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South Pier Inn on the Canal
Ranked #4 of 31 Hotels in Duluth
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 15, 2013

Perfect location, nice clean room! Rooms could really benefit from some light blocking curtains, don't expect to sleep in its to bright! Also maids were knocking at our door around 10am, they said our room showed checked out, how could that be checkout is at noon and we made no attempt at checking out?!?

  • Stayed: April 2013
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Thank 1976Sarah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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292 - 298 of 431 reviews

Reviewed April 9, 2013

This is quite new, small--perhaps 'cozy' is the best term--motel in Duluth, MN. This city has become a major tourist town for all seasons. South Pier is an excellent addition. The location is absolutely superb: a quiet corner next to the famous Vertical Lift Bridge and the ship channel to the inner harbor. This is 1/8 mi.from the Canal Park district, with a museum, many stores and restaurants, and trails along the Lake Superior waterfront.
My single room was small (bathroom about as big as the room!), but light and airy. (There are larger rooms and suites.) Parking is adequate and adjacent. Security is excellent (two entrance doors).
If you are a ship-watcher, this the place for you! From three to six Lake ore carriers and ocean freighters pass through the channel, 20 m. distant from the motel, daily. (The front desk will even notify you of night arrivals.)
I am reluctant to award perfect ratings, as you can see from my past reviews. But, summarizing the foregoing and noting many small pleasant amenities I haven't described, I do not hesitate to give South Pier Inn 5 Stars.

Room Tip: For ship photography, choose a lakeside room.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Outsider33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2013

We went here because my mom has wanted to for a few years now..... We went this weekend and it was fantastic. The furniture in the rooms is nothing fantastic, but the view in the corner suites is fantastic! It was so nice to see the ships glide by your room window. The staff is very friendly. The breakfast are not much, but they get their pastries from a local bakery and they are delish, but if you are looking for the American breakfast, this is no it. It exceeded my expectations, although a little spendy for the rooms, the view was worth it. The bathroom was pretty clean, except for the picture that looked very dirty. This is a room that you enjoy being in.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank gigley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2013

Nicely appointed rooms and close to all the sites and activities in the Canal Park area. However, for the price and the expectation of a higher end suite, I was surprised by the tiny plastic utensils in little cellophane packages and plastic cups? I have trouble drinking wine from plastic....sorry. Sometimes it's the little things you remember. Otherwise, lovely.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Mikey067
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SouthPierInn, General Manager at South Pier Inn on the Canal, responded to this reviewResponded April 26, 2013

Thank you for your review. I am very pleased to hear that you enjoyed your time with us, and I hope you will visit us again the next time your travels bring you to Duluth.

Also, thank you for your comment regarding the plasticware. For the convenience of our guests, we do also have glassware available upon request. I'm sorry that you were not made aware of this option.

Please feel free to call on us if we can be of any assistance.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 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
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2  Thank NorthRiverBob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank Linda M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank Karen w
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 S Lake Ave, Duluth, MN 55802-2401
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Minnesota > Duluth
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Duluth
#2 Family Hotel in Duluth
#9 Business Hotel in Duluth
Price Range: $157 - $413 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — South Pier Inn on the Canal 2.5*
Number of rooms: 29
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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