It's Better to Travel than Arrive?

"To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive"

Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginibus Puerisque, 1881.

"Robert Louis Stevenson speaks utter tosh and has

obviously never flown long haul economy class"

Kristy, first ever blog post, 2011.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Royal Park Hotel, Rochester, MI, USA

Yes, it's a coaster.  A cocktail was about to be placed on it.

Back in July we stayed at the Royal Park Hotel in downtown Rochester MI for a conference.  The Royal Park is only about five minutes away from where we used to live, so it was a fab location for me to catch up with our old friends from the area - yay!

Rochester is a pretty little town with a good main street, a bunch of restaurants and cafes, and my fave store, Arizona Saddlery of Rochester - where they are happy to let me drool over their huge cowboy boot selection for as long as I like.

I'd never stayed at the Royal Park before, though I'd eaten there several times when we were living in the area and the food has always been really good.  The service is also prompt and friendly.  The hotel is a bit of a legend around the area and the public areas are well populated by locals and visitors.  Here's a link to their dinner menu, the Hydro Bibb Salad is brilliant.

Our room was what I imagine their standard rooms are like, a king sized comfy bed, air con, closet, mini bar (empty but working), big bathroom, nice L'Occitane smellies, and complimentary bottles of water and apples at turn down.  The windows opened, but only a little way, and they didn't stay up.  Let me just say, if one of those windows dropped on your hand, you'd lose it - they are HEAVY.  We were there in the middle of summer and I wanted to keep the windows open, so I improvised by wedging the spare rolls of toilet paper under the window, classy!

L'Occitane in the bathroom - posh!

There's a good, small gym with a stack of towels and a water dispenser.  I was obsessing just a little bit about the Royal baby (aka Prince George) who was due to be born during our stay, so it was great to be on the walking machine with a telly right in front of my nose, watching CNN thrash itself to death all flipping day when it had no more information than anyone else.

I had breakfast in the hotel dining room one day and it was absolutely nothing to brag about.  I had coffee and eggs benedict.  The coffee was bog standard filtered stuff that I later found you could get in a little room off the lobby for free (yes kids, free Starbucks until 10am) that they charged me around $3 for.  The eggs benedict was utterly tasteless (how is that even possible?) and was over $10.  I think my total bill, with taxes and tip, was around $18.

Necessity, it's the mother of invention.

Talking about it later with my lovely local friends Rebecca and Beth, I was pointed firmly to Paul's Family Restaurant around the corner, where I had breakfast the next day and it was BRILLIANT!  Go there.  It was half the price of the hotel dining room and the food was great and in big portions, the coffee was hot and bottomless, and the staff were friendly.  It looks like nothing at all from the outside, but it's really friendly and good inside.

Hotel parking is free and there's lots of it.  Wifi is free, and so are the coffee, apples and newspapers (if you can class USA Today as a newspaper) in the library off the lobby of a morning.  It's within walking distance to the main street and the only bug bear I had was that there's no swimming pool.  I know that seems a bit trifling, but it's a very posh hotel and it's not cheap, you would expect a swimming pool.

Royal Park Hotel
600 E University Drive
Phone:- 248 652 2600


  1. USA Today is NOT a newspaper. It's fish wrapping, or possibly bird cage liner. That's all.

    1. I hear you, sister! It's great for soaking up puppy's wee.

  2. Dang....that was going to be my comment! Oh well, AGREED with Beth nonetheless!!!

    Great, helpful review. If ever in Michigan....


    1. You and Beth would get along like a house on fire. Both intelligent, strong women with a cracking sense of humour. Vodka! x


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