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All reviews lift bridge panoramic suite across the bridge hot tub and fireplace continental breakfast ships passing huge ships ship watching living room place to stay view of the water donuts yogurt fantastic location parking lot restaurants and shops spent one night
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Reviewed 13 September 2018

Wifey and I spent our 17th anniversary at South Pier Inn this past weekend (9/7/18 - 9/10/18). This was our second time staying here, both times selecting a One Room Waterfront Suite - Canal. Those second floor rooms are the best! The best view of the Aerial Lift Bridge and the canal in all of Duluth! The location of this hotel simply can't be beat. But that's what pretty much all of the other reviewers have had to say, so I'll just leave it at this: there are some pretty major "pros" to this hotel, and well deserved.

But how about the "cons?" Well, for starters, the beds are wicked hard. They feel like they're made from the same concrete as the canal itself. Spending a single night might not be so bad, but after sleeping on those beds for 3 nights this most recent stay, my back is still sore (we've been home for two days now) and we've both decided that for any future visits we'll simply have to bring a Purple mattress topper to make the bed less painful. And the TV in our room this most recent trip had some issues - we even had to call the front desk to send a maintenance guy up to the room to sort it out. The backs of the chairs in the room were also too short, which caused some neck strain because the TV was mounted so high up on the wall. (Wifey is only 5'4" and I'm 5'11" and we both had sore necks after only a short period of time watching TV.) And last, but certainly not least... the TP in the bathroom is ridiculously thin.

Now, I don't think any of those "cons" are unexpected for most hotel rooms. (Operative word being "most.") I don't think most people expect a hotel room to be as comfy as their own home. Nor do I think most people expect to spend all that much time in their hotel room anyhow. But for $300 a night on Fri/Sat and $200 a night on Sun, I absolutely expect some higher quality amenities in the room. The room itself is "nice," but on its own merits it absolutely does not feel like a $300 per night room by any stretch of the imagination.

Everything at the South Pier Inn is nice. Everything was clean. The staff were all super friendly and helpful. Parking is convenient. All in all it's a nice hotel. But you're paying for the views, no doubt about that. And I'm okay with that. Even after my list of cons, I'm still giving the South Pier Inn a 4 star rating - but that's entirely because of the view of the canal from the room's balcony. And it's worth it. Every single freakin' penny.

Next time we stay there (and we'll definitely be back because we love Duluth and we love the location), we'll just come better prepared. Where there's a will and all that. :)

  • Stayed: September 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Greg T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2018

After enjoying wine on the balcony and a soak in the hot tub, we watched an iron ore ship pass right by our room. The room is perfectly laid out with lots of space and a huge bathroom. It was warm, so we didn't use the fireplace, but I'm guessing it probably gets lots of use most nights.

The staff was outstanding--friendly and professional. We'll be back!

  • Stayed: August 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank LKotsonas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 September 2018

My daughters started a tradition long ago when we stayed at very nice places. "What a dump." is how they gave their thumbs up. This place is indeed a "dump." Registration was flawless and our room was even ready an hour or so early. Could tell by my wife's face she loved the room. It was clean and everything promised was present. Room 1002 is on one of the corners and it is very nice to have the balcony as well as the harbor view from the bed. After dinner at Canal Park, we walked the grounds. Extreme kudos to the groundskeeping crew. We watched some TV and went to bed. Oh yeah, the bed. Nice sheets and the square pillows were very comfortable. No noise at night and we both had a good nights sleep. My wife liked the morning continental breakfast which she had had many options for morning coffee time. Checking out was flawless and we were supplied with a copy of our bill. We did not use the whirlpool tub or fireplace in our room.....next time. Yes indeed, this place is a first class "dump." :)

  • Stayed: September 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank TheKid1111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 September 2018 via mobile

This was my surprise to my wife for our 15 year anniversary. We got the 1 bedroom suite, canal view, spa tub with the romance package. Best anniversary we've had to date. Great location, walking distance to almost anything. The view from the patio was excellent. Very clean, comfy rooms. Wasn't much for the breakfast, but we aren't big breakfast people so definitely not a deal breaker. Exactly what I hoped for.We will definitely be back. Thanks for a memorable anniversary.

Stayed: September 2018, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Jeremy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 September 2018 via mobile

Built right next to the lift bridge and on the shore of the inner harbor, the hotel has a great view. Staff was friendly, room clean, bed soft, towels plentiful and clean. You can sit in the lobby to watch the bridge go up and shops come in. Or, relax on one of the lawn chairs with a cup of coffee. Grandmas and other places to visit are a short walk.

Stayed: September 2018, travelled with family
1  Thank peterklenkpvt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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