Archive for the ‘Bed and Breakfast’ Category

The Many Faces of B&B Mascots – Part 1

November 23rd, 2015 by linda

Some anonymous someone once said, “A house is not a home without a pet.” Seriously: it’s a famous quote attributed to “Anonymous.” But how many of us have said it and attributed it to our own hearts?

Like many homes, bed and breakfast inns are often cohabited by pets — sometimes tucked into the innkeepers’ private quarters and rarely seen or heard, if ever. Sometimes, they are part of the daily comings and goings and help create the character of the lodging. Regardless, animal mascots are the heart and soul of many a B&B.

Miss Millie at Chelsea House B&B.

Miss Millie at Chelsea House B&B prefers peace, privacy and the company of the innkeepers’ purple passion flowers.

Chips and Tucker, both spaniels and of obvious royalty, rule at Bellaire B&B. Guest favorites, they are never allowed in any guest's room.

Chips and Tucker, both spaniels and of obvious royalty, are innkeeper assistants at Bellaire B&B.

If you have allergies or an aversion to certain types of animals, be sure to check the websites of the inns you are interested in visiting. Members of the Michigan Lake to Lake B&B Association are required to disclose the presence of pets in the lodging — particularly if those pets are allowed in common areas. No B&B innkeeper allows their pets into the guestrooms.

Sonny loves visiting with guests at At Willow Pond B&B.

Sonny, one of two resident horses, loves noshing with guests at At Willow Pond B&B.

There's a reason the innkeepers at A Dove Nest B&B call this horse "Nosy."

There’s a reason the innkeepers at A Dove Nest B&B call this horse “Nosy.” It’s one of nine who live in the pastures and stables on the property.









Missy is a marvelous mouser who always turns her prey lose at Dewey Lake Manor B&B.

Missy is Dewey Lake Manor’s well-fed mouser who always turns her prey lose after a brief romp outdoors.

If you want to discover more about these B&Bs that animal mascots call home, just click on the photos.

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B&Bs: How to Pick ‘Em (Part 2)

November 11th, 2015 by linda

How do you choose the right B&B? Why choose a B&B at all? Enjoy Part 2 of this Q&A with a couple who knows the answers.Al and Delores have stayed at 81 different B&Bs over the past 25 years -- with various degrees of enjoyment. They've learned how to choose what works best for them.

Dolores and Al Trombley of Sterling Heights, MI are quintessential B&B fans. They’ve stayed at 81 bed and breakfast inns — 58 or them in Michigan — over the past 25 years of their 50 years together. Answers are in their own words except where italicized words are added for clarity. 

Q     How has the internet changed your process of choosing a B&B?
A     We haven’t had a bad experience in many years, thanks to the Internet. If we’re staying in Michigan, we go to the Lake to Lake website first. We’ve had considerable success with the Wisconsin B&B Association site and I think also with Indiana’s. Look for the websites of state associations that review and approve members.

The Heather House in Marine City is one of a handful of Michigan B&Bs the Trombleys have visited twice.

The Heather House in Marine City near Lake Huron is one of a handful of Michigan B&Bs the Trombleys have visited twice. (Click the image for inn details.)

Q     What part do reviews play in selecting a B&B?
A     Al replied: “I don’t go to TripAdvisor first. I will go there if a Google search includes it among the first few links provided, but I usually don’t actively seek TripAdvisor results. I rely on TripAdvisor with a grain of salt because of too many ringers and sour apples. With respect to internet reviews, I tell people, if you have any doubts, toss out the two or three best and the two or three worst.”

Q     What do you tell B&B novices about why you prefer B&Bs?
A     The experience. It’s like  the “Forrest Gump” quote about the box of chocolates.  “You never know what you’re gonna get.” There is no chain B&B. At the vast majority of inns, the owners are on site and serving you. Sometimes people tell us they wouldn’t feel comfortable sleeping in someone else’s house. Our response is that if the innkeepers aren’t the sort of people who can make you feel comfortable, they won’t stay in business very long.

Kingsley House B&B in Fennville is another Michigan B&B that brought the Trombleys back for a second stay.

Kingsley House B&B in Fennville nearby Lake Michigan is another Michigan B&B that brought the Trombleys back for a second stay. (Click the image for inn details.)

