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“Black Bear Lodge is fantastic!”
Review of Black Bear Lodge

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Black Bear Lodge
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Saint Germain
Wisconsin
1 review
“Black Bear Lodge is fantastic!”
Reviewed October 15, 2008

We have stayed at the Black Bear several times. Each time has been a wonderful experience! We were just up there this month (October 2008), and the colors of the leaves were absolutely breathtaking! I would recommend to everyone to stay there as the lodging is great and the prices are reasonable. The staff is very friendly too. We will definitely go back again.

Stayed October 2008
Helpful?
Thank peanut20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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156 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
LaGrange, IL
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 29, 2008

Little Lake St. Germain was beautiful. Black Bear Lodge is situated right off the water. We stayed in a lodge condo type 2 bedroom unit. on the 2nd floor looking right over the water. The unit itself was nice and clean. Any given day you could go out by the lake and see eagles soaring above. It was breathtakingly beautiful. This resort was very family friendly. In the summer months they have kids classes/activities which included a fishing derby. They had a great smores/camp fire night too. They have a great summer camp leader, Lou, she was able to help by not only entertaining the kids but by also giving us adults some good advise on where to go on an excursion, weather it be a good dinner or a drive up to the UP Michigan (about a 1.5 hr drive away). They had two small beach areas where the children could play and rafts to swim out to and jump in from. There were kayaks that you could take out which were incredibly enjoyable and free or a row boat that was included with the cost of your unit. They also had a park right outside our unit that our kids were able to play at. All in all it was a great vacation. Now, price, it is expensive. Not sure it's the most cost effective place to stay but it was nice. The units were nothing spectacular for the price. They were nice/clean/modern (pleasantly decorated with flat screen tv and dvd players) but we aren't talking granite counter tops and marble floors. There are also not any laundry facilities on the property and towels (of any kind) are not included for the $250/night charge. You can add these for an extra charge. The property itself was well maintained. There were folks out there maintaining the place all the time, trimming bushes, picking up trash, etc.... Clean place, pricey but gorgeous scenery and good times.

  • Liked — scenery
  • Disliked — price
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank gogirlgogogo88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ishpeming, MI
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed May 5, 2007

My husband and I love the St. Germain area, and decided to book a weekend at the Black Bear Lodge for our 30 year wedding anniversary. When I initially called them and talked to Lindsey, who was extremely friendly, I booked one of the Bear Trap suites, which would have suited us fine. It was the first weekend of May, so we were quoted the pre-season price. ( The pre-season listed is Feb 26 - May 14, and Oct 10 - Dec 25th, which is 5 months total. ) When we arrived on Friday, Bess, who was also very friendly and helpful, informed us that we were being upgraded to one of the Jacuzzi Lodge Homes for no additional cost, to make our anniversary stay more special. Upon entering, we were pleasantly surprised to see a bottle of white wine, 2 wine glasses and a card signed by several employees wishing us a happy 30th anniversary. The home was more than we could have imagined. Not only was it extremely clean, spacious and well equipped, but being on a corner, the view was spectacular! We had a great visit with Linda, the bartender on Friday night, and upon checking out on Sunday, we were greeted by the maintenance man ( we never did get his name) as well as meeting Nikki at the office, who made it 3 for 3 on the "friendliness scale" for the office girls! The owners of the resort are very lucky to have such great people working for them, as each of them made our stay there more enjoyable than we could ever have imagined. We can only speak from our experience, and as we were pulling away, the impression that we received encouraged us to start planning our next trip back to Black Bear Lodge before we even reached Hwy. 70!

  • Liked — friendly staff, clean and well-equipped rooms and spectacular view, close to great restaurants
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank yooperb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Il
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 4, 2006

We have stayed at Black Bear Lodge for several years and will not return after this year's visit. The restaurant has been closed and all the long time staff who made the stay so pleasant have been terminated. Our unit reeked of cigarette smoke and there were cigarette butts all over the patio, which tells me the standards have been lowered ( the office sent us Febreeze also). The lodge homes have gotten to be in desperate need of new mattresses to replace the old, lumpy ones, along with new carpeting and furniture. You pay a premium price to stay here and it seems that no one cares anymore now that the old staff is gone. I agree with the other review regarding the lack of toilet paper and paper towels, how cheap is that ? It's a shame to see a once lovely resort being neglected.

  • Liked — The view and the location.
  • Disliked — The lack of upkeep.
  • Tips/Secrets — Bring your own toilet paper.
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank NorthwoodsTravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shane C, General Manager at Black Bear Lodge, responded to this review, October 19, 2015
New Owners of the Resort since Sept. 2014. Many improvements made and lots more on the way. Consider giving Black Bear Lodge another try.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
midwest
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 16, 2006

We've stayed at Black Bear Lodge for 10 years and will not be returning again. We normally stay in a lodge home and altho very nice, the prices at this resort have gotten way out of hand. Every year there are huge increases and as of this year they have changed dates of quiet and low season to be almost non-existenet. We've tried to get a response from the owners (who we've come to know over the years) and they just aren't interested. They've let a number of there long-time employees go, only to have office staff that acts as if they don't care and are doing you a favor by assisting you. I find this outrageous after being very loyal guests over the years and also referring many people to them. It's not that the resort property isn't kept up or nice, but when going to such an upscale and very expensive resort, the staff should be pleasant and try to be at least courteous. Also, their cheapness re towels and toliet paper (you have to pay extra or bring your own) is just petty. If your looking for just a nice place, this will do, but if your also looking for a pleasant experience from the resort staff and owners, this is not the place for you!

