After spending two August weeks at Hearthside Grove Motorcoach Resort in Petoskey, Michigan, allow me to cut to the chase and state this is the most luxurious motorcoach resort I’ve visited to date.
So, what makes a motorcoach resort earn such a bold comment? The easy answer is a combination of factors:
- Quality of Improvements
- Lush Landscaping
- Lot Privacy
- Generously Sized Lots
At the end of this post you’ll find a video where I interview Kirk Rose, the Proprietor and one of the owners of this development. We openly discussed a variety of topics that should answer just about any question a visitor or prospective purchaser may have prior to driving North to Petoskey, Michigan.
The Ten Year Old Rule
Of the topics discussed in the video, one was to clarify information that I had read on the forums and it’s related to Hearthside Grove’s policy that restricts usage to motorhomes that are less than ten years old. While you’ll hear Rose’s response in the video, allow me to provide my opinion and state that I fully understand the reasoning and it’s similar in concept to the rules found in various homeowner communities around the country. I’ll add there’s a pride of ownership provision in this rule and that does allow coaches older than ten years old to stay the community. If you want to visit, just give them a call and be prepared to send a photo. Judging by what I saw on the property, as long as your coach is well kept, it’s likely you’ll gain an approval.
Having decided to spend this Summer escaping the Florida humidity in my 2014 Marathon Prevost, I traveled to Hearthside Grove for a 21 day visit after a month-long stay at Mountain Falls Motorcoach Resort in Lake Toxaway, NC. So far, I’ve been happy with the resort selections and as reported in a previous post, I left Mountain Falls with a positive impression and a strong desire to return next Summer as the views and environment are simply spectacular.
As stated in that review, I feel Mountain Falls is more than just a motorcoach resort and due to the amenities, it could be considered a country club. However, the location can be best described as remote and ingress/egress requires patience navigating through some tight mountain passes. Hearthside Grove on the other hand was much easier to access and located within a half hour of I-75.
Hearthside Grove is conveniently located to a variety of desirable destinations, restaurants and venues and Petoskey, Michigan is a truly a pleasant place to vacation. While I’m not sure this Floridian would want to spend the winters in Northern Michigan, I can’t say there’s a better weather spot to spend a Summer as the August temperatures saw highs in the mid-70’s and lows in the 60’s. The humidity is scant and the bugs were few and far between. Petoskey’s scenic waterfront stretches through the town and shopping for just about anything, or finding a large assortment of restaurants is just a few minute drive from the front gates. Local bicycling is an activity that’s supported by 30 miles of dedicated trails that are located within a half mile of the Hearthside Grove entrance.
What Makes This Resort Unique?
What truly separates Hearthside Grove from other resorts I’ve visited are the large lot sizes, generous use of green space and lush landscaping that provides ambience and privacy. There’s also an abundance of decorative water features that border many of the lots and set a relaxing tone. Instead of attempting to describe the surroundings, I’ll let the pictures tell the story. Just click the photos and browse the gallery.
…during the Summer months you’re hard pressed to find a more pleasant weather environment.
During the first portion of my stay I was assigned Lot #80. While this is one of the smaller lots, it was the largest I had ever had the pleasure of staying. Like many other lots in this section of the community this lot featured a 200 square foot, fully-featured bungalow (aka, tiny house) that provided a kitchen, full bath and a living room with a sofa that expanded into a comfortable bed. Upstairs there’s a loft with two twin mattresses that would be ideal for children. It’s perfect as a guest house or just having the additional kitchen space and a shower that’s separate from the coach. While rentals start at $150 per night, because the lot I reserved had a bungalow that could be used for my guest, the fee was $250 per night. Yes, Hearthside Grove is a luxury motorcoach resort and it’s not for the faint of wallet. But, I will say that I received what I paid for as the community is very well maintained, safe and a pleasant place to visit.
WiFi, Internet and Cable
In this day and age, having an internet connection is a necessity. While there’s free WiFi in the common areas, each section of the community has its own method of cable/internet connections. The lot I rented included its own WiFi setup that, evidenced by my uploading of the RadMini folding bike review videos, delivered strong broadband speeds. However, the cable was lackluster and delivered a square, antiquated image.
Even with the tall trees my coach’s HD motorized DirecTV dish provided a strong signal and I didn’t have the need for cable. For coaches that have both a motorized and an In Motion satellite dish, I’ll say that while I have full access to all channel offerings on the HD dish, the DirecTV In Motion antenna could not detect local channels as they were located on a satellite that was not accessible from this footprint of the provider’s coverage. I’ll add that if you’re looking for over the air local TV, don’t bother as this remote section of the USA didn’t have coverage that my coach could find.
I’ll sum up this story by saying that as long as you’re not a price sensitive traveler and are seeking the best of the best and excellent Summer weather, Hearthside Grove needs to be on your must visit list. I hope to return next Summer.
However, there’s one thing I would like for them to correct and oddly enough, I’m noticing this same flaw with a number of motorcoach resorts…driving directions. If you use the Google Map link provided by the resort, it will guide you to an inconvenient exit from I-75. Please note that when visiting, take exit 310 and your GPS will guide you to the entrance. I’ll add that in a perfect world, every resort will have two sets of directions, with one providing turn-by-turn directions to the resort and the other having directions back to the highway. Yes, I’m nit-picking, but when driving a 45′ motorcoach, having accurate directions is a very good thing!
For more information, go to www.HearthsideGrove.com or call: 888-476-8388.