My husband and I were due for a few days away after being cooped up at home since Covid-19 began. Usually when we go Up North, we choose to stay in one of the many hotels in Traverse City because it puts us in a central location for whatever adventures we decide to undertake. But with concerns about the virus weighing on my mind, I wanted something more remote this year.
I had been reading some posts by Julianne at the blog Pints, Pounds & Pate on her July stay at The Homestead Resort in Glen Arbor. The Resort looked like it had everything that I wanted for our getaway like it’s own stretch of Lake Michigan beach, private pools and on-site dining options. I also liked it’s location on the Leelenau Peninsula because it is one of our favorite areas for exploring. So I researched the Homestead for price and availability and found that I could book a room for about the same price as most of the hotels in Traverse City were going for.
Check in at the Homestead Resort is a little later than most hotels at 5 pm. When we arrived, I was pleasantly surprised by how beautiful the grounds were. The Desk Agent quickly went over all of the Resort information, gave us our room keys and a site map before sending us on our way. The Resort is expansive, so the map was a valuable tool for finding our way around the property.
The Homestead offers Condos, an Inn and several separate lodging complexes each with their own style. For example, the Fidler’s Pond complex has a cottage theme, while Little Belle is designed for romantic getaways for adults only. I chose the Stony Brook Lodge building for our stay because it listed rooms with Lake Michigan views and it’s own pool as well as all of these amenities:
One-bedroom suites have a living area with a gas-fired porcelain stove and sofa bed, a kitchenette, and a bedroom with a king bed. A sauna, fitness center, laundry room and seasonal outdoor pool for the exclusive use of Stony Brook Lodge guests are also included.
After leaving the Welcome Center, we wound our way up a few twisty roads until we arrived at the Stony Brook Lodge building. The complex was beautifully landscaped and there were several lovely water features in the courtyard. Stony Brook has 3 stories with some rooms having outdoor entrances from the courtyard while others are located within the building. Just inside the entrance was a beautiful lodge style lounging area with a huge stone fireplace and ample seating.
Our room was located inside the building on the main level and I was excited to find we had easy access to the pool and a peek-a-boo view of Lake Michigan!
Once inside, we found a cozy seating area with it’s own free standing fireplace. We used the fireplace on one chilly evening and it warmed things up nicely. There was also a small dining table with chairs and a full kitchenette complete with a good sized fridge and all the necessities like cups, plates and silverware. The Up North themed decor appropriately reflected our location in the heart of the Michigan woods.
To the left of the entrance was a separate bedroom with a king sized bed and a double closet. There were plenty of pillows as well as night stands (with nearby plugs for charging your phone) on both sides of the bed. The room also had a 3 drawer dresser with a television cupboard. Because there were no actual windows in the bedroom, it relied strictly on lamps for lighting, which were not very effective.
The bathroom was clean, well maintained and everything was in working order. Along with the standard sink and toilet, it also included a shower with a deep jetted tub. Lighting was also an issue in the bathroom. With only a small fixture over the sink, when you drew the shower curtain closed it became a cave of darkness. I had to leave the shower curtain slightly open in order to be able to see well enough to shave my legs. This was only a minor inconvenience, though.
Our living area had full windows for enjoying amazing views of the lake as well as a door to a small private deck. Since the deck faced both the pool and Lake Michigan it was a great spot for having our morning coffee. Although the temperature had just dropped to the mid 50’s before our stay, My husband was still able to take a swim each day because the pool was heated.
We had high hopes of exploring some of the on-site dining options, but the dreary weather led us on expeditions off the property instead. However, we did use the resorts handy walking trails to hike over to Cavanaugh’s General Store each morning. Cavanaugh’s offers a selection of handy grocery items as well as pastries, coffee and hot breakfast sandwiches. Later in the day they switch to a prepared food bar which includes an assortment of ready to eat hot and cold foods and pizza. The store is located in an area called “The Village” which is also home to Nonna’s Restaurant (only open October-March), Whiskers Bar and several little shops.
On Thursday, the weather looked as if it might clear up enough to allow for us to enjoy the outdoors. We made several attempts to arrange an on-site kayak rental through the activities desk, but were unable to make that work. So instead we decided to visit the nearby Village of Glen Arbor.
When we returned from our Glen Arbor adventures, we headed out to the beach. I was happy to find that since the temps had only recently began to drop, the lake water was still fairly warm. Other than a few folks walking from time to time, we really did have this expansive stretch of beach all to ourselves.
After dinner, we returned once more to the beach to watch the sunset. Puffy pink cotton candy clouds formed over the shore while pale orange stripes stretched across the sky over the lake. It was a pretty good show.
When we got back to the room, I joined my husband for a dip in the pool while we watched the last moments of the gorgeous sunset. We never saw anyone else using the pool while we were there. I guess we are just crazy like that.
We certainly were able to meet our trips goal to get away, relax and social distance while staying at the Homestead Resort. Not only is there ample space to spread out on the Resort property, the combination of staying after Labor Day with the crappy weather meant less people were out and about in general. Although we weren’t able to take advantage of the on-site restaurants and bars this trip, we appreciated having Cavanaugh’s close by for a coffee or a morning snack.
We really liked the Homestead Resort and I can definitely see us staying there again in the future. Hopefully, we will be able to plan our next trip when the weather is a little better so that we can utilize the Resorts restaurants and outdoor activities. But when the weather isn’t cooperating, it’s nice having the village of Glen Arbor just a few minutes away and a long list of shops, breweries, wineries and restaurants available within a 10 to 15 minute drive.
For a detailed review of the Homestead’s dining options and warm weather activities I am also including this link to The Homestead Resort post from the Pints, Pounds and Pate blog.
Dream, Plan, Save, Adventure!
Look for these upcoming posts featuring the Village of Glen Arbor, Unpacking Covid-19 Safety Protocols, and our Foodie Experiences.