Archive for the ‘Association News’ Category

Before you open a bed and breakfast, 8 must-read tips from innkeepers

October 23rd, 2016 by Sandy White

If you know people whose dream is to open a bed and breakfast, help them make their big decision and avoid failure. Show them the following tips from savvy Michigan B&B innkeepers.

Composite graphic illustrates what's at stake before you open a bed and breakfast

To avoid crashing as a B&B innkeeper, start by attending an informative one-day workshop Nov. 13 in Grand Rapids. Click photo for info.

An operations tip from innkeeper Steve Gibson, who acquired the 10-room Kalamazoo House B&B two years ago: “There are so many moving parts to running an inn that good organization and well-defined tasks and checklists are essential. It may not be an airliner coming in for a landing with lives at stake, but it’s your reputation at stake with every room flip.”

What follows is a small sample of what aspiring innkeepers will learn at an informative one-day workshop in Grand Rapids. Click for details. Mark your calendar for Sunday, Nov. 13.

While you’re clicking, read more about each inn whose innkeeper is quoted. You’re sure to find a great #MichBnB for your next getaway.

Before you open a bed and breakfast…

... here are seven more considerations offered by Michigan B&B Association innkeepers.

Temperament: Innkeepers “must have a friendly personality and be able to communicate with all types of people.” Lourdes Offenbacher, Waterloo Gardens B&B, Chelsea.

Marci Palajac, innkeeper, House on the Hill B&B, Ellsworth

Marci Palajac, innkeeper, House on the Hill B&B, Ellsworth

Motive: “Be sure you are getting into the bed and breakfast business for just that reason: a business. It is a mistake to open a B&B for the sake of people paying your mortgage. You really have to have a passion to want to open a bed and breakfast, or else you will burn out from the idea real quick.” Marci Palajac, House on the Hill B&B, Ellsworth

Starting up: “Look at other B&B websites for ideas on packages, ideas for the website. Use a good photographer for your photos.” Marcia Neigebauer, Delano Mansion Inn B&B, Allegan.

Search is king: “Don’t fall in love with a name for your B&B before securing the internet domain name and searching for the name on Google to see what other search results come up.” Nicholas DeGrazia, Adventure Inn B&B, near Port Huron.

Renovating: “A second-floor laundry will help you to love your work longer. Also, reliable zoned air conditioning is more important than you might think.” Mike Venturini, Munro House B&B and Spa, Jonesville

Income: “Sometimes innkeepers will need supplemental income to help make ends meet.” Bob Alderink, Ludington House B&B, Ludington.

The life: “Expect a new adventure everyday and to experience meeting lots of new people and making new friends. Jan Leksich, Victoria Resort B&B, South Haven.

Experience the B&B difference during your next Michigan getaway. To find a great Michigan B&B, click here.

Meanwhile, keep up with the latest news — and special offers. Click Blog and News to get more…

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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.

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Service with a personal touch

July 21st, 2015 by linda

Personal Service: Reason #2 to choose a Michigan B&B over other lodging alternatives….

Its rich history attracted Yuning Wang and Jason Ju to purchase and operate the 120-year-old Grand Victorian Inn B&B

Its rich history attracted Yuning Wang and Jason Ju to purchase and operate the 120-year-old, meticulously maintained  Grand Victorian Inn B&B.

B&B owners are almost always self employed. They rely on word-of-mouth and repeat business to stay afloat. For you — the guest, that means your hosts will go above and beyond to make sure you have everything you need. B&B innkeepers enjoy pampering their guests and serve as a cross between concierge and friend, mixing insider advice on the best local places to eat and shop with good old-fashioned sociability.

Paul and Cheri are the chief cooks and bottle washers, your hosts and the owners of Prairieside Suites Luxury B&B in Grandville.

Paul and Cheri are the chief cooks and bottle washers, your hosts and the owners of Prairieside Suites Luxury B&B.

While hotels and motels can have hundreds of guests on any evening, a B&B generally has a handful. At most large lodging properties, the desk clerk is a paid employee. At a B&B, the person checking you in is likely the same one who earlier fluffed your pillows, will be your breakfast chef, will host you for an afternoon apertif and appetizers — and who owns the joint. These owners are 100-percent invested in you. They will ensure you enjoy more individual attention and a higher level of service than you would in any other type of lodging.

Jim and Dave are affable hosts as well as the owners of the Bellaire B&B.

Jim and Dave are the affable hosts as well as the owners of the Bellaire B&B and its lovely gardens.

