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“Lackluster” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Caribou Highlands Lodge

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Caribou Highlands Lodge
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Lutsen
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Lackluster”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 December 2013

We stayed in a "pet-friendly" condo. I definitely preferred our pet-friendly experience at East Bay Suites to this stay and would have rather made the extra drive up to Grand Marais had I known. I would say this place is pet-tolerant, but not pet friendly. Our room had a big sign saying the building is pet-free. When I called the front desk about this, they said not to worry but I found this odd. The room was way too expensive for what we got. Also the noise from neighboring rooms was pretty loud and the housekeeping staff was noisier than anywhere I have ever stayed. You could hear their walkie-talkies from all the way down the hall and they'd yell back and forth to each other or just get in your way in the halls without seeming to care. Check-in is very late- 4:30 which is after dark in the winter and after the slopes have closed. We didn't eat in the restaurant but it looked like it was trying to be more upscale than the situation called for, and there wasn't a bar to belly-up to or grab a drink to take to your room. Only some of the items were available for carry out to your room, which seemed weird an inconvenient. I went to the more private hot tub but the jets barely worked and the area was both dark and dingy. I then tried the sauna which had moldy wood in it and was just not a pleasant place with the heater for the sauna making very loud, disconcerting noises. The main pool area was not much better with rust stains trickling down the walls and a somewhat grimy feel. It was also rather small. The bed was springy and in need of a pillow-top mattress pad, and again, not at all worth what we paid. The dishwasher had clean dishes that had not been put away so upon arrival I had to unload the dishwasher. I definitely could have stayed home if I wanted to do that! But having a real fireplace was very nice and they had board games in the room which was convenient. The loft style room was cool with great views of the hill and snow-covered trees. Overall, this place seems in need of upkeep, better customer service, and to lower its prices. If we'd paid half the price, I think it would have been fine. But it is not a luxury stay and when I go back to the area I will certainly stay at East Bay Suites instead.

Room Tip: Maybe the town houses are better but I don't think pets are allowed in those units. Try to get a...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank J_Girl_SP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jennifer G, Manager at Caribou Highlands Lodge, responded to this review, 7 January 2014
Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay with us. I apologize for the experience you had while staying with us at Caribou Highlands. Unfortunately 4:30pm is the earliest guaranteed check in time we can offer with having check out times at 11:00am, the volume of turn overs in rooms, and the initial size of our property. The other issues that you have mentioned above have been directed to their appropriate department managers for correction. We do appreciate all feedback, good and bad, as it provides us with the opportunity to improve our facility and the experience we provide guests. I do apologize again greatly for the complications you endured and that we did not meet your expectations. We appreciate your business and as the Assistant General Manager, I encourage you to please contact me directly at Jennifer@caribouhighlands.com if there is anything further I can assist you with. Again thank you for taking the time to review your stay and we hope to see you again in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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348 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    30
See reviews for
170
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (93)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 December 2013

Our town home was not ready so we could not check in even though it should have been available at 4 pm. They printed up our lift tickets, but with the wrong date, and could not fix it. I had to go to the lift ticket office and wait in a huge line, thereby wasting precious time on my short ski trip. The 3 bedroom town home was outdated and cold. It is not truly ski in and out. Do not pay the price to stay here.

Room Tip: Do not come here
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Heather R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kimberly N, Manager at Caribou Highlands Lodge, responded to this review, 28 December 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review your most recent stay with us. I do sincerely apologize that your expectations were not met. It was unfortunate that we could not accommodate an early arrival. However, we were able to get you in at 3:53pm, which is earlier than our 4:30 check-in time, mentioned on your confirmation. Thank-you for the opportunity to explain to all about the Lutsen mountains ticket procedure. As a courtesy to Lutsen mountains, and our guests we have agreed to print ski tickets for the mountain at our resort. We are two separate businesses, and if there are any problems with equipment, unusual circumstances, or our error when printing tickets, we have been directed by Lutsen mountains to have our guests go to their ticket office to clear things up. We did have to refer you to the Lutsen ticket office, so they could reprint your tickets with the correct information. I had hoped the compensated gift card to our restaurant would have turned this experience around and made your stay more enjoyable. However, I see that it has not. and would love to turn this around. Please feel free to call me at 218-663-7241. Thank-you
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Travellers are raving about these Lutsen hotels

Minneapolis, Minnesota
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 December 2013