  • Liked — the Lodge homes are very nice and the grounds are well kept.
  • Disliked — The staff is unpolite, snotty and have a no-care attitude. The cost is out of line with other resorts in area.
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank chowcook
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shane C, General Manager at Black Bear Lodge, responded to this review, October 19, 2015
New owners as of Sept. 2014. Lots of Improvements with many more on the way. If you need more TP or towels - just call the front desk, no problem.
Give the new owner and staff a chance. :-)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed July 1, 2006

We stayed at Black Bear Lodge for a week in June 2006. My parents, sister, her husband and kids joined us. We had a total of 10 people (including kids) in the Tree House cabin. The cabin itself was large enough and accomodated our group nicely. The grounds of Black Bear are also meticulously maintained and beautiful. Unfortunately, those are the only nice things I am able to say.
We arrived around 4pm after driving 7hrs from the South Suburbs of Chicago to St. Germain. This was our second trip to Black Bear. We had stayed the previous year in a lodge condo two bedroom suite and were pleased with that experience. So, we thought we'd head back there this year. I wish we hadn't!
After checking in, we unloaded the baggage for three families and entered the unit only to find it stunk to high heaven of animal urine. The smell was so strong and disgusting I thought I'd puke. It was especially prominent in the back master bedroom. We opened windows thinking that would help. It didn't. We went back to the office and spoke to Julie. She followed us back to the unit to have a whiff herself. She smelled it as well and said she'd have to call her boss. Julie called back to say that the following day they would have someone come to clean the carpets and she further
told us it could not possibly be animal urine as they don't allow pets. So, Julie thought it had to be human urine. I explained to Julie that there was no way we could sleep in that master bedroom with it smelling like that and human urine it was not, but a very distinct smell of either cat or dog urine. It is unmistakable and I didn't care if they allowed pets or not, someone snuck a pet in there. Julie got rather snippy and asked "well what do you want me to do, we don't have any other vacancies"
We waited about an hour and got a call from Diane, one of the owners of Black Bear. After insisting to us again that they don't allow pets, Diane reiterated they would get cleaning in there the next day and offered us a one night stay in another unit while we waited. We went back down to the office to talk to Julie about what units they had available. By this time, it was 7pm, we had not even had diinner, all the kids were crabby and hungry. We decided on a unit to use for sleeping that night while we waited for cleaning people.
The following day two cleaning girls showed up in the morning and advised they had been instructed to "smell" around to see if they could locate the odor. I have never seen anything more ridiculous than these two girls on their hands and knees in the bedroom smelling the carpet for urine. Finally, one of the girls said "we have a winner" and found a large area by the head of the bed that smelled of urine. The girls left to go report what they had found. Some time later, another woman showed up with a small carpet cleaning machine and cleaned only that spot. She advised they carpet cleaning company wasn't open on weekends, so this was the best she could do.
We had also gone to the store our first night there and purchased Febreeze. Between that and the cleaning, the odor subsided enough to sleep in the room.
While the smell did dissipate somewhat, it came back through out the week. It was chilly at night and we closed the windows so as not to be freezing. When the windows were shut, the smell reappeared and we'd have to spray Febreeze.
To top this all off, we paid over $2000 for the week and we had to pay extra for towels, there was no housekeeping whatsoever, we even had to purchase our own toilet paper and Febreeze!
We never heard back from management that week to check on how things were. At check out we inquired about a discount for our trouble and after much hem hawing, they gave us $100 off the room. Needless to say, we were not happy with that and we definately won't be returning to Black Bear Lodge.
For over $2000/wk with no housekeeping or towels included, I don't think it's too much to ask for the unit to smell clean and not like urine. And, when we did bring the problem to their attention, all they could do was insist that they don't allow pets and send girls in to actually get down on their hands and knees to smell the carpet as if they did not believe us. Take my advice and stay somewhere else....

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shane C, General Manager at Black Bear Lodge, responded to this review, October 19, 2015
I'm sorry for you bad experience! That is definitely unacceptable!! Here's the good news... NEW OWNERS since Sept 2014. Many Improvements have been made and many, many more on the way. You might want to give Black Bear Lodge and the New Owner and Staff another chance! :-)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Black Bear Lodge

Property: Black Bear Lodge
Address: 1330 Halberstadt Rd, Saint Germain, WI 54558-8748
Location: United States > Wisconsin > Saint Germain
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Saint Germain
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Black Bear Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Family resort and restaurant overlooks Little St. Germain Lake and offers cottages and lodge homes year 'round. Abundant peace and quiet, sports and activities, amenities too numerous to mention, and the best guest service staff in the business. Golf and fishing packages, family reunions, weddings, business retreats. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Black Bear Hotel Saint Germain
Black Bear Resort

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