A November 2001 trip
to Detroit by tiltedhalo
Quote: I often fly to Detroit on business and previous to now thought it to be the most boring place on earth....BUT the Detroit area is an increddable shopping mecca!
Hotel | "Ypsilanti Marriott at Eagle Crest"
The hotel boats a beautiful 18 hole golf course and you can request a room with a view of it and Ford Lake for an additional $10 a night. Around the hotel, you can also find walking trails around the lake area. The hotel has beautiful ammentities but I experienced service problems from the moment I arrived. From a conversation with a travel provider in the Detroit area I''''ve heard that this is unfortunately not uncommon. I made my extreme dissatisfaction known to the manager and he assured me he would get to the bottom of the problems (mainly staff attitudes) and that they would be rectified on my next visit which would be somewhat longer. However, I chose to stay at another facility by Marriott not because of the service problems but because of location. I wanted to do a lot of shopping and this hotel is definitely not the most convenient to metro Detroit shopping areas. If you want to go to Birch Run, Ann Arbor areas and to Howell then the hotel is well located but other areas make for a long commute.
Upon arrival I felt like I was at a true resort. The hotel is beautifully decorated and spacious. Rooms in the hotel are very nice. I was upgraded to the concierge level and had the privilege of using the lounge which had a free continental breakfast and great snacks and desserts on business travel nights.
The room itself was a standard "room that works" for Marriott but nice extras including a down-filled comforter and a bigger than usual bathroom area.
Dining in the hotel proved to be difficult if you like to eat late. Bentley''''s restaurant and room service close at 10 pm during the week. At that point it is IMPOSSIBLE to get anything to nourish you. Due to a mixup in the room I went one night without eating at all. The food at the hotel is outstanding although pricier than what you will find outside the hotel.
The hotel also has two lounges: one in the lobby and another sports-type lounge. Bentley''''s and the lobby lounge have a view of the lake and present a very peaceful environment.
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on December 8, 2001
Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest
1275 S. Huron Street
Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197
I could easily make this hotel a long term home on extended business trips and in fact stayed for close to 2 weeks on my last visit.
The rooms are smallish but the ammenities are just fine being the standard "Marriot - room that works". The concierge lounge is excellent and well worth paying extra money for if you aren''t offered the upgrade. I spent most of my evenings there and got to know many of the guests. This hotel seems to attract repeat visitors so it seems that others had the same opinion. I had no trouble getting a reservation but I''m not sure if this is the norm.
The hotel has one restaurant that is a little different from standard hotel restaurants. Sweet Lorraines Cafe has an excellent selection of gourmet food and I definately indulged my appetite. My favorite items included the Atlantic Salmon and the Farmer''s Pasta. One thing I didn''t care for at this restaurant was the lack of rolls. The restaurant gives you a piece of focaccia with and a mini orange muffin with EVERY selection whether or not it suits the meal. This is apparently because the owner doesn''t believe in bread! I talked to the restaurant manager about this issue and hopefully there will be a change soon. I got to hate that focaccia after several meals! The meals there are like artwork - you almost hate to touch them with your fork!
Saturday and Sunday mornings feature an excellent buffet. On other mornings standard breakfast fare is available - be sure to try the lobster scramble!
The hotel has the added attraction of being attached to Laurel Park Mall so you''ll always have something to do if swimming in the pool or spending time in the lounge gets boring. It''s also right at the intersection of I96 and Mile 6 so access to other suburbs is good. I had no trouble getting maps to shopping and other attractions from the hotel.
All in all this is a hotel I plan to return to over and over.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 8, 2001
Detroit Marriott Livonia
17100 Laurel Park Drive North
Detroit, Michigan 48152
The first destination on my trips was Ann Arbor. The main shopping mall is Briarwood just off of the States street exit on I94. Here you'll find several major retailers including Marshall Fields, Jacobsons and Sears. In this large complex you'll also find many other clothing stops such as Learner, Express, Lane Bryant, Wilsons and a host of others. You can lose yourself in this mall every night on a long business trip and come home much poorer than you left. Also in Ann Arbor are a few strip malls which sometimes contain major stores. Off of Eisenhower and Saline road you'll find a Mervns, Lerner and even an Office Depot. At Saline road just north of I94 you'll find a large Meier's grocery which has a surprisingly good selection of clothing for the whole family at excellent prices! Also in this mall is a large Kohls.
Travel up I14 to Livonia and here you'll find 2 malls - Laurel Park which is attached to the Marriot and holds many upscale stores including the states largest Jacobsons and the state's ONLY Parisian. You'll also find many smaller upscale boutiques along with the mandatory places such as Express, Body and Bath etc. Up the road is Wonderland Mall. While in Detroit I ended up in a hospital on the way home and my neighbor worked in Wonderland. She expects the mall to close in the not too distant future due to lack of traffic.
If you travel up I96 to Novi you'll find the large Twelve Oaks shopping centre. I didn't get to spend nearly enough time here and I would highly recommend this mall. Major retailers include a large Marshall Fields, Lord and Taylor, and Sears. Some of the notable smaller retailers include one of the states two Sephoras, a very large Victoria Secret, a Jessica McClintock designer gowns store (which absorbed me for over an hour nearly causing me to miss the last flight of the day!), and a large Limited. Limited stores seem to be hard to find in this area. This was the ONLY Limited I was able to track down in my travels here. Since it's one of my favorites I was glad to find it a large one! Next to Limited is a large Yew York & Co store.
The next mall that I visited was The Somerset Collection in Troy; which features the most exclusive shopping in Michigan. The Collection includes Nordstrom, Marshall Fields, Henri Bendel, Ralph Lauren/Polo, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany & Co. and more than 150 others shops such as the states other Sephora and a store featuring everything in white!
That concluded my mall shopping in this area. Next stop for me will be downtown!
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 8, 2001
Shopping In Detroit Suburbs
Along all the major arteries
Across the other side of the highway is Michigan's fun town Frankenmuth. Frankenmuth is a great place to shop for antiques, have a german brew and not to be missed is Bronners Christmas Wonderland - the largest Christmas Store in the world! Open 361 days of the year, Bronner's features over 50,000 trims and gifts.
Bronner's Silent Night Memorial Chapel is open daily for viewing and meditation. Every evening from dusk to midnight, Bronner's ½-mile long Christmas Lane glistens with thousands of twinkling lights. Over two million people, including 2,000 group tours, visit Bronner's attraction annually
If that isn't enough shopping then travel south about 25 miles to Great Lakes Crossing in Auburn Hills (Exit 84). Great Lakes Crossing is Detroits premier shopping destination and since it's just 15 minutes outside of the city it's convenient at any time of the year. The mall blends theme entertainment and dining with more than 200 exciting, value-oriented and regular-priced stores. Great Lakes Crossing has six-themed and architecturally distinctive areas in a 1.4 million square foot structure. Some of the exciting places include Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World (five football fields worth of outdoor gear and shopping fun), GameWorks (hi-tech indoor playland developed by Steven Spielberg's guidance), Alcatraz Brewing Company (a prison-themed restaurant complete with a miniature Golden Gate Bridge), Rainforest Cafe, Neiman-Marcus Last Call Clearance Center and Harley Davidson merchandise outlet.
If you don't want to drive all the way to Birch Run for your outlet wares and want a change from Great Lakes then travel up I23 to Howell and visit the Kensington Valley Outlets. Again with over 80 outlets you'll be busy for the day. I had a difficult time entering this outlet when I went since I made the mistake of driving right through Howell on I23. A smarter move is to take the I96 exit towards Lansing and then you can't miss the complex. Once again, you will find all of your favorite outlets here. Don't miss the Hot Dog Construction Company for the best "dogs" in Michigan.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma