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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Heaven On Lake! Game Room! Sandy Beach! One week left Summer 2018!

Bedrooms 4
Space 2,800 sq ft
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 - 7 nights


About the property

House, 4 Bedrooms, Sun Porch, 3 Baths, (Sleeps 10-12)

* 4 bedrooms, 3 baths. Waterfront Home, Steps from the water! Spectacular sunsets and views of Grand Traverse Bay. This place is heaven. Owner always making updates and keeps the place spectacular! Easily accommodates large families.

* Gameroom with foosball, ping pong, Yamaha digital piano, basketball game, karaoke.

* This is the place to make memories. As one guest said, 'This has been one of the best times of my life. It just doesn't get any better than this!'

*100 feet of private beach. Kayak, sail, swim, fly a kite or walk on miles of beach right outside your door.

*Shallow, sandy waters perfect for young children.

*Tankless hot water heater provides an endless supply of hot water.

*No less than 300 count sheets and fluffy towels available.

*New furnishings, sleep 10-12 in comfort. Plenty of room to spread out.

*Grocery store 5 minutes away.

*Fine dining at nearby Rowe Inn one of Michigan's most acclaimed restaurants.

*Plenty of parking as cottage is located on 1.5 wooded acres.

*Four season location spot. Ski, snowboard, or snowmobiling, close by in the winter season.

*Boat launch 5 minutes away. Room for boat and trailer on property.

*See link under price for additional photos.


Comments From Previous Rentals:

Hi Denise. We are home now, and enjoyed our stay up north sooo much! Everyone who visited us loved it as well. My great niece who is 8 said that she's coming back next year! So over the course of 5 weeks, we had my sister-in-law and family, my twin sister and family, our daughter and family, our son and family, 3 couples. Plus Terry and I had time to ourselves which was nice, too.

We rented a pontoon boat, and docked it at a friend's home over on Torch Lake for a week. We all double-dogged off the back, even the 3 and 4 year olds. Our kayak got a lot of use by everyone, including those 3 and 4 year olds again. The paddle boat was great. It was great having adults and children having fun together. We found lots of Petoskey stones, and all the children really had fun with that. Of course, we had our paella night, plus this year we had campfire nights. Roasted hotdogs, made individual pans of nachos, beach beans and s'mores all over the fire. I took my autoharp, and the children and I sang campfire songs for the adults. We also ordered a Blue Lagoon Floating Island which we anchored out in the water. The kids loved swimming off of it. Our challenge was deflating it and trying to get it dry during the rain on Friday, plus fitting it in our car. But we did!

We took one family into Charlevoix for kids day at the park during Venitian. And if you like Cajun food, we would recommend Pearls in Elk Rapids. Nice kids menu, too.

We did drive through Bellaire on Saturday on our way to play golf and stay at Shanty Creek before heading home. I found some neat shops which I will definitely have to visit next year.

Oh, the kids and adults loved the game room especially on those few rainy days.

Anyway, it was a wonderful time there. As usual, everything we needed was right there at our fingertips. And everyone was very careful about being neat and keeping things clean. We wanted to leave the house in excellent condition again. So excited to come back for our 3 weeks again next summer!


Dear Denise; The house is special, there is no denying that. But what makes it even more special is your attention to detail, responsiveness to my calls, and most importantly top notch customer service. This is our third year back and each year the house get nicer; like installing the new game room. You take notice of the little things other property owners miss; and that makes all the difference.

Sonya & her family.



Oh my goodness, if we had had more fun it would have been a sin!! I got 'Travel Agent Of the Year' awards from my friends. We were blown away by your cottage. It was beautiful and just fit us to a T. Everyone said that this trip was the best of all 5 years prior to this one and we've gone to the Dells, Mackinac Island, etc. But what it also was was that we didn't run all over the place, going, going all the time. With all the beautiful hiking and walks on the beach, etc, we just stayed put and it was wonderful. We're all very busy women and for all nine of us to just 'be' was fantastic. I think we have decided that we want to come back again next year, but it's a little too far out to try and plan the 'when'. Several of us have grandbabies on the way and things like that, so we're not sure about when it will work for next year. We usually try for September sometime so I'll let you know!

Again, thank you so much! It was a fantastic vacation...the weather wasn't the best, but it didn't matter!! Oh, by the way, your beach might be minus a few Petoskey stones:)



Hi Denise--We're back in Ohio and we wish we were back on White Pines Drive. We loved every minute of our two weeks there. You have created a warm, comfortable, cozy yet spacious home that we thoroughly enjoyed. We loved all the special decorating touches, especially some of the mirrors! Everything that we could possibly want was there--from the up to date kitchen to the great beds and linens to the clean, sandy beach. We played volleyball, went out on the paddle boat, and played corn toss by the hour. We ate lunch at the beach table, read books under the umbrellas and built sandcastles. The grandkids, ages 12 and 9, loved the diner/porch!

