Help us support Toys for Tots this year!

toys for tots

The season of giving is near, and this year, Lakeshore Lodging is choosing to celebrate by supporting Toys for Tots.

The Toys for Tots program is one that’s close to our hearts, delivering a message of hope to less fortunate children through a new toy at Christmas.

If you’ve witnessed the singular joy the gift of a new toy can bring a child, you know its power. Toys for Tots brings that joy to millions of children who would not otherwise experience it every year. The program brings the warmth and spirit of the Christmas holiday to less fortunate kids all around the country.

This year, with your help, we’d like to support the mission of Toys for Tots with a donation.

toys for totsLakeshore Lodging is a Toys for Tots drop-off location

From November 21 through December 21, we’ll be accepting toy donations for Toys for Tots. If you have a new, unwrapped toy you want to donate, stop by our office in Saugatuck to drop it off.

But that’s not the only way we’re supporting the program. Guests who don’t have a toy to donate can help, too.

1 early check in or late check out = 1 toy

When you add on an early check in or late check out to your existing or future stay arriving between November 21 and December 21, 2018, Lakeshore Lodging will donate one toy (up to a $25 value) to Toys for Tots. For $50, you can either start your vacation early or keep it going a little longer, and you’ll be supporting a great cause.

Join us in spreading the Christmas spirit to those who might not otherwise experience it. Add a little charity to your vacation, and help us support this exemplary program.

Find a great vacation rental to call home, and book your stay with Lakeshore Lodging today.

We love Saugatuck/Douglas: This is how we show it.

The Saugatuck/Douglas Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is holding a referendum to increase the lodging assessment from 2 percent to 5 percent. For it to pass, lodging partners of the bureau need to vote in favor of collecting this higher “tax” from their guests.

Lakeshore Lodging is voting in favor of increasing the assessment.

Here’s why: We know Saugatuck/Douglas is awesome, and we want more people to know it too.

This area is unlike any other. You know the singular feeling it inspires. You feel it every time you come back after being away. It’s a sigh of relief. A breath of fresh lake breeze. A warm greeting from a neighbor, who knows exactly what you’re feeling. You’re both in on a secret only those of us lucky enough to live, work and play here understand. Do we keep it ourselves, or do we indulge in the joy that comes with sharing it?

If we want to shout about our love for Saugatuck/Douglas from the rooftops, this bureau is our collective megaphone. Funding its development into a more professional Destination Management Organization is our best opportunity to create cohesive messaging that represents how wonderfully unique this place is, and then broadcast it so well that it is heard above anything else. Yes, we can do that, and we can look darn good while doing it. The work has already started, but there’s much more to do.

Lakeshore Lodging is voting in favor of increasing the assessment because we know it is what’s best for Saugatuck/Douglas. We’re doing this because we see a direct connection between this initiative and the continued success of our community as a whole. It’s for our kids, our friends and neighbors, our clients, our guests, and the businesses and workers that serve us all.

We view this vote as our civic responsibility—and a love letter to this place we’re so lucky to call home.

#BookDirect with Lakeshore Lodging and save

#bookdirect

If you usually book your vacation rentals through websites like HomeAway, Airbnb and Booking.com, you’re probably paying too much. 

Many people who book vacation rentals do so through these online travel agencies (or OTAs). These websites make it easy to see a variety of homes your vacation destination has to offer. But you may not realize that such a service comes at a cost–one that is attached to the price you pay to book the home and can add up to hundreds of dollars.

There’s a simple way to avoid paying that extra cash: Book directly with the vacation rental manager who listed the home. Today, vacation rental managers like us are celebrating #BookDirect day—a day designed to inform our guests about the benefits of choosing to book direct.

How to #BookDirect

Online travel agencies don’t link to the property managers’ websites for obvious reasons–they want to discourage you from avoiding the fees they charge. But a simple Google search of the property manager’s name (e.g. Lakeshore Lodging) will take you right to their website, where you’ll not only find the property you’re looking for at a better price, but a variety of beautiful homes you might not have seen otherwise.

