Monday, January 10, 2011

The Real Deal

One may pass an afternoon painting an image of what life was like in eras before, imagining gorgeous clothing and carriage rides, grand galas with calling cards and rules of etiquette in play. It's romantic, yet is a rare opportunity to step outside of our imaginations and emerge ourselves in history outside of a museum visit.

At this, I would like to introduce to you the Cartier Mansion in the beachside community of Ludington. This beautiful bed & breakfast not only calls the 1905 estate of lumber baron Warren Cartier its home, but it's 98% original. Let that digest for a moment. Ninety-eight percent of its wall coverings, flooring, rugs, fixtures are ORIGINAL: not recreated, not faked, but the real deal. When Kelly and I were warmly greeted by owner Sue Ann Schnitker, I was comfortably seated on the same couch that was there over a century ago.

This incredible fact became even more unbelievable when we began our tour. Each room in the mansion was exquisitely finished with a different species of wood (as any posh lumber would do), from white oak to black walnut, sycamore to mahogany. Even the different sides of the pocket doors are paneled appropriately. The light plates glittered while the thermostats boast of the cutting-edge technology the Cartiers used (each room could be set to its own temperature using a unseen-before heating and cooling system). Kate Cartier, lady of the house, even had a secret button on the dining room floor that she could use to summon staff seemingly by magic!

As a self-proclaimed history nerd, I nearly passed out from pure bliss as I entered the library. The wall paintings are the epitome of Art Nouveau design. I have this delicious fantasy that Alphonse Mucha, father of the art movement, vacationed in Ludington and created the walls as a favor for the worldly Cartiers. I could have stayed there for hours.

And the shower! Goodness, the cage shower in la Grande Suite is famous in its own right. This intricate skeleton of glistening pipes sprays you every which way, putting today's fanciest waterfall showers to the test. The Cartiers certainly had an eye for detail.

Luckily for today's guests, so do the Schnitkers. Experiencing the history of the mansion is breathtaking, especially with luxurious modern conveniences. Whether you're staying in one of the five distinct guest rooms, hosting a meeting, or planning the wedding of your dreams, the Cartier Mansion will surround you in comfort and elegance.

This Week's Giveaway

Everyone needs to experience the luxury and history of the Cartier Mansion, which is why we're giving away a two night stay in a room of your choice. Want to win? Just tell us why you should. It's that simple.

The winner will be drawn on Friday, January 14th.


Noelle said...

Our anniversary is coming up and this would be a great place! said...

I have stage IV cancer, and my wife of 43 years has done a wonderful job of helping me through this. I would love to make a day at the mansion a day for her.

Camilla said...

I think my husband and I just need a getaway! We have raised 4 beautiful wonderful children, cared for 2 parents who have passed on and currently have another parent living with us. We've cared for our grandchild for several years and we have put our lives on hold long enough. We just need a simple short break from it all.

Anonymous said...

Having lost my job, I cannot afford to take my wife out on a getaway for our anniversary with the meager unemployment compensation. She deserves more than dinner at B__ E____s.

Mindy S said...

My husband and I could use some time alone and our 9th anniversary is also coming up. I'd also love to try that waterfall shower. :)

daisysmom2002 at yahoo dot com

sally said...

Our 7th anniversary is February 14th. Life has been hard but God is good. My husband is so good and works so hard to support us. He gives me something everyday of my life. I want to give him something back.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I have taken a couple of day-trips to Ludington but haven't been able to stay overnight. He also, is a "history-geek" and I know he would love staying over-night @ this lovely B&B.

John said...

I am a Grad student working on two separate masters, and my husband works full time and is fast approaching the greenhouse busy season. With our anniversary coming up it would be a great opportunity to get away and relax from our hectic lives.

Brian Palazzolo said...

Me , my wife and 2 children live out side of Chicago in Aurora IL, we are BIG fans of West Michigan and spend all of our idle time (which these days isn't much) there. We not only find it beautiful in the summer and fall seasons but we have come to appreciate the winter activities as well. We would be honored to visit your property as it looks amazing! And would love to refer our friends and family members to visit you for a stay this summer!

StacyN said...

As an avid outdoor photographer, I've always been interested in attending the photo workshops offered by Todd & Brad Reed at the Cartier Mansion. Not having quite enough financial resources to do so - winning a weekend there would give me the opportunity to have my lodging covered - while learning from two of the best photographers in West Michigan.