NEW March 16: Sweetwater American Bistro is closed until further notice
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
HydraFacial delivers results on first treatmentBy Cymbre Foster
When Spa Grand Traverse cosmetologist Sandra Umstead received her first HydraFacial, the results were so amazing that she knew it was something she wanted her clients to experience as well.
HydraFacial is a patented technology that marries a deeply cleansing facial treatment with relaxation.
“After just one visit, this medical-grade procedure leaves the skin with improved clarity, texture, and tone,” Umstead says.
I admit I needed convincing that it could be that good when I arrived at the spa for my first HydraFacial. Truth be told, I’d rather spend my money on a new pair of shoes than skin care, and I didn’t think she would be able to do that much with my neglected, sun-damaged, slightly saggy, middle-aged skin.
Was I ever wrong.
A HydraFacial is a three-part treatment that begins with cleansing that removes dead skin cells and excess oil from the skin. Next, salicylic and glycolic acids are applied to break up any dirt and oil that's clogging pores. Then the HydraPeel Tip is used to painlessly suction out blackheads, dirt, oil, and impurities, while hydrating, plumping, and nourishing serums are simultaneously applied to the skin.
“No more manual extractions that may leave the skin blotchy and inflamed,” Umstead says. “The powerful serums break it all down, allowing the vacuum to pull it all up.”
The best part is that after just one HydraFacial, you will see immediate results. I certainly did.
“This treatment satisfies our need for instant gratification, so clients can’t wait for the next treatment,” Umstead says.
Corrine Olson is one of those clients.
“My favorite facial at the spa is the HydraFacial,” she says. “It’s the first time I can say that I noticed results.”
Each treatment starts with before and after photos.
“We have the ability to compare them side by side after your treatment,” Umstead explains. “This allows us to better track your progress every time you come in.”
For many clients, seeing those results is motivation not just to come back, but also to continue better skin-care regimens at home.
Umstead pulled up my pictures, and, to my surprise, I had fewer lines on my face and my skin was truly hydrated — literally glowing, in fact.
Part of a Skin-Care Routine
Since Umstead has consistently treated herself to HydraFacials, she no longer needs to wear makeup. Her skin did look flawless.
For long-term benefits and correction purposes, Umstead recommends treatments every six weeks. For maintenance, she suggests having one each season.
“This treatment is fairly active, and I like to think of it as waking up the skin,” she says.
“It’s invigorating and satisfying in many ways, which keeps clients coming back for more.”
When a friend commented on how nice my skin looked the day after my HydraFacial, I had to agree.
“You will leave with your skin glowing, looking healthy, hydrated, and with overall better skin tone,” Olson says. “I plan on keeping this as part of my skin-care routine.”
Still the Best: The Bear at 35
Iconic course remains top on golfers’ must-play listsBy Tom Lang
The Bear at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa comes out of hibernation each spring to test the best and entertain golfers of all skill levels.
2020 marks The Bear’s 35th awakening since Jack Nicklaus created his spectacular signature design in 1985.
Nationally ranked in the top 100 courses and consistently rated as one of Michigan’s toughest, The Bear has for decades drawn golfers who are looking for a chance to tame the challenge to northern Lower Michigan.
“The Bear has the reputation of being difficult, but it also has the reputation of being fair,” says Tom McGee, Grand Traverse Resort and Spa director of golf operations. “Golfers tell us they like the challenge. And they tell us each of the holes is so unique and memorable that no two holes are the same.
“It’s one of those golf courses where you have to think a lot, you need to look at the surroundings, and I think people appreciate that more and they concentrate more when playing it, as opposed to most other golf courses.”
An Unusual Course
That’s exactly what Nicklaus intended when he was commissioned to create his biggest golf-skills challenge of that era. The Bear plays to 7,078 yards from the championship tees. It has four lakes, 10 holes with water hazards and only one hole with no bunkers.
“That was kind of an unusual golf course (at the time),” Nicklaus said in a recent visit to Michigan. “The owner at that time wanted the longest course in Michigan, over 7,000 yards, par 72 and the highest course rating (for toughness). I did all three of those … and, of course, the golf course was really difficult.”
