by Lorilee Craker
With its friendly vibe and luxe, cottage-cozy details, Hotel Walloon enchants guests from babies to teens, from parents to grandmas and grandpas. Situated just steps from the bluest of blue Walloon Lake (where Hemingway summered and wrote about), the hotel feels grandly historic, but was actually built in 2015. Featuring an exclusive 32 rooms, the hotel treats each guest with a personal touch, making visitors feel noticed and cared for. One such special touch: Each guest receives a folder with custom restaurant and activity recommendations.
The hotel’s dÃ©cor is fresh and lush, with special details everywhere you look, including a crimson Murano glass chandelier in the drawing room, beautiful custom knit blankets in each room, and artisanal pottery pieces. Locally sourced art pieces, such as antique arrow collections, grace the walls, giving Hotel Walloon an exceptional, artful look.
The Hearth Room, with its massive stone fireplace and cozy seating area, and the various nooks to read, chat and nibble, elevate the concept of a “lobby.” Kids will love the coffee/tea/hot chocolate machine, while parents may fancy the self-serve Enomatic wine-by-the-glass dispenser. (The 20-choice coffee-hot chocolate machine is free, but you pay with pre-paid cards for the vino!). In the morning, epicureans of all ages will love the selection of scones, muffins, and yogurts, the first of six rounds of sweets and savories to be laid out in the Hearth Room, culminating in hors d’oeuvres around happy hour. It’s great fun to pop in between outings to see what’s on offer.
Walloon Lake itself is also extraordinary. Carved out by glaciers, the Lake is stunningly clear and blue, and it also ranks as one of the cleanest lakes in Michigan. Maybe because of Hemingway’s stamp on it, the lake and village have a kind of storybook quality. Guests can wrap up in a blanket on their private balcony, sip good coffee and listen to the waves ripple below, dreaming of days gone by.
Parents can tell young writers about the famous scribe who wrote about these very waters; also, don’t miss the chance to visit Horton Bay General Store, 15 minutes away, where a young Ernest drank coffee at the lunch counter, or Red Fox Inn Bookstore next door to it, for everything Hemingway.
Hotel Walloon is nearly perfect, with one exception: A strict four-person per room policy (except for babies in cribs; bring your own or complimentary ones can be provided) means a family of five is out of luck, unless they want to pay for a serious upgrade to a deluxe two-bedroom suite.
Overall, allure from Hemingway’s “Up in Michigan” summers remains at Hotel Walloon, in the whitewashed porches, sumptuous views and the distinct feeling each guest has of being truly special and tended.
Our Editor Loves
- Shallow, private beach on Walloon Lake
- Complimentary goodies in room and lobby
- Sweet, walkable town steps away
- Water Sports
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Free Breakfast
- Free Wi-Fi
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
Cottage View Rooms
Cottage View Rooms offer guests a king or queen bed with a private balcony overlooking the Village of Walloon Lake. They are located on the second and third floors, with most rooms offering a connecting room option. Amenities include a 55-inch flat screen "Smart" TV, free Wi Fi, his and hers plush robes, heated marble floors and a giant makeup mirror, mini fridge, safe and nightly turndown services.
Lakeside rooms present guests with a king or two queen beds and a private balcony with a view of Walloon Lake. They are ocated on the first, second and third floors, with all rooms offering a connecting room option. Amenities include a 55-inch flat screen "Smart" TV, free Wi-Fi, his and hers plush robes, heated marble floors and a giant makeup mirror, mini-fridge, safe and nightly turndown services. Maximum occupancy for this room type is four guests.
Lakeside Corner King Rooms
These offer guests lots of space and windows galore. Each room features a king bed with a queen pull-out couch and kitchenette including a convection microwave oven, dishwasher, fridge and freezer. They are located on the first, second and third floors, with all rooms offering a connecting room option. Amenities include a 55-inch flat screen "Smart" TV, free Wi-Fi, his and hers plush robes, heated marble floors and a giant makeup mirror, mini-fridge, safe and nightly turndown services. Maximum occupancy for this room type is four guests.
One Bedroom Suites
In the one-bedroom suites is a master bedroom with private balcony, king bed and a sitting area that features a queen pull-out couch, kitchenette featuring a convection microwave oven, dishwasher, fridge and freezer. These are located on the second and third floors. Amenities include a 55-inch flat screen "Smart" TV, free Wi-Fi, his and hers plush robes, heated marble floors and a giant makeup mirror, mini-fridge, safe and nightly turndown services. Some suites have electronic window shades and blue tile backsplashes. Maximum occupancy for this room type is four guests.
