We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Chic and Luxe at a Value Price - Almost Perfect”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 3 more sites!
The Hotel Donaldson
Ranked #21 of 50 Hotels in Fargo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 17, 2008

This review is written from the point of view of a middle-aged professional on vacation who travels and entertains a LOT for business and who is very familiar with 5-star hotels in Europe and the U.S.

The Hotel Donaldson is a unique, upscale hotel with some great amenities. It was clearly developed by someone with an attention to detail who thought through many of the finer points of hospitality, and it makes you feel as though you've really been someplace. It does a couple of things wrong (see below), but so many more things right and better than other hotels I've seen that I've forgiven it in hopes it can realize its true potential.

The rooms:
-each room is unique, decorated by an artist. Our room (#17) was plush with neutral tones, prairie-colored ceramic decor on the walls and sculptured - very restful.

-Groovy scandinavian design with lots of decorator detailing in shelving and display space you wouldn't expect from a hotel.

-amenities included Aveda products, free wifi, multiple flat screen TV's, a mini bar with tons of cool goodies at Fargo prices vs. big city prices (soda for $1.00!), PLUS a blissfully empty fridge we could put our own stuff in, stemless wineglasses for use and for purchase, and how about this thoughtful touch - written instructions for the alarm clock and other gizmos so that you don't have to spend half your stay adjusting to a new clock. There is also room service.

-even the key is special, attached to a handblown glass charm.

-room appointments included an extremely high quality mattress with excellent linens, a full couch, a very good desk area, a huge infinity overflow tub in the center of the room that - get this- fills from the celing! And a separate shower in the spacious bathroom. Closet was an enormous walk-in affair with bathrobe and slippers and lit inside.

-A generous continental breakfast is included with the room.

Our only complaint about the room was that the lighting came in one style - mood (underlit) - which meant that it was difficult to read or apply makeup. Bu the room was so unique and comfortable that we didn't dwell on it.

Now for the bad news. I agree with the restaurant reviewer who felt that you have to be from Fargo to be really welcome at the restaurant and bar. The bar was packed with locals - it's an obvious hangout - and the restaurant was having a special chef's night and was completely sold out. We were terribly disappointed as the theme was Danish food and we had just returned from Copenhagen - great customer service would have shot us an email a few weeks out encouraging us to book early to take advantage of this cool opportunity. Instead, we had to make other plans for dinner. We found this a little thoughtless.

The entrance to the hotel is poorly marked as well - we had to walk around the corner a couple of times to figure it out - all in front of windows full of Fargo residents staring at you from the bar and restaurant until we figured out that registration was on another floor. This "confused first-timer" show must happen several times a night for the regulars, but we thought a little signage for better wayfinding would have made a better welcome. Also, the doors are very heavy and completely manual - not conducive to toting in luggage.

The staff experience ranged from sloppy and unprofessional (RUDE) to sweet and friendly but untrained. Overall we thought that the attention to detail that went into this excellent property stopped at the staff training - we were "greeted" by a gum-smacking child with her feet up on the reception desk who did not respond to our greeting with anything but a long stare - and her equally classless and unfriendly colleague frog-marched us up to our room, shoved our keys in our hand and didn't explain any of the unique services and amenities. (We didn't think that she even understood what they were). Note to young ladies: middle-aged women do not enjoy being addressed snippily as "ok you guys." Later, though, we called for more pillows and met a friendly, professional young woman who clearly knew what she was doing and liked her customers. The early morning shift was two nice young men with no polish whatsoever but truly friendly and caring.

One of the coolest aspects of the hotel is the Sky Prairie bar - an outdoor rooftop bar - it was closed inexplicably while we were there, but the hot tub is up there too and there were no other guests up there at 6 am on a Saturday morning - a fine way to have your morning coffee, in the bubbles, gazing at the crisp North Dakota sunrise.

We'd definitely return (now that we know where the door is) to give the groovy, high-class rooms another chance in hopes that they've hired some more professional types who like customer service. It really is a special place that is completely unique.

