Showing posts with label Boyne Highlands. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Boyne Highlands. Show all posts

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Luxuriating in Bay Harbor

It didn’t take me long to feel relaxed and comfortable at the Inn at Bay Harbor, a hotel in the Marriott Bonvoy Autograph Collection. 

My suite was perfect, and I had slept well. I was ready to take the relaxation to another level.

My day was wide open with the exception of the start of it -- at The Spa.
I arrived a few minutes before my appointment for the Ginger Glow treatment. 

I changed into my luxurious robe and sat down with a cup of tea in the quiet waiting area.

The Ginger Glow is one of the signature offerings at the Inn at Bay Harbor, and I can certainly understand why its so popular. I could easily rename it “Heaven on Earth.”

It began with a scrub made of ginger, with a hint of eucalyptus, to get rid of the dead cells on my skin. 

After that was rinsed off, I had a full body massaged with a ginger oil and hot stones.

The next part was probably my favorite as arthritis always has me seeking warmth: my whole body was wrapped in a warm robe-like cocoon while I received a scalp massage.
When the spa experience was done, I was ready to take a nap, but I was too hungry to do so. It was late for breakfast at the resort and 

I asked one of the drivers to take me to the Marina.

It's a free perk if you are looking to go around Bay Harbor and don’t want to walk or bike along the beach path. 

I saw a sign in front of the Original Pancake House for their famous Apple Pancake. 
I decided to go inside and, with a side of eggs for some protein. 

I managed to get through less than half of the scrumptious treat. (Of course, I brought the rest back to my room.)

I asked the driver to give me a little tour on the way back to my hotel suite.

In addition to the main lodge, there are also 35 cottages on the property. 

They are two and three-bedrooms each, and popular for family reunions, girlfriend getaways, and golf weekends.

Guests have the option of playing at the Bay Harbor Golf Club, an award winner with 27 holes along the shoreline, or the 18-hole championship course at Crooked Tree.

Golf is available in three seasons.

 In the winter, guests can do cross-country skiing and snow shoeing, or arrange to head to the sister properties, Boyne Highlands or Boyne Mountain, for downhill skiing.

In the afternoon, I took a drive to Charlevoix (about 20 minutes away). I stopped at one of their beautiful beaches before heading to the quaint downtown to visit one of my favorite Michigan stores, Cherry Republic. 

I picked up two bags of cherry goodies (especially the Cherry Fudge Sauce my daughter loves).

Brittany and Jamie came back to the hotel to join me for our final night in Michigan. 

We decided to stay on property and relax with s’mores by the fire pit in front of the beach. (I also decided to stick with some leftover cheese for dinner as I had enough snacking.) 
It’s just one of the free activities the Inn at Bay Harbor offers its guests.

Before leaving the next day, I had a delicious breakfast of Blueberry Pancakes and conversation with Erin Ernst, Director of Communications for the Boyne properties.

Then it was time to head south, back to Illinois. It was good to be going home, but I was also happy that I’d be going back to beautiful Michigan in just a few short weeks.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Sault Ste Marie to Bay Harbor

I had really enjoyed my time in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, with Brittany and Jamie. We had seen a lot and learned quite a bit about this important basin that borders the U.S. and Canada.

We packed up our things at Superior Place and got ready to head south a bit to our next Michigan stop, but first we had one more Sault Ste Marie restaurant to try.

Antlers Restaurant gets its current name from the taxidermy display on the countertops and walls. It was previously known as the Bucket-of-Blood Saloon, a favorite in this area during Prohibition.

The original restaurant goes back four generations and we could see why it was so popular.

The Poutine (a French dish of fries in gravy) is very popular here.

Brittany and Jamie agreed it was one of the best they ever had since it had Wisconsin cheddar cheese curds mixed in.

For their main courses, they chose the Whitefish Po’boy and the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, both of which were very good.

I wasn’t quite as hungry, so I nibbled on the fries with a cup of tasty cream of chicken soup and saved my appetite for dessert.

I had their famous apple strudel, with a side of ice cream, while they shared the Moose Track Sundae.

Before leaving Sault Ste Marie, we went downtown once more to pick up some souvenirs.

The trip across the Mackinaw Bridge and down to Petoskey didn’t take very long.

I dropped Brittany and Jamie off to visit relatives and I headed to my retreat for the next few days, the Inn at Bay Harbor, just a couple miles from Petoskey.

The Inn at Bay Harbor is part of the same resort family as Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain, both of which I visited during ski seasons.

This resort is very different than the two others were. 
First, it’s overlooking a beautiful beach instead of a mountain.

Then, it’s in the middle of a great complex, that includes restaurants and a theater.

One thing it does have in common with the Boyne properties is that it’s a resort for all seasons.  

Whether you want to enjoy the beach and pool, and local activities (like borrowing a bike to the nearby town) or take a drive and use the winter sports facilities at their sister hotels, the Inn at Bay Harbor is ready for you.

