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“Friendly, Charming, Unique Bed & Breakfast” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sleeping Bear Bed and Breakfast

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Sleeping Bear Bed and Breakfast
Ranked #2 of 3 Empire B&B and Inns
Kashmir
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Friendly, Charming, Unique Bed & Breakfast”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 18, 2010

My boyfriend and I drove into the Sleeping Bear Dunes after a seven hour drive. It had rained heavily for the latter half of the trip and the temperature had dropped considerably. By the time we arrived to our destination, it was too late to check-in to the campsite. Driving around, we passed the sign for the Sleeping Bear B&B and turned around to see about availability. Luckily, they had one room left for the night, which we thankfully took. What happened by chance and circumstance then turned out to be one of the most memorable parts of our trip. The warmth and charm of this B&B were only enhanced by the owners' hospitality. From minor details such as the late night cookie tray and shelves of available books and films to the delicious (and vegetarian friendly!) spread prepared for breakfast, we felt entirely welcome in Van and Sue's home. Of all the attractions the area has to offer, this B&B is one of the things most likely to bring us back again.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank okashmir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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51 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    35
    8
    4
    2
    2
See reviews for
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Solo
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Business
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
midwest
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 2, 2008

Van and Sue are your Hosts at sleeping bear bed & breakfast. Sue was a wonderful cook and Van a great host. We felt like we knew them. My wife and I were so greatful because when our motorcycle broke down about 15 miles away Van came and picked us up and put our bike on a trailer. The next morning Van took us to his church and then towed us about 25 miles away to a repair shop that was open on Sunday. He never asked for anything in return. We believe that if we can rely on them for this extraordanary circumstance you can definitely rely on them for a great stay at their bed and breakfast.

Sincerely Evan and Mary (Chicago, IL.)

Stayed August 2008
Helpful?
4 Thank twowheelrider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand Lake, Colorado
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 16, 2008

We recently stayed in this lovely b&b on the Leelanau Peninsula and just loved it! Susan and Van, our hosts, have remodeled an 1890's farmhouse into a wonderfully comfortable and quiet base for exploring this great area of Michigan. The breakfasts were absolutely to die for and we loved the various sitting areas in the yard complete with water features, hammock and outside fireplaces--a very inviting and romantic setting. The guest room we stayed in was called "Sunset"-- a large room with king bed, sitting area, tv, fireplace, jacuzzi tub and shower as well as your own private porch--just couldn't have been better! The innkeepers love to share their extensive knowledge of the area--from where to pick blueberries, the best hikes in the Dunes, local vineyards and the great shops and galleries in the near by towns. We will be back!

B and SK Wasmer

  • Liked — Breakfasts! eclectic ambiance, great art- friendly hosts- like home!
  • Disliked — Leaving!
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank bwaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northeast Ohio
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 4, 2008

My husband and I spent three nights at the Sleeping Bear Bed and Breakfast outside of Empire Michigan, near the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The Inn was comfortable, the grounds were lovely, the innkeepers were knowledgeable, and the breakfasts were delicious. We were fairly well satisfied with our stay during a busy, peak season week in which the Inn was fully booked. However, there were certain minor issues that we think prevented this inn from delivering the overall satisfaction that a good B & B typically provides. 1) My husband's dietary preference, which the innkeepers had requested in writing, was ignored. 2) Every room, including the breakfast nook, contained a noisy window air conditioner. Preferring fresh air, we had one screenless window to open, and the innkeeper failed to install a screen as promised. 3) The earliest scheduled breakfast was 8:30am, and no coffee was available earlier at this remote location. 4) The admittedly delicious, "gourmet" breakfasts were served with very diluted maple syrup. These were minor omissions, to be sure, but we had a sense of intruding and felt less than fully welcomed in the home of these obviously seasoned innkeepers. Our fondest B & B memories stem from warm encounters with personable innkeepers. The website reads "arrive as guests, leave as friends". We wish this had been so.

  • Liked — The area itself was geat to explore.
  • Disliked — The innkeepers just weren't as warm and interested as B & B owners usually are.
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
9 Thank Ohiocats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Midwest
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2008

My boyfriend and I returned to the Sleeping Bear B&B for our second trip to the Leelanau Peninsula. I have such fond memories of our first trip, last summer, that I figured I was setting myself up for disappointment... but this B&B delivered, again!

We stayed in the Sleeping Bear Room, and really enjoyed the convenience of showering at the same time, with plenty of elbow room, in the clever double shower. The bed was comfortable, and the room had a sizable closet, a big overstuffed arm chair, and a few small tables. Also a collection of antique shovels, which was unique and just right for us (not fussy, or fragile).

Breakfasts were amazingly tasty and varied but not fussy, just as they were last year. Susan and Van were charming hosts, again helpful with restaurant and winery suggestions but otherwise left us to explore on our own. We needed one very specific suggestion for a store to buy yarn (long story), and even for something so unusual Susan and Van came through, with excellent suggestions right off the tops of their heads.

My boyfriend and I love the Sleeping Bear Dunes area in general, but our plans to make this an annual trip are in large part due to our pleasant experiences at this B&B.

  • Liked — helpful hosts, great breakfasts
  • Disliked — absolutely nothing!
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank MW_travel_girl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, OH
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 25, 2008

We only stayed one night here on August 9, 2008 due to a change in travel plans. We stayed in the Gilbert Room, which shares a bathroom (not a problem). The room was cozy and fine for what we needed.

My wife and I absolutely loved the location and the grounds. Close enough to Empire and Glen Arbor and many locations in Sleeping Bear Dunes, but remote enough for a peaceful, quiet, restful stay. The house is set off from the main road enough that you feel secluded, and there are a few beautiful well-maintained sitting areas outside of the house that make it difficult to leave.

But you have to leave to explore areas in Sleeping Bear Dunes. We only had a day and a half to explore this area and that was enough to convince us that we had to come back for a longer stay. We highly recommend watching a sunset over Lake Michigan, and also playing in the area where the Lower Platte River empties into Lake Michigan.

Getting back to the B&B, our breakfast was fantastic (we liked the choice of two breakfast times), and we also give top marks to the coffee (which is important to us - need to have that morning coffee).

In short, we loved our short stay, will definitely be back to further explore this great area of Michigan, and we will stay here.

  • Liked — Location, grounds, breakfast, coffee!
  • Disliked — Low ceiling in part of bathroom
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Hamslam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
U.S.
Level Contributor
94 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 7, 2008

We booked here so that we could easily visit our kids at Interlochen (30 minutes away) and also be close to Sleeping Bear Dunes (15 minutes). We used the Dunes as a jumping off point to circumnavigate the Leelanau peninsula, from the galleries and restaurants of Glen Arbor to the wineries of Suttons Bay to the cherry festival and art show in Traverse City. The owners of this B&B know the area well and had great recommendations for galleries and restaurants. One owner is an artist (the home is beautifully decorated), and the other has a cooking school certificate and so we had wonderful breakfasts: fresh scones, fluffly pancakes filled with strawberries, fresh raspberries, blackberries, etc. Our room ("Sleeping Bear") was spacious and quiet, with its own largish bath with a double shower. Everything was beautifully appointed but there are no antiques that make you afraid to move. Outside were several private seating areas with some soft music and little ponds and fountains. We had a peaceful and relaxing stay here.

Stayed July 2008
Helpful?
2 Thank Shain
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 b&b
Sleeping Bear Hotel Empire

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