Two Bedroom Suites
Two-bedroom suites have a master bedroom with a king bed and a second bedroom featuring a full size bunk bed. Separate sitting area offers a queen pull-out couch, kitchenette with convection microwave oven, dishwasher, fridge and freezer. Located on the third floor with partial views of Walloon Lake. Amenities include a 55-inch flat screen "Smart" TV, free Wi-Fi, his and hers plush robes, heated marble floors and a giant makeup mirror, mini-fridge, safe and nightly turndown services. Some suites have electronic window shades and blue tile backsplashes. Maximum occupancy for this room type is eight guests.
I love everything about it. We stayed 3 nights, and this was our 2nd visit. You have a question, or need something, staff takes care of it right away. There is no other place that gives you the attention and service (not even the Grand Hotel) that Hotel Walloon gives you. It is clean and comfortable. Snacks all day. I love the location, and the small town. I can hardly wait to go back.
We had a lake view room on the ground floor. loved sitting outside on the patio.
We enjoyed wine and appetizers at the Walloon Inn.
Visit the General store across the street, they have great pizzas and sandwiches.
The Grand Hotel use to be # 1 for me, but Hotel Walloon is my #1 place now.
by Cheryl S
Hotel Walloon is a wonderful place. The service is amazing and the accommodations are most definitely 5 star. We enjoyed the hot tub, game room and the food. They even provide options that accommodate a food allergy.
If the weather is sunny and warm, families need go no further than the pristine private beach off the hotel, with shallow water and plenty of deck chairs for mom and dad to keep an eagle eye out for the littles.
Game Room and Spa
The billiard room is fun for some pool action, or soak in the large outdoor heated spa, the perfect place to watch the sky's pinks and reds melt into the horizon.
There's lawn golf on the green, and shuffleboard across the street at a Hotel Walloon-owned property.
Right next door is Tommy's Watersports, which rents boats, kayaks, paddleboards and offers waterskiing and wakeboarding lessons right by the Hotel Walloon beach.
For fishing lovers, Hotel Walloon sits on a top five Michigan lake streaming with perch, bass, walleye and pike. Parents and kids could even cast their own rods off the hotel docks, enjoying exquisite Walloon Lake, whittled by ancient glaciers. In winter, try ice fishing, although most folks come for skiing at nearby Boyne Mountain. Any time of the year, when the weather isn't suitable for skiing or the beach, do make a point to visit the Pied Piper Skatery in Walloon Lake. A former 1930's log cabin-esque dance hall, the Skatery is a roller rink like no other.
There are no restaurants onsite, however there is an almost non-stop cavalcade of treats and snacks in the Hearth Room, including muffins, scones and yogurts in the morning, nuts and snacks during the day, meat and cheese hors d'oeuvres in the late afternoon, and cookies and hot cocoa for bedtime! Right next door sits the excellent Barrel Back Restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Johans of Walloon and the general store are also steps away across the street, and offer baked goods, bagels and omelets and pizza by the slice, respectively.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Wi-Fi is free.
There are many add-on treats and trimmings at Hotel Walloon, including six rounds of complimentary snacks, from scrumptious local baked goods in the morning to nuts and chocolates, lemonade and cookies, hors d'oeuvres at suppertime, and more cookies and hot chocolate at bedtime.
There is a small gym onsite.
The Art of Smart Timing
The hotel is open during four seasons, with summer beach fun, Michigan's Fall fireworks in the trees, skiing in winter at Boyne Mountain, 12 minutes away by car, and spring fishing, hiking and mushroom hunting.
During the high summer season, the weather in Walloon is typically hot and sunny; in the low seasons, it is cold and sometimes rainy.
Pellston Regional Airport, in Pellston, Michigan, is 38 minutes away from the hotel by car (car services include Mackinaw Shuttle: 231-539-7005). The bigger Cherry Capitol Airport, in Traverse City, Michigan, is one hour and 15 minutes away by car. Both airports offer car rental services, as well as limousine and shuttle services.
The Village is very small and walkable, with places to eat and shop within steps from the hotel.
For Mom and Dad
Mom and dad can relax: A grown-up retreat is steps away at the next door Barrel Back restaurant, which has delicious food, a full libations menu featuring Michigan craft beer, and a roomy bar with big screens for watching sports.