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“My wife doesn’t want to leave…”

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Carriage House at the Harbor
Ranked #4 of 16 South Haven B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 December 2006

Romantic, Relaxing
My wife and I have stayed at many B&B’s in the Midwest. The Carriage House on the Harbor has set the standard that we compare all other B&B’s that we visit. We have been coming to South Haven for years and we had stayed at the Yelton Manor a few times until the Carriage House was opened. Once we stayed at the Carriage House at the Harbor, no other B & B could compare to it! The Carriage House on the Harbor has become our second home without all the responsibilities of a vacation home. We have been coming to this BB for the past 8 years 2-3 times a year.

Scott and Victoria (Innkeepers) have a very professional, friendly and helpful staff. You are greeted by a smiling friendly face when you check in and are reminded about the hors d'oeurves which are served every night at 5:00. The hors d’oeurves are different every night and is a large spread that goes beyond the ordinary cheese and crackers that most B&B’s provide.

The rooms are always meticulously clean and beautifully decorated with antique furnishings. Most have 2 person Jacuzzi’s, Cable TV (combo VCR/DVD) and gas fireplaces that are controlled by a wall switch. There are always complimentary fresh baked cookies, popcorn, trail mix, candy and soft drinks available all the time, which is perfect to munch on while watching movies from the Carriage House’s movie library. My wife and I also registered at the local video rental store in town so we can catch up on the most recent movies.

After a movie, it’s time to hop in the Jacuzzi and then sit out on the deck to watch the boats and enjoy the soothing sounds of the harbor.

But then there is the Breakfast….

What better way to start the day by enjoying a 2 course breakfast overlooking the harbor. On nice days during the summer the breakfast can be enjoyed outside on the deck, which also overlooks the harbor. Scott is usually around during breakfast serving and pouring coffee.

When Scott is not around Patti or one of the other staff members will help you out with whatever you may need (directions, dinner recommendations, reservations, etc..) Patti has been a consistent factor in the operating and high standards ever since this B&B opened.

Each time we stay at the Carriage House we notice improvements, some small and some large. Many B&B’s that we have visited fail to maintain the grounds or show signs of wear. This is not the case at the Carriage House. Scott, Victoria, Patti and the staff are always looking for ways to improve the overall B&B experience when staying at the Carriage House.

This is the place if you are looking for a place to relax and enjoy being pampered.

My wife and I highly recommend ‘The Carriage House at the Harbor’ over any other B&B’s in South Haven.

Stayed: September 2006
2  Thank rpapa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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289 - 295 of 306 reviews

Reviewed 22 July 2006

We just returned from a wonderful two days at the Carriage House at the Harbor. What a relaxing, enjoyable stay. Scott, the owner, along with Patti, the manager, and their entire staff, cannot do enough to make you have a wonderful experience. The rooms were well decorated, the grounds were beautiful, thanks to Scott's hard work, and the staff prepared wonderful meals. The Carriage House at the Harbor has earned their Four Star AAA rating. Our fellow guests all had the same comment: "We will definitely be back", with many scheduling next year's stay as they checked out. Many of us joked that we don't want the Carriage House to become too popular, so that we cannot get a room next time. Scott and his staff deserve to have this B&B to be very popular.

  • Stayed: July 2006, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Wordprof
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 May 2006

My wife and I returned to South Haven again this year and decided to try another Bed and Breakfast. The Carriage House at the Harbor is the place we chose. Our was fantastic, we would awake to the sun rising over the harbor and sat on our deck and had our morning coffee. The food was great as well. My wife really like being able to sit downstairs and play checkers in the evening. The staff was very knowledgeable and friendly. The only thing that we were somewhat unhappy with was that when we reserved our room the website said we would get a sweatshirt with the mid week special we were getting. But we did not get our sweatshirt. Not sure why but that is not enough to stop us from returning. We throughly enjoyed our trip and we will return again.

  • Stayed: April 2006
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4  Thank bjarmstr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Bloomfield Hills , Mi.
14
Reviewed 27 September 2005

If you are looking for a place to stay in South Haven the Carriage House is it. There is absolutely nothing to disappoint you. The house, the furnishings, the staff, the food are all perfectly done. I recommend you experiance it.

  • Stayed: September 2005
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4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Detriot, Michigan
13
Reviewed 30 August 2005

Now here's a place to spend a vacation! It's very comfy. We stayed in the phaeton. We enjoyed the view, the fireplace, the hospitality and the food.
The owner was friendly and accomodating with an ever ready smile and heart-warming laugh. The staff were efficient and polite and the accomodations were spotless. I felt that if anything went wrong for us during the trip, we were staying with friends that would help us out.
We plan to visit again next year and I'll be encouraging family and friends to come along with us too. At this place you don't just have a vacation, you have an experience to remember for a long, long time!

  • Stayed: July 2005
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3  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2005

Just got back from a two-night stay in 'The Brett' room at The Carriage House. The only other B&B we have stayed at was a nice one in Pacific Grove, CA so I did my homework before choosing this b&b through websites, brochures and magazines. Finally decided on Carriage House b/c it came so highly recommended by two different sets of friends of ours who have stayed at several b&b's and 3 different ones (including Yelton and Inn at the Park) in South Haven. My husband and I were so incredibly pleased and impressed with Carriage House that I have to question the validity of the negative reviews. Yes, there was construction next door. It wasn't being done on the weekend, so no noise. On Monday, they were working, but I never heard it inside the house. Wedding tent? Must have been a one-time thing, I never saw or heard it. In fact, it was very quiet both nights both inside our room and sitting outside on our balcony facing the harbor. Most rooms do not face the side of the construction, most face the harbor. The exterior of the house is attractive with lovely flowers.

Upon arriving, we were greeted, given a tour, shown the frig that we could use to keep wine or leftovers, and told the times and location for breakfast and hor d'oeuvres. By the frig, there was a marker for marking your wine or food and a corkscrew and inside was a wide variety of water and pop available for our consumption. There were freshly baked cookies, popcorn, and 'party mix' in the sitting room. In the foyer is a basket of local menus and brochures. There is a small room with a fireplace that has movies and books and a table and chairs for playing checkers or backgammon. I have to mention the unbelievable amount of detail that has been put into decorating this house, from the wallpaper to the knick knacks to the wall sconces. I thought the decorating, furniture, and carpets all looked very updated and clean. Everything throughout the house was clean and attractive. The 2nd staircase was particularly special with intricate dark wood.

For breakfast you can sit in the 3-season room or in the pretty breakfast room, both lined with windows facing the harbor. Our breakfasts were wonderful. The first course included a fancy fruit dish, a scone with whipped creme, and a bread. The second course had an egg dish, a meat, and a coffee cake. The recipes are different every day. The owner, Scott, served coffee to the guests Sun. morning and Patty, the manager, served coffee Mon. morning. Our water, juice, coffee, or tea never got empty. By the way, we saw Scott 3 times during our stay. He and his wife came in the evenings to sit on the balcony and visit with any guests who chose to join them. We would have liked to, but had other plans. I was most surprised by the hors d'oeurves...much more elaborate than I expected for example, meatballs, shrimp dip, taco dip, artichoke dip, cheese, crackers, chips, bread, fruit on skewers, fruit dip...etc. You definitely don't want to miss this!

Our room had a small, private balcony facing the harbor, a fireplace, small combo TV/VCR, 2 chairs, a 4 poster bed, and an amazingly huge double jacuzzi tub. We had great water pressure and plenty of hot water. I loved the scented oils for the bath and the oversized bath towels. There were also Crabtree and Evelyn toiletries. Our bed was very comfortable, firm but not hard. My only complaint, and it's not really a complaint, was that I would have like softer sheets, but my husband thought they were fine.

In between guests checking out and in, I had the opportunity to see a couple of other rooms. When (not if) we go back again, I may ask to stay in the White Chapel room or the Barouche. The rooms are a little bigger and it looked like the balconies were bigger with rocking chairs and unobstructed views (The Brett has a couple tree branches) of the harbor. Both have 2-person jacuzzi tubs, but I thought the one in the Brett was the best. The rooms without balconies and/or harbor views were also very pretty and nice if you are looking to save money or want the first floor or that's all that available. One couple we ate with said that they love the Stanhope and reserve it a year in advance. I'm sure we would have been just as happy in any other room, especially since we are active and don't spend alot of time in our room. I overheard several guests say they were making their reservations for next year before they left, so it's not just my opinion that this is a fabulous b&b.

