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“Grand Beach or Sugar Beach, their pick”

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Sugar Beach Resort Hotel
Ranked #12 of 40 Hotels in Traverse City
Reviewed September 12, 2012

Our stay was at the end of August. I am posting this review both under Grand Beach and Sugar Beach. Why? Because the rooms are the same in both properties, or at least that is what I am told. Both properties are listed individually and reservations can be made at either. They are "sister" properties under the same Web site. We booked a "courtyard, king, spa" room at the Our stay was at the end of August. I am posting this review both under Grand Beach and Sugar Beach. Why? Because the rooms are the same in both properties, or at least that is what I am told. Both properties are listed individually and reservations can be made at either. They are "sister" properties under the same Web site. We booked a "courtyard, king, spa" room at the Grand Beach through AAA. We arrived at the Grand Beach and found that our room was switched to the Sugar Beach. The desk clerk said that this is done when a room isn't available. We were not happy, but accepted the change. If we weren't tired, then maybe we would have thought to call AAA about this at check-in. We didn't and stayed at the Sugar Beach.

Following the trip, I contacted AAA and Grand Beach about this. AAA said that we should have called them before or during our stay and WAS NOT INTERESTED in investigating any further. Grand Beach management, on the other hand, was VERY RESPONSIVE to my inquiry and told me that the last room of the kind I reserved became unavailable at the same time as the AAA booking I thought I made was being made, It happens. Maybe the Grand Beach can do something with their reservations system so that this does not happen, and if it does, that affected customers be notified. According to management, the rooms are the same in one property as the other. There is no way to truly know this without actually staying at both properties. Also, I would suspect that there would be minor differences in the pool areas, breakfast area, etc. In any case, I was satisfied with the management response. Thanks, Justin.

Since both properties are "the same," then any review of the properties will apply to both - right?

Be wary of the descriptions that mention private balconies and courtyards. The balconies are only on the beach side. The courtyards are not courtyards, but parking lot views. Why not just say it -- parking lot view. See how easy that is! Instead, management uses a bit of puffery to make a parking lot sound attractive.

Speaking of puffery -- high speed WiFi. I was lucky to get connected and had the connection drop quite frequently. When connected, it wsa rarely faster than painfully slow. The Grand Beach/Sugar Beach needs to upgrade their WiFi service. For all practical purposes, we really had unusable WiFi.

The location is good and the staff is friendly and mostly helpful. The only real issue we had was with the toilet paper holder -- left side was loose and the bar fell off. We left a note for this to be fixed and it was, sort of. The next day the other side fell off. We didn't leave a note and it was not fixed. We do think housekeeping should have reported the broken fixture to maintenance. We also wonder on how thorough the cleaning of the bathroom was that second morning since there was garbage in the garbage can and the toilet paper was on the floor in the EXACT position we left it. Housekeeping also did not leave any washcloths. We called the front desk about the washcloths and TP fixture. The TP fixture was fixed promptly and fixed completely this second time around. Housekeeping again failed to bring washcloths the following day, but this time we caught up with the person and the woman said she did not have any left on her cart. A bit later, she came back with the washcloths. Maybe housekeeping needs to make sure they have enough product on their carts!

The beds were reasonably comfortable except I felt as if I was sliding off, towards the foot of the bed. My wife did not seem to have that problem. The pillows were nice, big, almost too bulky.

Continental breakfasts are okay, but very basic. One nice thing they have is an automatic pancake maker. Nice. Waffle makers would have been nice too. There is a Bob Evans within easy walking distance if you want a full breakfast.

Parking was tight and adequate, but some customers do NOT know how to park, or think they rate 2 spots. If parking wasn't tight, this might not have been as noticeable.

We didn't get a chance to use the beach, but it looked nice and was clean. the only thing I noticed that might be a problem is the availability of beach chairs. Many seemed to have been "claimed," but no one was anywhere near those chairs. Also, since we do not like to get fried in the sun, we would not be out on the beach for long without umbrellas above the chairs.

Overall, a pleasant stay. If in the area again, we would consider staying at the Grand Beach/Sugar Beach property.

Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
1  Thank rft0000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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269 - 275 of 367 reviews

Reviewed September 8, 2012

Overall, this was a great place to stay. All the staff we encountered were very helpful & friendly. We stayed in a king size courtyard room beginning on Labor Day. It seemed like an ideal time to go because the rates were lower & we seemed to have the area to ourselves. I thought the shower was really nice & large & we also had a large jacuzzi tub in our room. Not a fan of the sink outside the bathroom, but it was OK. The room was clean. They kept it pretty cold, but it was easily adjustable. The coffee maker in our room didn't work right, but it didn't matter because they have free coffee/tea 24hrs/day in the lobby. They also kept large bowls of oranges, apples & bananas in the breakfast area at all times, which I thought was nice. The bed was just Ok & my husband & I thought the pillows were a bit hard. As far as noise goes, you've got your usual suspects of other hotel guests, the fridge & ac unit. Even though we were on the street side we weren't bothered by street noise. The breakfast was adequate with a variety of foods to get you started on your day. If you don't like what they have, just bring your own because the rooms have a fridge, microwave & coffe maker.

The water on the beach is crystal clear! We brought our own kayaks & were just amazed how far out we could go & still see the bottom.

Room Tip: If you're budget minded, the courtyard side is fine. Not a water view, but no road noise & y...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Trave-LVN-Bug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2012

Great spot to stay. Right off the beach, near restaurants, not far from the downtown area, there is a casino near by. The beach is gorgeous and clean. We were able to jet ski and parasail. Wonderful area!!!

