a bit about the castle...
It was 1895 when the construction of a beautiful, enchanting castle was completed in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The story of this extraordinary home began with a local, Frank Henderson. At that time Mr. Henderson was one of Kalamazoo’s most successful businessmen as the owner and president of the Henderson-Ames Company, which made uniform regalia for secret societies, fraternal organizations, and the military. Mr. Henderson’s wife, Mary, had inherited a plot of undeveloped land on the western edge of Kalamazoo before the company’s tremendous success. For years, Mr. Henderson dreamt of building a grand suburb on the land.
In 1888, he began orchestrating his dream by engaging the services of several professionals from surveyors and engineers to landscape architects, all to plot the land and create Kalamazoo’s first “natural site plan”. Finally, in 1890, Mr. Henderson was ready to build his home in his new residential district. He commissioned C. A. Gombert of Milwaukee, Wisconsin to design his dream home. The new structure was completed costing $72,000, which included seven baths (one with a thirteen-head shower), an elevator, and a third-floor ballroom. The castle’s exterior was constructed of Lake Superior sandstone and brick, and the interior wood included mahogany, bird’s eye maple, quartered oak, birch, and American sycamore. After the new castle was complete it boasted 25 rooms in all and exemplified the most expensive tastes of the time. In 1895, upon completion of the remarkable castle, the Henderson’s hosted a grand housewarming party and invited many prominent Kalamazoo citizens as guests. Unfortunately, Frank Henderson did not enjoy his castle for long, as he died in 1899. Mary Henderson remained at the castle until her passing in 1908.
After Mrs. Henderson passed on, nine parties have assumed ownership of the Henderson Castle, including its most recent owner, Master French Chef, Francois Moyet, who acquired the property in 2011. In 1957, the house was purchased as the future site for the Kalamazoo Art Center. However, when the Institute of Arts remained downtown Kalamazoo, the castle became the property of the renowned liberal arts school at Kalamazoo College which lies just a block to the north of the castle’s grounds.
The castle has a rich history and has become popular far beyond Michigan's boundaries. It has been featured in three movies, including “In the Woods”. It has also been featured on the Discovery Channel and House Hunters.
the future of the castle...
The Jewel of Kalamazoo (as it is referred to in Michigan), Henderson Castle is ranked the top historic inns in Michigan by AAA, the grandeur of this 11,000-square foot Queen-Ann style mansion, sitting on 3 acres, offers an intriguing blend of architectural, artistic, antique as well as modern amenities, including wireless access for business travelers. Heated marble floors, crystal chandeliers, gorgeous leaded and stained glass windows, fiber optic accents, a sauna, steam room, and rooftop hot tub make the Castle a haven in the city and a romantic dream come true. Ten distinctive bedrooms are available, including our guest cottage – a wheel-chair accessible room.
Today the Henderson Castle is owned and operated by Master Chef François Moyet. Chef Moyet acquired the Castle in 2011, and today operates it as a unique Bed & Breakfast. It is now home to a popular local restaurant, h ChopHouse, an organic garden, a vineyard, and a Day Spa. The Castle offers ten guest rooms, one of which is located in the Guest Cottage. Under Francois’ ownership, the Castle is now accessible to the community. The restaurant is open daily for dinner and throughout the week for, the Queen's Tea Service and Castle Tours. Dinner The Castle is the prime location for a vintage atmosphere, superb cuisine, and a lovely environment for couples on their wedding day. Henderson Castle hosts many events, allowing the community to enjoy this historic beauty that has been part of Kalamazoo for over a century.
The Henderson Castle experience is one you will not soon forget.
"François and his staff
made our stay one that we will always cherish.
The Henderson Castle team
is as unique as the Castle itself.“
JEFF & PAT B - GRAND RAPIDS, MI
about our owner...
François Louis Moyet and his twin brother, Jean Luc, were born on May 1, 1966, in Bourges, France. They also have a sister, Ann. Their parents François and Yvette Moyet, schooled them on the principles of exceptional work ethic, honesty, and commitment to excellence. François Moyet began his culinary career at age 15. After three years of college, he graduated with a culinary technical degree. In December of 1984, he went into the army for a year, where he was assigned as a personal chef for the colonel and was also selected for an inter-regiment competition to follow a 3-month French commando training program. At this time, he received his master’s degree in French culinary art.
François moved to Paris in 1985 and had various opportunities to work in prestigious restaurants with “La tour d’argent” being one. During this time, in 1986, he was blessed with a son, Clavy Guilman-Moyet. While at “La tour d’argent,” François had the opportunity to feed some of the most celebrated people on the planet at the time, including Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Diana, Ronald Reagan, and Fancois Miterand. The young chef became a consultant for major food industry organizations such as Danone bsn, Nestle, Picard, Alsace lait. He was selected for an international exchange program with Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. It was there he met his wife, Catherine S. Holmes, director of the university. They have two daughters, Claire, b 1991 and Mathilde, b 1993.
François opened three successful restaurants in Paris, “Le Navarin” in 1990, at age 24, and two more “La Rotisserie du Navarin” and “Le Grillon” in 1992. In 1995, he immigrated to Kalamazoo with his family where he opened a couple of Kalamazoo restaurants, “François’ Seafood & Steakhouse” in 1995 and then “The Tortilla Flat” in 2003. After selling the restaurants, he earned his degree in naturopathic medicine.
When the opportunity to purchase Henderson Castle arose, Moyet decided to combine his unique skill sets to the benefit of the Castle. He developed Henderson Castle Boutique Inn and the Naturopathic Spa and Wellness Center. Both opened to the public on September 1, 2011. Moyet also intends to offer classes in herbs, organic gardening with vineyard and orchard, and natural methods of food preparation. He also provides a sous apprenticeship program.
François has expanded his boutique inn to include 10 rooms, all with a Victorian charm enhanced by modern amenities (including wireless connection). This unique site hosts tastefully countless other more personalized events such as bridal showers, high teas, anniversaries, and holiday events. Moyet has even opened Henderson Castle to the public for tours.
While the Castle has had a history of financial demands and stress, Chef-entrepreneur Moyet has turned that around and began to preserve the Castle by doing what he could to ensure those challenges were dismissed for good. As he has stated emphatically, “It is my goal, and my job, to find a sustainable recipe to ensure the Castle will never experience the troubles it has seen in previous decades. That is my intention and my passion.”
Moyet actually resides at the Castle. He is a true “Lord of the Manor.”
"François is an exceptional Chef!
And the way he takes care of people is awesome.
I really love staying at Henderson Castle.“
RANDY S - VERO BEACH, FL
A Henderson Castle Gift Certificate can be used for many wonderful experiences of your choosing including our h Chop House, our Spirit's Lounge, our bed and breakfast rooms, the spa and much more. Gift Certificates start at $25 and can be purchased directly online for your convenience.