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.

“The one thing we look forward to most all year!”
Review of Naniboujou Lodge

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Grand Marais
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Naniboujou Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level 6 Contributor
594 reviews
149 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 265 helpful votes
“The one thing we look forward to most all year!”
Reviewed December 18, 2011

I can't express how much we look forward to our trip to Naniboujou Lodge every year. We go every President's Day weekend in February and we can hardly contain ourselves thinking about returning every year. We've been going here for years and will continue to go as long as they'll have us. We look forward to our trip here more than anything throughout the year. It’s so relaxing and scenic and the food is amazing.

Naniboujou Lodge is such a scenic property right on the shores of Lake Superior, and it has a fascinating history. Originally built as an exclusive club with famous charter members such as Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey, Naniboujou Lodge ran into trouble with the stock market crash in 1929 and has had to reinvent itself several times since then. The Ramey family has lovingly owned the Lodge for over two decades and you will literally not find a nicer group of folks. They are really special and they treat their guests like they were members of their own family.

The area around Naniboujou Lodge is filled with scenic grandeur, literally starting right across the highway at Judge C.R. Magney State Park. This is a spectacular park in the summer and we love it even more in the winter. There are several MN State Parks and other outdoor activities to enjoy within a short drive from the Lodge, even driving into Canada (only 27 miles north along Lake Superior / Hwy 61). If you choose to go up HWY 61 towards Canada, you’ll want to stop at Grand Portage National Monument, about 21 miles northeast on Hwy 61. It’s a look at a historic fur trading post, and although some portions may be closed in the winter, it’s still worth a stop. In the summer it’s an absolute must-see. There is a trail winding up a hill overlooking the Fort and Lake Superior that I highly recommend doing.

Probably the most popular thing to do for a day trip when staying at Naniboujou is heading back into the town of Grand Marais, MN. Almost everyone going to Naniboujou Lodge will pass through Grand Marais, about 15 miles southwest, right on the shores of Lake Superior. It's such a quaint, fun town, even in the winter. There are restaurants and shops and you can't miss the classic Ben Franklin store, we go there every visit. We also go to Sivertson Gallery just to get our fill of fantastic artwork from Mr. Sivertson and other local artisans and craftspeople.

But, save your appetite for Naniboujou's fabulous dining room. I can picture ourselves walking into that huge, colorful, warm dining room now, scouting out a table for two. Should we sit against the outside wall or against the solarium wall? Or, if we meet someone there maybe we'll share a table by the HUGE stone fireplace (the biggest in MN). We normally get to the Lodge on Friday evening and included with our room is a feast of five meals: dinner on arrival night, breakfast the next Saturday morning, a handmade-and-packed bag lunch that we take with us for our day's outing, dinner again that Saturday evening, and breakfast the next Sunday morning before checking out. The historic-themed colors and patterns on the walls of the dining room pay homage to the Cree Indian community and the giant stone fireplace is a draw as well, with a big, red velvet couch on each side of it. Is there a better place to sit and read a book in the winter? I think not. Well, the adjacent sun-and-book-filled solarium is a close second. The lobby has a nice little gift shop with some Naniboujou logo items and other art pieces and good books on local history. Of course, the Naniboujou Cookbook is an absolute must-buy. We got ours years ago and although it’s now dog-eared from much use, it’s still our favorite and one of our most-used ones. There is also a small book on the history of Naniboujou that I highly recommend buying.

We have gone there for their "afternoon tea" which they have in the spring, summer, and fall, and it's a great splurge. The word spluge makes it sound expensive; it isn't. It comes with an endless variety of teas and a huge assortment of fresh pastries and sandwiches, etc. Their solarium is the perfect spot to enjoy this luxurious treat and I highly recommend at least going there for their afternoon tea, even if you don't have time to stay the night.

But, the food is the real draw of their photogenic dining room. We haven’t had a bad meal in all the years we've been going there. Everything is so creative and good and we always end up eating way too much. It’s a fixed menu in the winter so we don’t get to choose what we eat, but that’s fine with us. There hasn’t been a clunker yet in all the years of staying, and eating, there. The desserts are the icing on the cake, literally. There is always coffee and an assortment of hot teas available all day so as people trickle back to the Lodge after a day of hiking, sight-seeing, shopping, or whatever, they’ll come and get a cup of coffee or tea and sit by the fireplace talking about their activities and treks for the day.