As far as South Haven is concerned, we took our bikes with us and rode all over, no waiting on traffic or looking for a parking space. It's a great way to get around. Highly recommend Clementines for dining, it's casual and has a long, long wait (they don't take reservations). Put your name in, then shop for an hour or so. Watching the sunset from the lighthouse was terrific, everyone clapped as the sun went under. We also rode bikes on the Kal-haven Trail and visited the Maritime Museum and 'Friends Good Will' ship. Sunday afternoon we took a 2 hour sail with Captain Joe of Shaul Sails, he even let us take turns steering and helping with the sails.

  • Stayed: August 2005
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6  Thank MomofFoursons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Chicago, IL
27
Reviewed 31 July 2005

Be fair. I think that a customer ought to be warned when they are booking into a construction zone, especially at rates around $200.00. This B&B is surrounded on all sides by noise. The harbor is noisy enough, and the wedding tent across the river blasting obnoxious rock all Saturday afternoon is no picnic either. This small resort town is obviously building itself up, and there is also construction of new housing all across the front area of the B&B and it's ugly as can be. You feel like you're on an island in a war-zone. The inn itself is fine, no serious problems but nothing to delight enough to make you anxious to return. Just because it's a larger inn guests should still have a connection with interested owners, it seems to me. According to the scuttlebutt in town (local restaurants gabbing) this inn has new owners, so I presume they are either absentee or just learning what guests want/need. I also thought the decor was impersonal. Our bed needed replacement too. I could also hear every word said in the room next to me. The food was OK but nothing special.

If this is a AAA 4-diamond then I need to throw away my AAA travelguide.
I'll listen to TripAdvisor for future bookings.

  • Stayed: July 2005
    • Value
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3  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 4 August 2005

To our valued guest:
We were surprised and disappointed to read your feedback. At the Carriage House at the Harbor, our goal is to provide an exceptional experience for all of our guests. We are very sorry to hear that you felt that your stay was not at that level.
We are disappointed, though, that we did not receive this feedback during your stay. We always ask each of our guests for feedback at checkout, and it is overwhelmingly positive from our guests. As the new owner of the Carriage House, I can assure you that in the last four months I have heard only very positive feedback on our exceptional staff, outstanding service and attention to detail, and the superb quality of our food and furnishings. In fact, our guest comment book has hundreds of positive comments from many satisfied guests. Again, I am sorry that you did not share your thoughts during your stay so that they could be addressed at that time.
I am sorry that we did not get a chance to meet, I will tell you that I have been on site every day since we purchased the Carriage House in April of this year. I have personally spent a great deal of time on the grounds - adding a wonderful new patio, a second deck, and beautiful landscaping. We are the only Inn in South Haven located directly on the Harbor, and we have made these wonderful additions to capitalize on our stunning views and peaceful setting.
We are very proud to be part of the South Haven community. In any growing town like ours, there are the inevitable sights and sounds of construction - but, we feel that the changes being made around us will be wonderful additions to the neighborhood. We have had no complaints from any of our guests about construction in any neighboring parcels.
Finally, I believe that, for the overwhelming majority of our guests, we have accomplished our goal of providing an exceptional experience - one consistent of our four diamond history. We hope to have the opportunity to serve you again.

Sincerely, Scott Reinert - owner

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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 Carriage House at the Harbor

Address: 118 Woodman St, South Haven, MI 49090-1142
Region: United States > Michigan > Van Buren County > South Haven
Amenities:
Free Breakfast
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 16 B&Bs / Inns in South Haven
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This beautiful harbor-side mansion was the first, and only, Bed and Breakfast in Michigan to receive the coveted AAA Four Diamond Award. It boasts 12 uniquely inviting guest rooms, each elegantly appointed with a private bath, comfy robes, and first class amenities. Many have cozy fireplaces, whirlpools, and private porches overlooking the harbor. Breakfast is a not to be forgotten experience at the Carriage House Harbor. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Carriage House At The Harbor Hotel South Haven

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