Are you a B&B person, or should you choose a hotel? Answer these three questions

October 18th, 2016 by Sandy White

Take this short quiz to know if you should choose a hotel or a bed and breakfast for your next romantic getaway.

Man's and woman's feet sticking out from covers

Michigan Bed and Breakfast Association innkeepers respect your privacy.

1) On a romantic getaway, do the two of you value your privacy at times, or do you require anonymity throughout your stay?

For all-day, all-night anonymity, choose a hotel. Nobody knows you. Nobody will remember you. Nobody cares.

For privacy in a romantic setting, choose a bed and breakfast. True, one of the common definitions of a B&B is “lodging in the home of the innkeeper.” So, yes, you’ll be staying in someone’s home.

But when 94 percent of our #MichBnB member innkeepers list their B&Bs as “suitable for romantic getaways,” do you think those innkeepers care if the two of you seldom leave your room? On the contrary. They want you to enjoy yourselves. B&B innkeepers design their rooms, down to the smallest details, for your comfort, convenience, and delight. You’ll have a more memorable romantic getaway yet plenty of privacy in a bed and breakfast.

You have so many Michigan B&Bs to choose from. Pick a favorite city.

Choose a hotel or B&B? Two more questions

2) When you’re out in public, are you open to, and interested in, meeting and talking to new people? OR, even if you might be somewhat of an introvert, do you often realize that you’ve been energized by a conversation with total strangers?

Bed and breakfast fans don’t choose B&Bs so they can meet new people, but they tend to be open to starting or joining a conversation. Regular B&B goers assume, based on past experience, that those folks out on the patio or across the dining room will have interesting stories and experiences to share. The discovery is part of what’s special about B&Bs.

Choose a hotel if all you want is Cheerios

Is that really your idea of breakfast?

If you’re not open to meeting new people and to being surprised by what you find in common — or, to be fair, perhaps you’re just not in the mood for that— choose a hotel. You can stare at other peoples’ shoes while riding in the elevator.

3) For breakfast, how about some self-serve Cheerios and toaster waffles?

The answer is clear by now: Choose a hotel. Or stay home.

A self-respecting B&B innkeeper, whether serving a full or continental breakfast, finds ways to surprise and tantalize your palate. You might even get flowers, soft music, cloth napkins, and candlelight.

Find your next romantic Michigan B&B getaway, or your first. Click here.

3 tips on B&B location for aspiring innkeepers and 3 tales of “What were they thinking?”

October 11th, 2016 by Sandy White

For people who dream of owning a bed and breakfast, choosing a B&B location is the critical first choice. Innkeepers can change a lot of things after they select and buy a property, from room configuration to decor to breakfast menu. But they can’t change B&B location.

B&B road sign

Are there signs that some B&B locations won’t be successful? At least one veteran innkeeper says yes.

One #MichBnB innkeeper advised succinctly: “‘Build it and they will come’ only works in the movies.” Even if that’s not the exact quote from “Field of Dreams,” the takeaway for an aspiring innkeeper is: Keep the emotion out of choosing a location. Don’t think how much you want to live way out in the country. Don’t focus on how inexpensive the property might be. Don’t romanticize reviving an old house. Instead, ask:  Will sufficient numbers of guests want to pay to stay in that house in that setting and with the attractions nearby (or not)?

No-nonsense advice on choosing a B&B location will be available from Michigan’s two primary inn real estate agents as just one part of a one-day, informative workshop for aspiring innkeepers in Grand Rapids Sunday, Nov. 13. Click here for more info.

While you’re in click mode, check out the four thriving B&Bs mentioned by name below.

B&B location strategies to consider

Gerry Shields, innkeeper at Saravilla Bed and Breakfast in Alma says: “College towns, particularly those with private colleges, are really good for the inn business. Except for perhaps a few slow summer weeks, colleges and universities are always bringing visitors to campus who need a place to stay, and many come back again and again.”

