Everyone on Mackinac Island knows Susan Bentley, owner of 7th Heaven Salon and Spa. So do the hundreds of brides who schedule their weddings here every season.
Mackinac Island's fairytale setting is perfect for weddings; bridal parties comprise the majority of 7th Heaven Spa and Salon's clientele. Many of those weddings are on the grounds of the Grand Hotel.
Mackinac Island, located in Lake Huron between Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas, is a National Historic Landmark dotted with large Victorian summer homes and the famous Grand Hotel (it was the location for the film “Somewhere in Time”). The architecture, natural landscape, and history of the island create a breathtaking, one-of-a-kind place named one of the top 50 Destination Wedding Spots by The Knot.
7th Heaven Salon & Spa has two locations on Mackinac Island.
Tucked away in a small shopping complex called The Gate House near the Grand Hotel, 7th Heaven provides spa manicures and pedicures to clients between Memorial Day and Halloween. Bentley operates two locations on the island, as well as The Great Lakes Massage Academy in nearby St. Ignace on Michigan’s mainland.
The salon's calm monochromatic interior is often bustling with brides, bridesmaids, and mothers getting ready for the big day.
About 60% of 7th Heaven’s clientele are brides and their bridal parties. The salon offers a full range of services for complete Wedding Day packages. Bentley’s partner, hairstylist Mike Iles (they met working in the Astor Salon at Grand Hotel) creates lavish updos and the salon also has complete makeup services. As many as three bridal parties start the day before the wedding in 7th Heaven’s comfortable pedicure thrones. Besides her regular staff, Bentley has five reliable stylists and nail techs, who will fill in on her busiest days.
7th Heaven's makeup services are by appointment only, offered primarily to bridal parties.
After a long successful corporate career with PacSun, Bentley turned to nails after a head-on collision with a drunk driver left her critically injured and in the hospital for several months. She believes in the healing power of touch and often incorporates massage therapy for her stressed-out brides. Susan also offers $10 nail clipping services for elderly and/or diabetic clients. “We nail techs are often the only ones doing this for people, giving them a gentle treatment that feels good,” she says.
Owner Susan Bentley rode the ferry over to personally provide me with a luxurious spa pedicure.
A 20-minute ferry ride connects Bentley to her salons on the island — she lives and works in St. Ignace but made a special trip to Mackinac Island for my spa pedicure. “The island is so breathtaking to me,” Bentley says. “My family from Philadelphia came to visit and asked why I never told them how beautiful the island was. It’s just beyond description.”