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“It actually feels like you are "home" ...” 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
Anchorage, Alaska
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“It actually feels like you are "home" ...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

There is a big difference between a family owned motel and a corporate motel -- and in the big scheme of things it does not really matter that much how much you pay for a room. What's really neat is the same owners and manager will probably still be here next year to remember and thank you.
We are from Alaska and the "Arctic Entry" to our room was much appreciated. During the Winter months --- or for windy and rainy conditions, it is nice to have the two-door design to pass through -- one to block the elements and the 2nd door then is to your actual room. You park near or directly in front of your room, and the lobby is only two or three car lengths away. You will want to visit the friendly lobby for refreshments, maps, history and conversation.
The shower! I rarely see a shelf design where shampoo, the razor and other items actually remain on the shelf during the shower and do not get washed to the shower floor. Also, a very good hair dryer, a magnified lighted mirror and plenty of fluffy quality towels and so many other personal touches -- way too many to mention.
The multiple rooms were more like a suite and contained a Jacuzzi type tub. From anywhere in the room (or the tub) during shipping season you may "discretely" view the possibility of a 1,000 foot grain or iron-ore boat and also the Duluth City night lights. Also, TV's, stereo equipment and video games.
The gas fireplace will give you that added warmth on a cold winter or foggy night along with a gratuitous adult beverage and pillows-pillows everywhere -- on the bed in the drawers and on the couch ...
If you forget binoculars. No need. There are a pair in the room along with a spotting scope and tripod and window glass everywhere with verticle blinds which I cannot afford in my own home.
A long bathroom counter ... enough for two people to have their items conveniently laid out.
When the weather is good for walking, there is no need to take your car out of the parking lot. I'd guess there are over a dozen good eating places within a short 5 to 10 minute walk just across the lift bridge. In season, watching the lift bridge from your deck is one of the reasons you come to Duluth. The "Lake Walk" is nearby and you can travel a ways up the North Shore.
In the lobby, gourmet coffee, rolls and fruit are available -- all day long and with a computer and printer.
The Army Corp of Engineers has a "Shipping Museum" a block away; please don't miss it.
When I'm on vacation, I want to relax. This is a place where you actually don't need to leave your room to enjoy --- remember the tub and blinds ...

  • Stayed February 2013, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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234 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    156
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    10
    6
    5
See reviews for
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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 (80)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

We loved the architecture and the amenities at this clean, tastefully decorated hotel. During our late February visit we were walking back across the lift bridge shortly before 8 PM. We looked up to see a pure white snowy owl fly overhead and perch atop the bridge. The golden bridge and the white owl were especially beautiful against the dark sky. It was a breathtaking experience!

  • Stayed February 2013, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eau claire
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

The hotel is very clean, the hosts are accommodating, and the rooms are very nice. However...the beds are like sleeping on the deck of one of the freighters you see go thru the canal. Very uncomfortable, as are the pillows, and bedding.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Marquette, Michigan
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

This place has well designed rooms to take advantage of shipping action on Lake Superior. Where else will they call you in the middle of the night if you want to watch ships go under the lift bridge? The continental breakfast is ample and there are many personal touches. It is a short walk across the bridge to food and shops in Canal Park and walks along the beaches can be entertaining year round.

  • Stayed December 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
duluth, mn
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

My wife and I have made it a year end/anniversary tradition to stay at the South Pier. It is a very pleasant, clean, comfortable place and we've enjoyed a number of passing ships through the canal over the past number of years and a great December 24th storm one other year (a nice place to ride out and view Lake Superior in a gale). The staff is friendly, the rates could always be a bit better, but overall, we like it enough to come back at year end for four years now.

Room Tip: Go with the canal or bay side suites
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2012

This is my first choice when I'm in Duluth. Beds are always comfortable. Rooms are clean and properly appointed. The refrigerator is good for keeping smoked fish. Staff is casual, and always friendly and helpful. Best of all, however, is the inn's close proximity to the ship canal. You want to watch ore boats and ships? This is the place to stay.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

We enjoy the south pier in very much! Great view and great location. Within walking distance to local restaurants, and antique shops alike. A quick trip across the lift bridge and you are right in the thick of downtown Duluth.

Room Tip: Make sure to ask for a room with a water view.
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Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
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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 ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Ski-In / Ski-Out Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Duluth
#5 Family Hotel in Duluth
#14 Business Hotel in Duluth
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — South Pier Inn on the Canal 2*
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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