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“Pretty strange...”

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The Hotel Frankfort
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Frankfort
Certificate of Excellence
grand rapids, michigan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Pretty strange...”
Reviewed July 10, 2012

I can honestly say the Betsie Bay Inn is one of the strangest places I've ever stayed. Did you notice there are no pictures of the rooms on their website? There's a reason for that. Whomever did the decor should consider an interior design refresher(?) course. There is no rhyme nor reason, let alone style, to the room decor. The log cabin room, with its skylight and other attempts at a modern look, has a lone antique dresser sitting in an unlit corner with a mirror that reaches up to your chin. Nice dresser. Poor placement.

It seems like they took a box of home decor items and starting whipping stuff around and where it landed was where it went. I'm no expert, but there really is something to be said for the "less is more" concept when it comes to "art" on the walls.

Consider, for example, having a hot tub in your room. Not a jacuzzi, mind you, a legitimate hot tub, cover and all. Temps outside were in the 90's. Hot tub...pretty self-explanatory, I think. Add to the equation an air-conditioning unit with a note attached telling you to keep the AC on low otherwise it will freeze. In the meantime, guess how cozily warm your room stays all night long. On the bright side, it provided an awesome table-top for our packages.

There was no lamp near the bed, but...across the room, beneath the television on a little table next to the stove...sits the cutest little lamp you've ever seen.

The plumbing was most decidedly installed for ease-of-access, as it is all outside the walls. And not in an attractive way.

The hallways, with their uneven flooring, reminded me of a fun-house...minus the fun.

It seems to me that a lot of redecorating projects were started and left unfinished. Take the fountain in the entryway, for example. It has the potential to be a really attractive and interesting water feature. As it stands, however, with its exposed pipes (seems to be a theme at the Betsie) and bare spots, it is just odd bordering on ugly. The entryway greets you with a blast of heat, which would work very well in January. In July, not so much.

My advice, however un-solicited, would be to pick ONE thing, whether it's the fountain or a room, and finish it. The whole mish-mash vibe of the place is distracting to the point that it is not relaxing.

I know people don't choose a hotel based on the artwork or furniture placement in a room. But they do choose a place they hope is attractive and relaxing. Betsie Bay Inn is neither. Which is a shame, because from the outside it looks so fabulous, and more importantly, it has such amazing potential to be a really great place.

With some updating and serious attention to the decor, it would be worth the price they charge for the rooms. Maybe bartering with an interior designer or other person of taste is an option they could explore since I'm sure the cost factor is significant.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank joanndj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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151 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ada, Michigan
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2012

We made reservations to celebrate our 37th wedding anniversary. We have stayed there several times in the past and loved it. The website showed the dining room, bar and wine cellar we remembered. Having everything on site is a big plus for us. We want to relax and do nothing if we like. Upon arriving at the inn, we discovered that one hour before we arrived, ownership had changed hands. The restaurant, bar and wine cellar were closed. The staff (what there was of it) was friendly and the owner treated us to a glass of wine (whoopee!). The entire experience was disappointing.
If their website had informed us ahead of time, or if we had been contacted ahead of time, we would have gone with different expectations.No discount was offered, although the owner was well aware of our dissatisfaction. This is not an auspicious beginning for the new owner, who needs to learn what customer service and truth in advertising are all about. Obviously we will not go back.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank alexleno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Akron, Ohio
Level 6 Contributor
156 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 191 helpful votes
Reviewed June 20, 2012

I don't understand the negative reviews for people that stayed here off season. We stayed overnight for half price off season. Of course, the restaurant and bar were not open but we were aware of that. We had a clean quiet room in the back of the Inn which was decorated in an old fashioned style but that is the character of the place. Of course, if we'd go back would love to try the pub and restaurant in season as it is recommended. We found the staff to be friendly and helpful with great hints of where to eat in Frankfurt. No complains here!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank borntotravelOH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed June 10, 2012

The gal at the front desk was very nice. Unfortunately, the Inn is in the process of transferring ownership and it shows. The restaurant was closed, and the only food available was at the bar. Since I had read such good things about this restaurant, that was the primary reason for us staying there. Our room was appointed nicely, but there was a hook hanging out of the wall in the bathroom and a wall plug pulled out from the wall near the bed. The shampoo was very harsh. The room location (top of the stairs) made it so that we heard a not-so-dull roar from the bar until all hours. I would not go back.

