What a view! Hotel Earl opens rooftop bar

by Annie Doyle - The Petoskey News-Review Published 6:00 a.m. ET Aug. 12, 2022

CHARLEVOIX — There’s no better way to spend a warm summer day in Charlevoix than with a cold drink on a patio — and all the better if it’s on a rooftop with a great view. 

Charlevoix’s Hotel Earl officially opened their rooftop bar in mid-July and has hosted crowds enjoying cocktails, small food plates, live music and breathtaking views of Round Lake, Lake Charlevoix and the downtown area. 

"You don’t have to be a hotel guest, everyone is welcome,” said hotel owner Paul Silva.  

The hotel’s business has seen a boost with the new venue.

“We’ve definitely seen an uptick since before we had the rooftop,” said Silva. 

While developing the top of the hotel, Silva said the permitting process from the city was a positive experience.

“Since day one, the city has been phenomenal," he said. "They are very business-friendly when it comes to our project.” 

The crowds attracted by the hotel are also a boon to the community in general, according to Silva.  

“I feel like it also brings a lot more business to the town. We have 56 rooms and when we are full, that is 56 people going out to dinner, 56 people going to shops ...” he said. 

Silva purchased the hotel in 2018 and renamed it The Hotel Earl in tribute to Charlevoix’s own master builder, Earl Young. 

The original hotel, known as Earl Young’s Weathervane Lodge, was built in 1959 and included 40 rooms. Young constructed homes in the mid-century modern era of architecture and is known for his construction of Charlevoix Mushroom Homes, Boulder Park and Boulder Manor. 

Silva’s design team was passionate about preserving much of the original architecture and details that Young created throughout the original construction and any new elements to the hotel have been designed to emulate Young’s original concept, according to Silva.  

Major renovations to the hotel included the addition of a third story and adding 17 additional guest rooms for a total of 56 guest rooms and suites. 

Owning and operating the hotel was a labor of love for Silva and his family, who live in Grosspointe, Michigan in the winter months. Silva said he saw the potential for the community and knew it could be a win-win situation. 

When asked how he feels now about getting into the hotel business, he said the experience has been a good one overall with one big exception, "the 100-year pandemic," and described the frustrating delays experienced while undergoing construction during COVID-19.

The new rooftop area has a maximum capacity of 130 people and Silva is looking to expand in the future.

"We are getting a lot of positive feedback online and in person," said Silva of the new venue.

The rooftop will stay open through October.

"We plan on being open as long as the weather permits through the fall," Silva said.