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“Cheap room, cheap quality”

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The Cliff Dweller on Lake Superior
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Lutsen
Reviewed October 14, 2013

My boyfriend and I decided to save some money on our hotel and took a chance with this place. We had room 201, which the owner told us was her favorite room. The pictures on their website showed a warm, cozy, northwoods-style room, but that wasn’t what we got at all. The carpet reminded me of artificial turf, the furniture and beds/covers were like a typical “cheap” motel room, the screen door out to the balcony didn’t close very tightly and there were dead gnats plastered all over it, cobwebs and spiders in every corner of the room, uncomfortable beds, very old microwave, fridge tended to freeze things, no coffee-maker. Luckily it wasn't hot out because there was no air conditioning. Taking a shower the next morning was a nightmare… the temp would alternate from ice cold to scalding hot in a second. The owner thought maybe too many people in other rooms were trying to take showers at the same time. We ended up taking our showers in the evening, which was a little better. The towels weren’t very soft, some of them were stained or had holes in them. The WiFi was basically non-existent, even though we were in the room closest to the office.
Sadly, this turned out to be a not-so-good experience and we don’t plan to come back. The view and sound of the waves were nice, but that didn’t really make up for the lack of a quality room.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank CLynn28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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84 - 90 of 169 reviews

Reviewed September 30, 2013

My husband and I stayed at the Cliff Dweller in September. In general, the hotel is reasonably priced and seemed to be a good value for the price. First, my part of the review. The place is quiet, quaint and clean. We slept very well which surprised me considering how close the hotel is to the highway. We heard very little traffic noise. This location has an incredible view of the lake and you are within feet of the crashing waves. I loved the sound and views of those waves and would absolutely stay there again just for that. As for my husband's review, he would not go there again for two reasons. The television channels are limited(no ESPN) and the internet is limited and could only be accessed in the lobby.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank bralle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2013

Get reservation confirmation in writing, otherwise won’t honor what staff quoted you. Owners plan on closing by end of October so make sure they will be there.
Very poor owners with very poor customer service. Our screen door wouldn’t open to our balcony so we couldn’t sit out and enjoy the view. Owner tried to fix, but new screen too short, so still couldn’t enjoy view. Promised to fix next day on Friday, but wasn’t fixed and told he didn’t have to fix anything on the weekend. If we didn’t like it come get our money and leave.
She and her husband were very unhappy when they had to bring us toilet paper for the staff didn’t supply us any. They wanted us to go get it.
You go to this motel for the view and not the customer service. The waves crashing right below you are great, that is if you can get out to the balcony to enjoy it. We couldn’t even leave our door open at night because of the screen not closing.

Room Tip: Get reservation confirmation in writing, otherwise won’t honor what staff quoted you. Owners plan...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank polishtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2013

We used to just love staying at The Cliff Dweller. However, our last trip there was less than enjoyable. New owners took over just over a year ago and they are not to pleasant. Blaming staff to guests about cleanliness issues, negative and unhelpful.
It's really a shame because the view from the rooms is great. We have stayed many times, but we won't be back there again unless the nice lady that owned it before buys it back!
Brian Chryst
St. Croix Falls, WI

  • Stayed: September 2013
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2  Thank Brianserenity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2013

The view is spectacular, and you could't be much closer to the lake. We slept with the door open, so we could hear the waves from the lake, hit the shore. The rooms are small, and beds, just OK. The balconies were fine, but I don't think the railings are safe. They are short and sort of wiggly, which is scary if you are on a cliff. The prices are OK considering the location. Great place to stay if heading into the BWCA.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank LChapie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2013

OK, we all agree that the view from the rooms is wonderful. But after a few ohh-h-hs and ah-h-hs, you're left with the rest of the place.

The balconies are not "private" as advertised. They are all part of a connected deck that runs the full length of the back of the motel, divided by low wrought iron railings -- not even privacy screens. So if you have noisey or nosey neighbors you're just out of luck. And I sure didn't feel safe leaving the sliding door open for the night. (And with the door closed the only water sound you have is the bathroom in the room above you.)

Bed was acceptable, but chairs were uncomfortable and way too low for the table.

Every electric plug was taken except the one by the sink, but it turned off anytime the sink light was off. So there was really no place to recharge phone or laptop. And the advertised internet service is so weak and slow that it's almost non-existant.

There is no restaurant. No coffee in the room. Breakfast is all carbs and things don't appear to be refreshed during the serving hours. Get there early or go without.

It's ok for a one-night stay if you are just on your way somewhere else, but I wouldn't actually plan to spend a few nights there again.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank MrsPincheon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2013

My husband and I were regulars at the Cliff Dweller for several summers in a row. A couple years ago we went back for our usual July visit, only to discover that the wonderful manager had resigned, and the Cliff Dweller was simply not operating up to its usual high standards. I'm happy to report that it's back to its previous excellence, thanks to the new owners.

If you're looking for a motel with lots to do on site, this is not the place for you. But if you want a peaceful place to relax in the evenings after exploring Minnesota's North Shore during the days, this is the best. The Cliff Dweller is situated right on the cliffs with a fantastic view of Lake Superior. Many times in the warm months, it is possible to leave the balcony door open and be lulled to sleep by the sound of waves on the rocks below. And the breakfast is amazingly good for such a small motel.

We look forward to going back again.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank Carol C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Cliff Dweller on Lake Superior

Address: US Highway 61, Lutsen, MN 55615
Location: United States > Minnesota > Lutsen
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Lutsen
Price Range: $81 - $150 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — The Cliff Dweller on Lake Superior 2.5*
Number of rooms: 28
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Also Known As:
Cliff Dweller Inn Of Tofte Hotel Lutsen
Cliff Dweller Lutsen
Cliff Dweller Hotel Of Tofte

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