Shields notes one downside to the college-town B&B location strategy:

Failed log home B&B

This failed B&B location in Northwest Michigan is described as Mistake #1 below.

“Don’t plan on a long Florida vacation in January and February because you’ll be busy.”

Remember, too, that although you are serving breakfast, guests also need other meals. You may want to live in the woods, but, as Mike Venturini of Munro House B&B and Spa in Jonesville says, the availability of “good restaurants nearby is one of the greatest amenities guests enjoy.”

B&B location also could affect an innkeeper’s personal job satisfaction. Sandy Werner, owner of Hexagon House B&B in Pentwater asks: “Do family and friends live near you? With elderly parents, siblings, and grown children, it’s tough to maintain relationships and attend personal functions if your extended family is not in the area of your bed and breakfast. It’s been one of our toughest challenges.”

Three B&Bs doomed from the start, and why

As an owner of the Glen Arbor Bed & Breakfast for the past 16 years, Patricia Widmayer often drives between Chicago and Glen Arbor via US 31. Over the years, Widmayer observed the birth and slow deaths of three B&Bs that popped up along that highway in the 60 miles between Ludington and Benzonia.

What primary flaw did all three have in common? Bad location. “I felt so

Nice home that failed as a B&B

Failed B&B location in Northwest Michigan described below as Mistake #2.

sad for these folks who invested hopes and dreams and money,” Widmayer says.

Widmayer took photos of all three in case she ever had the opportunity to advise an aspiring innkeeper.

Mistake #1: A log home built to be a B&B.
Major flaw: Five or six miles west, Ludington offers wonderful Victorian B&Bs with nearby experiences, and places to dine, so why would someone stay in a field along the highway two miles north of the turnoff from US 10, and near to nothing?
Wrong thinking: With all the lovely lakes in Northwest Michigan, did the owners really think the pond behind the house would be a draw?
Kiss of death: The portable, lighted-arrow sign at the road.

Mistake #2: An expensive new structure with stone pillars
Major flaw: A roadside location one mile north of Manistee’s Little River Casino and several miles north of town.
Wrong thinking: Why would travelers prefer this isolated, though lovely,

Failed B&B location.

This ranch house B&B location is described below as Mistake #3.

home over casino resort excitement or the charms of waterfront condos, B&Bs, and other accommodations in Manistee?
Kiss of death: Traffic whizzing by at 60 mph.

Mistake #3: A ranch house on a rise
Major flaws: Bleak views of U.S. 31, treeless fields, and a long-abandoned gas station where semis park. Also, to find a restaurant, guests would have to drive a number of miles to Bear Lake or back to Manistee.
Wrong thinking: Who wants to stay at a place reminiscent of a motel, absent any other attraction?

In conclusion, aspiring B&B innkeepers will learn vital, money-saving strategies and tips at the one-day workshop Nov. 13 in Grand Rapids. Click for details. Even more useful, timely information will be available for those who stay an additional day and a half for the annual Michigan Bed & Breakfast Association educational conference. Click on that, too.

If you know someone who dreams of owning a B&B, please share this post and also make sure they also know about this page of Michigan B&Bs for sale.

In addition to the useful, sometimes entertaining news we publish about staying at Michigan B&Bs, we also plan more articles with valuable information for aspiring innkeepers. You don’t want to miss it. Click this icon to get all the updates.

Subscribe to the monthly blog post of Michigan Lake to Lake Bed and Breakfast Association


Why people who love romantic bed and breakfast getaways are discovering Maple Cove B&B

October 3rd, 2016 by Sandy White

A Q&A with Jan Smith, innkeeper of Maple Cove B&B in Leonard MI.

A Q&A with Jan Smith, innkeeper of Maple Cove B&B in Leonard MI.

We often find all-suites hotels, but Maple Cove B&B offers an intimate, all-suites bed and breakfast experience. That’s unusual.

Our B&B was in the planning stages for a long time, so we had the advantage of being able to observe the changing tastes of today’s travelers. My husband Mark and I also wanted to provide the kind of accommodations we love to find when we get away. Spacious bedroom with king bed, adjacent sitting room with comfy furniture for reading or conversation, deluxe bathroom, lots of natural light, plenty of privacy.

