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“Best Accommodation of Upper Peninsula Vacation - Aug 2011” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Balsams Resort

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Balsams Resort
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1464 W US 2, Saint Ignace, MI 49781   |  
Hotel amenities
Kissimmee, Florida
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Best Accommodation of Upper Peninsula Vacation - Aug 2011”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2012

Absolutely loved it!! Hated to leave.
The room, furnishings, size, table and even the walls were all very nice and made my stay very comfortable and relaxing. Crossing the street to get to the beach was easier than walking through my local WalMart parking lot. The beach is also very nice, and the motel's location is excellent for site seeing. Driving up to Sault Ste. Marie wasn't bad at all. I will definitely stay there again if I have another opportunity to vacation in MI (wish it wasn't so far from FL!) One last important thing: the proprieters' were very helpful and friendly too! Oh yeah---AND- the Rates are VERY Good!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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34 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Suamico, Wisconsin
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2011

We were really looking forward to spending a vacation that was a step up from camping yet not as luxurious as a hotel and thought the cabins at The Balsams would be the perfect ticket. Well, the cabin was not very clean (which we expected as we read the reviews posted here) and the beds were a little uncomfortable. However, the linens were very clean, the hosts were very nice and helpful, and there is a passable bathroom in the cabin. It's a very small bathroom but a step up from the bathrooms at most campgrounds. The beach is beautiful and very very shallow (so nice and warm) and you can walk out far enough to see the bridge which was cool. Now, by the 2nd day were were really loving the cabin even though it had some negatives (oh, you can hear the constant traffic on Hwy. 2 also) but then we were visited by a pair of mice in the kitchen on the 3 night. One was in the toaster and the other one was INSIDE the loaf of bread. We got rid of the bread mouse and after shaking the toaster the 2nd mouse escaped down a hole behing the kitchen counter. I went to talk to the hosts about it and they were not sympathetic at all and suggested that we take some mouse traps back to our cabin as "they've had problems with mice in cabins 1 and 4 lately". Also, "we are in their environment and live in their habitat so what can you expect?" I quite firmly told them I did not expect mice in my cabin and since I live in a house in the woods in Wisconsin, and have made it mouse free by plugging all the holes, I had expected the same in the cabin. He explained that the cabins were 100 years old and that it is impossible to plug all the holes. Needless to say, we weren't impressed. We left the following day (a day earlier than planned) and was able to at least get a one night refund. We then stayed at the Quality Inn right on the lake in downtown St. Ignace and enjoyed a clean, comfortable room with a pool and a view on the lake and were quite glad to be out of the cabins. So, just be aware that these are REALLY rustic cabins and that the hosts don't actually own the place...it's owned by a church in another city and parishoners apparently volunteer to host the place during certain times. Other than the mouse incident, they really were lovely people. If it weren't for the wonderful beach and the clean linens, I would have only given this one star.

Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2011

We booked the same cabin we had on our honeymoon 43 years ago...yikes! We thought it would be fun to stay there for the Mackinac Bridge walk (first time walkers). I started to get cold feet on the drive there, hoping there had been considerable refurbishing done since 1968. It was very pleasant. The cabin was clean, the bed comfortable and the shower great - key items. It is hard to rate it more than average, however, because it is rustic. Still, it was very comfortable and the staff was great. It seemed a little pricey for what it offered, but that could have been because it was Labor Day weekend. It is a real "up north" spot.

Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Jackson Ohio
2 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2011

We came back to the Balsams this summer and booked motel room 6 (it has a wood floor). This time we hiked in the national forest about 2 miles to the west, swam at the public beach about 8 miles west, went to Mackinac Island for a day trip, biked around the island, ate at a couple of local restaurants, and hung around on the Balsam's beach. There were four of us in the motel room, the bedding and curtains were clean, and we were able to get more towels when needed from the "Internet Cafe" / supply room. We all had computers (I know, we're weird) and were able to keep up with the rest of the world when we wanted to using the motel wi-fi.

Had a great time at the Balsams, and hope to visit again next year. We love to swim in Lake Michigan - it's like the ocean, only really clear, cold, and clean.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rockford, Michigan
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2011

We recently spent a night at The Balsams and had a wonderful time. We had just come from 3 days of wilderness camping so the rustic log cabin that we rented seemed quite luxurious in comparison. The room was very clean, fresh linens, plenty of towels and pillows for the 5 of us. The kitchen was suitably stocked for our needs. We enjoyed hiking the trails and spending time on the beach. We took their kayak out for a ride around the point to get a really good view of the Mackinac Bridge. As was mentioned in several other posts, the beach is across the street. We had to wait 30 seconds or so for an opening to cross the road, but that wasn't a big problem for us. Later that night we borrowed a movie from the office and watched it to help the kids wind down.

