Verified Review icon check navigate-up navigate-left navigate-right expand mail svg-lightning svg-24hr svg-house svg-sleeps svg-bedrooms svg-bathrooms svg-stay svg-toilet calendar svg-report-flag pet-dog svg-multiunit Default Owner Icon heart-filled Family icon
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Craignair - Secluded 450 Foot Lakefront Door County Retreat.

Bedrooms 5
Half Baths1
Property type house
Minimum Stay 7 nights


About the property

House, 5 Bedrooms + Detached Unit, 3.5 Baths, (Sleeps 12)

Thank you for looking at Craignair, our family's vacation home. Due to the limited amount of time that we rent, and the fact that our previous renters have chosen to return, we are booked for 2017 and 2018. Craignair is only available for weekly rentals - no exceptions.

Craignair, a beautiful century old home on 450 feet of private Lake Michigan shorefront, was featured on the pages of Better Homes and Gardens in 1955. It has been lovingly cared for by our family for 67 years. Located on a secluded lane, in a tucked away corner of Northern Door County, it is perfect for quiet get-a-ways, yet 10 minutes away from busy Sister Bay by car.

The main house is steps away from the water and boasts a warm cheery atmosphere. The living room is resplendent in knotty pine, balanced by a significant fieldstone fireplace. The room is highlighted by an inspiring panoramic lake view. The attached sun porch welcomes cool lake breezes, is generously proportioned with vaulted ceiling and has views in 3 directions. The dine-in kitchen with vaulted ceiling makes cooking for a crew a snap, while a gorgeous lake view takes the mind off the task. The dining room seats 12 at two tables and contains a dry bar with small fridge. A ¾ bath with shower is off the living room.

The three downstairs bedrooms feature airy cathedral ceilings and yet more fantastic water vistas through picture windows. The green room has 2 full size beds, the red room and white room have one each. A full bath with shower/tub, is located between these rooms.

Upstairs, even more lake views and vaulted ceilings await. The yellow room has a private entrance to a full width lake view balcony and a full size bed. The blue room has three twin beds and a sunny southern exposure. A half bath services these rooms.

A complete coach house apartment above a newer detached garage offers privacy, while still being close to the action. There is one double and one twin bed built into the living room walls and a bunk room that can fit four as well. A small kitchen and ¾ bath make this unit self sustaining. The lake view and fireplace make for a comfortable, relaxing stay.

The spacious yard is fronted by a very private rocky beach and shallow waters. Just off the beach and a short walk to the fridge, a comfortable patio with fire ring sit centered on the living room. This is a great spot for viewing the lake and fixing s'mores. A 20 x 28 foot lake front deck with gazebo, is an entertaining centerpiece great for sunning and funning! A propane and Charcoal grill and 2 picnic tables make outdoor feasting an easy possibility. Perhaps a strenuous game of volleyball or shooting hoops is your desire or maybe reading in a shaded hammock. No matter your degree of output, there is something here at Craignair to interest you! A wooden swing set and expansive 10' x 10' sand box complete with a large collection of vintage Tonka trucks are offered for the younger set.

The house is 5 minutes by car from a boat launch and close to Northern Door County attractions and restaurants.

For more photos and information search us on Facebook, Craignair - a state of mind.

Keywords: House

More Details

Mathee family
Member since: 2006
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a few days
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
August 9, 2017

About Mathee family

We four brothers (Ross, Bill, Ames & Jamie) are fortunate to be the third generation entrusted to care for this beautiful and unique place in the world. Like our mother and her father before that, we don’t look at ourselves as owners as much as custodians, protecting and caring for Craignair until it is time for our children to take our place. We were tight as kids and the guardianship responsibilities have strengthened our ability to work together and stay close as adults. We each contribute in our own way, finding joy in doing jobs here that would be drudgery at home. We have truly been blessed.

Mathee family purchased this house in 1948

Why Mathee family chose Sister Bay

We have spent our entire lives summering at this wonderful site so it could be said it was more heritage than a conscious choice. The story below tells better than we can how our Grandfather discovered and chose to renovate this piece of paradise.

