Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A modest stay in Traverse City

For our first night, we stayed at the Cherry Tree Condo Hotel. One of the main draws was the extremely off-season reasonable price - $82. TC is a very popular summer and fall destination, so it is a good idea to go just as winter season prices kick in, because you may not get a snowstorm right away, but could enjoy TC's colors at a cheaper price.

The cons were that we did not get a bay-facing room, nor one with a jacuzzi. But it did have a king bed, and we were only staying the night. We had reserved a very upscale suite at another TC venue (see the other TC post) for Saturday, so it made sense for us to stay modestly on Friday, and save the best for last.

After parking at the amply-spaced car park, we made our way to the reception where we were greeted politely. We were told of free drinks at an adjoining room so we decided to unload and have a taste. Also adjoining the reception was a medium-sized communal sitting room which doubled up as a library and had internet access. We also noted that there was a fairly large swimming pool and a hot tub, both of which looked inviting. So we planned the rest of the evening, and decided to have a swim before going to bed.

When we came down for the drinks, we realized that it was a sales trap. Cherry Tree Inn is a condo hotel, so all of the hotel rooms are on sale for those looking for a vacation home. As soon as we entered the room, we saw a wall full of floor plans and a couple of people coming towards us, asking us what we would like to drink. It was too late to turn back, so we decided to taste some cherry wine, a local favorite, and engage in some polite small talk before indicating that we were not interested. The agents were pleasant enough, but we would have appreciated the receptionist telling us that there was a catch to the free drink. As they say, there's no such thing as a free lunch.

The fittings of the room were pretty basic, but it was a good size. What was unique was the view to the swimming pool (see picture). We went down for a swim, but the pool was as cold as Lake Michigan itself. We looked around to see if there was a switch, but gave up and relaxed in the hot tub itself. While in the hot tub, someone from management came in and we relayed the problem to them. Having investigated the problem, we were told that the heater had somehow been turned off, and that they were sorry. If I did not know better, I'd say they were conserving energy since we were the only people down there. So not being able to use the pool was a let-down.

We had a good night's sleep but the complimentary breakfast next morning was not very appetizing at all. Still, the freshly brewed coffee and the thought of checking into our second hotel kept us distracted enough from this. It was only $82 after all, and well worth the price. Here's a view of the swimming pool and the breakfast area from our room.

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