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“I go back every year!”

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Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Deerwood
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 5, 2013

This year was my 45th year at Ruttgers Bay Lake Lodge. The Ruttger family is on the premises daily and they and their staff are the experts in hospitality. This resort has been owned and managed by the Ruttger family since 1898.
The food is wonderful and plentiful. The accomodations are rustic as I would expect in an "up north " lake atmosphere. There are entertainment activities to please every family member.
Beautiful lake and 2 golf courses. Beautiful flowers and landscaped grounds. My family has enjoyed the tennis courts, the spa, coffee shop and the beautiful historic lodge. There is an indoor pool for cool days. Bay Lake is not ever a busy lake. The water is warm and clear, quite shallow for aways out from the sand beach.

Room Tip: We always have enjoyed staying in a cottage near the main lodge and very near the beach. The cottag...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank C0nnie35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris R, Owner at Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded August 6, 2013

Thank you for your great review Connie. Can’t believe it’s been 45 years! We always look forward to seeing you and it’s fun to remember the years, all the people and all the great times.

Chris

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91 - 97 of 140 reviews

Reviewed August 5, 2013

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay here! Our son was attending the Heartland Hockey Camp three miles away, so Ruttger's was very convenient. The food was excellent at all the restaurants, plus we loved Auntie Em's coffee place. I particular enjoyed the bike rentals - all the bikes were in good shape and there are plenty of safe places to ride. Four minor negatives: 1. The breakfast buffet was quite expensive if you didn't want to eat a lot. Most places offer a two-tiered breakfast buffet, with a lower price for a continental version. 2. The pillows were really bad in our room. when I tried our pillows, I immediately drove to Brainerd, went to Target, and spent $25 on a very nice down pillow, which I used for the whole week. Ruttgers should replace all those lumpy, uncomfortable, fake-foam pillows. It's one of those areas where a little detail like that can make all the difference. 3. Our air-conditioner was vintage 1970s, noisy and not very powerful. 4. The television set was also vintage - a small-screen CRT. Put flat screens with built-in DVD players in every room, please!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank JBChill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris R, Owner at Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded August 6, 2013

Thank you for your nice review. I'm glad you enjoyed your stay, the restaurants, coffee house, biking, etc. And thank you for the four negatives. Very helpful to have that input, we will put it to use.

Hope to see you again next time!

Chris Ruttger

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Reviewed July 20, 2013

Let me begin by saying that I've travelled extensively for business and pleasure and have stayed in everything from bare bones hostels to five-star hotels in big cities.

The good: The main campus of Ruttger's offers a beautiful wooded setting by Bay Lake. The outdoor pool overlooks the lake and it's wonderful to spend the afternoon there. Canoes and pedal boats are available for no extra charge. The staff are extremely professional and friendly. There are many buildings on the main campus that appear newer and have a "up north" log design.

The not-so-good: Our room was at Battle Point Condos, which is a mile away from the main campus of Ruttger's. It feels more like a motel/Howard Johnson's than part of the resort and the layout/design seems more Suburban USA than Up North Minnesota. Our room smelled very damp. The bed had a 1980s comforter and the mattress was very hard. Wallpaper was pealing in the bathroom. For $205/night (the price we paid for a 1 bedroom), one would expect better finishes, more comfortable bedding, and an overall clean feeling. If these condos were on the main property and easily accessible to the beach, I might concede the price a bit but since they aren't, it feels very overpriced.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank BKB2002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris R, Owner at Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded July 24, 2013

Thank you for your review and your nice comments about the resort. I was sorry to read that you did not enjoy your room or its surroundings, however. If you will contact me I would like to hear more about your experience so that we may do better and also find out if we can do anything for you.

Thank you for being our guest. I am sorry that we did not provide an excellent experience but hope to have the chance to provide one for you in the future.

