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“the motel units not the best” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Solbakken on Superior

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Solbakken on Superior
Certificate of Excellence
Orr, Minnesota
Level Contributor
41 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“the motel units not the best”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 July 2013

Because the cabins were all rented, we booked one of the motel units. It could have used a good updating and sprucing up. The faucets were all wonky, the beds saggy with poor pillows, and there was a bit of a musty odor. There wasn't much shelf or counter space on which to place personal items--nothing in the bathroom, where one would keep toiletries. There were 4 adults in our room, and there wasn't a lot of space to spread out. We didn't use the kitchen except for the frig, in which we stored drinks and snacks, but it was a small frig. Yes, there is a lodge, but it wasn't appealing. The lighting was dim, and part of the room was being used for storage.

We walked down by the lake where their cabins are located and peeked in a couple of windows. I believe the cabins would have been a much better experience. All in all, it wasn't quite the bad experience that my review would make it seem, but it could have been better. The staff was very nice.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Maude59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SolbakkenResort, Manager at Solbakken on Superior, responded to this review, 14 August 2013
Thank you for your review. We would like you and our future guests to know that we took over management just 6 weeks ago and are working hard on improvements. In fact,one of the first targeted improvements is set to begin soon in the motel! We will be expanding the bathrooms and upgrading to today's standard, as well as giving the building a facelift. We have also been upgrading our historic log lodge by adding reading lamps throughout the room and working hard to keep it neat and clean. Management
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104 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
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Chicago's North Shore, Illinois
Level Contributor
261 reviews
91 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 241 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 July 2013

While searching for Lodging near Lutsen, i found the Solbakken Resort, which appealed to me because it was considerably less $$$ than other resorts in the area....

We reserved a lodge suite for 3 nights as they had everything we needed such as a kitchen and 2 bedrooms each with a queen bed---we were traveling with our 2 young boys, so this arrangement worked out well.... The suite was great---it had plenty of room and it had direct access to the cozy, rustic lodge upstairs.... The unit itself was rustic, the beds and pillows were a bit hard for my taste, but surprisingly, i got a good night's sleep each night... The kitchen had all the basics, including a dishwasher, albeit the appliances were a bit dated (80's or early 90's vintage)... However, the kitchenware (dishes, pot/pans, silverware) were in good condition and of very good quality, not the "cottage grade" stuff you typically see in a lot of places.... The windows were newish, in good working order (not always the case in rustic places) and had intact screens----very important in the Northwoods!

The historic lodge was a great place to pass the time away... Our boys loved playing checkers... The indoor hot tub was nice to have at the end of the day....

The grounds were nice and wooded, and the shoreline along the property was very pretty (see the photos).... NOT a sandy beach for sure, but a very accessible rocky shoreline perfect for taking in the Lake breezes and appreciating the grandeur of Lake Superior.... From our door, there was an obstructed view of Lake Superior.... If Lake views and direct access to the water is very important, then you're better off with one of the housekeeping cabins, but you will pay considerably more for them.... But really, it was no big deal to get down to the water.... From the outside, the motel looked rough around the edges, but i can't comment on the interiors.... BUT, it does have a spacious grassy area behind it, plus it has decent views of the Lake...

The staff were very friendly and helpful with finding stuff to do in the area....

The resort is centrally located along the Northshore, and thus a reasonable driving distance (an hour or less) from numerous scenic state parks, Lutsen Ski Resort, inland lakes and the town of Grand Marais....

There are a few complaints i have about this resort... DEFINITELY bring some drinking water.... The staff provides gallon jugs of it, but in case they run out, at least you'll still have some on hand......yes, it's that bad! The bathroom was rough around the edges and could definitely use a facelift (again, 80's or 90's vintage)..... While we didn't really need it, the suite could use some AC, or at least a coupla ceiling fans to move the air around--there were a coupla warm humid days, but luckily it cooled off at night. The carpet was old and and worn... And, i know this is nit picky, but white ceiling tiles don't do it for me in a rustic place (or anywhere, including my house)...i would have rather seen the wood siding like the kind used on the walls.... And finally, the rooms were a bit dark---not terribly so, but nevertheless some brighter fixtures might help..... But then again, everything costs $$$, so "fixing" these things would likely result in higher prices....


Despite the complaints above, we really liked Solbakken Resort, and would recommend it. It's one of those places that has charm and character, despite its minor flaws.... In an earlier time, places like Solbakken was where it was at, and nobody complained...... But, if you're expecting modernity, luxury, spa treatments and other higher-end type amenities, then Solbakken is probably not for you....

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 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?
2 Thank StrangeTripper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
27 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 May 2013

My brothers and I skied at nearby Lutsen Mountain under a Lutsen Mountain/Solbakken Resort Ski Package.

Solbakken has nice cabins. Nothing is over the top, but they have a nice rustic feel. The cabin we stayed in was about 15-20 ft. from Lake Superior. You could hear the waves crashing at night. They also had fire pits right on the shore line.

The main lodge is nothing fancy, but it serves it's purpose. It has a small gift shop and a living room type area where you can find an old computer, reading materials, board games, and couches and chairs. The best part about the main lodge however, was that they had a sauna and hot tub. You are able to have the windows open during the winter and the cold air pours into the room while you are in the hot tub and creates a steam room.

Solbakken is nothing fancy, but it's location and cool little features like the fire pits on the shoreline and the sauna/hot tub area make Solbakken an enjoyable resort. Not to mention the fact that you are next to an amazing lake and great area for skiing and hiking (Lutsen Mountain). Not being overly fancy also probably contributes to it's affordability.

