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“Great Vacation”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Sunset Inn

Sunset Inn
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Sunset Inn
Ranked #13 of 16 South Haven B&B and Inns
Hudsonville, Michigan
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Great Vacation”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 19, 2013

We stayed at the Sunset Inn- Harbor lights cottage for the weekend. Great location! We almost didn't stay here because of some of the reviews-so glad we decided to go. The cottage is much bigger than it appears on the pictures. We had 8 adults-(one person slept on a air mattress) It has a nice wrap round deck over looking the marina and channel. The deck is shaded by several large old oak trees-a great place to eat breakfast or relax after a hot day at the beach. The decor is a bit dated but it is what we would expect in a cottage and it was clean. This place is in a great location, we could walk every where we wanted to go- north beach is about 2 blocks away and down town just a short walk. Great value compared to other places that I called on in this area. Great because you can rent for just the weekend-It is hard to find a cottage in this area that does not require a full week stay. Charlie was a great host, very laid-back person. We would defiantly stay here again.

Room Tip: Harbor light cottage-has the best views.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Amy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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19 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    9
    5
    2
    0
    3
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Solo
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Ann Arbor
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 13, 2013

It is clean! Water pressure was great and not once did we blow a fuse-even using my 1875 watt hair dryer! Charlie takes pride in running a laid-back atmosphere Inn. Not to say he is not paying attention to details, he is there to help you enjoy your stay, not orchestrate it. He was more then willing to help us any way he could, you just need to ask. This is NOT A B&B. Breakfast was more then ample: cereal, bread/toast, bagels, baked goods, fruit, juices, tea, coffee and POP-TARTS. If you are expecting a 5 star B&B, this is not the place for you. However if you're looking for a clean, quiet place close to the beach and town make your reservations now.

Room Tip: If you are taller , rooms 1 and 2 have higher shower heads.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank KinA2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, MA
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 8, 2013

Anyone looking at reviews on tripadvisor, yelp, or google can see that this is a very polarizing property. Seems it's kind of a love-it or hate-it place for most people. I'll try to provide a balanced and candid review, although my own travelling strengths and hang-ups will obviously color my review.

On one hand, I'm low maintenance; I don't feel the need to blow-dry and straighten my hair every day/night before presenting myself in public when I'm on a lake. Yeah, it's South Haven: who cares. Unless you're in your twenties and haven't learned better yet, why anybody would waste much time in a mirror when they have Lake Michigan to look at is beyond me. Braid your hair, brush some quick mascara and lip gloss, and go, ladies. **If you are a person requiring a whole "surround" to get ready, with multiple outlets, electricity that can handle 4 different styling aids plugged in at once, massive counter space, double sinks, and air-brushing boutique surroundings and lighting, stay away from this place--you will probably hate it, for many reasons. Sunset Inn is not about how you look or how big your boat is, so if that's the vibe you're after, do the rest of the guests a favor and move on before your uptight crabbiness infects the place's laid-back vibe.

On to my biggest travelling weakness: terrible indoor mold allergies. A decade-long battle w/lyme disease has left my immune system berserk; I can't tolerate any wall-to-wall carpet except for berber, and even with berber I often have trouble. (Note to the innkeepers of the world: machine cleaning wall-to-wall carpet by sopping it with water and chemical cleaning fluid and allowing it to air-dry does *not* kill the mold that grows in all wall-to-wall carpet, surprisingly enough. Just rip it up. Carpet is over.) The cottage now has hardwood floors, but was booked. Apart from that, all the rooms in the inn were wall-to wall. But Charlie had a single room with berber carpet. I'll admit that, if there were one room left in the heart of South Haven with hardwood floors, I would have paid twice what we paid ($190 a night) for the privilege. But we didn't realize we were coming til the day before the Fourth, and BEGGARS CAN'T BE CHOOSERS. (Seriously, people.) Charlie was so nice about it--on a day rooms were in a premium, I called him the morning of an all-day drive and he *offered* to hold the room for me until we got there that evening *without* charging my credit card, so that I could check out the room and not be on the hook if I had a bad reaction to it. (When we got there at 8 p.m, he was on the phone telling somebody he was sold out--he could have easily taken a hit on this room, if we hadn't ended up wanting it.) I will admit I was still afraid I had made a terrible mistake in banking on this room for a place to sleep, and I wouldn't have done it if we didn't have a 4-door Jeep I can sleep in in a pinch. It's an old house; as other reviewers have noted, it hasn't exactly been impeccably maintained. But I had zero problems in our little room just off the office (Suite 1). There was a huge window in one wall which allowed a lot of sun and air to circulate, and the berber carpet made a world of difference. (Please note that I have no idea what shape the regular carpet is in in other rooms, and would have skipped South Haven altogether if I'd only had that choice.)