The Bear is a links-style course with mature trees surrounding the outer edges of the property. The course features undulating, multi-tiered greens, moguls, mounds, and deep pot bunkers that guard the greens and thick grassy rough. The rough has been cut back away from the fairways over the years to somewhat soften Nicklaus’ original design. Tee boxes have been added to provide more variety and shorter yardages.
Lakes, ponds, hardwood forests, streams, and orchards are home to a variety of wildlife and add more golf hazards to navigate. The course is a certified member of the Turfgrass Environmental Stewardship Program.
The fairways give The Bear its unique look. Elevated from the rough on many holes, the fairways appear to be floating above the surrounding property. The design also punishes shots that roll off the fairway and get hung up in the second cut of grass, creating a more severe side-hill position. Nicklaus later incorporated that design element into his signature course near Palm Springs, California.
“Growing up in southern Michigan, this is one of the top five courses you always hear about that need to be on your list to play,” said golfer John Barkalow of Schoolcraft, Michigan, after playing The Bear for the first time in late 2019. “It was challenging yet playable. I’m certainly not a fantastic golfer, but I was able to shoot my average score.”
His playing partner that day, Brian Kowalski of Bowling Green, Ohio, added, “My first impressions were intimidating, but I wanted to try it because it’s listed as one of the top golf courses in Michigan. I definitely want to come back here and also try The Wolverine and Spruce Run. Always great golf in Northern Michigan.”
While The Bear sees most of its play by the average golfer, throughout the years it has hosted the state’s premier state championship — the Michigan Open — more times than any other golf course. (See related story on page xx.) And not long after The Bear opened, it hosted the PGA Champions Tour Ameritech Senior Open in 1990, won by global fan favorite Chi Chi Rodriguez.
“The Bear was the hardest course, as Jack built it, when it opened in 1985, and it’s withstood the test of time,” McGee says. “It’s still very attractive, people still love to play it, and those who come to the Resort, if they’re going to play one golf course, they choose The Bear.”
Simply the Best
Resort garners top convention center awardBy Emily Doran
Being named “Best Convention Center” by Michigan Meetings + Events in 2019 is the culmination of a lot of hard work and dedication from the staff at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa.
Boasting 86,500 square feet of meeting space, the Resort has established itself as a major hub for state, corporate, and private events. While the Resort has earned other accolades from Michigan Meeting + Events, including “Best Golf Venue” in 2019 and previous years, this is the first time the resort has snagged the “Best Convention Center” title (in the Non-University category). The award was determined in part through a readers’ poll, meaning clients and colleagues weighed in to push the results the Resort’s way.
“The award is, quite frankly, a reflection of our service, our food and beverage — the total meeting package,” says Ryan Buck, director of sales.
The honor also helps the Resort, which is booked by hundreds of groups a year, compete against larger venues like Detroit’s TCF Center (formerly the Cobo Center) and Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Buck says.
“It puts us on a different level in a way, in a playing field commensurate with those other amazing venues that we have across the board, and it really shows the true capacities that we have,” he says. “These types of things help us establish legitimacy and credibility as an independent property.”
Certain features at the Resort help it stand out. For one thing, the convention space is wide open — no pillars.
“You don’t normally see that, especially with ballrooms like ours — 19,000 square feet,” says Buck, referencing the recently renovated Governors’ Hall. “Not having any pillars is a really distinct advantage.”
Other amenities, including a spacious loading dock, make the space particularly appealing to vendors.
“Another thing that we hear as feedback, and I see all the time, is it’s just easy to do business here,” Buck says.
Those and other features keep many clients, including the Michigan Credit Union League, coming back year after year. The League has been hosting events at the resort for more than two decades, booking all or most of the meeting areas and rooms to fit between 500 and 1,200 people, depending on the event.
For Janet Ormsby, senior director of events at the League, the Resort’s perks go beyond renovated spaces and beautiful grounds to include the staff.
“They’re just great people to work with,” she says.