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 in the evening 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.
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’s time to try something new in this fun kitchen... grilling pizza is one thing that we’ve 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, Power Island 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.