My partner (just along for the ride) and I checked in lateish on a Friday night after a very long day - I'd started in Boston, then Chicago and Minneapolis all that day on business. At check in, staff was friendly and prompt, but seemed unable to understand that two men might actually want a king room. We'd been given two doubles, and when I asked about the bed arrangement, the two young guys behind the counter laughed and joked at the idea of giving us one bed - it did not feel at all hostile, just that they could not actually imagine that we were gay.
I did not specifically ask to get a different room, in part because my previous experiences with sleep number beds have not been great so separate beds seemed a sensible choice to try for a restful night. I had a 7:30 meeting in the morning. In the elevator on our way to the room, my partner and I agreed that the desk clerks seemed utterly clueless about the possible existence of gay travelers, at least two men who (I guess) are not 'stereotypical.'
The room was spacious and comfortable (though after two more nights I am still not convinced about sleep numbers -- my partner liked them, so it's really a personal preference thing). The bathroom was one weak spot. Towels were very stiff and ‘nubbly’, the shower head just dribbled, and there was a very unsightly discoloration of the wallpaper to the left of the commode (this was surprising as the room & bath overall had a nice clean feel).
Furniture seems dated but solid and cared-for. I am pretty sure the furniture (not beds or bedding) are the same as a stay back in about 1998. The heating unit was a bit noisy starting and stopping but worked well.
The other problem with the hotel -- and other area where training and standards could use a spruce-up -- was a Saturday night emergency situation. The fire alarm went off at about 1:30 a.m. I dressed quickly and joined others from my mid-level floor heading down the fire stairs. At the lobby level, no one seemed to know what was happening or who was in charge.
We were eventually told by a very casually clad, unbadged person that we "should leave the building." By this time the alarm was off and a few uniformed fire fighters were having a look around. There never were any PA announcements that I heard regarding the alarm or any sort of all-clear. I have no idea if everyone evacuated or how folks decided what to do. It was quite disorganized.
My impression was that staff were untrained in what to do in this situation. The lack of a name tag or business attire of the front desk person contributed to the sense that no one was in charge. At some point she did give an all-clear just at spoken level to those around her, and everyone soon noticed and either lined up for the elevators or trudged up the stairs (it was going to take a long time for two elevators to get everyone back up).
I do not fault the hotel at all for the alarm - I overheard that it appeared to have to do with some technical problem in the basement. But the disorganized response of staff seems to indicate that it could have been a more serious situation had an actual emergency been happening. Good training can address this.
I would stay at this hotel again, especially at the rate I got for this trip...but I'd hope to see a bit more front desk professionalism next time -- both in dealing with LGBT travelers and (let’s hope no need for) emergency preparedness.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Duluth's landmark hotel located in the heart of Downtown Duluth.
Enjoy our large indoor heated pool, whirlpool & sauna located on the lobby level. The fitness center is open 24 hours a day on the 2nd floor. Enjoy relaxing by the fireplace in our spacious lobby or using the business center on the main floor. Also enjoy the only 360 degree rotating restaurant JJ Astor located on the top floor of the hotel Breakfast 6:30am - 11am, Lunch 11am - 2pm, (closed 2pm-5pm daily)Dinner 5pm - 10pm. Bowery Brothers Sports Bar in the lower lobby open evening hours Friday/Saturday's during the winter.
Radisson-Harborview is within walking distance to numerous attractions, restaurants, and the DECC. Duluth's Skywalk system is available 1/2 block from Radisson on Superior Street at Starbuck's. The recently renovated skywalk is heated/cooled, patrolled by "The Clean & Safe Team".
Stage #1 renovations of all 268 rooms was completed as of 12/02/15 with new wall vinyl, new drapes, new blackout drapes, sheers, and new carpet. We also have replaced 400 of the Sleep Number beds that were full-size with queen size Sealy pillow top posturepedic mattresses back in early June. King Sleep Number beds will be replaced by December 31, 2015 with the Sealy pillow top mattresses; then we will no longer offer the Sleep Number experience at our property. We have recently added Keurig coffee brewers to all 268 rooms; as well as, upgraded hair dryers and upgraded linen package.
will be the installation of our new custom furniture package starting mid-December. The design is a built-in design that we are sure all of our guest will enjoy. The rooms will be completed over a period of time and we will post updates as we get them completed. We are starting with the tower portion of our hotel and will end up with the hillside rooms in the annex. Room amenities to include, but not limited to, flat screen television tower section), I-Home radio, cordless phones, upgraded lighting package, additional outlets at the desk level, custom art, refrigerator/microwave in all 268 rooms; as well as, many more upgrades. Stage #3... more less will be the guest bathroom renovations that will be completed over the next few months in sections. Updates will follow. Grab & Run Breakfast each morning 5am - until the restaurant (JJ Astor opens) at 6:30am 7 days a week. Grab & Run is a Radisson brand standard available at all Radisson Hotels worldwide. Shuttle service available (please call for details) Pet friendly ($45/night per pet - please call for details) 100% non-smoking property Complimentary on-site parking Complimentary Wi-Fi Complimentary newspaper M-F in the lobby (WSJ, Duluth News, or USA) Keurig coffee brewers with upgraded condiments in all rooms 1875 Watt Hair dryers in all rooms Upgraded linen package in all rooms Lake view rooms ($45/night additional) Refrigerator/microwave ($10/night additional) Sealy pillow top posturepedic mattresses available (Qn/Qn) Sleep Number bed (King)until December, 2015 Sealy pillow top (King)as of December 16th, 2015 Our hotel has been serving guest for over 45 years; we are proud to be a union hotel.
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- Also Known As:
- Radisson Hotel Duluth Harborview
- Duluth Radisson