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“Disappointed”

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Gunflint Lodge & Outfitters
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 23, 2013

My husband and I booked under a special deal but unfortunately had to reschedule due to a family emergency. The staff accommodated the rescheduling but did not honor the orginal deal which is somewhat understandable. So our actual visit was brief which was probably fortunate. Our cabin was small and not very clean (crumbs on the table, ashes on the fireplace hearth, some dirt or ash on the floors & rug, and an unflushed toilet all noticed upon arrival) After a hike on one of the trails we went for dinner in the main lodge around 8pm. We thought it would be quiet and asked to be seated near a window (there are two seperate dining areas in the lodge). Shortly after being seated for a romantic dinner the host sat a few other adult tables followed by a couple more tables of families with small children right next to our quiet romantic dinner for two. The children were not be tended to by the parents and the waitress could not keep up with the children's demands. Our meals had already been ordered or we may have delayed our dinner. We ordered dinner from the evening's menu specials which are wonderfully described and a higher priced asking the waitress what she would recommend. The cup of walleye wild rice soup ended up being the highlight of our entire experience although I can't say we noticed any walleye in the soup. There was a very long delay between the soup and the dinner. The dinner was served at room temperature with the recommended potatoes cold and uncooked.The waitress who was very pleasant & busy never checked back after delivering our food but did drop off the check in passing. We went to pay at the main desk and do a little shopping at the lodge gift shop. The staff at the main desk was on the phone from the time we arrived for dinner to the time we left the gift shop making confirmation calls to future guests regarding meal choices. The lead or what seemed to be the experienced staff (possibly family?) seemed to be disinterested in guests that were at the lodge. Our bedroom was a bit more bathroom with the well lit tiled bath area wrapped around the edge of the bed. The shower was new with mulitple jets that could not all be executed due to lack of water pressure. The stay at the lodge was disappointing from the time we checked in to our early check out. The lodge has potential with it's history (we learned about at the history center or museam at the end of the Gunflint Trail) but the services are not well executed.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Jane V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GunflintGuy, Owner at Gunflint Lodge & Outfitters, responded to this reviewResponded October 29, 2013

We are sad to hear Jane and her husband had a bad experience with us. I wish they had let us know while they were here so we could have taken care of our oversights. As I check into their concerns I know we had a housekeeper about then that we had to let go when she falsified cabin worksheets. We always clean out the fireplace after each guest stay, and carefully lay up new fire logs, including a starter cube, so all is ready for new guests. It sounds like that got taken care of but then the final vacuuming missed the ashes that spilled from her pail. I think the toilet concern was actually a little of our cleaner that was left after the last flush. We use water saving shower heads (part of our contribution to lowering our user impact on our resources) and some people are not familiar with that feature. The water comes out in a finer mist, and it might look skimpy to those who prefer a robust shower.
All dinner guests get to select their own table and apparently they did not notice that they chose a location right next to a couple of larger family tables which filled while they were dining. We cook our vegetables and potatoes to the lightly done stage so they still have some crunch and freshness to them. If they had let us know, we would have been glad to change out anything they wished. All our staff are fully empowered to solve every concern and need of our guests. We would even have moved them to a different table if they had just asked.
I am sorry Marilyn was on the phone when they came to the front desk but we work hard to see that no one has to wait more than a minute or two.
Although they did not mention it, I assume they enjoyed their opportunities for hiking, the free canoes and kayaks, the home baked cookies and beverages on the sideboard all day, and the corn to feed the ducks with at the waterfront.
We take a great deal of pride in making Gunflint our guests "home in the woods", that they come back to year after year. Somehow we missed with Jane and her husband, and we are very sorry they did not have a good time during their short stay with us.

Bruce Kerfoot

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140 - 146 of 256 reviews

Reviewed September 28, 2013

Our Family has gone to the Gunflint lodge six times in the last twelve years. We've been in March, July, October and November and no matter the season have found Gunflint to be a consistently wonderful place to relax, reconnect as a family and enjoy walking through nature. The drive from Minneapolis is long but the opportunity for stops along the North Shore, scenery and final hour in the woods make it enjoyable. We are a larger family (six kids) and always select cabin #27 (rebuilt a couple years a ago after being destroyed by a fire). We prefer to bring our own food and cook during our week long stays but always make a point to eat in their wonderful restaurant at least once a week - breakfast meals are HUGE. Last summer we had a family reunion and rented 3 cabins for 18 of us and had more than enough room as the cabins are very large and spacious. There is a playground are for younger children that is right next to a shallow beach that always has ducks to feed. The one thing we would improve on is that our cabin did not have a hot tub and that used to be a highlight in snowy November for kids and adults alike to have to run from the tub into the cabin where there would be a warm fire and hot chocolate waiting. Wonderful vacation tradition and we are on our way back for our seventh visit in three weeks.

