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“A great place for family” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge

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Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Deerwood
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
33 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“A great place for family”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 September 2012

Stayed with my 11 year old daughter, mom and a few siblings. We stayed in a beautiful townhome....downside was that it wasn't on the lake.

Nice little spa situated in a small cottage on the property. Called and was able to get a same day appointment for a manicure.

A fantastic clothing shop, with some good sale prices.

Fished off the dock with my daughter. She caught a couple of nice size bass (also bullhead and some sun fish).

I've never seen such a highly utilized kids program. It took me awhile to figure out that it was because parents were golfing. It looked like they were engaged in lots of fun activities.

Very nice pools indoors and out. Good size.

I didn't use the beach, but it looked very nicely groomed.

We rented a pontoon boat and took a ride around lake shore looking at the beautiful homes and cabins. That was a highlight for some.

I would definately come again.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Minnesotamon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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121 reviews from our community

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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
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Mendota Heights Mn
Level Contributor
43 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 September 2012

Once gain we enjoyed our stay at Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge over the Labor Day weekend. It has been a regular Labor Day getaway for our family for many years now.

We stayed again in the Battle Creeks town houses. Our 3 bedroom unit was spacious, comfortable with nice log style furnishings. It is quiet and easy walking distance or a quick drive to the main Lodge and golf course. The rate is slightly lower to stray here and we like it just fine, with tennis court, pool and sauna outside our door.

We chose the American Plan that included Breakfast and Dinner buffet. It's not quite 5star but it is a decent meal and you won't go hungry here. Although this time around we thought there were not as many choices as in the past. On Saturday restaurant ran out of hot soup “chicken” and prime rib around eight o’clock.

Our American plan also included free golf on Alec 9 and discounted speed boat rental on the lake and as always that was an excellent time.

Price: Our American Meal Plan was nearly $1,800 for a 3 day weekend for four adults and two kids.

Overall: This is a great place. However, at a hefty price. This was a great family place and can be very enjoyable for anyone who appreciates laid back vacations. This is a place for families.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with family
    • 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?
Thank Carl_Pressman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chris R, Owner at Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge, responded to this review, 20 September 2012
Thank you for staying with us again. Really appreciate your loyalty and that you took some time to review us on TripAdvisor. I'm sorry we ran out of some items at dinner. We underestimated our dinner crowd a bit. I know Chef Terry and crew do their best to substitute items if that happens, but it's still a disappointment when the menu you expect is not there for you.

Hope to see you again, and we will work on making sure we are better prepared.

Chris Ruttger
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Eden Prairie, Minnesota
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 September 2012

My husband and I have spent several long week-ends at Ruttgers. We usally are there for an extended Memorial Day week-end, or an extended Labor Day week-end. We are golfers, and we generally purchase a package that includes golf with cart, every day, and breakfast and dinner. Four days is never enough, and we are always sad to leave. We love the excellent food, great golf, hanging out on the deck of our cottage or our lodge room, or the decks off of the resort's bar and dining room resort. Beautiful pools, indoor and outdoor; I am a swimmer, and I particularly love the outdoor pool and the beautiful beach. We usually stay in a cottage ( awesome,) but we tried a lodge room for our most recent trip. The room was excellent. The main floor had a queen bed and two rocking chairs, plus a nice tv. The room also had a loft
The loft was very spacious, and it had two twin beds, a nice tv, and a lounge chair.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled 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?
Thank karlajolund
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aurora, Illinois, United States
Level Contributor
23 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 September 2012

I had the honor of winning a 3 night stay at this resort, which myself and my boyfriend redeemed in late July. As a part of our stay we also won their Exclusive Bay Lake Plan, which pretty much made the resort an all inclusive, as meals, drinks (including alcoholic), and activities (including golf) were all included.

When we arrived to the resort, we checked in and were asked if we wanted to make reservations for dinner, which the receptionist called and made for us. When went into our room, we were greeted with a welcome note from Chris, the president of Ruttgers. At dinner the first night, Chris also came up and introduced himself to us. I can't tell you how valued I felt as a guest, especially because this was something I had won.

The overall service we received was excellent. The servers in the restaurant, the bartenders, the people who ran the activities, they all cared about the experience that Ruttgers provides, and this was evident in the service and experience we received.

There are so many different activities to partake in. We did one of the nearby hiking trails, played tennis, went kayaking and paddle boating, and of course lounged by the pool and on the beach. We also did a morning coffee pontoon boat cruise, and the boat driver pointed out different areas of interest including an eagles nest, where we saw an eagle and two baby/adolescent eagles. The cruise included coffee and pastries, and was a great way to start the morning.

