What’s trending? Sleep. Enough of it can help keep you healthy: too little can wreck your health along with your state of mind. Michigan B&Bs are committed to the notion of a good night’s sleep for their guests, and they work hard to ensure it.
When Cathy Russell of White Swan Inn in Whitehall, led the “ABC’s of Innkeeping” workshop last October for aspiring innkeepers, she advised that when choosing mattresses and bedding, “strive for something your guests probably don’t get at home — hopefully, something better.” That’s a point well taken by member innkeepers of the Michigan Lake to Lake B&B Association.
“We consider a top-quality mattress a must,” says Claire Vandenberg, At Willow Pond B&B near Greenville. But there’s more. Other musts are good bed linens — “we use cool, crisp cotton from about April to October and toasty warm flannel sheets in the colder months.”
Claire agrees with Cheri Antozak, Prairieside Suites Luxury B&B in Grandville, near Grand Rapids, that pillows are also key to a good night’s sleep.
“I find the pillow has a huge impact on whether I sleep or not,” Cheri says. “We provide six bed pillows in both standard and king sizes, in soft to firm densities so our guests can find a perfect fit.”
Six pillows, she adds, ensures a couple can each stack three to comfortably read or watch TV. Per Lake to Lake Association guidelines, she provides an extra blanket in each guest room, and often finds it doubled up on one half of the bed.
“Marriages seem to consist of one person who is cold and one who is hot!”
When she coached aspiring innkeepers, Cathy included bedding as part of the good-night’s sleep equation. She irons her sheets to provide one of those ultimate “don’t get it at home” luxuries. Linda Fedraw not only irons her sheets, but provides evening turn-down services as part of the guest experience at the Grand Victorian Inn in Bellaire. Other B&Bs that feature ironed sheets include Adrounie House B&B in Hastings and Grey Hare Inn in Traverse City.
And then there are brands available exclusively to inns. If you’ve never heard of Comphy Sheets, you’ve missed out on a little bit of heaven. You can enjoy them at dozens of Lake to Lake-member B&Bs, including Castle in the Country near Allegan, The Kalamazoo House in Kalamazoo, Historic Webster House in Bay City, Adventure Inn in North Lakeport and Crimson Cottage Inn the Woods, Holland. While Comphy markets its sheets only to lodgings, most innkeepers are happy to show you samples, place an order for you and have it drop shipped directly to your home. Just ask.
Cathy is one of the many innkeepers who take advantage of the association’s partnership with Lady Americana Mattress, a Michigan-based manufacturer that offers a specially-made line of mattress sets exclusively for Lake to Lake members. Called the Homeplace Collection Sleep System, if you love sleeping on the mattress when you visit an inn that offers them, the innkeeper knows who to call to order an identical mattress delivered to your home.
Of course, there are other elements to achieve a good night’s sleep. Melanie Barnard at turn-of-the-century Candlelite Inn in Ludington invites her guests to help themselves to complimentary bedtime desserts and snacks and hot and cold beverages that include caffeine free sodas, decaf coffee and a variety of herbal teas including Sweet Dreams and Chamomile. And no guest needs to stress half the night about maybe oversleeping in the morning: Melanie serves breakfast whenever each guest wishes. J.Paule’s Fenn Inn in Fennville buffers noise from other guests by providing soothing noise machines in main floor rooms and spa music on CDs in rooms on the second and quieter floor. Dutch Colonial Inn in Holland swears by a Jacuzzi for two while East Tawas Junction B&B in East Tawas practices the art of sleep-inducing aroma therapy, sparingly.
Some B&Bs simply offer a natural nighttime peace. A Dove Nest in Kingston sits among many forested acres and wildflower-filled prairies in a natural setting. LogHaven B&B in West Branch, at the edge of the Huron National Forest, is so far off the grid the innkeepers use strictly wind and solar energy to power their thoroughly contemporary log home. Who couldn’t sleep in the arms of pure silence? Adventure Inn serves up views of Lake Huron, a hypnotic landscape whether its mood is calm or rankled with crashing waves or with the seasonal transformation from water to ice.
To discover the unique sleep aids each of Lake to lake’s member inns offer, visit this link to design you own stay based on amenities like luxury linens, ensuite hot tubs or air jet tubs, in-room fireplaces, cuddly bathrobes — even their geographic settings.