Maple Cove B&B offers three suites answering that description, all with nice views.

One on the first floor, and two on the second floor, each one served by its own staircase.

It’s a quiet, wooded setting.

These 14 acres are home to deer, coyote, a family of turkeys, an eagle that flies over from Lakeville Lake, a million squirrels, and whistle pigs.

Whistle pigs?

Also known as groundhogs. There’s one now, chewing up the lawn. Don’t tell Mark.

Despite the feeling of being away from it all, Maple Cove B&B is close to much of Metro Detroit.

Ten minutes to Lake Orion or Oxford. Twenty minutes north of Rochester. Forty minutes to Royal Oak. Around the corner from public access to Lakeville Lake. We envisioned this as a place for couples to get away, reconnect, rejuvenate, celebrate.

I can’t place what kind of architecture this house is. I see light switches like my grandmother’s house had, with inlaid mother-of-pearl push buttons, hardwood floors, and prominent window and door moldings of a type few people can afford these days. And yet the exterior is not ornate or tall and boxy.

This is a Greek Revival-style farmhouse. The Doric columns are a major

Exterior of Maple Cove B&B

B&B once was a summer home for a Detroit manufacturing mogul.

clue. In some Greek Revival buildings, the columns create an imposing look, but not here. Instead, and this is where Greek Revival meets farmhouse, they define an inviting porch. The wide porch and the strong, horizontal trim details combine to give the house a low-key look from the street. But it is a two-story house.

Maple Cove B&B: Years in the Making

So, is it a new house?

No, except for the 1,600 square feet that is now our private residence; it was too dilapidated to save and needed to be reconstructed. For many years, the Fruehauf family used this as a summer home.

I associate that name with the trucking industry.

Yes. In 1914, August Fruehauf, invented the semi-trailer. He went from being a blacksmith and carriage builder to heading a multi-million-dollar company by the time of his death in 1939. When we purchased the property in 1994, the house had been uninhabited for a number of years, except by wildlife. Mark had grown up about a mile away, on a farm with 6,000 chickens, so the area felt like home. But it took three years of work to make this a place for our family to live. Now, our four children are grown and married.

When did you have the idea of opening Maple Cove B&B?

This was our idea from the day we bought the property.

What did you learn from staying at other B&Bs along the way?

Place setting at Maple Cove B&B

A place setting at Maple Cove B&B

There is a misconception that a B&B is a house with extra rooms that the owners just decide to rent out. Instead, it’s a business that provides a distinct experience to guests. The rooms, the house, the area, the food, the privacy, and the innkeepers are all part of the experience. Most B&B innkeepers are so personable.

Like you are.

Thank you. We also found things that were not us. For example, we like antiques, but we knew that for our B&B we wanted to keep the historic features of the house, but blend that with modern technology and comforts.

Any surprises since you opened in February?

I didn’t anticipate being as busy as we are this early on. We have guests coming all the time. One couple has come back three times! I knew I would enjoy it, but I am in my element. Decorating, designing, even pulling weeds. We both enjoy the cooking aspect of it. Mark is really fantastic at cook-to-order egg dishes. The dream has been a long time coming.

Maple Cove Bed and Breakfast in Leonard is one of the newest members of the Michigan Bed and Breakfast Association. Innkeeper Jan Smith was interviewed on behalf of the association by Sandy White, a long-time innkeeper.

5-star reviews: What B&B innkeepers will do to wow you

September 12th, 2016 by Sandy White

How do Michigan bed and breakfasts with 5-star reviews earn all those 5-star reviews?

Dave from Midland, MI, says the innkeepers are the key ingredient. In a TripAdvisor review about the Chelsea House Victorian Inn in Chelsea, Dave wrote: “We have stayed an a number of B&Bs over the past years. It has been our experience that the quality of the hosts makes all the difference in how much we enjoy being at a particular B&B.”

