When we stay in Traverse City Michigan, there are tons of hotels we can choose between. Since we have visited TC regularly over the last 20 years, we have tried out many different hotels. We have stayed in all types of hotels: boutique, big chains, budget minded, family friendly and fancy schmancy. We have developed a short list of our personal favorites to choose from for our stays based on our experiences and what we will be doing during our trip plus the hotel’s proximity to pertinent activities.
Last fall, I wrote about a great budget friendly hotel that we use as a landing space on a quick trip to the far east side of TC: Hotel Review – Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Acme Michigan. This hotel provides us everything we need at an affordable price and is in a great location to travel up the East Bay area or head downtown for dinner. When we stay here, we aren’t spending much time in the hotel so are focus is on getting a low price, the location and the necessary amenities. We just need a bed, a shower and a quick breakfast before hitting the road to our adventures.
Holiday Inn Resort West Bay Beach
When we are planning a more leisurely trip or coming up for special occasions, I prefer the Holiday Inn Resort West Bay Beach. It is centrally located to all the great dining and activities downtown and sits at the base of TC’s West Bay. The water views here are amazing. Although my standard IHG stay preferences indicate high floor and away from the elevator, I always call directly to the hotel after making our reservations to ensure that we get assigned to a full bay view room.
Holiday Inn Resort West Bay Beach comes in at the high end for Rewards stays at 50,000 points per night. They fill up fast during the high season due to all the TC summer and early fall events so book wayyyyyyy ahead of time to ensure getting a room for your stay.
The room rates range from around $180 night in April, $360 in June to $400 in July. I like to plan my stays during the shoulder season where the rates are on the mid to low side of the scale. To make it even more affordable, I like to book through Ebates when they have a 10% Rebate (usually on Thursdays).
My last Ebates booking also came with a 30% discount off the room rate which made it a real win. When booking through Ebates, you still get the IHG points for your stay and the additional 10 times points if you pay with an IHG credit card.
On Site Amenities
- A large indoor pool area that also features a hot tub and a sauna
- During the warm weather you may prefer their private beach or the outdoor pool
- There is an on site Restaurant as well as a Starbucks coffee counter
- A small sundry store
- A 24/7 Coffee Station
- 2 separate Business Center areas. Both are large and have computers/printers etc as well as complimentary newspapers and information for the local area
- Night Club on site with live music and bar in case you need to get your groove on or grab a cocktail at the end of the day
- A well stocked game room
- They have a good sized fitness center with lots of equipment and plenty of space to work out comfortably
Room with a View
I will tell you that this hotel is a bit dated. It is well kept and maintained, but the color scheme and decor could use a refresh. The rooms we like have very comfy beds with plenty of pillows plus extras available in the closet if we need them. The room also has a sofa which is great when Mark is taking an afternoon nap while I am reading or planning out our next activities. There is a large desk with lamp and all of the lamps in the room had multiple plug outlets for your phone chargers or whatever devices you need to plug in. Very handy.
The rooms we love have fabulous floor to ceiling windows looking out over the bay that come equipped with special window treatments. There is a black out shade for sleep, a sheer shade if you want semi privacy and the view, or during the day you can raise them both for an unobstructed bay view.
The bathroom is pretty tight. If you try to fully open the door (which swings in) it hits the front of the toilet. There is absolutely no way 2 people could get around simultaneously in this small space. Although they do a good job keeping it clean, the bathroom shows it’s age a bit more than the rest of the room. They have tried to update it by adding a few new modern towel fixtures.
I though of Joe from Your Mileage May Vary and his struggles with hotel showers as I tried and failed to figure out how to turn on this shower. I finally gave up and called Mark in for the assist. The shower head was up super high (good for tall guys like Mark but not for 5 footers like me) and the spray was so powerful it almost blew me over. Lol.
A Few of My Favorite Things….
- Parking is Free at this Resort!
- No Resort Fees!
- Location, Location, Location! Seriously, it’s the best.
- The Staff are ALWAYS friendly and helpful
- The restaurant breakfast (not included) is very good if you decide to dine in
- Indoor Pool, Outdoor Pool and Beach for however you choose to lounge
Because this hotel has so many things to offer that I love, I can look past the IHG orange wall paper, dated furnishings and the small bathroom. I have never stayed anywhere else that ALWAYS gives the highest level of customer service. Not only are the staff helpful and friendly, they sincerely interact with you as you pass through the lobby and go way beyond expectations to provide a fabulous stay for their guests.
On our recent stay, we didn’t check in until 12:30 at night. I mentioned at check in that it was our anniversary weekend and the next thing I know Alex & Lori personally delivering a chilled bottle of wine to our room. The next day it came up during conversation that we were looking for somewhere nice for dinner and they gladly offered us suggestions for a few of their favorite places. Any situation that has ever come up during our stays, they have handled quickly and in the most professional way.
I think you should always choose your hotel based on how it serves your needs for a particular stay. So this hotel may not be the most affordable choice when staying in Traverse City, but it is my favorite choice for location, customer service and lounging around. Sometimes you need a little extra comfort and a chance to slow down and relax. This hotel is perfect for that yet close to everything you want to do, all while sporting a spectacular view.
Like Mark often says, “it’s only money, we’ll make more tomorrow.” So true!
Live life to it’s fullest!