Posts Tagged ‘Kingsley House B&B’

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.


Don’t miss next week’s blog:
“B&B Mascots — Making a House a Home”Blog subscribe

“B&B” Means Bountiful Breakfasts

February 6th, 2015 by linda

You can talk about food all you want, but the next best thing to eating it is seeing it. Enjoy these bountiful breakfast entrees offered by our Michigan bed and breakfast inns.

Huron House B&B   and   Adventure Inn B&B

Bountiful blog snip Adventure and Huron

Apples naturally make us think of a sweet flavor, but the seasoning combination brings a more savory flavor to the table at Victoria Resort.

Apples naturally make us think of a sweet taste, but the seasoning combination brings a more savory flavor to the table at Victoria Resort.

This past fall, Victoria Resort B&B owner Jan Leksich was stocking up at a local farm stand when she spotted a recipe for a quiche made with apples. Intrigued, she brought it back to her team of innkeepers who quickly added their own magic. First, they started with a homemade crust. Then they taste tested. They voted to change the onion component, add some sage, exchange the Swiss for sharp cheddar –and a week later the final recipe was ready for guests. The guests’ vote? Delicious!

At Willow POnd breakfast entreeNowhere is breakfast fresher than At Willow Pond B&B, located in the heart of Amish country midway between Grand Rapids and Lansing. The peppers are from their garden. The eggs are from their chickens who have their own following on the inn’s Facebook page. The toast is from a homemade light honey-banana whole wheat, and you can find the recipe right here in our online cookbook. The bacon is “Walnut Creek” from the Country Pantry, a Mennonite store in the nearby village of Sheridan, where the innkeepers vie with horse and buggies for a parking space.

Bountiful Kingsley House Creme Brulee French Toast

You can make the Kingley House Creme Brulee French Toast yourself. It will look like this and taste fabulous.

Creme Brulee French Toast was a menu favorite at Kingsley House B&B even before the new owners purchased the inn last year. It’s so good, they kept it for the pleasure of those staying with them in Fennville, just minutes from the Lake Michigan shore. Adapted from a recipe in Epicurious that was later shared by a B&B in Maine, innkeepers Chris and Brenda Brzys often serve it with maple-glazed smoked sausage Chris prepares on his smoker. To taste it, either give yourself the gift of a getaway at Kingsley House, or fix it yourself using the recipe shared once again — with you.

Kingsley House Creme Brulee French Toast

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • an 8- to 9-inch round loaf country-style bread (We like to use challah bread)
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

In a small heavy saucepan melt butter with brown sugar and corn syrup over moderate heat, stirring, until smooth and pour into a 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking dish. Cut six 1-inch thick slices from center portion of bread, reserving ends for another use, and trim crusts. Arrange bread slices in one layer in baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit.

In a bowl whisk together eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, Grand Marnier, and salt until combined well and pour evenly over bread. Chill bread mixture, covered, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 350° F. and bring bread to room temperature. Bake bread mixture, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve hot French toast immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

Want more great breakfast recipes? Visit B&B Recipe Favorites online and choose from about 400!

Michigan B&Bs Span the State From Lake to Lake…. to Lake

May 29th, 2014 by linda

Fine B&Bs span the entire state of Michigan, from lake to lake. The three inns featured here extend from the tip of the Upper Peninsula down through the center of the Lower Peninsula all the way to southern Lake Michigan. B&Bs are a better way to stay – and Michigan boasts some of the finest. Meet Kingsley House B&B, Inn at the Rustic Gate B&B and Dapple-Gray B&B.

Kingsley House B&B, Fennville (Southwest)

Kingsley House porch Can you imagine a better place to be than on the spacious wrap-around veranda at Kingsley House B&B on a warm summer day? Located in Fennville, it’s in the heart of fruit and wine country and just five minutes from the popular Lake Michigan beach town of Saugatuck. It’s a short walk to Salt of the Earth, a fine artisan restaurant that’s a favorite stop on Hungry Village Tours. Fenn Valley Winery and the acclaimed Crane’s Orchard, featuring fresh fruit pies, are just up the road. Kingsley House is equidistant between the harbor communities of Holland and South Haven, where the owner, Dave Drees, also runs a culinary specialty shop, The Olive Cart. Voted by guests as one of the “Top 12 B&Bs” worldwide, this prestigious lodging features luxury Jacuzzi and fireplace suites, gracious hospitality, a peaceful country setting and friendly ambiance.

Inn at the Rustic Gate B&B, Big Rapids (Northwest)

Inn at Rustic Gate bobcat While any B&B can display a photo of a luxurious bed or a plated breakfast, few can offer a bobcat in a nearby tree. A gem waiting to be discovered by those seeking a tranquil getaway, The Inn at the Rustic Gate invites guests to take a step back from their everyday lives — and a step toward what feeds their souls. The inn is just seven miles from Big Rapids, easily accessible from U.S. 131. But it may as well be a million miles away. It offers 8 lovely guest rooms with private baths, a conference center, a dining room that seats up to 30 and a meditation loft with yoga resources and expansive views of its surroundings among 150 acres of woodlands in the Manistee National Forest. Its acreage includes wetlands, rolling meadows, a small private lake and a pond. It’s an ideal birding site and offers outdoor recreation year around.  

Dapple-Gray B&B, Eagle Harbor (Upper Peninsula) 

Dapple Gray Deck This is the the inn that took antiques to the extreme – to the extreme end of world, that is. Dapple-Gray B&B overlooks Lake Superior in Eagle Harbor near the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan’s U.P.  If Michigan itself is the state no one passes through by accident, the Keweenaw is an even more on-purpose journey. But as you can see by this view from the inn’s front porch, even in winter it’s an adventure well worth the effort. Summer is spectacular. A new log-cabin construction, the spacious four-guestroom inn with the traditional “Yooper’s” sauna is a literal treasure trove of Victorian antiques – and the backdrop for seminars by Innkeeper Ruth VanGoor who gave the same antique seminars at St. Louis Community College for 15 years. Breathtakingly unique, Ruth and her husband, Ole, invite you to come visit, savor the views, browse their adjoining antique shop and enjoy life ‘at the end of the world.’  Blog subscribe