06 April 2018

History of the Pantlind Hotel, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Source: This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published in the United States between 1923 and 1977 without a copyright notice. Found at wikipedia commons images.

One of the hotels for the upcoming National Genealogical Society "Paths to Your Past" family history conference is the Amway Grand Plaza hotel.  It has a rich Grand Rapids history.  You may hear people referring to it as the Pantlind hotel, which it was known as for years.

The Amway Grand Plaza (Pantlind) hotel is the best of both worlds. Modern conveniences are combined with old world charm.  The hotel is comprised of two sections: the original hotel section known first as Sweet's Hotel (1900), then the Pantlind (1913) and now Amway Grand Plaza.  The original section of the Pantlind and the newer Glass towers, which were added in 1983, make up the Amway Grand Plaza.

You enter the lobby and immediately see the architectural charm. The Pantlind was created by the same designers as the New York City Grand Central Station and Biltmore Hotel.  It was named "one of the ten finest hotels in America" in 1925.

The Amway Corporation purchased it in 1981.  Amway restored the Pantlind to its original opulence and added the luxurious Glass Tower.  If you are lucky to get a room with a view, you will overlook the Grand River.

Many architectural details should not be missed.  Three Czechoslovakian chandeliers grace the lobby, made of Austrian crystals and weighing 4000 pounds each.  The domed gold leaf ceiling is a sight to see.  Arched windows, brass molding, wired electric gaslight torches complete the ambiance of the place.

If you want to know more about the historical details of the hotel, check the tour brochure available at the hotel's website. The Amway Grand Plaza is part of the Historic Hotels of America, a program of National Trust for Architecture History Preservation.


  1. Wonderful piece on GR and the Pantlin.p

  2. Thanks for the history. I just came across an old postcard of this Hotel and and intrigued by its history. The photo on the postcard is similar to the photo here but what amused me most was this sentence on the back of the postcard: "A floor of seven foot beds for tall people". Curious that I have not read this in any of the history.

  3. Thank you for this history. I have an old postcard which has this very photo on its front side. What amuses me is a sentence on the back of the postcard: "A floor of seven foot beds for tall people" ! I have not read that in any of the history thus far. I wonder if those beds are still there? Being from a tall family (and tall myself), I wish this trend would have continued :^)

  4. Sarah, that is interesting. I wonder if they do still have them.

  5. We used to eat at the lower level restaurant on Sundays and Droopy the clown would hand out balloons. Anyone have pics of that space or Droopy?

  6. My first job was in the pantlind hotel cafeteria i met all kinds of new people. I love coffee ice cream and their hard rolls i was a “bus girl” mrs kilecheski was the super visor. She was a frend of my mom! Many years i wa a nurse at a nursing home and she was my patient. Wow just brought up a lot of memories