When selecting a Bed & Breakfast, Mickey and I wanted one that was within walking distance to town, a beach, and fine eating; however, we also wanted a quiet place where we could relax and have good nights for sleeping.
Fortunately, for us, we selected the Yelton Manor Bed & Breakfast This divine place is run by Elaine and Robert who having doing so for more than twenty years. Well, the experience is obvious. This is an adults only, two persons per room maximum, no pets, no smoking facility...this might seem strict for some of you, but for us, it was just what we wanted.
The Yelton Manor has earned [deservedly so] many honors:
InnTraveler Magazine called it "the Best B&B in USA in 2004.
The Chicago Tribune said it was the "Top of the Crop in Luxury B&Bs".
Amoco Motor Club proclaimed that it was among the "Top 10 B&Bs in the USA.
Dee and Mickey claim that "it is the perfect place for relaxation, meeting interesting people, enjoying elegant Victorian architecture, perusing all kinds of books, marveling at the award-winning gardens, and meeting the most fun-loving inn keepers imaginable!"
There are actually two places to stay:
a. The Yelton Manor where we stayed [see Photo #2]
b. The Manor Guest House next door [see Photo #4]
One of the highlights for us was all the "nooks and crannies" that abound. [See Photos #1 and 3 for examples] And, they are not for show; rather, they are used. We certainly used them.
Another fantastic feature are the literally thousands of books all over this home. They are organized, beautifully displayed, and conveniently available. Each day, I would browse another new area of books.
Each day at 5:30 pm, we would all meet in the kitchen area for evening hors d'oeuvres. This is not just food....it is truly made with affection...they provide recipes if you ask for them. The food is freshly made using finest healthy ingredients. This is the time we would meet other guests to trade stories, give suggestions, and make new friends.
Fresh popcorn is always available as is treats such as brownies, cookies, and candy. There is also always ice and bottled water for convenience.
Each morning a hot breakfast is served, and there are several spots inside and outside for enjoying these delicious food choices.
Yelton Manor is SPOTLESS, and that doesn't happen by accident. This experienced staff works diligently to bring cleanliness and loveliness to this Bed and Breakfast. The staff is similar to a family...funny, caring, and genuine.
Mickey and I selected a room called "The Magnolia Room" at the Yelton Manor in South Haven, Michigan. What a terrific choice for us. The Victorian elegance was so evident. We really enjoy being on the second floor in this large, quiet room.
It's all the little things that made this room so special. It's one of the only rooms that is not wall papered, which is always better for those of us with allergies.
We loved the seating alcove for reading. [See Photo #3]. I used it each night for reading since Mickey always went to sleep before I did. This way, I did not keep her awake.
We also enjoyed the recessed Queen Bed with the built-in feel and a spot above our heads for the lights and for storage. [See Photo #2 with Mickey reading atop the bed].
A beautiful Victorian piece of furniture was used as a closet. Admittedly, it was small and not as convenient as a real closet; however, it added to the ambience. [See Photo #4]
But, my favorite little extra is found in Photo #1 with the original sheet music for "Magnolia" placed on a music stand in the room. How quaint and what a delight.
"The Magnolia Room" was located on the 2nd floor with a Queen bed, private bath with tub and shower. [See Photo #5].
There was a very small flat screen TV/DVD [which we used to view "Slum Dog Millionaire" since Mickey had not seen it before]. That reminds me: They have so many free DVD, all up-to-date and available each night.
The room also offers a CD stereo with lovely CDs to use.
My favorite about the room was its three large windows that had a view to "The Secret Garden".
As you can tell, Mickey and I were so pleased with our room, the Inn, the Innkeepers, the location, and the food.
If you are the sort of person who wants to find the same room whether you're in Wichita or Westchester, the Nichols Hotel is probably not for you. It is about as far from a chain as it is possible to get. If there were a quasi-historic hotel category, that's probably where the Nichols would be listed. Tin ceilings? Got 'em. You even get your key from a cubbyhole, and it is a real key, not a card. No lights flash to let you know your door is open. Each room is different, and in season, a European breakfast is offered. There are bicycles for the guests to tool around town. The hotel is conveniently located just a block from the marina. Shops, beaches, etc. are all within walking distance.
In addition to standard rooms, the Nichols also has two apartments which sleep 8-10, and a policy of offering free nights (buy four, get five). Rates are seasonal.
