If a B&B calls itself a Manor, the name evokes a grand and bygone era. If another calls itself “Aberdeen,” wouldn’t you think some Scottish history figured into its background? If one calls itself “Cocoa Cottage,” you probably get images of chocolate dancing in your head. The names of these Michigan B&Bs, among the state’s finest, reflect their distinctive characters and underscore the fact that, despite their similarites, each B&B is unique from every other. These are the stories of Baert Baron Manor B&B, Aberdeen Stone Cottage B&B and Cocoa Cottage B&B.
Baert Baron Manor B&B, Zeeland, (Southwest Region)
This quintessential B&B is an historic home of spacious proportions, meticulously restored to the way it used to be. Baert Baron Manor epitomizes its genre with grace and style, inviting guests to step back in time – but providing WiFi and like amenities throughout. The 19th century Victorian landmark is in the equally historic village of Zeeland, just three miles from Holland and close to the Lake Michigan shore. The elegant ambience of a bygone era has been resurrected by innkeepers Vic and Anna Karen, whose attention to each tiny detail can be seen in the fine stencils painstakingly recreated on the ceiling of the Baron Suite (above), one of four sunny guestrooms with private baths. A wraparound veranda, de rigueur in the Victorian era, is the perfect place to relax with a steaming cup of morning coffee. Breakfast is served daily in the formal dining room.
Aberdeen Stone Cottage B&B, Traverse City (Northwest Region)
Faeries may live in this fairytale cottage. If you’ve ever fantasized that such mythical creatures really do exist — perhaps slumbering in the shade of a peony in a private walled garden, you can live the dream at Aberdeen Stone Cottage. Located in the heart of Traverse City, it’s a walkable eight blocks from downtown, accessible via the nearby Boardman Riverwalk. It’s just three blocks from the beaches of the West Arm of Grand Traverse Bay. After a peaceful night in the Thistle or Heather rooms on the second floor (which welcome families with children) or the Celtic Garden Room (which really does have its own private walled garden), you awaken to a three-course breakfast that includes fresh fruit, the B&B’s signature “Scottish Scones” and a savory or sweet entrée always made from cage-free eggs and with fresh, local ingredients. Ceud mìle fàilte, as they say in Scotland.
Cocoa Cottage B&B, Whitehall (Southwest Region)
What’s in a name? At Cocoa Cottage B&B, just a block from where White Lake laps at the harbor town of Whitehall, the name says “chocolate” and chocolate says it all. Even the guestrooms speak the language: the Godiva Room, Cadbury Room, Hershey Room and the Ghiradelli Suite. This is a bed and breakfast inn that takes the second “B” in B&B seriously. “Our philosophy about food is that if it’s worth making, it’s worth making a fuss over,” say Lisa and Larry, innkeepers. “We love to grow our own food, cook and eat! Spending time in our beautiful kitchen is one of our passions. Our recipes are made from scratch using the freshest ingredients with an extra pinch of creativity!” Nationally recognized with a range of awards including Best Breakfast and Best Innkeepers, FoxNews.com just named Cocoa Cottage one of the nine top places nationwide to indulge in chocolate on Valentine’s Day. Have you ever stayed at any of these terrific B&Bs? Tell us about it! Or leave a comment below. To find Michigan’s finest B&B’s wherever you want to stay and play, search our directory of 100, all inspected for quality, safety, comfort, cleanliness and professionalism.