The Townsend Hotel has been stacking up kudos in 2021. Maintaining AAA Four-Diamond status throughout its 34-year history and earning a Forbes Four Star rating for the last eight consecutive years, the 150-room luxury property in the walkable neighborhood of Birmingham and just 20 miles from downtown Detroit, was awarded the Travelers’ Choice Award by Tripadvisor in May, recognition that its positive review and ratings over the past 12 months placed it in top 10 percent worldwide of all hotels.

“This was a particularly challenging year with the Covid pandemic and we were fortunate to remain open,” says Steven Kalczynski, the hotel’s managing director. “Despite all the uncertainty, our associates stood out once again by meeting and exceeding the expectations of our guests. This award acknowledges the great passion our entire staff demonstrates each day and every day.”

A month later, in June, the hotel’s Rugby Grille received a Best of Award of Excellence - Two-Glass Rating from Wine Spectator Magazine. The publication’s awards recognize restaurants whose wine lists offer interesting selections, are appropriate to their cuisine and appeal to a wide range of wine lovers. To qualify for this award, a restaurant wine list must present complete, accurate information, including vintages and appellations for all selections.

The Rugby Grille has achieved this award every year since 2016; it currently has 425 selections and over 3,000 bottles of wine in its inventory. “I am very proud of the work and commitment our amazing Rugby Grille sommelier team has put into maintaining a world-class wine list,” Kalczynski says. “They are always enhancing our selections and each time they continue to amaze our clientele and our visiting guests! The staff continually strive to be a destination for a memorable culinary and wine experience.”

In another significant honor, the Townsend Hotel received a 2021 “Best of Housekeeping” award from the American Automobile Association (AAA). The award is presented to the top 25 percent of all 25,000 AAA Inspected and Approved hotels in the United States and Canada, based on cleanliness and condition ratings by an AAA Inspector. What’s more, in March 2021, the Townsend become one of the first hotels in the world to become Sharecare Health Security VERIFIED® with Forbes Travel Guide. The comprehensive verification covers more than 360 standards across health and hygiene protocols, cleaning products and procedures, ventilation, physical distancing, the guest experience, and health safety communication with guests and employees. Hotels are required to verify their health protocols on an ongoing basis to ensure continued compliance with the most up-to-date global health standards. You can learn more about the hotel’s Covid-19 safety protocols here.

With over 10,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, the Townsend Hotel is able to accommodate programs of 5 to 500 guests. Learn more here.

The Winery at Black Star Farms is widely admired for the award-winning wines produced from its 160-acre vineyards on both the Old Mission and Leelanau Peninsulas. Now, the Black Star Farms is gaining kudos for its fruit-based brandies, too. At the 15th Annual Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition, held in Grand Rapids on July 28-30, Black Farm’s Spirit of Pear earned first place in the “spirits” division of the competition while its Spirit of Apple took third place.


Instagram alert! It doesn’t get more picturesque than the Mission Point Resort, located on Mackinac Island. And after a $2 million renovation to the charming Promenade Deck Pavilion, the 241-room lakeside retreat is a more scenic spot for gatherings than ever before.


The time is right; the stage is set. Groups are ready to meet face to face again, and the four-star luxury hotel MGM Grand Detroit is ready to welcome you back.

According to MPI’s report “Spring 2021 Meetings Outlook,” three-quarters of meeting professionals predict a face-to-face event this calendar year. And that definitely rings true for Lisa Williams, executive director of sales for the hotel.