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Black Bear Casino Resort Hotel
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Reviewed May 21, 2010

My wife and I were traveling from Duluth to Minneapolis and stopped at Black Bear to take a look at their new casino and hotel. It was 10:00 A.M. on a Thursday, so I didn't expect the casino to be full, but there were very, very few people at the machines.......unfortunately, we found out why. There are no guarantees in gambling, but if you jump around enough you'll find a machine or two that will let you play without feeding it a steady stream of cash, not here. The new casino is very nice, but I suspect that they want to pay off the construction bill quickly........beware!

After being bruised at the casino, we decided to eat lunch at the buffet, which was excellent. The food was good, the service was excellent and the price was outstanding.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank dave55033
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2010

My husband and I stayed here on a Saturday night as a little getaway from the city. I tried to reserve a room in the new tower but they were booked, so we stayed in the older part of the hotel. When we walked in, the lobby and view of the gaming floor was very impressive and updated. Check-in was speedy. Finding our room took awhile, lots of hallways and elevators to get to the older building, as opposed to the hotel to the new tower, which is right in the lobby, steps away from check-in. In the new tower, you have to swipe your room key to access the elevator, which was nice and secure - not the case in the old building. There were a LOT of kids running in the hallways in wet swimsuits and squirting each other with water guns - not exactly relaxing for a grown-ups getaway! Once we found our room, it was perfectly clean and tidy. There were nice bath & body works bath amenities, which was . The room was not beautiful or breathtaking, but it was clean and comfortable. The layout (king suite) was, when you open the door, you walked right into the "bedroom" with a tv, then the bathroom opposite a wetbar area, then a sitting area with two chairs and another tv and desk, and a window which viewed the pool area. I wish we had an outdoor view, but it was no big deal.

We went and got massages at Bear's Touch Massage in the hotel, and that was definitely a highlight. Everyone there was SO friendly and accommodating, they made us feel like family. The massages were very relaxing and a great start to our evening. I would recommend them to anyone staying at the hotel, or in the area. We will be returning to get massages the next time we stay there, for sure!

We made reservations for dinner at Seven Fires steakhouse, and I was glad we did - the restaurant is TINY. Cozy and great ambiance, but small as far as table space. The service was excellent, and the food was WONDERFUL. You can watch the kitchen and the chefs, and it was clear they knew what they were doing and took a lot of pride in the dishes they prepared. Everything was delicious. I had a filet, and my husband had prime rib. We would recommend both.

After supper we played the slots. We lost, but we had a lot of fun, and my money lasted a long time - not like you put it in one machine and it's gone in 5 minutes and then you're done - I hate when that happens!

We got ice cream treats at the 24-hour deli, and then retired to our room around 11:30. The pool area had quieted down some, I read that it was adults only after 11 - I still saw kids in there, but less of them. They were still in the hallways, however, and being noisy. We saw several security guards patrolling the building, but they always seemed to be where the kids WEREN'T - not sure if that was coincidence or not. We slept with the TV on, which helped drown out the hallway noise - and it was noisy at times with kids running by. We so wished there was an "adults-only" floor or wing. The noise didn't wake us up, but if you're a light sleeper or don't sleep with the tv on, I would recommend bringing earplugs.

In the morning we checked out and enjoyed the brunch buffet. There was a huge variety of items to choose from, and everything we tried was either acceptable or quite good - nothing was unpleasant, but nothing was outstanding either. We felt it was a good value for the money, and both left full. We both liked the cheesy potatoes and blintzes, and there were a ton of danishes and rolls. They combined breakfast and lunch foods, which was nice.

Overall, we will return, but we will only stay in the tower. If they changed procedure and made an adults-only floor or wing, we would be much more motivated to return sooner, and on a regular basis. We love going to Las Vegas, and expected a CASINO to have fewer children in it. We are parents ourselves, we're not kid-haters, but when we purposely go to an adult-oriented location like a casino, we want quiet and relaxation, not a ton of kids. It's not like we went to Wisconsin Dells or Disney. I would recommend the casino consider the clientele and either change the layout or change the rules to have a little more separation.

The staff were all friendly, and we both commented that the decor feels more like Las Vegas than Mystic or Grand casino do - more upscale and contemporary. I wouldn't say elegant or trendy, those adjectives don't fit, but appealing to the senses.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank chickety82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2010

We stayed at this hotel because we were flying out of Minneapolis the following day and were looking for a less expensive option than hotels in Duluth, Minnesota. We stayed in the old section of the hotel, instead of the new tower. We spent about $10 less ($62) for a room in this section. We were not expecting a very nice room as we had been advised to stay in the tower rooms. However, we were very pleased with the accommodations. The rooms were large and clean and had everything we needed. The pool was very close to our room and the kids had a great time.

Although we didn't really plan to do any gambling, we signed up for their Player's card. This was free of charge and included a $5 credit at the casino and some coupons off for the dining room. We ate at the breakfast buffet as it was very affordable ($5.99 for adults and less with the coupons) and convenient. The food was actually quite good and included a great variety of foods.

I don't know if I would spend an entire weekend here with my family, as it is about 30 minutes from Duluth and traveling back and forth might not be very convenient. But for our purpose, it was a great alternative and I would stay here again.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled with family
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4  Thank ChocAHolic10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2010

We have been to this casino with friends and family before. Somtimes we take the bus (our family has a tour bus) or somtimes we take multiple cars. The area around there is beautiful too bad the hotel is not. I am going to find another hotel for my next trip and maybe just visit the CASINO ONLY. The furniture in the rooms was disgusting and stinking something aweful as if someone peed on it. The sheets were not dried all the way and smelled of mildew - I hope thats what it was. We had a room by the pool and the pull out couch was broken. My room was not the only one with issues, but I will speak for the whole group - We had problems from Check In to Check Out and See YOu LATER (NEVER). We eventually were upgraded to a clean room with much hassle from the front desk. We wanted a pool for the kids - IT WAS GREEN! . Hot tub was definitely in Winter Mode as the water as slightly warmer than the pee water in the pool. When I brought it up to the front desk I was told that is the chance you take when coming with kids (i guess kids are allowed to pee in the pool. The Casino is nicer than the one in Duluth - so I guess that is the only plus side. Stay for the Day but not for the Night - You have been warned.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled with friends
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1  Thank SweetMotylka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2010

We rented 3 rooms for a large group. My wife and I were hosting several teenagers
on a ski trip to nearby Spirit Mountain. So we had 2 rooms in the older portion, but accomodated 6 per room. They over looked the pool. My parents went with and they
had a room in the tower. The only problem is how noisey the hallways were with
kids and casino patrons all night. I guess the construction of the building might
be wood as sound traveled easily. When you enter the older suites the 2 quees beds are
the first portion of the room, then a smallkicthen section and then farther in was a smaller sitting room with a pull out couch, over looking the pool. They should have
swapped the layout for a better sleep. As I ened up on the pullout and even though it
was uncomfortable, I didn't have to hear the hallway noise. My parents stayed in the tower and its of concrete construction, and was a big improvement. Stay in the tower
if you get the chance.
Also I have had a lot of buffets in my life, and this was excellent!!! The food had taste!!!
Very highly recommended!!!

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled with family
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Thank dlsnfl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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