This resort also has a big assortment of accommodations so it’s especially friendly to families, even extended ones. 

All of the rooms, suites, apartments have been recently remodeled too.

I was given one of the Master Suites, which had a living room with a cozy fireplace and pull-out couch, a kitchen and dining area, and a separate bedroom.

There were two bathrooms, with a jacuzzi in the master one.

I also had a balcony overlooking the front of the resort. I sat out there and enjoyed the breeze, while nibbling on the Kilwin’s chocolates and cheese and charcuterie plate that was waiting for me.

While that was a special gift from the management, all guests at the Inn at Bay Harbor do receive a special nightly treat. On this evening it was a box of chocolates and a small bottle of Kahlua.

I took a walk around the property before heading back to my room. After the (fun, but) hectic few days in the Upper Peninsula, I decided I would take the night to just stay in and relax. My biggest appointment on the next day’s schedule was at the spa.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Mountain top Finish to Boyne Highlands Adventure

I was excited to be invited to Boyne Highlands Resort in Northern Michigan. It also worked out that my brother was able to come from California with my youngest niece and nephew to join me. 

I hadn't seen them in a while so it was exciting.

Even though I had broken my arm a few weeks before the trip, we were all having a blast. 

They had been skiing, ziplining, and snowboarding in the first two days. I had hit the spa and joined in a little tubing.

On Sunday morning, we got up early and headed to the buffet breakfast, which is quite extensive at Boyne Highlands Resort

We didn’t want to eat too much because it would soon be time for a first for all of us – dogsledding.

I admit I had thought a bit that it wasn’t fair to the dogs, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Royal Canine trains these dogs in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and what they do is up to them. Almost all of them were excited to welcome us and the one who wasn’t in the mood to pull the sled, was replaced and snuggled.

It was two to a sled so my brother and I went on one while Moriah and Jacob were on the other. It was a ton of fun as we soared through the snow and explored the grounds.

After the dogsleds, we met up with Erin Ernst, the Director of Marketing for Boyne Highlands Resort, and the rest of the press group in the Cafeteria for lunch.

Everyone, especially the kids, were beaming when they were told to pick whatever they wanted from the pasta bar, salad bar, macaroni and cheese bar, smoothie bar, and ice cream bar.

I took advantage of the fact that I hadn’t had much breakfast before the dog sled, ordering a fruit filled smoothie, macaroni and cheese with broccoli, mushrooms, and artichokes, and chocolate ice cream with peanut butter and fudge!

The kids also made their own concoctions, while my brother was a bit more conservative (and healthy).

After lunch, I did some exploring while everyone hit the slopes again and then we all met up to get ready for dinner.

We were going to have a special Aonach Mor Moonlight Dinner in a cabin on top of the mountain.

We took a “sleigh ride” up to the mountain, pulled by a tractor rather than horses. It was beautiful on the way up and even more stunning a site when we arrived on top. 

We could even see the Mackinac Bridge below us.

Candles were lit for subtle lighting as a guitarist played in the background. We were poured wine and beverages for the kids before the French Onion Soup and warm bread came.

For the main course we had roast beef tenderloin, vegetables, and mashed potatoes. There was also a vegetarian pasta available, which was delicious.

The chocolate fondue for dessert was scrumptious, especially with the fresh cookies.

I could see why this was such a popular dinner with guests. (During the season it’s offered with advanced reservations.)

Jacob and Moriah got to ride in the front of the tractor on the way down and really enjoyed it. 

It was our final mountain climb for the end of an amazing Boyne Highlands Resort adventure in Michigan.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Enjoying a Winter Wonderland at Boyne Highlands

I had arrived at Boyne Highlands Resort in Michigan the previous evening with my brother, Mark, and my nephew and niece, Jacob and Moriah. Everyone was excited about a weekend full of activities. Well, almost everyone.

I had broken my arm just two weeks before and wouldn’t be doing anything adventurous. 

I have to admit I was a bit bummed before I arrived, but once I settled into Boyne Highlands Resort, the views and other things I could do had eliminated my gloomy outlook.

We were up early for breakfast in the Dining Room of the Main Lodge. I was impressed by the huge buffet. There was an omelet station, as well as hot and cold dishes, fruits, muffins, pancakes, and more.

We were all full when we left to head outside, where the temperature was hovering around zero degrees. It was, after all, Michigan in the winter, I reminded my Californian family.

I followed everyone along to the Snow Sports Academy Desk in the Day Lodge, where they were checked in and fitted for their equipment.

Moriah and Jacob, who had skied quite a few times at Lake Tahoe, California,, had a two-hour group lesson before they were off to some ski time of their own.

Mark had decided that he wanted to try snowboarding and he too had a lesson. Boyne Highlands Resort is very well equipped for every winter sport in every level.

I enjoyed relaxing and watching them. I hadn’t seen the kids in about a year and the mountain was just beautiful.

