reviews for: listing #26137 - South Haven, Michigan Cottage rental

Three By The Sea - Perfect for Large Family Gatherings!
  • bedrooms  6
  • pool  no
  • type  Cottage
  • baths  4
  • hot tub  no
  • community 
  • sleeps  17
  • pets allowed  no
  • rates (USD) $200 - $575 /nt
    $2,425 - $2,925 /wk

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Great for multiple families! We LOVED IT!!!!

Review submitted: February 5, 2013   Date of arrival: August 18, 2012

I've been meaning to write for awhile...and now as we plan for this summer I wanted to be sure to get this review posted! If you are looking for a relaxing environment with character, walking distance to the beach and town, this is your place! I stayed here with my husband and 1 yr old along with three siblings + their spouses & kids, and my parents. We would rent again in a heartbeat! Ilse (owner) was amazing - very responsive to my emails & questions and made herself readily available if there were any problems (there weren't any!). The whole property is very family friendly - from the board games inside to the basketball hoop to the bikes, etc in the garage. It would also be great for multiple couples without kids or just a group of friends. It was perfect for us because it has a "lived in" feel...clean, cute, and comfortable. Having a house, apartment, and extra space (Shiela's Shack) was perfect - multiple kitchens and common areas...enough space to hang with the family or get away from the family when needed :) I don't understand the negative reviews - it's a "beach house" - although I wouldn't hesitate to rent any time of year. Shiela's Shack was very clean but had a slightly musty smell. Again, what do you expect from a "beach house"? We just opened the doors & windows to air it out a bit as I'm sure it's not always rented. But it was PERFECTLY CLEAN and COZY. So... if you are expecting top of the line kitchens, appliances, and fancy furniture then look elsewhere. But if you want a comfortable place where you can walk to the beach and walk to town, this is a great rental! If you don't book both of the main units I suppose there is potential to have issues, but there is certainly enough space and separate entrances to minimize contact with your neighbors. One thing - the water is listed as about 3 blocks away. This is true but the entrance to the beach is a little further. Definitely doable - and we had wagons & strollers for the babies & toddlers but the others (4 - 5 year olds) walked just fine. Enjoy it! GREAT RENTAL!!!! And Ilse is wonderful!!!

Recommended for: families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, tourists without a car

Helpful votes: 3 / 3


Perfect For Our Family

Review submitted: July 17, 2012   Date of arrival: June 2, 2012

Three By the Sea is just perfect for our large family! This was our third year to stay there. Our family comes in from TX, AR, and MO. An easy 7-8 hr drive from St. Louis and those flying in come in to South Bend. Three By the Sea is an easy walk or bike ride to the beach and park and even closer to downtown South Haven. We have plenty of room to spread out between the 3 units and the bikes, basketball goal, and beach gear are in constant use by our children and grandchildren. The owner is very responsive to questions and concerns. We can't wait to return next summer.

Recommended for: families with young children

Helpful votes: 1 / 1


Fine, but by no means excellent

Review submitted: July 5, 2012   Date of arrival: June 23, 2012

We stayed here the last week of June 2012. We had 10 adults and 2 young children(2 and 9 months). Things I liked about the place: walkable to everything-downtown and the beach. Now we had young children so we had more stuff than comfortable walking three blocks, even with the beach burley they had so we drove down and dropped stuff off. New furniture than the pictures online. The bikes provided were also great, aside from the tricycle my son loved but the push/steer lever on the back was broken so made it almost impossible for him to ride. It would have been nice to know that they provide a bike trailer as well, that was a nice added bonus for us with young children. We liked the basketball hoop and large yard to play in. Here are some things that they advertise but were NOT there: kayaks, we were very disappointed about that, especially since they specifically said they provide them. There is no hammock on the front porch anymore and no air chair that is in some of the pictures as well. Here are things I specifically didn't like: the floors in both larger units were in desperate need of repair. Linoleum was coming up and was a tripping/cut your foot hazard. The carpet in Surfer Joe could use replacing, I am not a germ freak, but I didn't feel comfortable putting my 9 month old on the floor in there without blankets down. The worst thing was probably Sheila's Shack. DO NOT waste your money. I would have asked the owner for a refund for that place but the rest of the family didn't want to. I would not have stayed in there. The screen door was ripped and the place had bugs EVERYWHERE. In the shower, and the bed. We told the owner this when we met her on our last day there and she wanted to blame the cleaning crew, bugs aren't their fault!!! Now when camping or in a cabin in the woods you expect bugs, but not in this type of place. The bathroom does not have a sink or mirror, which was not conveyed in the advertising. The only sink is in the kitchenette. There is NO place in there to put any clothes away or even leave a suitcase on the floor with your clothes in it. It would be nice if they put up some shelves or something to put clothes in or on. My mother-in-law had her clothes laid out on the floor on a towel until she decided she needed to move into the main house. The rest of the family who didn't have young children enjoyed their time here, and we did too, but if I returned to South Haven I would look for something newer and more updated.

Helpful votes: 5 / 6



Review submitted: August 3, 2011   Date of arrival: July 30, 2011

All problems mentioned in previous review have been speedily remedied, at great effort by the owners. It is clear that they care very deeply about our comfort. They have been very generous in offering a huge gift certificate to the finest local restaurant to help heal our initial discomfort. The location is great- we can walk anywhere we need to go. Especially great is the huge kitchen table, around which our card and scrabble playing family has enjoyed hours of fun. The wireless internet is also handy. Yes, anyone could have a great time at Three By the Sea.