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Thank MarkW05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2013

My initial reactions to the lodge was very positive, but after a few too many errors, I do not think I will return.

The location is beautiful. The main lodge room felt very friendly and inviting. Guests & Staff were all chatting with each other. It had a very comfortable feel. The cabin was fairly new construction and had a massive two person spa tub. I was very optimistic this was going to be a great experience. And the first couple of interactions did not disappoint. We had a very nice dinner the first night. Our server was very friendly and the rest of the wait staff seemed friendly and professional as well. The food was very good and you could tell they were working from some well tested recipes. The next day we went on the “Friendly Jaunt” horse ride. The two young ladies that were our wranglers and guides were as friendly and professional as I could ever imagine. The activity was very enjoyable. After all of this, my wife and I started to discuss planning our return visit and which of our friends might want to join us. Unfortunately, this is when the problems began to arise.

At an initial glance the cabin seemed great, but the design flaws make some of the key features useless. There is that massive two person tub, but the cabin isn’t equipped to provide enough hot water to cover the jets. Why bother to install a tub like that if it can’t really be used? Then there is the TV. It is sitting on top of the fireplace mantel about 5 feet above eye level and you are only above 5 feet back from the screen. You would have to look up at about a 45 degree angle to look at the screen or pull all of the TV and DVD equipment down and rearrange the cabin furniture to try to watch a movie. Ok, so I don’t go to the Gunflint to watch DVDs, but if I am paying for these cabin features, I should be able to easily use them.
Our second night in the dining room was not as positive as the first. The server and the staff were just as friendly, but the food quality was poor. Again you could tell the recipes were right on target but the execution was awful. My prime rib had been slow roasted over a wood fire to the perfect level of doneness and the smoky flavor. The au gratin potatoes had just the right blend of cheese. Unfortunately the entire plate of food was served at room temperature. It did appear that there was something that had caused a significant delay in the kitchen between the salad and entrée service and I can only assume that my plate had been just sitting there while they worked things out. So what could have been very nice was again a wasted opportunity.

The straw that broke the camel’s back finally came at check out. I had booked this stay using a Groupon. Prior to purchasing the Groupon, I had called to ask a question regarding pet fees. I saw on the website that the Lodge had an upcoming dog friendly weekend, where the pet fees were being waived. I called and asked if that would also apply with my Groupon purchase and I was assure that it would be, but we would not be able to participate in any of the dog activities. I was fine with that had as long as there were no additional pet fees. So with that information, I purchase the Groupon and booked the stay. At checkout however, I was presented a bill for $40 in pet fees plus tax. I told the person at the desk that I had called and asked about the pet fee, he told me that the information was incorrect and applied only if I had purchased their Dog Weekend package, since the pet fee is built into that price. I wasn’t going to get into an argument over $40, but I was very irritated that someone had taken advantage of me. There was a mistake made by the Lodge staff, either at reservation or checkout and no one even said they were sorry.

There are a lot of resort options in this area and even though this one had shown great promise, there were just too many execution issues to risk recommending to my friends or to return. I will check out another place when we return to the area in a few months.

Room Tip: This resort sell packages with different services/ activities/ fees included. Be sure you get in wr...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Location
5  Thank garyjor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GunflintGuy, Owner at Gunflint Lodge & Outfitters, responded to this reviewResponded October 29, 2013

I am sorry we disappointed Gary during his stay with us. It appears we got most things right but missed on a few items. We have a super large hot water heater in the cabin he stayed in which is more than enough to fill the hot tub. All I can think of is that they must have taken real long showers in the morning to run the heater down. This is the first concern we have had with that feature in this cabin.
The TV is about 5-10' above floor level and when you sit on the couch (about 8 feet away) your head is around 4' from the floor. Most people are comfortable with that series of elevations.
We blew it with the dinner that was not hot enough. But all he would have had to do was ask his server to take care of it, and we would have jumped on it quickly.
I am at a loss to understand his misunderstanding about our pet fee. All our staff knows it applies to all guests, except those coming on one of our Dog Lover Packages.
We try very hard to satisfy all our guests needs and concerns and we are very disappointed that we did not meet his expectations in every way.

