Sunday, August 7, 2011
New Buffalo Review
I've mentioned before that when Matt and I travel we try to stay at places that will help make the trip more memorable for us. This past week we stayed at the New Buffalo Inn and Spa in New Buffalo, Michigan.
Normally I plan our trips months in advance, but this trip was kind of "on the fly", and when I saw the inn's midweek special on the internet, I inquired about it. Basically the special was $20 off of the regular midweek price, a $50 spa credit and $20 towards breakfast at the local cafe.
Here's a quick tip for when you plan any getaway (especially if you are planning a getaway at the destination's peak seasion). If you are looking to save money, booking any room just about anywhere during the middle of the week, opposed to the weekend, will save you a lot of money.
New Buffalo is a small beach town in Southwest Michigan. The inn was located in the heart of the small town and was a short drive or a good walk to the beach. When choosing this destination, all I had to go on was customer reviews and photos of the inn's website. The reviews weren't bad and the photos showed a variety of rooms.
The room that I chose was a little smaller than the others, but I am very picky on the way a room looks and the the Miss Eber Knight room seemed to have the most charm. The room had a vaulted ceiling with sky lights, a covered patio with a table and chairs, a huge two person deep jacuzzi tub, a fire place, a tv and a wet bar. All of the rooms had access to the hot tub located in the garden area.
My only concern about the inn was that it appeared to be a little outdated. When we arrived, I was assured of this. Not outdated in an "oh, I can't believe that I paid money for this" kind of way, but outdated in an "I think I saw those curtains in a magazine dated 1999 kind of way". Basically, it appeared that our room had not be decorated in a good ten years, and the grounds needed a good upkeeping. If the place was maintained a little better and the rooms were updated to this decade, then the inn would be a knock-out place to stay, because the overall experience was really good. I mean, can you really go wrong with all the things they had to offer? I don't think so, but I am a girl who notices details, and because of that I would rate it a little bit lower than other inns that we've stayed in.
Across the parking lot from the inn was the spa. You can see the spa selections here. Matt didn't want the massage, so I gladly scheduled a fifty minute Swedish massage. The massage was great, and it only cost us $22 since we had the $50 spa credit. Again though, I have to say that the spa in itself was a little outdated. Basically, the service was good, but I really wanted to do some decorating while I was there. Again, I pay attention to detail, so I'm sure most people don't even notice.
The town of New Buffalo was rustic and charming. There's not a whole lot to do in the small town, but that's the beauty of this kind of getaway. There were a few shops (most of them were only open from 10-6), and there were a few restaurants, but most of the people in New Buffalo could be found at the beach.
The New Buffalo beach was beautiful, and the weather couldn't have been better while we were there. There wasn't any humidity, and the temperature was right around 80 degrees the whole time. When we were there, the waves were big and the rip currents were strong, but that's the way Matt likes it:) On our last day, the water became calmer, and the waves died down considerably. I did notice a bit of trash here and there on the beach that was left behind by its visitors. We were only there for a few days, so I don't know how often the beach gets cleaned. It would have been a little nicer if people threw away there mess before leaving the beach though.
Now, lets talk food. We had a mini fridge in our room, so I packed sandwiches for lunch and snacks for the beach. Many of the rooms had full kitchens, but I knew we weren't going to be there long enought o utilize that kind of room.
We had breakfast at the local cafe, Michigan Thyme Cafe. The cafe was really cute. They had inside and outside dining, and they also had a really cute botique atatched to the cafe. The menu selection wasn't huge, but the food was really good. On the first morning, I ordered the stuffed french toast while Matt tried the quiche, and the second morning we had fresh blueberry pancakes. The inn gave us $10 vouchers for the cafe each morning, making breakfast about $5 a day for the two of us. We would definitely eat here again if we ever go back.
As for other restaruants in New Buffalo, we tried Casey's Bar and Grill the first night. They did have a nice patio area that made dining enjoyable. Dinner was less than $20 for the two of us, and the food was mediocre. It was worth the money, but it didn't wow us.
The second night, we decided to go where we saw a crowd. We tried the Stray Dog Bar and Grill. There was more selection at this restraunt, and the food was a lot better than the previous night. Prices were about the same, but we spent a little more money, because we ordered more expensive items this time. We still only spent about $30 for dinner, so it wasn't too bad. This restaurant has roof top dining, but you have to be 21 and show your ID to go on the rooftop (I didn't have my ID on me and we were sent back down), which I thought was hilarious, because I noticed kids sitting at the bar downstairs.
We aslo ejoyed a classic small town ice cream shop while we were there. Nancy's had a large selection of hand-dipped ice cream as well as an assortment of other cool treats. Matt had there famous strawberry shake and said that it was the best strawberry shake he has ever had....that's saying a lot coming from my husband. Nancy's was right in town, but if you wanted ice cream at the beach, then Jakes at the Beach was the place to go. Jakes offered classic beach food, but they also served Nancy's icecream.
The nice thing about New Buffalo is that is right on Lake Michigan and Chicago is just across the lake. The windy city was about seventy miles away, so spent they day there before heading back to Indy. Over all, we had a great stay, and we would definetly visit Lake Michigan again.