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Recos for Jan 1-5 ski trip

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West Chester, Ohio
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Recos for Jan 1-5 ski trip

Hi. We're starting to think about a ski trip up to Boyne Highlands/ Mountain and/or Nubs Nob for roughly Jan 1-5. We would probably do day trips (or in our bodies' case, maybe half day trips) to ski and then would like to partake in other activities, maybe even some of them outdoors. So we don't feel a need to stay right at the slopes, just somewhere relatively close. We have a 17 yr old son who is all bummed that we won't be going to Mt. Tremblant this year ($1600 for airfare alone!), so we would like to stay someplace nice with a pool, hot tub, and other amenities to "compensate" for the lower verticals in Northern MI compared to Quebec.

So far, places that look attractive are Crooked River Lodge, Inn at Bay Harbor, and maybe even a condo like Trout Creek Condo Resort. We would prefer at least a one bedroom suite kind of arrangement. Input on these places + any others would be appreciated. Also any suggestions for other activities, restaurants, etc. My husband and I spent many a New Years up in the Petoskey/Harbor Springs area, but that was 15-20 yrs ago. We always loved the area and this seemed like a good time to visit again.

Thanks,

BB

Manistique, Michigan
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1. Re: Recos for Jan 1-5 ski trip

I have stayed at the Crooked River Lodge a few times. I like the owner and the service. I like the location. It is close to many areas. I have not stayed there in the winter.

West Chester, Ohio
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2. Re: Recos for Jan 1-5 ski trip

Yooperbacker,

Thanks for the info. How close do you think the Crooked River Lodge is to the ski areas? I think they have an indoor pool and hot tub? Is that correct and are they decent?

THanks, BB

Northern Michigan
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3. Re: Recos for Jan 1-5 ski trip

Hey Buddy,

I've never stayed at the Crooked River Inn, but I've heard good things about it. There's quite a story behind the place, just a couple days before the grand opening, a disgruntled employee literally burned the place to the ground!! The owners started right over and re-built the place on the same spot. Crooked river lodge is about 15 minutes from Nubs and Boyne Highlands, 45 minutes from Boyne Mountain. CRL is in Alanson, which is a small town. There are a few restaurants around, but not much in the way of nightlif

I would definitely not stay at Bay Harbor, the place is overpriced for the what you get and the staff are not the least bit genuine...plus, you'll be a good 10 minutes further from any of the ski hills.

Trout Creek Condos are nice, especially for families. The condo complex has a nice pool and hot tub area, and some of the units come with private hot tubs. You'll be right at the ski hills with Trout Creek and there's even a shuttle to Nubs (not sure about Boyne). Keep in mind though that you're a good distance from any kind of downtown activities.

There's a new Hampton Inn in Petoskey, I've not stayed there but again, I've heard good things. There is a pool and hot tub, good views of Little Traverse Bay and there are whirlpool rooms available, but I don't know about suites.

Here are a couple of other suggestions...

What about staying at Boyne Highlands? I really prefer the skiing at Nubs over the Highlands or Mountain, but Nubs doesn't have any lodging. Your next best bet is to stay at the Highlands and ski both hills. There are a miriad of accommodation options available, you're right at the hill where there's tons of kids stuff to do, decent nightlife generally with entertainment in the Snowflake Lounge and more rowdy nightlife in the Zoo Bar. The big hit...The large slopeside outdoor pool and hot tub area...nice, nice. Keep in mind, the week between Christmas and New Years is the busiest week of the year at Northern Michigan ski areas...things will really die down after new years, but there will still be people around...you'll hear a collective sigh of relief from the ski hills on Jan 2nd.

I don't know if this will fit the bill for you, but my favorite hotel in Petoskey is Stafford's Perry Hotel.

http://www.staffords.com/perry-hotel-4/

Stafford's is the benchmark in hospitality for Northern Michigan and the Perry's downtown location is great, easily walkable to everything downtown. The downside...There's only one suite (which is gorgeous, overlooking the bay) and there's no pool (there is a small jacuzzi area). For me, you can't beat the Perry, I'm sure everyone would love the downtown location but the lack of a pool might be a dealbreaker for you.

The Apple Tree Inn in Petoskey is quite nice, they have suites available, and indoor pool and hot tub, but no in-room whirlpools. It's a nice hotel, well kept with very courteous owners...and the rates are good. It's on the South side of town, so it will be a 15 minute drive to all the ski resorts.

O.K... now on to what I really know...FOOD!!!

Obviously, where you're staying will dictate much of where you eat, but I'll highlight a few favorites around the area.

