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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Ski, Shop, Relax at your Centrally-Located Bright, Private, Modern Lake House!

Bedrooms 2
Half Baths1
Space 1,200 sq. ft.
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 - 7 nights


About the property

House, 2 Bedrooms w/ Bunk Beds+ Convertible bed(s), 2 Baths, Open Plan (Sleeps 6

Eager to ski? Go tubing? You'll be centrally located between several ski resorts plus a handful of quintessential up north "cities" and sweet towns. You're close to Michigan's largest water park, wineries, galleries, antiques and the renowned Short's Brewery.

Drive 10 minutes to Grand Traverse Bay, where (depending on the weather!) you can climb frozen waves or cross-country ski on groomed trails, or wander the beach and swim.

Outside the door of your cottage, toast s'mores by the lake. Weather permitting, sled, hike, bike, kayak or canoe on our 75-mile chain of lakes, or sit on one of two decks.

Staying indoors? Start with the complimentary wine, cup of cocoa or a homemade cappuccino as you gaze out floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a tranquil lake and the woods beyond. It's country living with modern comforts: 50-inch smart TV with cable, WIFI, a PS3, many dozens of CDs, DVDs, books and games, a fully-stocked kitchen and more.

Enjoy our new fridge, range and recent bathroom renovation. Get cozy in freshly laundered robes and lounging-around socks (for kids AND adults) in our comfortable year-round cottage. Nothing to do but relax.

Tucked into a glacial valley and nestled in the hills of northwest Michigan, the village is located on a 75-mile chain of beautiful lakes. We're halfway between the Equator and the North Pole on the 45th Parallel. Minutes away, visit Bellaire's restaurants, cafes, or Schuss Mountain's championship golf courses and ski slopes. Dine at a gourmet restaurant a few miles north of us or at dozens of lovely small-town cafes.

It's a 2-minute drive or 15-minute walk to Central Lake, a sleepy, peaceful village with a handful of charming shops, a pub and several restaurants. And it's an easy drive to Charlevoix, Petoskey, Traverse City, and Gaylord, and the sweet towns of Elk Rapids and Alden. (We have a 40+-page welcome letter with details about the area.)

In the master bedroom, enjoy a queen bed with an antique headboard and a luxurious mattress topper while looking out at the lake through sliding glass doors. In the second bedroom: two solid wood twin over full bunk beds. Enjoy our completely updated bathroom.

Eat out or cook in with our fully outfitted kitchen-- with gadgets ranging from an espresso machine, Kitchen Aid mixer and electric pancake griddle to fresh herbs and tomatoes growing outside the front door summer through fall.

Weather permitting, fish or swim (the lake warms up early!). Take out our single and double kayaks or canoe, or your own boat, on a placid 75-mile-long chain of lakes and paddle past kingfishers and great blue heron, turtles nestling in the tall grasses, and weeping willows along the shore. Then roast s'mores at the fire pit under a sky full of stars.

Here's a quick tour. Fully remodeled in 2007 with yearly updates since, the light-filled single-level open-plan design includes a:

• Master Bedroom: Queen bed with a luxurious mattress topper, where you can look out sliding glass doors leading to a private deck and the lake beyond; ceiling fan and window a.c. unit; TV and DVD player, and a comfy chair. Linens included.

• Second Bedroom: Two sets of bunk beds each with a double and single bed; window a.c. unit (when needed); DVD player, flat screen TV and cable, toys and children's books.

• Living Room: Three sets of sliding glass doors stretching across the lakefront wall. They lead to a deck w/a gas grill, picnic table, and a glorious view of the lake a few dozen steps away; two full couch/sofabeds and an overstuffed chair; ceiling fan and air conditioning unit (for summer, of course); 50' flat screen, high-def TV, DVD player, stereo, a large collection of movies, music, books, toys and games.

• Dining Room: Sliding glass doors; queen couch/futon; dining table(s); ceiling fan and a library.

• Kitchen: Open to the living and dining rooms with a lake view and a breakfast bar with seating. Fully equipped and well stocked

• One and a half bathrooms: ceramic tile floor; shower/tub & double sinks in primary bath, completely remodeled in December 2013, and a second small bathroom. We supply towels.