Room Tip: Definitely don't take 204 at the top of the stairs if you want quiet.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank GSriderMichigan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
southwest Michigan
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed February 4, 2012

I stayed overnight at this inn. I stayed in their economy room with one queen bed. The room was clean but the room had seen better days. There were nail and screw holes in the walls that needed spackling and painting. The bed and furniture was not fancy but was functional. The staff was extremely attentive and polite and went out of their way to be helpful. The restaurant down the street, The Fusion, was outstanding! I would return but don't expect plush luxury here.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank mjcrooksmomof3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stevensville
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2012

If you don't enjoy yourself here you have only yourself to blame. We stayed five nights just before Thanksgiving. It's off season in Frankfort at that time and we felt like we had the town and the Inn to ourselves. Got to know the staff on a first name basis and they made us feel at home and appreciated. We hung out in the Hotspur Pub in the evening visiting with guests and staff, ate great food, and had a wonderful time. Service in the restaurant was great. It felt like we were saying goodbye to family when it was time to leave. We're planning on going back in the spring before the busy season starts.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank R and D G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wake Forest, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
121 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed October 22, 2011

This is a superb bed & breakfast. I wanted a b&b for our honeymoon last year. However, I wanted rooms on the first floor because stairs are hard for me. This b&b is unusal that it has several rooms on the first floor. Each room is unique with individual decorations - all Victorian. Each room has a special bonus of a whirlpool, hot tub or similar. We got one with a whirlpool. Reservations are easy - you can go on line or call and ask about the rooms. We returned there this year because we loved it so much. The prices compare well with hotels of this type and even compare well with other chain hotels. They vary depending on when you want the room.

There is a very nice restuarant serving all meals. The room charge does not come with a free breakfast but that is ok. The pancakes are the best we have ever tasted anywhere. We also had dinner there this year and last. They change the menu quite regularly and always have a curry dish because the hostess is Scottish. The wait staff is very good and recognized us from last year (how unusual is that?). As a recent reviewer said - the service can be a tad slow. My response is that the area and the hotel is meant for you to relax. So waiting a little longer than you expect is part of the amience - slow down and enjoy.
There is a nice bar and a wine cellar! We did not visit that but it does have a good reputation.
Although it is right on the main street of Frankfort, it is very relaxing and quiet.

It is true as one reviewer said that the water pressure is a bit low but that is because they are making efforts to conserve and have won some awards for their efforts. The large whirlpool did take a little bit of time to fill, but it is a large tub. Because we were relaxed we did not mind the time.

We found our room clean and the bed was excellent, though it is a little harder than I am used to. We will always stay there on our trips to NW Michigan.

Room Tip: Look on line - they have a description of every room. Every room has some sort of special bathing ch...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Margo Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Hotel Frankfort

Property: The Hotel Frankfort
Address: 231 Main St, Frankfort, MI 49635-9048 (Formerly Sleeping Bear Inn)
Location: United States > Michigan > Benzie County > Frankfort
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Frankfort
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — The Hotel Frankfort 3*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Centered in Frankfort's historic Main Street, just two blocks from one of the most picturesque beaches of Lake Michigan, sits the historic Hotel Frankfort. Our 84 year old boutique hotel boasts 17 guest rooms, all with private baths, individually controlled heating and air-conditioning units and each decorated with a unique theme. Our larger suites feature whirlpool tubs or sauna, two-story rooms, and even a fireplace - perfect for your spectacular Northern Michigan getaway! Feel like dining in? We have a full scale restaurant, dining room and bar along with corporate conference facilities, with gourmet catered meals available for gatherings of up to 200. Come let us serve you in style and experience all Northern Michigan has to offer. From biking, to fishing our famous Salmon runs, snow skiing, sailing, or experiencing a great meal at one of our many unique restaurants, or even just watching a gorgeous sunset - Frankfort is the perfect place to explore! Whatever your pleasure, you'll be charmed by The Hotel Frankfort's blend of old world graciousness, modern-day amenities and peerless personalized service. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Betsie Bay Hotel Frankfort
Betsie Bay Frankfort

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