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“Best place to stay while in Duluth!” 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
Minnesota
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Best place to stay while in Duluth!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2010

My wife and I just stayed two nights at the South Pier Inn in Duluth and could not have been happier! We were celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary so we booked the upper level Grand Panoramic Suite and we were blown away by the stunning views, the cleanliness, and quiet that the room offered to us. The bed room was extremely comfortable with excellent linens and pillows on the king size bed, however we spent most of our time out in the living room with views of the harbor, Duluth cityscape, canal and aerial lift bridge.

We loved having the monocular and binoculars provided in the room as it really allowed you to get a close up view of the ships across the harbor.

The room was extremely clean. Both my wife and I have a low tolerance for dirty hotel rooms, and I didn't see a single thing out of place.

We've been to Duluth several times for fun and have stayed at a number of very nice hotels within the city (the last time we stayed in one of the penthouse suites at Fitgers), and while all of these other hotels were very nice, the South Pier Inn is our favorite by far.

I felt a little nervous booking here due to a couple of the recent reviews, but I honestly have no idea where they were staying, it wasn't this gem.

Granted, I don't think I'd ever stay here unless I could get a canal or harbor facing room. Don't spend the money to stay here and look at the parking lot. :)

  • Stayed September 2010, 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
    • 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 people have reviewed this hotel

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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
madison, wi
Top Contributor
100 reviews 100 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
169 helpful votes 169 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2010

We stayed here for just one night during our Lake Superior Circle tour. Our Harbor view room had great views of ships passing right past our window! The service is so great that they will even call your room all night as ships pass by, if you want. the rooms are a bit pricey, but worth it.

  • Stayed September 2010, 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
    • 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.
Winnipeg
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2010

The South Pier Inn is ideally located just past the lift bridge on the canal. The windows on that side of the hotel have excellent views of both the bridge and the canal. The rooms on the other side, where we stayed, overlook the parking lot and are teased by the sounds of passing ships blowing their horns. The windows are still great but the view isn’t as impressive – but the room rates reflect that. There are excellent aspects to this hotel and some annoying ones as well. The most important ones: the bed, bathroom and linens are excellent. The rooms are spacious and bright. Breakfast consists of yummy, although perhaps not exactly healthy pastries, fruit, yogurt, juice and decent coffee. The annoying aspects are minor, but perplexing considering the attention to many of the details. Internet service was down several times and required calls down to the front desk to reset it. There is a little corner sitting area in the room, where it would be nice to sit and read, but it has absolutely no light. There seems to be a little night light on the hairdryer in the bathroom but ours wasn’t working.

Our initial room had a stained carpet with a number of damp spots. Our bathroom sink stopper was stuck on the closed position which we discovered just as we were preparing to leave for our dinner reservations. We were given another room which involved quickly packing our belongings and moving them ourselves as the hotel does not have any staff to assist with such tasks. In the rush we forgot some of our items which we discovered late that evening. Again not a big deal, but the weather was coolish and we had to go outside to the lobby to get the key for that room and pick up our forgotten belongings. The lone night staff person was pleasant enough, but a bit of an apology for our inconvenience from management the next day would have been nice. If they had, this would be an unqualified recommendation, but our little episode doesn’t give confidence in how more significant problems would be handled. Perhaps this excellent location has made the management of this hotel a bit blasé about appeasing customers who have been inconvenienced.

  • Stayed May 2010, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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, Minnesota
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2010

A must stay when in Duluth/Superior. Comfortable room with a great view of the harbor, ships and Aerial Lift Bridge. Stayed there on my birthday and had a great time. Relaxing in the jacuzzi and watching the ships was a tremendously unique experience. I will definitely stay there again.

  • Stayed September 2010, 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.
Duluth, MN
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2010

Very nice facility. Furniture is a tad bit outdated but it doesn't really take away from the room. The panoramic corner suite was great with the balcony was great and they also provided a small telescope in the room. The king bed wasn't super comfortable, and basically the only thing i was disappointed in. South Pier also has a continental breakfast and a very helpful staff!

  • Stayed July 2010
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Thunder Bay, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2010

This is the second time we have stayed at South Pier Inn. The first time we stayed on the parking lot side which didn't have a view but was very clean, and had a balcony. This time we came down for the Tall Ships and booked a room with a canal/harbor view. What a perfect spot for watching all the boats go by.
The location is perfect for walking around Canal Park (we didn't move the car once) and biking to the end of Park Point to walk on the sand by the lake.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Barnes City
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2010

My husband and I stayed for the first time at the South Pier six years ago and have been coming back every year since to celebrate my husbands birthday. We look forward to this trip all year long and know that when we drive in we will be greeted by friendly faces and beautiful landscaped exterior. The rooms are clean and fresh, the canal view can't be beat and the breakfast rolls and coffee top notch.Kudos to Jamie at the front desk and the owners Betty and Dale who are always super friendly and helpful in planning a day in Duluth.

  • Stayed July 2010, 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.
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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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