Several weeks before we planned on coming up to South Haven from our home in Naperville about 140 miles away I finally got around to booking a room. We wanted to stay at a B & B for the first time, but either the rooms were booked or the prices were a little over the top. Anyway, through an internet search I found the HawksHead Inn which appeared to be received very well by the number of reviews I read about.
We arrived around 7:00 p.m. on a Friday night and it is a good thing we had specific directions, since it is off the beaten path. We pulled in the parking lot and registered at the cashier's area for the restaurant and then walked up the 2 flight of stairs to our room on the 3rd floor. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th pictures show the hallway to our room and the interior of the room itself.
The Inn consists of 9 total rooms varying anywhere from $120 to $180 per night on the weekends and about 25% less on the weekdays and low season. Our room was one of the two smaller ones, but still very nice with a separate bath area, queen size bed and when you don't stay long in a room, really that is all we really needed. There are 5 rooms on the 2nd floor and 4 on the floor we stayed. The weekend we were there the men golfers were in all the 5 rooms on the 2nd and the couples were in the 3rd floor rooms. Several of the larger rooms have a fireplace and 1 even has 2 separate sleeping areas.
The Inn has been owned and operated by the same family since 1996 when they converted the 1930's home into a combination inn and restaurant and turned the surrounding grounds from a former asparagus farm to a very nice golf course. A review of the restaurant and golf course are in other South Haven tips.
Being an inn there was not an exercise area or pool, but you did have the accompanying golf course. A real scumptious continental breakfast was served each morning at either 7:30, 8:00, 8:30 or 9:00 a.m. You filled out a card the night before and in the morning a young lady brought it right to your room to enjoy. See the tray of food in my restaurant section.
September 11, 12 & 13, 2013
I booked the GREAT LAKES INN & SUITES through booking.com and paid $65.00 + 11 % tax U.S. per night. I chose it for the location - 2 miles from Lake Michigan. It was a clean and good sized room.
Amenities included :
King Size Bed
Table & two chairs
Sitting area with sofa
TV with cable channels
Ironing board & Iron
1 cup coffeemaker
Indoor Swimming Pool
Continental Breakfast included:
Cereals - muffins - bread for toast - jams - butter
coffee - tea - juice - milk
The Yelton Manor Bed and Breakfast is definitely the best lodging choice in South Haven if you are looking for luxury, personal service, and the most ideal location on the sandy beaches of South Haven. We have been going to South Haven for escapes from Chicago for several decades and our favorite place to stay is this marvelous inn. It's actually two perfectly maintained Victorian mansions.
All around it are massive, colorful gardens and comfortable garden spaces for relaxing and sunning. But the inside is awesome as well. True luxury, gorgeous rooms, lots of lounging space, great porches, very comfortable, knowledgable and fun staff, delightful owners, clean as a whistle, great food, I can't say enough.
This inn is a dream come true for travelers looking for the very best.
The gardens, no doubt, are the most amazing feature of this inn. But inside there are 1000s and 1000s of books on every topic. An amazing investment that I have never seen at any other B&B before.
The Yelton Manor Bed and Breakfast is truly the nicest inn my wife and I have ever been to.
Right across the street from the gorgeous South Haven north beach on Lake Michigan, the inn itself is a sight to see with its wrap-around gardens and well-maintained Victorian mansions. Inside it's as comfortable and luxurious as you could ever want. We were amazed by the spectacular libray (probably 5,000 books?) and free DVDs. The food was very good and the hosts were there every second for assistance and visiting. The Yelton Manor B&B is a total class act and I absolutely recommend it. Rates are high in summer (as every lodging is)but really a bargain any other time of year.
Gardens, library, hospitality, food, luxurious rooms
Arundel House Bed and Breakfast
$80 to about $125
A nice historic resort that's a block away from the beach and much cheaper than most of the other b&bs. Don't expect a phone or a TV in your room though. Our room was pretty decent-sized, and we had our own bathroom too. I don't know why b&bs seemingly have to adhere to a frilly, Victorian aesthetic, but this one wasn't too bad. Breakfast was various kinds of pastries (some with Michigan blueberries), cereal, and fruit. The proprietors are very kind and helpful. There's a deck that you can sit out on a read too.
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