If you stay at Crooked River Lodge, you really have to swing over to Vivio's in Indian River...they've been in business since the early days of Indian River...it's a local's favorite as well as a can't miss for visitors. Take M-68 about 10 miles to Indian River and once you hit the stoplight, it's on the far right corner. The best pizza anywhere and generally good Italian to boot...steaklovers, their meats are great too! While in Indian River, swing into McClutchey's in downtown, they've got excellent prices on clothing and outerwear for the whole family...Columbia, Woolrich, Pendleton, Levi, Vera Bradley, etc, etc, etc...a really service oriented store...family owned and over 70 years old!

If you're in the mood for Mexican, skip La Senorita in Petoskey and hit the Red Mesa Grill in Boyne City while you're over skiing at the Mountain. Red Mesa's food is great as is their tequila/marguerita list.

For great neauvo Italian, check out Lorenzo's on M-119 North of Harbor Springs...if you spent any time at the ski hills around new years way back when, you might remember The Arboretum...same place, but much better now.

Fine Dining is the H.O. Rose Room in the Perry Hotel...hands down. Great atmosphere, view, service and cuisine...my favorite!!

Another great Stafford's property is the Pier in Harbor Springs...there are two rooms, The Pointer (fancy, fine dining) and The Chart Room (much more casual, both the menu and atmosphere). Great dining on the water in Harbor.

Chandler's in Petoskey is aonther great fine dining joint...it's a pretty small restaurant, but the cuisine is excellent, the wine list is amazing and they have the best sushi in N.MI.

We were just in Whitecaps the other night, I hadn't been there in a while as our last experience was a little sketchy, but I was really impressed with the food and service. I still think the prices are pretty outrageous, but this time I definitely left satisfied...the highlight is the brie appetizer.

For lunch, my favorites are the Flatiron Deli or Gelato Cafe in Petoskey, or Turkey's in Harbor...for a great greasy burger, try Bar Harbor in Harbor.

For nightlife, you'll want to head to Petoskey...The Noggin Room (in the Perry Hotel) City Park Grill and Mitchell Street Pub are all kid friendly (at least early in the evening) and fun for adults...generally some kind of live music will be going on in the Noggin Room and all three have good menus.

Holy Toledo...sorry about the book, I just scrolled up and realized how much I've written...hope this helps, I'll add more as I think of it, but feel free to ask anything!

Bay City, Michigan
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4. Re: Recos for Jan 1-5 ski trip

What a wonderful, insightful response, DH! I am going to copy and paste that info to my travel folder, so I can use most of it for our own travels. Again, WOW! Keep up the good work. You love doing this, don't you? Smiling.....Tyme

West Chester, Ohio
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5. Re: Recos for Jan 1-5 ski trip

deadheadcouple,

Wow! Your info is fantastic and will help us decide on a course of action. I'll share it with my hubby and son so we can decide on our strategy. It's nice to have so many options, now I'll have to also plug in availability and cost into the picture. We are hoping that arriving on 1/1 (starting to ski on the 2nd) will get us out of some of the holiday crowds. I agree, I always liked Nubs Nob better than either Boyne.

I especially appreciate the update on the restaurants. We spent many a New Year's Eve having dinner at the Pier in the Chart Room, but that was a few years ago. Good to have a current list and opinion.

The Trout Creek Condos look like a good option. Do you have any hints on where to make reservations other than to do an internet search? In my initial look, I passed on the slopeside accomodations. The rooms didn't seem to be as nice as some of the other locations. With your description of what's available slopeside, I throw that back into the mix now - along with the Perry.

Oh, boy - I better get back to work sorting thru the options! Thanks again!

BB

Chicago
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6. Re: Recos for Jan 1-5 ski trip

We spent a few days at Trout Creek Condos earlier this month and were extremely pleased with the accomodations. (see our review at the Trout Creek TA page). Very convenient for Boyne Highlands and Nub's Nob. There is a shuttle from several locations in the Trout Creek property to the Nob. The property has at least one indoor pool and hot tub, maybe more. We spent time in the outdoor locations since we visited during summer.

The fire places and great views from the condos make me think that a winter stay at Trout Creek could be on our agenda this year.

As DH suggested, you might want to take a look at the slope-side accomodations at the Highlands. They offer several different types of accomodations in various price ranges. Lots of night life there as well.

Another recommendation is a fairly new B&B just south of the Highlands called Highland Hideaway. We discovered it while exploring the area (actually, we were attracted by the adjoining vinyard's wine tasting sign) If you enjoy B&Bs, this might be worth a second look.

As far as restaurant recommendations, DH is spot on. You can't go wrong following his suggestions. But then, exploring and finding your own favorites is also part of the fun.

Let us know what you finally decide and post a review of wherever you end up staying.

Thx,

Matt

7. Re: Recos for Jan 1-5 ski trip

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