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
- 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