Your experience with your hosts will be as personal or as detached as you want it to be. Innkeepers excel at determining the distance their guests prefer to maintain, and stand ready to be your new best friend or simply the person who waves goodbye when you leave the inn for a night on the town.

Marci and Debra are friendly competitors who, with their husbands, own and run their respective B&Bs from top to bottom. Each inn commands a breathtaking lake view  -- Marci of St. Clair Lake from her  spacious porch at The House on the HIll B&B; and Deb, who is visiting from  nearby Torch Lake B&B with a nearly 19-mile view.

Marci and Debra are friendly competitors who, with their husbands, own and operate their respective B&Bs. Marci minds the store at The House on the Hill B&B; and Deb runs the Torch Lake B&B.

A B&B’s more intimate setting – feeling like a private home – makes for a sociable atmosphere. Over breakfast, some guests prefer separate table seating and many B&Bs offer that option. But many provide a lavish, hot and home-made breakfast family style. Here, guests find themselves sharing travel tips and stories and making new friends while lingering over coffee. What a concept!

Breakfasts can be enjoyed tete-a-tete at The Kalamazoo House B&B .

Breakfasts can be enjoyed tete-a-tete at The Kalamazoo House B&B .

B&B innkeepers are innkeepers because they are naturally hospitable folks. B&Bs may feel like private homes, but the fact is they are commercial lodgings. These innkeepers enjoy their own living quarters on site, but they equally enjoy sharing their views and beautiful rooms with you.

Guests love this deck overlooking Lake Huron at Adventure Inn B&B any time of day.

Guests love this deck overlooking Lake Huron at Adventure Inn B&B any time of day.

The dining rooms, the living rooms, porches and patios are as much for you as is your private room and bath. B&Bs are truly a home away from home and a way to get a taste of a life you may only have dreamed of. Right up there with breakfast, it’s another reason to choose a Michigan B&B over other lodging alternatives.

(Note: All B&Bs are not created equal. Be sure to guarantee a quality stay by ensuring your B&B meets the standards required for membership in the Michigan Lake to Lake B&B Association. Check here before you commit to a reservation.) 


Three Michigan B&Bs: So Close and Yet So Far

November 18th, 2014 by linda

This week, our spotlight is on three bed and breakfast inns that are practically neighbors in the southwestern part of Michigan, but offer a range of styles and surroundings that make them seem worlds apart. Small town, metro suburban and countryside, each is regularly inspected to ensure they meet the highest standards of quality, safety, cleanliness and best hospitality practices. When you stay at one of the association’s member inns, you can rest assured. That’s our promise.

Pairieside Suites Luxury B&B, Grandville (Southwest region)

Let innkeepers Paul and Cheri tell you about Prairieside Suites in their own words. Just click on the photo.

Let innkeepers Paul and Cheri tell you about Prairieside Suites in their own words. Just click on the photo and select a video.

Luxurious meets nurturing; elegance meets pampering at Prairieside Suites Luxury B&B in Grandville, an all-American suburb conveniently tucked between Grand Rapids, just minutes to the east and Lake Michigan’s most noted beach towns to the west. These innkeepers have thought of everything to ensure a better than home-away-from-home stay. The eight guestrooms offer coffee makers, microwaves and refrigerators and the full complement of all-things electronic from TVs to WiFi. The tile floors in the private baths are heated, the mirror over the sink stays steam free, your towels are warmed on the heated bar (and so is the toilet seat). Breakfast is served by candlelight in the dining room or you can order a full hot breakfast served to your rooms. If you prefer, order your in-room refrigerator packed with a deluxe continental breakfast to enjoy on your time schedule.

 Heritage Manor Inn, Fennville (Southwest region)

Heritage Manor Jacuzzi

Heads’ up, families with kids and without! What would you say to a stay in a totally unique and affordable B&B lodging where, if you turn right out of the driveway, you’re in Saugatuck in minutes? Turn left, you’re in South Haven in a few more. If you could just go straight, you’d put your vehicle smack on a sugar-sand Lake Michigan beach. Heritage Manor Inn describes itself as a “country style” bed and breakfast. It features 14 guestrooms, all with private baths. They include fireplace and Jacuzzi combinations, spacious and comfortable “just plain sleeping” rooms and family suites plus a luxurious townhouse that can accommodate five adults. There’s an indoor pool with a kiddie area and a big backyard. Breakfasts are a full and delicious. A guest kitchen lets you keep your own snacks cold and is loaded with microwave popcorn, fresh cookies and hot beverages. It’s just minutes from Saugatuck Dunes State Park and the Allegan State Game Area — meccas for some of the finest and most challenging cross-country skiing in the state. Ready to play, anyone?

