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“Bring your own food and enjoy exquisite scenery!”

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Stout's Island Lodge
Ranked #1 of 3 Birchwood B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 8, 2012

The Stout's island Lodge could become (and maybe it was in its day) an exquisite destination weekend getaway, but first they have some problems to address. If I owned this hotel, I would invest in management to start to get things in order. Although some of the rooms and cabins are lovely, the overall appearance including on arrival is a run-down lodge that was probably in its peak about 20-30 years ago. Trash, unsafe structures, unfinished building materials throughout. It's sad because it could be lovely. The lodge has amazing features including hand-carved beamed ceilings and amazing views of Red Cedar Lake both north and south. Our room (3) was evidently designed to be reminiscent of the Victoria era, but it really didn't fit the lodge. The bathroom needed about $2-5000 of upgrading, or at least a $1000 for the bedroom and bathroom to be close to what should cost $200 per night. We had to unscrew exterior entrance light bulbs that were shining brightly through old plastic Venetian blinds, until we found the switch down the hallway from our room the next day. About the food. "Just okay" is a good description. Of the 2 lunches and 2 dinners, we had one very good course - the trout dinner and all the salads were good but $12.00 for a salad-plate portion of lettuce, a few slices of apples, nuts, and about a tablespoon of goat cheese? The $8.00 bowl of soup came with nothing, not even a garnish to offset a very think, heavy, dark tomato soup. I tasted like a tomato sauce I would use for making a marinara sauce. At no meals were there any salt or pepper shakers on the table. I asked for pepper, (and mistakenly didn't include salt in my request) - I got the pepper but no salt. I was told there was no bread in the kitchen to have with the soup so was given 3 packages of very very stall soda crackers. Uneatable. The bison burger my spouse had was much better. The 6 bagette slices of crostini with bruchetta cost $11.00 before tax and tip. We arrived at breakfast at 9:45 a.m. during the posted hours of 7:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.n. on Sunday morning, but the server in the dining room, acknowledging the time being 9:45 a.m. had cleared every bit of breakfast from the buffet (cold cereals, yogurt with aspartame, white and wheat bread to toast, processed peanut butter with sugar, jelly, butter, orange juice, milk, and coffee). She said she had to clear it to get set up for lunch. She asked what we wanted and put some hard boiled eggs and bread into a take-out container, and didn't offer any cups for tea or coffee. We used the glasses on the tables already set for lunch. When we arrived for lunch around noon there was one other table with guests. The croquet set, one of the posted activities, had been left out in the rain, including the previously soggy and now crunchy directions, and had only 6 of the 9 required wickets. Etc etc. I've never written such a long review, and I could go on. It's a beautiful facility that needs serious attention and investment to restore its grandeur. Overall, there was a sense that there is no overseeing management of this lodge nor were they in this lodge during our two-night stay. The bar attendant and the evening male servers provided top rate service.

Room Tip: Room 3 has a lovely fireplace which we used all weekend. Bring blinders for sleeping as the two 60...
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank chefseye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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217 - 223 of 259 reviews

Reviewed October 5, 2012

My wife and I spent three days and two nights on the Island - It is truly a beautiful restful spot. We enjoyed the cabin we stayed in, the hiking trails were fun and the fire pit was very pleasant. Also the staff were helpful and friendly. BUT- we were very disappointed with the food -- limited selection, over priced and unfortunately you are captive audience. If you are going bring your own snacks and beverages and definitely plan on going off the Island for a meal or two.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank MNGolfer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2012

We had a good trip but mainly because the weather was beautiful and the scenery is fantastic and it is truly relaxing

Pros:
-The rooms are not bad at all; We stayed in the Garden Cabin; rooms 22/23 and they are the only rooms at the top of stairs so they afford some privacy
-These rooms had a/c and a small fridge
-The whole "island" feeling is nice
-Very relaxing
-Absolutely gorgeous views
-Dinner was good, but see below.
-They have kayaks, row boats, fishing rods, 2 water bikes, a game room but see below

Cons:
-Service is a joke; I think they use the term "rustic" as an excuse to let the customers fend for themselves
-Food. Breakfast is quite pathetic. Dinner was good but overpriced at about 175$ for 3 people and they don't change the menu all week.
-the game room and facilities are in disrepair; again I think they confuse quaint with shabby.
-No little beach area for swimming so for little kids there are no real options to get into the water.

Overall the area is absolutely beautiful. Would I go there again? absolutely. Would I stay at Stouts Lodge? Doubt it.