For innkeepers who have the hospitality gene, the ways they cater to guests are, to them, so effortless that they don’t realize they’re doing anything unusual. But guests notice, even the small things. A couple examples:

Mike Venturini of Munro House B&B, which gets a lot of 5-star reviews

Mike Venturini at the front door of Munro House B&B, Jonesville. No matter what the hour, he’s wearing a smile and a University of Michigan shirt.

  • At Munro House B&B in Jonesville, no matter how late you need to arrive, owner Mike Venturini opens the front door with a smile. And then, by 6 or 7 a.m., he’ll be in the kitchen making a full breakfast. Mike’s cheerful attitude: “Guests come first, no matter how much it may inconvenience the proprietors.”
  • When a prospective guest called Frankenmuth B&B asking how to get from Flint’s Bishop International Airport to Frankenmuth, long-time innkeeper Bev Bender didn’t hesitate. “Don’t worry,” she said. “Tell me when your flight gets in, and I’ll pick you up.” Thirty miles one way. To Bev, it is just part of the service.

How to find a Michigan B&B with 5-star reviews

Search this site first because all Michigan Bed and Breakfast Association (MBBA) member inn are periodically inspected and approved by independent, trained reviewers. And what is MBBA’s promise to guests? That “you can rest assured of quality lodging, warm hospitality, enjoyable breakfasts and an exceptional experience.”

But we know you read online reviews, too. So, if you agree with Dave from Midland that the innkeepers make all the difference, peruse TripAdvisor and other review sites for nuggets like the following, all excerpted from recent published reviews. Click each inn’s name for more info.

The Heather House, Marine City: “One morning the men in our group planned an early round of golf and informed Helen. She insisted on preparing them a delicious, hearty meal and had them out the door on time! This is the kind of attention the innkeepers give their guests.”

Dove Nest B&B, St. Joseph: “We had a flat tire while we were there and John jumped right in to help my husband change the tire.”

More from Dave of Midland about Chelsea House Victorian Inn, Chelsea: When we called to book a room for our 59th wedding anniversary getaway, “Andy asked it we planned to attend the play at the Purple Rose Theater. We said we did. He asked it we had tickets. We did not. Andy then said he would place an order for tickets for us, which he did. Next, he asked if we

sunset over Arcadia Bluffs golf course

The guests had arrived on bicycles, so Bear Lake B&B’s innkeepers drove them to Arcadia Bluffs golf course, so they wouldn’t miss the sunset, complete with bagpiper.

would like to eat at the Common Grill before the play. We said we would like that, so Andy said he would put us on the wait list for 5:30 p.m. on the evening (of) the play. Needless to say, that was quite a favorable introduction to the Chelsea House Victorian Inn!”

‘The wedding fairy’ wowed them

Candlelite Inn B&B, Ludington: “At one point I asked if they had Sprite or 7Up. They didn’t, but within ten minutes, Gary knocked on my door with two 7Ups and stocked the fridge.”

Bear Lake B&B, Bear Lake: “Cindi and Greg … walk the extra mile for their guests. Just like that, they took us to Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club to enjoy a gorgeous sunset. We had traveled on bikes, so this was really an exceptional offer for us, which we did not expect at all.”

Hankerd Inn, Pleasant Lake: The reviewer had rented nine rooms for a wedding, including a cottage where the bride and bridesmaids dressed for the wedding. “You cannot imagine our surprise and delight to return from the reception to find that the wedding fairy had come in while we were gone and straightened up a cottage left in a whirlwind!”

Next time you want to experience a Michigan B&B with 5-star reviews, start your search here. Pick a city. Any city. It would be hard to go wrong.

B&B Beds are Best: Try One on for Size

August 29th, 2016 by linda

As the first “B” in Bed and Breakfast implies, Michigan’s B&B beds are best. They are uniquely luxurious, surrounded at some inns by opulence and at others by simplicity. They are also guaranteed fresh, clean and comfortable if the inns are members of the Michigan Lake to Lake B&B Association. That’s right: they are guaranteed by the association’s promise that each of its members is “Quality Assured.”

