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Stout's Island Lodge
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Reviews (275)
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Reviewed January 27, 2013

An exquisite, charming escape... An hour's drive from Taylor's Falls, we took the boat from shore (outside of charmless Rice Lake) and traveled back through time until you reach the charmingly crumbling boat house, climb a flight of steps, and find one of the prettiest Adirondack-style lodges I've ever seen. My husband, toddler, and I traveled with another couple and their daughter had come to spend two nights at Stout's Lodge. We adored it, from the crumbling structure's at the water's edge to the kind staff to the lovely accommodation and delightful old-world vibe. We found the clay court to be delightful (though it was autumn and too cold to play), the box of raquets handy, the canoes lovely, the chairs charming, the firepit marvelous... Full of charm and delight, all of it.
The food was actually great and (I thought) reasonable compared with other good rustic resorts like Naniboujou, the bar/main room stocked with mystery novels, a piano, and a grand fireplace. The room had a fridge (not stocked with expensive mini-bar junk, thankfully) that we used for snacks and milk, so you can easily have a sandwich for lunch. We loved the cubby-bed built into the wall of our room--I wish we had a bed at home like that for our little one. The hike is pretty but short (maybe an hour), perfect for families but not great for hard-core Superior Trail addicts.
Honesty, I'm shocked that anyone who wants a romantic rustic retreat wouldn't adore this place. We were just sad that it wasn't open all year round--but how wonderful that it isn't, really. A lovely summer escape, nice and close to the Twin Cities (especially with a visit to Taylor's Falls built in to break up the journey). We loved it and plan to get some friends together to visit annually. FYI, our room did have a key... some of the old rooms in the lodge might not but it would be well-worth staying in this lovely spaces.

Room Tip: The lodge is incredibly beautiful and old-world, but the modern cabins are more spacious and private.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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Thank KatyMike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Island_of_Happy_Days, Manager at Stout's Island Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded July 2, 2013

Dear KatyMike,

Thank you so much for your feedback. We are so happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay and found Stout's Island as charmingly rustic as we do. It is certainly a unique experience, I am sure you would agree. We are glad you enjoyed the window-bed for you young one-we can recommend a carpenter, if you are interested in remodeling. ;)

We hope to see you again soon!

Sincerely,

Stout's Island Lodge Management Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2012

We decided to give this resort a try based on an article in Midwest Living. We shared a duplex cabin with some friends. Rooms were OK but carpets were waterstained, no air conditioning only a very noisy humidifier. There was a notice in our room, placed underneath the coffee pot and therefore not clearly visible upon entry, indicating that the water in the room was NOT SAFE TO DRINK... a fact that the staff failed to mention upon check-in. Only found the note by accident AFTER drinking some water. The whole property is in shabby condition. The buildings are in desperate need of repair. The so-called boat house rec room is a disaster... dirty with over worn furniture and even a beer bottle left on the table. Would not even think of using the old torn life vests or poorly maintained kayaks. Lounge area is so dark that one cannot even read a book in there. The gazebo on the hiking trail is likewise a dirty mess. There have been some nice improvements to the waterfront area and there is a nice firepit for relaxing after dark. The staff tries to be pleasant but there are too few and they are expected to do too many different jobs. Breakfast was the quality of Super 8... limited selection of cold cereals, bread to toast, hard boiled eggs... not even a muffin or pastry to be found let alone an omelet, pancake, or french toast. Not exactly what one expects at a top notch resort. Evening fare was quite good but overpriced and service is spotty. This could be a really beautiful resort. Right now, however, it doesn't match up to similar resorts in the area. Their demand for a full 50% deposit up front is also out of line. Do not recommend.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Kamainatraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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-watt bulbs lighting the entrance was enough to read by in our room, even through the plastic Venetian blinds. Or, the light switch is down the hall toward the lodge on the left side of the door.
  • 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.
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 are more expensive. I don't think it's worth the price difference.
  • 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.
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