Excerpts from October 1955 Better Homes & Gardens article entitled “From shanty to showplace”

It was a late summer afternoon. Ames Ross had gone walking along the shoreline of Lake Michigan in northern Wisconsin. He was thinking of the site of a future home for his family. The warm sun reflected on the beach and back from the beach was a growth of brush and grass and evergreens.

Then, his reveries were interrupted. A rusted iron pump and a shabby farmhouse stood just up a slight grade from the beach. The windows were boarded up. Inside he was met by cobwebs and dust and emptiness. It was hardly a homey impression.

But Ames Ross is an architect and could see things other people might miss. First he took in the condition of the house-foundation, framing and roof. To his great surprise all these important parts were in good shape. The house was small. Its first floor was broken into four tight cubicles-all inadequate as separate rooms. Upstairs there were two bedrooms. When remodeling was completed the 4 small rooms had been opened to become a single large living room. A new wing was added off the living room for the kitchen, dining area and downstairs bathroom.

An old shed was joined to the house by a small porch. The shed was remodeled into 2 first floor bedrooms. A large screened porch completed the first additions. Two years later, the family added a guest room and bath.

What makes this house unique

Part of the reason Door County is so popular is because it offers a wide range of vacation opportunities. The trick is to find a situation that meets your needs & desires.

If you are looking for the hustle and bustle of downtown or new construction or a place to be near your docked boat, Craignair is not right for you. VRBO offers many choices that will better fit your requirements.

If your vision of an ideal vacation includes peace & solitude at a spacious, century old lakefront estate, while a short car ride away from Door County's shopping, entertainment and restaurants, you have found the right place. Welcome to Craignair!


Sister Bay House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 12
  • pets considered ...
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Lakefront ...
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Hair Dryer
  • Parking Off Street
  • Parking for RV/Boat/Trailer
  • Telephone
  • Washing Machine
  • Wood Fireplace ...
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Toaster
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • 3 Bathrooms
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Bathroom 1 -
    Bathroom 2 -
    Bathroom 3 -
  • 3.5
  • 5 Bedrooms, Sleeps 12
  • Double Beds (6), Twin or Single Beds (3), Child Beds (1) Toddler bed, Baby Cribs (1) Pack N Play, Bunk Beds (2)
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo
  • Toys
  • VCR
  • Video Library
  • Balcony
  • Deck / Patio
  • Gazebo
  • Outdoor Grill
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • cinemas
  • live theater
  • marina
  • restaurants
  • theme parks
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • horseback riding
  • sight seeing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • basketball court
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • rafting
  • sailing
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • snorkeling
  • sound/bay fishing
  • swimming
  • wind-surfing
Screened porch, dry bar w/small fridge


5/5 -
(4 traveler reviews)

100% Complete
0% Complete
0% Complete
0% Complete
0% Complete
Craignair - Secluded 450 Foot Lakefront Door County Retreat.
average rating of 5.0 based on 4 reviews
Wheaton, IL

A Little "Peace" of Paradise

  • 5 of 5

We started visiting Door County, almost yearly, over 30 years ago when our children were young. Last year we wanted to return with our three children, their spouses, and our eight young grandchildren (ages 2-8). We spent a week at Craignair and loved it so much that we have just returned from a second visit. We could not have found a more perfect place! The living room, dining room, and screen porch are all spacious enough for us to spend quality time together and the bedrooms allow plenty of privacy (as well as beautiful lake views) for anyone desiring that! The grounds are so spacious that there was room for 8 kids to run and play, and we didn't have to worry about them being too noisy and bothering the neighbors! It was also the perfect setting for nightly campfires, our Family Talent Show, and this year our own Family Olympics. Last year the youngest family members lived on the swing set, but this year their time was spent in the new, big sandbox complete with LOTS of Tonka trucks. The older kids enjoyed biking, kayaking, swimming, basketball, etc,. etc. The adults all loved the opportunity to sit on the deck with a good book or just to enjoy the water. Because we've been to Door County so many times, we have lots of favorite places to go and things to do. The location of Craignair made that so easy! Not only is Craignair a little slice of heaven, but the Mathee brothers are so accommodating and great to work with. They go out of their way to answer questions and to make sure your stay is wonderful.

