Curio Collection Local Guide, Grand Rapids

We sent Ryan Postel, photographer extraordinaire, to Amway Grand Plaza, Curio Collection by Hilton to experience the beautiful hotel, shoot some photos, and create a Curio Local Guide for the city of Grand Rapids. It’s full of tips and local secrets, just for you.

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Name? Ryan Postel

Occupation? Director of Media Production at ContextMedia. I run a film production team that builds patient education video content for those suffering from chronic conditions.

Preoccupation? Volleyball, traveling, snowboarding and of course photography.

What is the best thing about Grand Rapids? The best thing about Grand Rapids is the vast number of diverse breweries that give “Beer City” its name.

Can you sum up Grand Rapids? Grand Rapids is by no means a big city but isn’t small either. It has the perfect balance of city amenities and small town escapability.

What is a perfect day in Grand Rapids? My perfect day in Grand Rapids would be in early fall. You can take advantage of a wide range of outdoor options in beautiful weather in a setting of vibrant autumn colors.

What are the people like in Grand Rapids? Like in most quintessential Midwestern towns, the people are extremely friendly, kind and personable. Grand Rapids’ small town feel derives from the residents.

What was your impression of the Amway Grand Plaza, Curio Collection by Hilton? From the moment we stepped inside, I was immensely impressed and left in awe of my stay at the Amway Grand Plaza. The hotel contains such rich history which you can see in all the minute details, decorations and architecture. The hotel is something of a paradox, with a side that is traditionally ornate and historic, and another that is modern and fresh. Our room was both spacious and well updated with all of the amenities any savvy traveler would appreciate.

What was your experience like staying at the Amway Grand Plaza, Curio Collection by Hilton? I had an especially relaxing and comfortable stay at the Amway Grand Plaza hotel, which was first class in every way. We enjoyed walking the bright hallways and exploring the hotel. The historic hotel lobby is one of a kind and its must-see facade contributes to its character. If you have a chance, check out the President Gerald Ford conference room and the touches of his presidency on display throughout the hotel’s lobby. Our absolute highlight was dinner at The Kitchen by Wolfgang, which is situated right on the riverwalk and gives a perfect view of the sunset over the Grand River.

If your best friend was visiting Grand Rapids what would you suggest he or she do? I would instruct my friend to wake up early and have brunch at Cignus 27, the restaurant on the top floor of Amway hotel with a captivating view of the Grand Rapids riverfront.

I would then recommend spending the early afternoon hitting a few of the local breweries, a staple of Grand Rapids. The patio at Founder’s Brewery is my top recommendation. Arrive early before the crowd does. On a clear day, in the late afternoon I would recommend taking a walk along the historic Riverwalk and enjoy the beautiful views of the Grand River. There are plenty of parks within walking distance from the hotel.

If up for a quick drive, I’d suggest heading to the Meijer Gardens (only 10 minutes away) to check out the Japanese gardens. This is an incredible and scenic hidden gem of Grand Rapids.

In the evening, grab a drink or snack at the Lumber Baron Bar at the hotel and you cannot go wrong with the amazing cuisine at The Kitchen for dinner. Just down the street are some great local bars (and karaoke) to finish off the night.

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City?

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Best place to eat?

Founders Breweries. The selection of homemade sandwiches is amazing.

Best place to drink?

“Beer City” has over 40 diverse breweries to choose from! Take your pick.

Best place to shop?

On weekends, the Downtown Market is open and offers a diverse set of local shops, food and classes.

Best activity?

Walk the riverwalk along the Grand River. It’s a must.

Local tip?

There is an incredible concert series at the Frederik Meijer Sculpture Park in the summer worth checking out! Book early as tickets sell out quickly.

Where to stay?

Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton