Archive for the ‘Bed and Breakfast’ Category

Michigan’s Best B&Bs Span the Great Lakes: Part 7

March 27th, 2014 by linda

Bed and Breakfasts are truly “the better way to stay.” This seventh in a series of Michigan B&Bs in Pictures helps prove the assertion, which we take to heart as the Michigan Lake to Lake B&B Association. We offer you the best and most current information on our members, which comprise the state’s finest inns. Each is regularly inspected, from the grounds to the guest rooms, for more than 100 points of quality including safety, cleanliness, comfort and professionalism. Here, we are pleased to introduce you to The State Street Inn on Lake Huron, The Last Resort B&B Inn on Lake Michigan, and Big Bay Point Lighthouse B&B on Lake Superior.

THE STATE STREET INN , HARBOR BEACH (SE)Statestreet main photo
It’s just a short walk from this charming harbor-town B&B to the Lake Huron shoreline – the perfect way to start or end the day in any of Michigan’s seasons. The State Street Inn in Harbor Beach is an ideal destination for peaceful contemplation of nature’s bounty.

Looking from Harbor Beach across Lake Huron.

Looking from Harbor Beach across Lake Huron.

It’s also the gateway to the entire tip of Michigan’s Thumb, where attractions range from kayaking on the great lake to viewing its resident lighthouses from an excursion boat…. from exploring the area’s history at the Grice House and Frank Murphy museums and nearby Pioneer Log Village to working state-of-the-art wind farms. Explore more state and country parks than you can count on both hands. Bike. Hike. Antique. Wine taste. Dine romantically or just chill in friendly local pubs. Innkeepers Bill and Janice will help you pinpoint the local fun-spots and make sure you have breakfast before you go.  C’mon over, anytime.

last resort blue ribbon

Closest B&B to South Haven’s sandy beaches.

THE LAST RESORT B&B INN, SOUTH HAVEN (SW)
Last Resort
What makes The Last Resort B&B Inn a “must visit?” Located on the picture-esque North Beach in South Haven, this lovely “walk-to-downtown” inn has water views – either of Lake Michigan or the harbor — from every one of its 14 rooms but two! Even the two that don’t feature lake views have en suite baths, air conditioning and whirlpool tubs – everything you need to feel at home and pampered. Guests enjoy a visual feast of diverse, colorful artwork both from the innkeepers’ international travels and from their own palettes. With wrap-around decks, spacious common areas and a range of accommodations from cozy to penthouse suites, the Last Resort was South Haven’s first tourist resort when it opened in 1883. It became South Haven’s first B&B after the current inkeepers renovated and reopened it 31 years ago. 

   BIG BAY POINT LIGHTHOUSE B&B, BIG BAY (UP)
Big Bay Lighthouse 2 Haven’t you always wanted to live in a lighthouse?
What could be more romantic than knowing the light above you is busy warning mariners away and the waves are crashing below while you snuggle safe and cozy in a pampering guestroom. Live the dream at Big Bay Point Lighthouse B&B in Big Bay, just north of Marquette on Lake Superior in Michigan’s U.P. Here, each of the inn’s seven first and second-floor rooms promise a great night’s sleep. Climb to the lighthouse lantern 120 feet up for a sweeping view of the endless lake, the Huron Mountains looming in the distance, the hardwood forests circling close and landscaped grounds and meadows hugging the inn. Imagine watching the night sky, the northern lights or a storm laced with lightening from the tower or standing on the bluff. In the evening, relax in front of the fireplace in the spacious living room.  In the morning, enjoy a full, delicious breakfast in the dining room. And remember: when Innkeepers Jeff and Linda promise they’ll leave the light on for you, they aren’t kidding!

Find unique and welcoming B&Bs all across the state by visiting our website and choosing “Find a B&B.”

Rate Your Stay” to share your experiences at any of our member inns.

Always remember, you can stay at a chain motel…. or you can experience a B&B. You get to choose “the better way to stay.”

Three B&Bs Join Michigan’s Best Series – Part 6

March 15th, 2014 by linda

The first five installments of this photo series depicting Michigan’s finest bed and breakfast inns helped characterize the diversity that makes each B&B geographically and architecturally unique. At the same time, it helped identify the qualities that make them distinct from hotels, chain motels, vacation rentals or short-term home shares. This week, we continue the same theme — different yet similar-at-heart, by introducing Gingerbread House B&B, Chesny’s Keswick Manor B&B and Inn at Old Orchard Road B&B.

Gingerbread House

Gingerbread House, Petoskey/Bay View, Michigan
Named one of the “prettiest painted places in America,” Bay View is one of the state’s most historical areas and continues its century-old traditions as a Chautauqua, an association blending education with entertainment in the form of concerts, plays, visual arts, opera, worship and lectures. As a guest of Gingerbread House B&B, you can experience this private community where artists and audiences live as one. Bay View was founded in 1875 on 337 beautiful, terraced acres adjoining Petoskey. Its views of Little Traverse Bay are panoramic. Could there be a more spectacular place to enjoy your morning cup of coffee than on the inn’s wrap-around front porch? As a guest of Gingerbread House, you enjoy easy access to the beach and to all the amenities of the Bay View Association, plus downtown Petoskey shopping, galleries, pubs and fine dining.  Plan your getaway now.  Hemingway did!

Chesny’s Keswick Manor

Chesnys Keswick Manor, Bay City, MI
Bay City boasts two lovely bed and breakfast inns. One of them is Chesny’s Keswick Manor.  If only one word was allowed to describe it, the word would be “gracious.” It applies to the innkeepers, to the beautifully-landscaped grounds, to the turn-of-the-century architecture, to the neighborhood and to the feeling you get just being there. But to accurately describe this spacious four-guestroom/private baths inn, you’d have to add the word “comfort” for its laid-back ambience….. the word “innovative” for its ‘build your own weekend’ packages…. the word “delicious” for a full breakfast menu every day and a private catering menu reserved exclusively for overnight guests. Relax. The Chesny’s have it handled.

Inn at Old Orchard Road

Inn at Old Orchard Road, Holland MI
There are no secrets in the dining room in Elizabeth DeWaard’s charming, early-century Dutch farmhouse-turned-B&B, Inn at Old Orchard Road in Holland, Michigan. In the tradition of early settlers to the area, the breakfast linens are washed, ironed and immaculately folded. The glassware and china are sparkling. In full view and and splashing color from glass-fronted cabinets, they blend to create a patchwork of artful comfort matched only by the hospitality of the innkeeper. Did we mention she’s a good cook? That’s important, as Breakfast is fully half of the “B&B” equation. She shares her guest’s favorite recipes on her website, but few can prepare them as deliciously as she does. They just taste best made fresh and eaten here.

You can find all of our member B&Bs here.
Each of them is required to meet a set of high quality standards for safety, cleanliness, comfort and professionalism.

We invite you to review any of our member B&Bs by visiting
Rate Your Stay.”

More of Michigan’s Best B&Bs – Part 5

March 7th, 2014 by linda

Our member B&B’s are among the world’s finest — only better, because they are here in Pure Michigan. At each of them, you’ll experience touches of local color you won’t find anywhere else. Discover At Willow Pond B&B, Glen Arbor B&B and Voyager’s Inn B&B. Each is distinct from the other, yet each is distinctly Michigan.

At Willow Pond, Fenwick (SW)
At Willow Pond horseback

A handful of Michigan inns are worlds unto themselves. Take At Willow Pond B&B, for example, located in Fenwick just outside Greenville. Their hens freshly lay the eggs you’ll enjoy each morning. You can slather Claire’s hot-from-the-oven baked goods with honey from their own bees and jams from their own fruit. There are horses for riding, 25 acres of all-season grounds brimming with wildlife and trails, a stocked fish and swimming pond and a hot tub under the stars. Lest you picture a traditional farmhouse, picture instead a new and contemporary rustic wood-sided home complete with a real wood fireplace that crackles with warmth all winter long, WiFi throughout and satellite TV in four spacious guest rooms with private baths. It’s just an hour from Grand Rapids, Lansing and Mount Pleasant. What are you waiting for?

Glen Arbor B&B, Sleeping Bear Dunes Area, (NW)
Glenn Arbor new exterior

Glen Arbor Google Site MapIf you know Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, you only need to see this snip of Google map to envision the dunes and the water and the wonder that is the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore along the Leelanau Peninsula. When you visit this piece of paradise, named last year by “Good Morning America” viewers as the “most beautiful place in the U.S.”, why not make your vacation headquarters an inn that turns special into spectacular – an inn like Glen Arbor B&B? Its spacious rooms, decorated in sunny yellows and summer-sky blues, are designed to accommodate a range of guests from couples to families with older children. Set in the heart of the Village of Glen Arbor, it’s an easy walk to artisan shops, boutiques, galleries, pubs, fine dining, canoe liveries…. So what are you waiting for?

Voyager’s Inn, Three Rivers (SW)
Voyager's Inn music_parlor

With its massive oak and cherry pocket doors, hardwood floors, gingerbread scroll work and a grand staircase, Voyager’s Inn is a showcase of the Victorian era’s finest craftsmanship. Despite its historical roots, its amenities are state-of-the-art from private baths and WiFi throughout to luxury sheets, hypoallergenic bedding, cable TV and central air. Like the finest B&Bs everywhere, Voyager’s Inn serves complimentary hot and cold beverages around the clock as well as sweet treats in the Parlor every evening. (Nope. No extra charge.) Its signature breakfasts are legendary for fresh, local produce, dairy products and meats. Just minutes from Kalamazoo, the B&B is located on a friendly residential street in the small town of Three Rivers, where the St. Joseph River meets its tributaries — the Rocky and Portage rivers.

Have you stayed at one of these B&Bs? Share your experience with us by “rating your stay.”

These are just three of 100 Michigan inns that are quality-inspected members of the Michigan Lake to Lake B&B Association. Discover all the other wonderful places to stay and play on our website. You can count on them to deliver every measure of quality.

Michigan’s Best B&B’s in Pictures – Part 4

February 25th, 2014 by linda

This fourth in a series of Michigan’s finest bed and breakfast inns spotlights three uniquely-different B&Bs in uniquely-different parts of the Greater Grand Traverse Area, each with a Traverse City mailing address. That one zip code can produce such geographical diversity helps us understand how each of these lodgings adapted to its surroundings, each in its own way, to become distinctly itself. Discover Wind in the Pines, Schooner Manitou and Neahtawanta Inn.

Wind in the Pines. Traverse City (NW)Wind in the Pines Exterior

Just five miles from downtown Traverse City, Wind in the Pines B&B may as well be a world away from the hustle and bustle of its shops, brew pubs, galleries and restaurants.

Wildlife Habitat

The property is recognized as a Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.

Designed to be a bed and breakfast, this spacious log home was completed in 2005 to incorporate the lodging needs of the most discriminating guests. But it is also certified by the National Wildlife Federation in recognition of the planning, landscaping and sustainable gardening that provides a quality wildlife habitat. Set amid acres of pines, this B&B is a haven for birds, wild turkey, ruffed grouse — even the occasional deer or coyote.

Three spacious guest rooms reflect the beauty of the north woods with pine cone, bear and moose themes.  A range of king, queen, or twins beds is available and all rooms have TVs, DVD players and en suite baths.  A full, hot breakfast is served daily. All you need to do is relax.

Schooner Manitou, a Floating B&B on Grand Traverse Bay (NW)

Schooner Manitou BreakfastIn the same town, yet another world away, we ask: was this photo of a gourmet-laden breakfast table taken with a fish-eye lens – or are those walls really curved? Yes, the walls are really curved. They follow the hull of the Schooner Manitou, replica of an 1800s cargo schooner – commonly called a “tall ship.” During the day, it plies the waters of Grand Traverse Bay on a variety of excursion tours. At night, it is transformed into a floating B&B.

The Schooner Manitou B&B plies the waters of Grand Traverse Bay..

The Schooner Manitou B&B plies the waters of Grand Traverse Bay.

You start with a leisurely sunset cruise. Sleep the night in one of 12 immaculate bunks safely tied up at the dock with ready access to hot showers…. or bring your sleeping bag and enjoy the night topside, under the stars. Enjoy breakfast in the spacious galley, freshly prepared on a wood stove. This is a unique experience reserved for the adventurous. Don’t delay making advance reservations starting in May.


Neahtawanta Inn, a B&B on Old Mission Peninsula, Traverse City (NW)

neahtawanta-inn exterior

Following a year marred by tragedy, Neahtawanta Inn is back open for business, year around. Last year on February 3rd, a fire destroyed portions of the turn-of-the century inn, located on a wooded property that includes 300 feet of frontage on Bower’s Harbor, located near the top of  Old Mission Peninsula near Traverse City. On August 23rd, owner Sally Van Vleck lost her husband and innkeeping partner of 26 years to cancer.

Neahtawanta water front by Russ J. Foursquare

Neahtawanta Inn’s front yard on Bower’s Harbor.

The newly-rebuilt B&B is freshly decorated and updated with state-of-the-art amenities. The beach is touched only by the seasons. Now partnering with daughter Katy, Sally continues to offer morning yoga classes, four spacious guestrooms plus a two-bedroom suite, delicious vegetarian breakfasts, and to run the inn based on a philosophy of conservation, respect for the Earth and sustainable living.

Have you stayed at any of these delightful bed and breakfast inns? If so, “rate your stay” and write a review. We’d love to hear what you think. Discover a hundred more B&Bs on the official Michigan B&B website. And watch right here for the next installment of “Michigan’s Best Inns,” Part 5.

Michigan’s Best B&Bs in Pictures – Part 3

February 7th, 2014 by linda

You’ll find B&Bs in the most likely and the most unlikely places. This post features Dutch Colonial Inn, located in the popular Lake Michigan beach town of Holland; J. Paules Fenn Inn, located in the nearby farming community of Fennville surrounded by vineyards and orchards; and Teaspoon B&B, tucked away in the near wilderness close to the very accessible Northeast community of Mio. No one can claim B&Bs are all the same like motels in a chain!

Dutch Colonial Inn, Holland (Southwest)

Dutch colonial tulip Suite 1          Dutch Colonial Tulip Suite 2

 

 

 

 

 

 
The inviting two-level Tulip Suite at Dutch Colonial Inn in Holland is unique and wonderfully private. The romantic, tucked-under-the-eves guest room (left) is plenty roomy for the height conscious and features a king bed and full bath with tempting two-person whirlpool tub. The sunny sitting room right) has a gas-log fireplace, entertainment center and a second private bath. The suite is one of four clean and luxuriously-comfortable guest rooms in this meticulously-maintained 1920s home just blocks from downtown Holland shopping, dining, brewpubs and boutiques, and a short drive to Lake Michigan beaches. Enjoy!

J. Paules Fenn Inn, Fennville (Southwest)

winter-j-paules-fenn-inn_JPG_1024x0
Salt of the Earth
is a regionally-acclaimed artisan-style restaurant that’s become a dinner destination in Fennville. It’s close to J. Paule’s Fenn Inn, here looking pretty as a picture in sky blue and winter white. Great wine bars and brew pubs, restaurants, galleries and boutique shops are open year-around in Saugatuck, just six miles away. What better place to while away some snowy winter days? The Allegan State Game Area, just east of J. Paule’s  and Dunes State Park, just west on the Lake Michigan shore, offer some of the finest cross-country ski trails in Michigan – free! 
Stop for hot coffee and farm fresh fruit pie baked just around the corner at Crane’s OrchardSample fine Michigan wines at neighboring Fenn Valley VineyardsDid you really think you were getting away just to relax?

 Teaspoon Bed and Breakfast, Mio (Northeast)

Rent a canoe in nearby Mio to experience the wild and scenic Au Sable River when you spend time at Teaspoon B&B. It’s in the heart of Amish Country, located on 30 private, wooded acres smack in the middle of the Huron-Manistee National Forests. If you want pampering amenities while enjoying the wilder side of Pure Michigan, try the warm hospitality provided by Kathy and Fred, Teaspoon’s innkeepers. Hike. Fish. Hunt. Take a guided Kirtland’s Warbler tour. This inn offers access to everything “Sunrise Side,” including a great breakfast every morning. Yum! -

Ausable River near Mio, MI   Dining Room at Teaspoon B&B

 

 

 

 

 

Have you stayed at any of these delightful bed and breakfast inns? If so, “rate your stay” and write a review. We’d love to hear what you think. Discover a hundred more B&Bs on our official Michigan B&B website. And watch right here for the next installment of Michigan’s Best Inns, Part 4.

Michigan’s Finest B&Bs In Pictures – Part 2

January 30th, 2014 by linda

These featured Michigan bed and breakfast inns demonstrate the unique differences between each and every B&B.
There are no cookie cutters allowed!
Crimson Cottage Inn the Woods, Holland; The Farmhouse Inn, Homer; and Leonard at Logan House, Grand Rapids

Crimson Cottage Inn the Woods (Southwest Region)Crimson Cottage front door

Crimson Cottage Inn the Woods isn’t your typically Victorian bed and breakfast inn. A new construction of contemporary design and crimson accents like its welcoming front door, this B&B features sun-filled rooms lit by spacious windows overlooking a quiet, residential woods and pond. Located in Holland, it is modern, yet secluded; tastefully appointed, yet wonderfully comfy. The innkeepers provide bicycles to guests who want to ride the mile to Lake Michigan beaches on trails that crisscross the area. Shopping and dining are just a short drive away. It’s perfect!

The Farmhouse Inn, Homer (Southeast Region) Farmhouse Inn

Within an easy driving radius of two private colleges – Albion and Hillsdale, The Farmhouse Inn in Homer is just a 45-minute drive from Michigan International Speedway and welcomes fans throughout the racing season. This Italianate-style farm home, built around 1870, is in the heart of Amish country and near an Amish-owned bakery, a general store and other family-owned shops, locally-acclaimed Cascarelli’s of Homer known for its signature pizza, a winery and a brewery. Enjoy the inn’s landscaped decks and swimming pool as well as area golfing. birding, canoeing and kayaking.

Leonard at Logan House, Grand Rapids (Southwest Region) leonard at logan guest refreshments

The always-accessible guest kitchen at the Leonard at Logan House in Grand RapidsHeritage Hill historic district is a prime example of what puts bed and breakfast inns head and shoulders above other lodging alternatives. Like most B&Bs, this magnificently-restored 1914 mansion near downtown provides no-cost-added amenities like complimentary beverages and snacks. Here, you don’t pay extra for a bottle of water or a can of pop! Enjoy continental breakfast during the week and a full, delicious breakfast every weekend. It’s all part of the traditional B&B package. Live well!

Have you stayed at any of these one-to-a-kind bed and breakfast inns? If so, “rate your stay” and write a review. We’d love to hear what you think.

Discover more B&Bs on our official Michigan B&B website.

Watch right here for the next installment of Michigan’s Finest Inns, Part 3.

 

 

The Best Michigan B&Bs In Pictures – Part 1

January 22nd, 2014 by linda

Featuring the Olde Farmhouse B&B,Marshall; the Huron House B&B, Oscoda; and the Ginkgo Tree Inn B&B, Mount Pleasant.

Olde Farmhouse B&B, Marshall (Southeast Region)
Olde Farmhouse B&B, Marshall MI
If you’re a bride-to-be planning your outdoor wedding, consider Olde Farmhouse B&B, just six short minutes from Historic Downtown Marshall and ideally located at the crossroads of East/West I-94 and North/South I-69. Besides ease of access for your guests, the inn is a beautifully-restored 1910 farm home that offers city elegance in a peaceful country setting. It’s also perfect for quiet getaways, sipping hot coffee after a full, hot breakfast on the wraparound veranda and cooling off in the pool on a summer afternoon.


Huron House B&B, Oscoda (Northeast Region)
Huron House B&B, Oscoda MI
At Huron House B&B in Oscoda, enjoy breakfast on your own private deck watching the sun rise over majestic Lake Huron. When the weather isn’t so cooperative – like now, enjoy it delivered to your room in cozy comfort and style. What’s on the menu? Shown here are the B&B’s signature croissants, freshly baked, flaky and covered with house-made caramel sauce and crushed walnuts along with generous sides of bacon or sausage, coffee, juice and fresh fruit. Heaven!

Ginko Tree Inn, Mount Pleasant (Northeast Region)
Ginkgo Tree Inn B&B, Mt. PleasantThis view of the rear courtyard from the Lincoln Library at Ginkgo Tree Inn in Mount Pleasant nearly obscures the Chippewa River as it twines its way through the foliage below. See the gazebo? It’s the perfect spot for a wedding, don’t you think? The greenery that frames the photo on the right is the signature, triangle-shaped leaves of the ginkgo tree, a Chinese import revered for its beauty and longevity — a living fossil unchanged for more than 200 million years. The inn is surrounded by parkland, and is an easy two-block walk to boutique shopping and fine dining downtown. What a gem!

Have you stayed at any of these delightful bed and breakfast inns? If so, “rate your stay” and write a review. We’d love to hear what you think.

Discover more B&Bs on our official Michigan B&B website.

Watch right here for the next installment of Michigan’s Best Inns, Part 2.

 

Kalamazoo House B&B Rates Top Guest Review

January 13th, 2014 by linda

Review submitted by Sarah S. from Fort Wayne, Indiana, who explained
she couldn’t do justice to The Kalamazoo House B&B with a standard
“It was great; I’d stay here again.”

Our Guest Room

Our guest room.

We visited The Kalamazoo House to celebrate our first anniversary. We felt right at home from the get go. We stayed in room #5 and were pleasantly surprised with its comfort. The bed was wonderfully comfortable (so much so that I wrote Laurel and Terry, the innkeepers, after our stay to ask about the brand). Refreshments were waiting in the room for us which made a lovely ‘after drive’ reprise. The bathroom was very good size, which was impressive for a home of this age. There were plenty of places to store our things in the bathroom and lovely toiletries for our use. I took advantage of the whirlpool tub which was relaxing, and the aromatherapy bath scent they provided was a nice touch. The robes in our rooms were clean, fluffy and luxe. The TV was of good quality and had an HDMI hook up, something we find important. We were able to connect our laptop and watch our own movies brought from home. We did check out the DVD library the inn provides and saw many beloved favorites as well as new titles.

Cozy dining room; fab food.

Cozy dining room; fab food.

Breakfast shows off Terry’s true talent. My husband and I tried three of his creations while we were visiting – every one of them was a success. His homemade bread is to die for. We really enjoyed the breakfast room. It’s cozy so you can chat with other guests if you want, but you still have your our own table. We’re not morning people and we felt we didn’t have to make conversation if we didn’t want to. We met three other couples while we were there and all raved about Terry’s food as well. When we came down for breakfast there was a full coffee and tea setup waiting to greet us – just perfect for waking up.

The "secret garden" is a delight.

The “secret garden” is a delight.

The gardens were not in full bloom when we came due to the time of year, but we still found sitting out on the side porch a nice diversion. Terry and Laurel have decorated the gardens with some lovely art which I just adored. The home is also well decorated with gorgeous artwork around every corner. The bar/parlor/common room is lovely and comfortable. My husband and I enjoy puzzles and board games and had brought a few from home (although the inn has some as well). We turned on the local NFL game and worked a puzzle and ate lunch in the parlor. We had it all to ourselves which was surprising, though welcome.

This inn is elegant, comfortable, private, clean and close-by everything.

This gem of an inn is elegant, comfortable, private, clean and close-by everything.

It’s clear that Laurel and Terry were born to run an inn! They’ve thought of everything. The coffee/tea/water station was extremely well thought out and easy to use. Refrigerated refreshments were always available as well as a microwave, which is great for us snack-loving folks. We loved the cookies and milk before bed. Our room had two kinds of easy-to-locate emergency lighting (hey, you never know, right?). Both Laurel and Terry provided great conversation and were always easy to locate without being overbearingly present. We felt we had just the right amount of privacy.

We were in walking distance of every cool thing downtown Kalamazoo offers. (The B&B is the red star near the bottom of the map.)

We were in walking distance of every cool thing downtown Kalamazoo offers. (The B&B is the red star near the bottom of the map.)

Terry and Laurel are very in touch with the local community and were ready with information about the happenings around Kalamazoo. Terry knows his restaurants and steered us (foodies) in the right direction. The basket of menus in the entry are all marked with their schedules, which makes it easy to pick out which ones are closed on Sundays. Also worth noting: Terry and Laurel have a stash of items on hand for the forgetful traveler. We are among those forgetful sorts and found both items we needed tucked away in a drawer. This was such a nice touch.

Not only would I stay here again, but my husband and I are planning to visit again this spring. Only this time we’ll  bring my brother and sister-in-law along. A gem like The Kalamazoo House is meant to be shared.

Editor’s Note:  You can write your own review of any Lake to Lake-member inn
and 
see it published here by visiting “Rate Your Stay” on the association website.

How B&B’s Fulfill the Promise of a Good Night’s Sleep

December 30th, 2013 by linda

Castle in the Country B&B Inn near Allegan is all about the "B's" in Bed and Breakfast. Innkeeper Ruth Boven says, "We think our guests sleep best on beds that are thoughtfully and carefully put together. The Castle uses best-quality mattresses, Comphy Sheets that are "amazingly soft."

Castle in the Country B&B Inn is all about the “B’s” in Bed and Breakfast. Innkeeper Ruth Boven says, “We think our guests sleep best on beds that are thoughtfully and carefully put together. The Castle uses best-quality mattresses and Comphy Sheets that are “amazingly soft.”

What’s trending? Sleep. Enough of it can help keep you healthy: too little can wreck your health along with your state of mind. Michigan B&Bs are committed to the notion of a good night’s sleep for their guests, and they work hard to ensure it.

When Cathy Russell of White Swan Inn in Whitehall, led the “ABC’s of Innkeeping” workshop last October for aspiring innkeepers, she advised that when choosing mattresses and bedding, “strive for something your guests probably don’t get at home — hopefully, something better.” That’s a point well taken by member innkeepers of the Michigan Lake to Lake B&B Association.

“We consider a top-quality mattress a must,” says Claire Vandenberg, At Willow Pond B&B near Greenville. But there’s more. Other musts are good bed linens — “we use cool, crisp cotton from about April to October and toasty warm flannel sheets in the colder months.”

"After relaxing in a double Jacuzzi tub, promise innkeepers Bob and Pat Elenbaas of Dutch Colonial Inn in Holland, "sleeping well always happens!"

After relaxing in a double Jacuzzi tub, promise innkeepers Bob and Pat Elenbaas of Dutch Colonial Inn in Holland, “sleeping well always happens!”

Claire agrees with Cheri Antozak, Prairieside Suites Luxury B&B in Grandville, near Grand Rapids, that pillows are also key to a good night’s sleep.

“I find the pillow has a huge impact on whether I sleep or not,” Cheri says. ”We provide six bed pillows in both standard and king sizes, in soft to firm densities so our guests can find a perfect fit.”

Six pillows, she adds, ensures a couple can each stack three to comfortably read or watch TV. Per Lake to Lake Association guidelines, she provides an extra blanket in each guest room, and often finds it doubled up on one half of the bed.

“Marriages seem to consist of one person who is cold and one who is hot!”

hanging sheets on line

During the warm months, East Tawas Junction B&B offers guests the luxury of line-dried linens fresh from the outdoors.

When she coached aspiring innkeepers, Cathy included bedding as part of the good-night’s sleep equation. She irons her sheets to provide one of those ultimate “don’t get it at home” luxuries. Linda Fedraw not only irons her sheets, but provides evening turn-down services as part of the guest experience at the Grand Victorian Inn in Bellaire. Other B&Bs that feature ironed sheets include Adrounie House B&B in Hastings and Grey Hare Inn in Traverse City.

And then there are brands available exclusively to inns. If you’ve never heard of Comphy Sheets, you’ve missed out on a little bit of heaven. You can enjoy them at dozens of Lake to Lake-member B&Bs, including Castle in the Country near Allegan, The Kalamazoo House in Kalamazoo, Historic Webster House in Bay City, Adventure Inn in North Lakeport and Crimson Cottage Inn the Woods, Holland. While Comphy markets its sheets only to lodgings, most innkeepers are happy to show you samples, place an order for you and have it drop shipped directly to your home. Just ask.

Cathy is one of the many innkeepers who take advantage of the association’s partnership with Lady Americana Mattress, a Michigan-based manufacturer that offers a specially-made line of mattress sets exclusively for Lake to Lake members. Called the Homeplace Collection Sleep System, if you love sleeping on the mattress when you visit an inn that offers them, the innkeeper knows who to call to order an identical mattress delivered to your home.

Yummy bedtime snacks at Candlelite Inn.

Yummy bedtime snacks are complimentary at Candlelite Inn.

Of course, there are other elements to achieve a good night’s sleep. Melanie Barnard at turn-of-the-century Candlelite Inn in Ludington invites her guests to help themselves to complimentary bedtime desserts and snacks and hot and cold beverages that include caffeine free sodas, decaf coffee and a variety of herbal teas including Sweet Dreams and Chamomile. And no guest needs to stress half the night about maybe oversleeping in the morning: Melanie serves breakfast whenever each guest wishes. J.Paule’s Fenn Inn in Fennville buffers noise from other guests by providing soothing noise machines in main floor rooms and spa music on CDs in rooms on the second and quieter floor. Dutch Colonial Inn in Holland swears by a Jacuzzi for two while East Tawas Junction B&B in East Tawas practices the art of sleep-inducing aroma therapy, sparingly.

Lake Huron view from The Toy Box guest room at Adventure Inn.

Lake Huron view from The Toy Box guest room at Adventure Inn.

Some B&Bs simply offer a natural nighttime peace. A Dove Nest in Kingston sits among many forested acres and wildflower-filled prairies in a natural setting. LogHaven B&B in West Branch, at the edge of the Huron National Forest, is so far off the grid the innkeepers use strictly wind and solar energy to power their thoroughly contemporary log home. Who couldn’t sleep in the arms of pure silence? Adventure Inn serves up views of Lake Huron, a hypnotic landscape whether its mood is calm or rankled with crashing waves or with the seasonal transformation from water to ice.

To discover the unique sleep aids each of Lake to lake’s member inns offer, visit this link to design you own stay based on amenities like luxury linens, ensuite hot tubs or air jet tubs, in-room fireplaces, cuddly bathrobes — even their geographic settings.

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Baert Baron Manor, a New-Member B&B

June 24th, 2013 by linda

 

Baert Baron Manor exterior

Historic Baert Baron Manor creates its own atmosphere of           elegance, serenity, luxury and romance.

The Baert Baron Mansion is a 19th century Victorian landmark nestled in the Michigan village of Zeeland, just 8 minutes from downtown Holland, 20 minutes from the nearest Lake Michigan beach and 30 minutes from the heart of Grand Rapids. They are among the newest quality-assured members of the Michigan Lake to Lake Association’s family of B&Bs.

The Mansion is moments away from world-class entertainment, miles of white-sand shoreline, incredible wineries, extraordinary restaurants and fantastic shops and boutiques. But from the moment you step through the century-old oak doors, promise Innkeepers Anna Karen and Vic, you will enjoy the peace, tranquility and serenity of yesterday. Even so, all the conveniences of today make it feel like a contemporary luxury home.

The Manor's guest rooms are designed to pamper and delight the imagination.

The Manor’s guest rooms are designed to pamper the soul   and delight the imagination.

Anna Karen says she has always loved entertaining. She can help you plan a special surprise with fresh flowers, a gift basket or a romantic dinner for two by candlelight. She can whip up a scrumptious picnic you can enjoy in the local park just steps  from the front door or on a bike ride through the surrounding Norman Rockwell-like neighborhoods.

Besides entertaining their weekly guests, Vic wears many hats as manager of a local Christian television station. Anna Karen also makes hand-crafted jewelry, does public speaking, is the host of a local TV program and organizes week-end “Women Retreats.”

Vic and Anna Karen say they have lost count of the many letters and e-mails they have received through the years, but “have been humbled” by some of these guest comments:

You warm hospitality was beyond words…..

You were a gift to us when we needed it…..

We have never been treated so good at a B & B. Thanks for the memories….

Truly, this was a wonderful warm adventure….

You two have a wonderful gift of hospitality…..

Our stay last week was a breath of fresh air…..

We owe you a debt of gratitude for a wonderful week-end of rest and care.

You ministered to my soul and for that I am forever grateful….

Enjoy reading these comments in full on their website.

 


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