Don’t take our word for it: let pictures tell the story.

B&B Beds are Best for Simple Comforts

B&B Beds are best

A Dove Nest B&B

Visiting A Dove Nest B&B in Michigan’s Thumb is like retreating to a wilderness sanctuary without having to sleep in a tent. Instead, guests enjoy sweeping views of deer and wild turkey in their natural habitat of lake and marsh from the private deck outside Robin’s Roost. Here, the essence of simple comfort is luxury in its own right, proving B&B beds are best.

B&B beds are best

The Painted Turtle Inn

This guestroom at The Painted Turtle Inn in St. Joseph is a perfect example of simplicity made elegant. There’s nothing ornate to distract from a good night’s sleep. Clean lines and soft dove grays lull you like the lap of waves from Lake Michigan, viewable from every one of the inn’s five guestrooms.

B&B Beds are Best for Luxury and Opulence

Take The Kalamazoo House as a prime example. Wow! If a guestroom makes you feel transformed into a prince or princess and onto the page of a fairy tale, you know you’ve discovered the very definition of luxury and exactly why B&B beds are best.

B&B Beds are best

The Kalamazoo House

B&B beds are best

Castle in the Country Bed and Breakfast Inn

Webster’s definition of “luxury” is a condition or situation of great comfort, ease, and wealth; or something that is helpful or welcome and that is not usually or always available.  Surely this bed at Castle in the Country looks comfortable. The view inside and out is rich and welcoming. It’s probably not just like your bedroom at home… it’s definitely a place of ease that’s not always available in our day-to-day lives.

B&B Beds are Best for the Fanciful and the Artistic

Even for the elegant Historic Webster House in Bay City, this “modern medieval” guestroom is unique. You’ll likely not find another like it anywhere. It’s more proof that B&B beds are best.

B&B Beds are Best

Historic Webster House

B&B Beds are Best

Sherwood Forest B&B

Sherwood Forest B&B is just a block from Lake Michigan beaches. Wouldn’t you expect a beach theme — sails and anchors, paddles and fish nets? Each guestroom at this Saugatuck/Douglas B&B is distinctive: each is completely different from the others. “Tree Tops” is featured in the photo above. Another room is starkly “black and white,” another has a safari theme, another is Victorian…. take your pick from six!

The MBBA will feature photos of its member inn’s beds and guestrooms all this week on our Facebook page. We’d love you to visit us… and “like” us at the same time.

If you liked this blog post, you can subscribe here to receive it regularly.  We’d love that too.

Subscribe to the monthly blog post of Michigan Lake to Lake Bed and Breakfast Association


Take a fall sailing adventure on a floating B&B

August 17th, 2016 by Sandy White

You’ll literally cruise into fall when you book a sailing adventure on Schooner Manitou, one of Michigan’s most unique B&Bs. A few cabins are still available for four-and six-day Northern Michigan windjammer cruises aboard the 114-foot ship starting September 7.

Take a fall sailing adventure

Your sailing adventure begins when Schooner Manitou casts off and sets sail.

Picture yourself on deck in Grand Traverse Bay as Captain Brett Derr gives the order to cut the dock lines and points the bow north. The buildings of Traverse City recede as warm September breezes fill the huge sails (all 3,000 square feet). You’ll get to know your shipmates quickly because Schooner Manitou accommodates a maximum of only 24 passengers.

The remaining berths on these windjammer cruises are filling up fast:

  • Take a fall sailing adventure

    Host those sails, Matey! Pitch in to help if you want or just watch the fun.

    Six-Day Explorer Cruise (Sept. 7-13, $939 per person)

  • Michigan Craft Beer Cruise (Sept. 15-19, four days, $769). Your guide will be Amy Sherman of Grand Rapids, a chef and craft beer aficionado. Yes, there will be special hors d’oeuvres and craft beer pairings for you to taste.
  • Star Gazer Cruise (Sept. 22-26, four days, $769). Your guide to the night sky will be Mary Stewart Adams of Harbor Springs, director of the Headlands International Dark Sky Park and host of a weekly astronomy program broadcast on Interlochen Public Radio.

