SETTLE IN FOR A CAMPY-COOL SOCIAL STAY
A close look at The Neighborhood Hotel reveals almost instantly that it isn’t exactly a hotel. So, from here on out, let’s set that image aside. Because instead we’re talking about a stylish, cleverly conceived vacation home/hostel hybrid that’s quite possibly exactly what you want but never knew you should look for. Let’s break it down….
Neighborhood occupies the former Pinewood Lodge, a four-acre wooded summer camp of sorts built in 1914. Known for hosting famous heavyweight fighters in training, the lodge was sited in the Lake Michigan resort community of Grand Beach, the first of its kind in the area, boasting beaches, playgrounds, tennis courts, and a golf course to this day.
While the lodge was maintained and operated as various inns over the decades and Grand Beach continues to flourish, the building became perhaps a little too quaint for contemporary tastes. That is, until 2021 when Jonathon Gordon’s fledgling hospitality group took ownership. Armed with the vision and resources to celebrate the lodge’s history with a fresh point of view, The Neighborhood Grand Beach was born.
Like upscale hostels, Neighborhood is an extrovert’s playground offering inviting social spaces inside and out. A communal living and dining room, kitchen, and old-school basement rec room (complete with a self-serve bar) are ideal for an impromptu hang. Tuck in for conversation around the pool and sundeck. Or channel nostalgic summer vacation vibes as you venture about the wooded grounds. Among firepits, adirondacks, grills, and all the classic lawn games, your new best friend awaits. Neighborhood even programs pop-up events to encourage community among guests.
But wait, closer to extrovert-adjacent? Here’s where this inventive concept shines. Guest rooms are fully private apartments with kitchen, living, and dining spaces—choose a studio or 1-3 bedroom suite. Minimal, modern, and super comfy, furnished with hotel-quality bedding and high-end amenities, accommodations present a whole lot like a collection of campy-cool, design-driven Airbnbs. So you can always step back for quiet time while still immersed in the friendly embrace of the property.
Keep in mind that despite its middle-of-nowhere feel, The Neighborhood Grand Beach is only a five-minute drive to downtown New Buffalo with loads of walkable, bikeable, and short-drive amenities. So whether you’re getting away to adventure or work, meet up or wind down, this fun new way to stay deserves a look.
Local Tip: Yes, family reunion and retreat buyouts are a thing here. At 12 rooms and 2 cottages, it’s the perfect size for a takeover.
words Collette DiJohn Kemper
images Jamie Kelter Davis