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“It doesn't get better.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of South Pier Inn on the Canal

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South Pier Inn on the Canal
2.0 of 5 Hotel   |   701 South Lake Ave, Duluth, MN 55802   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 32 Hotels in Duluth
Seattle, Washington
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“It doesn't get better.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2012

As a frequent traveler for both business and pleasure, I find the South Pier Inn to be a gem in a sea of less-than-average hotels. My husband and I travel to Duluth several times a year to visit relatives, and we try to stay at the South Pier Inn as often as we can. Our most recent stay this past weekend was exceptional. We stayed in a panoramic suite, which has both a view of the canal and a view of the harbor. The living room of the suite was the perfect backdrop for a late family Christmas celebration--gorgeous view, fireplace, Christmas movie playing on the DVD player. My parents spent a good amount of time watching the wildlife outside using the binoculars and telescope provided in the room. The suite itself was impeccably clean and had all the conveniences of home--including a mini kitchen area.

We're practically "regulars" at the South Pier Inn during the off season months. The staff is always friendly and approachable, the check in/checkout process is painless, and the snacks in the lobby area are fantastic. The little croissants are a bit of heaven.

While we'd love to keep this gem to ourselves, we've told all of our friends and family about the hotel, and we've encouraged people to visit Duluth purely to stay at the South Pier Inn. The location is the best way to experience the best Duluth has to offer--downtown, Canal Park, and massive ships passing next to your window.

Room Tip: The panoramic suites have the best views and the most space, but any waterfront room will be a great...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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
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247 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    166
    60
    10
    6
    5
See reviews for
28
150
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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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (88)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2011

I am almost afraid to write this review because I would love to keep South Pier to myself. My sisiter and I were in Duluth for a quick overnight trip and decided to stay at the South Pier. I was so pleasantly suprised. Our room was fresh and clean and very comfortable. We had terrific views of the harbor and the lights of the city up the hill.
In the morning I got to see the lift bridge in operation close up and watched as an ore ship came into the harbor. Very Impressive.
I had my coffee with Betty the owner and Jamie at the desk. Everyone could not be more friendly. We were in walking distance to shops and good places to eat. Not to mention the fact that it is close to all of the lake walking trails. I honestly can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Thunder Bay, Canada
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2011

We stayed here November 25-27, 2011 during a weekend getaway to the Twin Ports. We were greeted by friendly desk staff, provided with a clean, comfortable room, and locally baked snacks available anytime. We had a canal view room located right at the base of the Arrowhead Bridge in Duluth, and were treated to ships passing through the canal and under the bridge not 100' from our balcony. The room was large (1 bedroom suite) and clean, and after and evening in the cool night air, it was great to come back at night and sip some wine while enjoying a soak in the 2 person jet tub in front of the fireplace.

The breakfast included with the room consisted of fresh baking from a local bakery, fresh fruit, yogurt, juices, and coffee. It was very nice, and my only issue with it was the lack of a protein option such as peanut butter or boiled eggs.

All things considered, we had a very relaxing weekend here and would definitely stay at this hotel again.

Room Tip: We liked the canal view room as it provided an excellent view of the lift bridge and the Duluth wate...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
White Bear
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2011

My husband and I have stayed herer at least twice per year ever since it opened. We generally go off-season, on a Sunday night, so we get a good rate. Coupons are usually available for around $109 for the one-room waterfront suite, which has a hot tub and fireplace and unbelievable views of the city and canal or harbor.

The "suites" are on the smaller side and sparsely furnished, but clean and quiet - we love it.

We stayed there a few days ago, and to our surpirise, the Christmas light display across the harbor was all lit up for a trial run. It's called Bentleyville and we couldn't believe how cool it was. The photo that I took from the balcony isn't very clear, as I used my phone to snap it, but it was living the life to lie back in the bubbling whirlpool and look at Lake Superior and the fun holiday lights.

Room Tip: Just don't get the balcony guest room. Cheaper but no view. Why stay here if not for the view?
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
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Le Sueur, Minnesota
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2011

We love staying at this hotel when we are in Duluth. We have brought many friends here and they can talk about nothing else. We love being able to see the big boats up close and personal 24/7. You can't get a better view of the big boats at any other hotel in Duluth. Hotel is very comfortable, clean and they have great coffee.

Room Tip: As for a room facing the canal.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Des Moines, IA
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2011

Loved our one-room waterfront suite in this unique location! Being right at the foot of Duluth's landmark Aerial Lift Bridge, and only steps away for the Maritime Visitors Center and Canal Park restaurants and shopping, made this perfect location for our two-night stay. We actually were able to watch ships going through the canal from the comfort of our whirlpool bath. Breakfast was typical donuts, sweet rolls and muffins, and the coffee was good enough that we bought some to take home with us. It's also nice to have DVDs available to enjoy in the room in case the shipping traffic, fireplace and whirlpool aren't enough to keep you entertained!

Room Tip: The canal-side rooms that offer ring-side seats for watching shipping traffic moving into Duluth Har...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Socorro, New Mexico
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2011

We were lucky to find this Inn by chance on the internet, and it could only have been better if we could have stayed longer. The view from the canal-side rooms is spectacular, the staff is wonderful, fabulous coffee in the lobby, rooms are very clean and comfortable, and we loved our stay. We want to come again! The lift bridge is a work of art, and the ship watching is the best anywhere.

  • Stayed October 2011, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about South Pier Inn on the Canal

Address: 701 South Lake Ave, Duluth, MN 55802
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Minnesota > Duluth
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Duluth
#5 Family Hotel in Duluth
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — South Pier Inn on the Canal 2*
Number of rooms: 29
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located at the foot of the Aerial Lift Bridge adjacent to Canal Park, South Pier Inn is Duluth's premier shipwatching hotel. Our 20 waterfront suites each feature a whirlpool, fireplace and private balcony, offering breathtaking views of the Duluth harbor or ship canal. This family-owned property offers the amenities you'd expect in a much larger hotel, yet provides the level of service and attention to detail you'd only find in a smaller establishment. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
South Pier Inn On The Canal Hotel Duluth
South Pier Duluth
South Pier Inn Duluth

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