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“Fifty fifty”
Review of Duneswood Resort

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Duneswood Resort
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Empire
GreenLeadersSilver level
Ann Arbor
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Fifty fifty”
Reviewed 10 August 2014

Stayed here two nights in July 2014 by myself. Really a split decision on this place....
The good things: absolutely excellent bed, and I am fussy about that. Mattress appeared to be new with a pillow top. The location can't be beat, just about midway between Glen Arbor and Empire, near the scenic drive, dune climb, restaurants, hiking trails, beaches. Loved the personal touches in the decor and the old up north feel of the place.
The bad things: cleanliness - the dust was thick on my nightstand, there was hair and powder makeup in the sink, and the bathroom shelf was smeared with something greasy. Obviously had simply not been cleaned. The closet smelled bad enough that I didn't want to hang my clothes in it. Noise - my room (#7) connected to the community room with just a flimsy door, and I could hear every word that came from the other side as people were preparing breakfast or socializing in the evening.
I might stay here again because location and bed quality are very important to me, but I would certainly not stay in room 7. The other options are either more expensive, farther away, or less comfy beds.

Room Tip: Don't stay in room 7 since it adjoins the noisy community room. The other rooms also appeared t...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jillbug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Debbie R, Owner at Duneswood Resort, responded to this review, 5 February 2015
Wow, that sounds like a terrible experience. I really apologize for the condition of your room. I wish you had said something right away so that I could talk to the person who had cleaned your room. We pride ourselves in having rooms clean enough for your grandma. All of our rooms have the same beds, brand new Michigan made motel quality beds. I'm going to check out that closet, didn't realize there was a smell in it. Thanks! You are not the only one who complained about the noise in room 7. For that reason I have change the layout. Room 7 is now a one bedroom cabin and includes what was the 'Community Room'. We won't have two Community Rooms anymore. Just one for the North Wing residents and the South Wing guests will have a mini kitchen in their room. The one bedroom cabin (unit #7) will be a stand alone rental and not shared. Sorry you had a bad experience, but thank you so much for giving your honest feedback, really helps me improve.
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110 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Polish first
  • Any
English first
Devizes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
285 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2014

Maybe our expectations were set too high based on a combination of the glossy hotel website, other Tripadvisor reviews and the price but,on seeing the room my family refused initially to set foot in it. By the time we left on day 3 we had grown to tolerate it. At least the location was good.

The room was about 15 x 15 feet (Including the bathroom) and have been recently refurbished with dark laminate floors, to compliment the dark cedar walls. In contrast the the ceiling has an industrial look with white tiles and integral lighting. We had an extra rollalong bed for my daughter and this left very little room to move about in what was already a small space. The hanging space was limited and we lived mainly out of our cases. The only windows overlook the quite busy 109 road. The road noise was not intrusive at night but, our fridge freezer compartment was out of order and the motor noisy to we had to unplug it at night so we could sleep. The room has new electrics and a floor standing aircon.

The communal room was very dark, dingy and small. It did not look like it had been refurbished since it was built and the furniture was ancient and in poor condition. In the one 20 x 15 ft room there is a small utilitarian kitchen. The dining table seated 4 and there was a sofa and soft chairs for 4. It did not appear to be well used.

The hotel grounds in front contained a small owners "shop/reception" and some patchy grass and behind the rooms contained an old white patio table and a few chairs (which had seen better days) on some patchy grass and also a wood which we saw some people exploring.

My family think this place might be OK for a one night stopover or for people with bikes or who are hiking and living out of rucksacks, but, that's all rather subjective so I have attached some photos to back up my comments and to help you decide.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jobberdave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Debbie R, Owner at Duneswood Resort, responded to this review, 5 February 2015
You were in Room #8. That is the only room with a dropped ceiling and I don't like it either. The other rooms with the natural ceilings and fans are much nicer and feel bigger. Room #8 has a Queen and Twin bed in it and yes if you add another bed it will feel cramped. I have been working to create more storage in these 1950's motel rooms and you will be happy to learn that all the rooms now have dressers with drawers in them!!!! I wish you had told me about the problem with your mini-fridge. They wear out a lot and I always have a coupe of extra new ones around for just that reason. The Community Room you used is now joined with room #7 as a one bedroom cabin. New carpet has been installed and some walls painted lighter. There has always been seating for 6 at the dining room table. From you review I learned that I need to put a sign up for guests to let them know where the extra chairs and table leaf are, thank you for your feedback. We now have a new oak dining table and will be getting a new sleeper sofa for the living room. I also learned from you review that the curtains in the Community Room you used were not being opened daily, that has been corrected and more floor lights added to make the room brighter. Thanks again for you honest review, really helps us improve. Sorry I didn't get to talk to you when you were here and help you then. Maybe next time you visit you will be able to get one of the big rooms (#3, 4 or 5). They are much better for families traveling with sleeper beds.
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Portland
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2014

Great inn keepers! So easy to rent bikes and helmets too. Great girls and a wonderful garden with a surprise at night. Super quiet and each room has its own personality. This resort is close to Sleeping Bear Dunes and the Bike Trail. Empire , Michigan a must see!!