I live in the Chicago area, which is quite a drive up to where Ruttgers is located. Even with the distance, I can tell you I will be looking to return, as I can see it being a fun place for either a family get together or for a friends weekend. There is so much to do, and the experience you will get from the staff is well worth the commute or price we would pay to stay there.

Thank you again, Ruttgers for the amazing stay!

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled 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?
Thank Shauna K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chris R, Owner at Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge, responded to this review, 20 September 2012
Thanks for posting your review to let us know how much you enjoyed your stay and to share your thoughts with Tripadvisor readers. It was great to meet you and I am very happy to hear you enjoyed your first vacation with us.

Congratulations again on winning the 3 night stay and the chance to experience the new Bay Lake Plan. We were honored to have you as our guests and hope to see you again.

Chris
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Eden Prairie, Minnesota
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 August 2012

My family has been going to Ruttgers for over 30 years either by using their shops and restaurants or actually staying there. (We have family in the area)
Recently while staying there in a very expensive room (with just two queen beds); the area lost all power for a few hours in the evening. While this was out of Ruttger's control,their final response was incredibly dissappointing. We were surprised there was no back up generators for anything including water supply and property lighting. Although the outage was only a few hours, this was the only time during our first night's stay we needed to utilize our room and the resort as a whole. It was completely black while navigating stairs, no water, toilet, and no one answered the phone at the front desk. We went to bed at 10 (not our plan) because with children not a lot else to do. It was too dangerous to walk outside; again there was no emergency lighting on the property. Upon checking out we met with the manager to ask for a partial refund for the first night for this inconvenience. He flatly said no and said Ruttgers would never discount a room for a guest if the issue was out of their direct control. I explained it was on his property, at very high prices, and we were Ruttger's guests. It greatly impacted my family that night (no toilet?) and and he seemed not to care. We didn't know the power came on later - we had gone to bed. Not the Ruttgers I have known over the years. Finally my husband asked if the manager could pick up the drinks we had bought the night before, (we had spent quite a bit at the resort in just a couple of days,) and he reluctantly agreed. The response was so disappointing considering the decades my family has used this resort - all of which I explained to the manager. This kind of loyalty did not seem to matter much to him.

Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
Helpful?
4 Thank 452Lynn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chris R, Owner at Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge, responded to this review, 14 August 2012
I would like to start by apologizing for your experience. Our goal is to provide dependable service and a wonderful experience to all of our guests. It is disappointing to learn that we didn’t do that.

We are fortunate in that we do not face power failures often, although this summer has been something of an exception. When they do occur, they are usually brief, and the power company gives us top priority and stays in constant contact with us.

Given the relative infrequency of power failures, it is only feasible to have backup power for crucial functions, and that does include the phone system. We were well staffed and did not have a large volume of calls at the time, so we apparently had some other problem that caused your calls to go unanswered. Leaving you without the ability to contact us made the situation even worse for you, and I am very sorry for that as well.

Most of all, I am sorry that we left you with the feeling that we did not care. I appreciate that you have been our guests for so many years, and I do care about your Ruttger’s experience. I hope you will return and give us another chance to regain your trust.

Sincerely,
Chris Ruttger
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cedar Falls, Iowa
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 July 2012

This may be a strange way to start a review, but we didn't stay at Ruttger's by choice. We have relatives with a nearby lake cabin, and our plan was to spend most of our time with them, but we have an adult son in a wheelchair and we really need access to an accessible restroom. Ruttger's is the closest option. Plans changed when two weeks before our trip, the cabin was SOLD, so Ruttger's became our primary family destination. We weren't disappointed.

If your idea of a great vacation is gourmet food, expansive pools, amusement parks and big city shopping in fancy stores, look elsewhere. On the other hand, if you'd like to RELAX with a round of golf, a boat ride on the lake, a pole in the water, activities for your family that don't involved a screen or driving all over kingdom come, good food and friendly staff, consider Ruttger's.

Ruttger's is a multigenerational historic property that blends a rustic feel with modern facilties. Nobody will confuse this for a brand new resort, and some of the rooms are intentionally north woodsey, but there have been lots of updates over the years (including wi-fi) and this place covers all the important bases. Nobody would confuse this for a fishing camp.

At dinner the first night and subsequent meals, we were impressed by the number of 20+ person tables. Ruttger's is apparently a popular destination for family reunions.

Everyone, and I mean everyone we encountered on staff was friendly and helpful with a genuine smile. There are bigger resorts in Minnesota, but they have nothing on Ruttger's for things to do.

