My partner and I just returned from our first and most likely last stay at The Dunes Resort in Saugatuck. Our room #10 was located in the older section of the hotel and was mediocre at best. There was a small TV mounted to a shelf near the ceiling and it only had a few channels available. Our friends who paid much more per night for an upgraded 2-room suite in the newer building also had a small TV but they had a full range of cable channels available.
The bathtub surround had a spongy floor and when you touched the walls of the tub surround it sounded like all of the drywall behind it had crumbled away. There was a hole in the wall of the room near the entrance to the bathroom that was either caused when somebody punched the wall or threw something at it.
There was a basic alarm clock, (no radio), a small table with two chairs, a wall a/c unit and a closet with several shelves and a rod to hang clothes. The bathroom floor looked like it was the original, (1960’s ?), tile. It was clean but very dated. There was a small assortment of Judith Jack bath amenities, (soap, shampoo, etc.).
The double beds were very small and my partner and I are both about 5’ 9” and 150 lbs. I guess they were full size mattresses. We are used to getting queen mattresses when we book a double room in other hotels. Our feet hung over the end of the bed and we barely had room for the two of us lying side by side.
The noise from the adjoining room was terrible. Our neighbors decided to host after hours parties in their room after the motel bar closed and you could hear their conversations as if they were standing a foot away from our bed.
We arrived on a Saturday at the same time a cold front settled in on the area and it started to rain. Unfortunately, it rained all weekend and we were never able to enjoy the outdoor amenities. The pool area looked clean and well kept and there seemed to be an adequate number of lounge chairs for sunning. The pool water was very cold to the touch and I am guessing it was not heated.
I don’t know if it was due to the bad weather all weekend, but the Sunday T-dance was a disaster. Even though there is a huge covered patio/bar/dance floor, only about a dozen guys showed up during the first two hours of the event. It seemed a few of the regulars/locals made an appearance and the tourists had either already left for home or just didn’t feel like dealing with the bad weather. Hopefully the atmosphere is much different when the weather cooperates.
We decide to leave early due to the weather and were not offered a refund of our last night’s stay, (a Monday night). The hotel website does indicate there are no refunds for early checkouts but I feel that policy is not necessarily fair, especially if guests are checking out at a time when the hotel has a large number of vacancies. They should at least base the policy on their occupancy at the time.
I would suggest a first-time visitor consider some of the other lodging options available in the area. There are many gay-owned B&B’s in the Douglas/Saugatuck area that probably offer a much better value for your money and you can always visit The Dunes property as a day guest and use the pool, attend the T-dances, etc.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- For over 34 years, The Dunes Resort has provided a simple, comfortable gay hotel experience. Gays and lesbians come to escape the doldrums of Middle America and enjoy a day, weekend, or complete gay friendly vacation. Now crowned one of the largest gay and lesbian resorts and entertainment complexes in the Midwest, The Dunes Gay Hotel, formerly the Douglas Dunes Resort, is heralded as Western Michigan's premier gay and lesbian vacation destination and a pinnacle of the gay Saugatuck - Douglas community. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- The Dunes Hotel Douglas
- Dunes Hotel Saugatuck