• Garage: for storing bikes, fishing rods, snowmobiles (plus a few adult and child-sized bikes you can use at your own risk).

You're located on a country road less than a mile from the village of Central Lake. Our neighbors are a mixture of vacationers and year-round residents and have been rarely heard or seen. You're down a curving driveway from the village road so the "traffic" you notice will be occasional passing cars plus the occasional passing fishing boats (ice fishing in winter!) or, weather permitting, passing pontoons.

Come on up to what our son lovingly named 'Our Hanley Lake Hideaway' and a repeat guest calls 'Our Little Slice of Heaven!'

Keywords: Family-friendly cottage; pet-friendly retreat, dogs welcome; secluded lakefront all-season cottage; year-round vacation home; sunny guest home, country house with walls of windows, Hanley Lake Hideaway; up north cabin; northern Michigan retreat; private lake; boats; kayaks and canoe; dock; private decks; birding; morels; skiing; fall colors.

More Details

Member since: 2008
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a few hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
February 7, 2018

About Laurie

Your hosts are two self-employed parents and a sweet (yes, still sweet) 18-year-old boy. We live full-time in Ann Arbor and visit up north whenever we can sneak in between guests. One of us adults is originally from Great Britain and the other is originally from New York (and the teenager is a native Ann Arborite who speaks American English with a few Britishisms slipped in.) For many years now we've been permanent Michiganders, enjoying the joys of our glorious retreat on Hanley Lake.

Laurie purchased this house in 2005

Why Laurie chose Central Lake

We love the sweet beauty of this northwestern Michigan chain of lakes nestled among gentle rolling hills. We were ecstatic to find a tranquil lake we can see from almost every room (thanks to our renovation) in the cozy year-round house. (Note from Laurie: my gold standard for vacation heaven was a place where I could take a cup of coffee out onto the deck and see--and be in--the water within seconds.) We can draw or eat breakfast on the dock or in the dining room, play in the sand, take out a canoe or kayak, swim in warmer waters (instead of waiting until the end of August for the chill to subside in the big lakes), and fish. We can sled right out the back doors to the lake and cross-country ski nearby. We wander into a welcoming village to play and eat without being swarmed by overdressed tourists and overpriced food. We were delighted to find this peaceful little retreat, which offers the pleasures of an all-sports lake without the noise and chaos of one. The passing 'traffic' is generally kayaks, pontoons, and people fishing (including ice fishing in the winter).The fresh, clear water in Hanley Lake flows 75 miles thru a chain of 14 lakes. All-sports lake without the usual traffic of one! We were thrilled to discover we're just a few miles from the long sandy beaches and waves of Lake Michigan, which are great fun in every season.

We're glad to do day trips to fudgey towns like Alden, Charlevoix and Petoskey, to wander Traverse City or even more nearby Bellaire. But we love coming home, whether it's raining, snowing, or blazing hot: to play outdoors, or hang out inside doing jigsaw puzzles, playing games, making soup or brownies, or drawing the changing colors of water, sky and trees. We love going out on the placid water and paddling past kingfishers and great blue heron, turtles nestling in the tall grasses, and weeping willows along the shore, or watching the water from our comfortable cottage. It always refreshes us to get away here.

What makes this house unique

Thanks to our 2007 renovation, we relish the fresh, open-plan kitchen with views outside almost everywhere. We went window-crazy, creating four sets of sliding doors in the connected living and dining rooms. Each year we add something (or some things!) new. Recent additions include a new fridge with ice maker and stove (2015), a private deck and sliding doors off the master bedroom; tempered glass deck panels for safety and an unobstructed view of the lake (2014); a fully renovated bathroom (in 2013), a flat-screen TV and DVD player and wood bunk beds (December 2014) in the second bedroom, and two window air conditioners (June 2014).

We're constantly adding CDs, DVDs, games, kids' toys and books, and a host of comforts for our guests--and for us! We're in heaven in the summertime, but we also keep discovering new enticing treats during the other three seasons. In winter our son loves sledding down the back lawn onto the frozen lake; I like sketching the winter scenes from a deliciously warm, light-filled living room, we've discovered the wooded hill right across the street is ripe for hiking, snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing, and we finally went tubing, downhill and cross-country skiing at nearby Shanty Creek.

