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“Rustic and then even a little bit more rustic.”

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Stout's Island Lodge
Ranked #1 of 3 Birchwood B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Rustic and then even a little bit more rustic.”
Reviewed 24 August 2013

We would have given Stout's Island Lodge an "excellent" rating if it wasn't for the dining situation. Everything on the island is beautiful and well maintained, the customer service is also top notch but the restaurant at the main lodge needs a little attention. Both occasions we were there they were understaffed to the point where we felt sorry for our servers. They were very gracious and went way above and beyond to try to make it up to us but they clearly couldn't handle it. We don't want to be stressing out for our waitstaff when we are trying to relax and enjoy a good meal.
The other comment we had regarding the restaurant was that it was obviously trying to be something that it was not. You are led to believe this is a high end restaurant and you're going to have an amazing experience with incredible food. In reality they just couldn't pull it off.

While it was a stunning location and we'll certainly go back, next time we'll probably eat off the island. The ferries go back and forth every hour until late so going to the mainland for dinner is certainly something that can be done and indeed we spoke to people who did it.

The highlight for us was the hour long boat ride in the old 1972 water taxi from Venice that you'll see docked in the boat house. The thing is a work of art and for a price you can organize to be taken out in it for a tour of the lake. What an amazing treat!

If you're a couple and are looking for a quiet romantic getaway just be aware that you will encounter lots of children on the Island.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank alvey5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Island_of_Happy_Days, Manager at Stout's Island Lodge, responded to this review, 21 September 2013
Dear alvey5,

Thank you for your feedback. We are happy to hear that you found the location to be stunning--it certainly is, isn't it? As for the dining experience, we would like to sincerely apologize for the severe under staffing the night of your visit. We have swiftly addressed this problem since your stay, doubling the number of servers and providing a host for that occupancy level. I do not believe you will run into that problem again. However, I would love to hear more feedback about why you believe we couldn't "pull off" the fine dining experience so that we can address those concerns as well. Is it purely service related or food related? We would love to hear from you. You can contact us at info@stoutsislandlodge.com.

Thanks again and hope to see you again soon,

Stout's Island Lodge
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254 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (106)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Western Wisc.
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 August 2013 via mobile

I have clipped articles about Stout's Island Lodge for 10 years or so, putting it on my bucket list, as we live in Western WI. With my 15th anniversary looming, I checked TA and was frightened by a few 2012 reviews. I always take these reviews with a grain of salt, as I am a pretty mellow and frequent traveler. But I decided to take a leap of faith as we only took a thurs. afternoon/fri morning off. Glad I did. I love old architecture, the lodge/Arts & Craft period furnishings, etc. there has been a mgmt change in 2013 season and the front office was always friendly, helpful, etc. our waiter for lunch and dinner was very sweet and provided nice service. Food was decent to good, but a little pricey for dinner. Creative, sometimes a little too so, but local. Heads above a lot of local places and I appreciate the effort. Breakfast was a step above a motel but the coffee was plentiful and strong, good granola, nice homemade lemon pastries, fruit and hard boiled eggs. Some summer fruit and steel cut oats in a crockpot or a Quiche would be a nice addition. Our room was nice and we loved the private screen porch. I chose to stay in the main lodge as I love old buildings. We had everything we needed including a comfy bed. Service everywhere was friendly and good. It appeared that more effort was being put in to maintenance and dealing with some neglected areas like the Power House and the cedar shake roof. The place isn't perfect, but it isn't $400 a nite either. I felt I paid a reasonable price for my room and use of the canoes, water toys, etc. I plan to return. Be warned in the summer that there are lots of kids, and some are largely unsupervised. I wouldn't let my own kids monopolize the water bikes, leave wet towels all over the dock and not put away the croquet set, and there were some times that we were concerned about under 12 year old children unsupervised on the lake. But that is another story. Overall, I think that 2013 is a new staff and it shows. I canoed, kayaked, water biked, sat by the fire, played croquet, walked both islands, swam, sunned on the dock, and played ping pong.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank kimmymacbu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Island_of_Happy_Days, Manager at Stout's Island Lodge, responded to this review, 21 September 2013
Dear kimmymacbu,

We are happy you ignored the scary TA reviews as well--it was our goal this year and going forward to never deserve a review like that again, and we are elated that you believe we have achieved that goal! We are also happy to here that our 2013 staff has exceeded your expectations. We so appreciate your thoughtful feedback and will pass along the quiche/oatmeal idea immediately to the Chef. We are also attempting to keep some buildings as "adults only" to minimize the intermingling of children with couples trying to have a romantic weekend.

