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Donard Maniaci

Member since: 2014
Call Owner
Speaks english

Skull Island, Blackbeard's Hideaway!

29 Reviews
Bedrooms 3
Property type cabin
Minimum Stay 3 nights


Photos and Description of this White Lake holiday cabin

Private Island House next to a State Park

Ahoy, matey! Welcome to Skull Island where your adventures begin and your memories are treasured.

Your adventure begins right after you park your car in the gated parking area. You'll bring your belongings to the dock where you can load it into your boat or use ours. From the dock, the house will be in your view on the island just to the right. There is no way to drive to the island, it can only be accessed by boat.

The home is unmistakable with pirate flags all around, painted black with cannons mounted to the side. You are about 100 yards or about a five minute row boat ride from your destination.

The property is on a point of the island. This gives you 270 degree views, main view of Pontiac Lake, the beach and Gale Bay. It's great to have the sun on the front of the house and when to the rear of the house, you'll find shade under the large maple tree. In the evening you'll enjoy breathtaking sunsets.

You'll have access to everything you need. On the Lake there is a Chinese Restaurant and a couple boat liveries. Pontiac Lake State Park has a host of things to do

Skull Island kid's camp is just on the other side of the island. Check them out on their web site or on Facebook.

Water is the way of the pirate so let's address that. There is a row boat and paddle boat included with the house at no charge. We rent a 8 person pontoon for $150 per night or a larger pontoon can be rented from the local boat liveries for about $225 (some ask it be returned by 5:00 PM). Lounge around the lake or on the dock or deck all day and spend your evenings in Pontiac, Royal Oak, Birmingham, Clarkston, Detroit, Windsor (Canada) or other local hot spot of your choosing. Bring your fishing pole and catch Bass, Bluegill, Pike, Walleye and other game fish when in season. Barbecue outside or cook inside. Vacation in beautiful Oakland County while enjoying the cozy, yet upscale, Northern Michigan atmosphere of this home. Abundant wildlife in nature sanctuary type setting all around the property. The cottage has additional dock space for your own boat as well.

On weekends you'll see the locals playing volleyball in the water.

The 3rd weekend of July is Quake on the Lake, power boat races. This house has the best views for this event. Part of the lake is off limits for safety reasons in front of the beach area and south towards M59. You will still be able to get from your car to the island and enjoy the rest of the lake. There are normally really good bands in the evening. Mitch Ryder, Rare Earth and host of other bands have played right on the beach in the past. You can hear and normally see them right from the deck. Check out the Quakeonthelake web site for details.


Can we drive our car to the house?

No, you must park and take the row boat provided or your own (or rented) boat.

Is there a water taxi?


How long does it take to row to the Island?

About 5 minutes.

Where do we park?

The secure parking area has 2 reserved spots for guests. There may be more depending on traffic. There is also additional parking at the State park down the road. There are only 3 houses using the parking area so there is normally not a parking problem.

Is there dock space available at the parking area?

There is a 32 foot double sided dock for the parking area.

Where do we store our boat trailer?

Boat trailers can be parked at the owner's home on the other side of the lake if there is no room in the lot.

Is there dock space at the house?

There is a 24 foot double sided dock at the house. I normally tie my pontoon right up to the sea wall.

Is the calendar availability updated?


Is there internet?

There is no internet provided. T-Mobile 4G in the area. I normally turn my phone into a Hot-Spot and run it on that. It runs just as fast as my Comcast connection at home.

Can pontoons be rented on the lake?

Yes - We've recently acquired a 8 person pontoon.. It rents for an additional $150 per night, basically following the house, and can be rolled into the cost of the house if you like. Please let us know if this is something you would like when booking.

Can you swim at the house?

Yes, it's shallow right off the seawall. You can also row right to the beach at the state park. The house faces it.

Can we get the cleaning fee waived?

To ensure a the high level of cleanliness that we require. The cleaning will always be done by our staff. All linens are done off site so it is not possible for the renter to clean the cabin on their own. Besides, your on vacation, relax and enjoy yourself!

Please feel free to contact the owners with any other questions.

Also, check out the reviews to see what other people have to say about it. I get a lot of comments about the responses...... Matey!!!! ;-)

More Details
  • Events Allowed
  • long term rentals available
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets considered
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Donard Maniaci (Owner)
Member since: 2014
Call Owner
Speaks english

About Donard Maniaci

Donard is an Electrical Controls Engineer/Project Manager. Nan is a Property Manager and cake maker. We love to ride Motorcycles and spend time on the water.

We restored this cabin last year and think it's great vacation spot.