When our son and his fiance were with us the first few days, one of our favorite evenings was when we all made paella. Your kitchen provided ample room for everyone to work, and we put our paella pan right on the grill. What a great evening on the deck! We had bonfires almost every evening with s'mores. The sunsets were awesome!

The table in the family room is perfect for working puzzles. Have you tried the puzzles made by Ravensburg where the puzzle is not the picture on the box? They are very challenging, but certainly fun!

We made every effort to leave your home in the wonderful, clean, tidy condition it was when we arrived.

Thank you for creating a perfect vacation spot for our family. We want to return for the same 2 weeks next year, unless the last 2 weeks of July are available. Our son's wedding is Aug. 20, and we want to be available to them during the weeks prior to the wedding.



Denise-- I just want to tell you how much I loved your home. It was so nice to walk into such a respectable rental. I can tell you really put your heart and soul into it. It was so delightful there- I did not want to leave. Also my husband and I are discussing next summer already and we are interested in renting it in August.. What weeks are available?

Thanks again



Denise, we had a wonderful time and your home was even better than we hoped for. Our weather was warm and sunny the earlier part of the week so we were able to enjoy the beach and lake. It got cooler and windy on Thursday and Friday but it didn’t stop us from doing things. Sitting on the gliders on the deck and watching the sunset was truly a high point. Renting your home gave us a chance to be with our kids. As they get older and busier it’s hard to find the time. Especially since our younger son moved to Nashville.

I know you put a lot into the house since you bought it so we treated it as we would our own. Our “no shoes in the house policy” extended to yours as well!!

Thank you for sharing your home with us.



Keywords: Water front cottage, immaculate, cozy, beautiful, family, sunset, fun, beach.

More Details

Denise Donaldson
Member since: 2009
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within an hour
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
April 5, 2018

About Denise Donaldson

Todd and I have five children; ranging from 17 to 24 years of age. We have vacationed in Michigan for over 20 years, visiting friends and family. We enjoy sailing, skiing, tubing, snorkeling, water skiing, biking and walking on the beach. Michigan has provided us with a multitude of fun filled summers, year after year.

Denise Donaldson purchased this house in 2007

Why Denise Donaldson chose Ellsworth

After the twins were born we grew to a family of seven, no longer fitting in our family's home at vacation time. That prompted us to we start renting lake front homes. The last few years we have been disappointed in the quality of the homes we were renting. Some were directly on the road, dangerous for young children and quite noisy. Others were dirty and had uncomfortable beds and out of date furnishings. We decided that maybe we could find a place of our own to buy and perhaps rent out to others. After looking for over a year, we found the perfect place!

What makes this house unique

We found this beautiful property, away from the road, surrounded by beautiful forests, and directly on Grand Traverse Bay! Many houses were ruled out due to the poor state they were in or due to the rocky beaches they were on. But this house had a beautiful sandy beach and no steps down to the water. We are close to Charlevoix and Elk Rapids, golf courses are right down the road, and there are no main roads near the house. We have plenty of parking for our family and friends and a barn with a loft that will eventually be perfect for a game room. The beach is private and one can walk for miles in either direction. It is easy to go mushroom hunting, bike riding, skiiing outside our cottage in the winter, and hunting right down the road at Antrim Natural Preserve. The huge deck has beautiful views of the water where we can watch the kids while relaxing or barbecuing. This place is heaven!

Guestbook comments from the owner

Tom and I want to thank you for letting us rent your wonderful cottage the last week of June! It was the first time that our entire family has been able to spend a week together on vacation. Everyone had the best time! Your kitchen is extremely well equipped...we lacked for nothing in our meal preparations. The Keurig coffee maker was an added bonus for those who just wanted a quick coffee later in the day. We used the new grill every night - kabobs, beer can chicken, flank steak, burgers, ribs, and more. And of course, nightly s'mores at the campfire were anticipated and enjoyed by all the kids, ages 5 - 12.

We loved the large table on the deck where we could all eat together. During the day, I covered it with a huge white vinyl cloth so the kids could paint the many rocks they collected. By the end of the week, everyone had signed his name, drawn pictures, etc. so it now tells a story. The kids started their day with breakfast in the "diner" before heading out to the beach to collect Petoskey stones, play games, or hit the water.

We had great weather and so were able to kayak and paddle board. We brought a huge Aqua Plank from home (we own a condo on a lake in Findlay, Ohio) which we anchored out in the water. Kids had fun playing on and off it; adults enjoyed napping out there!

