Midwest Living Review
Designed to remind visitors of a turn-of-the-century lakefront resort, the Inn at Bay Harbor actually looks more like a giant cruise ship hauled up on the shore of Lake Michigan. Jointly operated by Marriott and the Boyne USA golf and ski resorts, the resort offers impeccable service, comfortable rooms and nice amenities (including a spa, an outdoor pool, waterfront cabanas, onsite restaurants, a small beach and access to area golf courses). Whether that warrants room rates that start at $159 and can soar above $300 probably depends a bit on the size of your wallet (or your expense account). There's no doubt that Bay Harbor has an air of exclusivity, but once you've paid the admission, you'll surely love it here. Since all the 152 rooms are expensive, you may as well really splurge and opt for a lakefront room. The first-floor rooms are especially nice, with walkout patios that offer Adirondak chairs and easy access to the manicured lawn, pool and beach. Although the public areas of the resort feature rather ostentatious marble and red velvet, the rooms are comfortable and cheerful, with white-painted headboards and periwinkle walls. It's cottage-style, but with the fresh, clean feel (and luxe bathrooms) of a high-end chain hotel. Although one gets the impression that many guests never leave the property, a five-minute walk along the lakefront gets you to the commercial development of Bay Harbor, where you'll find a marina and several very good restaurants. Additionally, the resort offers shuttle service into Petoskey. If you don't want to wander, there are of course restaurants on site too, including a casual lounge that offers a great lineup of live music and a topnotch breakfast buffet. The Inn at Bay Harbor isn't for everyone. It's pricey, and there's a general sense of smugness in the air. (Exhibit A: A sign on the lawn directing you to a good photo op reads, simply, "Kodak Moment.") But if you want to treat yourself to a totally pampered vacation in the Petoskey area, this is the best place to do it.