Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products and services; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Cambria Hotel Traverse City – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"You'll love its central location near North Michigan College, and the staff who go out of their way to make guests feel welcome."
Best Runner-Up: Bayshore Resort – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"The resort overlooks a private beach, and provides towels and beach chairs as well as jet ski and boat rentals in the summer."
"Be sure to check out the heated indoor pool, and to make time in your schedule for a relaxing moment in the hot tub."
Best for Families: Cherry Tree Inn & Suites – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"Excellent bonuses include fresh cookies at the front desk and a private beach with watercraft rentals."
Best for Romance: Chateau Chantal Winery and Inn – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"Some rooms have King-size beds, a granite wet bar, a luxurious whirlpool tub, and a private patio overlooking the bay."
Best Nightlife: West Bay Beach, a Delamar Resort – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"Open until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, the hotel's club boasts two full-service bars, live music performances, and a resident DJ."
Best Pet-Friendly: Best Western Plus Traverse City – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"With a minimal daily pet fee, its pet policy allows for up to two dogs per room with a weight limit."
"All nine guest rooms are magnificently decorated with period antiques, a fireplace, and a vintage or jetted bathtub."
Best Luxury: Tamarack Lodge – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"Spend your days on the beach playing volleyball, swimming in the summer, or relaxing by the fire pit during winter."
Best Overall: Cambria Hotel Traverse City
At Cambria Hotel Traverse City, the staff will go out of their way to make guests feel welcome. A complimentary shuttle service takes you wherever you want to go (including to and from the airport), while the suites boast a separate living room for an unparalleled feeling of space. All accommodations include two HDTVs, free Wi-Fi, a microwave, a mini-fridge, and a coffeemaker.
The hotel’s Reflect Bistro is a particular highlight, serving perfectly prepared seasonal cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Make sure to visit the bar during Happy Hour (from 4 to 7 p.m.) for Michigan craft beers and local wines. If you overdo it on the cherry pie, don’t worry – there’s a 24-hour fitness center on-site, as well as an indoor pool and hot tub. Corporate guests are catered to as well with two meeting rooms and a business center.
Best Runner-Up: Bayshore Resort
Victorian-style Bayshore Resort is a great alternative for those who want to stay on the waterfront. It overlooks a private beach and provides towels and beach chairs in addition to jet ski and boat rentals in the summer. There are five room categories to choose from, ranging from economical standard rooms with one King or two Queen beds, to luxurious suites with a two-person spa, a fireplace, and a wet bar. To make the most of the location, ask for a room with a bay view and a private balcony or patio. All options include cable TV and free Wi-Fi.
Every day starts with a complimentary continental breakfast. When you’re not at the beach or exploring the shops and restaurants of downtown Traverse City, take a dip in the indoor pool, unwind in the hot tub, or get in shape with a session in the fitness room. On rainy days, the game room is a lifesaver for families with energetic kids. Other useful amenities include guest laundry and a free airport shuttle service.
Best Budget: GrandStay Hotel & Suites Traverse City
With low standard room rates, GrandStay Hotel & Suites Traverse City is the perfect solution for budget travelers. Located on the outskirts of the city, it's conveniently close to Cherry Capital Airport and the Grand Traverse Bay waterfront. All rooms include high-speed Wi-Fi and cable TV, while a microwave and mini-fridge allow you to cut costs by preparing basic meals in your room. If you’re traveling with family, affordable two-bedroom suites provide plenty of space for everyone.
Your room rate includes a complimentary breakfast buffet with an impressive choice of hot and cold items. Be sure to check out the heated indoor pool, and to make time in your schedule for a relaxing moment in the hot tub. An on-site laundry comes in handy for extended stay guests. If you’re in town on business, you can meet with colleagues in the conference room or get documents printed in the business center. There is no restaurant on-site, but there are plenty of affordable options nearby.
Best for Families: Cherry Tree Inn & Suites
Cherry Tree Inn & Suites lies on an idyllic beachfront and welcomes families with an array of child-friendly amenities. These range from fresh cookies at the front desk to a private beach with watercraft rentals. Outdoor and indoor pools guarantee water fun no matter the season, while most rooms and suites are made to accommodate families with a pull-out sofa bed or two Queen beds. The Cherry Tree Family Suite sleeps six and boasts two separate bedrooms, a large living room, and a full kitchen.
Best of all, thick concrete walls mean that you don’t have to worry about other guests disturbing your sleep (or vice-versa). In the morning, fuel up for a day of family fun at the complimentary hot breakfast. Kids’ favorite Sandy’s Sweet Shoppe sells award-winning ice cream and other local treats. When you want a proper meal, use the complimentary shuttle service to head downtown. Other useful amenities include a laundry room, a fitness room, and a video and game library.
