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“Unwelcome too”

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Sleeping Bear Bed and Breakfast
Ranked #2 of 3 Empire B&B and Inns
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Unwelcome too”
Reviewed July 27, 2013

We stayed the week of 7/4 and felt exactly the same as the other couple. In fact, I asked my husband if he wrote it! We were welcomed by Van, walked into the house where Susan was sitting at her desk and did not even turn her head to greet us. We did have a chat over breakfast the next morning, as we were the only guests that night, and she was complaining about not getting good help, having to clean and work so hard. Well, when we are paying you $250 per night, we don't want to hear about that. Either sell the place or just fake it and collect your money.

On the plus side, the king bed in our room was very comfy with nice linens as advertised. Breakfast was good, and the biscuits were exceptional. On the negative side (other than hospitality), we had a porch with rockers, but it had not been swept in some time. The notes in the bathroom about why we had to use the white towels felt mean. I felt like my mean aunt was going to come in and yell at me. The couple seem to collect everything, which fills the house. Not a stack of 5 magazines, but hundreds of mags, books, knick knacks, you name it. it...You could call it eclectic or you could call it hoarding. Also felt dark and musty. Open up the windows, dust out the corners, get rid of 50% and you'd have a fresh place.

OK, so if you just need a great bed, good biscuits and no small talk, this is the place for you.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Debra P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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52 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed July 3, 2013

My wife and I have only been to three B&B's and this place was not even close to the the way we feel they should be. The owners are Van and Susan. While Van tried to be accommodating and friendly, his wife seemed as if we were intruding on her home and did not say two words to us as we arrived. There was no mention of snacks or coffee at night. The other two we stayed at had cookies and brownies out at night and allowed access to the fridge for beverages. Tv was only good for dvd's, no actual cable or satellite. All these extras were at no charge at the candlelight inn that we stayed at the night before for $25.00 less and included a welcoming host . I will say the rooms were clean and the breakfast was good but not enough for me to come back again. Also, just so you understand that I am not just complaining unjustly , the other guest that were staying here also mentioned not feeling welcomed by Susan.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank 1osufan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Annapolis, Maryland
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 1, 2013

I just returned last weekend from my first visit to the Sleeping Bear Dunes area and the Sleeping Bear Bed and Breakfast. I really can't speak highly enough of both the general area, and particularly this B&B. First off, the place is absolutely adorable. As someone else mentioned, it does look a bit cluttered at first, but then it all just winds up adding to the experience. We stayed in the Michigan room, which of one of the two rooms that shares a bathroom. It was bigger than I expected and very nicely decorated. The bed is comfortable and there is an abundance of towels around the room and the bathroom (although they still replace them every day). I also got to peek into the other rooms once everyone checked out on my final day and I'd love to eventually try out some of the other rooms! They're all a little different, but all wonderful.

What really makes the stay though is probably Susan and Van. If you don't know you're way around, they'll load you up with maps and tell you exactly what you need to see and where to go to suit any budget. And breakfast...oh my god...breakfast. To say that Susan is a great cook would be a gross understatement. The two breakfasts were among the best I can remember eating. The first day was perfectly cooked eggs, some amazing potato dish, and the best blueberry muffins I've ever had. The second day was fresh strawberry pancakes. Breakfast alone is worth the trip.

The other guests staying at the B&B were also great, and we happened to run into most of them randomly in town. They actually helped to enhance the whole experience. The B&B is also located conveniently near all the surrounding towns and only a couple of minutes from the visitors center. There are plenty of B&B's in the area, but this is probably the one you want to stay at.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank slevit1MD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 18, 2013

There are not an abundance of places to stay near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore but Susan and Van's B&B is very convenient and cozy if you don't happen to be going camping! When we first arrived, I wondered if we had made a misstep as the owners' collections of various things looked a bit cluttered. But the guest room was quaint, lovely, clean and comfortable (Michigan room). We really appreciated some of the extras like homemade cookies left out in the evening - yum! Breakfast was super delicious!! Susan is a great cook!

Some of the rooms have shared baths. Ours did, in fact, but because it was prior to the busy season, the other rooms were not occupied and so we had the bath to ourselves. I thought that the price was a bit high for a shared bath scenario, but as I mentioned, there is not much in the area so I think it is a simple case of supply and demand. And they have a rather short season as well.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank RWtravelgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2013

Wonderful and gracious hosts, Van and Susan made us feel completely at home. We loved the appointments and decorating in our room (Leelenau Room). The bath had a tub and a handheld shower. Susan's breakfasts were to die for! As we enjoyed breakfast we were entertained by the many birds at feeders just outside. We will absolutely return to this B&B when we visit the Dunes area again.

Room Tip: There are five rooms. Two of them share a bath.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Rick G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 4, 2012

The first time my husband and I stayed here we only stayed one night. We knew we would be back for a longer stay someday. This time (five years later) we stayed for a week! The gardens, wood carvings (by Van), quaint outdoor seating all around the spacious yard are a relaxing retreat after a long day of kayaking. We had a butterfly bush right outside our bedroom window (Sleeping Bear Room) and enjoyed watching many butterflys and humming birds as well as other birds around the property. But my friends I am saving the best for last! Susan's breakfasts are out of this world! She should be called chef not inn keeper! Lemon pancakes that melt in your mouth and an egg dish that she laddeled yummy cheese into...need I say more? We will be back and we highly recomend this Bed and Breakfast!!!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Heather S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Detroit, Michigan
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed August 25, 2012

I felt like I was at my grandparents or other relatives. It was quaint, comfortable. Dark and quiet at night. DVD players in rooms with large selection of videos. I enjoyed it very much. Some rooms with showers, others with tub/hand-held shower...keep in mind if you really feel you have to be standing up to get clean!

Room Tip: Sleeping bear room is right off parlor and kitchen. I thought it might be loud but it wasn't. Gr...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Goldilocks71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sleeping Bear Bed and Breakfast

Property: Sleeping Bear Bed and Breakfast
Address: 11977 S Gilbert Rd, Empire, MI 49630-9599
Location: United States > Michigan > Leelanau County > Empire
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Empire
Number of rooms: 5
Also Known As:
Sleeping Bear Hotel Empire
Sleeping Bear b&b

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