Everyone finished up a bit before our lunch and we decided to try tubing. It was a lot of fun, and something I could experience with the cast on.

We then headed to lunch with the entire press group in the Zoo Bar of the Day Lodge. We had pre-ordered lunch so we had a chance to chat and ask any questions we had to Boyne’s Director of Marketing, Erin Ernst.

I had ordered the Slider Trio of Avocado Turkey, Thai Beef, and Black Bean, and it was delicious. Everyone was happy with the other options, including an Ahi Tuna Wrap, too.

Erin had arranged for my spa appointment to be while Mark and the kids went zip lining so we went our separate ways for a while.

I thoroughly enjoyed the relaxing Milk & Honey Pedicure and they had a fun time zip lining.

We rested a while before heading to dinner at Petoskey Brewing Company, which was just a few minutes away.

I requested a tour of Petoskey’s facilities, which were bigger than we expected, before we sat down for some beer tasting and warm pretzels, followed by burgers and sandwiches.

Moriah had stayed back at the lodge to study. When we returned, we all went into the hot tub for a while. There’s nothing quite like watching the snow mountains in freezing temperatures while you stay warm in the hot tub.

Despite the fact that I was the only one who didn’t have an adventurous day, I think I was the first one asleep after all the relaxing.

I would get to join in on more of the fun Saturday at Boyne Highlands as we were starting with dog sledding.

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Monday, December 21, 2015

Back to Michigan: Traverse City to Harbor Springs for Boyne Highlands

I was really excited about my first trip to Boyne Highlands Resort in Michigan. I was especially thrilled that my brother, Mark, was coming with my niece and nephew (although I wished my oldest niece could come too).

The plan was to all fly into Traverse City Airport, have lunch, and then make a visit to Bowers Harbor Vineyards before leaving town.

This was my third trip to Traverse City and while I didn’t have a lot of time, I wanted to at least get one more of their fabulous wineries covered. My friend Mike Norton, Media Relations Manager at Traverse City Tourism, thought Bowers was not only a great winery, but as family friendly as a winery can be.

You know what they say about the best laid plans. I arrived in Traverse City to find out the family had missed their connection.

I knew immediately I where I was when I was looking for a cup of coffee. After all, where else would the coffee machine offer “Cherry Pie Cappuccino” other than in Cherry Capital Airport!

I collected my things and headed downtown. Mike was away on vacation and I arranged to meet with Jennifer Case for the trip to Bowers, but I was running early so I first stopped downtown for lunch at Greenhouse Café.

My Rueben sandwich and potato soup was a perfectly satisfying pair for the cold day. I finished up and walked over to the Traverse City Convention and Visitors Bureau to meet Jennifer.

It was a short walk and she was ready when I got there to take the drive to Bowers Harbor Vineyards on the Old Mission Peninsula.

I had never been to Traverse City before in the snow and it made for quite a beautiful scene, especially and this winery.  

The tasting room at Bowers Harbor is very comfortable and I was surprised at the huge selection of wines.

I wasn’t driving so I tried quite a few. I was especially fond of their Block II Riesling, Unwooded Chardonnay, and Gewurztraminer. Even though I’m not a big red drinker,

 I did enjoy sipping their 2012 Wind Whistle Claret. They also had a tasty Blanc de Blanc Sparkling wine.

On the way back to the airport we made a quick stop at one of my favorite Traverse City wineries, Brys Estate.

I had a wonderful visit there with the owners a few years ago and wanted to stop in and visit. They weren’t there, but I did get to enjoy a glass of their Riesling.  

My brother, Jacob, and Moriah had just arrived, but their luggage had not.

We picked up the rental car, but couldn’t leave Traverse City right away to drive to Boyne Highlands Resort because the family’s luggage was arriving on the next plane.

I suggested we head to the Grand Traverse Pie Company.

My niece, Moriah, happens to be a big fan of pie and the rest of us were more than happy to go along for a little something to tide us over.

We decided on an apple crumb pie, and chocolate cream pie, and the February special – cherry pie with a chocolate ganache topping. They were all great, but I don’t think I have to say how amazing that one was.

Jacob also insisted he was hungry enough for a chicken pot pie and we all tasted a bit of that before we hit the road.

It was about an hour and a half to Boyne Highlands Resort in Harbor Springs, Michigan, and the ride was just beautiful through the snow covered rounds and lakes.

We arrived just in time for the welcome reception. We quickly dropped our things in our room and headed to meet Marketing Director Erin Ernst and the other journalists and their families at the Slopeside Lounge.

Erin had set up a nice spread for us that included cheese, pizza, hors d'oeuvres, and desserts. I also sampled a Gingerbread Coffee cocktail, while Mark tried some Michigan beers.

It had been a long day for all of us so we were back in the rooms fairly early, but excited for an upcoming day of skiing, snowboarding, and more fun at Boyne Highlands Resort

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