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“Even if it's cold outside, don't expect a warm welcome” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Black River Lodge

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Black River Lodge
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
128 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Even if it's cold outside, don't expect a warm welcome”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 January 2012

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.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jessengee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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48 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    22
    14
    6
    4
    2
See reviews for
20
14
Solo
0
2
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Minnesota, USA
Level Contributor
53 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 March 2011

First off, our family are very content travelers, and put up with most anything. Came for downhill skiing. The Black River Lodge is in a beautiful location, but when we opened the door to our 2 bedroom unit, the first thing my eyes saw was dirt and yuck on the stairs up to our rooms. Not a great start. The beds were uncomfortable, and the room layout was the most bizarre I've seen in 25 years of traveling !! big fat hallways, and small cramped rooms. crazy. Eat at Angelo's pizza in Ironwood for super pizza. and there is a fish and etc restaurant down the road from this place about 3 miles that was very good (get the Lake trout for the extra $1, it was amazing, so don't go for the whitefish)! ask the owner for the name. Lastly, the pool at this place was very nice, the kids loved it. I would say its ok to stay here, but ask for the newer section, as those rooms looked 3 times better !!

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank scattershot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amery
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 September 2010

We had reservations at another lodging establishment for the night of the 25th of September and the other establishment thought we were coming on the 26th and couldnt accomidate us. It was late and we really just wanted a bed and a hot shower. The manager was very accomidating, gave us a discount rate on a very nice room. I'd recommend Black River Lodge to anyone travelling in the Ironwood area. Beautiful location and nice Lodge.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ShelleS61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Royal Oak, MI
2 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 February 2010

My wife and I really enjoyed our two nights at the Black River Lodge. Our room was spacious, with a separate area for watching television or reading. I really enjoyed the peace and quiet. The innkeeper was very friendly and we were surprised to learn he offered a complimentary continental breakfast each morning. A beautiful surrounding and only 3 miles from Big Powderhorn! It reminds me of a ski lodge I visited in Vermont. We also enjoyed the pool and hot tub. We'll definitely be back.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank esprit56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 February 2010

Very friendly owner. Greeted by two beautiful dogs! Cozy rooms, continental breakfast, pool and hot tub, comfortable and very pretty!

Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Esprit-Cheboygan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Black River Lodge

Property: Black River Lodge
Address: N12390 Black River Rd, Ironwood, MI 49938-9771
Region: United States > Michigan > Upper Peninsula > Ironwood
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Speciality Lodging in Ironwood
Price range (per night): RM651 - RM1,463
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Black River Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 26
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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