P.S. Downtown Fargo is retro-chic with tons of locally-owned businesses, spotlessly clean, adorable shopping, and historical context. We had dinner at Juano's, which delivered lots of Mexican food in heartland style for a low price in an art-deco, neon lit (think Edward Hopper) room with a Rat Pack soundtrack. We liked it.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
3  Thank Marge246
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (189)
There are newer reviews for The Hotel Donaldson
See the most recent reviews
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

171 - 177 of 189 reviews

Reviewed June 20, 2008

We stayed at the Hotel Donaldson for four nights in June. We stayed in Room One and enjoyed the hotel, except for at night. Unfortunately our room was above the bar and we could hear the music from the bar - the pulsating bass, etc, in our room. My husband called the front desk and we were offered ear plugs.
Other than that, we enjoyed the experience. The staff was nice, the rooms were nice.
Our room had a double bed, which still fit the both of us, but if you do not like to sleep in close quarters, make sure you request a queen or king.
Our friends were staying in a room by the elevators and could hear noise from that too, so I guess it's best to ask for a room away from the bar and elevators.
Make sure to have a drink on the rooftop bar. It's quite nice up there and there is a jacuzzi up there too.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
3  Thank prtca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2008

I had heard of this hotel from a friend and was surprised to find out how nice the hotel is. The rooms are impeccable. The art is amazing. The food in the restaurant was great. I was surprised to read the review before mine saying the front desk was sub par. I had excellent service and the front desk staff was there everytime I needed them. In fact, they are very friendly and attentive. They have great amenities at the hotel, hot tub on the roof open all year, frette linens, aveda products. The fitness room is spectacular! I would recommend this hotel to anyone visiting Fargo. You rock HoDo staff!

Stayed: January 2008
1  Thank Love2Travel2Hotels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2008

Having grown up in Fargo, I was most curious to stay there on a return visit as I had heard good things about the rooms. The room was in fact lovely but there was significant noise very late on one night of my stay from revelers leaving a private party in the hotel. The front desk was frequently unattended and I needed to hunt for someone to answer questions. I am not a difficult guest but I do expect better service. The restaurant on the other hand is excellent and while I won't bother staying at the hotel again, I always make it a point to eat in the restaurant when I am there on business. Excellent and interesting food with good service.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
1  Thank Bookbuyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2007

I have stayed at Hotel Donaldson twice, once in Guest Suite 17....with the most wonderful tub that sits in the middle of the room and fills from a faucet in the CEILING!!..Yes I said it, the ceiling...and the biggest room the Guest Suite 10..and yes it is remarkable with a 2 person whirlpool in the floor. I LOVE Hotel Donaldson and it is hands down my favorite hotel ever! Heated floors in the bathroom, luxury bedding and robes..and they can get you anything you want...champagne delivered, chocolate covered strawberries. I love Hotel Donaldson and I will definately be staying there again VERY SOON!

  • Stayed: September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Thank anuday05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2007

Wow. I've traveled from Nova Scotia to Perth. This place is now my favorite of the all the hotels I've booked myself, or, in this case, was booked into by a client. Love it. Beautiful. Clean. Awesome amenities. Restaurant is terrific. Can't rave enough. Stay here.

  • Stayed: June 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
2  Thank Layover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 16, 2006

My husband and I stayed here on our wedding night. My father surprised us with a room and it was just perfect. It is for sure one of the best, if not the best, hotels in the Fargo/Moorhead area. Our room had a king size bed, feather down comforter, feather bed, beautiful lighting and art, nice bathroom, and was very clean and comfortable. We were not able to use the hot tub located on the roof as we were at our reception until 1:00am and it was closed by then. We are going to try to stay in the same room again for our 1 year anniversary because we were unable to spend enough time in the room. We just felt special staying here and cannot wait to again!

  • Stayed: November 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank gari417
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Fargo hotels
0.1 mi away
Radisson Hotel Fargo
Radisson Hotel Fargo
#18 of 50 in Fargo
781 reviews
3.7 mi away
Clubhouse Hotel & Suites
0.5 mi away
Scandia Hotel
Scandia Hotel
#39 of 50 in Fargo
12 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
2.2 mi away
Homewood Suites by Hilton Fargo
3.7 mi away
Staybridge Suites Fargo
3.6 mi away
Hilton Garden Inn Fargo
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to The Hotel Donaldson? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about The Hotel Donaldson

Address: 101 Broadway N, Fargo, ND 58102-4925
Phone Number:
Location: United States > North Dakota > Fargo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Romantic Hotel in Fargo
#19 Business Hotel in Fargo
Price Range: $202 - $274 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The Hotel Donaldson 3*
Number of rooms: 17
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with TravelClick, Orbitz, Booking.com, Priceline and Agoda so you can book your The Hotel Donaldson reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Donaldson Hotel Fargo

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing