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“Very basic, but handy location”

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Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Northfield
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Northfield
Reviewed 22 April 2010

My hosts at St. Olaf College booked my stay here, so I didn't shop around. After reading unenthusiastic reviews and the anecdotal report of a colleague who had no hot water during their stay, my expectations were not high! But I experienced no major problems. It's not a quiet location - trains on one side, a busy roadway with lots of large truck traffic on the other. So if you're a light sleeper, bring earplugs or some way to block noise. The room was quite basic - tiny old TV, chipped sink, no blanket on the bed (just the stiff quilted "motel basic" bedspread). But I did have plenty of hot water, the bathroom amenities were fine, the hair dryer worked, and the bed was reasonably comfortable. The front desk staff were competent and pleasant. And the location allowed easy walking access to St. Olaf as well as downtown restaurants. So not a good choice for a getaway, but fine for a business trip in which you won't spend much time in your room anyway. The price was also quite reasonable.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled on business
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1  Thank Fuzby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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196 - 202 of 205 reviews

Reviewed 12 March 2010

Stayed here while visiting my child, who's a student at one of the local colleges. Clean, basic accommodations, an average breakfast with some variety (make your own waffles, sausages, sausage gravy & biscuits with cerials, bagels and bread, milk, juice, coffee, bananas). It's not a luxury hotel, but it doesn't pretend to be - it's a Country Inn, after all.

I did not use the pool or the single computer/email station available in the lobby, but they were available during my stay.

Traveling alone, I asked for a king bed, and was given a room just off the lobby... did not immediately notice that my room was right across from the "Staff Only" area (I did wonder if I'd be disturbed by guests using the lobby late at night.) Basic desk and chair, low credenza with television, coffeemaker, ice bucket, clothes rack (no closet), decent sized bathroom with nice products. (pantene, vaseline intensive care)

No problem with other guests in the lobby, and no train noise (the room faced the highway, not the train line) ... BUT....! At 6:15 am on a Saturday morning, was woken by staff setting up for breakfast and the day's housekeeping chores. (Banging, loud voices.) At 7:00 am listened to a quarrel/complaint session between two housekeepers right outside my door. Gave up sleep as a bad business.

When I complained to the front desk clerk at checkout, I was told that all of the king bed rooms on the first floor were the first few rooms off the lobby, and that I should ask for a double further down the hall or a second floor king room if I did not want to hear staff in the morning. No thought that perhaps the hotel shouldn't rent these up front rooms unless the hotel is filled. Something to remember when checking in.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled solo
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Thank TallisSong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 February 2010

I stayed here on a Thursday and Friday night in January -- on Thursday, with my son, a prospective Carleton student.

The hotel is quite close to the Carleton (and St. Olaf's) campuses.

We had *zero* problem with train noise.
The lower-, odd-numbered rooms(on the side facing Rt. 3) are those with the least train noise. These are about 80 yards from the train tracks. We had one of these (room 111).
The higher-, even-numbered rooms (such as, 126 and 128) are the ones with the most noise. These are perhaps 20 yards from the train tracks (which run diagonally to the hotel).
I noticed *no* trains between 10 pm and 5 am. I heard ones about 5 am and 7 am. Frankly, if it hadn't been for these Trip Advisor reviews I wouldn't even have given them a second thought.

The hotel was reasonably updated and *very* clean. Friendly staff. There was one computer in the lobby (available about 75% of the times that we wanted it).

The free breakfast was average at best
.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled with family
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Thank specht3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2008

When we called to book the hotel, we were advised that we'd be staying in a "family suite" - sounded pleasant enough and a good fit for the three of us traveling to Northfield to check out colleges. When we arrived, we were very surprised to find a sitting room with a couch that pulled out into a "bed" and a room with a king bed. This was especially disappointing, as we'd had a long day traveling and our daughter wasn't thrilled about getting to sleep on a flimsy pull-out couch. We asked the teenaged girl at the desk about getting a different room, and she offhandedly informed us that there were no other rooms available that night. We had no choice but to stay, and at $135 a night, we weren't really very impressed. However, our disappointment was about to get much worse. Later that evening, as we were setttling into our beds, the first train of the evening went by, no more than 30 yards away from our hotel room. And it was loud. And fast. And it was the first of 4 trains to come blaring through town, directly outside our window, horns blaring, windows rattling, and jarring us out of a sound sleep. The next morning, exhausted, we approached the woman at the front desk and without batting an eye, she gave us ear plugs! She must have noticed the defeated look on my husband's face, as later on, while we were eating a pretty average breakfast of toast and cold cereal, she approached him and told him she'd take $15 off the price of the room. Whoo hoo. So my advice is, if you plan to stay in Northfield and expect to get a decent night's rest, keep on driving and go far, far away from this hotel. And whatever you do, don't stay in rooms 126 or 128 - they're the closest to the train and you're guaranteed a night without rest.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled on business
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2  Thank Bexthreekids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 October 2007

Country Inns are Ok.However their website is hopeless.If you ask for countryinn.com & it comes up.You cannot get rid
of site.Then when you try to contact them by e.mail it is even more frustrating as the whole site has been cheaply devised & simply doesn't work properly

Stayed: March 2007
Thank 3fishlock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2007

I stayed here with my high-school daughter during a campus visit to check out Carleton College. We were surprised at how pleased we were, considering the location directly on a highway and by train tracks.

The hotel offered a good value for the money (we paid under $100 for a room with two doubles, including continental breakfast). It was clean, quiet, and well-located for our purposes. Most of the front-desk staff with whom we dealt were quite helpful and friendly. (One woman didn't have the ear-to-ear smiles of the others we'd dealt with the night before and, by comparison I suppose, that seemed almost surly when measured against all that Minnesotan friendliness....)

We'd stay there again without hesitation.

Stayed: June 2007
1  Thank BigTravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2007

We have stayed at the Country Inn for the past four years on a regular basis. It is quite cozy and the best motel in town (I haven't tried the Archer House). It has an unbeatable location near charming downtown Northfield, but if you're light sleeper you should know that the train goes right by the back of the hotel. The property is a quiet two-story building, but it's aging and needs to fix some management issues.

The rooms are spacious and have great wireless internet. The beds are a bit hard (many hotels now have softer mattresses), and the air conditioners could work better. But there are tons of cable channels and nice bathrooms. And the rooms are always very clean.

The breakfast has the usual Continental selection, plus scrambled eggs and sausage. It's not Perkins, but it's not awful either. There is a lobby fireplace area with comfy couches for reading. I've never used the pool, but it's usually noisy with kids running around, and once I stopped by and it looked a bit murky.

The biggest issue is that recently, the hotel seems to be run by high-school aged kids who can be rude and generally unhelpful. Once we came back and the front desk worker was in an obscene shouting match with her boyfriend. Another time the hotel overbooked and we had to drive an hour north to Bloomington to stay overnight. If the hotel could renovate the rooms a little bit and invest in some training, it would be perfect.

  • Stayed: June 2007, travelled with family
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1  Thank peterhill3505
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Northfield

Address: 300 South Highway 3, Northfield, MN 55057-1752
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Minnesota > Northfield
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Northfield
Price Range: £75 - £115 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Northfield 2.5*
Number of rooms: 54
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Also Known As:
Country Inn By Carlson Hotel Northfield
Country Inn Northfield
Northfield Country Inn

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