My family recently stayed here for the second time in two years. The property is located in a quiet, heavily wooded part of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, conveniently located near many of the Upper Peninsula's ski resorts. We had a great time, although we did so in spite of the owners, not because of them.
On this most recent trip we were with nine other families for a "second annual" three-night ski vacation. We soon learned that the property had been sold to a couple approximately six weeks before our visit.
While the new owners left the property largely unchanged (breakfast included in room charge; large, finished basement with dated but operational video games; dining area; large indoor pool with hot tub; and tired-looking rooms) they appear to be newcomers to the hospitality industry. They rarely smiled or engaged any of us in any conversation, despite the fact that they reside at the premises and are there all day. Instead of welcoming us to their property, they seemed almost put out by the fact that we were there. They acted that way even though, on the nights we were there, we filled about 90% of the lodge. While the owners were busy finding fault with one thing or another that the children (aged 6 to 19 years) in our group did, the other guests in the hotel that we did not know enjoyed all of our company.
As for the accomodations, the rooms are a hodgepodge of shapes and sizes. The "secondary" beds in the rooms are uncomfortable. Hot water is inconsistent.
Although we will likely stay here again and I would not tell anyone not to stay at this property, just do so with the expectation that the owners will not necessarily care that you are there.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Black River Lodge, hotel lodging in the Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Located only 10 minutes north east of Ironwood, Michigan on the Black River Scenic Byway, the Lodge is ideal for those looking to escape the everyday and relax in a serene country setting. Come where the northern lights dance, the coyote howl, deer roam and the unique Northwoods themed lodge rooms, condo suites, townhouses, and campground await your arrival. Black River Lodge is a family owned-and-operated lodge with an established reputation of offering the most memorable of weddings, reunions, group retreats, and get-away weekends. Classified as a hotel, most do not realize that the lodge in its current form is operated similar to an "oversized" bed and breakfast (family-friendly of course!). This makes Black River Lodge a rare find and the best of both worlds for travelers in the Western Upper Peninsula Accommodations are unique in that you will not find your typical cookie-cutter hotel room. With innkeepers living right on site, you know you're going to receive personal attention and service unlike any other. Sitting on 65 acres of forests and trails with direct access to the Black River, there are many adventures to enjoy. The area has much to offer such as downhill and Nordic skiing, snowmobile trails, snowshoeing, campfires, volleyball, horseshoes, waterfalls, Lake Superior hikes, fishing, golf, bicycling, hiking, or just relaxing with a good book. Guests are very special and from the moment of your arrival, the Lodge will offer warm hospitality and excellent facilities. Justin, Brittany, their family and staff are committed to providing a quality Northwood's experience. Rest assured, here you will come as guests and leave as friends! Under new ownership as of July 2014. ... more less
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