Best for Romance: Chateau Chantal Winery and Inn
Scenic Old Mission Peninsula is famous for its wineries. One of them, Chateau Chantal, offers a series of elegantly decorated rooms and suites perfect for a romantic couples' retreat. Some of the rooms have glittering chandeliers; others have ornate, carved wooden headboards. All of them are adorned with prints by the artists they're named after. The most romantic options are the Behrens and Cezanne Master Suites. Both have King-size beds, a granite wet bar, a luxurious whirlpool tub, and a private patio overlooking the bay.
Although it may be difficult to leave these sanctuaries, the lavish daily breakfast is well worth getting up for since it’s freshly prepared and included in your stay. Spend the rest of the day exploring the winery – on a cellar tour perhaps, or with a gourmet cooking class. During the summer, Thursdays are made special by acoustic concerts on the terrace, while winter afternoons are best spent by the fireplace in one of the inn’s cozy sitting rooms. Celebrate a special occasion with a seven-course wine pairing dinner.
Best Nightlife: West Bay Beach, a Delamar Resort
If you’re planning to party during your stay in Traverse City, West Bay Beach is probably the best fit for you. The resort enjoys a lively waterfront location close to the city center and is famous for its View Nightclub. Open until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, the club boasts two full-service bars, live music performances, and a resident DJ. The Dance and Stay package is a great option for making birthdays, bachelor parties and hen dos special, as it includes VIP seating and a Champagne toast.
The resort has two restaurants: Bistro, for breakfast bagels and Starbucks coffee, and View Restaurant for farm-to-table lunches and dinners on a beachfront patio with stunning bay views. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, View Restaurant hosts live music to help you celebrate. Other hotel amenities include indoor and outdoor heated pools, a sauna, and a fitness center. All 173 rooms and suites offer floor-to-ceiling lake views and come with a mini-fridge, coffeemaker, and cable TV.
Best Pet-Friendly: Best Western Plus Traverse City
Located at the base of Old Mission Peninsula and a five-minute drive from downtown Traverse City, this Best Western Plus is a popular pick for travelers with pets in tow. With a minimal daily pet fee, its pet policy allows for up to two dogs per room with a weight limit, and other animals may be allowed at the hotel’s discretion. There’s also a convenient outdoor area for exercising your four-legged friend.
The rooms are immaculately clean and well-equipped with a microwave, a mini-fridge, a coffeemaker, and high-speed internet. The cable TV has HBO. All rates include a complimentary breakfast buffet, with hot and cold items ranging from freshly made waffles to biscuits and gravy. Get your daily work out in the fitness center, or take the plunge into the city’s deepest indoor swimming pool. It’s heated, and open 24 hours a day. Other highlights include a guest laundry, a downtown shuttle service, and free parking.
Best B&B: Antiquities’ Wellington Inn
In the heart of downtown Traverse City lies Antiquities’ Wellington Inn, a neo-classical mansion built by a lumber baron in 1905. Step onto the graceful columned porch and into the mahogany and leaded glass foyer, and find yourself transported back in time. All nine guest rooms are adorned with period antiques: a Victorian Renaissance Revival bed crafted out of black walnut here, a Louis XVI-style loveseat there. No matter which you choose, you’ll have your own fireplace and a bathroom with a vintage or jetted tub.
For extended stays, consider booking one of two two-bedroom Carriage House apartments. Both have a full kitchen and a separate living room, affording you the space you need to make yourself at home. Mornings at Wellington Inn begin with a sumptuous breakfast served in the elegant dining room. Throughout the rest of the day, you can choose from an array of complimentary snacks in the guest kitchen, located off the third-floor ballroom. Enjoy refreshments in your room or in front of the library’s roaring fireplace.
Best Luxury: Tamarack Lodge
For a more luxurious stay, travel half a mile further along the bay to Tamarack Lodge. Situated directly on the beachfront, this Arts & Crafts property welcomes you into a world of rustic indulgence from the moment you step into the lobby, thanks to its large stone fireplace and beamed ceilings.
Each of the one, two, and three-bedroom condos is exquisitely decorated, with vintage lighting and plumbing fixtures and a mix of solid cherry and leather furniture. Cook gourmet meals in the full kitchen, light the gas fireplace during the winter or treat yourself to a soak in the jetted tub.
The highlight of each condo is a private balcony with panoramic views of the bay. Spend your days on the beach playing volleyball, swimming in the summer, or relaxing by the fire pit during the winter. When the weather isn’t cooperating, seek out the billiards table and movie library, or get to know your fellow guests at the bar. The lodge also hosts regular, seasonally inspired activities that range from beach bonfires to winery tours.