Springtime brings Morel mushroom hunting, birding, bike rides and walks in a lush landscape; fall leaves are stunning and apple orchards and Color tours beckon.

Guestbook comments from the owner

(From an email:) We had a fabulous time at your cottage. Our dog Chip had a wonderful time launching himself off your dock. My husband took some wonderful pictures of the sunset from the deck. The swans came up in the morning for breakfast and I loved feeding them. Your cottage is darling.

We canoed from one end of Lake Hanley to the other. Both Richard and I had a facial at the Swan Cove Spa and it was terrific. What a relaxing day that was.

We got a chance to visit the art fair in East Jordon while we were there and purchased some great items. I just loved all the little towns so close by.

Thank you

Dianne Whisner
Sep 2009
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Central Lake House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
  • Housekeeper Optional
Floor Area:
  • 1200 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 3:00 PM / Check-out: 10:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 6
  • pets considered ...
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only ...
Location Type:
  • Beachfront ...
  • Lake ...
  • Lakefront ...
  • Rural ...
  • Village ...
  • Waterfront ...
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Activities Guide
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Alarm Clock
  • Basic Soaps
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Filtered Water
  • Firewood
  • Garage ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Laundry Soap
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Local Activities Guide
  • Local Maps
  • Local Restaurant Guide
  • Parking ...
  • Parking Off Street ...
  • Parking for RV/Boat/Trailer ...
  • Shampoo
  • Sofa Bed
  • Thermos Bottle
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Water Cooler
  • 4 Ring Stove
  • Blender
  • Coffee Grinder
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Freezer
  • Grill
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Stove
  • Toaster ...
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Bathroom 2 -
    Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower , shower , Completely renovated
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • Queen size Beds (2)-- antique bed in master bedroom. Also queen futon (with a queen featherbed to put on it) in the dining room. Double Beds (2) Two doubles are the lower bunks on the second bedroom's bunkbeds plus a full sofa bed in the living room (with a featherbed available for added comfort where needed). Child Beds (1) Pack 'n Go playpen for baby or toddler. The main bedroom and the living room have window a.c. units; both bedrooms and the living room have TVs and DVD players with cable.
  • Audio Tape Player
  • Books ...
  • Books for Adults
  • Books for Kids
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games ...
  • Games for Kids
  • Music Library ...
  • Radio
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Toys ...
  • Video Games ...
  • Video Library ...
  • Barbecue
  • Beach Chairs
  • Beach Towels
  • Bicycles ...
  • Boat Dock
  • Boat with Paddles
  • Canoe
  • Child's Swing
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Deck Furniture
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Large Cooler
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Furniture
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Outdoor Grill Gas
  • Porch / Veranda ...
  • Porch Furniture
  • Sand Box
  • Small Cooler
  • Unscreened Porch / Veranda
  • Water Sports Gear ...
  • Wood Deck
  • Yard
  • 1 bicycles
  • suitable for elderly or infirm
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • autumn foliage
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • forests
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • theme parks
  • water parks
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • gambling casinos
  • horseback riding
  • horseshoes
  • miniature golf
  • paddle boating
  • scenic drives
  • shelling
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • groceries
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • basketball court
  • cross country skiing
  • cycling
  • equestrian events
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hot air ballooning
  • hunting
  • ice skating
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • pier fishing
  • rafting
  • sailing
  • skiing
  • snowboarding
  • snowmobiling
  • sound/bay fishing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water skiing
  • water tubing
Dock, small sandy beach, shaded hammock inches from the water and another near the back deck; a fire pit by the water's edge; two double kayaks; two single adult kayaks and single child-sized kayak; canoe; life jackets and water toys; outdoor/beach chairs; several bicycles; gas BBQ grill. Spa (facials, waxing, hair styling and more) three minutes down the road serves you on its outdoor deck overlooking the lake when weather allows and treats our guests well. Pontoons, motor boats, jet skis, sun fish and ice shanty can also be rented down the road. Ceiling fans in the master bedroom, living room, and dining room & and air conditioning units in the master bedroom and living room. Freshly-laundered robes and cozy socks available for adults and kids.


