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Harbor Inn Restaurant & Motel
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Reviews (115)
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Reviewed October 10, 2011

We are two hikers who stayed for a week in Grand Marais. Our initial encounter at Harbor Inn was unsettling. They did not have our reservation beginning until several days later. However, when I showed them my confirmation email they very quickly acknowledged a computer error. They could not put us up that night, but they got us a room at a nice motel down the street and gave us a $25 refund for the inconvenience. When we checked in the next day we found our room to be exactly what we needed -- nothing fancy but always very clean. The shower had dispensers for soap, shampoo and lotion so we didn't need to mess with small containers that tend to fall off shower shelves.

My friend was turned off by what he described as "flat" pancakes at breakfast in the Pie Place the next day. But everything else we had for breakfast was very good. And it was always half price because we were guests in the hotel. We developed the habit of going first for excellent coffee at the Java Moose next door, then going back to the Pie Place for food.

Harbor Inn has new management and our experience was that they are living up to the reputation set by the former owners. Jeremy was in charge most of the time we were there. I would describe him as setting the standard for "Minnesota Nice." In short, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Harbor Inn and would recommend it to anyone .

Room Tip: We chose the lower priced "town side" of the motel rather than the "lake side." Every time we left our room we could see the lake and that was good enough.
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank dwsact
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 3, 2011

I asked for a main floor lake view as my husband has a difficult time with stairs. We looked at our car parked at the curb instead of the beach, so had wished we could have gotten a room upstairs. I would suggest installing sheer curtains behind the heavy drapes so you can have the drapes open and it would be harder for passer bys to see in. Even though it was street level it was quiet. The room had a musty smell when we got there and in the morning told the owner about it. It was taken care of with some freshner and the owner checked in with us about an hour after that was done. It did help. She noticed I had made coffee in the little coffee maker and offered to wash the mugs and pot for me right there and then. I told her it wasn't necessary. It is an old motel, but the room we had was comfortable with a king bed and a love seat, chair and a table. I loved being able to walk everywhere in town and only had to walk across the street to take wonderful pictures of the everchanging lake. Your breakfast is half price at the Pie Place and it was so much better than the continental breakfasts in the chain hotels. I would stay there again.

Room Tip: Ask for the upper level rooms on the lake side. They have decks with small tables and a couple chairs to sit at and enjoy the view.
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Cherryl K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 20, 2011

My husband and I booked a room at the last minute in July. We had camping reservations but they were canceled due to a government shut-down for the week we had planned. When I first called, I was asked to "call back because I'm the other line." Hmmm. Could use a little phone etiquette training there. Not high on the eager-for-business scale. But,oh well. (I have 25 years in the travel business so I may be a little sensitive to this.) One we arrived everyone was very nice, and the room delivered about what we expected: unpretentious, clean, simple. The flat screen TV is a very nice touch, as is the convenient and friendly cafe adjoining the property. (Good food, too!) The location cannot be beat - right on the harbor near good restaurants and shops. If you are nervous about traffic walking by your room, ask for something on a higher floor not facing the harbor. If that's not available, don't sweat it. Grand Marais isn't exactly teeming with thieves. Just keep your door locked and close your shades and go have fun. The owners are eager to share ideas on what to see and do; we received excellent advice on a nice bike route we would not have found on our own.

To our dismay and sadness, we were awoken the night we arrived at 400am by a call from home alerting us of a sudden death in the family. We had to leave immediately. The owner kindly gave us one of our two remaining nights refund. He really didn't have to do that; we understand that they might not have been able to sell that room. But he took our word for it, which we really appreciated. We will always remember how nice he was about leaving like that. All in all - I really recommend this property. I don't suggest you reserve a room there with inflated notions about the style. It's a motel. But it's clean, nice, friendly and well-priced.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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4  Thank RFMSP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 11, 2011

chose this place for 2 nights based upon favorable reviews on Trip Advisor. We paid in advance for the king bed harbor view room and asked for an additional fridge since we were bringing a cooler with food for a week in cabins on the gunflint trail.

The manager, Jeremy couldn't have been nicer and more accommodating. He said we had the best room in the place and that they added the extra fridge.

This is a motel from long ago, sort of worn and very dated. Our room was teensy and shabby with a new king bed and a plasma flat screen tv. The vews was very good and came along with the touristy noise from the street. The first night there was a daddy long legs in the bed.

We couldn't sleep with the window open for fresh lake air because that would mean allowing the bright hall light shining right into our room all night so we were stuck with the a/c which had us both frozen by morning. Second night there was a huge black beetle in the bed.

Nothing really worng with this place, but there seemed to be nicer choices along the shoreline. Maybe try the Best Western or cobblestone condos..

Overall I was disappointed. They did all they could for us, but it is just an old place. I somehow expected it to be way nicer and romantic.

Room Tip: choose the king room with a view
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank mcmousee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 9, 2011

When we checked in we we're told the AC wasn't working in our room and that it would be repaired sometime later that day. The repair man never arrived and we received no apology or refund when we checked out. Hair dryer was broken, door lock was loose and room lacked a deadbolt. The bathroom was old and in need of repair and renovation. Front desk help was discourteous, if you could find them. If you want to stay in Grand Marais, i'm sure you can find better for the money.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Steve O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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