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“Excellent Value and Location” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Timber Bay Lodge and Houseboats

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Timber Bay Lodge and Houseboats
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8347 Timber Bay Rd, Babbitt, MN   |  
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30$ OFF MIDSUMMER RATES
Lake Forest IL
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Excellent Value and Location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013

We've stayed here a couple of times and it has an excellent location and really reasonable rooms. Birch lake is nice and we caught many northerns and a few walleye. A better location than garden lake or some others.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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30 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    29
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17
5
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Mason City, Iowa
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

Had a great time with our first trip to upper Minnesota. The owners are a class act, and so is their dog 'timber'. :). The kids really enjoyed their time on the lake and we look forward to coming back again soon.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Illinois
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012

First time renting a houseboat and the experience was tremendous! The Rykkens are the best hosts and made you feel right at home, especially the evening mixers! But the lake itself is also a great draw, so very special to tie up to an isolated isle and spend the night under that starlit sky. Thanks again! Jeff

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NE WIsconsin
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2012

We rented a 30' houseboat. It was the cleanest, best maintained boat you could imagine! It was small, perfect for two, and not very fancy, which is our fancy! Ron, the owner, arranged for us to get aboard a bit early. The briefing was comprehensive, but short. The staff was friendly, polite and helpful. We had a couple of problems which we discovered when we were out on the lake--a defunct swimming ladder (they sent Rob to pick it up and it was returned in two hours, all fixed), a broken grill (Rob brought us another AND our canoe!). Two days in, there was a routine service visit--ice and a repair for the 12 volt outlet. Lest it sound like this boat was a disaster, please be assured that it was not. It was in great shape and Timber Bay was genuinely anxious to make EVERYTHING all right, quickly. The failures we had seemed out of the ordinary! We enjoyed sunning on the roof--this outfit provides chaises--swimming while at anchor on the lake, exploring, fishing and stargazing.The boat was really easy to handle. A perfect vacation. We can't wait to go again!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
McHenry, IL
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2012

We stayed with our 2 daughters (8 & 9), my husband, and my parents for 7 days. Sunday night the owners host a get together with appetizers, wine, & beer. Then Mon - Fri our daughters paced until "Kids' Camp" started for hiking, crafts, singing, games, and even a cook out on an island in the lake from 9:30am - 12:00pm. Mon night they had a marshmellow roast on the beach. Tues & Thurs afternoon the owners offer tubing or water skiing. Tues night a volleyball tournament with the whole staff. Wed. am is a women's champagne-coffee roll cruise around the lake. Friday night was a cook out with chicken & pork, potatoes, salad, and brownies...ALL MADE THERE and fresh not frozen!

We rented a pontoon for the 6 of us and cruied the lake. Fishing was super slow and the pikes we did catch were all in the protected range (24" - 36"). However, we took two canoes (free from Timber Bay) across the portage to Whisper Lake and had a blast! We caught lots of fish there - sunnies, perch, S&L bass, and a large walleye snapped the line. (Note: no pikes in Whisper Lake)

We saw a family of Bald Eagles, family of loons, lots of deer, etc. Each cabin has a humming bird feeder and they are all well used!

My parents stayed in Cabin #3 (30 years ago this was Cabin #1). It is a 1 bedroom and is super clean and very comfortable.

The swimming beach is well maintained and has a slide, water trampoline, and diving platform. Need a little adventure? Grab a kayak or a canoe (free) and investigate the lake. Or walk over to the marina for a motor boat or pontoon ($)! You can even try out a houseboat!

Water not your thing? Grab a bike from the 20+ waiting for you (free) and hit the paved bike trail all the way into Babbitt and beyond! Or head to the game room for pool, foosball, or ping pong! They even have an archery range for you to try your aim!

Anything you want to do outdoors is available!

The staff is VERY FRIENDLY and Beth & Ron (owners) and their daughters (Courtney & Bailey) immediately make you feel like one of the family.

Our girls keep saying: "This was the best vacation EVER! We're going back next year, right?" The oldest is even trying to figure out a way to get a job there when she gets older!!!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2012

Our first time on a houseboat and something that we'll definitely do again. The Timber Bay staff was very helpful and operation of the boat was simple. Check in was quick and we were on the water in less than an hour. We had the 38' boat and it had plenty of room for the four of us. We chose a different campsite every night. Every mid day we'd anchor in deep water and spend the afternoon swimming, using the slide, and sunning on the upper deck. Evenings were spent fishing and sitting around the campfire. It was so incredibly peaceful and quiet. When we did see others it was usually other houseboats. At night it felt like we had the whole lake to ourselves.Timber Bay is a first class operation and we'd highly recommend them.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mpls mn
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2012

First time on a houseboat. Went with another family, four adults and three kids total. We got the largest boat which can sleep up to 12 however it was really a perfect amount of space for seven of us. Two bedrooms with two full beds, two bunks and a pullout couch. Two bathrooms and one with a shower. The kitchen was completely functional, even had a small oven and three burner stove. Nice dining area however we used it little. We spent all of our time on one of the decks on either end of the boat. The slide was great for the kids and adults alike. It was very peaceful, rarely saw others and when we did they were also on a houseboat. Tied up at night on one of the many islands and made a campfire. The boat was easy to use and maneuver, there was plenty of space to move around both inside and on the lake in general. Cant wait to go back!!!

Room Tip: Get the biggest boat!!!!!
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Timber Bay Lodge and Houseboats

Address: 8347 Timber Bay Rd, Babbitt, MN
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Minnesota > Babbitt
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Ski-In / Ski-Out
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Babbitt
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Timber Bay Lodge and Houseboats is located on Birch Lake in Babbitt, MN. With 13 housekeeping cabins and 13 houseboats it is a premier resort in the Babbitt and Ely area.All cabins are fully furnished in Northwoods décor, have fireplaces and decks with great views. Kids can enjoy the Kids Klub program while mom and dad fish, hike or relax. Cabins are from a cozy one bedroom up to a 6 bedroom lake home.Seven different size houseboats can accommodate anything from 2-12 people. Cruise 20 miles of pristine undeveloped Birch Lake and have a campfire at night. Fish off the back of your boat or enjoy the sunshine in your chaise lounge from the top of the boat.Bikes, canoes, kayaks all free for your use. Fishing boats and pontoon boats available for rent. There is truly something for every member of your group/family ... more   less 

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