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Bluff top views and waterfrontage in Traverse City Wine Country

Bedrooms 5
Half Baths1
Space 8,000 sq ft
Property type lodge
Minimum Stay 3 - 7 nights


About the property

5 Bedrooms with Bay Views and Close to downtown TC

Hilltop Log Lodge is one of the more expensive rentals in the Traverse City area, as the owners have created something out-of-the-ordinary for its guests. The intent is to put together a special experience in a rustic yet refined lodge environment.

Lodge Amenities: Besides the spectacular views over West Bay, Power Island, Old Mission and Traverse City, there is the spaciousness of 8000 square feet and the uniqueness of this hand-built lodge. Inside this hilltop fortress of a home and underneath the massive, handpeeled timbers of its roof structure, all has been outfitted with plush towels, great bedding, handmade furnishings, and original artwork. Four of its five bedrooms are suites (each with a private bath) providing comfort and solitude for groups, couples, and families. There are numerous sitting rooms, lofts, and a den for quiet reading, relaxing and movies. The sound system throughout the house joins the guests together wherever they may be inside - as well as on the lawn and the bayside porch. There are hundreds of CDs in the house collection as well as I-Pod hookup. The giant High Definition plasma TV in the Game Room has become the spot for some guests to watch movies or sports, while enjoying pool or ping-pong without disturbing the rest of the lodge. Others prefer to retreat to the quieter, tucked-away office to check email, although WI-FI provides coverage to most areas in the lodge.

Accommodations: A maximum of 15 people can be lodged comfortably in the 5 bedrooms (there are 2 king suites, 2 queen bedroom suites, 1 bedroom with a queen bed, a loft with a queen bed and 1 twin hickory beds and a den with 2 twin hickory beds).

The Kitchen: This space is designed for entertaining with a professional gas range and double ovens, all overseen by a curved granite bar for guests to sit and enjoy a glass of wine while dinner is prepared. There is a second dishwasher in the pantry near the greatroom, and this space doubles as the coffee bar and upstairs wine bar. For convenience, the cupboards are stocked with basic foodstuffs, and there is a full set of good knives, a wok and quality cookware to use on the Viking range. With a shelf of cookbooks to peruse, it is time to try something new in this fun kitchen... grilling pizza is one thing that we have enjoyed this year. A powerful gas grill stands just outside adjacent to the kitchen.

Dining at the Lodge: The evening meal is best served on snow-white dinnerware sitting at the handmade, expansive cottonwood table in the greatroom. Linen napkins, candles, subtle lighting, a crackling wood fire, chilled music, a moonlight view over the bay all combine to make the evening meal here a most memorable experience. There are other tables inside and outside on the covered bayside porch for the informal times. Full sets of glassware stock both the upstairs pantry as well as the lower bar in the game room.

Morning at the Lodge: This is the best of times. The sun rises over the the bay and tints the log beams to an orange hue. This quiet perch, secluded from the breezes and with sunlight reflecting off the water down below, warms up first and is perfect for early morning coffee. Guests can linger on the porch swing watching the birds awaken among the treetops, all accompanied by the sound of seagulls or an occasional eagle down below over the bay. In the pantry all is set for perfect coffee with a French Press as well as two standard coffeemakers.

Evening at the Lodge: Many guests enjoy lounging on the south lawn watching the reflected light over the bay and Old Mission Peninsula. Others prefer the entry porch, just sitting on the limestone steps catching the last of the sun as it sets behind the trees and meadows to the west.

The Setting: Treetop privacy and an expansive bay view highlight this distinguished property. In addition, there is over 200' of private water frontage and a dock, making this a most significant combined waterfront/view property in the Grand Traverse area. The lodge sits on 5 very private acres with unobstructed views across 10 miles of Grand Traverse Bay to the twinkling lights of Traverse City in the evening. Leelanau is Michigan Wine Country, and Hilltop Log Lodge is at the heart of it, with 5 wineries within walking/biking distance.

The Waterfront: The public boat launch at the bottom of the hill is quite handy for those who want to fish or ski the crystal waters of West Bay and keep their boat trailered. Following the winding path down the hill to the waterfront, there is swimming and occasional fishing off the dock. The beach is rocky and the dock long; this is the lee side of the bay. Kayaks fit perfectly here in the shallow waters among the reeds and rocks of West Grand Traverse Bay. It takes about an hour to kayak to Power Island.

A Special Time at the Lodge: If there is something unique or special required for a guest visit, the owners will arrange a caterer, a chef, and concierge service. This is an ideal place for a significant birthday dinner, a pre-wedding party or just a place to escape. Parties need pre-approval.

