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“Cozy and unpretentious...”

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Bluefin Bay on Lake Superior
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Tofte
Certificate of Excellence
White Bear Lake, Minnesota
Level Contributor
44 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Cozy and unpretentious...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 16, 2010

My husband and I just returned from 4 days at Bluefin Bay. It's been 7-8 years since we've stayed there, and things haven't changed very much... which is good and bad…..still a great location, but there is more competition on the North Shore nowadays and Bluefin no longer feels quite as “unique” as I remember.

This resort caters to vacationing couples, families with small children, and travelers on their way to and from the BWCA. Shorts, sweatshirts, and hiking boots are the norm here. The resort is laid out in a long line along the rocky shore of Lake Superior, and almost every room views the lake. The “newer” section has a little more privacy, and the units appear to be more upscale; they are also more expensive. We stayed in a studio apartment in the "older" section of the resort; this was an end unit with a kitchen, wood-burning fireplace and second floor deck overlooking the lake. Decor has not been updated in the past decade (white formica countertops, burgundy chairs, and a dark green and burgundy couch with grape leaves on it....) But, everything was very clean, and due to the extra windows, there was lots of light. It was nice to have a full kitchen and dining area.

The pull-out sofa sleeper had an aero-bed mattress, which was probably more comfortable than your usual sofa sleeper mattress, but did feel like we were "camping" in the living room. Due to the cool and rainy weather, we enjoyed a fire every night, and slept with one of the windows open so we could hear the rain and the crashing waves below.......Other than some occasional road noise (you can hear the logging trucks go by) it was pretty quiet at night. Our unit had a few magazines, a rifle catalogue (?) and a set of binoculars. It would have been nice to have some board games and a deck of cards, especially during inclement weather. Due to rain and fog, we didn’t get much use out of the binoculars. But, we biked and hiked as much as possible in the rain, kept warm and cozy at night, and did a LOT of reading.

During good weather, Bluefin has daily Kayak lessons and guided hikes to nearby State Parks and natural areas. The paved Gitchi Gami bike trail runs from Tofte to Schroeder (about 4 miles south) and from Tofte to the Onion River (about 3 miles north). We biked into Schroeder just before it rained and had coffee and wonderful pastries at the Schroeder Baking Company, near the Cross River. This lovely bike trail winds through birch woods and over the Temperance River, but stops just short of town. Also highly recommended: Sugarloaf Cove Natural Area, just south of Schroeder.

Coho Cafe onsite has good pizza, coffee and bakery items. Bakery sells out quickly, so you need to get there early, and service can be slow. The Bluefin Restaurant is getting a little shabby and needs some updating. Happy Hour (3-5 pm) is a good deal---1/2 price on certain appetizers and $1 off drinks. We stopped in one afternoon for some great onion rings and tasty "sliders," served on homemade buns. Lutsen resort also has good food and is just 6 miles up the road.
Pros: clean, quiet, family and pet friendly, great location, beautiful views
Cons: expensive; resort needs updating

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Katrina208
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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531 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (181)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Burnsville, Minnesota
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 17, 2010

We stayed the 4th of July weekend 2009, in a “Studio with jucuzzi”. We were surprised to learn that some of the units were, “pet friendly”, including the one that we stayed in. The unit was impeccably clean and modern. We were also able to pull in a relatively strong wireless WiFi signal from our unit –which was very important to me. We loved the big LCD television and DVD player. We had an inflatable mattress in the sofa and the kitchen was stocked with plenty of utensils, glassware, and cookware. The inflatable mattress took some getting used to, but once we found our correct “sleep number” it worked out just fine. The Bluefin Bay staff were polite and helpful, and they let us look at more than one unit before we made our decision. The outdoor pool and whirlpool surrounded with glass walls offered a breathtaking view of Lake and we were informed that it is open year round! There was a spectacular and amazing fireworks display that we could see from our balcony on the 4th of July and earlier in the day the town of Tofte had a parade and festival, complete with artisan and food vendors—all in walking distance from Bluefin Bay. We will be returning this year with our extended family. It was the best 4th of July, ever!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank MrPennyPincher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 25, 2010

Our family had a blast at Bluefin Bay. We stayed in a nicely appointed 3 bedroom town house (Unit number 8). The condo is less than 25 feet from the water!!! We were fortunate to see the incredible waves one day and glass water the next. Our children loved the indoor pool, guided hikes, and friendly staff...

