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“What a lovely surprise!”
Review of Grey Hare Inn

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Grey Hare Inn
Ranked #8 of 19 Traverse City B&B and Inns
Reviewed August 30, 2013

This review is long overdue. My husband and I stayed at the Grey Hare Inn in June while we were travelling through Northern Michigan. He had never been to this part of Michigan before. I had as a child but wanted to experience it as an adult. Cindy was great ahead of our visit with the reservation and making sure to note my dietary needs. When we arrived we fell in love with the beautiful property and the location. We arrived a bit too early (vacation brain), so Cindy sent us off to drink wine and we came back a while later. Check in was smooth, Jay gave us the low down on eating, drinking, etc. We loved our cozy little room and spacious bathroom. I appreciated that they pointed out that we should use certain towels if we are using sunscreen, and had some notes in the bathroom about turning on the fan, etc. They have spent a lot of money on the furnishings and decoration of the inn, so I was more than happy to honor their requests. The afternoon snack was a nice touch. We spent time walking around the property and I could not get enough of the chickens they have! We slept well, the water was hot, and everything was as it should be. We enjoyed meeting the other couples staying at the property as well. As other reviewers have mentioned, breakfast was the best part. I wish I could have packed Cindy up and brought her home to Los Angeles to cook for me every day! We loved Cindy and Jay, their property and everything about our stay. I have already recommended the Grey Hare Inn to others!

Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
1  Thank cdgregor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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28 - 34 of 74 reviews

Reviewed August 26, 2013

What a discovery! Our time at the Grey Hare In was magical, totally exceeding our expectations. Beyond the scrumptious breakfasts, our cruise across the bay getting to know the two owners was a true highlight. A sincere thanks for making every detail of our stay be fun and relaxing. Two very special people + 1 gorgeous inn = a return visit in the near future!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Carrie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2013

Couldn’t ask for more! We had a delightful stay and a marvelous sail on Saturday – highly recommend that! We will look forward to returning – Great Food! Gorgeous View!Glorious pampering! We three elementary school friends have chosen places to meet around the country once a year and this year was the Traverse City area. We lucked into staying at the Grey Hare for a wonderful experience. A great place to renew the spirit walking in the woods and peaceful mornings. The sailing was amazing on Traverse Bay. Treated like queens. Loved it all!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Marjorie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2013

Everything was perfect for our 1 year anniversary at this beautiful bed and breakfast. We have been raving to family and friends back home already about our trip. Our room was amazing, the bed and breakfast itself is breathtaking, the food was delicious. We appreciated all the suggestions and efforts for an amazing anniversary weekend. We would love to visit again. Thank you for everything.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jessica Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2013

I stayed here in early August with my girlfriend, and this place could not be more charming or relaxing. First off the location is perfect, right in the middle of Old Mission Peninsula, about seven miles north of downtown Traverse City. So you really get the best of both worlds because your only about a five to ten minute drive to downtown, but you also feel like your in the European countryside with the beautiful scenery all around you. Once you step into the bed and breakfast you get the sense your in a luxurious home in France. Everything was intimate, and romantic and Cindy and her helpers made you feel so welcomed once you were there. Top notch service all the way around, from the rooms, to the best breakfast you will ever have this is the best B & B I have ever stayed at! You really have to experience it for yourself to get the full meaning of what it is to stay here in beautiful Traverse City. (Magnifique)

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank SouthSidetravler
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 19, 2013

Thank you so very much for your kind comments that so adeptly express the quality of the experience we provide at the inn. It is a pleasure to be appreciated for the effort we put forth for our guests in providing an ambiance and service that is truly first class.

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Reviewed August 6, 2013

Lovely B&B on Old Mission Peninsula a quarter mile off the main road offering a beautiful and serene setting for walking or viewing. We were upstairs in the Barnwood suite; no TV but the internet worked fine. Very firm queen size bed with a unique wrought iron grape trellis canopy, the one decorative tree branch chair in the bedroom was not very comfortable; bed linens were clean but not top line. Comfortable living room was available for guests as was an outdoor patio. BYO wine and chill it in the common frig to enjoy with evening snack. Cindy went out of her way to be friendly and helpful. She prepared, served and described each gourmet breakfast course prepared with local ingredients as it was presented. (Caution, your breakfast was available at the time you requested, but there was no clock in the room). Overall, nice but slightly over priced @ $500 for 2 nights compared to other more luxurious B&Bs at which we have stayed.

Room Tip: The Vineyard suite looked at lot nicer
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Kenneth M
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 19, 2013

A heartfelt thank you to this reviewer for their comments as we are continually seeking ways to enhance our guest experience. Our basic premise for this French Country inn’s decor was toward minimalism much as seen in both France and Italy farmhouses, and cater in each room to what is desired by 95% of the people 95% of the time while providing particular amenities usually desired such as a tv or Jacuzzi or fireplace in at least one room so that potential guests can choose which amenities most appeal to them all while trying to keep the simplistic style European theme intact. Thus the larger Vineyard suite has the space available for the TV and a Jacuzzi, while the Barnwood’s amenities are the private sitting room with the view of vineyards, orchards and the bay along with a fireplace with rustic wood furniture, and the Garden room was designed to provide the best vineyard, orchard and bay views. As mentioned we do provide a number of common room sitting areas for comfortable relaxation both indoors and out and a gazebo along the wooded trail adds another variety of seating with its comfortable futon.
We are constantly on the search for high quality linens, both for the dining tables as well as the bed. Last year we purchased over 20 different sets of table linens during a trip to France. The bed linens have been a bit more difficult since we prefer to continue to try to keep a color theme going in each, rather than taking the more easy route to all white linens; however, the manufacturers we have chosen over the past 15 years have shifted their focus so that these high quality thematic linens have become more difficult to find. Also the quality of what is available, again other than white imports at about $1,000 a set; has declined. We aim to purchase at least one new set for each room every year usually in a reasonably expensive range of $300- $500, and admittedly this year the set we purchased for the Barnwood room began to pill up after just 5 washings while another had seams rip out after just 2 and needed seamstress repair. So I can assure the reviewer as well as other readers/future guests that we are aware of this issue and remain on a diligent search to improve the quality of the guest experience.
For most of the years we have operated the inn part of our check in procedure was to offer guests a personalized wake up knock on their door at a specified time prior to their selected breakfast, rather than have clocks in the rooms, again in favor of thematic simplicity and a higher level of personal guest service. Due to explosion of smart phone technology over the past few years and its virtual omnipresence we gradually eliminated this portion of our service since every time we would offer the service, the answer was that the phone had an alarm on it so to provide the most expedient check in service it was dropped.
Again thank you for taking the time to publish your comments

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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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 #8 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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