Mawby Blanc de Blancs Brut, Leelanau Peninsula, MI NV - $50
L. Mawby Blanc de Noirs Brut, Leelanau Peninsula, MI NV - $52
Grenache Blanc Viognier, Flying Solo, France
Left Foot Charley "Murmur" Leelanau Peninsula, MI 2016 - $33
Chateau Grand Traverse "Late Harvest", Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan
Bowers Harbor, Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan
Black Star Farms "Arcturos", Old Mission, MI 2014
Clifford Bay, Marlborough, New Zealand
Hand Craft, Sonoma County, California
Black Star Farms "Arcturos", Sur Lie, Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan
Bowers Harbor "Unwooded", Old Mission, MI 2015
Cabernet Franc Blend, Black Star Farms "Red House Red", Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan
Noble Vines "667", Monterey, California
Black Star Farms "Arcturos" Old Mission Peninsula, MI 2013 - $55
Charles Smith "Velvet Devil", Washington State
L. Martini, Sonoma County, California
Gravel Bar, Columbia Valley, Washington
Justin, Central Coast, California - $58
Bodini, Mendoza, Argentina
Salt of the Earth Moscato, California
Bread and Butter Chardonnay, California
Villa Wolf Rose, Germany
Clifford Bay Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand
Domaine Saint Lannes Cotes de Gasgone, Blanc White Blend, France
Valdelavia Organic Brut Cava, Spain
Summit Cabernet Sauvignon, California
Chateau St. Michelle Merlot, Washington
Fog Mountain Pinot Noir, California
Saint Julia Organica Malbec, Argentina
Xiloca Garnacha, Spain
Ghostrunner Red Blend, California
Chateau Grand Traverse Late Harvest, Riesling, Old Mission
Bowers Harbor Unwooded Chardonnay
Leelanau Cellars Pinot Grigio, Leelanau
Mackinaw Trail Cherry Sangria, Petoskey
Black Star Farms Red House Red, Leelanau
Chateau Chantal Nice Red, Old Mission
M. Lawrence "Sex" Sparkling Wine, Leelanau
Children's Breakfast Menu
Ages 12 & under
French Toast batter-dipped bread topped with powdered sugar, butter and syrup
Silver Dollar Pancakes three silver dollar pancakes with butter and syrup; add fresh strawberries, blueberries, bananas, cinnamon apples or chocolate chips
Children's Breakfast one egg served any style with breakfast potatoes and a fruit cup
Breakfast Sandwich one egg, ham, American cheese on an English muffin with breakfast potatoes
Burrito egg and cheddar cheese in a flour tortilla served with breakfast potatoes
Breakfast Buffet For kid's 12 and under; Subject to availability
Cereal - $2
Bacon or Sausage - $2
Cup of Fruit - $3
Children's Lunch & Dinner Menu
Kid's meals served with a choice of fruit cup, puzzle tots or French fries. Ages 12 & under
Macaroni and Cheese - $5
Grilled Cheese Sandwich - $5
Jr. Hamburger or Cheeseburger - $6
Crispy Chicken Tenders - $7 Request gluten-free
Mini Corn Dogs - $7
Turkey Sandwich with lettuce, tomato and mayo on wheat bread
Chicken Nachos - $6 chicken and housemade creamy cheese on top of crispy corn tortilla chips, served with salsa (does not come with a side)
Simple Salad with lettuce, cucumber, cheddar cheese and ranch dressing (does not come with a side)
Apples and Dip - $6 apple slices served with housemade local cherry marshmallow cream cheese dip (does not come with a side)
Puzzle Tots or French Fries - $2
Fruit Cup - $3
Whiskey Caramel Bread Pudding - $9 vanilla bread pudding with chocolate chunks, soaked with house made Maker's Mark caramel, topped with vanilla ice cream and caramel drizzle
Chocolate Peanut Butter Lasagna - $8 chocolate cake and peanut butter mousse layered high, drizzled with chocolate ganache
Triple Cheesecake Cake - $7 lemon, blueberry, and vanilla bean cheesecake layers frosted with house made Swiss buttercream frosting, garnished with dehydrated lemon zest
For five years, Spa Grand Traverse Director Dawn Olsen thought about the changes she wanted to make to the resort’s 7,000-square-foot spa and salon.By Cymbre Foster
Renovated Spa Grand Traverse is a serene have for guests. For five years, Spa Grand Traverse Director Dawn Olsen thought about the changes she wanted to make to the resort’s 7,000-square-foot spa and salon.
