FRANKENMUTH, Mich. Here's a hotel that should be music to your ears.
Its theme? Accordion polka tunes.
The 38-room Marv Herzog Hotel opened seven months ago in this German-themed mid-Michigan tourist town.
Perched on the edge of the Cass River, it is within walking distance to shops. Its rooms have balconies, comfortable beds and free wireless Internet.
There's a hot breakfast every morning and a free cocktail hour every night.
And each guest room celebrates a year in Marv Herzog's life with a collage of framed memorabilia.
If you're thinking, who the heck is Marv Herzog?, obviously you don't know your polka history.
Herzog was Frankenmuth's most famous accordionist and bandleader. Herzog specialized in Bavarian-American polka music. He performed for years all over the world, but especially at polka festivals in town, playing such favorites as "The Blue Skirt Waltz," "In Heaven There is No Beer" and the "Red Raven Polka."
When Herzog died in 2002, his friend Bob Drury, owner of the Missouri-based Drury Hotel chain, decided to build a hotel in Herzog's memory with the help of the late bandleader's widow, Teresa.
Now it's in business. In the lobby is a small display featuring Herzog's hefty accordion and a tall silver microphone. The lobby also has several cases of other memorabilia Herzog's awards, childhood toys, lederhosen and more. No, there's no polka music playing.
Rates start at $99 a night, "but right now, we're having a mid week special of $49.99 a night," says assistant general manager Amanda Guild.
One reviewer on Trip Advisor.com wrote, "I booked this hotel as a joke, but the joke was on me, because it turned out we had a great time."
I agree. The Marv Herzog Hotel hits just the right key.
The hotel, 501 Main St. (www.marvherzoghotel.com, 877-400-4210), takes reservations by phone only. And by the way, Frankenmuth has been changing in other ways while you weren't looking.
Three other cool things to see while you're there:
The Harvest Coffeehouse & Beanery, 701 Mill St., opened last March at the spacious old Nikless-Hubinger flour mill. Its owners have recreated the relaxed ambience of their favorite Nashville coffee house with banjos on the walls and a cluttered living room feel. There's also free Internet, a gallery featuring local artwork, live music on weekends and poetry nights. (www.harvestcoffeehouse.com, 989-652-6089)
Heilerde Day Spa, 925 S. Main at the River Place shopping center. It's a delightfully soothing place for a massage, pedicure or facials; try the Chocolate Fondue Facial for $65. Heilerde is a German word for "healing earth." (www.heilerdedayspa.com, 989-652-6117)
Ha' Penny, 626 S. Main. This cool little shop opened last summer in the space of a former arcade. It features all kinds of tea, gifts and Frankenmuth-made soap and soy candles. Very nice. (www.ha-penny.com, 989-652-2400)