Helpful votes: 4 / 5


this place is rotten

Review submitted: August 1, 2011   Date of arrival: July 30, 2011

This place is rotten. There was rotten food in the refrigerators. Beds bare, with the dirty linens here for us wash. The garden and flower pots are filled with weeds. There were dirty dishes in the dish washer. The stand alone unit, advertised as air conditioned, is NOT. Along with the stifling heat, that unit lacks a door knob, the shelf is broken, curtains are missing from a window through which the neighbors have a clear view, another shelf in the bathroom is broken, and the ceiling fan is loud. Our phone calls went unanswered for days For the price we have paid for these accommodations to be our home for a five family reunion with our aging parents, we could not be more disappointed. The owner obviously does not care about the condition of her property or for the experience of her renters. I hope that no one else is cheated out of a week of comfort by wasting their money here. The only benefit: the discomfort and annoyances have brought our extended family together. A vacation to remember, indeed.

Owners response: This was written by one member of the family. The rest were deeply grateful for the manner in which we addressed each issue promptly and the fact that we went to great lengths to make her happy. They did not go for days without response. It was one day and as soon as the message was received we immediately drove one hour to the property to investigate, found the window unit for the carriage house missing. Due to the unusual heat, all a/c units were sold out in South Haven and most surrounding cities. We located one in Holland, Michigan and drove all the way up there to get it and install it immediately in the carriage house.

As for the bedding, that was 100% the fault of our cleaning service. We fired the cleaning crew immediately and had a new crew sent in to make it right. As rental owners, these are the unthinkable things that can occur. Our cleaning service was well paid and was expected to deliver the usual positive result, but it didn't happen. Naturally this would be upsetting to a guest, and her confidence in us would be shaken, but she wrote this response during the stay as a way of relieving her frustration, thereby injuring the wrong people. It was the fault of Coastal Concierge, not Three by the Sea, LLC. We pride ourselves on making our customers happy.

Finally, to the weeds in the window box. We put in hundreds of dollars of flowers each year and we pay to have someone come and water them several days per week. The growth of plants is very robust in SouthbHaven and it can be hard to keep up. We do pay someone to care for it, and perhaps they didn't do a good job for us that week. However, we have generally been pleased with her work, and frankly, we don't know of a single other property owner in town who invests in the flowers we do for their guests enjoyment and pays to have someone come and water them to maintain their beauty.

Finally, the rest of the family wrote an apologetic rebuttal to this member's review, but I don't see it here now.

Helpful votes: 6 / 6


An Practical Place by the Sea

Review submitted: July 19, 2011   Date of arrival: June 25, 2011

This place was truly perfect for our families. We rented out all three units and there were 15 of us altogether (7 adults, 8 kids). We had a great time. Overall, this place is clean and practical, but certainly not luxurious. Most things at the house were in good working order, but it isn't the Four Seasons. Here are a few quick pros and cons:

* Location -- very close to both the beach (South Beach) and the town. It was an easy five minute walk to both. When we went in late June, the beach was not crowded.
* Space -- the house was laid out nicely for a weeklong beach vacation.
* Bikes -- There are probably like 7-10 bikes in the garage. All the bikes worked, but you won't be riding in the Tour de France. They will get you to the beach and back just fine.
* Kayaks -- There are three kayaks for use. We used one and had a blast.
* Yard Space -- there is a great side yard with a basketball court. The kids spent tons of time playing in the yard space.
* Wi-fi -- This is not advertised, but I was glad to have wi-fi that worked well.

* Not luxurious. Clean and functional for sure, but not luxurious. For example, some of the windows did not stay open.
* Outdoor eating space was a bit scant.
* The coach house is really only a sleeping quarters.

Recommended for: age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers

Helpful votes: 6 / 6


Review submitted: July 15, 2008   Date of arrival: July 15, 2008

We had a family reunion with people at three by the sea and four by the shore. We had a wonderful time at the beach and in town. The homes were comfortable and well-equipped, especially with the large inventory of bikes. We had one great day of surfing on Lake Michigan after a storm. I recommend reading "Bel Canto" from the library in the hammock.

Helpful votes: 1 / 1


Review submitted: July 11, 2008   Date of arrival: July 11, 2008

We've stayed at three by the sea for three years now. The location in South Haven is unbeatable. Two blocks from downtown and two blocks from the stairs leading to South Beach. I enjoy dozing in the hammock on the wrap around porch while my kids play basketball. We hit the shops, the great restaurants, and enjoy walks around the harbor area. The accomodations are quite comfortable, and their is plenty of room inside the house for dining and relaxation as well. I would highly recommend this vacation property for anyone wanting to get away from it all and relax for a week in the summer!

Helpful votes: 2 / 2


Review submitted: July 7, 2008   Date of arrival: July 7, 2008

This rental property has a very cute, yellow Cape Cod exterior appearance, and a neat side deck and back patio complete with flowers and a garden. There's a nicely stocked garage complete with a new and clean BBQ and lots of bicycles/cruisers, which are a wonderful way to explore the nearby town and coffee shops. Beach is about 8 blocks away, and a nice bike ride. Town is quaint and can be thoroughly explored in a day or two. This home is spacious and inviting; albeit simply appointed. It's perfect for a trip with extended family b/c of the attached yet separate other 2 residences...all in all, there is the Maggie's Retreat, Joe's Surf Hut (name?) and Sheila's Shack. That way, in-laws are close and yet so far...perfect!

Owners response: Correction: This property is 3 blocks to beach, not 8 (see map).

Helpful votes: 2 / 2


Reviews are the subjective opinions of travelers and not of, Inc.

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