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“Owners NOT greedy!”
Review of Star Gate Motel

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Star Gate Motel
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Indian River
Certificate of Excellence
Indian River, Michigan
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Owners NOT greedy!”
Reviewed 20 August 2014 via mobile

We operated a motel in Indian River for several years - this is just a comment about the review referring to minimum booking. Motel owners are not being greedy when they ask for a minimum commitment for high volume weekends! It is just good business. The Start Gate has long been the most popular motel in town- we knew the previous owners and we believe the "new" owners are carrying on the Star Gate Tradition of quality, cleanliness and great service!
Pam and Duane Crawford

Stayed August 2014
Helpful?
Thank Indigoemily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
StarGateMotel, Owner at Star Gate Motel, responded to this review, 3 September 2014
Thank you for your comments. The post you refer to was regarding a guest experience prior to our ownership. We do require a three-night minimum for two holiday weekends each year: Independence Day and Labor Day. A vast majority of guests reserve at least a three-night stay well in advance of each of these holidays. On occasion, a single night on one of these weekends becomes available due to changes in guest reservations and we are able to accommodate a one-night stay.

John & Jill
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80 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    63
    15
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    1
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Haslett, Michigan
Level 4 Contributor
47 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 August 2014

We stayed here recently while on vacation. We stayed in room 8 which had a queen bed and a separate room that had 2 single beds in it. This was perfect for our family. We were able to put the kids to bed and still be able to stay up without disturbing them. Also worked great for naps. The room was honestly better than expected. The carpeting, bed, and wall covering were all brand new. The room was also very sound proof. My parents were staying in the room next to our and didn't hear our kids when they were having a meltdown. The bonfire/grilling area in front of the hotel was great for a night of cooking out and sitting around a campfire. The location is also very nice too, very short drive to grocery store and Burt Lake State Park and a reasonable drive to Petoskey as well. The only negatives we encountered were the shower was a little inconsistent on temperature and the internet went out a couple of times, but other than that we had a great stay. I would definitely recommend staying here if you have kids and are looking for a place that is decent and won't cost a fortune.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Midwest_Ecologist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
StarGateMotel, Owner at Star Gate Motel, responded to this review, 3 September 2014
Thank you for your kind review. We're happy to hear that the room arrangement worked so well for your family. We work hard each day to provide comfortable accommodations for a good value. We hope you'll stay with us again the next time your travels bring you to Indian River.

John & Jill
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Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2014 via mobile

After our stay we realized we picked the best motel in the Indian River area. Clean and relaxing. Owners John and Jill were so nice and accommodating. We will stay there when we are in the area next. Vivvio's is Italian restaurant is across the street. All rooms are being remodeled.

Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Vicki C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
StarGateMotel, Owner at Star Gate Motel, responded to this review, 3 September 2014
What an honor to be labeled as the best motel in Indian River! Thank you. We're glad to hear you enjoyed your stay. We hope you'll stay with us again in the future.

John & Jill
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lafayette, Indiana
Level 6 Contributor
145 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 July 2014

My husband loves mom and pop establishments. I do too, except when mom and pop exploit others. We stayed at this place a few years ago prior to the new owner. We did not mind the antiquity of the place because the price per night reflected it's lack--in spite of it being clean. This place has box springs that are yellowed with age. It still is clean but a 20-30-minute drive will get you a larger room, a pool, flat screen TV, and other amenities that this place does not offer, yet charges nearly as much for. For a beat-up single bed, we paid a pretty penny. For an extra 20.00 bucks we could have gotten breakfast and a much more comfortable room. The owner told us that we could have two beds for an extra fee. I think that because there aren't many places to stay, this owner thinks it is okay to charge prices such as this. He may have plans to upgrade and remodel but you don't charge for what you don't have. I think the price for this room was outrageous considering its dated appearance. The owners were very nice. I will give them that. I guess this place is more for snowmobile people. Even so, if they'd put a little money into this place, they'd have happier guests.

Room Tip: Drive the extra miles and get something more comfortable.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Nancy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
StarGateMotel, Owner at Star Gate Motel, responded to this review, 3 September 2014
Thank you for choosing a “mom and pop” establishment! It means a lot to us small business owners who work hard every day to provide the best possible accommodations and value to our guests. We sincerely appreciate your kind comments regarding room cleanliness and friendly service.

When we purchased the motel almost 18 months ago, we created a priority list of improvements. Some of the most significant expenditures may not be readily noticed by guests, but nonetheless required immediate action. In our first year of ownership, improvements outside of guest rooms include: resealing and restriping the parking lot, trimming all trees of dead branches, installation of a new septic drain field, installation of a central air conditioning system in the cottage, improved outdoor lighting, placing additional grills, and providing portable outdoor fireplaces.

