WHERE: Grand Superior Lodge, MN
WHO: I spend probably 25% of my time on the road for business. I typically stay at Hiltons and Marriotts, with the occasional Sofitel or Star Hotels thrown in for good measure. This is just to give you some idea of my frame of reference.
WHAT: I booked, and received a 1BR log cabin. I booked the cabin through the GSL website, and paid the posted rates.
LOCATION: The GSL is located 11 miles north of Two harbors, and a few miles south of Gooseberry Falls state park. I wouldn’t call it secluded, but it is away from most hustle and bustle. If you’re driving from the Duluth airport, plan and print your route beforehand. Don’t rely on rental company maps or street signs. They’re sorely lacking for some reason.
ARRIVAL. I arrived at the GSL around midnight. Again, there were no visible signs distinguishing the main office, but it’s easy enough to single out the largest building and take a chance. If you’re arriving at night, bring a flashlight to help you find your house / cabin, because again...NO SIGNS!
CHECK-IN. The check in process was smooth, simple, and efficient. The Staff was always helpful, friendly, courteous, and professional.
THE GROUNDS. Aside from the lack of signs (Have I mentioned that?), I couldn’t have enjoyed the grounds more. Everything was incredibly maintained and manicured, without losing the rustic lodge feel. Complimentary outdoor games (horseshoes, bean bags, ladder golf, etc) are placed around the area for first come / first served guest usage.
THE CABIN. I loved the “1BR log cabin”, unit 511. It consisted of a living room, kitchen, bathroom w/ jacuzzi tub, and a bedroom. There was a very sizable front porch with 2 wooden chairs. The kitchen was fully stocked with anything you’d need to cook a simple meal. There were also conveniences like simple spices and dish detergent. I wonder if maybe the GSL has the good sense to keep usable items left by guests (as opposed to throwing them away), or if they actually stock all these things in every one of their units. Regardless, it was all very convenient.
The amazing attention to detail didn’t stop there. There were books, magazines, puzzles, and games tucked away in various nooks and crannies. There was an AM / FM / CD player in the bedroom, and a DVD player in the living room. The cabin was stocked with newspaper and wood for the wood stove, with more available by calling the front desk. The front porch / deck had both a charcoal and electric grill. As housekeeping doesn’t clean units with stays less than 5 days, there were plenty of towels and additional linens provided.
It should be noted that the log cabin doesn’t have air conditioning. There were several box fans provided, however, so it was never a problem. I would maybe caution against that particular unit in temperatures of greater than 90 degrees, but I have to think those days are rare in northern MN. There was no furnace or baseboard heating, though there was in-floor heating set at 70, as well as a functioning wood-burning stove.
Where the living room and kitchen had vaulted ceilings, there was a tiny loft over the bedroom and bathroom. There wasn’t a lot of storage space beyond a small dresser in the bedroom, but the steep stairs up to the loft made a great shelf.
While it’s obviously been around a while, everything was amazingly clean and well kept. The bed was a little on the soft side, but was comfortable. If I was forced to find something to complain about, it would have to be the brightness of the un-checked sun in the bedroom in the morning. The east-facing roof-window could use some sort of shade or curtain, but that was easily remedied with a sleep mask.
The jacuzzi tub was very deep, and large enough for two people. There was plenty of hot water, the temperature was consistent, and the water pressure was okay.
I assume the TV + DVD player worked, but I don’t know...which is a testament to how engaging the GSL actually is.
OTHER: Other lodge conveniences included firewood-on-request, stocked fire pits on the beach (rocks, not sand) at nights, complimentary guest canoes / paddles / life jackets, complimentary bicycles / helmets, a surprisingly well-stocked library with books and DVDs and a computer with online access and printer. The pool was large and clean, as was the whirlpool. The sauna was a little too large, but clean and functional, and heated up well.
Cabin – It wasn’t cleaned during my 3-day stay, but everything was impeccable when I first walked in.
Front desk / admin – I called for firewood, and it arrived within 20 minutes. I was also able to call and check the availability of a canoe.
Restaurant – More on food below, but service in the restaurant (Kay) was top-notch, whether eating in person, or calling in a special ‘to go’ order of fries.
THE RESTAURANT: I admit upfront that I’m not from MN, and have very limited resources when it comes to finding information on places to eat. There very well may be a nicer, better restaurant in the Two harbors area than the on-site “Splashing Rock Restaurant”......but I couldn’t find it...after a great amount of googling, reading, asking, and drive-by’s. The food was consistently above average, as was the variety of the menu.
SUMMARY: The Grand Superior Lodge is NOT cheap. It is, however, an amazing value considering everything you get for your hard-earned money. I strongly recommend the GSL for a quick or romantic getaway, and I would be excited to stay there again.
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Superior Hotel Two Harbors
- Grand Superior Two Harbors