All four of our youngest cried the day we were to leave because they didn't want to go and all 8 grandchildren are already talking about "next year at the Vacation House!"

  • Submitted: Aug 11, 2012
  • Stayed: July 2012
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
6 0
Overland Park KS

Family vacation getaway

  • 5 of 5

My family and I just spent a week at Craignair and we couldn't have asked for better accomodations. It's quiet secluded location made us feel like we were the only people on the peninsula. Enjoying the beautiful view of the lake and listening to the water was a favorite past time. The house suited our large group perfectly. Everyone had a comfortable bed to sleep in with plenty of privacy. The dining room table sat 12 adults and 1 child allowing us to share lots of good conversations and plenty of laughs. And we couldn't believe all the outdoor amenities available to us. Between yard toss, bocce ball, croquet, volleyball, biking and hiking there was never a dull moment. We also enjoyed our time spent on the screened patio as well as the separate deck towards the shoreline. Thank you Ross for opening up your family vacation home to visitors. We truly enjoyed ourselves and would highly recommend Craignair to anyone vacationing in Door County.

  • Submitted: Jul 26, 2010
  • Stayed: July 2010
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
9 0
South Barrington, IL

On Golden Pond

  • 5 of 5

Three adult couples rented this great old house for a week of rest & relaxation. It was definitely the experience everyone wanted. There was plenty of room for us to spread out to our own separate places when desired. The view is magnificent! Because we were on the lake side (the quiet side) we had complete privacy, but were only an 8 minute car ride from town. But the best for us was that the water is shallow where we were, so we never saw a boat or jet ski. The house was set back from the road, so we experienced no car noise at all either. The only sounds were the water and the birds. We put in our classical cd's to play on the outside speakers, drank our wine, and were in heaven. I think the early morning was everyones favorite time of the day. We each had time alone on the deck that sits a little ways away from the house. I think we all got up earlier than we do at home to enjoy the morning time with coffee and the sunrise.

My son-in-law enjoyed both the kayak, the row boat and one of those bikes in the garage. The house also was located in a good spot for runners. The guys each put in about 15 miles on and off during the week and never worried about traffic.

The kitchen was stocked with all the utensils needed to cook with and allowed us to eat in when we were to lazy to leave. There were three refrigerators and a bar area to keep wine, beer, and water. The bathrooms were large enough for all of us and the large table in the dining room area allowed us all to have enough elbow room for dining and playing cards together.

The owners, Ross & Jamie were both wonderful to work with. We had plenty of information ahead of time and knew what to expect. They both greeted us upon arrival and explained the workings of the home. They were helpful with restaurants and places of interest. We plan to return next summer.

  • Submitted: Jul 17, 2010
  • Stayed: July 2010
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
11 0
Shorewood, WI

great lakeshore experience

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I invited our grown children and our grandchildren- plus family friends - for a week in this lovely lake house last August and are returning in June 2010. Our group in 09 consisted of 8 adults and 3 children. The house suited us perfectly - lots of space for both family and private time. The kitchen is modern, stocked with every dish or utensil needed to feed a big group. Beds are comfy and the bedrooms nicely decorated. Everyone enjoyed the kayaks, the bikes, and the week-long croquet tournament that was joined by all. The lake is gorgeous, the night sky was breathtaking, and the surrounding woods guarantee a peaceful stay. Dealing with the owners was totally pleasant and easy. The property is even lovelier than described on VRBO site. Clean, in great condition. There's lots to do in nearby towns, sightseeing and water sports of all kinds. I recommend renting a pontoon boat in Sister Bay and exploring the bay area. Also nearby miniature golf and go-carts. We are returning this year and hope to make this an annual tradition. We've rented quite a few vacation homes through VRBO: this one was the very best!

  • Submitted: Jun 17, 2010
  • Stayed: August 2009
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
11 0



Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $500
Tax Rate 11.0%

Payment terms for 2016. Deposit: $500.00 fully refundable reservation / security deposit due upon booking. Full Rent: Due 7-10 days prior to arrival. Reservation / security deposit will be returned to you within 7-10 days after your departure and the propoerty is returned in similar condition as arrival.

By personal check only. Craignair is booked for the 2015 rental season. Rates are effective 2016.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.

You might like these similar properties