Room Tip: Staying in a cabin will offer a much more enjoyable experience over staying in one of the motel room...
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
    • 3 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
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Justin H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Thunder Bay
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 March 2013

Solbakken Resort is great place to visit the many attractions of Northern Minnesota - hiking, skiing, etc. . We spent two nights in Cabin 1, a beautiful log cabin right on the shore of Lake Superior with waves pounding on the rugged, rocky shore. The cabin has three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It was an ideal location for us - grandparents, two sons and their families which included two babies who played endlessly on the carpeted floor. We spent one day skiing at nearby Lutsen Mountain ski area. We brought all our own food and did not have to venture out to eat. The Cascade Restaurant is a few miles down the road and apparently offers great food. The Resort has 17 different units ranging from our large cabin to smaller cabins and several attached (motel style) units. The main lodge features a sauna and hot tub, a large common room with books and games, plus a gift shop. With 3 families sharing the cost, the daily rate was a bargain.

Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank R_B_Silver164
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cascadelodge, Owner at Solbakken on Superior, responded to this review, 31 March 2013
Thanks for your excellent review of our property. We work hard to keep it all up and we appreciate it when people notice! Michael and Maureen O'Phelan--Owners
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
minneapolis
Level Contributor
24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 March 2013

This was a great little vacation, we got to bring the dogs. Instead of missing them the whole time. We stayed in #10 at the motel, with our dogs. The room was perfect and had everything we all needed. The people went to Lutsen to ski. The dogs got to run on the trails right across the road. The resort had snowshoes and xcounty skis. The staff was awesome. The view of Superior great from everywhere on the property. The spa had the best sauna I've been in.....in years....The main lodge is everything it sould be.

Room Tip: The rooms were everything you could need including a deck with a great view, but I did have "Ca...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank tsbreeze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cascadelodge, Owner at Solbakken on Superior, responded to this review, 31 March 2013
Solbakken remains committed to being a pet friendly facility. We appreciate your great review and hope you return some time soon! Michael and Maureen O'Phelan--Owners
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Prior Lake, Minnesota
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 February 2013

We spent the weekend in Cabin 1. A friend who stayed at Solbakken with his wife highly recommended this resort. I viewed the website and trip advisor and everything seemed to confirm my friends recommendation but we had no idea how nice this place really was!!! Our booking over the phone was very warm, friendly, and informative. The seven of us were in awe of how awesome the cabin and setting was. The views from this resort were outstanding. The cabin was 20 yards from an awesome shoreline. The sound of the crashing waves was great. There was no sign of road noise at all. Two of the cabin rooms were big enough for two king sized beds. The third was a nice size with plenty of room around the queen bed. Both bathrooms were very nice and the main bathroom is huge. The "pull out" sofa was actually a really nice comfortable futon bed which must have been recently upgraded. The living room was huge which was nice for all of our ski / snowboard gear. The wood burning fire place was perfect and the $5 bundles of wood at the main lodge were about twice as big as the gas station bundles. All the bedding and extra blankets were nice. The kitchen was fully stocked. The deck outside is very big and has great views of the lake. The resort has a great landscape with lots of trees. The main lodge is awesome. We did not use the hot tub or sauna but it looked good. The fireplace and old log rafters combined with rustic chairs and games made for a nice ambiance. The customer service from three different staff members was outstanding, warm, friendly and made you feel like family. The location was perfect! 2.5 miles from Lutsen ski resort and 15 minutes from Grand Marais. The value of this place was 10 out of 10 stars! All seven men agreed, we want to make this an annual trip and stay in this resort each time as well as bring our wives and kids to enjoy it some day.

Room Tip: The resort seems to have numerous options for different sized parties. Cabin 1 is big enough for 15...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with friends
    • 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?
2 Thank Brian S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tucson, Arizona, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 January 2013

This was our first trip to Solbakken and we enjoyed it. We stayed with another couple in one of the motel rooms for two nights. It had a kitchenette with 2 burners and a table, we were able to make dinner after a day of skiing and play games around the table. Everything we needed was there, including a bottle opener for the wine! There is also a hot tub and sauna on site, and we were the only ones using the facility. The water has a heavy mineral taste, but they provide jugs of water from a neighboring resort for drinking. We didn't find this inconvenient. The room had a gorgeous view of lake superior and was quite cozy with homemade quilts and cabin like furnishings. The bathroom was very clean, although the room itself felt like it could have used a vacuuming. The staff were very friendly and helpful, they recommended a place to go watch the game, and we had a great time there. They were also very welcoming towards the dog that was traveling with us. It is also about 8 minutes away from Lutsen Mountain Ski Resort.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sarah B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Solbakken on Superior

Property: Solbakken on Superior
Address: 4874 W Highway 61, Lutsen, MN 55612-9515
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Minnesota > Lutsen
Amenities:
Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Speciality Lodging in Lutsen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Solbakken on Superior 2.5*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Solbakken is a hidden gem in Lutsen on Lake Superior's North Shore. We provide home base in our cabins nestled along the shore as you experience the Northwoods. Solbakken is situated on seven acres of very special property with over 600 feet of Lake Superior shoreline for guests to enjoy! Our cozy accommodations feature an option for all budgets ranging from economy style units to luxury cabins with fireplaces. Enjoy a variety of activities including canoeing, kayaking, snowshoeing in winter and barbecuing in summer. Welcome to your home away from home! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Solbakken Hotel Lutsen

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