NPR Reviews Provided by
Rock Harbor Lodge
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating: 164 reviews
Rustic but Quite Adequate
User: Steve5863 from: Avon, Ohio
Published Date: Jul, 19, 2020
Travel Date: Aug, 1, 2019
Rating: 4
While the rooms are basic and rustic, we found them to be adequate with comfortable beds that provided us with a good night’s sleep after a long day of exploring the island. The room had a coffeemaker but no other amenities but complementary ice was available that allowed us to keep our supplies in the cooler we brought with us cold. All rooms face the water with rooms on the lower level having a balcony and upper level rooms picture windows with a couple of Adirondack chairs to relax and take in the peaceful view which often included loons and mergansers. While the room rate is quite expensive, given the remoteness and very short season, this should not come as surprise and all things considered, we were satisfied. The nearby Greenstone Grill provided surprisingly good food at very reasonable prices. Late July and August turned out to be an excellent time to visit Isle Royale; the days are still long this far north, allowing plenty of time to explore, the weather is most reliable at this time of the year and, the best part, it is after the insect season. If fact, we, with my son being a mosquito magnet, were never bothered by insects our entire stay except on an excursion to a bog on Raspberry Island and even then, there were so few misquotes it is barely worth mentioning.
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Extremely rude and belligerent desk staff
User: WandaLetend from:
Published Date: Oct, 9, 2019
Travel Date: Sep, 1, 2019
Rating: 1
Our family—all from Michigan, but gathering from all over the country—met to celebrate our sister's 60th birthday at Isle Royale, a place she's wanted to go her whole life. Because of weather, the seaplanes were cancelled the first day and then backed up enough that they said the earliest we could go would be after 5PM on the second day. We talked to a father and son who were in the same boat and they told us they'd cancelled and gotten a refund on their rooms and a credit on their flights. Because our visit was only three days and we couldn't take a risk of not being able to fly home on Friday, we decided to do the same and plan to meet again next year. The seaplane company apologetically explained that they didn't issue refunds but that we could use our payment next year. The hotel on the other hand would not refund any of our $420 deposit and told us they wouldn't refund it even if we weren't able to get in until our last day. They also said they would not credit any of it to another stay next year. The most distressing part of this wasn't even the $420 (we had already lost more than that in flights to Hancock and hotel rooms): it was really the shocking rudeness of the hotel staff at Rock Harbor Lodge. After finally talking to the manager—who was equally belligerent and unapologetic—we were told that she'd talk to the director and he would "probably agree to split the cost" of the deposit. We then called back 3 times, only to be told finally that there would be no refund at all. Honestly, I've spent my life in customer service and I know that a simple apology and explanation goes a long way to ease the sting of strict refund policies. I also believe this policy is overly draconian (and also obviously not consistently applied, since the man and son we’d talked to had received a full refund). Most importantly. though, the surprising and completely uncalled for belligerence and rudeness of the staff made the experience much more unpleasant than it would have been otherwise. I would like to suggest that the hotel review their refund policy and also ensure that the risks are more clearly communicated at the time of booking. I'd also like to suggest that the reception staff take a crash course in customer service techniques or even basic manners.

Housekeeping cabins a nice option
User: RiceWP from: Wellfleet, Massachusetts
Trip Type: Couples
Published Date: Sep, 12, 2019
Travel Date: Sep, 1, 2019
Rating: 4
After spending four days in a tent we chose to move to one of the housekeeping cabins for her last night and Isle Royale. Housekeeping cabin, The only rooms available on that day, were warm and spacious, had a queen size bed along with two bunkbeds and a stove and refrigerator. More importantly it had a shower, not a great shower because the showerhead was so low and I am tall, but after not showering for almost a week it was well received. They also have large picture windows with nice views of the woods in the lake. I’m glad we finished off our trip in the cabin.

Not quite a "lodge"
User: ddalpz from: Highland Heights, Ohio
Published Date: Sep, 3, 2019
Travel Date: Aug, 1, 2019
Rating: 3
While this is a remote island, it seems no effort has been made to update the accommodations since it was pressed into service for visitors. Guesthouse was built in the 1920s. Room was adequate, I would say quite pricey ($130 per night) for the level. Food service was subpar at best. No actual cooking seemed to be done in the "kitchen", rather, it was a place to heat or reheat food. Staff in dining facilities was helpful and cheerful, always trying to accommodate. Although a canoe is available for 4 hours at no charge, no effort was made to inform guests. Ferry service from Copper Harbor (3.5 hours) occurs once a day, and one return trip per day. Park rangers were very knowledgeable and helpful when asked about hiking in the area.
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Your only choice if not camping
User: maas_johnf from: Raleigh, North Carolina
Published Date: Aug, 20, 2019
Travel Date: Aug, 1, 2019
Rating: 4
The room we had (11) was large, basic, and comfortable. The bed was very good. The highlight of the room is the view on its deck of the harbor and Lake Superior. We paid about $280 for the night with taxes. The room rate includes a half-day canoe rental, which we couldn't use because the water was choppy and it was raining - so no canoe renting was allowed. Our luggage was automatically transferred from and to the ship. Checkout is at 10:30 am. A negative is that the concessionaire, Forever Resorts, and probably the National Park service itself, do a poor job at light pollution containment with many bright lights on the buildings. We were able to find our way to the seaplane landing pier on Tobin Harbor to look at the stars at night. The park itself is meant for back packers. But you can get a taste of the wilderness in this beautiful national park by making a day hike loop on the Rock Harbor and Tobin Harbor trails.
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