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
3 Thank econ3101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia, Minnesota
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 18, 2010

Stayed for 3 nights two weeks ago. Great location on the north shore. The room we had was very outdated. This is place allowes pets and the rooms show it. Our room was full of dog hair. It was on the table tops and in the bathroom. They should only allow certain rooms for pets. The food at the grille was ok. the manager we spoke to about the pet hair was rude when we told him. This place is expensive. They really need to update this place as it is very old. Staff was great except the manager. If you dont like pet hair, please dont come here. Our neighbors who we heard about this place from also had pet hair issues, but had a updated room.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ranger2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warrenville, Illinois
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 1, 2010

We go once a year and I never get tired of going there. Our pets are welcome, food is very good and you can't beat the location. I could sit by the lake all day but there's plenty of other activities and amenities. Price is high but worth it in my opinion.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank doxielover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Annandale, Minnesota
Level Contributor
34 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 15, 2010

We stayed in 52A the Superior One Bedroom, it was 175 a night (we stayed for 2) we received a free 50 gift card to the resort for staying those 2 nights. We arrived very late at night, check in was quick, efficient, and friendly. When we arrived at our room the first thing I did was run to the lakeside of our room and open the patio door and listen. Now remember it's dark so I couldn't see the view, and then I heard it... the crashing of waves. In the summer leave the windows and you'll have it as a nice relaxing background. Before we left on our trip I had research Bluefin extensively. I knew it hadn't had great reviews in some areas. I can now tell you Bluefin has been updating their rooms, in our room we did indeed have A/C, all the furniture was very new (leather for the most part) the bed was amazing!! The sofa sleeper is automated (we didn't pull it out) The Housekeeping did a great job, In the morning we explored, our view was Beautiful. Just a few things to remember though: the rooms that have a fully stocked kitchen basically have just that ours was missing a can opener and corkscrew. I agree with an earlier review this resort is kid friendly HOWEVER PLEASE watch your children outside because there is a few steep places and drop offs in the rocks where children could easily fall and drown. (we have 3 young children that didn't come with us) The people above us like to stomp up the stairs when they came in but other than that we had no noise issues. We did not eat at the restaurant but it looked very nice when we went inside to the gift shop. Indoor pool area was great. I work at a hotel so I know little things to look for. This was absolutely great. For an 75 more than a regular hotel a night you get free use of cross country skies, ice skates, kayaks, canoes, and other things of this nature. It was definitely worth it. We will be returning and bringing our children next time, and using it for adult get away as well. Also, You probably wont get cell phone service but the resort supplies a phone line directly to your room, just give family and friends your rooms telephone number and its taken care of. (we actually had a bit of a family issue when we were there and had to make long distance calls and the didn't charge us for incoming or outgoing calls.)

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank anjasarts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minnesota
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 28, 2010

I love Bluefin Bay. We stayed there twice, once for our honeymoon and then again for our anniversary the next year. We stayed in one of the one bedroom suites away from the main lodge both times. It was more expensive but to us, it was worth it to have the kitchen and extra space. The hot tub is fantastic- it overlooks the lake and it's so relaxing. The restaurant is great- we did both dinner and breakfast there. There is a small pizza place in the parking lot of the one bedrooms and it's really good too. We also ventured up to Lutsen Resort for dinner one night, which was wonderful. A pricey meal, but well worth it.

I really can't say enough good things about this place, and I hope to get back there soon.

  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NinRose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bluefin Bay on Lake Superior

Property: Bluefin Bay on Lake Superior
Address: 7192 W Highway 61, Tofte, MN 55615-8615
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Minnesota > Tofte
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Tofte
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Bluefin Bay on Lake Superior 4*
Number of rooms: 133
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bluefin Bay on Lake Superior is unmatched in its intimate proximity to the largest freshwater lake in the world – Lake Superior. The stunning views, warm and friendly hospitality, award-winning restaurants, and a full-service resort with complimentary outdoor equipment and activities are the hallmarks of Bluefin Bay. Choose from hotel suites, or one, two or three bedroom condos on the lake. Our restaurants, the Bluefin Grille and Coho Café and Bakery also overlook the lake. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Bluefin Bay On Lake Superior Hotel Tofte
Bluefin Bay Hotel
Bluefin Bay Tofte

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