FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions


You advertise weekly rates. Are vacation cottages available on a daily basis?

All Cathead Bay vacation properties are available on a daily basis in May, early June, September and October, with a minimum stay of 2 nights. During high season, in July and August, Cathead Bay vacation properties are rented on a weekly basis, but on occasion daily rental may be available. Please contact our sales agent to inquire.

Are properties available for mid-week?

Cottages are rented on a weekly basis during high season. Check in time is Saturday at 4:00pm. All check outs are at 10:00am Saturday. During non-peak season, cottages rent on a weekly or daily basis, and as such midweek check in is possible, relative to availability. Daily rental requires a minimum of a two-night stay.

Are pets permitted?

Sorry, as a general rule, we enforce our No Pet Policy. On occasion, we can flex that policy, relative to the time of the season. This must be arranged in advance and in writing.  If the No Pet Policy is flexed, there is a $150.00 Pet Flex Fee that is added to the contract price, and check out must occur one half hour earlier. The client also understands that if the policy has been flexed, the cottage must be thoroughly vacuumed by the guest prior to departure.  If a pet is reported or discovered in a vacation property without this agreement in place, we will ask that the animal be removed immediately and a fee of $300.00 for special deodorizing and cleaning will be assessed against your rental security deposit. We ask that you adhere to rental policy with regard to pets.

The property I have interest in seems roomy enough to accommodate more people. Is there an upcharge if I bring more guests?

Occupancy for each of our properties is limited to the figure noted on each property description.
Exceeding the guest limit is not permitted under any circumstance and should guests exceed the prescribed limit, we do reserve the right to charge an additional fee against the client’s security deposit.

Are the properties air conditioned?

No. None of the vacation homes are air conditioned, but all are situated on the beach which offers a consistent gentle off-shore breeze.

Is housekeeping provided?

Cathead Bay Vacation Properties are cleaned prior to your arrival and are cleaned, promptly, upon departure.  Linens and bath towels are supplied unless otherwise specified. We pride ourselves in the manner in which our homes are maintained, but should you encounter any housekeeping issue, please contact the office at once, so we can remedy the situation immediately. We do not offer discounts for housekeeping issues that are not reported in a timely fashion. Beds should be stripped of sheets and pillow cases prior to departure and placed on the floor in the foyer of the home before departure.  Towels, wash cloths, and bath mats should also be placed in the foyer before departure.  Furthermore, prior to departure, kindly wash all dishes, leave the premises in a respectable order, bag all trash and place it in the trash bins in the corral at the end of the driveway, ready for trash pick up, which occurs on Mondays. Please leave no food products, beverages, or beverage containers in the cottages at departure.

Does anyone have access to the rental home during my stay?

Cathead Bay Vacation Properties reserves the right to provide access to an authorized employee or repairman during customary business hours for any purpose connected with repair, improvement, care and management of the premises. Your housekeeper will access the home promptly at 10:00am or 9:30am, if the No Pet Policy has been flexed, unless your contract specifies a later departure.

What does the base rental fee include?

Advertised rental fees are for the property, not per person and is just the rental rate. Michigan Sales tax (6%), a $30.00 reservation processing fee and the requisite housekeeping and linen fee are NOT included in the base rental rate. For full disclosure of itemized fees and rates associated with each property, by season and timeframe, please consult the Rental Rates page.

What is your cancellation policy?

The cancellation fee for reservations, whether daily or weekly, is $100.00 if such cancellations are made prior to March 1st. Any reservations for high season that are cancelled after March 1st are subject to the forfeiture of the entire deposit amount unless we are able to re-rent the property at the full rental rate. If the property is re-rented at the full advertized rate, the deposit less the cancellation fee of $100.00 will be refunded to the guest. Regretfully, if cancellations occur after March 1st and the property is not re-rented, a refund is not available.

Is there WiFi available?

Yes, cottages do have wireless Internet access.  A code to log in is available with the check in instructions that will be provided to you.  Caution:  WiFi is provided for your personal use, but streaming downloads or heavy Internet activity, such as downloading and uploading can exceed the service provided and may result in an additional charge.

Is there cable or digital television service?

The television reception in the area is poor, and none of our properties has cable or digital television service. Each vacation cottage has a television set with a DVD player or VCR for playing movies only. We recommend that you bring some with you. But not to worry! With miles of sandy beach just steps away from your home, and a sky filled with twinkling stars, we doubt you’ll give television a second thought during your stay.

What about phone service?

Each cottage has a telephone and local calls are free but ALL long distance calls will incur charges, and if significant, may be deducted from your security deposit.

I can't arrive until a day later than the required Saturday check in. Will I receive a credit?

We regret that due to the nature of our rental program, the guest is responsible for payment of all
nights reserved, regardless of the your actual arrival or departure.

When can I check in?

Check in is at 5:00pm Saturday. Because we thoroughly clean all vacation homes prior to your arrival, we cannot permit an early check in. Off season reservations may be eligible for an earlier check in.  This must be requested at the time of reservation, and we will do our best to accommodate you, if possible.

When must I check out?

Check out is at 10:00am unless the No Pet Policy has been flexed, and then check out is no later than 9:30am. Additional time in high season, during the months of July and August is not possible. Our housekeeper will arrive at the property at check out time and needs to have full access to turn the properties in time for check in later that day.  Please be respectful of the time required to prepare the property for the next arriving guests.  During off-season, if you may need additional time to check out, please inform us in advance of arrival or during your stay. We will do all we can to accommodate, but a guarantee is subject to availability. Late check outs during high season will be assessed an additional $50.00 fee.

Where do we pick up keys on arrival day?

Cathead Bay Vacation Properties office is located in Traverse City on Front Street, however, all check ins are handled remotely, which means that one week prior to arrival you will receive an email with instructions to travel directly to the property where you will find a lockbox.  A code to unlock the lock box will be issued to you with your check in instructions. Upon departure, you must replace the key in the lock box at the property. Please be sure to secure all doors and windows prior to leaving. Guests will be charged a replacement fee of $10.00 per key not returned or left in the lock box.