This post is written in partnership with Graduate Hotels. I was an invited guest of Graduate Ann Arbor. All opinions are my own.
This weekend my husband and I were invited to stay as guests at the Graduate in Ann Arbor, MI. Although we didn't go to the University of Michigan, we still root for the maize and blue, so getting an invitation to check out the hotel and spend some time in the heart of Ann Arbor was something that we couldn't pass up. My husband had visited Ann Arbor with his friends a lot while he was in college, so he was more familiar with the city when we visited than I was, which proved to be helpful as we walked around and explored. He pointed out all the hot spots that he and his friends used to visit and we discovered some new places along the way as we spent the afternoon downtown. Read on to learn more about Ann Arbor and why you need to stay at Graduate when you visit!
About Ann Arbor:
If you drive 45 minutes west of Detroit, you’ll find yourself in Ann Arbor, home to the University of Michigan, Domino’s Pizza and Zingerman's. This college town has been ranked as the #1 place to live by several publications and it has a bustling downtown area lined with shops and restaurants. Ann Arbor hosts a number of different events and festivals each year and welcomes hundreds of thousands of people on Saturdays each fall when the U of M Wolverines play home football games in the Big House.
About the Hotel:
Graduate Ann Arbor, located at 615 E. Huron St., opened its doors in 2016. The hotel was completely renovated after moving into the space of the former Dahlmann Campus Inn on the outskirts of the University of Michigan.
The hotel has an old school collegiate vibe and is decorated with green chalkboards, walls lined with rulers, a hand-painted mural just behind the front desk and a ceiling covered in book-patterned wallpaper. The lobby has several plush emerald-colored velvet couches and leather chairs as well as a long wooden library-style table that’s a perfect spot for guests to connect and catch up – whether it’s with each other or with their laptops and mobile devices.
The hotel offers various types of rooms including Graduate King (1 King bed, 1 bath), Graduate Deluxe (2 Queen beds, 1 bath), Graduate Queen Suite (3 Queen beds, 1 bath) and the Presidential Suite (2 beds, 1.5 baths).
Inside the hotel you can find the Allen Rumsey Cocktail Lounge, serving up delicious appetizers and entrees as well as beer, wine, curated cocktails and other spirits. For a morning pick-me-up or caffeine boost, you can swing by Graduate Coffee – the lobby coffee shop that has quick bites like Zingerman’s bagels, freshly brewed coffee and fruit.
In addition to the gorgeous rooms and common spaces throughout the hotel, there are also four boardrooms and three ballrooms which offer plenty of meeting and event space.
Founded in 2014, Graduate brand hotels are operated by AJ Capital Partners and are located in various college towns across the country. Every property is different and embodies the spirit and history of the university that it neighbors.
Graduate hotel locations:
- Ann Arbor, MI
- Athens, GA
- Berkeley, CA
- Charlottesville, VA
- Iowa City, IA
- Lincoln, NE
- Madison, WI
- Minneapolis, MN
- Oxford, MS
- Richmond, VA
- Seattle, WA
- Tempe, AZ
- Bloomington, IN (Coming Fall 2018)
- Nashville, TN (Coming Fall 2019)
- New Haven, CT (Coming Spring 2019)
- Providence, RI (Coming Spring 2019)
- Roosevelt Island, NY (Coming Fall 2019)
Perks and amenities:
- Located just steps away from State Street and the University of Michigan campus. Shopping, restaurants and entertainment such as the State Theater, the Michigan Theater, M Den, Urban Outfitters, HopCat, Dawn Treader Book Shop and more are within walking distance.
- Valet parking ($25 fee)
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- (MALIN + GOETZ) shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion
- Iron and ironing board
- Allen Rumsey Cocktail Lounge and Graduate Coffee
When we arrived at the Graduate Ann Arbor, we approached the front desk and were instantly greeted by the staff. Sticking with the school theme of the hotel, employees wear plaid button up shirts and look as scholarly as ever as they work to get you checked in. After our reservation was pulled up, we were handed two keys and given a brief overview of the hotel. As we walked a few steps to the right of the front desk, we pressed the button for the elevator and made our way to the fourth floor to find our room.