Q     Besides your clothing and toiletries, what useful items do you take with you to B&Bs?
A     Al said: “Night light, flashlight, paper towels, and our own alarm clock because I know how it works.” Dolores advised: “Take a lapboard to make sure you have a place to write something.”

Q     What changes have you observed in B&Bs over the years?
A     The price has gone up. Since we are retired now, we are priced out of many places we would like to stay. Where in the past, we would stay more days we now stay fewer. We mix it up to average a lower price per night. If a place appeals to us, we’ll find a way.

Al, who has a business degree and spent his career in banking and the last 15 years of it in bank marketing, added: “I understand pricing. If you price too high, you’re losing business; price too low, and you’re giving it away.

“When we first started going to B&Bs, we didn’t look at it as an alternative to a hotel in terms of price. The rates were immaterial, within reason. We were going for the B&B experience.”

Q     Do you ever stay at the same place twice?
A     We’ve stayed twice at 16 B&Bs and three times at three B&Bs. The Trombleys stayed four times at Wooden Heart Inn in Sister Bay, WI, which became their favorite. Then the owners retired and closed the inn. Dolores said: I feel left out that I can’t go anymore. I didn’t realize I was going to take it that way.

Q     Future B&B plans?
    We love doing this. Hope we can continue for many more years.

— The Trombleys were interviewed by innkeeper Sandy White of Adventure Inn, located on Lake Huron halfway between Port Huron and Lexington, MI. She’d love to get a look at Al’s spreadsheet rating all the places they’ve stayed, including at Adventure Inn.


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How to Choose a B&B – (Part 1)

November 4th, 2015 by linda

How do you choose the right B&B? Enjoy Part 1 of this Q&A with a couple who really knows the answers.
Al and Dolores Trombley of Sterling Heights, MI, have stayed in 81 different B&Bs over 25 years. Although some of the 81 B&Bs have since closed or are for sale, 58 were in right here in Michigan. Answers are in the couple’s own words.

Q     How do you decide whether a B&B will merit a stay?
A      The first consideration is where we want to go. If we’re staying in Michigan, we consult the Lake to Lake website first, because it’s easy to use, it’s reliable, and information on a large number of B&Bs is all in one place. If we can’t achieve what we want with Lake to Lake, we will branch out.

Al and Delores have stayed at 81 different B&Bs over the past 25 years -- with various degrees of enjoyment. They've learned how to choose what works best for them.

Al and Delores have stayed at 81 different B&Bs over the past 25 years — with various degrees of enjoyment. They’ve learned how to choose what works best for them.

We will not stay in a place with shared baths. Some innkeepers say, “If you want a private bath, we won’t rent the other room” that shares the bathroom. But it’s not a risk I want to take. It’s just not comfortable for us. We have a strong preference for an ensuite bathroom, but we have stayed in B&Bs with a private bathroom across the hall.

We prefer a B&B that accepts no children. It’s not an absolute, but it’s a plus.

We prefer a room that doesn’t open up to a common area.

TV in the room and an internet connection are totally optional for us, but we know that younger people value WiFi and the availability of lots of outlets to plug in their devices.

We prefer a communal breakfast table, so quiet introverts like us are more likely to interact with other guests. The conversation is always totally unpredictable. We learn from each other. You can’t get that at a hotel. The conversations with the innkeepers and other guests are part of what makes a B&B stay memorable. It’s a disappointment when it’s just us for breakfast: we do that every day.

Q     Besides shared bathrooms, what are other major turnoffs that make you decide not to book a B&B?
A     We just read about a B&B that has a checkout at 10 a.m. Not acceptable. An 11 a.m. checkout is pretty much the norm.

If the B&B’s website has obviously outdated specials or information, that to me shows a lack of attention to detail. If they’re not paying attention to that, what else are they not paying attention to?

The Innkeeper’s attitude is critical. I usually telephone to make a reservation, even when online booking is available. From our end, the phone call is sort of like an interview. Some conversations are polite but short and sweet. Others evolve into a longer conversation, and I find myself listening to someone who is happy to talk about their inn. This is the kind of place I know we’ll feel comfortable. One time, the lady sounded like she didn’t care if we stayed or not, so we didn’t.