We need a roll-in shower, and their only options with roll-in shows are in the main lodge or in a cabin too small to accomodate our family, so we opted for a couple rooms in the lodge. We found the grounds reasonably easy to get around with a wheelchair (there is one step by the marina on the lake and a few short unpaved paths that require navigating). If I could put one thing on my wish list, it would be a family sized villa or cabin with a roll-in shower.

We rented a pontoon boat a couple afternoons and required assistance lifting our son on and off the boat. Friendly staff was only too glad to help. One afternoon as we were boating back to the resort, we were thrilled to watch a sea plane land on the lake and dock at Ruttger's. It turned out to be the owner of Madden's (on Gull Lake), a personal friend of the Ruttgers. Imagine our surprise when we docked to have Mr. Ruttger himself and the owner of Madden's be the "staff" people that lifted our son out of the boat!

Ruttger's is not inexpensive. By staying in the lodge instead of one of the cabins, we were able to use the "European" plan, which is basically pay for what you use. Optional for the lodge but mandatory for the cabins is the "Modified American Plan" (MAP) which includes two meals, golf, kids camp, and other benefits, but for a considerably higher cost. Now, if you want to golf while you send your kids to kids camp and want to spend almost all of your time at the resort, the MAP plan makes sense, but if you don't golf (we don't) and your kids are too old for kids camp (like ours) and you have offsite day trips planned (we did), then the MAP plan gets very expensive very quickly.

That said, consider the alternative: owning your own lakeside cabin and boat. You have all the maintenance and ownership hassles. You have to take everything with you, you have to do all your own cooking and cleaning. If you're lucky, you get to use it a few times a year, but regardless you're paying for it whether you use it or not. Suddenly, an "expensive" place like Ruttger's can look like a great value! I expect to be back.

Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank jl319
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chris R, Owner at Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge, responded to this review, 30 July 2012
Thank you for being our guests, and for this very nice review. I really enjoyed meeting you and running into you at various places around the resort.

We will consider your wish for a family sized villa or cabin with a roll-in shower. I know it would be popular, we just have to figure out where and how to accomplish it.

Thanks again. We all look forward to seeing you next time.

Chris Ruttger
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Barbara, CA USA (Buellton, CA)
Level Contributor
67 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 June 2012

My husband and 3 yr old daughter arrived Thursday memorial day weekend. Nothing was open except the bar only tip 8 pm so we had a small menu to choose from. Next day same thing nothing open on opening day. We drove to sits and had a small lunch. Service was slow but friendly. My husband golfed in the afternoon and really enjoyed himself. The front desk was friendly but not properly informed. Kept telling us only bar food from 6 to 8 pm. Allthough we couldn't find anything open any other time. The rooms were a basic hotel type room but the virws were nice. No grocery store so basically leave ur appitite at home cause its hard to get food here. The resteraunt when open only had a buffet. The lake was beautiful and was sorry we couldn't enjoy the fun but it was raining and not very warm. The manager on duty Tim was super friendly and helpful in trying to make our stay a great one. Excellent customer service makes me want to return in the future and reccomend this to my friends and llm who djs for WJJY she was happy to hear she can reccomend this to her listeners. Hopefully they can get s little grocery store in soon or figure out a way yo have dining from 7 am to 11 pm in at least one location. Such a beautiful lake I'm glad I bought a foxy goodies nice n warm was 10% off opening weekend. Auntie Ms was smelly had a funny smell to the place and a sign that said be back in 10 min. We didn't wait. The pool area was nice and had a huge hottub. There were several rooms to play games in and the lodge had a cozy feel to it. We will return when we r in the area next time. Thank you Rutgers for the stay.

Room Tip: We stayed in the west lodge room 230.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank stplogan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
baylaker65, Owner at Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge, responded to this review, 10 June 2012
Thank you for writing such a nice review, even though we did not provide you with very complete service. I am sorry for the difficulty finding meals and information, but was happy to read that Tim provided excellent service. He's a great guy, we are lucky to have him.

We appreciate having you as our guests and I hope you do return and give us another chance. Please let me know if there is anything I may do.

Chris Ruttger
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 Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge

Property: Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge
Address: 25039 Tame Fish Lake Rd, Deerwood, MN 56444
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Minnesota > Deerwood
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Deerwood
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 206
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This family-run resort on Bay Lake is over 100 years old and offers programs for children. The property closes between November to April. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ruttger`s Bay Lake Hotel Deerwood
Ruttgers Bay Lake Hotel

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