Cliff Dweller Hotel on Lake Superior: REVIEW (2024)

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Are you looking for a place to stay along the North Shores of Minnesota?

Look no further than the Cliff Dweller Hotel on Lake Superior.

My sister and I recently spent a long weekend exploring the North Shore – from Duluth to Grand Portage. We booked our summer stay three months in advance.

The Cliff Dweller Hotel is centrally located in Tofte, is affordable, and has great reviews. Our stay was a big thumbs up as well!

I flew into St. Paul for this adventure, similar to when I flew the year before for a road trip from St. Paul, MN, to Theodore Roosevelt National Park in ND.

Below, we have shared our enjoyable experience staying at this Lake Superior Hotel.

Wood plank walls, with two tree prints above two double beds. Beds have white covering with navy blue runner at bottom and two decorative yellow pillows. Patio door opening with view out to lake. Woman sitting on a bed looking at phone.

What to Expect at Cliff Dweller Hotel

Nestled amidst the pristine shores of Lake Superior, the Cliff Dweller Hotel stands as a hidden gem perched on the edge of the cliffs.

The hotel offers an unrivaled panorama of the glistening waters and the breathtaking landscapes that stretch beyond the horizon. 

Surrounded by the serenity of nature, you will find yourself immersed in a world of unmatched beauty and relaxation.

Whether you're sipping your morning coffee on the private balcony or unwinding in the cozy confines of your room, the view of Lake Superior becomes an inseparable part of your experience, a constant reminder of the wonders that lie just beyond the hotel's walls.

Lake Superior view from the inside of the room through the patio door. Chair and table on deck.

Location

This Lake Superior hotel is situated on MN-61, the main road along the shoreline between Tofte and Lutsen.

The Cliff Dweller Hotel's prime location on the cliffs of Lake Superior offers unparalleled views and an excellent starting point to explore the abundance of nearby towns and attractions. 

Situated strategically amidst the natural splendor of the Minnesota North Shore region, this lakeside haven provides easy access to a variety of charming towns and outdoor adventures, all waiting to be discovered just a short distance away.

Lake Superior view from the Cliff Dweller Hotel Room deck. Trees to the right and railing along the bottom of the image.

Cliff Dweller Hotel Room Amenities

This MN North Shore hotel offers a variety of amenities. Below are the highlights.

Lakefront Views: The hotel's most prominent amenity is its stunning lakefront location, which provides guests with breathtaking views of Lake Superior.

All 22  rooms have private balconies to maximize the enjoyment of the picturesque surroundings.

Comfortable Bedding: Rooms either have two double beds or a king bed. The Happy Sleeper beds have standard sheets and pillows.

Ensuite Bathroom: The sink is located outside of the bathtub and toilet room. The water pressure was good, and the quality of the towels was top-notch. Liquid soap was provided at the sink.

The shower had shampoo, conditioner, and bath wash dispensers attached to the wall. Hair dryers are provided.

Heating/Cooling: Rooms are equipped with isolating fans and an adjustable thermostat for heating. The temperatures were pleasant during our stay, and we often kept the patio door open to allow a pleasant breeze.

Flat-Screen TV: Cable televisions are provided in the rooms for entertainment. There were 16 stations available during our stay.

High-Speed Internet: Complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi is provided. Note that cell phone coverage is VERY spotty in the area, so Wi-Fi calling is a convenient option if you need to make a call.

Mini Refrigerator: A mini-fridge is provided for storing snacks and drinks.

Microwave: A microwave is available in each room.

Table: Rooms come with a table and two chairs.

NOTE: Coffee Makers are NOT provided in rooms. Coffee is available in the sunroom near the check-in desk.

Cream colored sunroom area with tables and chairs. Cabinet at end of room with games and baskets of books. Plants in room and image of buck with a black background.

Property Amenities

This North Shore MN, lodging location also has a few other perks:

Indoor Amenities: The hotel has a cozy sunroom that serves a few purposes. Tea, Apple Cider, Hot Chocolate, and locally roasted Fika coffee are served in the sunroom.

There is a large selection of board games and a few telescopes. This space is great for relaxation and entertainment, especially during inclement weather.

Trail Access: The hotel offers complimentary use of trail cruiser bicycles to encourage exploration of the surrounding area.

The Gitchi-Gami State Trail runs along the front of the property and extends a few miles in each direction. Eventually, the Trail will run from Two Harbors to Grand Marias.

Breakfast: Complimentary breakfast is included, but it is very basic. A variety of breakfast bars and wrapped muffins are available in the Sunroom. Breakfast is available between 8 am and 11 am. 

Vending Machine:  A vending room near the front office offers soda and candy. The ice machine is also in this area.

Dining Discount: If you visit the Cascade Restaurant & Pub, mention that you are staying at the Cliff Dweller and get a 10% discount on food and beverages. The restaurant is about 15 minutes north of the hotel.

Breakfast area with teas, coffee, creamers, breakfast bars, plates, cups, napkins on light colored cabinets with gray countertop.

Nearby Attractions

Beyond the Cliff Dweller Hotel's inviting ambiance lies a playground for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. The hotel's strategic location places you in the heart of some of Lake Superior's most captivating natural attractions.

