Sometimes a hotel is more than just a place to rest your head for the night. Instead, it’s a destination in itself, a place you find yourself not wanting to leave. The Inn at Bay Harbor in northern lower Michigan was exactly that.
My husband and I spent a weekend together at the resort, just outside of Petoskey and on the sandy (or, in our case, snowy) shores of Lake Michigan‘s Little Traverse Bay. After a snowy five-hour drive up north from the Detroit area and dropping off the kids with their grandparents, we checked into the resort. The check in process was quick and efficient, and we quickly made our way up to our third-floor room.
We were booked in a Master Suite, a one-bedroom suite with one bathroom, a kitchenette with a table and four chairs, and a balcony that could be accessed by both the bedroom and living area.
There was more than of space for our luggage, with closets in both in the bedroom and living room, and a full-sized dresser in the bedroom.
End tables in the living area and an abundance of counter space in the kitchen also became handy places to rest our keys and other belongings.
A full-sized Murphy bed in the living room provided the option of additional sleeping space.
Our suite was a quarry view, from which we could see rugged rock walls with homes perched at the tops. We could also see the foreground of the property, including the ice rink that had been set up as part of the weekend’s Winter Festival. It was fun to look out the window or stand on the balcony and watch a game of broom ball or hockey, or see young kids slide around the ice with or without skates. Even without a view of the bay, we were pleased with our view – in fact, I don’t think there was a room in the hotel that didn’t offer a great view of the surroundings.
Once we settled in, it was time to explore the resort. With the outdoor temperature hovering around 10 degrees, our ventures remained indoors – checking out the fitness center, spa, and restaurants on site.
In the winter months, the hotel has a formal restaurant (Sagamore’s) open for breakfast and dinner each day, and the South American Grille and Wine Bar open for lunch and dinner. Both have stunning views of the bay and outdoor seating in the warmer months. The Inn Cafe also has snacks, ice cream and coffee, and free popcorn.
I was booked for a Petoskey Hot Stone Massage, 75-minute treatment that incorporated hot Petoskey stones with traditional massage techniques, so I headed for the full-service spa and salon. I found the massage to be a relaxing way to unwind after a long ride in the car and to set the tone for a relaxing weekend without the kids.
Several off-site activities were available to guests, including a shuttle to two area golf clubs, the Petoskey Gaslight District and to the Odawa Casino. My husband and Ichose to drive ourselves to the Odawa Casino (mostly prompted by the $20 slots credit received at check-in) and tried our luck. We spent about an hour at the slots and came out with more than we went in with – the very definition of a successful casino visit!
The charming Bay Harbor Village is a short and scenic walk from the resort; a paved path stretches from the back of the resort along the bay and into the village. While the path was salted and well maintained, we found it easier to jump into the car and drive over (added bonus: free parking!). The village is home to several shops, restaurants and other businesses, and is located right on Little Traverse Bay and adjacent to a marina. My husband and I ate lunch in the village but, for the most part, found that the resort provided enough to see and do that we didn’t need to leave the property.
Disclosure: Our stay and one spa treatment were provided by the resort for the purpose of this review; all opinions are my own.