Stone Lodge Built by Eccentric Local Architect
A magnificent 1960s slate fireplace cobbled from large boulders anchors the lobby fireplace of the Weathervane Terrace Inn & Suites. The mantle, built by renowned local architect Earl Young, celebrates the natural beauty of the surrounding area with other topographical details such as a half circle of redstone portraying nearby Round Lake, a cluster of Onaway stones representing Beaver Island, and a flock of seagulls carved into the rocks that salutes the native wildlife. A sprawling composition, the artisan fireplace reflects the chateau's commitment to organic, grandiose design.
Imposing stone towers embellished with wildflower window boxes and metal turrets greet guests at the castle-style hotel. The jacuzzi room earns its name with a large white soaking tub stationed in the corner of the contemporary suite. Sliding patio doors open to unveil views of Lake Michigan, and a triple-sheeted king-size bed cradles weary travelers and offers a perch from which to view the flat-screen TV and an electric fireplace. A private balcony with sprawling water views abuts the two-room Lake Michigan suite, which evokes a country charm. Alongside a queen-size bed and a fully equipped kitchen, the carpeted living room sets the stage for DVD viewings by a roaring fire. The commodious harbor suite holds a king-size bed and a queen pullout to accommodate family human-pyramid practices with its knee-friendly foundations.
On the first level of the hillside hotel, a seasonal heated outdoor swimming pool supplements the Weathervane's indoor, eight-person hot-tub spa. Lodgers can gather for sunset cocktails on the furnished lounging deck with panoramic views of the charming waterfront downtown and scenic Round Lake. From the alfresco swimming center, there's a view to the breakfast room, where complimentary continental breakfasts are served amid an Onaway stone fireplace.
Charlevoix, Michigan: Quaint Resort Town Surrounded by Three Lakes
Just a half mile from the Weathervane Terrace Inn & Suites is Round Lake, which affords idyllic views and a bevy of boating activities and surrounds a bustling shopping district. Majestic yachts and colorful sailboat masts ornament the marinas, luring land dwellers to their bows for sunset canal cruises. Two ski resorts, Boyne Mountain and Nubs Nob, are also nearby; both are about a 30-minute drive from the hotel.
A flair for whimsy colors the work of architect Earl Young—walking tours reveal a labyrinth of fairy-tale-inspired mushroom houses located less than half a mile from the hotel. Stonework façades, curved cedar-shake roofs, and frosted stone chimneys characterize the pintsize dwellings, many of which are perched on similarly diminutive knolls and have their mail delivered by unionized gnomes. The most famous of the mushroom houses at Clinton and Grant Streets sprouted between 1951 and 1952, marked by their innovative landscaping, craft-style interior accents, and lead-paned windows originally from a Polish castle.