More Details

Richard and Jeff
Member since: 2014
Speaks english
Response time:
Within a few hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
April 3, 2018


Accommodation and Amenities for this vacation lodge rental in Suttons Bay, Michigan

Property Type:
  • lodge
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 8000 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 4:00 PM / Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 15
  • children welcome
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Fireplace ...
  • Garage
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Parking
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wood Stove ...
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Room
  • seating for 20 people
  • 5 Bathrooms
  • 1 Half Bath
  • North Suite - toilet , tub , shower , The shower in this suite is a steam room.
    South Suite - toilet , shower , This shower is quite large and has 2 shower heads
    Main floor West - toilet , combination tub/shower
    Upper West Suite - toilet , shower
    East Suite - toilet , shower , outdoor shower , The outdoor shower is near this suite
    Great Room Powder - toilet
  • 5 Bedrooms, Sleeps 15
  • Main Floor West - 1 queen , This bedroom shares a bath with the Family Room
    East Suite - 1 king , This suite has a large walk in shower.
    North Suite - 1 king , This suite has a sitting area and balcony on the bayside
    South Suite - 1 queen , This suite has a door to the south lawn and views to TC
    Upper West Suite - 1 queen , This suite has a balcony that faces west
  • Other than the bedrooms, the Lodge has four other beds: A queen bed and a twin bed in the loft, and two twin hickory beds in the den.
  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Game Room
  • Games
  • Music Library
  • Ping Pong Table
  • Pool Table
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo
  • Television
  • Video Library
  • Balcony
  • Deck / Patio
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Outdoor Grill
Pool / Spa:
  • Sauna ...
Onsite Services:
  • Concierge
  • Massage
  • Private Chef
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • live theater
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • recreation center
  • restaurants
  • water parks
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • gambling casinos
  • miniature golf
  • paddle boating
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • shuffleboard
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cross country skiing
  • cycling
  • equestrian events
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • golf privileges optional
  • hiking
  • hot air ballooning
  • hunting
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • paragliding
  • roller blading
  • sailing
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • skiing
  • snorkeling
  • snorkeling/diving
  • sound/bay fishing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • wind-surfing


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(7 traveler reviews)

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Bluff top views and waterfrontage in Traverse City Wine Country
average rating of 5.0 based on 7 reviews
Milford, MI

A week-long bday celebration.

  • 5 of 5

The home was simply beautiful. The owners are wonderful to work with. The house was very clean too. Thank you!!

  • Submitted: 11-Sep-2017
  • Stayed: September 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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0 0

Wonderful Memories

  • 5 of 5

We held our wedding at the lodge, and what memories we have to share with family and friends that were able to attend. Wonderful views and an amazing place to relax. Richard and Jeff were a pleasure to work with, will definitely consider again.

  • Submitted: 7-Sep-2016
  • Stayed: August 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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1 0


  • 5 of 5

We had our first family reunion at Hilltop Log Lodge with 13 folks (8 adults and 5 children/teens). Lots of space to enjoy being together as well as unique nooks and crannies to find a place to relax or have some privacy. This Lodge provided us the space and ambiance to have a 19 person banquet right in the main part of the lodge. Would recommend Kate to prepare and serve a meal/meals. Her work helped our dinner to be relaxing and allowed our family to talk, laugh, and tell memorable family stories while she did all the work!

Our grandchildren have great memories of walking up and down the path to the Bay and the night time fire pit conversations and jokes. The adults enjoyed the convenience of local wineries so close to the Lodge. The easy drive to The Sleeping Bear Dunes was a family favorite. Our original thought in planning this reunion was to spend time at The Film Festival but were having such a good time at the Lodge and nearby places that we never made it to Traverse City. Hill Top Lodge will always be special because it was the Fabulous First reunion.

Thank you Jeff and Richard for a great home!

  • Submitted: 2-Sep-2016
  • Stayed: July 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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1 0

Great home for large gathering

  • 5 of 5

Firstly, Richard and Jeff are amazing landlords. We had a couple of "fixits" that needed tending to but they handled them right away. Their lodge is beautifully appointed and the kitchen very well stocked for all kinds of cooking needs. There were separate bedroom/bath combinations for all of the adults to have privacy and more than ample sleeping possibilities for the kids. There were many places in the home to be alone, gather in quiet groups, or convene the whole family for games. We had several vehicles so during the days folks went their separate ways only to gather together for cocktails and dinners in the evenings. We were there a week prior to Cherry Festival so it was a bit congested in town, but not too bad. The location was great for day trips around the northwest side of MI. All in all, it was the best experience this family has had over 5 vacations together. A good value, too.

Thanks, Richard and Jeff - we're sure SOMEONE will be back!