Upon walking into our room, we instantly noticed all the collegiate décor. From the throw pillow on the king size bed to the artwork hanging in the bathroom, there were subtle U of M touches throughout the room. The bed was made with white linens and included a plaid blanket and plenty of pillows.
Each nightstand had a lamp with an outlet plug which was the perfect place to plug in a cell phone charger. The room also had a phone and an alarm clock radio that completely fit the overall style of the room.
A flat screen TV was on the opposite wall of the bed and sat on top of a dresser that looked like it was straight from the University of Michigan library. Next to the TV was a gorgeous blue chair and a small bronze table. This spot was so cozy and right next to the wall-to-wall windows. It would be a perfect spot to sit in while reading a good book or taking a phone call.
Aside from the bed and the TV, our room also had a desk with a gorgeous metal rolling chair and a closet. Hanging from the door was a “do not disturb” sign that was on-brand with the hotel – it said “studying” and was in the shape of a college pennant. Pretty clever, right?
Overall, our room was very quaint and comfortable. The sheets on the bed were soft and the mattress was firm. We stayed in room 408 and the only downside about it was that it was right near the elevators. It was convenient to walk off the elevator and be steps away from our room, but the hotel hosted a wedding reception during our stay and we woke up a few times in the middle of the night when people were exiting the elevator and making their way to their rooms. This was only a minor disturbance and didn’t detract from our stay.
In general, both my husband and I slept great and we loved the blackout curtains which closed all the way and kept the room cool and dark (in fact, the room was so dark that if we didn’t set an alarm in the morning, we probably would have slept in way later).
The bathroom in our room was small, but it included all the amenities we needed during our stay such as bath products from (MALIN + GOETZ), plenty of towels and a hair dryer. The free-standing sink had gorgeous hardware and bright white countertops while the shower had sliding glass doors and was lined with teal-colored subway tiles.
I took a shower in the morning just before checking out of the hotel and I couldn’t believe how great the water pressure was and how quickly the water warmed up. I loved that full-size containers of (MALIN + GOETZ) shampoo, conditioner and body wash were mounted right inside the shower.
As I was getting ready for the day after my shower, I took full advantage of the magnifying mirror right near the sink and did my makeup. There was plenty of counter space for all my toiletries and outlet plugs were right near the sink so I was able to plug in my hair straightener and complete my look for the day.
Once we were ready to check out of the hotel, we grabbed our belongings and made our way to the lobby. We approached the front desk, requested our car from valet, handed in our room keys and were on our way within minutes. We were sad to say goodbye to Graduate Ann Arbor, but as we drove away, we both said that we'd love to visit again in the future for another weekend getaway.
Planning Your Stay at Graduate Ann Arbor:
To book your stay at Graduate Ann Arbor, click here to visit their website.
A Few Ideas on Things to Do and See in Ann Arbor:
- Grab lunch at Zingerman's Deli, one of Ann Arbor's most famous places
- Walk around the campus of the University of Michigan - visit the law quad for gorgeous photo ops
- Visit the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum
- Take in the sights and sounds of nature at Matthaei Botanical Gardens
- Stroll through Nickels Arcade and do some window shopping
- Get a sweet (and unique) treat from Blank Slate Creamery
No matter what you decide to do when you visit Ann Arbor, the best place to stay is the Graduate. You'll be taken back to your college days as soon as you step foot in this charming hotel which will quickly turn into a home away from home. The rooms are comfortable and cozy, the decor is fun and whimsical, and the location and service simply can't be beat. I can't recommend Graduate Ann Arbor enough and I can't wait to visit again!
Have you visited a Graduate hotel? Have you ever been to Ann Arbor? What features do you look for when booking a hotel? I'd love to hear your thoughts, so leave me a comment below!