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“Reservation” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Naniboujou Lodge

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Naniboujou Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
McGregor, Minnesota
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Reservation”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 20, 2012

I made my reservation on March 20th, asking for 2 rooms of the east side, facing the lake, and I asked more than once if I would be facing the lake. This was our second time at Naniboujou. everything was great the first time. But very upset this time. I would never again tell people to go there.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Shereen L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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133 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    81
    27
    13
    8
    4
See reviews for
26
55
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Business
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (47)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Chante26
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 29, 2012

Ah - to sit by Lake Superior or read a book in the Naniboujou Lodge Lounge is my idea of a great weekend! This is the place to go for that perfect tranquility to just leave your cell phones and computers at home.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Chante26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amery
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2012

My wife and I recently stayed for their "Winter Weekend", which is a two night, five meal package. Our room was very nice. The problem was the food. First of all, we had eaten there many times and were always thrilled with the food. We didn't know ahead of time that we wouldn't be choosing from a menu and that each meal would be costing over $25.00. Not one of the meals were worth that amount....a pasta dinner, scrambled eggs + sausage breakfast, a bag lunch with a sandwich & fruit, and a steak Diane dinner. The dinner was the only meal that came close to being worth the money. We were also charged a more than generous gratuity upon checking in. We had some special dietary needs. While we were asked about them, little was done to accommodate them. We found the weekend to be overpriced, and won't be staying there again.

Room Tip: Try to get a lakeside room!
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Horsepackage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Olathe, KS
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 20, 2012

This is a wonderful historical lodge that offers a great dining experience and a laid-back, restful stay. It's located on the shore of Lake Superior so the sunrises are spectacular. One caveat...there are no TV's in the rooms (no wifi capability either).

  • Stayed August 2011
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank nancyOlathe_KS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Horton
Level Contributor
143 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 5, 2012

Naniboujou is unique. It isn't for everyone. The rooms are small, and it is not air-conditioned, so you need to be willing to pull the shades during the day, open the window on a hot evening and let in the Lake Superior breezes, use the (provided) oscillating fan, and transport yourself back to an era when everything was simpler. No TV, no phone, no cell phone reception.

We enjoy a stop at Naniboujou as a gradual transition to what most people call "civilization" after a wilderness canoe trip in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area on the Minnesota/Canada border. We clean up in the bathtub (yes, some of the rooms have bathtubs) or shower, have dinner in the beautiful dining room, and sleep in the Select Comfort bed. After a week or more in the out-of-doors, sleeping in a tent and cooking on a campfire, it is a nice change. Last year we were there on a Saturday night, so the next morning we enjoyed the beautiful Sunday brunch before getting on our way back to Michigan. And I was on the beach at 6 AM to photograph the gorgeous sunrise on Lake Superior. It doesn't GET any better than that!

We brought our granddaughter to Naniboujou one summer when she was six. She loved it here! We had the room with the Murphy bed. She thought the old-fashioned swing and the stones on the beach and the beautiful dining room/huge fireplace were memorable--she is still talking about it three years later. And of course the big cinnamon roll!

This is a place of unusual beauty and friendly hospitality. I am wearing my Naniboujou sweatshirt as I am typing this review. I can hardly wait to return next year!

Room Tip: If you want a bathtub, you need to ask. Some rooms have them, some do not. Rooms over the kitchen...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Lynda C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minnesota
Level Contributor
81 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 25, 2012

We stayed at the Lodge last year and enjoyed ourselves to no end. We sat for hours in the Adirondack chairs and watched the waves hit the Lake Superior shore. The Lodge has no TVs or radios just a great game room and a wonderful restaurant. My Fiance liked the idea of no cell phone reception the best. We will go again.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank plasticman1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
597 reviews
152 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 266 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank ScottyG777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Naniboujou Lodge

Property: Naniboujou Lodge
Address: 20 Naniboujou Trail, Grand Marais, MN 55604
Location: United States > Minnesota > Grand Marais
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 30 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

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