One thing that we absolutely LOVE about Naniboujou is that there are no TVs or phones in the rooms, and I can 99% guarantee that your cell phone won’t work there either. And, that's a very good thing, in my opinion. The Lodge is too far from the nearest cell tower (I have Verizon and if that doesn't work, nothing will) and it is sooooo nice not to have everyone in the dining room constantly checking e-mails or texting or talking on their cell phones. They have a phone in the lobby that folks can use if they need to check on their kids or whatever. But, that’s really appealing to us to not have all of the technology nightmares (yes, we both have smart phones and love that they don’t work here) associated with “modern” lodging and public spaces and all of the rude inturruptions that go along with that.

Since Naniboujou doesn’t have a liquor license, there is no wine or other alcohol allowed in the public spaces. But, you can bring a bottle wine and enjoy it in the privacy of your comfy room. Speaking of the rooms, we always pick a fireplace room and it includes a nice stock of logs for our actual wood-burning fireplace. They recently upgraded the beds to “Sleep Number” mattresses and they’re great. The bathroom area is on the small side, but come on, what do you need? Everything works perfectly and that’s all we ever ask for. The rooms themselves are on the small side but that’s again what we love about this Lodge. If you absolutely need a Trump Tower-sized, posh room, than this isn’t the place for you. But, if you’re like us and you enjoy peace and quiet and an endless variety of things to do, and enjoy great food and great company, you have to stay at the Naniboujou Lodge.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank ScottyG777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

140 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    87
    29
    13
    7
    4
See reviews for
28
59
7
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Duluth, Minnesota
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 10, 2011

Our church ladies group stopped for afternoon tea and food/tea was excellent. Very good service and a faith talk by Tim left everybody inspired and full. Not often you can take time out of our busy schedules for tea and time with good friends.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Delores G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Osseo, Minnesota, United States
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2011

After having dinner at Naniboujou Lodge on my bucket list for many years, I finally able to get there this past weekend with my family (all older teenage kids into their 20's, and used to eating at nice places). I was very excited when we were seated promptly for our dinner, only to find out they do not serve wine or any other type of alcohol. What kind of fine eating establishment does not have a wine list? Ok, so I had iced tea. The wild rice soup was no better than the commercial stuff one can get from any supermarket, and was in fact seemed reheated. On to the entree's: Three of us ordered the ribs, one had the steak, one the fish cakes, and our last person had a chicken sandwich. The food was something I would expect at a convention that served several hundred meals at once. All three rib orders were chewy, and once again obviously reheated. Mine was still cold in parts. The fish cakes were quite mushy and somewhat bland, and the chicken sandwich seemed as if the chicken was prepared way ahead of time and kept in a steamer. The steak was ok at best. My point is that after spending $175 including tip for six of us, I was very disapointed in the quality of food as well as the value. It is such a beautiful place and holds so much potential.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Greg C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed October 16, 2011

Went with a friend for three nights. Both rooms were generally clean EXCEPT for lots of dead flies (over 30-40 in each small room) in the sink, in the lights fixtures, and on the night stands. We went to Naniboujou specifically for the food and were so disappointed in the restaurant. Our first meal of soup and salad was very good. At breakfast the next day the service was terrible. She forgot my bacon, I had to ask for both coffee refills, and my waffle was cold. My friend's eggs were barely warm. That night the service (with a different waitress) was worse. We told the waitress that we were looking forward to a relaxing dinner and ordered soup, salad, and steaks (we planned to order desserts as well but by the end of the meal even my friend who is very patient was disgusted and gave up). The waitress brought the soup and salad together. I asked that she return the soup and iterated that we did not want to rush through the meal. When she returned with the soup several minutes later it was clear that she just set the bowl in the kitchen as it had congealed and was barely warm. I took a taste and set it aside. Within a minute, she came with our steaks (something like $27 each) which were both room temperature. I talked to the receptionist about the problems with 2 of 3 meals. She smiled at me when I stopped speaking and said something like, "All I can do is listen to you." I asked to speak to the owner or innkeeper and left my room number, cell phone number, and email address. This was a few weeks ago and no one has cared enough to contact me. I thought that maybe it was difficult to find good help but the next night we had a terrific meal with terrific service at the Crooked Spoon. My friend and I chatted with other people during our trip and the consensus was that the food at Naniboujou "used to be really good" but now people mostly stayed there because the view of Lake Superior was beautiful. I planned to take my husband up north next spring but won't go back to Naniboujou. My friend who planned the trip was really disappointed in the quality as well.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ldbfhlbfmp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed October 13, 2011

