My family has stayed at the Hampton Inn (Canal Park) in Duluth 1-3 times per year for the past 3-4 years. We have always had excellent customer service and always found our rooms to be clean and comfortable. I have always found the hotel and its staff to be very accommidating of any requests that our family has had--such as early check-in, etc. Booking as early as possible can sometimes ensure a lower room rate. One item to be aware of is that the hotel no longer accepts personal checks. Payment must be made in the form of cash or credit card.
Room rates are a little bit high for this 'category' of hotel but I can cost justify the stays here because we normally stay during Holidays (such as Memorial and Labor Day weekend) which are bound to produce higher room rates AND we get a free continental breakfast every morning, which means I don't need to pay for my family to eat out at a restaurant. The contenential breakfast has something for everyone...cereal, yogurt, fresh fruit, hard-boiled eggs, toast, bagels, doughnuts, muffins, milk, juice, coffee...you name it! I have even noticed that some afternoons the staff puts out fresh fruit and/or cookies for the folks who have been traveling and are checking in to their rooms for the evening.
The hotel itself is very clean and comfortable. There is a nice lobby area with sitting space as well as a 4-season sitting room facing Lake Superior. The 4-season sitting room has a great view of Lake Superior. We can exit the 4-season sitting room and be on the lakewalk in a matter of a few short steps. The hotel is situated within walking distance of several restaurants, bars, and quaint shops. Safety wise, all exterior doors are locked after 10:00 (?) p.m. and you must have a room key to enter. After 10:00 p.m. guests can enter via the lobby entrance. The parking lot is well lit and I have always felt safe coming and going from the hotel, even late at night.
The hotel posts a schedule of ships that are scheduled to arrive and/or depart the port and the approximate times of their arrival/departure. Although times are approximate, it allows our family to easily schedule other activities during times that we know a ship won't be arriving or departing. They also can supply you with ample information concerning "downtown" Duluth and activites to do in that area of the city.
We have our next trip to Duluth already scheduled and we are staying at the Hampton Inn yet again, and my family can't wait!