Room Tip: No Pool, but Lake Michigan is just around the corner. ;D
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank goodwillbabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Debbie R, Owner at Duneswood Resort, responded to this review, 5 February 2015
Thanks for letting us know you enjoyed your stay. We work really hard to make every guest feel like Duneswood is their home, not just a place to stay.
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Grand Rapids, Michigan
Level Contributor
27 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2013

We decided to visit Sleeping Bear Dunes and really wanted to go camping. However, my 88-year-old grandmother was also visiting so we weren't sure that it would be feasible for her to sleep on the ground, even with an air mattress. We happened to find this gem while searching the web and luckily there was a room available. Grandma slept in the room, which had everything she needed while my mother, my daughter and I slept in a tent outside the room. There is really a sense of community here and the staff is great. They are so friendly and we really enjoyed spending what little time we had there, getting to know them. The location was perfect since it was right smack dab in the middle of wherever you may want to explore at Sleeping Bear Dunes. I enjoyed my time there so much that we may just make it an annual tradition!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank CourtneyKeaton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Debbie R, Owner at Duneswood Resort, responded to this review, 5 February 2015
Thanks for your feedback. I am so glad you enjoyed your stay. I was really happy to be able to help your family 'camp' together. My family grew up camping and it was always such special times when we were together in the woods. Quite a few camping families have one 'non-camper' and did just like you. Then the whole group has a place to take hot showers! Bardzo Brilliantski! (Very Brilliant). Sometimes guests will book a room the night before they want to camp at D.H. Day Campground, then send one person at daybreak to get in line for a campsite. Then they book a room the night they plan to leave camping so that they can have a hot shower and nice bed to sleep in before heading home. Hope to see you again this year....great family tradition!
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Streamwood, Illinois, USA
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 July 2013

We chose Duneswood as an alternative to DH Day Camp Ground for this year's Independence Day weekend. Not everybody knows that Duneswood offers camp sites in addition to their rooms.

The resort is located perfectly. It's only a walking distance from Dunes Climb, only 2 minutes by car from the lakeshore and 5 minutes from a wonderful little town of Glen Arbor.

We've spent there a total of 4 days and 3 nights. I was very positively surprised by the level of service. As it turned out, there was temporarily no hot water under the showers. So the owner let us use her own bathroom! We were also allowed to use vacant rooms to take hot showers. In comparison, DH Day Camping has no running water at all!

The staff is very friendly and multi-cultural (American, Scottish and Polish). Debbie, the owner, joined us the first night at a bonfire. She gave us valuable info about the area, where to go and what to do. We felt like a part of the family, especially when invited to a traditional Polish breakfast - "kanapki" ;) Being Polish ourselves, it's an incredible thing to see how people can embrace and promote your culture!

We will definitely return to Duneswood and I will be happy to recommend this place to our friends.

PS - Duneswood has free Wi-Fi, and it's fast too (40 Mb/s). So if you have to stay connected, don't worry :D

Room Tip: Even though we didn't stay in the rooms, we saw some of them. Each one has a theme and they are...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank mkielbas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Debbie R, Owner at Duneswood Resort, responded to this review, 5 February 2015
Thanks for your lovely feedback. We miss you at Duneswood. Hope you come back this summer. All the rooms now have dressers and new decorations! Wrócić do domu do Duneswood to zimą, wiosną lub latem. Twoja rodzina jest tu mile widziany. Tęsknimy za tobą.
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Cadillac, Michigan
Level Contributor
126 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2013

Our family really enjoyed spending the night at this pet friendly resort location in Empire, Michigan. WOMYN ROCK! And it is evident by the way this property is cared for. Though the resort is older, the place is well kept with all the necessary amenities while away from home. The bed was very comfortable. The room was so clean we could eat off of the floor! The staff was very friendly and helpful. I just wish we could have stayed longer. We will be back and for now...I'm telling ALL of my friends about this little hidden gem off M-22.

Room Tip: Every room is unique with it's own "theme"...no preference since it's a great stay...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Travelqueen1968
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Debbie R, Owner at Duneswood Resort, responded to this review, 5 February 2015
Thanks for your review. We work really hard at Duneswood to make everyone feel like family and to keep our rooms and grounds clean and inviting. Hope to see you again this summer.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Duneswood Resort

Property: Duneswood Resort
Address: 7194 S Dune Hwy, Empire, MI 49630-9765
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Michigan > Leelanau County > Empire
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Ski-In / Ski-Out Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Empire
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, is on the Sleeping Bear Heritage Bike/Ski Trail. Bike rentals on site. We are within walking/riding distance of the Dune Climb, Lake Michigan, Glen Haven, Glen Arbor and Empire. Free WiFi, private bathrooms, cable TV, campfires, nature trail and cooking options. Most units are air conditioned. The North Wing is perfect for group events. It has 5 guest rooms plus a Community Room with full kitchen/living/dining space for guests of the North Wing to share. If you prefer a more private experience the South Wing is for you. Each room has its own refrigerator, microwave and coffee pot. There is a one bedroom cabin in the center of the resort next to the owner/managers house which has it all. BBQ, picnic tables, campfire, 120 old historic barn and nature trail out back for everyone to enjoy. If you want to get married at or near Duneswood ask about our special wedding packages where you rent the entire 12 room resort and grounds for your special event. ... more   less 

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