The experience of staying at the Lake Shore Resort, a sublime waterfront hotel located a few miles south of artsy midwest getaway Saugatuck, really starts before you even reach the resort’s official property. Turning onto Lakeshore Drive after a short woodsy jaunt from the nearby Blue Star Highway, the Lake Michigan vista opens up before you in a way that’s completely unique in this part of West Michigan. The cliffside view, looking out over a seemingly endless expanse of clear blue water, is something you might be more inclined to associate with drives along the California coast than this largely forested, sandy lakeshore.
Soon, you’ll reach the resort, located to the left of the road, with wooden steps leading down to the beckoning, salt-free waters directly to your right. The resort itself is located on four acres of slightly sloping grounds, a ring of forest surrounding pleasantly landscaped grounds, a heated pool with a view of the lake and scattered Adirondack chairs carefully positioned for primetime views of the daily sunset.
The resort itself dates back to 1952 and is now run by the third generation of the same family. The rooms, which each have their own entryways, encircle the lawn and heated pool in a stately half-circle. That layout, along with the sloping lawn, means that a large majority of them also have clear views of the endless expanse of water directly on the other side of the road. Due to an extensive renovation that took place over the last four years, the rooms all feel thoroughly modern, with a striking emphasis on black-and-white contrast offset by natural materials and tones. Offerings range from a Standard Two Doubles option to a 400-square-foot Master King suite with the best view of the lake.
Amenities on hand seemed aimed at helping guests make the most of the surrounding natural beauty. Complimentary coaster bikes can be taken out for leisurely trips up and down the coast, morning yoga classes on the deck overlooking the lake can be booked Tuesday through Sundays, free kayaks are available to take out for a spin on the lapping waves and two miles of hiking trails can be found nearby. The complimentary breakfast, prepared on-site, is far better than it needs to be—try the light and refreshing protein bowl or the herby bagels with cream cheese and tomatoes.
The seasonal stunner, which is just a short drive from the nearby towns of Saugatuck and Douglas, is open from mid-April until late October. It’s a perfect choice for couples looking for a romantic getaway in the Great Lakes region or for friends looking for a relaxing home base to explore the bustling lakeshore towns nearby or the world-class Oval Beach.