AMWAY GRAND PLAZA

Curio Collection by Hilton

187 Monroe Avenue NW, Eaton Falls, MI

(616) 774-2000

Status: Historical Hotel

Website

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Hotel

Built in the early 20th century when Grand Rapids was a quickly growing city this hotel was first called the Pantlind Hotel when it opened in 1913.

The hotel really came into it’s own in the 1920’s with a massive 189 room addition in 1923 and being recognized as one of America’s top 10 hotels in 1925.

In 1979 the Amway Corporation bought the hotel and sunk $60 million ($254.2 million in 2023 dollars) into a renovation in an attempt to bring people back to the downtown core from the suburbs. In the 1970’s there was a huge relocation of the majority of all major city’s population from the core to the suburbs with it’s quieter living and malls.

The hotel re-opened in 1981 with President Gerald Ford and his wife Betty Ford presiding over the ceremony.

In 1983 a 29 story 318 foot tower was opened as part of the hotel which utterly dwarfed the original hotel. Called the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel Tower it held the distinction of being the tallest building in the city until the Plaza Towers was completed in 1991.

In 2014 the tower was completely renovated and modernized at a cost of $14 million ($18.1 million in 2023 dollars). All the restaurants have been modernized since 2010 as well and have been reviewed as good as dining in either New York City or San Francisco.

In 2016 Hilton bought the hotel and added it to it’s Curio Collection.

Between 2019 and 2021 the tower renovated adding – among other things – floor to ceiling windows.

There have been many famous guests over the decades including: the Queen of Jordan, Margaret Thatcher, Faye Dunaway, Jerry Seinfeld and Joe Montana.

 

Paranormal Activity

The hotel’s most famous ghost is probably also it’s first. Mary Monko, a young girl, who tragically killed in 1914 in an elevator accident resulting in her being decapitated. She is seen throughout the original hotel usually without her head which, understandably, is a very disturbing encounter.

Numerous other apparitions and shadow figures have been reported here by both guests and staff in both the original hotel and the tower.

Many guests have interacted with the ghosts haunted the hotel. There are many stories of toilets being flushed and tv’s and lightsgoing on and off at the request of the living.

Covers have been torn off guests in the middle of the night, but the ghosts are, reportedly, very good about leaving you alone when you request them to. In most rooms anyway.

There are stories of the furious knocks at room doors or sudden loud noises in the room next to guests in the middle of the night. Opening the door reveals no one in the hall and the neighboring rooms were verified as empty (in one case the room was still sealed after cleaning during Covid times).

The elevators seem to have a mind of their own often taking guests to the floors they did not request. In many cases the elevator has opened to show the hotel in another age. This happens both in the original building and in the tower which is curious as the tower didn’t exist previous to the 1980’s and was never decorated in the designs of the 1920’s.

Other Reported Activity: certain rooms – although we could not identify which ones specifically – are said to have overpowering negative energy; being awakened by a shadow figure in the middle of the night; light anomalies; feelings of being watched and not being alone; electrical disturbances of all kinds; sudden cold spots and unexplainable breezes in sealed rooms; furniture moving on its own and doors opening and closing on their own.