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“Won't stay there again.”
Review of Grey Hare Inn

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Grey Hare Inn
Ranked #9 of 19 Traverse City B&B and Inns
Reviewed August 6, 2013 via mobile

Been to Traverse City many times before. First time staying here with my wife it will be my last. Only the rooms are air conditioned the common sitting area was too hot and not useable. Breakfast was marginal and we did not eat it our last morning for that reason and the extreme heat in the breakfast area. Lack of detail for cleanliness, lack of window treatments as the drapes are too sheer and allow for bright light from the sun to awake you very early in the morning. Window treatments would also help the heat problem we had. Lack of ventilation in the breakfast area coupled with the heat lead to foul odor throughout the inn. Not satisfied at all.

  • Stayed: July 2013
    • Cleanliness
5  Thank Larry G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GreyHareInn, Owner at Grey Hare Inn, responded to this reviewResponded August 21, 2013

I sincerely regret that this guest had such an unpleasant experience at the inn in contrast to the majority of our guests, and while I am admittedly confused by some of the reasons presented I will attempt to address those possessing elements of reasonable opinion as fully as I can. While there are some conditions, such as the weather, that we have a limited ability to correct, in most situations if a guest can let us know while they are at the inn that they are dissatisfied in any way we will always do whatever is possible to ensure the best visit possible.

Over the 14 years we have been in business we have graciously served over 5,000 guests and of those approximately 2,000 have taken the time to write comments in the books provided in each room. Of those who have written over 85% have specifically mentioned the breakfast as the most amazing and satisfying part of the experience. Additionally, as a Catering Director for two major hotel chains in my hospitality industry career I am very confident of the quality of our food presentations, both breakfast and the complimentary hors d’oeuvres and nightly room turndown treat, being significantly better than “marginal”. While I do not remember exactly what I served that morning of their stay many of our standards such as the “Crepes Du Nord” (crepes filled with scrambled eggs, sautéed green onions and wild mushrooms with a seven grain wild rice), or Potato Rosemary garlic Fontina Cheese Strada have been published in independent cookbooks.

Nonetheless had the guest indicated displeasure to us while at the inn we would have offered at least two possible solutions. What they said the night before their departure was that they were leaving before breakfast to meet up with hunting (or fishing) friends early in the day. Had they advised us differently in a direct subject specific manner then we would have offered either a different menu (as we have always been willing to prepare special menu requests, for example gluten free or lactose intolerance); or if eating in a warmer than desirable atmosphere either dining on the patio in the shade or even a partial refund of their monies paid so that they could have breakfast elsewhere.

Equally confusing to me is the opinion regarding cleanliness considering that after the remarks about the excellence of breakfast written in the comment books, the second most mentioned thing is our cleanliness and attention to detail. We take great efforts to keep the inn as immaculate as possible while contending with the fact that we are in a rural agricultural area with its consequent issues, because keeping the area rustic with for example a dirt road is part of the beautiful ambiance to the property. For 14 years we have not only been reviewed consistently well with our Michigan Bed and Breakfast Association, but are extremely diligent and attentive to cleanliness details using methods such as the following; using paper towels to wipe down all toilet surfaces rather than rags which might transport germs surface to surface, separate sponges for soaping surfaces and then another for rinsing them, wiping down silverware and sugar/creamers as tables are set to remove any dishwasher water stains, closing doors and windows when nearby agricultural spraying is occurring or air deodorizers as needed to negate lingering cologne or food aromas; and replacement of linen, carpets, and painting on a regular basis to maintain the freshness and cleanliness of the property.

As pertains to heat and sunlight issues, the idea of global warming was not even on anyone’s consciousness 15 years ago when we build the B & B and thus the decision made at the time to use radiant water heat with in floor coils on the first floor and authentic radiators on the second to create the ambiance of an old Provence farmhouse enjoyed by so many of our guests, but which precluded any ductwork necessary for A/C. We have gone to great extent to cool as many of the guest areas of the house as we can without ruining the architectural ambiance and exquisite decoration of what we have created using patio trees and vine covered trellises to shade the house. Without ductwork there is no way that whole house A/C can be added; but there are many areas that provide relief from the heat once outside of the air conditioned sleeping rooms. For example under the trellises on the patio or in the gazebo along the path through the woods, or of course at nearby beaches with the cool Lake Michigan water. This guest was in the smaller of our rooms offering economy of value but perhaps the additional space provided in either of the other two suites would have given enough room inside an area of air conditioned space that his experience would have been perceived differently.