What to expect on your sailing adventure

The exact route of your sailing adventure will be a function of wind and weather conditions. Manitou displaces 100 tons, meaning it’s a heavy ship  that will be comfortable in most sea conditions.

Take a fall sailing adventure

Where will you be when the sun rises? The only certainly is your surroundings will be lovely.

You can expect to see islands and scenic coastlines you could never see from a car, to anchor for the night in secluded bays where the moon and stars provide the only illumination, and to walk on beaches where yours may be the only footprints.

Take a fall sailing adventure

Your three squares each day are served hot from this 1926 Glenwood wood stove.

Throughout most of the sailing season, Schooner Manitou offers a variety of short-duration cruises near Traverse City and an overnight bed and breakfast experience culminating in a hearty breakfast prepared on “Cleo,” the ship’s wood-burning stove. On these September windjammer cruises, Cleo is kept busy all day, turning out healthy, home-cooked meals and snacks. All that fresh air will give you an appetite. And you’ll sleep like a baby in your below-decks bunk, equipped with fresh bedding, windows, lights, and ventilation. Plenty of headroom, too.

Take a fall sailing adventure

You’ll enjoy fresh, homemade breakfasts and dinners family style in the main cabin, and lunch buffets served topside.

Click here to plan your cruise. And next month, while trying your skills at the helm of Schooner Manitou, be sure to tell Captain Brett you heard about it here — from the Michigan Bed & Breakfast Association blog.

Don’t miss our next blog issue:
Subscribe to the monthly blog post of Michigan Lake to Lake Bed and Breakfast Association

June is Golf Month in Michigan

June 9th, 2016 by linda

June is Golf Month in Michigan, and there isn’t a Michigan bed and breakfast inn that doesn’t have notable links nearby. In a state that boasts more than 1000 golf courses, it’s not hard to see why.

June is Golf Month in Michigan

Nicholas DeGrazia, innkeeper at Adventure Inn, enjoys playing any of three highly-rated golf courses within 20 minutes of the B&B, located on Lake Huron between Port Huron and Lexington. Have an early tee time? The innkeepers will send you off with breakfast to go. (Click on the photo for information about the B&B.) 

June is Golf Month in Michigan – so match your favorite B&Bs with your favorite courses

June is Golf Month in Michigan

Arcadia Bluffs is noted for its stunning views of Lake Michigan and its sand dunes. If you go, you can stay close by at Arcadia House B&B and make it a true vacation. (Click the image for details about the course.)

How? We make it simple. On our easy-to-navigate website, you’ll find eight ways to uniquely explore the most popular activities across the state, including “18 Holes of Michigan.” Scroll down the page to see which of our quality-inspected B&B members are near golf courses — and which courses are nearby. You can book your stay with a single click. Don’t forget to book a tee time. We call it instant vacation!

Since not everyone loves to play golf as much as you do, you’ll find seven other categories of fun for those in your party who prefer to — explore Michigan lighthouses, brewpubs and wineries, shops and galleries and more. You can even plan your evenings together by visiting Michigan After Sunset before you even leave home.

Looking for golf specials and packages? New deals are posted almost daily, so check back often.

Golf Month in Michigan Celebrates with “The Loop” Grand Opening

The soon-to-open Loop at Forest Dunes Golf Club is an easy drive from several member B&Bs.

The soon-to-open Loop at Forest Dunes Golf Club is an easy drive from several member B&Bs.

One of three new Michigan golf courses to open this year and next, The Loop at Forest Dunes opens to the public June 27. Set in Roscommon along Houghton Lake, its called a “reversible” course — the only one in the world with 18 greens that can be played in two different directions. If you’re dying to be among the first to play it — in either direction, you can stay at association-member B&Bs within a short drive in Grayling, West Branch and Claire.

