It’s a beautiful place. Amazing. There’s a 360 view from the inn. And there’s a real European charm to it. We (my wife Marina and I) were able to go Saturday night and Sunday because my parents watched the kids. The neat thing is that even though they operate it as a B & B you can request one of their apartments—there’s more space than a hotel and a refrigerator to store snacks and there’s wine. Our apartment had a view of West Grand Traverse Bay all the way to Leelanau County. We started out Saturday doing the Old Mission wine tour right up to Chateau Chantal—we had dinner at the Boathouse Restaurant in Mapleton. Good food. Great view.

So it was evening by the time we got to Chateau Chantal. The tasting room closes at 5 p.m. so it was a nice relaxed atmosphere, not that busy. But here’s the really neat thing: houseguests have the run of the lounge and tasting room. It’s not staffed and wide open to houseguests—guidelines are the honor system. You can go behind the bar and run your own wine tasting. There’s not a lot of people around, nobody telling you what to taste, you’re picking your own. We stayed a couple of hours and had a blast. We sat by the fireplace for a while, then picked a couple of bottles we liked and some gourmet crackers—it’s so cool because you just fill out your sales slip and leave it and they charge your room—and took it back to our apartment.

Breakfast was fantastic. It was a great spread in an intimate, friendly atmosphere. The owner, Robert Begin, came to our table and spent a few minutes visiting with us., 800.469.4009.

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