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

Family Friendly Lake Cottage

Bedrooms 3
Space 1,200 sq. ft.
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 7 nights


About the property

3 BR, 2Bath. One block from city park. Two blocks from beach!!

We bought this 3 bedroom, 2 bath house because it is perfect for our five person family and it was in the perfect location for a family get away. To us, this house is a refuge from our day to day lives. We arrive and are able to relax and take the days at the pace we wish. Our three boys keep us hopping most of the time, so we simply love arriving in South Haven, relaxing, and taking the days as they come. Most summer days I head out before the kids or wife are out of bed and comb the beach for fossils. Once everyone is up, we generally spend the middle part of the day at the beach---set up umbrella and chairs, build sand castle and walls, swim, run, dive, throw balls in the surf, and look for more fossils! We often leave our gear on the beach and walk back for lunch at the house, then return to the beach for a bit longer. We often play wiffle ball and other sports, in the side yard, with kids in the surrounding homes. The park is one block away and our three boys (14,12,and 9) come and go from park to house (with permission) whenever they wish---safe and no busy streets to cross.

Our house, as mentioned, has 3 bedrooms and two bathrooms. With aging parents (we're not getting younger either), it was important to have one ground floor bedroom. So, our layout is one bed and one bathroom on the ground floor and 2 bedrooms and one bathroom upstairs. The upstairs also has a loft with a futon, for additional sleeping space.

The home was built in 1901 by a Lake Michigan ships captain. We have radiator heat in the shoulder/winter seasons---as well as some mobile space heaters to target high use areas. In the summer, we put in window air conditioners, which are needed some days and other days are not.

We have a dining room and fully equipped kitchen. The kitchen does have a dishwasher and microwave. There is a patio table and chairs off the back of the house and a gas grill for your use.

We are in a family neighborhood. This is not a party house and should not be rented for purposes beyond family vacations.

More Details

Matt Bailey
Member since: 2013
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a day
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
March 7, 2018

About Matt Bailey

My wife and I both work at a university. We have three young boys.

We love to travel.

Matt Bailey purchased this cottage in 2012

Why Matt Bailey chose South Haven

Location! We had rented in South Haven for years and when we decided to buy, we knew the area that we wanted. If you are like us, most of your memories will be about the beach/park and hopefully just spending time together away from the chaos of normal schedules. That is why we chose this house. Very close to the beach that we like and even closer to the best playground in town. Our house in South Haven put us in an ideal location to do the activities that we enjoy doing!

What makes this cottage unique

Our mix of location and a price point below the market average are what makes this listing unique. The house, town, beach and park are all what you make of it.

We are owners that do really value being able to allow other families to enjoy our home. It is special to us and wishing the same for visitors is much more important to us than the weekly sticker price.


South Haven Cottage Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 1200 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 4:00 PM / Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 8
  • children welcome
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Lake View ...
  • Away From It All
  • Budget
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Linens Provided
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 8 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower
    Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower
  • Two full baths. Upstairs bathroom with large shower but no tub. Downstairs bathroom has a tub/shower.
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 2 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 3 - 2 twin/ single
  • Downstairs and master bedrooms have queen beds. The third bedroom has a twin bed and a bunk bed (twin over double). The loft has a futon. Please only kids on bunk. Not made for heavier persons.
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player
  • Games ...
  • Television ...
  • Video Games ...
  • Video Library ...
  • Deck / Patio
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • basketball court
  • cross country skiing
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • ice skating
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • pier fishing
  • roller blading
  • sailing
  • skiing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • water tubing
  • wind-surfing


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(12 traveler reviews)

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Family Friendly Lake Cottage
average rating of 5.0 based on 12 reviews
Chicago, IL

Our favorite part of summer!

  • 5 of 5

If I could give this cottage 10 stars, I would!