We’ll post more golf news you can use on our Facebook page all month long. Visit us often. “Like” the page so you get instant reports in your news feed on golf, B&Bs and lots more purely about Michigan events, places, getaways, deals and more, year around.

And you’re welcome to subscribe to this blog so it arrives automatically in your own inbox two to four times each month — no muss, no fuss.

Subscribe to the monthly blog post of Michigan Lake to Lake Bed and Breakfast Association


Getaway for Memorial Day

May 23rd, 2016 by linda

Too late to getaway for Memorial Day weekend? Absolutely not. There’s not only time, there are great three-for-two deals and packages still to be had right here, offered by our own Pure Michigan bed and breakfast inns.

Getaway for Memorial Day with cake

Sample this Blueberry Upside Down Coffee Cake (see the deal)

B&B deals and specials are available all across the state, in every region, along two Great Lakes and on the shores of inland lakes. It’s a one-tank-trip no matter where you’re driving from.

Michigan bed and breakfast inns offer the best kind of getaways for Memorial Day weekend — the kind that require nothing more of you than getting there. Spend your mornings sipping coffee and eating a gourmet-quality, hot-from-the-oven breakfast someone else got up to make.

Getaway for Memorial Day Boating on Torch Lake

Celebrate with a boat ride on a Michigan lake. (see the deal)

Getaway for Memorial Day in luxury guestroom

Sleep like a luxurious dream. (See the deal)

Spend your days at leisure or at play, enjoying a taste of the local life from a holiday parade to a boat or a bike ride. Spend nights in luxury: try out a whirlpool tub for two; a long sit on on a porch or patio with a view; or dinner out and a movie, all capped by a night well slept on crisp, fresh linens in a room that’s clean and tastefully decorated for pure comfort.

Just click on any of the images to learn about the B&B pictured.

We’ve got getaway for Memorial Day deals and specials just a click away.

Visit our “Memorial Day Specials” on our “Specials & Packages” page. Be amazed at the cost savings and special offers you can enjoy this weekend. Discover offers for three night stays for the price of two. Find offers for free movie tickets, a boat ride included with your stay, discounts at local shops and eateries — even a treat-filled picnic basket to take with you on any adventure you choose.

Getaway for Memorial Day on Lake Huron Patio

Relax all weekend, indoors or out. (See the deal)

Visit our “Specials & Packages” page. You’ll be even more amazed at the number of cost-saving special deals and offers available in a huge range of categories from anniversaries, elopements, weddings and honeymoons to girlfriend getaways, murder mysteries, cooking classes, wine tastings and more. The fact is, Michigan B&Bs have it all… and you can experience it all at a Michigan B&B.

Subscribe to the monthly blog post of Michigan Lake to Lake Bed and Breakfast Association


Finding “Real” B&Bs

March 3rd, 2016 by linda

Finding real B&Bs can be difficult. You can be easily confused by listings, for example. Some of them are real B&Bs, meaning they are legal, licensed, insured and pay taxes like good citizens. But many are part of a new fad called “home sharing.” They operate under the radar of local laws that require protections for you — little things like fire safety, health safety and insurance. They would like you to think they are legitimate, but they are copycats riding the coattails of a legal and regulated bed and breakfast industry built on quality hospitality, superior service, cleanliness, luxurious beds and baths and the best breakfasts in the world.

If you are looking for real B&Bs, you’ll know you’ve found them when you see this or something close to it in their directory listings, their advertisements and on their web pages. This particular statement below is from the website home page of The House on the Hill B&B:

Finding "real" B&Bs is confusing unless you know to look for a statement like this on their promotions.

This statement is excerpted from the website home page of The House on the Hill B&B    in Ellsworth. Click on the image for details.

Finding "real" B&Bs is as easy as clicking on the link to the Michigan Lake to Lake B&B Association's website.

The House on the Hill is one of more than 90 “real” Michigan B&Bs you’ll find by clicking this trusted resource.

