Hotel Review: The Harbor Grand in New Buffalo, Michigan

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The Harbor Grand hotel, New Buffalo MI
Photo Credit: Mary Hitchings / Retro SheBuysTravel
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Tucked away in the southwest corner of Michigan is a hidden gem of a city called New Buffalo. This adorable small town, with only three stop lights to account for, is the perfect place for couples to reconnect or for girlfriends to get away together. With a town that offers wine tasting, shopping, exquisite food, beautiful beaches and a local casino, the Harbor Grand hotel is a perfect fit. The Harbor Grand is an luxury focused destination with small town touches and charm. While families are welcomed to stay at this location, the atmosphere is more set towards adult guests with complementary breakfast in bed, a fireside terrace room and a beautiful, quiet view overlooking the harbor.

What Works for Families

  • Beautiful pool area complete with indoor pool, Jacuzzi and a deck with seating overlooking the marina.
  • Free bike rental to tour the area.
  • Complimentary Smore’s kits on the back deck each night.
  • Breakfast in bed. This is a great amenity for all ages!
  • Kid friendly, family movies included in DVD Library.

What Doesn’t Work for Families

  • Adult atmosphere: Quiet and relaxed.
  • Only adult sized bikes available for rental.
  • No walk-out balconies in rooms, so parent’s couldn’t escape sleeping children at night.

Room Cost

$$ – Includes room, free parking, breakfast in bed, free DVD library, complimentary bike rental, free smores around a fire, fitness room & pool, plus free WIFI.


he Harbor Grand is a mid-sized hotel centered perfectly in the small downtown area of New Buffalo and directly on the waters edge of Lake Michigan. Directly across the parking lot is an Amtrak pick up and drop off point so vacationers could easy take the train from Chicago or Durand. Just a few miles down the road is the Four Winds Casino which offers a free shuttle to pick up and drop off passengers at the hotel front door throughout the day until 3 am. Also, within driving distance are several wineries which offer wine tasting and shopping.

The Hotel

While the hotel is an older site, built in 1996, The Harbor Grand is an incredibly well cared for hotel. The lobby is clean and welcoming and offers fresh coffee and tea throughout the day. The staff is friendly, helpful and attentive. The amenity areas, such as the pool, fitness area and lounge decks are also pristine.

Room at the Harbor Grand Hotel
Photo Credit: Mary Moore / Retro SheBuysTravel

The Rooms

During my stay (April 2014) I found that rooms were in need of a tiny bit of updating. The last renovations were done to this location back in 2006 and since then a lot of technological advancements have been made in the hotel industry. While the rooms were nice and clean with crisp linens on the comfortable beds, the rooms still had large furniture and big box television sets. The bathrooms, however, still look brand new with Jacuzzi tubs and separate spa like showers.

Good News! I was able to speak with the owner and we were given word that full room updates are in progress and should be completed by the end of the summer.


  • Massage Therapy
  • Pool and Jacuzzi – clean towels available at pool location.
  • Sun Deck – beautiful view and nice relaxing lounge chairs available.
  • Fitness Room
  • Terrace Room – a lovely place to sit and relax by a fire with chef prepared hors d’oeuvres and drinks.
  • Breakfast in Bed – We absolutely adored this! Simply check off your selections and hang the tag on your door prior to 9pm the night before. You can choose to either have it brought directly to your room, have a call made to your room prior to delivery or have it available upon request when you wake up. The breakfast is then brought to your room in a basket, which is then placed back outside the door when finished. I ordered a muffin and coffee. The food was tasty and the coffee was fresh and hot. I liked it so much better than the in room coffee machines.
  • Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream – Ice cream containers are available at the check in desk for purchase. The hotel carries a large variety of flavors..
  • DVD Library – Guests of the Harbor Grand are offered unlimited DVD rentals and the list is quite relevant and offers a wide variety of movie genres!
  • Free Bike Rentals – The neighboring area around this hotel is worth seeing and biking it is a pretty good option. Guests of the hotel may request a bike key at the front desk and use the bike for an unlimited amount of time during their stay. We took the bikes down to the New Buffalo Beach where there was a small playground and light house. Just be careful, these are old school bikes where you must back petal to stop, no hand brakes.
  • WiFi – The WiFi is easy to access with a custom pass-code provided at check-in and works extremely well. I had no trouble using it to access the internet on my laptop or phone during my stay.
Appetizers and Wine in the Harbor Grand Terrace Room
Photo Credit: Mary Moore / Retro SheBuysTravel


On the lower level of the Harbor Grand is a Terrace Room which serves a rustic Italian menu in an intimate water-view room. My husband and I enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and wine fireside in this room and everything we tasted was well prepared. There are also other restaurants within walking distance of the hotel. My husband and I decided to take the free shuttle over to the casino for dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe and a little bit of gambling afterwards. With little traffic in the area and shuttle service to the casino, getting around was easy.

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