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“Our families favorite summer get away”
Review of Lakewood Lodge

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Lakewood Lodge
Reviewed 16 April 2013

Our family has been going here for the past 7 years and absolutely LOVE it! the cabins are always Clean and very spacious. It's so relaxing and if you love to fish this is the perfect place. My kids Count the months/weeks/days until we get to go back. Our friends and extended family have started coming the same week with us as well so it is a week of getting to relax with the people we love most! Steve and Dani have done an amazing job with Lakewood lodge!

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Juliana B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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15 - 18 of 18 reviews

Reviewed 8 October 2011

We thoroughly enjoyed our weeks' stay here the end of August. Steve and Danni are great people and very accommodating! The cabins are so nice - clean and comfortable with all the ammenities! We had so much fun fishing on Sand Lake. We're hoping to bring our family with the grandkids along with us the next time.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank Jane D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2011

As an extended family ages, time seems to fly by quicker. Quality time with family / friends and the resulting memories become more and more precious. Lakewood Lodge and its owners, Steve and Danni, do a very good job of facilitating these types of memories. They are always on call and extremely responsive, but by default stay in the background and let you enjoy your time.

The resort is extremely clean and very well kept-up, with continuous improvements always being made. This year, they are adding a deck at the lodge, as well as a bar area.

There is always something for everyone to do. The fishing on Sand Lake is very good, with access to area guides who really know their stuff. The beach area is very sunny, well maintained and west-facing. The bay area is very calm and conducive to water skiing, tubing, etc. The resort has kayaks, canoes, paddle boats. A very clean/safe/well maintained playground area for kids. Sand volleyball. The hiking in the area is as good as you can get. As mentioned, the resort now has a bar area where you can have an adult beverage and share fishing stories. Or you can just chill at your own personal campfire.

I grew up in the Twin Cities and now live in the Chicago suburbs. My extended family has been going to Lakewood Lodge since the mid 2000s. Its a week that I look forward to with great anticipation every year.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank CraftBeerDad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2008

We stayed here with our kids for a week. We were looking for a true "North Woods" Minnesota experience and we were not disappointed! Lakewood Lodge is located in Northwestern Itasca County, in Deer River. If you travel through one more county to the north, you'll end up in Canada. Very remote.
We live in the northern burbs of Illinois and we broke our trip by car into 2 days of travel.
Fun Times!:
The "resort" itself is 14 cabins, most of which are almost brand new. Two of the cabins are older and more rustic. The newer cabins have air conditioning, cable TV and some have dishwashers, but all have full kitchens and one or more bathrooms. Ours was a 3bed/1bath cabin and they also all come with screen porches, which is great in the war against bugs! We enjoyed sitting out there for breakfast and dinner and feeling the breeze blow in, but not the bugs! The furniture was very cute, the tables and chairs had the big, solid, wooden look and there was also a pull-out futon in the main living area. The beds were comfy and it was nice to be able to watch a little TV at night and throw on a cartoon for the kids in the A.M.. We felt very safe and even though we locked our doors when we went out, we left the windows open with no problems. The cabins were very clean, never even saw a spider! :) No pets allowed, which again, is understandable with all the little kids and people around, but we would have liked to have brought our Lab.
The little sand beach was perfect for our kids and it had a small slide and a fun raft they could swim up to and jump off of. The swimming area is small and roped off. If you swim past, you are in tall weeds! Directly in the swimming area, it was clean and weed-free, but by late August, they start to creep in.There was Adirondack furniture to sit and sun on and some even to swing on if you just wanted to sit and watch the day drift past. We even had a campfire one night with some other families we had gotten to know. The mosquitoes were almost non-existent, but that night they made an appearance!
We had a very nice Pontoon boat that we rented and that was great! The fishing was horrible, but I blame the people doing the fishing(ahem) and not the fish! We got the feeling that this is definitely more of a "fisherman's paradise" up here and not so much for people or families that don't. We are more of a beach, water, boating, family, so unless you want to come up and fish, there really isn't a heck of a lot to do this far up. Relax, yes! But it is very far to come and do just that.
The water was cool but totally tolerable and we spent hours in it having a blast. The host family is nice, even though we didn't really see them very much. They do have a main lodge with light grocery items and gifts. There is no dining. They do have a nice laundry cabin on the premises with limited times open due to two other cabins being close by. We heard that guests in those cabins often complained about the noise, especially the door slamming closed too much. Just a suggestion: Why not fix the door so it closes gently?