  • Stayed: August 2012
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Thank reetchou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2012

We stay here every year and they have never disappointed. The rooms are all updated, modern, and very clean. There is a microwave, mini fridge, and nice TV in every room. The beach is one of the largest in the area and it's groomed every morning. Breakfast is a little sparse but the hotel is located on the main road so you can literally walk to dozens of restaurants. The front desk and housekeeping staff are all polite and efficient. They have an indoor pool which is also clean and well maintained.

  • Stayed: August 2012
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2  Thank Andrea B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2012

Stayed this past weekend with family in two adjacent 1st floor suites that were walk outs to beach. Our room (128)  was ideal for 2 day stay. There was a nicely shaded porch with cafe and picnic-tables. Perfect for dining al fresco, overlooking the Bay. The room was clean with comfortable beds, modern,  spotless bathroom, well equipped with lots of wardrobe space for storing belongings, small fridge, extra sink and hi-speed, "no fuss" instant wireless. The beach is raked frequently and was perfect for the little kids; soft reddish sand and water that is shallow to your knees at least 500 feet out. "Big kids" need to venture out further to be able to swim comfortably. Lots of rentable activities on beach (parasailing, jet skiing, etc.) and nearby, but mind, the water trampoline isn't free of charge (as we mistakenly thought) and you will be asked to vacate it if you don't pay.  Note: the free breakfast draws the longest line-ups we have ever seen for a continental breakfast, so be prepared to wait during the busier seasons - although we think it could be avoided by re-thinking the order of items. The very popular pancake maker kept running out or needing to be fixed, and held up the whole queue for others behind; perhaps a separate queue for that item might move things along? 

TC AREA: Lot's of restaurants to choose from within walking distance. Also, don't miss the downtown area of TC, there are some great coffee houses, restaurants, microbreweries, art galleries, shopping from mostly independently (non-chain store) businesses. Not a Starbucks in sight in downtown TC.  Check out Sugarkissed for sweet treats and melt-in-your-mouth frozen yogurt, Brew for coffee and lunch, and Brilliant Books for great reading. If you want to experience delicious, authentic Italian food this side of the world,  venture by car out to Trattoria Stella in Grand Traverse Commons, a former state hospital converted into upscale shops, restaurants, galleries and condos.   

Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
1  Thank Acornart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2012

Based on trip advisor reviews, we knew this property was not a 5-star resort but we were disappointed with the condition of our room. The beach access is very nice with shallow, clear water but chairs are taken early in the day which is frustrating especially when most people were not even sitting in their chairs. We had a courtyard, first floor room, and it was very humid and sticky in the room. THere was a used towel in the bathroom from the previous occupant and the AC unit cooled the room but did not remove humidity. We think it was just circulating the air in the room with no exchange of air. There was also black mold in the bathroom above the shower stall (which was addressed by maintenance while we were gone during the day). We also called for extra blankets but were told that they were out of blankets which was also frustrating. As noted in previous reviews, the furniture was older and the armoire had an odor of dirty/sweaty clothes. The front desk staff was extremely friendly and made sure problems were fixed. It may be a different experience on an upper level room or on the beach side.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Amos9308
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2012

Spent 5 nights recently at Traverse City in this resort with our family of 5 and had a great time. We had stayed years ago at the sister property to Sugar Beach and had a nice stay there, so we gave it a try. We had room 220, a family suite with double balcony overlooking the beach with a great view of the bay. Rooms were clean with no weird smells. We had a kitcheny area with fridge and microwave which is nice. There is an indoor pool and hot tub in case of bad weather, etc. Continental breakfast in a common room is busy but nice with a kids. I must say the rooms are pretty expensive, more than I have paid at oceanfront hotel rooms in the past.

Across the street there is a Ruby Tuesdays with good food, we did take out from there and had tasty ribs, etc. Also, would highly recommend Sleders, a tavern style restaurant in town (you must kiss the moose!). Do not miss a drive out on the Leelanau Peninsula, and a drive to Leland to see the historic Fishtown and fresh catch being brought in (get some smoked whitefish pate and a baguette at the stores). Sleeping Bear Dunes is gorgeous, take the Pierce Stocking Scenic drive and stop at the overlooks--Lake Michigan is wondrous! And if you can afford it, eat at the Boathouse, some of the best food I have ever had hands down!

Room Tip: The balcony makes the whole trip worth it--first night was "courtyard" because they were f...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank scorpio5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sugar Beach Resort Hotel

Address: 1773 US 31 North, Traverse City, MI 49686
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Michigan > Grand Traverse County > Traverse City
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Traverse City
Price Range: $87 - $292 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Sugar Beach Resort Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 102
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sugar Beach Resort Hotel is situated on over 300' of the sugar sand beaches of East Grand Traverse Bay leading into the gorgeous waters of Lake Michigan and is as sweet as the name implies. Fully renovated in 2017, Sugar Beach Resort Hotel gives you the perfect location for local eateries, wineries, breweries and local shopping as well water sports right on the beach. The pillow-top mattresses ensure a great night’s rest and the view overlooking the bay while you enjoy a complimentary deluxe continental breakfast simply cannot be beat. Included in every guest room is a mini-fridge, microwave, coffeemaker and personal safe. After a day on the town relax in our heated hot tub, take a dip in our indoor pool, or work off the day’s indulges in our fitness center. From larger suites that can accommodate up to 6 people comfortably, that includes a lovely leisure living area, to more intimate rooms with a king bed and a sofa; there is sure to be a room to fit your vacation or business trip needs. Welcome to Sugar Beach Resort Hotel where your search can end and your adventure can begin. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sugar Beach Hotel Traverse City
Sugar Beach Traverse City

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