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“Made our wedding day special!” 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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Ranked #4 of 32 Hotels in Duluth
Maple Grove, Minnesota
1 review
“Made our wedding day special!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

Last year on 11/28/11 my fiancé and I got our usual room at the SPI to watch the ships fight the gals of November on Lake Superior. We decided on very short notice that it would be fun to get married on the lift bridge so we found a pastor who was willing to walk out on the bridge to marry us. She brought her husband as a witness but we needed one more person so the manager of the Inn gladly walked out and witnessed out brief ceremony, (It was cold but not too bad out that day). Later that night after we returned to our room we were greeted by a tray with chocolates, a bottle of wine with classes and even a little toy boat with a note of congratulations. It was so sweet and thoughtful and beyond what they needed to do for us. As for the rooms, (this is upcoming year will be our fourth year in a row at SPI), they are impeccable. Clean, clean, clean with views you can't beat. The whirlpools are big (My husband and I are both over six feet tall and fit in it comfortable together;) and gets as hot as you can handle it. We have never heard any other guests talking or TV. Watching the ships go in and out from the tub with the fire place on and the door cracked is a little slice of heaven!

Room Tip: Pick a room over looing the bridge!
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  • Stayed December 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
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251 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    169
    61
    10
    6
    5
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28
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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 (90)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Livonia, Michigan
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2012

There is no other place on the Great Lakes where you can stay and see huge freighters pass by your room so closely. Location is the name of the game here, right next to Duluth's Aerial Lift Bridge. The rooms are large and tastefully furnished, but somewhat worn around the edges as this place is now 12 years old. Our room had a fireplace, Jacuzzi tub, a small balcony, and separate bedroom and bathroom. Room also had a small kitchenette area with a sink, fridge, and microwave. Pricey: $220 on the ground floor facing the canal for a mid-week night in September after Labor Day. Expect much higher prices during the peak summer season. The only draw back is a very mediocre continental breakfast served in a tiny, tiny space next to the front check-in desk....a very poor arrangement.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Willmar, MN
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2012

Have been to Duluth area several times and always stay in Canal Park. Decided to try the "other side of the bridge" this time! AWESOME stay! Make sure you get a canal side or harbor view room. Clean, lots of extras, could have spent our entire visit just hanging out at the hotel! Is expensive but well worth the extra dollars! Will definitely return!

Room Tip: Corner room with panoramic view the best!
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  • Stayed September 2012, 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
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Niwot, Colorado
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2012

We stayed a total of three nights - one night with a view of the parking lot, two with a view of the bridge and canal. Spend the few extra dollars for the good view and you'll be glad you did! The rooms are very light and airy, clean and modern, but what takes the experience over the top is watching the comings and goings of the ships and the incredible aerial lift bridge... it was very compelling. The breakfast was so-so, the only weak link in my opinion, but not a deal breaker. We had an issue with the air conditioning, and the manager fixed it instantly - thumbs up on the service. The location is excellent, in walking distance to plenty of restaurants and shops. If we ever go back to Duluth, the South Pier Inn is where we'll be, you betcha.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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Saint Simons Island
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2012

Not only is the canal view spectacular, but the room is so nice, it's hard to leave! With much to see and do in the area, the room was so comfortable I would have been happy just to stay there watching ships and relaxing. The bed was very comfortable, the low (TV) chair relaxing and the jacuzzi a nice plus. The bathroom was plenty big and had a small refrigerator. Nice little balcony to sit on and watch the ships coming through the canal and also a good continental breakfast. I look forward to returning for another vacation!

Room Tip: It's hard to decide whether to have a canal view room or harbor view room. There's a corner...
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  • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Kansas City
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

Close to good local and national restruarnts. I did lots of ship watching as they entered+left the harbor. The hotel has a listing of when they will arive.Room was very clean, good TV, fridge and Free WI FI. Frount desk personel we always very helpful ;and had a lot of local info. So close you can just walk 50 yards and you can see the large ships arrive and leave..Always had lots of free coffee available in the lobby. Overall we were very pleased with South Pier Inn.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

This inn was very comfortable, and in a great location on the canal in Duluth. We were able to watch the huge frieghter ships loaded with iron ore or taconite coming into Lake Superior from the Great Lakes. There is a giant lift bridge right there so when a ship comes in or goes out, the horn blows to alert traffic, and the bridge goes up over 100' to allow the ship's passage and it's a real treat to watch it pass. Those ships are so long and tall and big, they dwarf the inn. The people who run it are exceptionally friendly and you can walk to great restaurants.

Room Tip: Get a room on the canal side to watch the ships, on the other side to avoid the ships' horns.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
    • 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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