There’s plenty of reasons to choose to book directly with the property manager you’re staying with. Here are our top three.

3 reasons to #BookDirect

Save serious cash

The fee OTAs add to reservations made through them can add up to hundreds of dollars. But the service you receive from the people you book with is the same. Why choose to pay so much more for the same service? You have the freedom to avoid those costs by simply choosing to book direct.

Find homes you might not see on OTAs

Vacation rental managers don’t always list all of their rentals on online travel agencies. You might miss out on a home that’s even more perfect for your vacation than the one you found on HomeAway or Airbnb. Be sure to visit the vacation rental manager’s website to see all of the available offerings.

Support local small business

The vacation rental managers who list their properties on OTAs are often small businesses who call your vacation destination home. When you book direct, you’re choosing to directly support their business.

Lakeshore Lodging supports regatta to benefit Hospice of Holland

aqua vista lakeshore lodging

Win a fall getaway at a new Lakeshore Lodging property and support quality hospice and palliative care

Lakeshore Lodging is honored to announce that we are sponsoring the VanderLeek Cup Hospice Regatta. The regatta will benefit Hospice of Holland, and Yacht Basin Marina will host.

Hospice of Holland is dedicated to providing high-quality hospice and palliative care in West Michigan, and all proceeds from the regatta will help them do just that.

Lakeshore Lodging has donated a three-night fall getaway at one of our newest properties, Aqua Vista, for auction. This property is not yet available to rent through our other channels, so this is an exclusive opportunity to check out a luxurious home.

lakeshore lodging aqua vista

 

The highest bidder will win a stay (either October 20-23 or 27-30) at the spacious four bedroom, four bathroom home. Aqua Vista has 100 feet of private Lake Michigan beach frontage and easily accommodates up to 14 guests. A gorgeous screened-in gazebo on the bluff overlooks the lake, and there’s a campfire in the backyard.

That’s not all

But the deal doesn’t end with the stay. The winning bidder will also receive a private catered dinner by chef Edmund Morgon, and Brew Merchant will provide 32 bottles of beer and cider and two bottles of wine.

There’s lots of fun fall activities happening in the Saugatuck area on both of the available weekends. Win the auction, and you’ll get the fall vacation of your dreams and support a great cause.

aqua vista lakeshore lodging

 

The regatta, which takes place August 19, promises great events, food, and music. Over 750 people are expected to attend the sailing regatta, dinghy poker run, dinner, auctions, and dancing.

Interested in joining in on the fun? Register for the events you’d like to attend here. Deadline for registration is today. For your chance to bid on a fall stay at Aqua Vista, make sure you register for the dinner.

Learn more on the regatta’s official website.

Lakeshore Lodging celebrates military families with $2k donation to Blue Star Mothers

blue star mothers

We did it

Thanks to the guests who stayed with us in May, Lakeshore Lodging was able to present Blue Star Mothers South Kent 191 with a $2,000 check on Wednesday, June 14—Flag Day.

During our month-long campaign, we committed to donating $10 for every night booked in May to the local Blue Star Mothers chapter with the goal of booking 200 nights. We only nearly missed our goal, booking 188 nights.

“It goes without saying that Lakeshore will make up the difference to give Blue Star Mothers our goal $2,000 donation,” said Mark Mikolitis, president of Lakeshore Lodging.

Our vacation planner Natalie Mika is a member of the South Kent 191 chapter of Blue Star Mothers, an organization which raises funds for military causes and acts as a support group for military moms. She and her son Noah, who is a member of the United States Army, inspired the promotion.

“Everyone on the team at Lakeshore is really a family member. As we look at the causes that are important to each other, this is one that stood out for our teammate and friend Natalie, with her son serving over in Poland right now,” Mikolitis said. “We thought, ‘What a perfect thing to do,’ especially during the month of May.”