The game room was a popular spot when the kids had been in the sun enough; we also had family volleyball games. One of my daughters-in-law was a star player in high school; their 12 year old daughter now plays on a travel they really liked being able to show off their skills to the rest of us.

We made several trips into Charlevoix for shopping, groceries, and ice cream. The kids went to the toy store and found their favorite game, "Sleeping Queens" which they bought because they had lost some of the cards. I honestly could never figure out the game, even though they tried to explain it to me. Even the 5 year old caught on. The other favorites were Monopoly, Yahtzee, Rummikub, Scattergories, Catch phrase.

As I mentioned in your guest book, we appreciate all the updates you've made. Again, we so loved our time at your cottage. We've been there probably 4 times with Jane and Terry and we are looking forward to our time next year, too!

Thank you!
Jun 2016
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Ellsworth House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 2800 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 4:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 10:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 12
  • Children welcome ...
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets not allowed
  • Non smoking only ...
  • No beach fire when windy and keep noise down after dark on beach
Location Type:
  • Beach View ...
  • Beachfront ...
  • Lakefront ...
  • Water View ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Free Long Distance ...
  • Garage
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room
  • Parking ...
  • Parking for RV/Boat/Trailer
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wireless Internet ...
  • Wood Stove ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • 3 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower , Main level
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower , Master bath
    Bathroom 3 - toilet , shower , Located in the hallway upstairs.
  • 3
  • 4 Bedrooms, Sleeps 12
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 queen , Located on main level
    Bedroom 3 - 1 bunk bed , twin on top and full on bottom
    Bedroom 2 - 1 king , King bed with private bathroom
    Bedroom 4 - 2 twin/ single , 1 sleep sofa /futon , 2 twin beds with trundle underneath one. Twin sleep sofa.
    Porch - 1 king , King sized sleeper sofa. Located on main floor in porch.
  • King size beds (1) Second floor Master bedroom with private bath. Overlooking lake. Flat screen TV with satellite and DVD player. Walk in closet., Queen size Beds (1) First floor with adajacent bathroom. Large closet., Twin or Single Beds (1) Second floor bedroom has 2 twin beds and one trundle bed. Hallway bath., Sleep Sofa or Futons (1) King Size 'Comfort Sleeper' sofabed in first floor enclosed all weather porch., Bunk Beds (1) Double bed on bottom; with a twin bed on the top bunk. Hallway bath.
  • Books
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Foosball
  • Game Room ...
  • Games ...
  • Ping Pong Table
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Television ...
  • Toys ...
  • VCR
  • Video Library ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Water Sports Gear ...
  • 10 beach chairs
  • cinemas
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • miniature golf
  • paddle boating
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cross country skiing
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • sailing
  • snorkeling
  • snowmobiling
  • swimming
  • water skiing
  • water tubing
Paddle boat, volleyball, beach toys. There is a hammock, swing, lounge chairs, beach umbrellas, huge deck with glider, teak dining table with umbrella, outdoor shower to wash feet off, outdoor grill.


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(44 traveler reviews)

97% Complete
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Heaven On Lake! Game Room! Sandy Beach! One week left Summer 2018!
average rating of 4.9772725 based on 66 reviews

Truly...the only place you should stay when you come to Michigan!!

  • 5 of 5

Simply Amazing...This house has it all!! We have used VRBO the last few times we have stayed in Michigan and this house is by far the best and our favorite! Everything is perfect...and the amenities as well. From the kitchen stocked with absolutely everything you could need down to the bedrooms and bathrooms cozy and comfy with excellent bedding and superb towels. Everything has been very well thought out and you can tell the owners really love and care for this place. Tons of movies and board games for evening fun...and the game room was a BIG hit with the kids!! Even I sang a few songs on the karaoke machine and shot lots of hoops on the electronic basketball game. The real gem of this place is of course the beach and the lake. Lots of beach side chairs, toys, and a fire pit on the beach. Water was perfect...clear, crisp and beautiful and the house and beach are very private. No detail missed. We truly enjoyed our week and look forward to coming back next year!! Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful home with us.

  • Submitted: Oct 1, 2017
  • Stayed: September 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Doug and Jessica, I just finished reading your review and I am so happy to hear that you had a great time at our lake house! You made me want to go back! It is a very special place for my family and me and I'm so happy it was for your family as well! I look forward to you coming back again! Sincerely, Denise
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Chicago, IL

Perfect getaway!

  • 5 of 5

We were impressed by the fully-stocked big kitchen, high quality furnishings and of course the great lake location! Everyone slept comfortably and had a great time.

  • Submitted: Sep 24, 2017
  • Stayed: September 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you so much for staying! I am glad you had a great time! Sincerely, Denise
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  • 5 of 5

We have been lucky enough to visit the Donaldson Cottage since 2012 and our visit August 12-19 was another fantastic family vacation filled with new memories and fun times. The location on the shore of the east side of Lake Michigan is beautiful and pristine. Wonderful for swimming, beach combing and rock hunting (we found literally hundreds of Petoskey stones!). The beach is private and perfect for sun bathing, campfires and games. The cottage (home!) is the ultimate in easy, up North living. It's spacious, incredibly well appointed and decorated, and provides all the amenities one could hope for. The week of our stay was a tough one in our country - it was the week of Charlottesville (my college town) - so I felt very lucky to be in such a special place of relaxation, respite and reflection. We can't wait to visit again in the Fall!

  • Submitted: Aug 22, 2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Andy and Suzanne, Thank you so much for leaving such a wonderful review. I love having your family stay as you always take such special care of my cottage! You are always welcome to come. I am glad you found peace and happiness there despite these difficult times! I love seeing the photos of your family in Facebook. It made me so happy to see all of you having such a great time! See you in the fall! Sincerely, Denise
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Another great week at a great house!

  • 5 of 5

Just like home

  • Submitted: Aug 5, 2017
  • Stayed: July 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you! Love having you and your family! Denise
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Amazing beach getaway for the whole family!

  • 5 of 5

We all thoroughly enjoyed our stay this past week at the beach house. There were 6 adults and 5 kids. The walk-out beach was exactly what we were looking for. The water was calm and warm and it stayed fairly shallow way out. We were pretty much beach bums the entire trip. Loved searching for Petoskey stones right on the beach! Had a fire each night while being blown away by the amazing sunsets (something we don't get on the IL side of the lake). We took a day trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes which was breathtaking and I highly recommend. Also checked out Charlevoix one afternoon, cute town! The location of this property is wonderful. The house has everything you could need (except a salad spinner which was no big deal). The game room was a fun distraction for the kids (and some of us adults!). We had a ping pong tournament and probably enjoyed the karaoke machine a little too much 😜� All in all this was a fantastic family getaway.

  • Submitted: Aug 1, 2017
  • Stayed: July 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: I am so glad you has a great time. I'll be sure to pick up a salad spinner For the next time you come! Thanks for your business! Regards, Denise
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Our favorite vacation spot!

  • 5 of 5

We have just returned from our 8th year at the Donaldson house. It is truly our family vacation "go-to" spot! There is something for everyone right there.

The kitchen is very well equipped with all modern appliances. The cottage is stocked with lots of games, books and puzzles. The diner/porch provides an awesome view of the lake, woods and beach. We love all the nice decorative touches throughout the house. The bedrooms are roomy. The huge deck is perfect for family gatherings. We all loved the game room with ping pong, foosball, karaoke, rec room basketball hoops and piano. The beach provides fun for all. We rented a kayak and paddleboard, and our kids were in the water constantly. Plus we all had fun looking for Petoskey stones, walking along the shore, playing corn hole and just relaxing. There was plenty of wood for nightly campfires for our s'mores. We went to Charlevoix just once during Venetian week. There are many other nearby places we have visited in the past--Castle Farms, Bellaire, Elk Rapids to name a few--but this year we were all content to stay at the house and enjoy all it has to offer.

It is obvious that the owners take very good care of their home, continually making updates and improvements over the years so that their renters will feel right at home.

Thank you for opening up your home for us. We are looking forward to returning next year!

  • Submitted: Jul 25, 2017
  • Stayed: July 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Jane, Thank you so much for coming back year after year! Todd and I love having you and your family stay at out lake house. You are wonderful guests and I hope you can continue to come year after year! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review! Sincerely, Denise
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Nearest Airport
50 Miles
Traverse City
Nearest Ferry
80 Miles
1.5 hours to Mackinac Island Ferries
Nearest Golf
5 Miles
Several courses about 5 minutes from house
Nearest Motorway
2 Miles
Rt 31
Nearest Restaurant
3 Miles
Nearest Ski
30 Miles
Boyne City
Nearest Point of Interest
Antrim Dells Golf & Tennis
Nearest Point of Interest
Antrim Creek Natural Area
Nearest Point of Interest
Torch Lake Boat Launch
Nearest Point of Interest
Old Mission Peninsula Wine Tours
Nearest Point of Interest
A-Ga-Ming Golf Club
Car: necessary

We installed a game room over the two car garage. Ping pong, basketball game, foosball, karaoke machine, board games, punching bag, and Yamaha Digital Piano. Great for those occasional rainy days.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning Fee $350
Damage Insurance $59
Damage Deposit $300

During the fall early check in of 2pm and late check out of 12pm is allowed if not one is checking in or out before or after your arrival. The Security deposit, which is to ensure compliance with the terms of this agreement, is not to be construed as liquidated damages.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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