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“Quaint but tired 1950's motel. Can be loud.”

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Empire Lakeshore Inn
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Empire
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
35 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Quaint but tired 1950's motel. Can be loud.”
Reviewed 6 August 2013 via mobile

The place has new owners as of June. The owner was great on the phone and helpful during our stay.

We booked late and got the last room. The Inn is at the intersection of MI 22 and MI 72. The Harley's and diesel pickup trucks were loud and lots of them.

The room was a typical 1950's motel room. Two full beds, an old style TV, AC, baseboard heat, bath , and small sink. An add on was a coffee maker. No hair dryer. The big plus was it was clean! There was a good ice machine downstairs. The beds were hard and somewhat lumpy, needed replacement, but tolerable. The place really needs updating.

The room had pictures of the location and the owner through the years. Interesting history.

The location for Sleeping Bear Dunes is great. Two blocks away, Joe's Friendly Tavern was very good for breakfast and lunch.

Parking is an issue. We were with friends who were at the RV park and returned about 11pm two different nights. There are only 11 small parking spots for 11 rooms and no onstreet parking allowed. The large SUVs and minivans (many with bikes on the back) filled the lot. There was one spot left, but the vehicle on each side was on the line. So I let my wife out before pulling in and I squeezed out using my hand to prevent my door from touching the SUV. I needed to move my car (Camry) the next morning to allow a person to get into the driver's side.



Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Beavscabin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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257 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (41)
Date | Rating
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English first
Lake Orion, Michigan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2013

Great staff and quiet rooms were just what we needed after a long day at the Sand Dunes. Clean Towels, sample soap and shampoo in the bathroom. Coffee maker and coffee provided free of charge. Flat screen tv. 2 full size beds were perfect for my husband and I and our 2 children. Cute decorations gave an "up north" feel and provided some history of the area which made it feel like we were away from our busy lifestyle.

Overall I had an amazing experience and loved coming back to a quiet Inn.

Room Tip: Make reservations early! Some rooms come furnished with microwave and fridge so if that is somethi...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Traveling710
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Macomb, Michigan
Level Contributor
346 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 June 2013

Well, when I write these reviews I try to give future users of this location an honest assessment of what they are purchasing. The Lakeshore Inn Motel did receive a Very Good rating from me due to the location of the motel and the overall price, but future guests should understand that this motel is a lower budget motel and your not going to find it to be a 3 or 4 star hotel. So with that said let me summarize the good points and some improvement points of the motel.
Lets start with the good or highlight points:
- Great location if using the Sleeping Bear Dunes as a destination. The motel is about 5 miles from the park.
- The overall price of the motel is very reasonable for the area. I paid about $85 for the 2nd week in June. Had two double beds.
- Rooms had a small microwave, coffee maker & fridge in the room.
- Depending on your perspective there was a lack of tourist around in the 2nd week of June and the stores and places to visit were open to around 5 or 6 pm every day.
- The motel was pretty quiet and did have air conditioning.
- Megan, at the front desk was very friendly and helpful for any questions.
- There is a great city all sand beach about 5 blocks away from the motel with play equipment and bathrooms.
The potential improvemnt points:
- The bed in my room was very uncomfortable & was rock hard.
- The decor is nothing fancy & the carpet was noted to be worn. Overall the room was clean, just tired. It is a tourist area.
- The towels while clean were pretty rough and cheap in nature.
- The air conditioner took a loong time to get close to cooling the room. But worked well to block some of the noise around the room (people walking, closing doors, there is an intersection within 75 yards of the motel.
- The TV remote sometimes worked, sometimes did not. And the TV was small - but your not there to watch TV. I used it mostly to see what the weather report was for the next day.
- Note that there is really only one place to eat in town & it is a bar / tavern if you have children. Really good food. No Mickey-D's or other palces to eat unless you drive back to Travis City (about 25 miles east).

So, in closing the Lakeshore Inn Motel met my needs for a get away to relax. Very quiet at night, had some nice stores / galleries to shop at and the people were very friendly. Got my sleep and had a great time at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park.
Just be aware that this is not a high end motel and roll with what the area provides for the price.
Lastly, I noted a For Sale sign on the motel property with a Sold sign on it - not sure what this will bring in the future for this establishment.

Room Tip: Pick a first floor room if you cannot carry your bags up the steps to the second floor - no elevator...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank newadventure53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 May 2013

My boyfriend and I came up to Empire for the weekend and stayed at the Lakeshore Inn. The owner and housekeeper were both very friendly and helped us with any questions we had. The rooms were clean and the beds were pretty good too. It is a great place to stay if you plan on driving around the area or heading to the beach. The only thing that bothered me was that our room did not have a fridge. It wasn't a huge inconvenience, but if we had stayed there longer it would have been. I would definitely recommend this hotel, it may not be perfect, but I'm pretty low-maintenance so it was great for me.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lyndsay09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elkhart, Indiana
Level Contributor
38 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2013

We stopped here on our way to Sleeping Bear Dunes & it was cute, not great, but most people camp at the dunes so we didn't expect Hilton's. the street had a coffee shop maybe 2 but no one was open at 9 am on Sunday morning which seemed odd. So we just headed out for breakfast and a great day at the beach.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kjmbdm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Eaton Rapids, Michigan
Level Contributor
176 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 September 2012

Most of the area B&Bs, inns, hotels, etc. had not lowered their rates to fall 'seasonal' yet, but the Lakeshore Inn had. For $79.00 we got a comfy room with AC, nice bath, fridge, microwave, and cable. It was easy walking to downtown Empire or the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Park headquarters. Lake Michigan and a wonderful beach are a few blocks more past downtown, easily walkable.
Empire is much quieter, less tony (for sure) than Glenn Arbor and smack in the middle of SBD.
This inn is probably twice the price before Labor Day. Check it out!

Room Tip: We had the end room upstairs facing the street. This main route is very busy in the summer, but it w...
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank LJo-12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
17 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 August 2012 via mobile

We stayed here with family for 5 nights. The rooms were clean. The hotel guests were quiet. The hotel itself had some noise issues. The pipes shudder when anyone turns on and off the water. It didn't bother us enough to keep us from sleeping, but it was noticeable during our awake times. It isn't fancy, but serves its purpose very well. We liked the town of Empire much more than Glen Arbor. It is more relaxed and more neighborly than Glen Arbor. We would stay here again.

Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank monkeymom2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Empire Lakeshore Inn

Property: Empire Lakeshore Inn
Address: 11730 S Lacore Rd, Empire, MI 49630-9403 (Formerly Lakeshore Inn Motel)
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Michigan > Leelanau County > Empire
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Empire
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Empire Lakeshore Inn 2.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Just Under Went a 12 Room Makeover! Empire Lakeshore Inn is the only hotel located in the quaint little village of Empire, Michigan. Walking distance to shops, restaurants, grocery stores and the famous Empire Beach. We are nestled in the heart of the Sleeping Bear Dunes, with close access to hiking trails, fishing, kayaking and much, much more. Come stay with us in one of our our 12 unique rooms. This old fashion Mom and Pop hotel has undergone many fresh updates but still holds true to that good small town nostalgic feeling. ... more   less 
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