Location + lodging

A note on seeing these pages on smartphones and tablets. We want to make sure you can refer to these pages when you’re en route and traveling around Grand Rapids in May, so we tested the site on the iPhone and iPad. FiveTwenty2012 seems to be easier to navigate when we turned *off* the WordPress mobile and iPad themes, so that’s what we did. If you’re on a different device and this is not true for you, drop me a line at rtantraphol [at] mwadvocacy.com or leave a comment below and we’ll see what we can do to accommodate other operating system.

Rose

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

Ceremony and reception venue

Both the wedding ceremony and reception will be held in downtown Grand Rapids at San Chez Bistro. We picked San Chez, which specializes in Spanish-style tapas, because it’s one of our favorite restaurants. We’ve had great times there — sometimes taking the hour-drive from Lansing just to indulge in some scrumptious small plates, and sometimes heading there after one of our salsa dancing lessons. Because we love this place so much, we figured it would be the perfect place to invite you to on our wedding day. The ceremony will be held on the third-floor banquet space, which has vaulted ceilings, exposed brick and big windows looking out into downtown.

>>Vitals<<

San Chez Bistro
38 West Fulton
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
616.774.TAPA (8272)
Website

_____________________________________________________________________

Air transportation

Scott and I live in Lansing, which is smack in the middle of the state’s Lower Peninsula (since I am marrying a Yooper, I figured I should note that there is actually another peninsula in this state). Grand Rapids, where the wedding will be held, is roughly a 60-minute drive west of Lansing. There is an airport in Grand Rapids — it’s a small and very easy-to-navigate airport.

Detroit is about a 90-minute drive east of Lansing, so if you are flying in through Detroit, then you will have to drive a total of about 2.5 hours to Grand Rapids. We don’t recommend flying into Chicago and driving to Grand Rapids — too far and too much trouble for you.

_____________________________________________________________________

Ground transportation

Rentals

If you are flying in and wonder whether you need a car, the answer is not necessarily. You can take a taxi from the airport, and you won’t need a car to get around downtown Grand Rapids.

According to the Gerald R. Ford International Airport website, Metro Cab (616.827.6500) offers taxicab and luxury sedan service at the curbside. Taxi fare for the 15-mile drive from the airport to downtown Grand Rapids will run you about $32, while luxury sedan service to downtown Grand Rapids is about $37.

Once you’re downtown, you can walk between the hotels listed below (using a cool skywalk if you choose) and the ceremony site, and you can walk to places such as the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the Grand Rapids Public Museum (which has a carousel!) and the Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts.

If, however, you’re coming in to town early and want the option of driving around for a little sight-seeing, especially to a place like Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, you should consider renting a car.

>>Vitals<<

Gerald R. Ford International Airport
500 44th St. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49512
Website
Driving directions
Ground transportation numbers and rates

Driving into town

If you are driving into town, you won’t have any trouble finding parking.

_____________________________________________________________________

Lodging options

There are several great hotel options in downtown Grand Rapids, and three particularly good ones that are close to the ceremony site. What’s fun about the three hotels below is that they are all connected by a skywalk.

_____________________________________________________________________

Courtyard by Marriott Downtown

Of the three hotels that I’m about to list, the one with the best price and convenience balance is the Courtyard by Marriott Downtown. The hotel is about two blocks from the ceremony and reception venue. We’ve reserved a block of rooms here. The wedding block rate per room is $124 for a standard room plus taxes. The self-parking charge is $11 per vehicle, per day, or $21 per vehicle, per day for valet parking. (The hotel has noted that the parking charges are subject to change without notice). If you are interested in reserving one of these rooms, please call the hotel directly at 616.242.6000 or call the Marriott Central Reservations toll-free line at 800.321.2211 and reference the “Tantraphol (pronounced Tan-tra-POLE)-Swanson Wedding Block” to make reservations. As long as there are rooms still available, you can lock in this rate if you reserve by April 27, 2012. Drop one of us a line if you call and they say the wedding block has filled, and I will call the hotel and add rooms.)

>>Vitals<<

Courtyard by Marriott Downtown
11 Monroe Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
616.242.6618
Website

_____________________________________________________________________

JW Marriott

If the slightly higher price isn’t an issue (room rates for the wedding weekend start at $209), this is a great choice. The hotel has a younger, modern vibe. Scott and I started  salsa dancing lessons in January 2011 after attending a New Year’s Eve Global Pachanga party held here at the JW Marriott. Ask if a higher level room with a river view is available.

>>Vitals<<

JW Marriott
235 Louis Campau NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
616.242.1500
Website
_____________________________________________________________________

Amway Grand Plaza

If you want to treat yourself, book a hotel room here. The Amway Grand Plaza’s Pantalind Lobby features one of the world’s largest gold-leaf ceilings. I think of it as the Waldorf Astoria of Grand Rapids, but not in a stuffy way. The service is impeccable. You will feel taken care of — especially if you book a room on the Concierge Level, which Scott’s parents did for us (thanks again!) when he turned 30 in January. I didn’t book a block of rooms here, but a quick search as I’m putting together this page seems to bring up rooms that start at $159 a night the weekend of the wedding.

>>Vitals<<

Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
187 Monroe NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
616.774.2000
Website

_____________________________________________________________________

There are other cool options, such as a LEED hotel called CityFlats nearby as well, but I haven’t stayed at any other places downtown so I can’t recommend them to you based on experience. If you decide to stay elsewhere, let me know how you liked the place, so that I can consider it in the future.

_____________________________________________________________________

Map of Grand Rapids City Center

See the blue circles (starting in the lower right corner and going counter-clockwise) for:

  • San Chez Bistro
  • Courtyard by Marriott
  • JW Marriot
  • Amway Grand Plaza Hotel

(Graphics credits: San Chez storefront via http://www.sanchezbistro.com; transportation thumbnails are screenshots from the linked pages; hotel thumbnails are from here; the map is based on a map from here.)
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s