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I was unfamiliar with the Hampton product, but somehow booked this property, as it was one of the few chains on the lake.
I am not sure what I was expecting, maybe my expectations were way down, but boy was I blown away and pleasantly surprised at what this hotel has to offer.
You can't miss the new Hampton Inn as you drive in to Bemidji. It sits on the main road in on the lake and towers above the other buildings in the area. It's new and clean and really seems to take center stage in the area.
When we entered, I was surprised at how big and well-appointed the lobby was. It had a large window in the back that gave a wonderful, unobstructed view of Lake Bemidji. The feel of the hotel is faux Northwoods lodge. However, it does the theme very well, and the furnishings and fixtures keep to the theme but are not overdone.
The check-in staff was young, well groomed, and very friendly. I was given a room with a lake view on the second floor. When I got up to my room, I was blown away. The room was huge, looked sharp, and had a million-dollar view of the lake. The room had every room amenity you would expect from a first-class hotel.
I stayed here a week and never had one complaint. The staff was first-rate. Even the maids always had a smile and a hello when you were in the hall. A supervisor knocked on my door daily to make sure everything was okay with my room. The hotel served a nice breakfast in their lobby breakfast room, again with a view of one of Minnesota's best lakes. A morning paper was delivered to my door daily.
I often sat out on the dock and read a book. It was like being at my own Northwood cabin, quiet and serene. The Hampton Inn offers canoes and kayaks to explore the lake. The hotel also offers an indoor pool that the kids love. For everyone, there is a Green Mill Pizza restaurant with a full bar attached to the hotel.
I don't remember enjoying a hotel stay more, plus my room rate was under $90 a night, an outstanding value. This is a very well-run hotel and a property that Hampton Inn should be proud to have their name on. I can't wait to come back next year, when the kids again go off to camp.
From journal Paul Bunyan and Japanese Camp - Bemidji, Minnesota
July 18, 2012