It had been 12 years since there had been any major renovations, and she knew it was time for a transformation. “I’ve thought a lot about what a guest wants,” says Olsen, who has been Spa director for six years. Ultimately, her goal was to create a space with even more benefits for guests. The long-awaited facelift to the two-story spa became a reality in February 2018. Olsen, her staff, and guests couldn’t be happier with the outcome that includes improvements to traffic flow and increased privacy and serenity. The new space is also fresh and inviting — from updates to the lobby and 23 treatment rooms to makeovers of the reception area and décor.
“It’s just much more modern,” Olsen says. “For me, it’s now a more serene spa environment, and the spa aesthetic has changed dramatically.”
Her favorite addition is the noise barrier that was installed between the reception area and the rest of the spa, because it immediately created a more relaxed environment.
“I love the wall that we built in the reception area,” she says. “It really makes it much more conducive to guests as well as giving it a much more updated appearance.
“There’s also a better flow for relaxation purposes". They can no longer hear the phone ring or hear us greeting other guests. We also moved the upstairs waiting area away from the facial rooms, again, to diminish the noise levels while guests are in treatment.”
Adding to the serenity is a change-up in the color scheme and the addition of an updated, modern finish with new furnishings and artwork. “The color palette is more relaxing, and we also changed the furniture,” Olsen says. “We ended up repainting all of the cherry wood throughout the spa with a more up-to-date paint color. Ultimately, we made small aesthetic changes that created a fresh space for our guests.” The renovations, which took two months to complete, are more than skin deep.
“I think our local guests love to see us reinvesting in the business and keeping up with the times,” she says. “Overall the resounding response is that they love the new setup.”
The staff is also thrilled with the new space, she adds.
“The team absolutely loves the new fresh space,” Olsen says. “We all feel very proud of our current work environment and feel that it offers a more modern approach to our goal of relaxation.”
New Look for Iconic Governors' Hall
Premier gathering space undergoes $1.5 million renovationBy Brian McGillivary
Governors’ Hall at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa has hosted hundreds of stellar events over the years. Now it enters its fourth decade with a $1.5 million renovation.
The ballroom at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa had a stately and august air that never revealed its age. Still, after three decades, it was time to shake off the old and make a splash. Governors’ Hall, named after the convention that led to its construction, underwent a $1.5 million renovation in 2018 and now sports a look that celebrates the waters of Northern Michigan, says Ryan Buck, Grand Traverse Resort and Spa Director of Sales. “It’s a total transformation, which is incredibly exciting for everybody,” Buck says.
The makeover included new lighting, audio, wall coverings, flooring, ceilings, and furniture. The warm blue and gray color scheme depicts water interacting with the elements in nature.
“It’s neutral enough that a group can come in and really make it their own without having issues,” Buck says. “But it definitely will feel like Northern Michigan. It’s going to be a very exciting, but calming, space for our guests.”
The makeover does not alter the original bones of a structure designed for its ease of use and ability to accommodate a wide array of events. It can be used as a theater for 2,300 people, an elegant dinner setting for 1,500, or to even host a cattlemen’s auction. It has a door large enough to truck in a U.S. Coast Guard rescue helicopter.
“Some groups come in and spend a lot of money transforming the space,” Buck says. “Governors’ Hall really cleans up nice.”
A Grand Vision
With 580 rooms and 86,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, the Resort gets little downtime. Technology upgrades to the hall started months in advance, with the major work for the $1.5 million project squeezed into a three-week window.
The short turnaround and attention to detail mirrors the Resort’s actual founding by Paul Nine, a Detroit-area attorney. “Our founder had a really great vision for this property and this area,” Buck says. “He envisioned a meeting-focused resort experience operating year-round.”
It was 1980 when Nine decided to build a six-story hotel outside of Traverse City, followed by a signature golf course designed by the legendary Jack Nicklaus. He took it even further when, a few years later, he announced plans for a $7 million, 17-story, 186-room tower and a 19,000-square-foot banquet hall just to hold a national governors’ meeting.
The Resort had a lead on hosting the National Governors Association summer meeting, but needed a ballroom and additional rooms, Buck says. The move clinched the 1987 National Governors Association Summer Meeting, chaired by future President of the United States Bill Clinton.
Now, Governors Hall is long established. Its unique setting earns many repeat customers, including a rare return visit by the National Governors Association in 2007.
“We have groups who have been coming here for 30-plus years,” Buck says. “It’s quite extraordinary, and having a great event space makes that happen.”