Thanks again!

Stout's Island Lodge
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1 review
Reviewed 20 August 2013

Beautiful, historic, and secluded. Great food, clean rooms,exceptional service. Price includes your own private island! Lawn games, tennis, canoeing, and kayaking all free. My 3 year old loved it as much as we did. We have definitely found our annual summer get away.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank walllala
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Island_of_Happy_Days, Manager at Stout's Island Lodge, responded to this review, 21 September 2013
Dear wallala,

We are so happy to hear you enjoyed your stay on the island! We look forward to helping you schedule your annual summer getaway--2014 season is open now for bookings!

Thanks,

Stout's Island Lodge
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Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 August 2013

There were 30 unchaperoned children camping on the island. You want to swim? You want to take a stroll? You want to sit by the fire? Too bad the kids are already there. My husband tried to fish but young boys would not leave him alone. We should have been given their schedule to work around. Nothing peaceful about this resort. So disappointed.
The breakfast may or may not have anything stocked. Lunch and dinner had substitutions or just left off of your meal because the were out of many things.
Our room was nice but no A/C.
The property is neat but is in process of repair? Looks like projects have been started.
The staff was friendly but stressed due understaffing.
Will not be back because of campers able to stay. We felt this was disrespectful to our stay. We spent a lot of money on this stay to be bumped out of areas, including the ferry. Our experience was not important to the person who made the decision to let young campers and tents on the property.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank LynnFaith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Island_of_Happy_Days, Manager at Stout's Island Lodge, responded to this review, 17 August 2013
Dear LynnFaith,

You are so absolutely right. That group was very disrespectful the entire time they were here. It was certainly not our intention to book anyone without telling them that that was the situation, but it seems we made a grave mistake. I swear to you that group is NOT the norm here on the island--it was HIGHLY unusual. Let us make it up to you--come back and stay for a peaceful weekend. Please call me at (715) 354-3646 as soon as you are able to discuss this further. Ask for myself or Stephanie.

Thank you for your feedback,

Emily
Stout's Island Management Team
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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level 6 Contributor
238 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2013

My husband and I spent a memorable weekend at Stout's Island Lodge and felt like we'd been to camp...in a good way! OK, there were some things there that I don't remember at camp, such as wine, some excellent food, and my husband! But it really did seem like grown-up camp to me.

The resort is near Rice Lake and truly is on an island. It was originally a lumber baron's summer home and after being there you can really imagine how it must have been back then.

Once an hour the resort sends a pontoon boat to the shore to drop off/pick up guests. While on the boat we were asked our name, signed a form, and voile! ... we were checked in. The boat driver carried our luggage to our room for us and, as another reviewer mentioned, never even gave us a key because the rooms are not locked (you CAN lock them from the inside...no worries!).

Our room was extremely clean and comfortable. We had a queen sized wrought iron bed, a dresser, a comfy chair, as well as a little table and chair set in the kitchen. The bathroom was modernized, yet completely in the style of the resort. The bedding was nice but the towels were average. We chose a room at the lower, reasonable end of the price spectrum and we probably would do that again. There was nothing about the room that made me wish we had splurged on a more expensive one.

During the weekend we went canoeing, swimming, and hiking. (Note: all of the amenities, like the kayaks, etc. are included, except for a speed boat). We also sat on some of the numerous Adirondack chairs and read, drank wine, and watched the sunset. (Note: best place to watch the sunset is on the second floor of the boat house, in the back). Every evening they have a bonfire and you can have s'mores if you like.

