My overall experience at the Archer House was above average--even approaching excellent--but that does not mean everybody's experience would be. This place definitely is not for the kind of traveler who looks for stuff to complain about in a hotel. It is a fun, charming, historic place with a great deal of character, but it is not long on luxury-type amenities. Boomers, think of the Shady Rest, of "Petticoat Junction" fame.
The standard rooms are exceptionally small. Each room is different from every other, and each has its own theme and name. Not surprisingly, the photos on the hotel website make the rooms look a bit larger than they actually are. In my room, Room 217, the bathroom area was really just a corner of the room itself, with only a curtain (albeit a thick, luxurious one) to separate it from the rest of the small room.
My room was clean and in a good state of repair, and on the day of my checkout I was able to get a pretty good peek at five or six other rooms on the second floor to see that they were in good shape as well. The room had a good temperature control system, which was a must for me in the bitter cold of Northfield in February--not for the reason you would think, but because public facilities there have a tendency to run more heat than is comfortable to me.
The rooms have cable television with lots of stations to choose from, but no HBO or Movies on Demand. This was not a big loss for me, since I was not in Northfield to watch TV or movies in my hotel room.
The Tavern Lounge on the first floor is a really nice place to have a drink or two and visit with the locals. People are exceptionally friendly in this small midwestern college town.
The Tavern of Northfield, in the basement level, is probably Northfield's favorite breakfast spot, and with good reason: It serves up excellent traditional American breakfasts, made entirely from scratch, efficiently, and inexpensively. While I did not have dinner at the Tavern, its menu was inviting, and I would say it is the best traditional sit-down dinner alternative in Northfield proper.
There is a coffee house in the same building as the hotel where hotel guests can get a free cup o' joe or, for a few bucks, a fru-fru coffee drink. I did not take advantage of this amenity, as I was completely taken with the Blue Monday coffee house just a half block down on the other side of the street, where it seems everybody in Northfield gathers on a Saturday or Sunday morning. There is also an Indian restaurant in the same building as the hotel, which I did not try, but which has an excellent reputation.
The Archer House gets a lot of use, and this shows in the common areas, particularly during the winter when people track snow, gravel, and salt onto the carpets and the stairs. The hotel lobby is nevertheless a cozy, inviting spot to read a book, wait for a friend, or chat for a few minutes with one of the friendly hotel staff.
I would definitely stay here again on a visit to my son at Carleton College, but if my wife and I were traveling together we might need to upgrade to a bigger room.
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- Also Known As:
- The Archer House Hotel Northfield
- Archer Hotel Northfield
- The Archer Hotel