The Callewaert family is excited to welcome Peter Badour as General Manager of Island House Hotel on Mackinac Island. Badour joins the Island House Hotel after a decade of serving as the Resident Manager at Grand Hotel, followed by a summer sabbatical in residence at Pine Cottage Bed and Breakfast on Mackinac Island, where he and his wife, Caroline, shared responsibilities as cottage innkeepers and their 4-year-old daughter, Josephine, quickly became a guest favorite, turning guests into superheroes by inviting participation in her imaginative and entertaining stories.
“We cannot be more excited to have Pete join the Island House Hotel family as we continue to improve our facilities and services to guarantee we are providing the best experience for our guests. Peter has a positive leadership style bringing fresh energy to the hotel as we begin to attract the next generation of travelers. With his experience both in resort hospitality and as a respected resident of Mackinac Island, he is an asset to our family and the community. We will continue to provide guests with memorable experiences and uphold the traditions of which we are proud while striving to further enhance service quality and brand value well into the future.” Todd Callewaert, President, Island House Hotel
“Mackinac Island’s rich history and hospitable community are near-and-dear to my heart, so naturally, joining the team of this iconic and timeless hotel is a dream come true. Together, we will continue to preserve the historic significance of this celebrated landmark while delivering exceptional hospitality, ensuring that our guests create lifelong memories during their time with us. I look forward to revealing some positive changes as we welcome guests back for the 2023 season beginning May 5,” says Peter Badour.
Island House Hotel History
Initially constructed for Charles O’Malley in 1852, the Island House was one of the first summer hotels on Mackinac Island. Over the years, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, and New York socialites enjoyed afternoon high teas and full orchestra ballroom dancing. After the passing of owner Rose Webster in 1938, the hotel stood vacant for several years until it was leased to the Moral Rearmament Association (MRA) from the Mackinac Island State Park. The group moved in 1949, and the hotel stood vacant for decades, deteriorating until it was slated for demolition in 1969 by the Chairman of the Mackinac Island State Park. Harry Ryba, son James, and son-in-law Victor Callewaert recognized the Island House’s importance as a Michigan landmark, leased the hotel from the park commission, and began plans for returning the estate to its former glory. In 2019 the Ryba-Callewaert family celebrated the 50th anniversary of the rescue of the Island House Hotel from imminent destruction.
In 2020, Island House Hotel received an Award for Excellence by Historic Hotels of America, naming the Callewaert family Legendary Family of the Year for their commitment to the preservation of the historic hotel.
The Callewaert family has continued to add contemporary conveniences while preserving the allure of its historic ambiance, serving to maintain Mackinac Island’s oldest operating hotel, Historic Hotels of America member, and designated State of Michigan landmark. Today, at any given time, you will find generations of the Ryba-Callewaert family at the hotel.
A multi-million dollar renovation was recently completed of the 94 guest rooms, public spaces, and the two onsite restaurants, 1852 Grill Room & Ice House BBQ. Open May through October, the hotel offers several packages, specials, & events for an authentic Mackinac Island stay.