I have stayed at Caribou Highlands several times in the past and while knowing what to expect (nothing special, but cheap and located near the mountains for skiing/boarding), my experience this past weekend was extremely poor. Upon checking in, it was clear that something had gone wrong with our reservation, resulting in the desk agents trying to charge us nearly double what was quoted when I made the reservation over the phone. After arguing for several minutes, they finally agreed to honor their original quote and we settled into our townhouse for the weekend. The townhouses are definitely much nicer than the main lodge, which is complete with some peeling wallpaper in the hallways and ridiculously outdated and unkempt furniture and accommodations. Aside from a barely working drain in one of the two showers and a broken DVD player, we were pretty happy. The fact that they pass off the hotel as "ski-in, ski-out" is ridiculous. We had to crawl through waist-deep snow to reach the entrance to the access run, then climb over a literally 8-foot wall of ice before strapping on our boards while sitting in the middle of the run. The access run then flattens out so much at the bottom, that you have to take off your board and walk the last 300 yards to the closest chairlift. To add to our initial unhappiness with the accommodations, the spa near the townhouses was closed for the second time for our biannual trip to Lutsen. When we checked in, we were told the hot tub would be opening on our last day, but it ended up being closed for the entire weekend. All of these things would have been forgiven until the day we checked out at which point, an extremely rude desk manager basically accused me and my party of "sneaking" my dog into the resort and our townhome for the weekend. When I tried to explain to her that I had made it very clear when I made my reservation over the phone that we would have a dog and would need a pet-friendly townhome, she accused me of lying, said that the employee who made my reservation had worked there for years and would never make a mistake like that, and made it clear that any error in the reservation was mine and mine alone. I have never been treated like that by any company that is supposedly in the hospitality industry. I am extremely disappointed in my stay at Caribou Highlands and I will NEVER be staying there again. It's a shame that they were willing to treat me in such a way that they were able to get their extra $60 out of me (the pet fee that she charged to my credit card after I checked out without my permission), but they have lost my business forever (and we usually stay there 2-3 times a year with about 12 people every time we go to Lutsen). I would NEVER recommend this place to anyone and I will definitely be spending my money at Lutsen Resort or Eagle Ridge in the future.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank MelissaMinneap0lis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jennifer G, Manager at Caribou Highlands Lodge, responded to this review, 20 December 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review your most recent stay with us. I do sincerely apologize that your expectations were not met. It is our goal that every guest experiences a level of service and accommodations that exceeds expectation and we apologize to you for not meeting that goal. We do value you as a repeat guest and if you will give us the opportunity to make it up to you, you may contact me directly at jennifer@caribouhighlands.com or 218-663-7241. We would appreciate hearing from you directly and encourage you to get in touch. Thank you for being our guest.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
White Bear Lake, Minnesota
Level Contributor
28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 November 2013

We have stayed at Caribou Highlands many times, both in the fall and winter. We always have a great time. The beautiful fall colors and skiing in the winter keep us coming back almost every year. When skiing with our family it is best to have a ski in and out location. We have stayed in almost all of their room types and like the condos best. They have nice kitchens and woodburning firplaces.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mary Ann T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Jersey
Level Contributor
34 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 October 2013

We had a family reunion at Caribou Highlands about a week after peak leaf season. The setting is beautiful and it's easy to get to either decent restaurants or good hiking.

We stayed in a 3 bedroom condo. The floorplans vary between these units. Our unit had a bathroom on the main floor, which was nice when lots of people were in the unit. It did mean that our kitchen was smaller. The loft is open to the living room meaning noise travels back and forth. Our unit had a nice bathroom up there and less floorspace in the room. Another unit had a tiny bathroom, but more living space.

Decorations are up to the owners and so vary.

All in all, it was pleasant, functional, and worked quite well for us.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • 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?
Thank Scott A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
44 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 October 2013

I called and booked a stay for a "fall color" tour. We specified a queen bed with a view and deck. We arrived on Friday and checked in. The staff at the front desk was friendly. Opened the room door and was extremely disappointed. The room was about 90 degrees and very dated. Come to find out, we were directly above the indoor pool and jacuzzi making the room extremely warm and humid.
Onto the bed, well - I would categorize the bed as being a double or a full at most. Definately NOT a queen size bed, (see photo) When I approached the front desk about the bed, they were not as friendly and told me that they have been "assured by their quality manager that it is in fact a queen size bed". When two adults slept on the bed, you were quite cozy (in a hot room) and rolled to the middle ofthe bed. NOTE: queen size bed is 60"x 80" - ask google .....
The sofa bed was even more comical as the bar was stuck and if you pulled the whole sofa moved. There was some creativenss to opening the sofa bed up and then it was hilarious as it sagged very bad. No place for an adult to sleep and be able to walk the next day. I would not recommend this room or the rooms nearby for anyone that cannot sleep in very hot temperatures.

Room Tip: Be aware that the queen bed is acutally a full and the sofa bed may sag.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JM34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aarhus, Denmark
Level Contributor
341 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 October 2013

Room was great with fireplace, jacuzzi and basic but ok bath room.
We tried the restaurant and were very disappointed. The only good thing was the Italian wine. Food and service were poor in comparison to price.
Location is great. Great opportunities to hike nearby. Beautiful nature.
Nice fitness facilities.
Nice "loan a film" opportunity.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Brian R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Caribou Highlands Lodge

Property: Caribou Highlands Lodge
Address: 371 Ski Hill Road, PO Box 99, Lutsen, MN 55612
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Minnesota > Lutsen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Ski-In / Ski-Out Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Lutsen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Caribou Highlands Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 149
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Caribou Highlands Lodge on Lutsen Mountains, Minnesota's and the Midwest's largest ski destination located at the tallest mountain in the Midwest. Caribou Highlands is Minnesota's favorite ski resort. Our location nestled in amongst the Sawtooth Mountains just one mile inland from Lake Superior's North Shore, offers great views and a unique ski experience. Where else can you get big skiing and enjoy the unbroken Lake Superior horizon at the same time.The mountain views as enjoyed from our lodge rooms, condos, townhomes and spacious four-bedroom Poplar Ridge log homes are magnificent. Take the mountain gondola to the top of Moose Mountain and enjoy the breathtaking vistas of wide open water of Lake Superior.A Minnesota Family Ski ResortOnce you arrive at Caribou Highlands family ski resort in Lutsen, you'll find so much to do that there's no need to drive further. We have many resort activities that are offered as complimentary guest services, and are included in the very popular Explore! program. One of our most popular activities is the Mountain Kids Camp where kids are entertained with games and activities that are both challenging and fun. With so many choices of activities, it's nice to know there are also many ways to relax. There are three spa areas at the resort and an indoor pool. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Caribou Highlands Hotel Lutsen
Caribou Highlands Resort

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