  • Submitted: 17-Jul-2016
  • Stayed: June 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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1 0
Marin County, California

The Perfect Place

  • 5 of 5

The Hilltop Log Lodge was the perfect place for our large family (grandparents, children, wives and husbands and grandchildren) to stay for a week as we celebrated our daughter's wedding. The Lodge is magnificent. The views and the breezes were wonderful. The indoor space easily accommodated young ones ages 1 to 6. The toddlers could nap while the older ones explored and played. Their parents went downstairs into the huge game room and seemed to only surface for meals. The kitchen had every tool, more than enough pots and pans and dinnerware, glassware, towels, mitts, and a great functioning BBQ (not rusty and unusable like several of the rentals we have stayed at) and you only had to turn on the dishwasher at the end of the day!! The fire pit was the nightly spot for gathering as the sun set, the s'mores were made, and the temperature dropped. All of the family could have bathed at the same time in the various baths which had more than enough hot water, towels and everything you had in your own bathroom at home. The beds and linens were very comfortable. The various rooms had seating for everyone, including guests, and visiting bridesmaids and groomsmen. The biggest decisions we had to make were should we play ping pong or pool and should we eat outside or inside. The owners are wonderful and made themselves available if needed, but they also provided everything in the lodge that we could possibly need or want, so we didn't even have to call them. Now we are home recommending the Lodge to our friends and already thinking ahead to our next visit.

Traverse City has great restaurants, such as BREW, The Franklin, and The Mission Table. Brengman Bros winery is terrific, the owners and employees are wonderful and supportive especially at critical times (weddings); their wines won 6 awards in Jan. 2015 from the San Francisco Chronicle! Everyone at the wedding said the caterer: Catering by Kelly, made the best wedding food they have ever had! The floral arrangements by Hoopers Farms Flowers were gorgeous and exactly what our daughter wanted, Terry and Jill are the greatest. Put their farm on your visiting list!!

  • Submitted: 3-Sep-2015
  • Stayed: August 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Dallas, Texas

More than awesome!

  • 5 of 5

Our entire family stayed here to celebrate a Golden Wedding Anniversary. Ages 7-70 loved the accommodations!

Spectacular views, wonderfully stocked kitchen, fantastic game room, two-yes, two dishwashers, comfortable beds, and lovely linens. Huge family room with large dining table to seat all 10 of us. Nice washer and dryer - the owners even furnished "beach" type towels for the lake. The owners are gracious, thoughtful, and helpful. We will return! We cannot rave enough about this property and the management! Did we mention-it's gorgeous!

  • Submitted: 28-Jul-2015
  • Stayed: July 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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3 1


Nearest Airport
13 Miles
Traverse City
Car: recommended

The Lodge is ideally situated with its proximity to the local wineries of Leelanau County yet the lights of Traverse City are visible from the lawn and deck. It’s just a short drive to the fun and restaurants of TC, which has perhaps the best downtown in the midwest. There are two independent theaters and bookstores, plus shops and acclaimed local restaurants which create a food scene not found anywhere in Michigan. Many local breweries also make Traverse one of the nation’s foremost ‘Beer Cities. The new TVC airport has summer service from three airlines, and is 20 minutes from the Lodge.

The many wineries and acres of cherry orchards in the rolling, green hills of Leelanau County have preserved the beauty of this unique Michigan county. The vistas and pastoral scenes of the area are best experienced by bike, as this county has many winding and quiet roads; and a newly paved bike trail links Suttons Bay with Traverse City. By car, Lake Michigan is a quick drive across the county from the Lodge. Leelanau also has Sleeping Bear National Park, and the dunes and beaches are why Good Morning America viewers voted this area to be “the most beautiful place in America” two years ago.

The villages of Northport, Leland, Suttons Bay, Lake Leelanau and Glen Arbor are all on water and are perfect to explore during the days, with new restaurants and shops opening every year. One of the favorite things is to visit historic Fishtown in the Leland harbor, and to stroll the small river walk while snacking on smoked fish. The wide, sandy beaches are here too and Leland is a perfect spot for kids to bodysurf on a warm, breezy summer afternoon.

The two bays of Grand Traverse, East Bay and West Bay, are ideal for boating: either by kayak, motor or sail. A day trip to Power Island is something uncommon, as there is hiking in the island hills on trails under the old-growth beech trees. There are picnic spots, deserted beaches and plenty of secluded coves for swimming.

Sleeping Bear National Park, besides having 30 miles of dune and beach, also has two islands which have been set aside as wilderness. The tall dunes and lighthouse are visible from the mainland and many people take a day trip to one of the islands-South Manito or North Manitou-via daily ferry service out of Leland harbor.


Rates & Availability

Rental Rates for this vacation lodge rental in Suttons Bay, Michigan

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
Spring/Early Summer
Apr 10 2018 - Jun 12 2018
3 night minimum stay
Jun 13 2018 - Sep 3 2018
Changeover Day: Sunday
7 night minimum stay
Late Summer/Fall
Sep 4 2018 - Oct 31 2018
3 night minimum stay
November December
Nov 1 2018 - Dec 21 2018
3 night minimum stay
Dec 22 2018 - Jan 2 2019
3 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable Damage Deposit C$638.05
Tax Rate 6.0%


6% Michigan Tax additional. Refundable $500 damage and security deposit requested. Lodge has 15 person maximum.

PET ALLOWED: Yes, upon approval

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.
Contact Owner