Stayed here for two nights while in the area for some hiking. Our room was tiny, smelled horrible and was filled with flies. Staff's answer was to spray RAID all over the window and room which just made the smell even worse and didn't come close to solvign the problem. In fact flies infested the entire lodge which was rundown and generally dirty.

Dinner was not much better. Severly understaffed and had to wait a long time for very poor service and at best average food. Pricey too for what you get.

Very disappointing all around.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank DrewConn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brookings, South Dakota
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2011

Motorcycle trip up the North Shore with a stay at Nanijoujou was memorable. Beautiful location, very good food and service. The sunrise in the morning was peaceful. Self serve coffee for early morning risers would be nice.

Room Tip: Ask for a lakeside room. However, the other rooms are just fine.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CJinSD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 17, 2011

Any time of year, you can come here to this 'roaring twenties era' lodge where it is as though time has stood still. The enormous dining room has high ceilings and is entirely hand-painted in bright-colored Cree Indian motifs. A rock fireplace is the largest of it's kind; created from rocks tumbled by the largest fresh-water lake in the world, the placement of each rock creates a motif that is truly a sight to behold! The furnishings are all original. One can almost picture original lodge member Babe Ruth enjoying a cigar as he sits before the bright, crackling fireplace.
Located on the gorgeous shores of Lake Superior, this lodge is the perfect getaway; here you trade the televisions and telephones for peaceful tranquility.
Treat yourself to an exceptionally delicious, beautifully-presented breakfast! After that, nature awaits you; hunting for agates or reading a book in an adirondack chair by the water's edge or going into town for sight-seeing, shopping, art galleries, more yummy food, or countless other activities... The Northland awaits you!
The rooms are very nice and some offer a fireplace. Beds have sleep-number mattresses. You are sure to get a good night's sleep at the Naniboujou!

  • Stayed June 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CaneCameo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Grand Marais
13.8 mi away
Best Western Plus Superior Inn & Suites
13.9 mi away
East Bay Suites
East Bay Suites
#3 of 10 in Grand Marais
270 reviews
13.8 mi away
Aspen Lodge
Aspen Lodge
#8 of 10 in Grand Marais
149 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
14.0 mi away
The Shoreline Inn
The Shoreline Inn
#9 of 10 in Grand Marais
106 reviews
23.6 mi away
Cascade Lodge
Cascade Lodge
#1 of 4 in Lutsen
340 reviews
14.1 mi away
Harbor Inn Restaurant & Motel
Harbor Inn Restaurant & Motel
#6 of 10 in Grand Marais
101 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Naniboujou Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Naniboujou Lodge

Property: Naniboujou Lodge
Address: 20 Naniboujou Trl, Grand Marais, MN 55604-2141
Location: United States > Minnesota > Grand Marais
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 32 Specialty Lodging in Grand Marais
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Naniboujou is a place to come home to! Originally built as a private exclusive club in the 1920's - boasting such charter members as Babe Ruth, Ring Lardner, and Jack Dempsey. Naniboujou is on the National Register of Historic Places and is open seasonally - featuring an award winning restaurant as well as lodging. In keeping with the historic nature, Naniboujou continues to be media free and offers guests an opportunity to unplug, unwind, and completely relax - either in their room, the grand dining room, or on the shore of Lake Superior. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Naniboujou Hotel Grand Marais

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