We want extend a heartfelt “thank you” to the guests who chose to stay at our vacation rental properties in the month of May.

“Thank you so much for joining us during a beautiful celebration of our veterans,” Mikolitis said.

Your support means so much to us.

We’re dedicated to continuing to support Saugatuck area charities and causes in order to give back to the community that gives all of us so much.

Why we’re supporting Blue Star Mothers this May

Natalie Mika is one of Lakeshore Lodging’s vacation planners. Every day, she helps prospective guests build their dream vacations. But when she goes home, she’s a mom to three children. Her 19-year-old son Noah (pictured left) is a member of the United States Army, and he’s the reason Natalie decided to join Blue Star Mothers earlier this year.

What is Blue Star Mothers

Blue Star Mothers is a nationwide organization of mothers, stepmothers, foster mothers, and female legal guardians who have children in the military or who are veterans. There are chapters all around the United States, and each one supports their local service members, veterans, and military family members in various ways. They also function as a support group for military mothers.

Why our Vacation Planner Natalie joined Blue Star Mothers

Natalie is a member of the South Kent, Michigan chapter, and that’s the chapter Lakeshore Lodging is raising funds for this May*. She learned about it from her neighbor, whose cousin was the president of the Blue Star Mothers Department of Michigan. She joined when the stress of being a military mom hit a fever pitch.

“I called her one day, and I was like a basket case,” Natalie said.

The pressures and worries of having her son away in the military were building up, and she needed an outlet. The president gave her the number of the South Kent chapter, and Natalie arranged to meet up with some of its members.

“I was looking for something that was more supportive and understanding and could help me process my thoughts and feelings,” Natalie said.

“We’ve had a lot of obstacles even with him being in the service,” she said. “He had to grow up really quick and take on adult responsibilities that most kids his age don’t.”

On top of the inherent stresses of being separated from her young son, Natalie found that being in the military didn’t really help Noah with the challenges of being forced into early adulthood. Once while traveling, Noah needed a place to stay but couldn’t get a hotel room because he was too young, despite his status as a service member.

The military doesn’t necessarily pay well, either.

“People in the military don’t make this great amount of money,” Natalie said. “(Noah’s) step sister works at Taco Bell part time, and she nets more than he grosses in a month.” He has expenses that can be difficult to handle on that kind of budget.

“It frustrates me, because I see the struggle with him and he shouldn’t have to struggle with any of that. Money should not be an issue. He should not have to worry about getting a bill paid because he doesn’t make enough money in the military,” she said.

Channeling energy into advocacy

So Natalie channels that frustration into her advocacy. She became a dues-paying member of Blue Star Mothers in February. Through the activities they do, Natalie is able to support her son and service members like him.

“We need to be helping them, first and foremost,” she said.

The South Kent chapter of Blue Star Mothers works with the local veterans hospital and sends care packages to troops and their family members. They also support “Gold Star Mothers,” or mothers who have lost their service member. They have a big golf outing on June 24 to raise general funds.

Natalie has taken particular interest in helping improve the care package program, and is grateful that the organization allows its members to send care packages to their own children as well.

More than anything, she appreciates the camaraderie the organization provides her.

“It’s kind of like a sisterhood,” she said.

We support Blue Star Mothers

For Natalie, Noah, and all service members and their families, Lakeshore Lodging is donating $10 for every night of paid occupancy in May. There’s still time for you to join us.

Book a last minute stay in May. We still have multiple properties with Memorial Day availability. Celebrate the holiday and help us get closer to our goal of donating $2000 to Blue Star Mothers – South Kent Michigan 191. Check our website for availability

*For every paid night of occupancy in May, 2017 Lakeshore Lodging is donating $10 to Blue Star Mothers – South Kent Michigan 191. This donation will be made on June 14, 2017 (Flag Day).