I have seen a review somewhere complaining about Charlie's outspokenness, and the fact that he isn't afraid to speak opinions that might be "offensive" to some people. What a bubble world such folks must desire to live in. Charlie is a talker, a story-teller, a pun-sharer, and an unapologetic purveyor of his thoughts on things, South Haven and otherwise. Again, if this is going to bother you, please don't stay at this inn and permeate the place with your grim "this Inn is not my kind of people" faces. (Suggestion: if its uniformity you're after, you can always just stay in Naperville.) But if you're a person who wants the real scoop on South Haven--the good, the bad, and the indifferent--Charlie is your guy. I for one am eternally grateful to him for sharing his candid thoughts on the local ordinances, as I would have been one of the dummies carrying a plastic cup of wine down to the beach to watch the sunset and coming away with a $500 fine.

On breakfast: if Charlie would just kill the "bed and breakfast" part of his places's name, and simply call it "Sunset Inn," it would do away with half the complaints listed online. If it were advertised as simply rooms in an inn, with no breakfast, and then guests found out that Charlie nonetheless offers unlimited, all-day bottled water, coffee, tea, bagels, bread, cereal, and--yes, 12 different kinds of cheap grocery donuts--gratis, people would probably be besides themselves with the value and convenience. Instead, some people are disappointed because the set-up didn't meet expectations. This is not a bed and breakfast. If you require a bed and breakfast feel, you will not be happy with this place. Although my husband and I do our fair share of B & B's, we're not enamored with having to talk with strangers about our jobs, families, and personal histories in order to get to the coffee in the morning, so that suited us just fine. (Charlier: "I don't believe in telling adults what time they should be up to have breakfast." Right on, brother.) We were thrilled to have toast, bagels, bars, and bananas to get us going in the morning, and guess what? Charlie didn't force any of those frosted donuts with sprinkles down our throats.

Location: you cannot beat it, and *particularly* for the price. Thus the 4 stars.

The balance of our trip here is that we are so very grateful to Charlie for holding our room during the busiest week of the summer, and we loved the laid-back feel of the inn--as was apparent for most of the other guests, which included a small wedding party who seemed to be having the perfectly chill experience they were after. Would we stay here again? Absolutely, if we couldn't get a vacation rental (our preference) in that same vicinity. I would not sacrifice that location to be in a more upscale rental farther away from the beach and the downtown area. So my feelings are exactly the opposite of the reviewer who advised staying away from South Haven altogether if you can only get a room at Sunset Inn. I considered it the perfect spot to reacquaint myself with South Haven (it had been 20 years), and would not hesitate to stay there again. In fact, we were only going to stay for 2 days, but our first evening was so lovely we bit the bullet on a 12-hour drive home in order to book a 3rd night. Thank you, Charlie, for helping us recharge. We hope the baby bunny is thriving!

Room Tip: Chose Suite 1 if you have indoor allergies.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank MelandMikeP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Troy, Michigan
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2012

Trust the bad reviews listed before mine....sadly only room in town during our last minute weekend. Definitely not the place to be without reservations. We paid sadly for this mistake. Worst place we ever stayed...filthy carpet, 1970 decor...garage sale at best bedding, super small room and bathroom....
Oh, and the breakfast...literally, ding dongs, twinkies, hostess cupcakes displayed in front of their boxes....totally an unbelievable experience. Trust us DON'T GO HERE!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank P K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saugatuck, Michigan
Level Contributor
27 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 4, 2012

We stayed at the harbor lights cottage and it was wonderful. The views from the deck are amazing. The beach is a 2 minute walk across the street and very close walk to down town shops and restraunts. Charlie is great too. He will make sure your stay is everything you ever wanted it to be...

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Char024
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 4, 2012

If you like ho-hos for breakfast, you'll love this place. Otherwise, there is not much for you here. Start to finish, it was an akward experience. It's worth staying at a surrounding town, if this was the last option in south haven. Promise I am not a negative person, even writing this review I'm uneasy. However, for your possible future stay, avoid this spot altogether.

  • Stayed June 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Vacay53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Crystal Lake IL
Level Contributor
125 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 8, 2012

Pulled into South Haven towards the end of a Lake Michigan Circle Tour. Saw the vacancy. Looked at the room. The price was right for a B & B. Charlie was a great host. Anything you needed, Charle would get. Great source of information. Great talker. Room and bathroom was comfortable and up to date. Place had a nice charm and was conveniently located. Beach access across the street. Easy walk to the harbor and town out the back of the property. Great old time front porch for sitting relaxing. Tiki Bar out front for having a couple of drinks and people watching. This was also where an expanded continental style breakfast was served in the morning. Just park the car and enjoy everything the area offers, within walking distance of this quaint property.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Trav_LN_now
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sunset Inn

Property: Sunset Inn
Address: 72 N Shore Dr, South Haven, MI 49090-1153
Location: United States > Michigan > Van Buren County > South Haven
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 16 B&Bs / Inns in South Haven
Number of rooms: 11

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