This year was our fourth consecutive year of renting this wonderful cottage and words can't really express how much we love the place. It has become our family's happy place. The location is perfect, just a block off Kid's Corner, two blocks from the beach, and an easy walk into town. The house really feels like a home away from home; fully stocked kitchen, comfortable bedrooms - you can tell that owners love the place and take great care of it. The few minor things that have come up while we've stayed at the house over the years are always addressed quickly - the cleaning staff has even brought us a bushel of fresh-picked peaches during our stay! Probably our absolute favorite part of the house is the front porch. We spend every night of our week in South Haven relaxing on the porch, drinking great local brews (there's now a brewery in town!), listening to music, and catching up with old friends. Thank you, Matt & Denise, for opening up your home to us - it truly is our favorite part of summer! Can't wait to be back next year!

  • Submitted: Sep 1, 2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks so much for the review! Really appreciate that you value our home and enjoy returning year after year! See you next season! :) Regards, Matt
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Tipp City

Amazing house and location for family trip!

  • 5 of 5

We had an amazing week staying in the Bailey lake house in July 2017. The owner emailed with us to answer all our questions and give us recommendations for our family's needs. The instructions were clear and we knew exactly what to expect and what was expected of us.

The adult bikes that were in the basement were in great condition for my husband and myself. We brought our kids' bikes with us and I'm so glad we did! This house is directly on the bike path! We enjoyed a family bike ride every day. The park a block away is an amazing adventure for kids. Our boys are 6, 5 and 1. They all loved the park and never got bored.

The short 2 block walk to the beach was no problem for any of us. We parked our stroller and walked down to the beach every day with no issues. The beach is clean and not overly crowded even on the weekends. We brought beach toys from home, but we really didn't need to because there were a lot of shovels, buckets, boogie boards, etc in the basement.

We also enjoyed riding our bikes to the beach at Van Buren state park, the beach there was fun because it had a ton of rocks that my boys enjoyed playing with for a change from the beautiful, soft sand at south haven's beach.

The house was clean and updated. We found everything we needed in the kitchen to prepare our breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. Our (the adults) favorite spot was the screened in front porch in the mornings and evenings. The kids favorite part of the house were the bunk beds! So fun for them.

During a couple rainy points we stayed in the house and the boys found books and toys to entertain themselves with as well as movies on netflix.

We felt right at home away from home.

  • Submitted: Aug 2, 2017
  • Stayed: July 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: So glad your family had a good week, Allison!! Pleased to hear you utilized the bike trail as much as you did. I love the ride to Van Buren State Park so it is always nice to hear that others also enjoy it. Thanks for the kind review and sharing your thoughts with other potential renters. Regards, Matt
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Perfect Family Vacation in South Haven!

  • 5 of 5

We stayed at the Bailey cottage in July 2016, and I always meant to write this review, since our stay was one of those family vacations for the ages: Our grandkids still talk about it.

The house accommodated four adults and two young children perfectly (and a visiting aunt for two nights) with the spacious upstairs master suite for us, the bunkbed room for the kids, and the downstairs bedroom for the parents. We loved the screened-in porch, and spent many hours in the morning and evening out there, with glow sticks and snacks, catching up on our lives (We live in Seattle and the kids in Indiana - South Haven was the perfect place to meet!). We enjoyed the quiet, small-town vibe of this part of town and fantasized about how to build a screened-in porch like this of our very own. My daughter and I had a ball shopping the trendy boutiques downtown, and I found lots of fresh produce at the downtown farmer's market to feed the troops.

And who could forget the park and the beach? A couple blocks from the house is a kid's park, right across the street from the amazing beach. We spent hours playing with the kids, building sand castles, jumping waves, and walking home at dusk to relax on the porch. What could be better than that? I love to cook, too, and the large kitchen had everything I needed to rustle up memorable 'grandma meals' at the end of the day.

I highly recommend the Bailey cottage for other families looking for a perfect place to meet up during the summer, and create some memories for a lifetime. I knew we had succeeded when my grandson drew detailed pictures of our South Haven vacation on his "Best Think I Did This Summer" drawing the first day of school. Thank you, Baileys, for providing such a wonderful home for our family adventure.

  • Submitted: Aug 1, 2017
  • Stayed: July 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks so much! Really appreciate, that even after the passage of a year, you wanted to write a review of our property. So pleased to hear that the kids still remember the week fondly! Regards, Matt
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Fantastic cottage, great location for week with family!

