“Excellent property for multi-family gatherings. Good access to Lake Michigan beach”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013
We are a group of several families that have made a tradition of having an end-of-summer long weekend at the Grand Beach Inn for almost 10 years now. We have worked with different owners over the years. We rent the entire property so we have the run of the building and grounds. There are numerous rooms each with bathrooms. There is a laundry room. A large dining rooms easily seats 30. A large, fully-equipped kitchen is available for the families to prepare the meals. We have worked out a schedule of main meals that each family is to prepare for the group; we are fortunate that there are several excellent cooks amongst us.
Each family has a room assigned to them. Sometimes grandparents have joined us on our annual outing and there have been extra rooms for them to stay in. The decor is a little tired but the management is working to update things. Some bathrooms have been fixed up over the past years.
The available entertainment options are numerous. The living room features a grand piano for singalongs. A wood-burning fireplace adds to the ambiance. There is a wide-screen TV; an old, boxy, blurry, projection TV was supplemented by an LCD TV a couple of years ago. Beyond the living room is a large, open function room for games and performances (i.e. by the children). A flight of stairs from that room heads down to a basement room. This functions as another game room but its attraction is the ping-pong table. We have had many energetic games down there.
It took a few years, but Wi-Fi finally became available a few years ago.
Out back there is a wooden porch convenient for dining or having snacks as you look down on the swimming pool. The water is heated. There is a motorized tarp cover that needs to be rolled back before using the pool. A small shed houses cleaning equipment as well as all the pool toys. There is a toilet and exterior shower. Both adults and kids spend ours in and around the pool especially when the weather is warm.
Beyond the pool, across a lawn, lies a fire pit surrounded by 2 large benches and a wooden swing. Pre-cut wood is stored in a shed nearby, We make sure we spend at least one evening by the fire. This has been a perfect place for ghost stories, s’mores and campfire songs.
We have kicked soccer balls, thrown footballs, played badminton, and spun Frisbees out on the lawn. If you do stay here, try to bring bicycles as this is a fun way to explore the area. Of course you could just take a leisurely walk. It is a quiet area. There is a nearby golf course though none of play golf. A playground is an easy walking distance away even for the smallest of children. There is also a tennis court and a basketball half-court. Our group enjoys tennis but we’ve found that the perforated plastic tile surface of the courts is too slick with dew in the mornings as the courts lie in the shade of the nearby woods. They don’t dry off until the sun is overhead and light strikes the courts directly drying them.”
There is a beach a fairly short walk away through the woods and over a small river; in years past we’ve had to battle mosquitoes but it has not been a problem recently possible because of mosquito abatement programmes. The kids splash in the small river that empties into Lake Michigan as well as in the lake itself. It bears mentioning that there is a sand bar off shore and that waves can get quite powerful depending on prevailing winds, hence a word of caution: rip tide. It has happened numerous times along this eastern shore of Lake Michigan and we always warn our children and keep a close eye on them when they are in the lake. Kite-flying on the beach has become more popular as the kids have gotten older.
If you are able to rent the entire property with several other families the property almost acts as an all-inclusive resort and you have the run of the place. Children can run around and enjoy themselves playing catch or hide-and-seek without having to worry about annoying other guests. The pool is all yours. You will have to be ready to prepare your own meals, however, as there are no easy dining options nearby; we have not really tried to look for outside dining preferring to bring our meals and prepare them in the kitchen.