Julie and I had plans to go home to Montague, Michigan, for the July 4th weekend. That meant getting a hotel. Fearing rooms would be booked solid quickly with so many of us experiencing post-lockdown ants in our pants, I began calling hotels in April.
I was finding them to cost way more than the last time I used one in the area, and the one known to be older and with not the finest of furnishings told me they have a marijuana odor problem. “But, you’re non-smoking,” I said. “The pot smokers don’t seem to care.” She informed me they were in the process of purchasing a cleaning system that would take care of the problem, but it would be too late for us.
I told Julie of the prices I was getting. They all felt too steep.
A few hours later, she told me about a place she found by searching Airbnb. It’s an old motel in Whitehall, which is Montague’s sister city—only a causeway over the White River, which immediately turns into White Lake, separates the towns. The motel had been recently renovated.
And the price was right, fully one half the cost of one of the chain hotels that are out by the freeway (except for the pot-smell-infected one). And those in Muskegon. And up in Hart.
I clicked the link, selected a room—number one of the ten—and completed the process. All communication was done via text and email. Indeed, every time I received a text, I got the same info via email. I appreciated the back-up system.
What’s a boutique motel?
Googing the quest, I found no entries for boutique motels. Only hotels. But, this place had never been a hotel, so I’m sticking with calling it a motel. Besides, Whitehall Cottages uses the term for themselves. Take that, internet!
According to the internet, “a boutique hotel is a small hotel which typically has between 10 and 100 rooms in settings with upscale accommodations and individualized unique selling points.”
Whitehall Cottages isn’t exactly upscale, but because it’s newly remodeled everything feels upscale compared to what one might otherwise expect. And each room is uniquely decorated. Plus, they’ve styled the rooms so that one feels he’s stepped back in time to when the motel was in its heyday. So, yeah, it fits the boutique term.
From the outside, you’d not expect the fresh look inside. And, there’s no sign. Perhaps, that’s on purpose, since no staff persons are on site, and all transactions are handled via the internet.
My opinion? Get a sign, friends. Advertise this place to those using Whitehall’s main drag. It’s a great addition to the White Lake area. (Unless you don’t need to advertise because you’re always booked. It appeared to be full during our stay, but, hey, it was the 4th.)
So far, the reasons to stay at Whitehall Cottages are the attractive price, nice rooms, and convenient communication. But wait, there’s more: location, location, location.
Whitehall Cottages is one block from downtown, but restaurants and shopping continue for two miles out past the freeway. And it’s only a five minute walk to White Lake. And a two minute drive to Montague. And fifteen minutes to Lake Michigan. This place has the location thing nailed.
On the following map, you’ll see Whitehall Cottages almost dead center. Oh, and check out the photo Google is using: it’s mine! I’m dutiful about posting reviews and photos of you name it. Immediately after posting my review, Google featured my photo—and in less than a week it’s already been viewed over 2,000 times!
The next time we’re planning a trip to the White Lake area, Whitehall Cottages can count on my looking to be booking with them.
Thanks, folks, for reclaiming this old motel and creating an un-hidden gem—not to mention the No Smoking or Marijuana Use sign that’s prominent on the door.