making memorable family vacations

  • Wireless internet
  • Outdoor grill and smoker
  • Puppet theater
  • Kids bathroom and bunkhouse
  • Kitchen amenities: dishwasher, range garbage disposal table settings for 18, granite countertops, three refrigerators, farmhouse sink, subway tile, two coffee makers, pots and pans, crockpot
  • Library and board games
  • Fire pit and FREE fire wood
  • Outdoor games
  • Patio and chairs
  • 60" TV with surround sound (cable)
  • Stereo with ipod docking station


  • Central air conditioning
  • Gas fireplace with remote
  • Washer and dryer
  • Wet bar on lower level
  • Towels and linens provided (no beach towels)

A Great Gathering Place

Each of the six bedrooms has it's own theme, including Whirlygigs, Vintage Microcars and Christo's Running Fence. The children's crew quarters has a rowing theme. The first floor has colorful Michigan landscapes, and craftsman style details, tile work and wood work.


The site has two houses on the lot.  In the summer we rent The Boathouse and The Keeper's house as a pair.  During the spring and fall we rent the boathouse only.  he Boathouse sleeps 16 in comfort and is within walking distance of the village and the beach.

The Douglas Boathouse is located on a quiet side street in Douglas and specifically built for large groups. Six of seven bedrooms in the main house are furnished with queen beds, the seventh bedroom - the children's crew quarters - will sleep four in bunk beds. Five bathrooms ensure the competition over bathrooms will be minimized. The Keeper's house has two more bedrooms with matching queen size beds, a sixth bath second kitchen, second fireplace and more room to spread out. Rent both houses and sleep 20 in comfort.

The main house has a dining table with seating for 14 and a large living room make sure that no one will be left out when gathered around the fire place. The sun porch, library and small office offer more intimate spaces. The fire pit with free wood, outdoor dining area and the private patios all offer great spaces on warm summer nights.

New yet warm. Everything was new in 2013. The building has been completely rebuilt with quality materials by a Architect/Builder. The wood ceilings, floors and trim make the house warm. Craftsman style mosaic work, original art and creative details add character and charm.

Centrally located between downtown Douglas and Lake Michigan we are closer to the beach than most houses in Saugatuck or Douglas. Shopping, dining and entertainment options are just minutes away.

ABOUT The Boathouse

The Douglas Boathouse

A note from the owners

Joanie and I are have recently seen our children become adults and now we are starting our second life doing so many of the things that we never had time for in the past.  As newlyweds, we were married in September of 2014, and we have just started a new project restoring a 1930 Prairie Style house in Ann Arbor.

Working on the Douglas Boathouse for two years, we had the chance to try new ideas and remember all the things that were important to us as children.  We hope that the house will make you smile, chuckle or better yet loose track of time and totally relax.  

Explore Saugatuck/Douglas the cape cod of the Midwest, take in the beauty of the big lake and most important of all enjoy the people and hospitality that a small town can offer.

Your hosts,

John and Joanie Hollowell

Saugatuck/Douglas are

small harbor towns along

the west coast of Lake

Michigan.  We have been

called the third coast or

the Cape Cod of the

Midwest.   The Grand

Rapids International

Airport ia about an hour



There is something for everyone to do in the surrounding areas.  Our guests enjoy:


Wine tasting - Berry picking

Beaches, Dunes, Rivers and Lakes

Boating - Shopping

Golfing - Tennis - Fishing

Art Galleries and Art School 

Brew Pub - Bike Trails - Theater 

What our guests are saying:

April 29, 2014

Hi Joanie-

Thank you and thank you for the use of your wonderful house.  I had 4 houses rented to accommodate the many families that came in for the reunion we had at our house and it was fun to see them all but by far we fell in love with the boathouse!  The house is so well thought out, decorated, and with such great little special touches.  You have an amazing talent for design!  I have a friend who builds houses and I brought him over just to see what an incredibly nice job you did!  The family that stayed there, my sister-in-law's family, had a fabulous time and even had some fun with the puppet theater!  Thank you for creating such a special wonderful space to be shared.


October 6, 2015

Hi Joanie-

Thank you!  We had the most wonderful time.  It was a complete surprise for Brian! I had the kids and grandkids come early and they improvised a puppet show to as the way to surprise him that they were at the house.  He got there about an hour and a half after me and the kids.  I showed him the puppet theater, all of a sudden a puppet popped out and said hello and then lots of puppets popped out and started making jokes.  I don't think I've ever seen him laugh so hard or be so pleased. 

I've received many hints from the kids that we should make this an annual event!

What a beautiful home.  We all thoroughly enjoyed our weekend.

Best, Cindy

June 26, 2015

We rented the Boathouse for our family reunion and mother's 75 birthday celebration.  We were a family of 5 (10 adults and 9 teens) and this home accomodated all of us.  We loved the spacious kitchen.  The long table accomdated all of us for all meals.  Two dishwashers was a great idea when planning out the kitchen appliances.  Loved it that they had two refigerators.  The whole house was clean and up to date.  Enough bathrooms for all.  The firepit in the backyard was well liked by all.  Even though there was a TV in the basement we did not use it once.  WIth all of the fun family functions and all of the near places to go (Dune buggy rides, bike rides, sub bathing at the beach, brewery tours, boat rentals, paddle boarding rentals, and shopping in Saugatuck) there was no time to watch.  I also loved the early morning coffee clutches near the gas fire place in the living room.  Nice place to relax.  Thank you so much for a wonderful week at your home.  We had a blast!