While visiting Kalamazoo for my son’s college orientation at Western Michigan University, we had the incredible opportunity to spend a night at The Henderson Castle. This delightful step back in time was more than we could have hoped for and was an enchanting reminder of our trip to Europe a few years ago when we resided in an Austrian castle. Immediately upon entering, our senses were ignited with the spark of history–the aroma of old wood, the creaking of the original flooring and the soft melody of piano transported us to a royal destination.
Located on the hill of West Main Street, the castle overlooks the city of Kalamazoo, Michigan. The natural 4 acre setting, along with the 11,000 square foot Queen Anne style, offers a majestic and royal ambiance.
Upon arrival we were greeted by Makenna, who educated us about the history of Henderson Castle. She told us that Mr. Frank Henderson was one of Kalamazoo’s most successful businessmen. He was the owner and president of the Henderson-Ames Company. Frank Henderson built this castle as his private home in 1895. Unfortunately, he died four years later. His wife, Mary, died seven years after that.
The Henderson Castle is now owned by Master Chef Francois Moyet, and operates as a Bed and Breakfast, wedding venue and many other events, with an elegant French restaurant, an underground wine cave, beautiful winery (with tastings) and a lovely hillside vineyard. There are six varieties of wine made with the grapes grown in the vineyard. The castle also has a spa for its guests, offering massages, facials, a sauna, steam room and rooftop jacuzzi hot tub with views of Kalamazoo.
Unfortunately the night we stayed, the restaurant was closed for dinner so we had to wait until the morning to experience Chef Moyet’s cuisine. It was definitely worth the wait! Besides the deliciously satisfying breakfast, our server ,Connor, was such a knowledgeable, warm and social young man. He truly made us feel like we were more than mere guests here.
The castle has ten uniquely themed bedrooms. We stayed in the lovely Victorian room and had the opportunity to see a few others: The Tibetan Room, The Italian Room and even a few more. The rooms are the perfect combination of historical authenticity, with the beautiful furniture and antiques, along with modern amenities–air conditioning, updated bathrooms, flat screen tv’s, a keurig and wifi.
We’re not going to lie when we say we were looking forward to some paranormal activity upon arrival. We had previously read that the Castle was the setting in three horror films. Several of the online reviews report paranormal activity. One couple wrote about waking up to find their bathtub full of hot water. The night before the wife actually said she was thinking of taking a bath, but decided against it. Apparently, someone thought a bath was a good idea! Furthermore, Mackenna shared with us that she has heard footsteps and voices in the basement, knowing very well that no one was down there. She said that guests have reported seeing the apparition of Frank’s wife, Mary, up of the hillside and in the dining room, wearing 19th Century clothing. The massive cemetary right across the street added to our optomism for a paranormal evening– So we were ready for our own ghostly adventures; unfortunately, we have nothing to report, but we will definitely be returning many times when we visit Adam at school. Hopefully, something mysterious will occur!
Although we weren’t able to view any ghosts, the sunrise from the front porch more than made up for it. It was stunning!
If you want a royal experience that will transport you back in time and make you feel like a queen or king, a stay at the exquisite Henderson Castle certainly won’t disappoint.
Have you been to Henderson Castle or ever stayed in a castle?