Classic clean elegant mariner shabby. Delightful, no mattering negatives, perfect location and ambiance for sailors. My first choice next regatta.
Our extended family has stayed in many vacation homes in the Holland, MI, area over the last 20 years. Each has its charm, and each has met our family needs differently as our children have grown and the grandparents have aged. Right now, we are loving The Boathouse, and are headed back for our third year. We can't wait.
The Boathouse is a unique building. If you are reading this, you have probably already seen the listing, read the description, seen the pictures, and maybe know some of the history. So, I won't try and explain the building. Suffice it to say, this is a one of a kind space - long, large, spacious and with a few oddities - did I say unique? There are three bedrooms with Queen beds, one with Full, one King, and these are all upstairs. A room that you might want to think of as the Living Room is also upstairs, is very large, and has the TV and L-shaped sectional sofa. It also has two single beds. While it may seem odd to have the living room upstairs, that is actually best, as you will probably spend your time anywhere but there, except for the occasional movie night, or teen/young adult retreat.
Downstairs, walking from one end to the other (it is a long house, remember) you move from the Florida Room, with windows all around. A great sitting room with view of Lake Macatawa, and small dining area (one of four). You walk into the house and into a dining/breakfast nook/sitting area. Walk through the kitchen to your left, or around the stairs to the right to the front door or farther back in the house to the actual dining room. You will only dine there on bad weather days, but it will seat everyone. Beyond the dining room is another bedroom, with Full/Single bunk and a day bed. Then you can walk out the bedroom to the sheltered deck. The master King bedroom completely overhangs this deck, giving shelter from the elements.
The deck wraps around the back of the house to the kitchen and the Florida Room, with steps to the lawn and about 25 feet to the water's edge. This is why you will not use the living room or the TV. You are going to spend any idle time sitting here, alone or with others, sipping your favorites of the moment, watching the activity on the lake, listening to the gentle swell of the lake and the clanking of masts and lines as the boats sway in the marina. The Boathouse sits at the edge of the Eldean Marina, near the mouth of Lake Macatawa, a short walk to Big Red. Or you can walk out to the end of your own (50 foot?) dock, tie up your own boat, or just watch from a more personal vantage. At night, you can shift over to the brick patio and fire pit and enjoy a fire at the water's edge. The Eldeans provide the firewood and plenty of chairs.
So, what is odd? Well, some may find it odd that one of the routes to the deck is through the downstairs bedroom. This may require some negotiating and agreement. The kitchen has produced some great meals for this family of ambitious cooks. It is a bit small and can get cramped with several folks shuffling around at once. But it has everything you need, all current appliances, adequate storage, and besides, what's a little closeness among family or friends? The bathrooms - two with full bath upstairs, and one 1/2 bath downstairs - are small and a bit dated. But this is a house that was built and adapted in another era. Bathrooms were smaller, then. Furnishings are a mix, but everything works, spaces are flexible, tables are movable, there are so many places for people to be together or separate, and more than enough chairs to accommodate all of this.
The Boathouse is located in the private Macatawa community that includes access to the private Lake Michigan Beach. This is a beautiful beach, never crowded, and a short walk from The Boathouse. A vendor at the Marina rents kayaks and bicycles, or you can bring your own. Big Red and the Channel entrance to Lake Macatawa is a short walk. The Boathouse is about 15 minutes from downtown Holland, and there are some nice restaurants along the route, and a small market with excellent butcher shop. But this is a quiet and less commercial road, compared with the road to Holland State Park on the other side of Lake Macatawa.
Families with very young children may want to take note that the back lawn, between the house and the lake, ends at about a 5 or 6 foot drop into the water and rocks. There is no guardrail or fence, so close parental/adult supervision is essential. There is plenty of other safe lawn for kids to play on. But this house is at the water's edge. That is its beauty and attraction.
We love this place. Can you tell? We have had some of the most relaxing personal and family times ever at The Boathouse, and are looking forward to this summer, too. You will too.
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We stayed two nights, we really enjoyed the house and its sourroundings. We walked to the beach and the red lighthouse, watched the sunset, From the bedroom windows we can see the harbor and boats, lake water. The hosue is clean and spacious.
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