Nestled near the bay in picturesque Petoskey, Michigan, is a little hotel with immaculate grounds, spotless rooms and an exceedingly unusual point of view.
In the world of moderately priced hotels where it competes, there’s a numbing sameness. Quilted coverlets in swirls of sea-foam green and mauve. Plus faux oak. Lots of faux oak.
Not the case with the @ Michigan Inn and Lodge. And no, the “@” is not a typo. The rooms are modern and well-appointed. Not a smidgen of oak in sight. And that’s just for starters.
To say the Inn’s owner is a renegade is a bit of an understatement. Dave Taylor revels in being different. “We’re doing things no other hotel is doing. I check things out on Google. Google doesn’t lie,” he says. Case in point: he has a hair salon on site, and every room booking comes with a free haircut. #YesReally
Petoskey is four hours north of Detroit. It’s a perfect getaway spot and most visitors must drive to get there. So Dave installed 72 carports in his parking lot.
And let’s talk about the food at the inn. Food all day long, all you can eat. From 6am to 10pm in the cafeteria. His website encourages customers to “Come hungry and with long hair.” #AgainReally
Whatever sounds like fun to Dave and his customers might like, that is what Dave does.
Upgrading the experience
It should come as no surprise that Dave thought comfortable beds would be nice for his customers. But nothing traditional would do; Dave went all out. He installed our Reverie Dream™ sleep systems throughout his hotel in late October 2016. Turns out he was right: his customers rave about them. “My customers have said every nice thing that could be said about those beds,” says Dave. Trip Advisor reviews of his hotel ever since the switch have included overwhelmingly positive and frequent mentions of the “amazing” beds. #Truth
What to do on your Petoskey getaway
Petoskey is on Lake Michigan in Little Traverse Bay, in an area noted for lakes, woods, outdoor activities and its overall laidback vibe. Hiking and kayaking are definitely in order. Or take the more chill route and stroll the beach looking for the area’s famous Petoskey stones. For shopping and strolling, check out the city’s historic Gaslight District.
The Gaslight District was frequented by Ernest Hemingway, the area’s most famous former resident. He spent his youthful summers at the family cottage in Petoskey, writing some of his earliest work there. This includes the acclaimed Nick Adams short story series. The Michigan Hemingway Society hosts an annual conference in Petoskey; this year it’s October 14-16. There are also Hemingway tours year-round. No bullfighting or giant marlins in Petoskey to write about, like in his later work. But there are some nice bars, including the City Park Grill, which was Papa Hemingway’s favorite and is still in business.
The northern Lower Peninsula has also grown into a major wine producing area. The vineyard of the Harbor Springs label, aka Pond Hill Farms, is a short drive from Petoskey. It gets great reviews on Trip Advisor, just like Dave’s hotel. You can tour the vineyard year-round, as well as the working farm. A cafe, winery and brewery are all on the premises, so there’s plenty to do, see and sample for the whole family.
If you go …
Follow the @ Michigan Inn and Lodge on Twitter. Anyone who does, gets a 20% discount, which also applies if you want a second haircut. Carports are first come, first served. Of course, enjoy those comfortable Reverie beds. Please tell Dave we said “hi!” and post a photo of your new haircut on our FB page or Instagram feed.