Bruce Kerfoot

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Reviewed September 21, 2013 via mobile

This will be our 3rd year back to this awesome lodge. Last year we had a chance to experience the zip line canopy tour. Way fun. Bruce and Sue thank you for your continued support of those whom have served this great Nation. Look forward to our stay again this fall.

  • Stayed: November 2012
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1  Thank Jamaicaman15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2013

My husband and I visited gunflint three days in September. We were there for fishing and relaxing. Adam, the guide we had for our trips was amazing.He made fishing in the boundary waters comfortable and lots of fun. He made us shore lunches which will be a great memory forever. The meals at the restaurant , were also excellent. The service was great, and the food quality just as good as any fine dining establishment. The only negative of the whole trip, and it is not too negative is the rooms.They come with a sauna, that was heaven. They have a too large hottub which takes forever to fill and seems like such a waste of space and resources. The bedding needs to be updated, and shades of some sort should be done. The hosts of gunflint have great specials and keep updated on everything. This in my opinion is the only way to go to the boundary waters. Gunflint is in top running , for a return trip for us.

Room Tip: All rooms have a beautiful view. You are in the boundary waters.!!!
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank sam49Wisconsin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2013

I went to Gunflint because I had a livingsocial voucher for a four night canoe trip. It was AWESOME! We worked our butts off, traveled many miles and saw some amazing sites. However, this probably had more to do with the fact that the boundary waters are beautiful than with Gunflint. The gear we got from Gunflint was old, and I mean OLD. Luckily we all had our own backpacks, because the backpacks they provide are awful..I mean seriously, think old army canvas sacks. No back, shoulder, or waist support whatsoever, which is crazy considering how far out into the wilderness they send people.. So, would I go back? Sure. Would I go back and pay full price? Heck no. If you can find a deal, then go for it. Its a once in a lifetime kinda thing.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank forrest100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GunflintGuy, Owner at Gunflint Lodge & Outfitters, responded to this reviewResponded September 11, 2013

Thank you for your comments regarding your recent wilderness canoe trip. The logic behind the Cordura packs that we use are that they fit into canoes easily, while packs with frames and additional support belts are harder to get loaded. Our Cordura packs have been used for several years but that particular material is the toughest stuff on the market and seems to last forever.
Packs with back support are certainly more comfortable for longer carries, but most of our portages are fairly short. Additionally, when our packs fit nicely into our canoes they have a lower center of gravity that those that sit upright with frames. It is tempting to have newer fancier packs, but they just do not work as well in this canoeing wilderness.

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Reviewed September 4, 2013

We three (wife, daughter, myself) decided to accept the recommendation of a friend and give the Gunflint Lodge a try. We were impressed - from the hostess rushing forward to open the door and greet us, the quality of our meals, and excellent service, and the great view overlooking the patio, beach and Gunflint Lake. We really appreciated being seated in the air conditioned area.

Since we were already staying on the Gunflint Trail the fifteen plus miles from Clearwater Road to this Lodge was an enjoyable ride.

We had the beer-battered Walleye. It was delicious!

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Louis H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gunflint Lodge & Outfitters

Address: 143 S Gunflint Lk, Grand Marais, MN 55604
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Minnesota > Grand Marais
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Ski-In / Ski-Out Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 32 Specialty Lodging in Grand Marais
Price Range: $95 - $543 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Gunflint Lodge & Outfitters 3*
Number of rooms: 33
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
All-inclusive luxury cabins in the Minnesota Northwoods on the historic Gunflint Trail bordering the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Lakeside cabins with fireplaces accommodate 2-14 people and many have in-room saunas or spa pools. Activities include canoeing, hiking, fishing guides, guided Naturalist activities, swimming, horse back riding, full meal service, and the Towering Pines Canopy Tour. Winter activities include cross country skiing, dog sledding, snowmobiling, snow shoeing and ice fishing. Lakeside patio dining, full-service bar, and massage therapist are available. Featured in "1,000 Places to See Before You Die-U.S. & Canada." Always Pet Friendly. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gunflint Hotel Grand Marais

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