Additionally, we take great efforts to make the common sitting areas as comfortable as we can during periods of record breaking heat (it was uncharacteristically 95 degrees plus that day of their stay) by opening doors and windows during the cool of the evening and early morning and then closing them during the hottest parts of the day, then using the large ceiling fans in the dining and living room to circulate the air.

Similarly the calculated decision to highlight the views from all of the rooms of the vineyards, orchards and the bay in the distance by minimalizing window treatments does have the stated downside. As the owner of a bed and breakfast such tradeoff decisions are made with the intent to generally satisfy, or exceed the expectations, of 95% of the people 95% of the time. So while some may desire more of a blackout effect to window treatments, others may relish waking up to a 180 degree panoramic view of vineyards, orchards and the bay from their bed accompanied by a glorious sunrise; and thus luckily there are different accommodations to meet all the various combinations of individual desires. Quite often people will ask when making reservations about their individual concerns and we are always glad to provide them with the exact situation so that their experience can be all that they desire, or as necessary we can direct them to other facilities that may more meet their needs. As I have often stated in other review responses all we need is the communication up front so that we can best insure the guest an excellent stay. We have, however, duly noted this particular guest’s opinion for future decision making.

Again I am sorry this guest’s focus on some issues prevented him/them from enjoying the ambiance and many amenities provided by our attention to details such as 100% cotton French table linens, an individually served gourmet breakfast (2 courses in the summer with 3 in the winter), ironed cotton bed sheets with thematic color co-ordination to each room, fresh flowers on the breakfast tables, the Italian/French eclectic décor with faux painted artwork, custom wrought iron work throughout highlighted by the wrought iron bed in the Barnwood room along with a shower curtain rod in the Vineyard suite and stairway railings, Italian marble flooring and all of the other attributes that make our property unique.

Finally, although I would have preferred to be able to have the chance to react to this guest’s needs while at the inn, we nonetheless sincerely appreciate the comments and as a result will make all attempts to be even more diligent toward all aspects of our high standards of service so that we can exceed the expectations of even the 1/10th of 1 percent.

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34 - 40 of 74 reviews

Reviewed June 12, 2013

My husband and I stayed here for five nights as our base for doing the Bay Shore Marathon and it was perfect. The setting is gorgeous. From our room we looked out over the vineyard and cherry orchard. Cindy and Jay were perfect hosts. They had suggestions about where to eat, special places to go and which wineries to visit. Cindy's multi-course gourmet breakfasts were always delicious. On the day of the marathon, coffee was waiting for us at 0530 and Cindy left us a pre-marathon breakfast prepared to our nutritional specifications.
It doesn't get any better than this!

Room Tip: We stayed in the Barnwood Suite which was just right. The Garden Room would have been a bit too sma...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank max'smom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 30, 2013

Went to Traverse City for an anniversary weekend and after much scouting, the Grey Hare Inn was chosen as our place to stay. This was a great decision. The proprietors of the inn were exceptionally kind and informative. Breakfast was a two/three course meal and all of the courses were delicious and made to the dietary requirements given upon reservation. The grounds of the inn were beautiful, as were the rooms. The location is very nice, as there is a winery down the same road as the inn, and all the other wineries, save one, are located north on the peninsula. This is also only a short drive from downtown Traverse City, making shopping and dining very easy.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Ecogirl06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2013

There's not much I can add that hasn't already been said here, except that we have stayed in a fair number of B&B's both in and out of Michigan, and this is one of our faves... great location, beautiful vineyard & orchard surroundings, gorgeous & comfy rooms, delicious fare, and delightful hosts in Cindy & Jay. Perfect for a weekend couples' getaway, or longer - very serene and restful, but with tons of fun sightseeing, shopping, eateries and winery visits conveniently nearby.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Jerry C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2013