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(68 traveler reviews)

94% Complete
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Ski, Shop, Relax at your Centrally-Located Bright, Private, Modern Lake House!
average rating of 4.9117646 based on 70 reviews

Cozy and Clean

  • 5 of 5

This is the second time I've stayed here and for the second time I very much enjoyed my stay. The place is small but doesn't seem so. It is very well stocked has a wonderful view of the lake. Great for fishing if you're into it. The thing to consider when coming here (and the owner does warn her guests) is that the driveway is steep so if you come in the winter (I always do because I love to ice fish) have good snow tires or just park up on the street with the garage.

  • Submitted: Feb 26, 2017
  • Stayed: February 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks for not leaving us a fish present but glad you did so well out on the ice!
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Clean and cozy.

  • 5 of 5

Third year in a row we have stayed here. Lovely cottage right on the lake. Will be back for a fourth year for sure!

  • Submitted: Feb 15, 2018
  • Stayed: February 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
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We really enjoyed this Central Lake cottage! It was exactly how it was described.

  • 5 of 5

We wanted to stay at a comfortable cottage for some skiing at Boyne Mtn. This cottage provided exactly what we were looking for! It was really cold, below zero, the second day so I took my 2 sons skiing and my wife and daughter stayed at the cottage. They spent the day relaxing, reading and watching movies in this very comfortable cottage. Our host, Laurie, was great and we had all the amenities we needed. We would stay here again and would recommend it to others.

  • Submitted: Jan 1, 2018
  • Stayed: December 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Very comfortable!

  • 5 of 5

My sisters and I stayed the first weekend of December 2017. We were very comfortable in the house, it had everything we needed for a relaxing weekend. We went Christmas shopping in Traverse City. Would recommend checking out the shops in the renovated State Hospital.

  • Submitted: Dec 7, 2017
  • Stayed: November 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Perfect-even with rain!

  • 5 of 5

My family and I stayed for 3 nights in the middle of the rainy season. Everything was perfect about this home. It was clean, loved the "stuffed" moose on the wall and the view. It was really peaceful and relaxing. My parents got lost and Laurie checked on us to make sure they made it there safely. The small town and the people that work there couldn't have been nicer. Short drive from just about anything. The only thing I would warn about are the winding roads at night. We will definately be back!

  • Submitted: Oct 29, 2017
  • Stayed: October 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Feels Like Home

  • 5 of 5

My family and I had a wonderful vacation at the Hanley Lake Hideaway. The house really feels like home as soon as you get there. I can't speak to summertime, but we were there in October and loved the quiet and closeness to nature without being totally secluded. The large collections of music, movies, toys and board games were much appreciated on our rainy days. I would definitely recommend it to a friend!

  • Submitted: Oct 11, 2017
  • Stayed: October 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Blue Pelican Inn
Nearest Airport
26 Miles
Traverse City
Nearest Golf
10 Miles
Shanty Creek
Nearest Restaurant
1 Miles
Blue Pelican
Nearest Beach
On property
Car: necessary

Rent pontoons, sunfish and motor boat minutes away, right on the lake. You can canoe, kayak or motor along for hours or days along our 75-mile chain of lakes; you're minutes from Torch Lake, Grand Traverse Bay's sandy beaches, championship golf courses, downhill ski slopes and groomed cross-country trails and a great spa/salon; short drives to the tourist attractions of Petoskey (36 miles); Charlevoix (19 miles); Traverse City (39 miles); and Gaylord (36 miles); downhill and cross-country skiing, zip-lining and mountain biking at nearby Shanty Creek and Boyne Mountain (with Michigan's largest indoor water park). Nearby Bellaire (10 minutes) has a movie theatre, bowling alley, indoor miniature golf, and nice restaurants and pubs. Gourmet restaurants and family diners minutes away.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $200
Pet Fee $0
Cleaning $100
Pets-$10/night per dog $0
Tax Rate 6.0%

Pets welcome: $10/night per dog. Fall through Spring: 7 nights for the price of 6! Summer stays are Sunday through Sunday, 7-day minimum. Check-in is at 3 pm; check-out at 10 am for all stays.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • Canceled bookings will not receive a refund

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