If you’ve ever wandered down historic 6th Street and Washington in Traverse City and wondered what it would be like to live in those huge Victorian homes then this is for you. The Wellington Inn is opening their doors to the community for the 11th season in a celebration of old fashioned Christmas spirit. I stopped by the Inn this week for a behind-the-scenes peek at what’s to come this weekend and next during their annual Inn at Christmastime extravaganza.
Digging Around in the Lost and Found
How many times do you check your belongings, dig through suitcases and peruse the room before closing the hotel door on the final day of vacation? If you’re anything like me, about a dozen. And yet, we still leave important items behind.
When I was a child we traveled often on weekends for my father’s business as an event promoter. Late night check-ins and early morning dashes to the van to get back on the road meant we often left essential items behind in our hotel room. Not on purpose of course, but it’s bound to happen when you’re in a hurry, or if you travel often enough.
A recent trip with my dad brought back memories of those excursions. And I started to wonder. What are the most common items hotel guests leave behind when they visit Northern Michigan?
Since I just happen to work with over 60 hotels in the Traverse City area, I thought I’d take a little survey and report the results.
The 5 most common items Northern Michigan hotel guests leave behind
#5 Swim suits
#4 Toiletries (shampoo, toothpaste, razors, etc.)
#1 Cell phone chargers
I’m sure the number one answer comes as no surprise. In fact, cell phone chargers are the number one item left behind in hotels worldwide. A study last year by Holiday Inn and Holiday Express in the UK revealed 42,000 cell phone chargers left behind in their hotels in one year. What’s more surprising is their collective value: nearly $1 million!
What Else Did They Leave?
Forget the most common items, what’s more entertaining is discovering what area visitors forgot in the closet, stashed in the safe and inexplicably left behind. Our survey of Traverse City area hotels revealed several stories, ranging from the odd to the downright embarrassing. Here’s our list of the top five.
Top 5 Most Unusual Items Hotel Guests Left Behind
#5 Adult toys
As you might expect, underwear and lingerie are often discovered after check-out. And more than a few hotels reported adult toys among the mix. We’ll spare you the EEEW factor and other details. This is a family-friendly website after all.
#4 False teeth
OK, I understand that you have to remove them for cleaning, and could accidentally leave them behind in a glass on the sink or something. But honestly, how do you forget them? And how often do you leave them behind that you can’t remember the last time you had them??
#3 A walker
Discovering a walker accidently misplaced, or folded neatly in the closet may not be all that unexpected. But finding one sitting in the parking lot at the center of a handicapped space gives it a ranking on my strange-o-meter. As Alanis says, "isn’t it ironic?"
#2 A police-issue 9mm handgun
Placed in the safe for security it was left behind. Unfortunately for the officer, that’s a big no-no. The hotel reported it and the officer got in big trouble with the department.
#1 Cremated urn of ashes
This one I just can’t paraphrase. An anonymous hotel found, "An urn of cremated ashes, yes of a person. When contacted the son said ‘throw him in the dumpster’. We tracked down a daughter who was happy to accept." Strangely enough that same survey respondant also listed "human leg and hip bones from a doctor who does replacement surgeries." Truth is stranger than fiction.
How to Keep Your Items out of the Lost and Found
It seems to me, we have all need to spend a few extra minutes packing and double-checking before we leave behind something essential…or embarassing.
Staple it inside your suitcase, tuck it in your purse or duct tape it to your tailgate if you have to. Whatever works for you.
Have a great Up North Michigan vacation this summer. And may you, and your belongings, make it home safely.
The Wellington Inn presents its Seventh Annual “Inn at Christmastime”
On December 4th and 5th (5 pm – 8 pm), & December 6th (1pm – 4 pm) the century old Wellington Inn will host it’s annual fundraiser for the Grand Traverse Historical Society. Experience an old fashioned Christmas at this beautifully restored 1905 neoclassical mansion in Traverse City’s historic Boardman neighborhood.
Area florists and artisans have ‘decked the halls’ with a spectacular display of holiday designs and decorations. Tour the entire Mansion while enjoying holiday entertainment by local musicians and refreshments provided by local businesses in the third floor ballroom.
Many displays will be available for purchase through participating designers.
Tickets are $15 at the door.
Proceeds will benefit THE GRAND TRAVERSE HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Family portraits can be scheduled in advance with Windborne Photographic 231-946-2940
For more information call 231-922-9900 or visit www.WellingtonInn.com
Charming Carriage House still has Room at the Inn
When I roam around the county filling displays at hotels, motels, resorts and wineries I try to take a moment and chat with the owners and staff. I stopped this week at the Wellington Inn in Traverse City and was surprised to learn that there was still room available in the carriage house this summer. Since I’ve never taken a tour of the property I asked Barb if she’d mind showing me around.
The carriage house was the first building to be renovated when Barb and Hank Richel purchased the Inn in 1999. The care and attention to detail of the property is evident everywhere you look. From the well maintained exterior to the antiquities it holds, the carriage house, and the Inn next door, is a perfect Traverse City getaway.
There are two apartments located on the upper level of this former barn. Even as we entered the stairwell I couldn’t help but enjoy the collision of past and present. An antique original wallpaper mural guides us to the stairway and the apartments above. We opened the door to the first and walked into a casual comfortable place. The decor is French Country. Our view roamed from the tiny, but full-service period kitchen, to the living space and bright windows. There are two bedrooms which share one bath in this apartment. Each beautifully decorated with an attention to detail and nod to history and comfort. Guests leave their thanks and compliments in a notebook on the dresser for future dwellers to enjoy.
The second apartment is slightly larger, with 2 bedrooms and 2 baths. The light from the windows pours into the room and illuminates the Rishel’s attention to detail. Art Deco decor can be found throughout, from the fixtures to the artwork. And the condition of the pieces is amazing. The stamped velvet couch is vintage 1930s and it’s the origianal covering. The rooms are filled with antiques, many of which have been lovingly restored by Barb and Hank.
The Wellington Inn Bed & Breakfast is located in the heart of Traverse City. Guests are within walking distance of shopping, dining, galleries, the State Theater and of course, Grand Traverse Bay. Whether you stay in grand elegance at the historic 1905 Inn, or in pristine comfort at the carriage house, The Wellington Inn will not disappoint.
I doubt these apartments will last long, so contact The Wellington Inn today while there’s still room this summer. For more information on the Wellington Inn visit their website at www.wellingtoninn.com or give Barb a call at 877-968-9900.
Our congratulations go out to Russ Cole, general manager of the Best Western Four Seasons Resort in Traverse City for his recent honor as 2008 Hotelier of the Year. The award was presented by the Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association at their Driving Tourism 2008 conference in Grand Rapids.
With the renovation of the website Meal Tickets & Unusual Ideas® will finally offer advertising opportunities to area resorts. The unique card displays have always featured restaurants, activities and destinations in an effort to provide visitors with a great selection when they arrive in the area. But what about when they are planning their trip? One of the goals for the new website is to provide potential Traverse Area visitors with information before they arrive. And possibly the first decision they make is where to stay.
The new website provides area hotels, motels, and resorts of all sizes the opportunity to advertise with a banner ad on Mealtickets.com. When placed, an ad will appear on several pages throughout the site, thus increasing the exposure. More than 70 locations already receive advertising exposure on the website within the lodging listing. The banner ads will increase their visibilty and allow for the promotion of seasonal packages or special rates.
For more information on advertising with Meal Tickets & Unusual Ideas® visit the Advertise with Us page or call 231.275.6105.