Trails meander through lush forests, leading to hidden waterfalls that echo with the soothing sounds of cascading water. 

Adventurous souls can embark on kayaking expeditions, exploring the lake's pristine waters and hidden coves. And for those who seek solace in birdwatching, the area's diverse avian population provides a delightful spectacle. 

Whether indulging in thrilling escapades or finding serenity in the midst of untouched wilderness, the Cliff Dweller Hotel’s convenient location offers an array of nearby experiences to explore.

Heading north from Cliff Dweller, here are some towns and other key attractions to consider visiting.

Lutsen

Located about five minutes from the hotel, you will reach Lutsen, which is very small.

Activities:

  • If you’d like to try your hand at some Tenkara fly fishing, there are 4-hour long outings available along one of the many Lake Superior tributaries. 
  • Interested in checking out Lake Superior via a kayak? 3-hour long tours leave out of Lutsen Sea Villas
  • Before reaching Lutsen, you will be given the option to golf at the Superior National Golf Course. The course features 27 holes.  Also, want to try something different? Consider a game of Foot Golf!
  • North Shore Winery is also on the way to Lutsen, just off Ski Hill Road. My sister and I were not big fans of the flights we tried – they served wine and ciders.
  • Just up the road from the winery is Lutsen Mountains, which has a plethora of activities for year-round entertainment. Summer offers an Alpine Slide, hiking, and a gondola ride. In the fall, it’s a great place to hit the trails and take in the beautiful colors. In the winter season, there are lots of ski options. Food is also available at Lutsen Mountains.
Wine/Cider Tasting menu sitting on a glass top barrel. Two flights of wine/cider across from each other.

Grand Marias

Located about 30 minutes north of Cliff Dweller, this charming little town is loaded with activities and food options. 

Activities:

Waterfall at Cascade River State Park. Waterfall crashing down a rocky and tree surrounded area. Person with blue shirt looking at the falls.

Food:

  • World’s Best Donuts has been a community staple for 50+ years. 
  • Sven & Ole’s has also been around for 40+ years and serves pizza that is famous in northern MN. 
  • Superior Creamery for some great unique ice cream flavors that are made on-site! They have an adorable patio where you can enjoy your treat!

Grand Portage

Grand Portage is located at the US-Canadian Border about an hour north of the Cliff Dweller Hotel.

Activities:

  • Grand Portage State Park has an easy waterfall hike and is a must-stop destination.
  • Grand Portage National Monument is also one of the best national monuments! The visitor center is great, and wandering the Historic Depot is a fantastic way to experience the way life was when it served as a key trading post. 
  • Along the way, you will also pass Judge C.R. Magney State Park, which features a waterfall known as “Devil’s Kettle,” hiking and fishing.
Waterfall at Grand Portage State Park - rocking cliffs that have water flowing over the face. Trees in the background and surrounding the falls.

Heading South from the hotel, you will come across these towns.

Tofte

Located about 5 minutes south of Cliff Dweller, you will reach Tofte, a small town with limited facilities.  

Food: Check out Coho Cafe & Bakery for some yummy treats! 

Two Harbors 

Two Harbors is a medium-sized town that 

Along the way, you will pass Temperance River State Park, which has hiking and multiple waterfalls.

Temperance River State Park - rocky cliffs with water flowing between the tree topped sides. Arched bridge with car traffic over the area.

Final Thoughts: Cliff Dweller Hotel on Lake Superior

If you are looking for Lake Superior lodging, the Cliff Dweller Hotel in Tofte, MN, is an excellent choice. The lake views are unparalleled, the rooms are clean, and the staff is friendly. 

The central location offers great opportunities for exploring the North Shore Region of Minnesota. We look forward to returning to this property the next time we explore this area.

NOTE: Cliff Dewller Hotel on Lake Superior offers discounts for multiple-night stays if booked directly through their website. Also, if you pay cash, you will get a discount.

If you enjoy lake views, you will also enjoy visiting Munising, which is located right on Lake Superior in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

FAQ’s: Cliff Dweller on Lake Superior

Does Cliff Dweller on Lake Superior have a balcony?

Yes!  The balcony extends the room's width and has two chairs and a little table. 

Does Cliff Dweller have cable TV?

Cable TV is offered, but there are limited channels. There were 16 channels during our visit.

How far is Cliff Dweller on Lake Superior from Tofte?

The hotel is located about 5 minutes north of Tofte.

Are Pets allowed at Cliff Dweller?

Yes, but only in designated rooms. When in public, pets must be leashed and picked up after.

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Hotel Review: Cliff Dweller Hotel, Tofte, MN  Top Image: hotel room with wood plank walls and 2 images of trees, 2 double beds with white sheet and navy runner at foot of bed. 2 yellow accent pillow on beds. Girl sitting on bed playing on phone. Bottom image: view of Lake Superior from room patio.
Hotel Review: Cliff Dweller Hotel on Lake Superior (MN) 3 images: exterior of 2 story hotel, breakfast area at hotel, sun room area of hotel with games.
Hotel Review: Cliff Dweller Hotel on Lake Superior (MN) view from inside of room showing the balcony and Lake Superior beyond the railing.

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