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“Ok at best”
Review of Ellis Lake Resort

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Ellis Lake Resort
Michigan
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Ok at best”
Reviewed September 2, 2013

We stayed her over the Labor Day weekend 2013. I agree with the rundown comments. This place could be very cute but it has been restored as cheaply as possible. No air but they provided a box fan. Bed has on the hard side but I like softer mattresses than most . It was pricey but then on a holiday weekend what isn't. If you like rustic then you'll like this place. Neighbors were very loud ----very late.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Colliesnbunnies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bjohnsondragonfly, Owner at Ellis Lake Resort, responded to this review, October 10, 2013
Colliesnbunnies!

Thank you for your review. We are not understanding the comment made about being restored as cheaply as possible. Please email us to clarify that comment. We have only owned the resort for 4 years. Any remodeling that was done was prior to our purchase. We look forward to hearing back from you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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39 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Saginaw, Michigan, United States
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 25, 2013

I was expecting Rustic, which to me is tattered, frayed a little faded, maybe not matching. Rustic in these cabins means FILTHY. Every surface was so dirty we didn't want to touch anything. Very over priced for the condition and location so close to a noisy highway. Don't waste your money here.

Room Tip: get as far away from the highway as possible, ask for a discount and bring your own cleaning supplie...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Eugenia G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bjohnsondragonfly, Owner at Ellis Lake Resort, responded to this review, October 10, 2013
We do appreciate your feedback. It only makes us better. We also appreciated your initial email to us voicing your concerns. As previously communicated back to you, we addressed your concerns with our entire housekeeping staff-newer & seasoned. We are also sorry the weather did not cooperate the weekend you were here which made things less than enjoyable for you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Level 5 Contributor
80 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2013

My family has stayed at Ellis Lake Resort every winter for a couple decades. This is NOT a resort, but simply a wonderful cabin getaway. A number of small two room cabins (bathroom + sleeping/cooking area) and a couple larger cabins for six or more. Rustic, but charming. There's an outdoor hot tub available to reserve by the hour. Nearby is Ellis Lake and snowmobile or X-country skiing trails. I often send my young adults off to Crystal Mountain about a twenty minute drive away, and simply hibernate for the day reading in the cabin. There is no phone or TV - a rare chance to connect with family.

I've never stayed during the summer, and think it could get quite warm. But may be a good location for fishing. Located right on the main drag very close to Interlochen music camp.

Room Tip: Spruce is nice for larger group, however connected to another building.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank spatts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jackson, Michigan
Level 3 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed February 12, 2013

My husband and I just returned from this quaint little place. It is amazing! My husband and I are huge campers, the tent kind not the motor home kind, and found this place to be a perfect fit for us. The cabins are great, right when you walk in you can’t help but get a huge smile on your face and just fall in love. They are not luxury but that is what makes them perfect. We booked this as a little getaway during the winter. Our main objective was to snowshoe, snowshoe, and more snowshoeing. This place was great for that and even those interested in cross country skiing. There are paths right when you walk out of your cabin, they go around the lake and the scenery is breathtaking. I don’t want to talk too much about this place as I am so in love with it I want to keep it all to myself!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Julia Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Macomb, Michigan, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 23, 2012

Our whole family really loves to visit Ellis Lake Resort at least 2 times every summer. It is a great place for, hunting, swimming, and most definatley fishing. We strongly recommend that you decide to stay there. The atmosphere is very warm, and you have your own privacy there. The cabins are also separated very nicely.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Patrick S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Level 5 Contributor
84 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed September 30, 2012

My wife and I just spent 3 nights at this property. For the price we paid, I felt it was a pretty bad value. Everything from finding the coffee maker with grounds still in it from the previous renter to mouse droppings under the sink, our stay was less than stellar.

When reading this, keep in mind we were staying in one of the "Dog" cabins (more on that later if you are still reading), which may be why it was the way it was. Having read some of the other reviews, I can only assume that the newer units are in much better condition and, being off the highway, are probably more quiet.

We were in the Maple cabin which is maybe 50 feet from US 31; a very busy and very noisy highway. One thing to consider is if you want to go east on US 31 from the resort (which is on the north side of US 31) during peak times of the day, you are either going to have to wait it out or go west for a bit until you can find a place to turn around. As other reviewers have mentioned, the noise factor is pretty high, but our cabin had a little blower in it that produced enough white noise that helped at night (althought the occasional trucker hitting the air brakes can pull you out of a deep slumber).

As advertised, there are nearly zero ammenities. We knew we needed to bring our own soap and shampoo as only the linens and bath towels are furnished, so no surprises. The towels are a little threadbare and on the small size, but they were clean. The sink and shower fixtures didn't drip, but they have seen better days. With the high mineral and iron content in the water, it has taken a toll on the sinks, showers and fixtures. I did find a couple of curlies in the shower stall which is part of what contributed to my low rating on cleanliness.

