Blue Water Area couple opens Lexington’s LillyPad, bringing new life to neglected motel

Heidi and Joe Lilly.Blue Water Area residents Joe and Heidi Lilly believe they have found a way to give back to the community they have called home their entire lives. When the motel at 3832 Lakeshore Rd. in Lexington went up for sale, located across the street from Joe Lilly’s childhood home, they knew they could revitalize the property that had been vacant for more than 15 years into a great option for a staycation or tourists visiting the coastal community.

Located across the road from Lexington County Park and a short walk from Lake Huron’s waterfront, the couple purchased the motel and its 20-acre property in 2018. They began significant renovations to overhaul the long-neglected motel, formerly known as Azure Tides and Lexington Budget Motel, and this past May Lexington’s LillyPad welcomed its first guests.

Lexington's LillyPad is located at 3832 Lakeshore Rd. in Lexington, Michigan.

The Lillys say they are excited to be a part of making Lexington even more fun to visit and believe the motel will be a wonderful new community attraction.

In addition to this new venture, the Lillys are educators at Croswell-Lexington Middle School and spend their time off hunting, fishing, and taking tourists out on fishing expeditions through their other business, LillyPad Charters. After hearing from many of their customers in the past about needing to travel outside of Lexington to find a place to stay during fishing trips, the Lillys knew the motel would also be an asset to the community as well as their charter business offering a closer, more convenient option for accommodation.

Interior photo of the Captain's Suite, one of the rooms available at Lexington's LillyPad.Work on the property will be done in stages and, currently, Lexington’s LillyPad has three rooms available. The Crew’s Cabin offers two full beds, the First Mate Quarters which is handicap accessible and features two queen-size beds, and the Captain’s Suite which offers two bedrooms and two full bathrooms.

Landscaping work at the motel is ongoing and the Lillys are looking ahead to upcoming projects such as transforming the front office. Although they are still determining the best use for the space, among the possibilities is a gym or a community center. Additionally, they are dreaming of other uses for the property with ideas that include a wedding venue with an enchanted forest ambience and full use of the motel for the wedding party or guests.

“It’s a work in progress and the more work we put into it, the more ideas for its future we seem to come up with,” Heidi Lilly says.

For more information or to book a stay at Lexington’s LillyPad, visit
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Read more articles by Rita MacDonald.

Rita MacDonald is a U.S. Army veteran and a full-time registered nurse who claims that her Irish and Scottish heritage is the reason for her love of storytelling. She is the mother of two adult sons, “Gummy” to her three grandchildren, loves talking with anyone who will engage in a conversation, and “eats life with a shovel!” In addition to her work with The Keel, Rita is a contributor for the Thumbprint News, an author of three books, and writes a blog at