One night we ate dinner in their charming restaurant. I had some amazing trout, which we happened to see delivered to the island just that morning from the local trout farm. Our lunch was good too, but the breakfast was a bore. I really searched for something I would like. If you're eating low-carb, you're SOL (except for a cold hard boiled egg). At least the continental breakfast is complimentary.

The staff are helpful, friendly, and somewhat "invisible", as you hardly see them. Somehow everything stays clean and gets done, but the employees stay below the radar.

There were families at the resort when we were there, but it is definitely a great place for a romantic getaway!

Room Tip: We stayed in Gardner's 2, which had a kitchen, and we were pleased.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bauercat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Island_of_Happy_Days, Manager at Stout's Island Lodge, responded to this review, 17 August 2013
Dear bauercat.,

Thank you for your review! We appreciate your feedback immensely and we are overjoyed that you had such an enjoyable experience. A guest like you is invaluable-your have tried most everything we have to offer for amenities! We are happy you can be a resource for other future guests. I especially love "it is like going to camp for grown-ups." We are so glad you had such a good time you compare it to a childhood memory--that is an honor!

Thanks again!

Stout's Island Lodge Management Team
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Minneapolis, MN
Level 6 Contributor
114 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2013

Beautiful setting-yes, you're really on an island with no cars and associated noise. The resort's tag line is Let's Read-and it the perfect place for that. If you like big resorts with lots of people and "action" this is NOT the place for you. They don't even have locks on the doors, which reminded me of Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda-anything that reminds me of the BVI is a good thing!
The restaurant was lovely-my husband and I split an appetizer and entree (cheese plate and trout with fingerling potatoes and greens) -they're fine with sharing.
Staff is very un-obstusive which made me feel like I was at a private home (which is what it used to be); somewhere Mr. and Mrs Stout are smiling!

Room Tip: We stayed in what used to be the servant's quarters-very nice (and the lowest price rooms they h...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gracie99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Island_of_Happy_Days, Manager at Stout's Island Lodge, responded to this review, 27 July 2013
Dear Gracie99,

Thank you so much for your kind words! Your feedback and comments are fully appreciated. We love that Stout's reminded you of BVI! As for Mr. and Mrs. Stout smiling down on us--we certainly hope so! That is such a sweet thing to say. We hope future guests take what you have said to heart, and hope to see you again soon!

Thanks again!

Stout's Island Management Team
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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2013

I loved this place. I want to invite around 10 of my friends and take over one of the houses. I think this was a very unique experience and great for kids, adults, etc. I loved the variety of activities; the menu needs to be changed a little adding something like cheeseburgers because the menu is currently too upscale for the location. The staff is super nice and they make everyone feel at home.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Eleanor43323
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Island_of_Happy_Days, Manager at Stout's Island Lodge, responded to this review, 27 July 2013
Dear Eleanor43323,

Thank you for your review! We are thrilled that you enjoyed your experience with us and would welcome the opportunity to have you "take over" one of our cabins! For ten friends, I would recommend Katherine's cabin or Harry's cabin. Let us know if you would like to organize something. We completely agree with your statement about the dinner menu; in fact, we did just that. We now have the Bruschetta Burger (with mozzarella and Bruschetta toppings). I hope you have the chance to try it!

Thanks again for your review,

Stout's Island Management Team
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Additional Information about Stout's Island Lodge

Property: Stout's Island Lodge
Address: 2799 27th Street, Birchwood, WI 54817-9242
Region: United States > Wisconsin > Birchwood
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Birchwood
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 43
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stout’s Island Lodge sits proudly in the center of Red Cedar Lake – an 1800-acre lake in northeastern Barron County, Wisconsin. There are two island connected by a 100 ft. walking bridge (given to Frank Stout by Andrew Carneige). The two islands have a combined acreage of 18 acres. All lodging is located on the western of the two islands; the East Island has walking trails as well as a small picnic cabin on the northern tip. Red Cedar Lake is known for its water quality, its fishery and for its relative quietude. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Stout`s Island Hotel Mikana
Stout Island

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