We've been living on Pontiac Lake since 1990 and can answer most of your questions.

Donard Maniaci purchased this cabin in 2013

Why Donard Maniaci chose Southeast Michigan

It's on an island and your view is the beach. Pontiac Lake is a well known hotspot in the area.

Quake on the Lake, Power Boat Races in July, is one of the largest events in the county and it happens right outside your door.

What makes this cabin unique

Island privacy, views, waterfront and wild life is right at your door.

Guestbook comments from the owner

Hi Donard,

We filled out the survey. I didn't get a confirmation though.. So I submitted it about 3 times. I can't be sure if it actually went through. This is what I wrote:

"We, the Chicago Engineering Design Team, were competing in an annual robotics competition when we rented this amazing place!! In the end, we were heartbroken because we spent so little time at this beautiful place since we were so busy during competition!! When we arrived at the allotted parking space, we found ourselves stund by the breathtaking view of the cabin across the water. (So refreshing from the city life we are so used to in Chicago!) we could hear the birds singing, the cooling winds blowing, and the water... Oh the water. Then, we were warmly greeted by Donard and he and his sweet grand daughter gave us a tour of the beautiful island (the place to play volleyball, sulk in the sun on beautiful sand, etc) before kindly dropping us off at the cabin. The cabin is beautifully designed with the fun pirate-theme! And it was sooo clean!! We excitingly walks around to find a bonfire, a nice outdoor picnic style eating spot, a paddle and row boat! We thought to ourselves, we don't we just forget the competition and just stay here all 4 days and relax, sleep, eat, play, swim!!!! Of course, that didn't happen.. We were there for a competition. BUT, in the end, we won third place in design, beating 45 international/national teams ( including Yale Univ. and Japan's Hosei Univ)!!! No doubt the inspiration we got from this wonderful small paradise of a cabin on an island had a major effect on our performance! The Chicago EDT is so thankful for the awesome and super nice owner, Donard for letting us stay in this paradise! BEST decision we made as a team ( we saved lots of money staying in this paradise too!) I, personally plan to come back, with friends and family so we can properly utilize and ENJOY this beautiful place!"

Let me know if that didn't work and I'll gladly do it again! Thanks again so much!!

Sent from my iPhone
Jun 2014
  • 1 of 1


based on 29 traveller reviews

Skull Island, Blackbeard's Hideaway!
average rating of 4.9310346 based on 30 reviews

Peaceful Relaxing Get-Away With Up North Feel!

  • 5 of 5

Great unique cabin surrounded by water with all the amenities and fully stocked with all your needs! When you're there it feels like you drove 3 to 4 hours up north, yet this place was only less than an hour from home. The pontoon boat is a must have! The lake views were amazing and the owners made you feel like Family. This was a great summer getaway and highly recommended! Plan to be back next summer! Thank You for the hospitality!

  • Review Submitted: Sep 13, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Sep 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Well kept everything nice and clean! Pirate theme on point!

  • 5 of 5

It was an amazing experience, even without a motorized boat the rowing added an unique situation! Great host, provided tons of ways to entertain guests on the island! Great location if you need anything the local area can provide. Would recommend to others!

  • Review Submitted: Aug 31, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Very quiet with very nice scenery. Lots of fun and relaxing

  • 4 of 5

I loved the quite privacy and relaxing atmosphere, while having direct access to a variety of other activities within minutes.

  • Review Submitted: Aug 2, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Sep 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
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  • 5 of 5

Myself, husband, and 20 month old daughter needed a mini vacation for the holiday weekend. I somehow found this place while searching google and I must say it did not disappoint. The thing that sold me is that it is a dog friendly property and I cannot tell you how hard it is to find a nice place that allows our furbaby as well. We had a great time! I highly suggest renting the pontoon especially if you have kids. The location is easy access even though it is on an island. The people all around the property were extremely friendly. The house was clean and exactly as described. We took the pontoon to the sandbar for a few hours and enjoyed the lake. The house has pretty much everything you need! The owners are very friendly and communication was never an issue. We will be back to visit in the future!

  • Review Submitted: Jul 6, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jun 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Arrrra Sharron, I guess even "Fur Babies" can be pirates. GET YOUR PIRATE ON!
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Even Better Than Expected

  • 5 of 5

Our family of three just got back from a wonderful week-long stay; it truly is an incredible place run by good people. It looks cool in the pictures, and the reviews are all great, but you really have to experience staying there to really understand how awesome this place is. We had lots of family fun playing in the water right in front of the house, rowing to the beach, s'mores by the fire as the sun set, playing games on the deck, and on and on... We were also able to each do our own thing from time to time, but still be near one another right outside the door of the Hideaway; my wife sat on the deck and read while my daughter swam right in front of her, and I fished just around the curve of the point. I caught fish everyday (catfish, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, blue gill, and carp), including the three biggest fish I've ever caught, all from the front and side of the cottage. You get incredible views from just about everywhere on the property, inside and out. The cottage itself was well-stocked, clean, and comfortable, but to be honest, we spent most of our time outside. I even enjoyed rowing the boat around, but the pontoon was fun too!

Donard and Nan were great to work with; available for questions, helpful, fair, and fun. We highly recommend Blackbeard's Hideaway, and we can't wait to make it back to Skull Island!

  • Review Submitted: Jun 25, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jun 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Avast, Dan and his crew be walking the plank to great adventures! It's a cut throat way of life out there but their always be place for the likes of this crew at Blackbeard's Hideaway. Bring on the Grog and open the jib, it's time to set sail! Donard and Nan
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Fantastic stay at Blackbeard's Hideaway!

  • 5 of 5

We had an absolutely wonderful four-night stay at Blackbeard's Hideaway. We decided to rent the pontoon boat for the entire time we were there and it was easy to move all of our luggage across the short stretch of water to the house. The house itself is cozy and newly updated. Although the one bathroom takes some coordination if you have several people staying together, we never had an issue even when we had additional guests out for the day. Donard gets an A+ for communication... he was available via phone and text whenever we needed him. His wife also was nice enough to drop what she was doing and come out to rescue us when we accidentally left the boat lights on overnight. The lake is clean but quite shallow, though a quick boat ride will bring you to some sandy areas. We highly recommend Blackbeard's Hideaway, and you'll love the pirate theme!

  • Review Submitted: Jun 7, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jun 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Avast!!!!! Some might kind words for us old Pirate's. They be well appreciated. We'll be looking for ye next time around at Blackbeards Hideaway! Donard and Nan
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Nearest Airport
38.7 Miles
Detroit Metro Airport
Nearest Barpub
2.1 Miles
Pontiac Lake Inn (Great Burgers at dive bar)
Nearest Golf
2.1 Miles
White Lake Oaks
Nearest Motorway
1.7 Miles
Nearest Restaurant
1.7 Miles
Carrie Lee's
Nearest Beach
100 Metres
Pontiac Lake Beach, You'll be looking at it
Car: necessary

Greenfield Village / Henry Ford Museum is within an hour drive. Contact the owner if looking for something else.


Rates & Availability

Rental Rates for this holiday cabin in White Lake, Michigan

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
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Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
Fall Pricing
10 Sep 2016 - 31 Oct 2016
3 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning A$132

If you are renting this for Quake on the Lake, 3rd week-end in July. You must book for a 7 nights to get the week-end. This a great viewing spot for this event.

Tax Id is available if required.

Please feel free to contact the owner any other questions.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
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Accommodation and facilities for this holiday cabin rental in White Lake, Michigan

Property Type:
  • cabin
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 900 sq. ft.
Location Type:
  • Beach View
  • Beachfront ...
  • Lake View
  • Lakefront
  • Water View
  • Waterfront
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Budget
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Air Conditioning
  • Fireplace ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 5 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 -
  • Everything is new. The bathroom or head, has great view of Gale Bay.
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 double bed , 1 single bed , Bunkbeds
    Bedroom 2 - 1 double bed , 1 single bed , Bunkbeds
    Bedroom 3 - 1 large double bed , Upstairs bedroom with walk-out balcony.
  • Lower bedrooms have bunkbeds. Twin and Full mattresses. Upper loft has a Queen and a walk-out balcony with amazing views. Living room has a sofa bed.
  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Games
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Toys
  • Video Library
  • Balcony
  • Boat ...
  • Deck / Patio
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Events Allowed
  • long term rentals available
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only
  • pets considered ...
  • wheelchair inaccessible ...
  • autumn foliage
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • laundrette - not serviced
  • festivals
  • forests
  • library
  • live theatre
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • recreation centre
  • restaurants
  • water parks
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • antique hunting
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • gambling casinos
  • horse riding
  • outlet shopping
  • paddle boating
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness centre
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundrette - serviced
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • equestrian events
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • jet skiing
  • mountain biking
  • roller blading
  • sailing
  • diving
  • snorkelling
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water skiing
  • water tubing
Pontiac Lake is one of the best lakes around. It's a shallow lake. This makes it one of the first lakes to get warm and stay warm. You can swim right off the sea wall or go to the state beach. If you like water and having plenty to do, you'll love this place.