Some mixed feelings:
While we have nothing but positive things to say about the actual cabins and grounds themselves, we did struggle a bit with the remoteness of the resort. Now this is by no fault of anyone but us. We wanted to really get ourselves "Up North" and "Up North" we were! Surrounded by the Chippewa National Forest, once you pulled out of the resort, the drive out on the highways was long and winding and really gave you a sense of what it means to be "Out in the middle of nowhere"! No offense to the bears or the deer! If your car broke down out there and your cell phone didn't work, which many times it didn't, you would need to have a very strong, confident, personality (and a flashlight and bear repellent and bug spray!). This is NOT the kind of place that you can call AAA to come and bail you out! And at night especially, getting out of your car and walking along the roads in the "advanced darkness", as our kids called it, would be an experience in itself. Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my! ;)
The stars, however, were breathtaking as were the 2 nights with a full moon, one of which was blood red when it first rose!
When a Minnesotan tells you that the gas station or the store is, "Just up the road a bit", that translates to 30+ miles, so fill 'er up! The trees were majestic and awesome! While we didn't see any bears, we did see plenty of eagles, hawks, pelicans, herons, turkey vultures and deer! We clocked over 2000 miles on that trip...as I said, the roads are long and winding!
It wasn't uncommon to drive for quite a bit and not see another soul for miles!
There was an awesome place to eat called the, "Gosh Dam Place" not too far (literally) from the resort, which served the BEST cream of chicken and wild rice soup my taste buds have ever had the pleasure of...well, tasting! In fact, it's so popular there, they wouldn't even give us the recipe! They also purport to feed the bears any leftover food around 8:45 PM each night in the back lot of the restaurant, we went twice and they didn't make an appearance. One local told us that it's bear-baiting season, so I guess they were off somewhere else getting their fill before it's open season on them! (I'm from the burbs of Chicago, don''t get me started on hunting and how much I hate it... even though I know it's done for for food. I respect that, I just have seen way too many Disney movies!)
We were disappointed that there wasn't a whole lot of towns nearby with good local restaurants to eat at. We traveled 50 miles one way to Bemidji one night and ended up eating at an Applebee's. You know the one? Right next to the Super Walmart? Door County, WI, this isn't!
The resort also advertised on their website that through August they would have some fun resort activities like; a pot luck supper, minnow races, games, etc., but they were finished for the season! Our kids were bummed, as were we and many of the others guests as well.
As I also mentioned, the owners were pleasant, but we never saw them much. Maybe it was out of respect for their guests and not wanting to step into their vacations?
The day we left, we just...left. There really wasn't any communication from them, like a, "Thanks for staying?..Nice to meet you all?... Hope to see you next year?" Not a big deal, but it would have been nice to have had a little bit more interaction. Also, check-in isn't until 3 PM, which is understandable as they have to ready the cabins, but check-out is 8:30 AM! Way too early for our taste. We ended up leaving a day early as the week-long perfect weather was about to change the next morning and I'm glad we did because I can't imagine having to get it all together and clean it all out and pack the car up in the dark the night before or (in bad weather) at 6 AM the day of!

Overall, the kids had a blast. We enjoyed being together, met some great people and can now say we had our "Up North" experience. Would we do it again? Yes, but not here. The only reason why is that it was just too remote for our taste. We love the outdoors and love being on the water, but really need some place a little more populated and with more to do. Door County, WI, or Cape Cod, MA, is more our speed.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled with family
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3  Thank katgrl43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LakewoodBay, owner at Lakewood Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 26 October 2009

We are sorry you were not completely satisfied with your stay. We strive to make all our guests stays a memorable one. We wish you would have notified us while you were here of your issues so they could have been discussed and dealt with.
Here are a couple of points we would like to make in regards to your review.
Our website clearly states that scheduled activites run during Prime Season only. Once rates are decreased for off-season guests our scheduled activites end. You were here at the beginning of our off season therefore receiving reduced lodging rates.
More interaction from owners: This is one we struggle with quite often. You wanted more interaction but others have stated they want privacy with their family. We make ourselves available at all times and make an effort after lodge hours to mingle with our guests. Especially the ones that show they want that interaction.
Check-out time of 8:30: Again, this is one we struggle with. You complimented how clean the cabin and resort grounds were. This is the minimum amount of time required to turn all 14 cabins over, clean and prepare rental boats and properly clean and maintain the resort so it meets your satisfaction. We take great pride in the cleanliness of our resort. We could move check-in time later thus check-out time could be later or we could hire more staff which would require we increase the rates to cover these costs. Some people are ok with check in time but not check out time, others feel the opposite but most do not like the increased rate option.
As you stated our swim area was well taken care of but once you got past the designated area it got a bit weedy. We are restricted to a certain area allowed to treat by the MN DNR. We have applied for an exemption to increase this size but have been denied.
We are remote by some people's standards. We have a gas station/convenient store 8 miles east and one 11 miles south. There are 4 restaurants within 15 miles. We are 22 miles from a town that meets most of your needs. AAA does service this area as well.
We do appreciate your review just as we ask all our guests to fill out comment cards before their departure as this is how we improve our resort, by your feedback. Again, we apologize your trip was not all you wanted it to be and we wish you would have discussed your issues with us so they could have been addressed.
We take great pride in Lakewood Lodge and we feel this shows by returning approximately 82% of our guests each year. Many of these guests have been with us for all 8 seasons we have owned Lakewood and several others that have been here longer than we have.

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Additional Information about Lakewood Lodge

Address: 53026 County Road 35, Deer River, MN 56636-2539
Region: United States > Minnesota > Deer River
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 13 Speciality Lodging in Deer River
Price Range: £185 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Lakewood Lodge specializes in providing year-round fun-filled Minnesota family resorts vacations and awesome fishing on a quiet bay of Sand Lake, part of the Bowstring Chain of Lakes. Lakewood Lodge offers 14 exceptionally clean lake cabins to provide you with a MN family vacation and a MN fishing experience you will never forget, a fantastic swimming beach with water toys, kids activities for all ages, great fall and winter get-a-ways and awesome sportsman's opportunities. Our primary goal is to provide you with top quality resort lodging that complements the inspiring beauty that surrounds us. We will strive to make your stay with us a quality vacation experience and we will earn your repeat business. You will find our service to be friendly and thorough, but unobtrusive. We respect your special time to relax for what it is; your time ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Lakewood Lodge Minnesota/Deer River

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