Reuniting at the Resort
“It’s a beautiful place to reconnect and build close ties to those we love in one of the most spectacular places in Michigan.”
—Lori, Leaver family reunionBy Jillian Manning // Photography by Megan Renae Studios
In the early 1980s — when wineries were few and far between and the State Theatre was enjoying its original heyday — the Leaver family held their first family reunion in Traverse City. Ross and Kathryn Leaver’s four daughters had growing families of their own, and the reunion was a chance to gather the children and grandchildren together for a weekend of fun.
Fast-forward nearly four decades, and the Leavers now boast more than 50 family members, including four generations that stretch from ages 1 to 87. Although the family is spread throughout the country, the beauty and tranquility of Northern Michigan draws them back to Traverse City every few years. For the last three reunions, they have returned to Grand Traverse Resort and Spa to celebrate.
“The Resort is the perfect place for us to stay for our reunion,” says Lori, whose family lives a few hours south in Midland. “My adult children agree that this year was one of our best vacations ever. “It’s a beautiful place to reconnect and build close ties to those we love in one of the most spectacular places in Michigan.”
On a July weekend this past summer, 28 Leavers arrived at the Resort for a welcome reception in one of the Valleyview condominiums. Shouts of greeting chorused from the balcony, and hugs and headlocks were doled out in equal measure. Lynda, one of the original Leaver daughters who started the reunion tradition, smiled as she thought about how her family has expanded. “It’s a joy to see the spouses and little ones joining the family,” she says. “I can’t believe how much things have changed.”
The Resort’s wide array of lodging opportunities and amenities appeals to Leaver families of all sizes, from couples staying in the Tower to larger groups spread among the condos. Those with young children, like Ryan and Maigan, parents to a 4-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter, especially love the family-friendly atmosphere.
“They may be too young to fully appreciate dinner with their aunts and uncles, but they’re definitely not too young to appreciate the pool,” Maigan says, laughing. “They stayed in until they were both pruney. And they were so excited to visit the toy store in the lobby.
“Grandma let each kid pick out a toy, so Hunter got a giant brachiosaurus and Hannah immediately spotted a colorful caterpillar.”
Once the greetings had been shared, what’s new had given way to remember when and photographer Meg Bowen of Megan Renae Studios sprang into action. Family photos are a must-have for each reunion, though it’s nearly impossible to convince this crew to keep straight faces.
“It’s so great to be able to see my cousins that I grew up with as adults and have relationships with them,” says Kristen, one of the 14 Leaver cousins. “Every time I’m with all the cousins, my sides are in stitches from the laughter — I feel like I did a thousand sit-ups and my face hurts from all the smiling.” The next 48 hours of the reunion weekend plowed ahead at full steam. Family time with the Leavers is packed with adventure, from swimming in Grand Traverse Bay to a highly competitive “jarts” tournament, a vintage lawn game that inevitably brings out the family’s cheerleaders and trash talkers. Jesse, the 22-year-old runner-up of the 2018 games, nearly lost to two of his great uncles during the tournament. But in the end, beginner’s luck triumphed.
“This was my first year playing, and they definitely have more experience than I do. I don’t want to lose my title, so I’ll have to practice before the next reunion,” he joked.
Breakfasts were shared at Sweetwater American Bistro, and several couples headed 16 floors up in the Resort’s Tower to enjoy dinner at Aerie Restaurant & Lounge. “The out-of-town families are always stunned by the view,” says Ralph, who lives in Traverse City and loves to bring visitors to Aerie. “The food is excellent and creative, and you can’t beat the sunset over the bay.”
Out and About
For the Leavers, another part of the beauty of the visit is the chance to explore the Traverse City area. That includes scenic morning drives along the Leelanau Peninsula or tours of the old state hospital inside the Village at Grand Traverse Commons.
“Visiting the state hospital was awesome,” says Josh, who as a lover of history and ghost stories found the old buildings and sprawling grounds fascinating. “It was so cool to learn about the area and the history.”
In fact, Traverse City has become so beloved to the family that a growing number of them now call it home all year round. “I’m so grateful we can gather our family here,” says Eric, who moved to Traverse City in the early 1990s. “Year after year, we continue to enjoy Traverse City with a family that appreciates the natural beauty in our area. It’s important to us to be able to share this special place with the younger generations.”
Multiple generations come together for the Leaver family reunion, made easy with the variety of family-friendly accommodations available at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa and the diverse array of activities and attractions on-site and around the Grand Traverse area.