What a delightful way to begin the new year! In the morning the fireplace was lit as we walked to our bistro table for a delicious gourmet breakfast and a wonderful morning greeting by our hosts, Cindy and Jay. Although we are very familiar with Old Mission and the Traverse City area this was our first stay at Grey Hare Inn. Our room was on the first floor. It was large and well appointed. It includes a separate sitting room, large jacuzzi tub and beautiful canopy bed covered in luxurious linens.The food was not only delicious, the presentation was perfect. Cindy and Jay have created a relaxing and inviting atmosphere in their beautiful chateau. My husband and I can't wait to return and experience other seasons - especially sailing season! This will be the first of many visits to Grey Hare Inn.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Debbie K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 17, 2012

What a peaceful, quiet place to be during the holidays! The fog moved in during the night swirling around the grape vineyard surrounding the french chateau house making it a very surreal atmosphere. We thoroughly enjoyed spending time in the vineyard suite with the jacuzzi tub, separate sitting area, & large space. The queen bed was very comfortable & heated bathroom floor was a pleasure. Several restaurants are within 5-10 minutes drive for dinner. We chose the Mission Table Tavern. Breakfast in the morning was amazingly creative & tasty with Christmas music softly playing in the background. Cindy graciously made our breakfast to accommodate dietary requests. Cindy & Jay were such a treat. It was a bit pricey for our budget, but definitely a memorable place & worth the stay! We highly recommend the Grey Hare Inn!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank anni f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ruzak, Owner at Grey Hare Inn, responded to this reviewResponded April 18, 2013

This review is one of those to which I find it most difficult to respond, and thus why it has been so delayed, because it is apparent that the persons enjoyed their stay yet included a somewhat inferred negative comment regarding value under circumstances that truly relate more to actions initiated by the guest rather than something under the inn’s influence. While I may not be completely sure about the specifics of their fairly last minute reservation, but they did indeed choose the most expensive room option. So perhaps a better choice to fit their budget would have been one of the lesser expensive rooms; and while I believe that indeed was a choice that weekend, if I am incorrect then it still would be valid that if the reservation had been made more than a few hours in advance of arrival there would have been a better chance a room more fitting their budget expectations could have be secured. Also, again if I am presuming about the guest’s identity correctly this was a last minute one night stay for which the rate is higher than our standard two night stay rate, and as state the one night they were here was very foggy so the expansive views of vineyards, orchards and the bay were not optimal. Yet another reason why we encourage potential guests to stay 2 or 3 nights to maximize their enjoyment of all the wonderful amenities offered at the Grey Hare Inn and Old Mission Peninsula.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2012

This B&B has added a touch of Tuscany/Provence to Northern Michigan. We spent 2 nights in the Vineyard suite in mid-September.

The Vineyard suite on the main level was absolutely lovely and perfectly laid out. The bedroom has French doors to a patio area at the back of the house and windows with wonderful vistas of the vineyards. There is a large walk through closet connecting the bedroom to the sitting area which also has lots of windows and more of those beautiful vistas. The bathroom is large and very spacious with all the amenities. We enjoyed that there was a door from our sitting room to the common living and dining area of the B&B. It felt like all of that area was ours too! The owners were on holiday and Cathy did a wonderful job hosting us. The breakfasts were delicious and beautifully presented in a little bistro section of the common area.

We toured several wineries within close proximity to the Inn. We also spent an enjoyable day visiting Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park which was about an hour drive from the Inn. There is so much to see & do on Mission Peninsula and in the entire Traverse City area and we will definitely be back.

Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
Thank HappyTrails2go
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grey Hare Inn

Address: 1994 Carroll Rd, Traverse City, MI 49686-8183
Location: United States > Michigan > Grand Traverse County > Traverse City
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 19 B&Bs / Inns in Traverse City
Price Range: $125 - $195 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An elegant vineyard estate styled in the manner of a Provence/Tuscan farmhouse located in the heart of Northern Michigan Wine Country.A full gourmet breakfast and complimentary hors d'oeuvres are provided with panoramic vineyard, orchard and bay views. Just 10 minutes from all the amenities and activities of Traverse City, on Old Mission Peninsula ... more   less 

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