The logo indicates this B&B is a member of the state association, which routinely inspects its members to ensure they meet exceptionally-high standards of safety, cleanliness and professionalism, to name a few. Like Michigan, most states have B&B associations and most of them have an inspection or review process. If you’re looking to book at a Michigan B&B that displays the association’s logo, you know it’s legitimate and law abiding. It signifies a guarantee of satisfaction. Look for a state association’s logo on a B&B’s website wherever you travel.

Finding real B&Bs means finding their state association’s “seal” of approval…

“Real” B&Bs are not always licensed and inspected if they are in rural or unincorporated areas. That’s where the association’s seal of approval comes in handy. But in most cities and towns, B&B’s are required to procure special land-use permits and be regularly inspected by the various departments of health and safety to continue their licensing from year to year. They must show proof of insurance — specialized insurance that applies to the commercial lodging establishments they are. Illegal home shares may call themselves “b&bs,” but they can’t declare themselves legitimate.

Now you know why it’s important to make sure the bed and breakfast inn you are booking clearly states its legitimacy. If it doesn’t, how do you know it’s a “real” B&B? Now that you know their dangers, you won’t want to stay at a fake.

Subscribe free to our continuing blog series, focusing on all things B&B.
We’ll explore more about the difference between “us” and “them” and other topics too. 
Subscribe to the monthly blog post of Michigan Lake to Lake Bed and Breakfast Association


B&B Recipes Go Beyond Breakfast

February 22nd, 2016 by linda

Every bed and breakfast inn has a signature recipe, but innkeepers’ B&B recipes go beyond breakfast. Just look at the range of selections in Michigan Lake to Lake B&B Association’s online recipe cookbook.

B&B Recipes cover eight categories of good eating, from beyond breakfast to lunch, appetizers, starters, desserts and specialty drinks to dinner fare.

This B&B breakfast recipe will instantly crown you as the breakfast chef of your own kitchen.

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Ring. Click the image for the recipe.

Our newest online recipe entry is a Bacon, Egg and Cheese Ring from Prairieside Suites Luxury B&B in Grandville. It’s designed to make you a breakfast genius even if you’re not naturally inclined. As you can see, the ring looks impressive. It also tastes delicious and is amazingly easy to make. Click on the image to access and print the recipe.

B&B Recipes Go Beyond Breakfast to Sweet Endings…

B&B recipes go beyond breakfast to get rave reviews for healthier choices like flourless Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies.

Flourless Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies from Adrounie House B&B in Hastings. Click the image for the recipe.

B&B recipes go beyond breakfast at Michigan B&Bs that are members of Lake to Lake B&B Association including chocolate truffles.

Melt-in-your mouth Chocolate and Almond Butter Truffles. Click the image for the recipe.

Bed and Breakfast inns are known for their “bottomless cookie jars,” with “cookie” understating the array of dessert treats innkeepers prepare to wow their guests. Those “cookies” are as much a unique signature of the inn as its breakfast. Here’s a sample of the variety: Gluten-free Clementine Cake from Dove Nest B&B in St. Joseph and Susan’s Brownie Pie from Adventure Inn B&B on Lake Huron to German Apple Cake from Pentwater Abbey B&B on Lake Michigan. The cookbook features so much more, including Chocolate and Almond Butter Truffles, a brand-new entry from the innkeepers at Kingsley House B&B in Fennville. Check out the decadent plateful in the photo just above and to the left.

Are you convinced yet that B&B recipes go beyond breakfast?  Granted, you’ll find more recipes for breakfasts than in any other category in our online innkeeper favorites. So go ahead: visit Sweet Mornings and then Savory Entrees, Just Baked and Breakfast Extras. And be sure to bookmark the cookbook link so you always have ready access to the best of Michigan’s B&B best.

Get every Lake to Lake blog every time. We invite you to subscribe.

Subscribe to the monthly blog post of Michigan Lake to Lake Bed and Breakfast Association