  • 5 of 5

This lake cottage was fantastic! The owner was great, so helpful and responsive. Upon arrival, we were so impressed with the roomy, clean, and comfortable house. The dining room and porch became two of our favorite places for enjoying dinner, boardgames, and true relaxation after full days walking to the beach, town, biking, etc. We really appreciated the convenient location to beach, bike trails, and town of South Haven. Sunsets on Lake Michigan were breathtaking. As we were pulling out of the driveway, we missed this place already! Would definitely return anytime we have a chance. Thank you to the owner for allowing us to enjoy such a lovely cottage!

  • Submitted: Jul 13, 2017
  • Stayed: June 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks for the review, Karen!! Love that your family had such a fun experience. Come back again if the chaos of life permits!! Regards, Matt
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Birthday/girls weekend

  • 5 of 5

The Bailey cottage is a wonderful well equipped, clean getaway for a long weekend! There were 8 adults & the cottage had more than adequate space, beds, bathrooms for all of us. Loved that it's close to the beach, downtown & trails for biking, running/walking. All the ladies kept commenting how comfy & homey the cottage felt, especially the front porch!

  • Submitted: May 22, 2017
  • Stayed: May 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks for the kind review!! Glad you ladies enjoyed your time in South Haven! Regards, Matt
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Chicago, IL

Wonderful cottage!

  • 5 of 5

This cottage is quite simply fantastic. We've stayed at a number of different places in South Haven over the years, and this house was the best. Fully stocked with everything you could want. Clean, comfortable, and a front porch that makes you want to sit back, relax, and stay there forever. An added plus - the owners are great! Very responsive and easy to work with. We barely pulled out of the driveway at the end of our stay before we decided to book again for next year!

  • Submitted: Sep 3, 2015
  • Stayed: July 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks, Carrie!! You folks went above and beyond as renters---and we much appreciate it! Certainly look forward to you staying at our place again next summer. Nothing is better than knowing good families are in our house and enjoying it as much as we do. Regards, Matt
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Nearest Airport
35 Miles
Kalamazoo MI, South Bend IN
Nearest Golf
5 Miles
Multiple Courses Nearby
Nearest Train
10 Miles
Nearest Motorway
1 Miles
I-196, I-94
Nearest Ski
30 Miles
Timber Ridge
Car: not necessary

Our home is located in a family friendly neighborhood and was purchased for its close proximity to the best city park in town and the best (least crowded) beach in the area. Those two items are the main attractions for our kids. Other attractions that we have enjoyed include: jet skiing (rental nearby), downtown restaurants, nearby blueberry farm (u-pick and retail store), farmers market, cheap movie theater, winter skiing (downhill and x-country), bird watching along Black River, rails to trails biking, donut shop, walking/sitting along the marina watching boats come and go, fishing, evening music series in the park along marina and at a local music hall, and nearby towns along the coast with unique opportunities.

The vast majority of these items are all within walking distance of the house.

If, like us, you find your normal life finds you spending too much time staring at a computer screen or interacting through a hand held device, this place is for you. Bring the family and enjoy not being in the car. Enjoy a family stroll downtown for an evening ice cream or meal. Easy access to beach and park. Board games on the dining room table. Just re-connect....and not in the digital sense! :)

New Note: The biking trail to Van Buren State Park is finished and completely paved!!! If you bike into the park you don't have to pay to enter. About 35 minutes each way from our driveway to the park. :)


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning Fee $100
Refundable damage deposit $250

VRBO self populated the Cancellation/Refund section and have not changed it per my request. If you request to secure a rental, I will send you the actual/true Cancellation Policy for our house. Thanks! :)
Also, they are mandating all us owners sign up for automatic payment scheduling. They are charging YOU, the renter, for this. I don't like it. If it gives you piece of mind, fine. If you'd rather work around it, I am happy to do so. Your call. State your preference in your initial e-mail inquiry. Thanks!!

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 7 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.