Guest room improvements include: replacement of 20% of the oldest beds, installation of new carpet in 20% of the rooms, upgrading all cable for televisions, upgrading wireless internet connection with commercial equipment, necessary upgrading of electrical wiring, purchasing a commercial carpet cleaning machine, and upgrading cleaning products used in guest rooms.

Through calendar year 2013, we kept the same pricing as the former owners. On January 1, 2014, we assessed the rate structure and made fair and necessary adjustments. Some rates actually went down. We regularly monitor guest room pricing with the goal of remaining a solid value. Current market analysis indicates we are priced below market value. While we don’t offer extra-large suites, a pool, flat screen televisions, breakfast and “other amenities”, we don’t price ourselves as if we do. For the “extra 20.00 bucks” you refer to, we’d have to raise our rates over 25%!

We did thoroughly inspect your room immediately upon reading your review. With the exception of a window crank on the bathroom window, everything is in working order. The mattress and box springs show no signs of being “yellowed with age”. The bedding was manufactured with gold-colored fabric. The mattress pad, sheets and blanket are all new. Bedspreads are regularly laundered.

Our motel’s location is appealing to any outdoor enthusiast. Snowmobilers and ATV riders like our direct access to the trails. Boaters like our ample parking, power outlets and proximity to the large inland lakes. Everyone likes the convenience of two full-service restaurants across the street. For our part, we work hard every day to provide genuine hospitality, clean accommodations and a solid value to our guests.

We invite you give us the opportunity to welcome you again. We’ve made significant improvements already. More are on the way.

John & Jill
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
Reviewed 15 June 2014 via mobile

We stayed in the cottage. Very spacious, clean, and comfortable! There were 2 of us and had plenty of room to do our own thing if we needed. The cottage has everything my home has...seriously! Dishes, pans, silverware, magazines and books by the fireplace, plenty of toiletries, wztra blankets...and much more!! John and Jill made us feel welcomed and were great!! We will definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kryztle D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
StarGateMotel, Owner at Star Gate Motel, responded to this review, 3 September 2014
We're glad to hear your enjoyed your stay in our cottage. We do try to think of everything our guests will need. Just before your arrival, we replaced much of the cookware, glassware and utensils in the cottage. We're glad it helped make your stay a great one. Please come back up north and see us again!

John & Jill
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Plainfield, Indiana
Level 6 Contributor
215 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 March 2014

We snowmobile in the Indian River (upper lower MI) area quite a bit and had never stayed here before. It was a great deal for the cabin (North end of property.), which was very nice and clean. The manager/owner, John is a great guy. The bath towels are rather small and thin and John tried to accommodate by providing extras (I suggest they just get nicer ones.) and they would have provided anything else we needed. Ran out of hot water after each shower, so we had to wait between, but figured that our quickly and adjusted our routine. We probably won't stay here again, but that is because we don't like to crate our dogs (They are don't tear anything up and our totally housebroken.) and have to carry/pack the heavy crates with us plus the other gear [but we followed the hotel policy]. The restaurant/bar is within walking distance, as well as, a gas station.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kevin L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
StarGateMotel, Owner at Star Gate Motel, responded to this review, 3 September 2014
Thanks for choosing the Star Gate Motel for your snowmobiling trip. We're glad you found the cottage comfortable for your stay and that your dogs were able to accompany you. We have had no problems at all with the vast majority of our guests who bring pets and stay in our designated pet-friendly accommodations. We created our pet policy after experiencing past damage to carpet and furniture. We do hope you'll consider staying with us again in the future.

John & Jill
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Novi, Michigan
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 16 February 2014

We snowmobile a lot in Indian River and we always stay at the Star Gate, we have been going there for years. If you have not met John and Jill they are super people! You could have not asked for nicer people to take over the Star Gate Motel and let's not forget their two dogs. If you're looking for somewhere to stay, look no further. They're like family; we can't say enough about them. Thank you so much for all you have done for snowmobilers to make every trip enjoyable. John and Julie Novi MI

Room Tip: We like room 12 but you cant go wrong with any of them!!
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank john k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
StarGateMotel, Owner at Star Gate Motel, responded to this review, 3 September 2014
We're always happy to see you return. It's good to know we are continuing the legacy of sincere hospitality here at the Star Gate. We work hard every day to ensure our guests have a great stay. Thanks for making us your home in beautiful northern Michigan

John & Jill
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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 Star Gate Motel

Property: Star Gate Motel
Address: 4646 S Straits Hwy, Indian River, MI 49749-9301
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Michigan > Cheboygan County > Indian River
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Indian River
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Star Gate Motel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We pride ourselves in being a true “mom-and-pop” establishment. Our business is our livelihood and we work every day to ensure our guests experience Star Gate Hospitality. From a genuine warm welcome, impeccably clean and comfortable accommodations and fair rates, we personally do all we can to ensure a pleasant stay for each guest. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Star Gate Hotel

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