Waterfront Inn Resort Hotel: Relaxing by the Bay

By Kiel Christianson, Senior Writer

Traverse City, MI - Traverse City has long been a major vacation destination in Michigan. And with the relatively recent boom in golf gambling, not to mention the ever-present sparkling blue waters of Traverse Bay, the city has become a year-round tourism Mecca. The "Miracle Mile" of hotels, motels, and resorts lining the city's waterfront boasts more lodging and recreation options per square foot than anywhere else in the state. One property that stands out from the crowd is Waterfront Inn Resort Hotel, the perfect home-base for exploring the riches of the Traverse City area.

Waterfront Inn Resort Hotel is unique among the resorts in Traverse City: It is one of only two with convention facilities on the property, and the only one whose convention venue is directly on the water. In fact, the view is so hypnotizing, it's a wonder that attendees can concentrate on what the speakers are saying.

Waterfront Inn is also one of only two resorts on the strip with a restaurant on the premises. Reflections Restaurant, on the fourth floor, overlooks the bay and offers not only some fine seafood and steaks, but also spectacular views of the water, Old Mission Peninsula, and the famous Traverse City sunsets (just try not to choke on your food as you're ooh-ing and ah-ing.) If you'd like to expand your culinary explorations, however, take the 15-minute drive to Elk Rapids for a Cajun feast at Pearl's (see review).

With 127 deluxe rooms, a spacious indoor pool, comfy sundecks, and 775 feet of beach and waterfront, even if you pass on the area attractions and stay at the resort, you won't run out of ways to pamper yourself. The only blemish on this 20-year old beauty is the recently overgrown beach area. According to Dan Hilliker, Director of Sales, the low water levels of the last two years don't pose any long-term concerns. "Over the last five years, the water has been as high as the parking lot and as low as it is right now. Some years, it is exactly at the edge of the beach. It ebbs and it flows."

The resort would like to do a bit of maintenance on their beach, but since a designated trout stream runs through the property into the bay, they abide by the DNR regulations on keeping the area as natural as possible. Until the water comes back—as it surely will—guests need only take a short jaunt through some shallow water to a sugary sandbar for their beach activities.

Best of all for golfers, Waterfront Inn Resort Hotel offers stay and play packages with High Pointe Golf Club (see associated course review), architect Tom Doak's first ever layout. For as little as $59 p.p./d.o. (non-peak dates), you get one night's lodging and a round of golf at High Pointe. Considering the normal room rate is around $100 and the round of golf runs $40-65, the package deal is tough to beat.

Golfing, gambling, sightseeing, fishing, boating…whatever. Traverse City has it all - and Waterfront Inn Resort Hotel, to boot.

Kiel ChristiansonKiel Christianson, Senior Writer

Kiel Christianson has lived, worked, traveled and golfed extensively on three continents. As senior writer and equipment editor for WorldGolf.com, he has reviewed courses, resorts, and golf academies from California to Ireland, including his home course, Lake of the Woods G.C. in Mahomet, Ill. Read his golf blog here and follow him on Twitter @GolfWriterKiel.

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