DeLano Mansion Inn, Allegan (Southwest Region)

DeLano Mansion Inn Whirlpool Tub

Bed and breakfast inns are often as well known for their lush baths as they are for their luxurious guestrooms and gourmet breakfasts. This bath at DeLano Mansion Inn in the charming small town of Allegan is done in Roman style. It’s part of the Parsonage Suite, one of six beautifully-decorated guestrooms, each with its own private bath. In addition to the two-person whirlpool, the suite features an antique mantel over the fireplace, a queen-sized brass bed and its own comfortable seating area. It includes cable TV, a DVD/CD player and WiFi. While ideal for a romantic getaway to this historic riverside community, there is private access between it and the Ashley Room to accommodate families. The inn was recently purchased by Innkeepers Marcia Neigebauer and her husband, Kent. Marcia enjoys meeting people, gardening, cooking and helping guests make their visit to her B&B a pleasure.

At the Lake to Lake Association, we know where all the best B&B’s are located in Southwest Michigan and across the state. We know what makes each of them special in each of the four seasons, and we share that knowledge with you on our quick and easy B&B finder. We invite you to visit us on our website and on our Facebook page, and to discover all the “innside” secrets by subscribing to our weekly blog.

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Dream of Being an Innkeeper? Follow Your Dream!

September 11th, 2014 by linda


If you dream of being an innkeeper someday and wonder how to learn the business from the ground up, the 3rd Annual Aspiring Innkeeper Workshop is the answer to making your Grand Aspirations a reality. In the real world you don’t get do-overs, so rise to the occasion with practical knowledge, armed with facts. This full-day event — your chance to get it right from the start — opens Michigan’s only Innkeeping Conference, presented annually over the next two days by the Michigan Lake to Lake Bed & Breakfast Association.

Grand Aspirations
3rd Annual Aspiring Innkeeper Workshop
Sunday, October 26 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
In the Conference Center of the Airport Hilton Inn
Grand Rapids

Includes lunch with veteran innkeepers and
an exclusive invitation to “Sunday Inn the Gardens,”
a mentoring and networking dinner that’s not to be missed!

Morning sessions will arm you with a profile of the industry, its lifestyle and its realities. Who are innkeepers? What are their characteristics? Are all B&Bs the same or are they distinct in type and style? What will you use as a model for yours?

The workshop is presented by innkeeper-training professional Carol Edmondson, "Innkeeping Specialists," assisted by professional member innkeepers.

The workshop is presented by innkeeper-training professional Carol Edmondson, “Innkeeping Specialists,” assisted by professional member innkeepers.

You’ll get sound information to help you make the right decision on whether to start your B&B from scratch or buy one that already exists. You’ll consider requirements for space, signage, zoning, breakfasts, baths, common areas and parking, for the number of rooms necessary to make your inn a success and for knowing when and if to expand. You’ll discover best practices in working with local authorities to get your business and licensing approved with a minimum of headache.

The issue of financing weighs on all aspiring innkeepers. The sessions will cover how to create simple business plans that lenders will recognize and appreciate, how commercial lending really works, how to understand appraisals and where to get money. Success in all of these rests on creating the right team of “partners” who will contribute to your success throughout your innkeeping career — your accountants, attorneys, investors, appraisers, lenders, associations and consultants.

After a lunch during which veteran “mentors” will answer questions and share their own “innsider” tips, working innkeepers will form interactive panels to discuss three aspects of successful innkeeping: business, rooms and food. One group of panelists will discuss their experiences with room pricing and reservations, partnering with other businesses and managing expenses to ensure profitability. Another will address the guest experience including remodeling and renovations, expected and desired guest amenities and how to best utilize common areas. A third panel will talk about breakfasts — that other “B” in the “B&B” equation. You’ll learn about food quality and local sourcing, how to scale your menu to your guests and how to create a menu that reflects your own unique style.

The Aspiring Innkeeper Workshop is your ticket
to making your Grand Aspirations a reality.

$90 for one attendee
$160 for two attendees registering as partners/spouses ($20 savings)

Click here for the workshop schedule. 

Click the image below for complete Workshop & Conference details and info on “Sunday Inn the Gardens.”
Scroll to the bottom of the conference page for registration forms.

follow your dreams

(Early-bird conference discount rates end October 5)








Michigan’s Best B&Bs – in Pictures: Part 8

April 7th, 2014 by linda

Welcome to Part 8 of our ongoing blog series spotlighting Michigan’s finest bed and breakfast inns. In this installment, we are pleased to introduce you to Country Chalet/Edelweiss Haus, Mount Pleasant; Cobblestone Manor Luxury Historic Inn, Auburn Hills; and Munro House B&B and Spa, Jonesville. Enjoy!

Country Chalet & Edelweiss Haus, Mt. Pleasant (Northeast Michigan)
The Country Chalet & Edelweiss Haus Bed & Breakfast
What sets the Country Chalet & Edelweiss Haus apart from other fine Michigan inns? This Mt. Pleasant B&B is a poster child for going “green.” Innkeepers Ron and Caroline Lutz (above) use only natural and non-toxic cleaning products. They use solar-generated energy wherever they can – like to power the water heater and the lights on their flower-laden balcony and walkways. Speaking of flowers, they recycle and compost and use no chemicals on their lawn or the garden. Seasonally, Caroline cooks with her home-grown vegetables and herbs and makes her own jams, juices and toppings from home-grown fruit. At breakfast, she serves “happy” eggs from chickens allowed to roam, and rumor has it she’s a darned good cook. Visiting Central Michigan University, canoeing the nearby Chippewa River or heading to the Soaring Eagle Casino?
Regardless of the reason,  this is a great place to hang your hat when you visit Mt. Pleasant. 

Cobblestone Manor Luxury Historic Inn , Auburn Hills (Southeast Michigan)
Cobblestone Manor Weddings
Planning a wedding? As if it weren’t enough to offer nine spacious guest rooms and two dining rooms—one candlelit and the other sunlit, Cobblestone Manor Luxury Historic Inn in Auburn Hills features its own intimate indoor wedding chapel for up to 50 guests and a lush outdoor wedding garden. Amenities include an elegant bridal room and a separate groom’s area. A grand staircase provides a stunning photo backdrop. This northern Detroit-area suburb is near Rochester, Madonna’s home town. It’s close to Oakland University, historic Meadowbrook Hall and Meadowbrook theater and concert venues.  The Manor, built in 1840, is tastefully furnished in Victorian antiques. Thoroughly modern enhancements include private baths, WiFi, data ports, cable TV and all the extra touches that discerning travelers expect.

Munro House B&B and Spa, Jonesville (Southeast Michigan)
Munro House B&B
Mr. Mike’s motto is, “Life is good in Jonesville.” Munro House B&B and Spa innkeepers Mike and Lori Venturini love to have a good time and never leave their guests out of the fun. Their special-event weekends are frequent and legendary.  Some of their getaway packages include murder mystery dinners, cooking parties, massage and day spa services, romantic weekends and – a $1000 all-inclusive wedding package in the seven-guestroom, classically-decorated pre-Civil War-era mansion. The package includes the minister (often Mr. Mike himself), bridal bouquet, groom boutonniere, custom cake, reception for up to 20 guests and two-nights’ lodging for the bride and groom. It’s simple and affordable; elegant and memorable…. words that describe the Munro House B&B  experience to a T.

If you’ve enjoyed a stay at any of these or other Michigan Lake to Lake B&B Association-member inns, we’d love to hear about your experiences. We make it quick and easy to fill out a “Rate Your Stay” form online. Just fill in the blanks with your candid observations, then click “submit.” Discover all our quality-inspected member B&Bs on our website.

Michigan B&Bs Know How to Party on New Year’s Eve

December 21st, 2013 by linda

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

If you think Times Square is the only place to be on New Year’s Eve, Candlelite Inn B&B  in Ludington invites you to experience one of the largest ball drops in Michigan just a few blocks from its front door. Beginning at 9:30 p.m. on Ludington Avenue in the heart of downtown, come enjoy music, an entertainment tent, commemorative light-up glasses, fireworks and the ball drop — counting down the seconds until 2014. The lit ball will be dropped at the strike of midnight followed by an amazing fireworks display designed to “Light Up the Lake!”

The morning after, Innkeeper Melanie at Candlelite Inn ( will serve a bountiful candlelight breakfast at the time you wish and give you a complimentary late check out as well. This, plus goodies in your room and an appetizer buffet is yours with a two-night stay or an additional $30 per room if you’re staying just the one night on New Year’s Eve. You can check out the Ludington event in this youtube clip.

Other Michigan cities party hearty too. Kalamazoo House B&B is literally at the heart of annual New Year’s Fest. The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts is one of multiple entertainment venues. The Kalamazoo House sits right next door. Another is Bronson Park. It’s kitty-corner across the street. Another venue, First United Methodist Church, is directly across the street. The Radisson is just across the park and, like all the rest of the venues, the public library edges the vibrant downtown shopping district — barely a five-minute walk and sure to be hopping with revelers.

new year's fireworksRing in 2014 in and around the adjoining “beach towns” of Saugatuck and Douglas as area restaurants and bars host New Year’s Eve celebrations. For information, call: (269) 857-1701. Enjoy a fireworks display over the harbor at midnight on the dot. Stay at centrally-located, walking-distance Park House Inn B&B any two nights between December 27 – 30 and enjoy 25 percent-off room rates. Or stay Monday and Tuesday, December 30-31, and get 50 percent off the second night’s rate. With either deal, you’ll enjoy a complimentary bottle of New Year’s bubbly! On New Year’s day, breakfast and checkout are both moved back an hour.

Some B&B parties are more self contained but just as much fun. Munro House in Jonesville starts the ball rolling on Monday, December 30 with a Murder Mystery Dinner. Join other couples for an evening of interactive adult-themed “Who-Done-It.” A multi-course dinner is served while the murder mystery plays out. Guests awaken to a big breakfast – followed by Munro House’s original “Chef Night Cooking Party” on New Year’s Eve. Everyone becomes a chef-for-the-night to help create a feast shared by all. The interactive, hands-on cooking party is followed by a champagne toast at midnight. Breakfast, of course, is served again on New Year’s morning. Call for package prices: bring an appetite!

New Year's Eve snacks in front of the fire at At Willow Pond B&B.

New Year’s Eve snacks in front of the fire at At Willow Pond B&B.

The best part about staying “inn,” say Innkeepers Claire and Jerome, is staying safe. Come spend News Year’s with them at At Willow Pond B&B, located north of Grand Rapids near Greenville. Once you arrive,  you won’t need to get back out on the road. Enjoy a sumptuous four-course dinner, snacks throughout the evening in front of the fire and a bottle of bubbly for your New Year’s Eve toast. Wake up to a delicious New Year’s day breakfast and late checkout. Take half off a second-night on either side of your News Year’s Eve stay.

So many Michigan communities and their resident bed and breakfast inns are celebrating the New Year in high style this year. Find even more B&Bs in any of these cities and towns…. and in many other areas using our interactive searches at The B&Bs featured in the blog and all the others you’ll discover on the website are quality-assured members of the Michigan Lake to Lake B&B Association. We regularly review our inn members, and we stand behind them.

Happy New Year from all of us at Lake to Lake.

Michigan’s Finest B&Bs Ask: What’s in Your Stocking?

December 11th, 2013 by linda

hIf you’re not a subscriber to Pure Michigan’s monthly Featured eDeals, you probably missed some of the best Christmas get-away deals ever — not to mention some of the best Christmas gift ideas, neatly compiled into a holiday catalog by some of Michigan’s finest bed and breakfast inns.

Just click on the link to the eDeals post below, then scroll down to the offer that features these adorable teddy bears. Which brings us back to the question: what’s in your stocking?,

If your idea of a happy holiday is getting away from it all to be as pampered as a prince and a princess, check out these discounted and added-value eDeals. If now isn’t a good time to travel, secure the special deal of your choice by purchasing the gift certificate before its end-of-December deadline. Keep it for yourself to use at your convenience during the coming year. Or gift it to someone you care for.

No gift is more appreciated than a bed and breakfast getaway, whether it’s for your grown-up kids, your moms and dads, grandpas and grandmas, your sweetheart, your pastor, your best friend, your favorite teacher, a retiring co-worker…. there’s no end to those who won’t think it’s the best gift they ever received!

If these great deals don’t suit your fancy, you can purchase a gift certificate online in any amount to use toward a stay in any of our 110 member B&Bs across the state. Best of all, our member inns are assured for quality through professional, independent inspections: you’ll enjoy luxurious linens, hot and delicious home-cooked breakfasts, stellar hospitality and private guest rooms and baths.  You have our word on it.

To order your gift certificate to arrive before Christmas morning, order by December 20. Just click on this link: