Train tracks used to run right along The Holly Hotel, making the three-story redbrick building a hub of social activity throughout the early 20th century. Civic and social groups held meetings and demonstrations, transients spent the night, and opera goers shined their monocles in the hotel’s opulent parlors after shows at Baird’s Opera House, situated just a mile south.
Today, this Queen Anne–style structure is no longer a hotel, but an acclaimed restaurant and venue. The hotel's architecture, along with its historical charm, persist, even after a fire in 1913 and again—65 years later to the date—in 1978. The elegant interior’s plaster walls, tin ceilings, and custom millwork date back to 1913 and before, while much of the wood, railing, tile, and glass are salvaged from the second blaze.
Although its architecture helped The Holly Hotel grab a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, its unique stories also supplied historic credibility. For instance, in 1908, Carry Nation and a flock of pro-Temperance supporters attacked drinkers at the hotel; Nation swatted bar goers on the head with her umbrella and even smashed whiskey bottles with an ax.
Modern-day visitors do not face such antagonism. Instead, they enjoy elegant meals composed of fresh, free-range ingredients at the restaurant, where chefs plate beef wellington, braised pork cheeks over hawaiian fingerlings, and lamb strip loin baked in green oregano. On Sundays, the kitchen team puts on an elegant brunch, featuring a spread of farm-raised goose, peel-and-eat shrimp, and made-to-order omelets. Fridays and Saturdays are a time for laughs; guffaws spill over from the comedy club as guests enjoy cracks by headliners from cities from Los Angeles to New York. Of course, sometimes the laugher may just be coming from one of the hotel’s lingering spirits.
110 Battle Alley
Holly, MI, US
248-634-5208No deal available