Chris Ruttger

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Reviewed July 15, 2013

We were very excited to be booked at Ruttger's 4* for the first family vacation in many years!! Upon arrival we were informed that we would be stay in the Battle Point Condo's which are just over a mile away from the actural resort. I could live with that however, it was a hassle having two little ones in car seats that couldn't walk that far and had to go in and out of car seats all the time. After reaching our unit, we found the fron welcome matt completely green with mold, opened the front door to find the smoke detector dangling from one wire off the ceiling. Went to put things in the screen porch and were grossed out by all the cob webs and dead bugs (no one could have cleaned it in months!!). We had to drive to town to buy a broom to clean it up!! Things continued to go down hill, upstair shower leaked into downstairs bathroom ceiling and half the ceiling paint was missing so it wasn't the first time, peeling paint on deck so that kids could not walk on it bare foot, not even a can opener in the unit, etc. etc. etc. One son had to leave after 24 hours because he was so allergic to the mold in the walls!!!! We called it quits 1 day early just plain out of frustration! It was the most expensive MN vacation we've ever gone on but we felt it would be worth it just by all the recommendations we had heard. We they obviously didn't stay where we did!!!!!! Instead of costing me $2,000.00 they should have paid me! I'm not normally a complainer but I would not want anyone to go thru what we did!!!

Room Tip: Not Battle Point condo's!!!
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Laurie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris R, Owner at Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded July 17, 2013

Thank you for your review. I am so sorry we did not take good care of you.

To show up and find that your room was more than a mile from the front desk was not a good way to start out. That is information we have to make clear in advance and we missed it. The maintenance and cleanliness problems you mentioned add up to a bad experience overall and I sincerely apologize. The possibility of mold is particularly serious. We are inspecting the room and making corrections to the areas you have identified.

We also received your letter, and our manager has been trying to reach you to follow up. I hope we will be able to connect so we can get further details and find out if there is some way we can make this up to you. I appreciate having you as our guest and really can’t apologize enough that we did not provide the wonderful vacation you deserved.

Chris Ruttger

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Reviewed July 2, 2013

Thank you Chris and staff for a memorable family vacation. Everyone enjoyed themselves and the Bay Lake Villas exceeded our expectations. The food was unbelievable!! We were blessed with the best weather anyone could wish for. The variety of activities was enjoyed by the 3-70 year olds.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Barb56201
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris R, Owner at Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded July 5, 2013

Thank you for your great review and most of all for being our guests. So happy that all of your family enjoyed it and had a memorable vacation.

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Reviewed June 30, 2013

Our extended family (ages 9 to 74) spent 5 days and 4 nights at the Battle Point Condos, which are just a mile down the road from the main Ruttger's Lodge. Ruttger's manages and maintains the condos, which have undergone updates based on the photos on their website. We had a fabulous time, our only complaint being there were too many things to do and not enough time.

The condos have their own outdoor swimming pool, hot tub and sauna. All the Ruttger's Lodge amenities are available to condo renters as well, which include a second outdoor pool, the beach and water trampoline, an indoor pool and whirlpool, free 2 hour rental of kayaks, water bikes, paddleboats, and more. We swam in the lake and all the pools during the course of our time there.

The Ruttger's staff are exceedingly friendly and helpful. Grounds of both the condos and the main lodge are lovely and well tended. Bay Lake is beautiful, and there are many activities available all day. We have golfers and fisher-people in our family, and the 9 and18 hole courses were both enjoyed. Fishing wasn't very successful, but we had fun trying.

If you are looking for the advantage of your own condo (your own kitchen, laundry, etc.) with the benefits of a resort, this is the place to go. A 2 hour drive north from St Paul, MN.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Catherine W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris R, Owner at Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded July 5, 2013

Nice of you to write such a great review and help us spread the word. We really appreciate it and thank you for coming to visit Ruttger's. I'm glad you enjoyed your stay and hope to see you again.

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Reviewed May 13, 2013 via mobile

We only stayed the weekend but could have stayed longer.

We stayed in the Bay Villas which are ultra modern and immaculate, not to mention our room was spotless.

I gave location only 4 stars as these rooms are not far off the highway so if you are looking for that tranquil hide away it would need to include the occasional tractor trailer going by at 60.

Not all rooms are ultra modern as we looked at a couple of others on the property and the other offerings are clean but much older decor and much smaller.

  • Stayed: May 2013
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Thank MinnesotaWT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge

Address: 25039 Tame Fish Lake Rd, Deerwood, MN 56444-8544
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Minnesota > Deerwood
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Deerwood
Price Range: $89 - $171 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 206
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This family-run resort on Bay Lake is over 100 years old and offers programs for children. The property is open between April and November. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ruttger`s Bay Lake Hotel Deerwood
Ruttgers Bay Lake Hotel

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