Spent a long weekend in Bemidji to celebrate a wedding. We stayed in the main lodge, on the side opposite the lake. Ruttgers feels a bit like a summer camp. Nice scenery and grounds, but buildings are quite dated.
Our room wasn't all that great; and it seems that no two rooms in the lodge are alike. Ours was a 2-Room "suite", with two twin beds and one full bed. Awfully cramped, cheap wood paneling, and a generous amount of air-freshener designed to cover up the musty smell of an aging building. Hot water was slow to come by. Beds were far from comfortable. No A/C on rooms facing away from the lake, but fortunately it wasn't terribly hot during our stay.
Yet, on the other hand the place does have a genuine charm to it. The staff is friendly. The food was pretty good for being a hotel restaurant. Good drinks at the bar. Atmosphere was very "homey".
Its difficult to really rate Ruttgers. For as many things as I was put-off by, I still enjoyed my stay and I can see some people really enjoying the classic/rustic feel to the place. Ultimately though, I would probably say it wasn't necessarily worth the money. For just $20-30 more I could have stayed at the Best Western and had hot water, AC, and a pillow top bed. To each their own, I guess.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.