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“Quirky historic hotel w/awesome location”

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Greunke's First Street Inn
Ranked #13 of 16 Bayfield B&B and Inns
Reviewed 5 August 2013

This was a first for us- a hotel room with a half bath- no shower (shared shower down the hall). It was a hell of a value compared to hotels in similar locations so we thought it was worth it. (Just FYI- I believe some of the rooms don't even have a half bath- so read room descriptions carefully if that matters to you). For us, it ended up being no problem at all. This is a very old building- lots of character- including incredibly crooked floors. Honestly, it made me feel a little dizzy sometimes. It is literally right in downtown Bayfield- the location can't be beat if you like leaving your car in one place and just walking to everything you want to do, like we do. Of course, with that location comes a little more noise, traffic sounds, etc. Didn't bother us too much, but definitely something to note, especially when you have to sleep with the windows open due to no air conditioning. Some other small negatives that could so easily be fixed I kind of can't believe they haven't already been taken care of 1) Provide ceiling fan- they did provide box fan (there is no air conditioning) 2) Please put some real curtains on the windows. There are only very sheer white curtains. No privacy or protection from the early morning sun light whatsoever. I almost felt like I had to go to the bathroom to get dressed sometimes. However, don't want to make it sound like this was a negative experience, because we would come back there again. It was neat to stay in such a historic property and it was such a good value compared to the Bayfield Inn literally right across the street and other bed and breakfasts nearby.

Room Tip: We had room #2. It had a half bath attached and a shared shower down the hallway. Two large beds (fu...
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank BananAnne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 10 May 2013

Greunke's is the best! I just booked my third stay there and had to hop on and write about how much I love this place. It's simple, charming, and like no other place in the world. The only reason I gave this place 4 stars and not 5 is because it's obviously not the Ritz, but it's for those of you who love an adventure. This place is clean, kept up, and obviously adored by it's owner. You will not find a more central place in Bayfield than here. The breakfast here is out of this world and you are bound to go home with a hilarious story or two from your stay here. Be simple and love this gem of a place that I love so much. Come with an open mind and you will be blown away.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Emily M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2012

Bayfield, WI accommodations don't come cheap. Greunke's has late 19th century "boarding house" feel. Most inexpensive room in town. Spent two nights there in late June 2012.
The room I reserved was in the corner of the building right next to the outside stairwell. Cowboy room with spur doorknocker and all!!! It was small, with half-bath in the room. Shower was down the hall and fairly roomy. Towels were provided. There is no airconditioning, but the fan in the room was sufficient for my needs. It is ideally located right in the center of town.
While I was there, it was very quite and I enjoyed not only the accommodations but the restaurant below. Greunke's supposedly started the whole Lake Superior whitefish thing and I was determined to indulge in the local fish boil.
A place like Greunke's does not have many ammenities, and so, is not for everyone... however, it is a basic sleep, clean and interesting.. with friendly staff.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled solo
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1  Thank TDOC1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 October 2012

"There are two kinds of people: the squirtable and the non-squirtable." This quote sums up the philosophy of Judith, the gregarious and wonderful owner of Gruenke's. At the flip of a coin I ended up at Gruenke's one hot summer day following a major thunderstorm that had just come through town. After being seated in the cheery yet hot dining room (the storm had knocked out the air conditioning) I was greeted by a woman walking through the restaurant who was periodically squirting people with her massive water gun. Patrons were laughing, the woman was laughing and I started laughing as we all soon found out who was 'squirtable' and who wasn't.

Gruenke's is the epitome of a classic roadhouse diner with vintage everything, everywhere, good home-style food and great beer. There is a story behind each piece of kitsch, from personal photos to record albums to celebrity portraits. Judith can talk a mile about each piece and her stories are as genuine, hilarious and generous as the lady herself.

Staying at Gruenke's Inn, with its quaint rooms and creaky hallways, adds to the experience of being in a truly one of a kind place that feels more like the home of a relative or friend in the country than the Inn on the corner, right near the water, in the the picturesque town of Bayfield.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Shawn B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 September 2012

Every summer, our family heads to Bayfield, WI to enjoy Lake Superior and catch a show at Big Top Chautauqua. Before heading out for the show, we stopped at Gruenke’s for dinner. We’d eaten there twice before, and once again, the food was terrific, the wait staff attentive and friendly, and the memorabilia decorating the walls, fun. After our meal, we went to leave and our car wouldn’t start. A guest tried jumping it, but it didn’t work. Having driven 3 hours for the show, and knowing no one in the area, it was disheartening, to say the least. I went inside to ask where we might find a reliable garage to call in the morning and a room for the night (we hadn’t noticed they have lodging upstairs). Much to my surprise, the owner, Judith Lokken Strom--who didn’t know us from beans!—tossed her car keys on the counter and told us to catch what we could of the show. She hadn’t even asked my name, or where we were from. And when I asked if she’d like to at least take down my driver’s license number, she said no. Then she offered us the York room upstairs for half price. The room was charming and spotless, the beds very comfortable.

Needless to say, Gruenke’s will always be a part of our summer trip to Bayfield. Not only because it personifies the quaint charm of Bayfield itself—which we love—but because rather than taking advantage of some desperate tourists, Judith chose to treat us as if we were locals that she’d known for years. I’ll take that any day over an impersonal cookie-cutter room on the third-floor of some posh hotel.

Sandra K
Wausau, WI

Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
1  Thank Sandra K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 August 2012

This is an old inn and I was prepared that aspect of it. What I wasn't prepared for was a bed that was made only one of the four days we stayed, dirty towels that continued to pile up and no one came to pick them up, and awful scratchy, synthetic sheets. It's really too bad - I would have overlooked a lot because of the age/history of the place, but the owners just don't seem to care about their guests.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank KristenRaeWI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2012

Gruenke's offered us a simple, clean, comfortable and inexpensive base from which to explore the wonders of the Apostle Islands. Centrally located, we were a block from the waterfront, the park headquarters and a great coffee shop (Big Water). Who needs more than that? We loved our visit to Bayfield!

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Nicole E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Greunke's First Street Inn

Address: 17 Rittenhouse Ave, Bayfield, WI 54814-5018
Region: United States > Wisconsin > Bayfield
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 16 B&Bs / Inns in Bayfield
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The building that houses Greunke's First Street Inn has been accommodating guests for more than 150 years. The quaint guest rooms are comfortable and neatly decorated with antiques and original art. The inn is conveniently located in the center of downtown Bayfield and is within walking distance to the Madeline Island Ferry, Apostle Islands Cruises, museums, gift shops, and other attractions. The onsite restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, & dinner 7 days a week! New in 2016: FREE WIFI is available in all guest rooms! ... more   less 

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