Room Tip: We stayed at Garden lodge which I think are the cheaper ones, we saw the rooms in Shore lodge which...
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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6  Thank travelfromMN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2012

We stayed at the Stouts Island resort for 3 days. The views are stunning, location is spectacular. However to say it was BAD service would imply that there was service. The place is grossly understaffed and the staff who is there do not know how to serve.
There is only one restaurant on the island which is way over priced. Do not expect you meal in less than an hour after you order (bad combo if you are with kids). They do not change their menu everyday so if you are staying for a few days be prepared to eat the same thing again.
The buildings are in ill-repair. (too be fair they are trying fixing a few things in each lodge)
The housekeeping is very tardy; apparently my wife's straightening up the bed looks better than the housekeepers bed-making (according to the manager who came into the room and claimed the room was already "made", when it was not). Be prepared to ask for little things (like towels, forks for marshmallow roasting etc) at least 3 times. There are no phones in the room so you will have to walk up to the main lodge (calling the reception, via cellphone, after hours gets answering machine)
All in all, "GO" if you like the rustic appeal and would rather do everything yourself anyway.
I wish the current owners would sell the resort to someone who knows how to run a hotel. There is so much potential but it is wasted in the current ownership/management.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Huzefa G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2012

Stout's Island lodge was an amazing, peaceful,relaxing place to retreat for a quiet weekend. We stayed 3 days with 2 other couples and thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful staff and the peaceful surroundings. We had marshmallow bonfires, long walks, a fantastic boat tour of the lake and my husband caught some pretty good fish for lunch one day! We laughed at our lack of talent at croquet on the lawn, but really enjoyed the experience. The main lodge is charming and even a little intriguing with whispers of a resident ghost! The only complaint that we had on an otherwise wonderful experience is that the food in the lodge is mediocre at best. Over priced for what you receive and definetly not cuisine worth waiting all day for. I would highly recommend a new chef and this outstanding lodge would be perfect!!

Room Tip: I would recommend a room with a kitchen to enhance your experience!
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank susanintheskies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2012

Stunning views, private, quiet and relaxing. My husband and I stayed in the shore lodge in one of the few units that have air conditioning and we were very grateful. The shore lodge 2 was beautiful with an oversize tub looking out over picture window of the lake. The main lodge is lovely and air conditioned ( many guests with no ac in their cabins beat the heat by spending a lot of time in the main lodge). The property needs updating and that is to put it mildly. The shore lodge is new so it is great, the main lodge is comfortable, but the docks, boathouse, bridge to walking area, adirondack chairs are all in desperate need of repair. If you are coming with a family you really do need a kitchen unit. The food is very good and quite expensive..and the only problem is the limited menu choices and limited dining times, all requiring reservations. The breakfast would be considered unacceptable at a Hampton Inn because there is limited choices but it is in the dining room , music is playing and view is amazing, so really, who cares. Truth is , despite the obvious need of repairs, we want to go back again and bring our kids. There is something pure, something real about the place that gets under your skin if you let it and it feels very good and very relaxing. If you are ready to really just relax with a good book, a swim, lounge around with no desire to know the time or watch tv, then this is a perfect getaway. Bring your own snacks, make your dinner reservations and just relax.....There are no keys for the rooms....leave the diamonds at home.

Room Tip: Shore lodge is privately owned and updated very nicely, with air conditioning. If you are going in J...
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank michele0610
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2012

We have visited Stout Island three or four times in the past four years. We like to go in late September or early October when the leaves are turning and there is a cool breeze off the Lake. It is the most relaxing retreat I have ever experiended. If you want to decompress and get away from the stresses of every day life, this is the place. It has a unique character all its own and the view from the Adirondack chairs on the front lawn, facing the lake, is absolutely outstanding,

I have been to all the great resorts in northern Minnesota and the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island many times but Stout Island is the most unique of any of them. It does not have a commercial feel to it; but rather, a feeling that you are visiting your own weekend cabin. It is very understated.

The food is excellent and if you wish to golf, there is a great course, Tagalong, that is just ten minutes away by boat. There is a good restaurant there, too, if you want an alternate to the lodge dining. We did both.

Leave all the electronic devices at home and bring a good book and read by the fire in the main lodge or in tour cabin. You will not be disappointed. For the more active, there is a great hiking trail and a clay tennis court, which I used quite a bit.

No disappointments here.

Dan Hampton

Room Tip: We like both the main lodge rooms and the ones off site. A horse a piece
  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Stingray1067
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Stout's Island Lodge

Address: 2799 27th Street, Birchwood, WI 54817-9242
Location: United States > Wisconsin > Birchwood
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Birchwood
Price Range: $149 - $319 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 43
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stout’s Island Lodge sits proudly in the center of Red Cedar Lake – an 1800-acre lake in northeastern Barron County, Wisconsin. There are two island connected by a 100 ft. walking bridge (given to Frank Stout by Andrew Carneige). The two islands have a combined acreage of 18 acres. All lodging is located on the western of the two islands; the East Island has walking trails as well as a small picnic cabin on the northern tip. Red Cedar Lake is known for its water quality, its fishery and for its relative quietude. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Stout`s Island Hotel Mikana
Stout Island

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