Q     What do you say when someone asks you why you don’t just open your own B&B?
A     Al’s answer: Not for one day. I would not want to be on your side for one day. we are not morning people. Innkeepers have an 18-hour day. That’s not us. You  run your business whether you’re sick or well. You keep on. That is absolutely admirable.

— Al and Dolores were interviewed by innkeeper Sandy White, who isn’t a morning person but nevertheless has operated Adventure Inn B&B  on Lake Huron with her husband for 10 years. Adventure Inn was the Trombleys’ 79th B&B, and the photo was taken there with the lake as a backdrop.

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August 19th, 2015 by linda

Discover the eighth of all the great reasons to choose a B&B.

Remember the four reasons to choose a Michigan B&B over other lodging alternatives? #1 – breakfast; #2 – personal service; #3 – location; and #4 – romance. Today’s blog adds three more reasons, bringing the total to seven. Together, they add up to “great value,” the best reason to choose a B&B.

#5. Unexpected luxuries.

Experience the luxury of sun-dried sheets ironed crisp when you lay your head in your comfy bed. Some B&Bs don't go this far, but many do.

Experience the luxury of sun-dried sheets ironed crisp when you lay your head in your comfy bed. Some B&Bs don’t go quite this far, but many do.

Most B&Bs offer special extra touches to make your stay pampering and luxurious. Among the perks that may be offered are luxurious bed linens, line dried in the sunshine and ironed crisp by hand. Thick, fluffy, super absorbent towels. Organic, farm-grown food and hand-made breakfast preserves. Locally roasted coffees. Designer soaps, lotions and shampoos. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. You can find which inns offer luxury amenities by searching specific items under “inn amenities” and “room amenities” on our website’s “Design Your Stay” menu.

#6. Activities on site and nearby.

Leisurely bike trails and sidewalks, with bikes provided by many B&Bs and secure bike story provided by many others.

Enjoy leisurely bike trails and sidewalks. Bicycles are provided by many B&Bs and secure bike storage is provided by many others.

Lots of B&Bs offer additional recreational activities in their regular packages. Some provide bikes to ride nearby trails or around town. Some have discount deals just for their guests at places like golf courses or water-sports liveries. Some have barns where you can stable your horse to explore equestrian trails. Some are near ski slopes or have snowmobile trails right outside the back door. Discover which inns offer what under “Area Activities.”

#7. Privacy, peace, security.

B&Bs tend to be more exclusive with fewer guests. Many cater to couples rather than families. If you're looking for a place to spend quiet time -- to get away from it all, a B&B is your best bet. Click on the photo to discover the inn. 

B&Bs tend to be more exclusive with fewer guests. Many cater to couples rather than families. If you’re looking for a place to spend quiet time — to get away from it all, a B&B is your best bet. Click on the photo to discover the Country Hermitage B&B near Traverse City.

Discover which inns encourage families and which encourage couples to enjoy an “adults’ only” environment by searching under the heading, “Inn Policies.” Some innkeepers also welcome your pet. You can find out which B&Bs do and don’t by searching under the same heading. 

8. Great value!

Help yourself. Most B&Bs, like Leonard at Logan House in Grand Rapids, don't put price tags on snacks. Beverages are always available.

Help yourself. Most B&Bs, like Leonard at Logan House in Grand Rapids, don’t put price tags on snacks. Beverages are always available.

Add it all up and you can’t find better deals anywhere than at a B&B. At first blush, the room may seem more expensive than a roadside motel. But add in complimentary breakfast for two, free snacks and fresh-baked treats,  complimentary sodas, coffee and bottled water, free WiFi, more personalized service, a little pampering and an always unique, safe and friendly experience – you’ve got great value.

B&B Photos Speak Volumes

April 14th, 2015 by linda

At Michigan Lake to Lake B&B Association, we believe pictures speak a thousand words and best tell the stories of our member bed and breakfast inns. Telling those stories is the reason we exist. So imagine how pleased we are that a study just released on use of social media by 91 state and provincial B&B associations cites our Facebook page as  “Best at Promoting Members and Sharing Members’ Content” and our blog for “Best Use of Photos.” These are some of our favorites. Click on the image to find out more about the featured inn.

Apprentice Innkeepers

Tucker and Chips, “aspiring” Innkeepers at Bellaire B&B.


Waterloo Gardens B&B

You choose: a chain motel entrance or this welcoming front door to Waterloo Gardens B&B?









The freshest breakfasts start with fruit, like this Peach Pinwheel served in season at Adventure Inn.

The freshest breakfasts start with fruit, like this Peach Pinwheel served in season at Adventure Inn.

At Kalamazoo House, breakfasts are private, cozy and delicious.

At Kalamazoo House, breakfasts are private, cozy and delicious.


Castle in the country B&B Inn offers romance in casual elegance,

Castle in the Country B&B Inn is a study in casual elegance with its own lake, a pond and trails through acres of woodlands.


Black tie is never di rigeur at the White Swan Inn.

Black tie is never a requirement at the White Swan Inn – especially when you’re biking up the Lake Michigan coast from Chicago.


BYOH(orse) to LogHaven Bed, Breakfast and Barn.

You can BYOH(orse) to LogHaven Bed, Breakfast and Barn and ride miles of equestrian trails through the Huron National Forest.












Sleep is an experience in luxury at B&Bs like Canterbury Chateau.

You enjoy close encounters of the most luxurious kind when you sleep at B&Bs like Canterbury Chateau.

To locate all 100 of Michigan’s finest inns, explore our online directory. Collect our innkeepers’ favorite recipes. See which B&B’s are close to the Michigan attractions you most want to visit, from craft breweries to wineries, lighthouses, golf courses, beaches and more. Visit our blog often for more great stores and images of the only B&Bs in Michigan certified as “inspected and approved.”


Michigan B&Bs: From Lake to Shining Lake

December 4th, 2014 by linda

From one Great Lake to the next, Michigan Bed and Breakfast inns offer a better way to stay for business or for pleasure… and they are a great place to truly enjoy a vacation. Unlike a stiff and formal hotel or motel lobby, their common areas are warm and inviting — homey and comfortable. There’s nothing impersonal about a B&B: innkeepers are known for their warmth and hospitality. But at the same time, they don’t intrude on your privacy. They are often gourmet cooks, spending their evenings whipping up batters for home baked goods they’ll serve you warm from the oven each morning. B&Bs have yards and porches, patios and gardens, and you’re invited to enjoy them.  Often, B&Bs are located in places the rest of us only dream of living — like those in these Michigan beach-towns.

Bay View B&B, Mackinac Island (Northeast Region in the Straits of Mackinac)

Bay View B&B exterior by Sandy White

Now may not be the high season for Mackinac Island…. but it’s high time to get those reservations made to stay at Bay View B&B on your preferred dates in 2015. So hurry: don’t miss out on experiencing this crown jewel set on Michigan’s crown jewel itself, open only between May and October. Bay View sits uniquely at the water’s edge looking out over the Straits of Mackinac, especially panoramic when viewed from the guest-exclusive second-floor sundeck. A delicious hot breakfast is served daily on the harbor-view veranda from the kitchen run by Ms. Rose, who is a well-loved island institution herself. She and her staff greet you every morning with a hot breakfast, every afternoon with freshly-baked cookies and each evening with a tasty sweet treat. Choose from among 19 luxurious rooms priced according to their amenities – from partial harbor views to balconies to thoroughly-pampering bridal and executive suites. Come via ferry and arrive by horse-drawn carriage. Depart with reluctance. No motorized vehicles allowed! (Thanks to Sandy White, Adventure Inn B&B, for the photo.)

Raymond House B&B, Port Sanilac (Northeast Region on the Lake Huron shore)

Raymond House exterior

Affordable, luxurious, cozy, genuinely Victorian and in the beach town of Port Sanilac on Lake Huron: how much more inviting can a bed and breakfast inn get? With seven guestrooms in a mansion a half block from the lake and the Port Sanilac Lighthouse and in walking distance of shoreline shops and eateries, the Raymond House B&B is ideal for every style of getaway from scrapbooking and reunion weekends to romantic twosomes. Placed on the Michigan Register of Historical Sites in 1992, the inn was built in 1872 and was home to the Raymond family for 112 years. Inside and out, its original Victoriana is carefully preserved and restored. The photo shows off its gingerbread façade, steep sloping roofs and white icicle trim. Inside, the guestrooms feature a comfortable Victorian décor with brightly-colored bedspreads and lace curtains. A full and fabulous breakfast is a given. Just two hours north of Detroit, this is a year-around B&B that promises cozy down comforters for winter-time snuggling.

Victoria Resort B&B, South Haven (Southwest Region on the Lake Michigan coast)

Victoria Resort Capture

At Victoria Resort, you can have your hot cakes and eat them too, in the same lovely room where breakfasts were served to guests who arrived by steamship for summer holidays in South Haven back in the 1920s. When you’re absolutely satisfied, it’s off to the Lake Michigan beach just down the street. Its sugar sand is warm and welcoming in the summer and its views and nature-made ice sculptures are majestic in the winter. Walk a block the other direction and you’ll find yourself downtown. In the summer, you can enjoy drinks, lunch or dinner atop the Idler, a restored paddle wheel boat permanently docked along the bustling Black River channel to the “Big” Lake. There are dozens of pubs and eateries of all kinds as well as specialty shops and galleries year around. Every August, the entire community is transformed into the Blueberry Festival, celebrating South Haven’s renown as the heart of Michigan’s fruit belt. Those blueberries you see above are some of the best you’ll ever eat, sweet-tart, picked daily and served fresh from the farm to Victoria Resort’s table.

Find Michigan B&Bs from lake to lake that are perfect for your getaway by visiting our website and selecting “Find a B&B.” You can rest assured that any property listed on the site is fully insured as a B&B and meets the association’s high membership standards for safety, cleanliness and professionalism.

You can keep your finger on the pulse of today’s B&Bs by also subscribing to our blog and by liking us on Facebook.

Michigan B&Bs: Distinctively Different for Distinctive Lifestyles and Tastes

November 8th, 2014 by linda

The common myth is that all B&Bs are alike. We beg to differ. No matter your lifestyle (or the lifestyle you’d like to live), your personal preferences or your own very unique tastes, there is a bed and breakfast inn in Michigan that will graciously accommodate them.

Stone Chalet B&B Inn, Ann Arbor (Southeast Region)

stone chalet close exterior

Stone Chalet Bed & Breakfast Inn is the only association-approved B&B in Ann Arbor, and it is most deserving of the distinction. Whether visiting this famous university town for business or pleasure, the Stone Chalet is unquestionably your first call for reservations. An historic Swiss-style chalet built of solid granite blocks, circa 1917, the inn offers 10 clean and spacious guestrooms with private baths, located in four connected buildings. One houses a former sanctuary from a previous incarnation as a Unitarian Church. Today, it’s a 2,800 square-foot event center than can be rented for an hour or a day. The grounds are spacious and beautifully landscaped, and lovely afternoon parties are often hosted in the gazebo. If you have business at U-M, you will enjoy close proximity to the campus and, despite the inn’s historic character, WiFi throughout. The common area combines the living room and side porch, cleverly disguised as a formal dining room where innkeepers/owners Lana and Mike, who took up the reins of the former Vitosha Guest Haus last year, offer delicious breakfasts and a place to gather for games and conversation.

Twin Oaks Inn, Saugatuck (Southwest Region)

Twin Oaks Inn new

Former guests might miss Willa, the innkeeper of Twin Oaks Inn in downtown Saugatuck since 2001. But guests old and new love the “new” Twin Oaks as much as they do Sherry and Lisa, who just successfully completed their first summer and fall seasons as its new innkeepers/owners. In addition to six spacious bedrooms, some with fireplaces, sitting rooms and jetted tubs and all with private baths, TV and WiFi, the inn features a charming screened-in porch and outdoor conversation areas. There’s ample on-site parking, a luxury in this popular Lake Michigan beach town. Twin Oaks is easily walkable to 14 restaurants and pubs, to galleries and specialty shops galore and to the boardwalk along the marinas on the harbor’s edge. Mount Baldhead with its 282 steps (or thereabouts) to one of Pure Michigan’s most sweeping views and to Lake Michigan’s Oval Beach, is accessible via an historic chain ferry across the Kalamazoo River.

Antiquities’ Wellington Inn, Traverse City (Northwest Region)

Antiquities' Wellington ext

There are so many ways to enjoy Traverse City – the up-north jewel on Grand Traverse Bay surrounded by beaches and wineries, culinary delights and one-of-a-kind shops and galleries. If you visit and stay at Antiquities’ Wellington Inn, you can immerse yourself in history and style while enjoying everything this crossroads of culture and outdoor recreation offers year around. An impeccably-restored 1905 neoclassical mansion, Wellington Inn has nine elegant guestrooms as well as two-bedroom carriage house suites, all with private baths and featuring period furnishings designed to take you back to the time when Michigan’s white pines made barons out of lumberjacks. Enjoy a full breakfast each morning, a complimentary guest kitchen and wireless internet. Walk two short two blocks to downtown shops, beaches and restaurants. What a perfect way to get away!

Discover all of Michigan’s distinctive B&Bs by using the “Find a B&B” function on our website. Search a variety of ways — by name, by city, by region, by specials and packages — or design your own stay by choosing a country or a city setting, waterfront or woods, in-room Jacuzzi’s or outdoor hot tubs under the stars, pets or no pets and dozens more of the amenities you prefer. Nothing beats a B&B except a B&B that’s a member of the Lake to Lake B&B Association, quality assured by regular inspection and guaranteed to reflect the best hospitality practices. Member B&Bs are the only inns you’ll find listed, assuring a most satisfactory stay in every way.

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Start New, Start Fresh, Start Over: Become an Interim Innkeeper With “Inn-Sitting 101”

October 13th, 2014 by linda

Are you retired – but not yet tired?
Itching to stay in the game but at the same time, play?

Retired - but not tired?

Retired – but not tired?

Or are you dreaming of a career change?
Something new with just a touch of glamour?
A job that doesn’t keep you stuck in the same place forever?

Wishing for a little glamour?

Wishing for a little glamour?

Or maybe you’re the hostess with the “mostess” who loves to
see your guests relax and laugh and enjoy the fruits of your creativity.

The hostess with the "mostess."

The hostess with the “mostess?”

Consider living your dream. Consider learning the ins and outs of being an interim innkeeper. You can do it! Just sign up for “Inn-Sitting 101,” the first-ever training program designed to give you the basic knowledge and skills – and the credibility – to march into a B&B anywhere and give the innkeepers a break! No one can work 24/7, 365!

Held at Chelsea House Victorian Inn in beautiful downtown Chelsea all day on October 21, you’ll get hands-on training from professional interim innkeepers who see the need for qualified people in every corner of the state. You’ll schedule the second day of training at your convenience — an opportunity to work as an innkeeper under the tutelage of veteran innkeeper owners at their B&B.

Interim innkeeping is the best of all worlds: you have all the fun of playing hostess without the burdens of ownership. You are your own boss: you pick and choose when and where you accept inn-sitting offers. Your temporary homes are in the luxury of Michigan’s finest inns. You become the stewards of legendary Michigan hospitality.

Cost for the day-long training is just $100 per person or $175 per team of two and includes lunch and hand-out materials. The program is sponsored by Michigan Lake to Lake B&B Association. For details and to register, contact C. M. Eldridge at 248-684-2484.


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How an Aspiring Innkeeper Achieved Her Dream of Owning a Michigan B&B

October 9th, 2014 by linda

By Christine Shull, Owner and Innkeeper
The Painted Turtle Inn, St. Joseph

My innkeeping journey began back in 2000 when my (now) husband took me to a B&B near the Leelanau Peninsula.  We spent the weekend wine tasting and enjoying the area – and the B&B.  I was hooked!  I grew up in a family-owned business and worked in many aspects of it for years.  After a stint in corporate America, I knew owning my own business was for me.  After staying at that first B&B, I set my sights on becoming an innkeeper one day.

The Shull Family: Christine, Joel and their children.

The Shull Family today:
Christine, Joel and their children.

Fast-forward 9 years, many B&B stays and two kids later – it was time to get the show on the road and follow my dream.

It was the worst time to buy or open a business.  The economy was in a nosedive and everyone was scrambling.  But I was determined.  We decided St. Joseph was the place for us and started looking for suitable properties.  A B&B was for sale.  Of course all the banks said no, but I persevered.  I found the Lake to Lake B&B Association and immediately joined as an aspiring member.  Back then they didn’t even have the aspiring workshop as they do now, but I went to the conference and was welcomed with open arms.  I met some wonderful innkeepers.  I took notes and my brain swirled for days with all the things I had never considered and new ideas that propelled me to continue my journey.

Painted Turtle thank you noteIn 2010, the banks still said no, but again I attended the conference.  Met some new people; reminisced with some I already knew.  Made contacts and networked with seasoned innkeepers who are always willing to offer advice and support to help get you through many of the challenges this occupation throws at you.  Different seminar topics sprouted more ideas and propelled me to keep following my dream. I have attended every year since – and every year there are new people to meet and new ideas to be had.  Presenters and topics change every year to keep things fresh and interesting.  I never leave a presentation without learning something or gleaning a new perspective.

The Shulls opened The Painted Turtle Inn in late spring, 2013.

The Shulls opened The Painted Turtle Inn in late spring, 2013.

In 2013, my dream finally came to fruition and The Painted Turtle Inn opened just in time for the summer season.  Because of everything I learned from the conferences, combined with my own ideas of what MY B&B would be, we were successful from day one.  I had planned for so many details that surely would have been missed without the knowledge I gained from all those willing to share at the conferences.

This yearly meeting is a chance to interact with others in your same profession, which promotes great comraderie and can improve not only your business, but your outlook on your chosen life style as well.  No matter how long you have been in the business, you can always learn something new. And there is nowhere better to do that than the Lake to Lake Conference!

If you’d like to explore your dream, come join me.
There’s still time to register.
Just click on the image below for complete information
about the Workshop and the 27th Annual Conference.


Every Michigan B&B is Its Own Unique Self

October 2nd, 2014 by linda

All B&Bs are NOT created equal, thank goodness. As an example, these three bed and breakfast inns could not be more distinct from each other in architecture, geography and decor. What they do have in common is uncommon hospitality, attention to safety, exceptional comfort, a guarantee of cleanliness and some of the best breakfasts you’ll ever have. Meet Gould Farm Bed and Breakfast Inn, a working farm near Clare in the heart of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula; Hexagon House, a luxurious six-sided showplace in the Lake Michigan harbor village of Pentwater; and Butler B&B, the epitome of Victoriana in the charming Lake Huron community of Lexington.

Gould Farm Bed & Breakfast Inn, Clare, Northwest Central Region

Gould Farm exterior

Lush, plush and thoroughly welcoming, clean cut and contemporary: Gould Farm Bed & Breakfast Inn will banish any stereotype of rural life. Established in 1975, this 835-acre farm has 550 head of cattle on pasture. The traditional-style farm house was completed in 2001 and has four lovely guest rooms with private baths and a guest lounge. Located near Clare, Gould Farm is “up north” but not too far north of Michigan’s major population centers, making it an easy drive from practically anywhere for a relaxing retreat. The house is set atop a hill with sweeping views of the farm in all four directions. In warm weather, relax on the white wicker front porch while cattle graze in the distance. Wake up each morning to a hearty farm-style breakfast. Get away from it all!

Hexagon House Bed & Breakfast, Pentwater, Northwest Region

Hexagon exterior

In the cool of summer mornings, breakfast is served hot and fresh on one of the porches and decks that wrap around both levels on all six sides of the Hexagon House B&B in the Lake Michigan harbor Village of Pentwater. Set on three private acres of sweeping lawn and gardens, Hexagon House features all the high-tech amenities like wireless internet. But one low-tech amenity sure to please is an outdoor fire pit, surrounded by comfortable Adirondack chairs and designed exclusively for doing absolutely nothing. Just minutes from sugar-sand beaches and Pentwater’s quaint downtown specialty shops, galleries, pubs, restaurants and marina, this B&B is open in all four seasons.

Butler B&B, Lexington, Southeast Region

Butler B&B exterior

New restaurants and a downtown renovation are revitalizing the Village of Lexington, Lake Huron’s number-one beach town. At the heart of it, Butler B&B is a quiet refuge for those seeking to get away from any city’s’ hustle and bustle. A short walk from downtown shops and restaurants and just four blocks from the scenic limestone harbor and marina, this fully-renovated and restored Victorian home, circa 1879, offers three large and lovely guestrooms, each with its own private bath. A hot and homemade breakfast is served every morning. Two landscaped acres of lawn and garden offer guests peace as well as privacy.

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