This isn't a Ritz Carlton, but if you're looking for a cozy log cabin in the woods with several nice amenities then this would be a good choice for you.

Room Tip: I'd prefer to stay in one of the log cabins rather than the hotel rooms up front.
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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belding
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2010

My husband and I along with my teenage daughter, and my two dogs stayed in cabin 1 and had a wonderful time. We are not real big camping people. The cute little cabin was just the right amount of "roughing It" for us. We found the cabin to be cozy and clean. We were surprised to find that the motel and the cabins were booked because it was so quiet and peaceful. Alot of little details were thought of by Balsam's, like dish towels, a clothes line, a basket for picnics, brochures for area attractions, etc. We were grateful to find a place our dogs were welcome. The beach was clean and we had it to ourselves for sometime. They provided beach chairs. Just bring your cooler and some towels. The fans in the cabin kept it very comfortable even on a warm day. Comfy chairs and a fire pit, and a grill, anything you may need was provided. We enjoyed Castle Rock after seeing a brochure in our cabin as well as a wonderful mexican restraunt called Jose Cantina which also allowed us to dine on their deck with our pups. Also the local paper in the cabin pointed us to a place filled with fudge and other yummy things. Thank you Balsams. We hope to see you again. The Zachow Family

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hudsonville, MI
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2010

We recently returned from a stay at Balsams Resort in St. Ignace. We stayed in Cabin #6. We chose this cabin based upon the photos (what few there are) on the website + the amenities it had for the size of our little family. However, the pictures are NOT entirely accurate now. My guess is they're old photos from when cabins were originally built. So, the photos you see may not be what you get entirely, but are semi-accurate. For example, in Cabin #6 the photos show a patterned carpeting, but when we got there it was just (very uneven) wooden floors (with a nail head or two poking up - watch little ones' feet!), refridgerator in different place (not a big deal), porch not NEARLY as tidy and porch furniture not as nice quality as shown.

The good:

- The location
- Kitchen decently stocked with utencils & appliances working well
- Beds pretty comfortable & linens clean
- Cozy except for gross cob webs in every corner (see comment below)
- Friendly & helpful staff

The bad:

- Cabins seem shabbily built (floor very uneven, cabins held up by cinder blocks, obvious replacement of roof planks - possibly from major leakage?), drawers in kitchen very sticky and hard to open.

- VERY cob-webby! You'd think for $110/night they would have broomed out the cob webs that are all OVER the cabin! Yuck!

- Very dusty & generally unclean feeling (except bedding, surprisingly)

- Very dim lighting in bedrooms - hard to see & get around on uneven floors = lots of stubbed toes & banged knees

- Sink in bathroom leaked all over my feet when I turned the water on too high - not sure what is up with that

- TV provided gets NO channels - only for use with a VHS player provided (they offer a small selection of VHS tapes in their office). This is a little hard with small children who get bored easily with sitting around the fire w/ Mom & Dad.

- Wood selection for firepits is a messy pile next to Cabin #6 and wood is constantly wet from rain - takes a long time to get fires going

- Playground is OK, but not much - playset looks very unstable & rotted (wood)

- Had major T-storm & rain one night of our stay and woke up to a couple leaks on the floor, but nothing too major. Thankfully nothing on the beds - just in main dining area & on hard floor.

- Decor is meant to be cozy, I guess, but definitely VERY outdated. Futon mattress was very faded & dirty looking.


Overall, I give the place a grade of: D. I think the family that runs it are very nice, good-hearted & helpful & it seems they are trying their best, BUT, the place is not worth the money, I'm sorry to say! We enjoyed it for what it was - a cabin in the woods & it's obviously not meant to be a hotel, but the overall uncleanliness of the interior is what turned us off the most. A little more housekeeping & deeper cleaning would go a LONG way. Should also update photos to more accurately represent what customers are getting. Was a pretty disappointing stay...but maybe the other cabins are better? :(

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Balsams Resort

Address: 1464 W US 2, Saint Ignace, MI 49781
Location: United States > Michigan > Upper Peninsula > Mackinac County > Saint Ignace
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Saint Ignace
Number of rooms: 6

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