The kitchen area is serviceable, but when I found the mouse droppings on the dish drainer under the sink, I was a little put off on doing much cooking. All the pots, pans, and utensils are also under the sink, so a word of warning, check the pots and pans carefully before you fry up those eggs in the morning. The utensils are in a plastic box with a cover, so I think they should be pretty safe. A couple of dish cloths and drying towels are also in with the utensils, so you don't need to bring those. Dish soap is also provided. However, you won't find paper towels, coffee filters, aluminum foil, salt/pepper or sugar. As mentioned above, there is a coffee maker (which in Maple is now clean and de-scaled thanks to me and a quart of distilled white vinegar) and a toaster. I suggest you buy water to make the coffee as the hard water has a lot of iron in it and may give your coffee a little taint. The refrigerator is clean and seems to work well enough, but the freezer needs defrosting and it barely kept our Moomer's Ice Cream frozen. As a side note, one of the nice things about this location is it is close to Moomer's. If you are in the area and you like ice cream, they are not to be missed!

The furnace is an interesting "feature" of the cabin. The only thermostat is a little knob behind a panel on the bottom of the big metal radiator on the east side of the cabin. I didn't read the instructions, so it took me a few couple of minutes to figure out how to get some heat generated. Unless you want it really hot in there, don't put the knob above the '3' setting and if it is cold out, you don't want it much below '2'.

There is a fire pit around back that we used. I enjoy cooking steaks over an open fire and the wood we got from the office contained a high percentage of oak. That was a big bonus! The steaks turned out great as did the baked potatoes I had nestled in some coals, but you will need to bring your own open fire grate, which I personally like to carry in my truck. There is a cheap charcoal grill as well (obviously, you will need your own charcoal and lighter), that I'm sure it would do an adequate job of grilling.

One of the pleasant surprises was the hot tub. After the experience in the cabin, I had some trepidation, but it looked clean and the water smelled properly treated. You only have to sign up for a time that isn't taken by some other cabin. It was a brief 50 yard walk from the cabin across the common area and up a little trail.

Speaking of the common area, I had hoped to beat the wife at a game of horseshoes, but the pits are in pretty bad shape. I didn't want to lose due to faulty facilities.

As far as service is concerned, I personally never talked with the owner. But my wife did and was impressed with Becky's helpfulness and concern (actually, she offered us another coffee maker, but since I had formed an emotional attachment to the one in the cabin, I declined). My wife said that Becky was very personably and offered several suggestions for local attractions. However, because of the housecleaning issues, I had to rate the overall service as average.

General impressions:
I love rustic. I'm a camper and think that roughing it is great fun. However, just because you are calling a property "rustic" is no reason for poor housekeeping and shabby furnishings - especially at what I consider to be a fairly high price for what we got (with tax and dog fees - nearly $120/nt).

Granted, a portion of that price ($15/nt) was a pet fee. The policy at this resort is that you pay a fee if you plan to bring your beloved family dogs (sorry cat lovers - absolutely NO cats allowed). There is a per dog / per day fee, which, if they cleaned every day, would be understandable, but they don't, so I'm kind of baffled. Why not a damage deposit or a one time cleaning fee regardless of the length of stay? Either way, this is their property and I can appreciate their desire to ward off pets if they have had bad experiences. I know that there are pet owners out there that don't pick up after their animals and feel they can do anything they want to a rental. We aren't like those people. Unfortunately, I know that all us pet owners have to pay for the few inconsiderates out there that ruin it for everyone. (I'm done with the soap box)

The big take away from all this; the price was my major knock on this place - I just have a problem paying as much as we did for something as marginal as we got. We do quite a bit of traveling (domestic and international) and I like to think we have a pretty fair gauge of value. I have paid $300 a night for accomodations and felt it was a good deal (all things considered), so I don't think I'm particularly cheap when it comes to my travel choices - just value oriented. Although I admit, it is entirely possible that I really don't have a good appreciation of what cabins are renting for in Traverse City & Interlochen, but in the future, I will certainly be doing a lot more research before coming back to this area.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank JMS_41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bjohnsondragonfly, Owner at Ellis Lake Resort, responded to this review, October 10, 2013
Thank you for your review as this helps to make us a better property.

We enjoyed talking with your wife when she came into the office, and it would have been helpful if you would have come to the office to speak with us about any concerns you had at the time of your visit. We like to take care of our guests while they are here with us and resolve any issues there may be rather than learning about them after. We are pleased you had some pleasurable experiences during your stay and have made improvements to the other comments mentioned in your review.

Thank you again for your comments to help us improve.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ruedesheim am Rhein, Germany
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed September 25, 2012

If you want your own private cabin for just 2-4 people, this might be one of the only options in the area. The staff is VERY helpful and friendly. The cabin was pretty clean.
But: it is right next to the road and therefore noisy and the place itself could be a little bit more wellcoming (like the host already is), i. e. no flowers, worn down interior, no decorations.
Altogether - we enjoyed our stay but 3 nights were enough in those circumstances.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sektprinz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ellis Lake Resort

Property: Ellis Lake Resort
Address: 8440 Us 31 S, Interlochen, MI 49643
Location: United States > Michigan > Grand Traverse County > Interlochen
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Interlochen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cute, cozy, romantic log cabin lodging. Small resort surrounded by forest on almost 900 feet of frontage on secluded Ellis Lake. Private outdoor hot tub. rowboats, canoes, snowshoes, volleyball and horseshoes are available. Chairs, grill, tables and a nice floating raft at the lake. Our Logrooms (motel rooms) have a small refrigerator and coffee maker. All other units have kitchenettes or full kitchens, some will also have a microwave. WIFI on property. ... more   less 

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