On our way to the northern edge of Minnesota for a New Year’s celebration, to a ski town called Lutsen, my fiancé and I made a pit stop in the city of Duluth. It was late on a Thursday night, the weather was not cooperating (think wind, icy rain and darkness) and we both were dreading the prospect of another 2 hours in the car battling the elements. We decided an overnight stay in Duluth would break up our arduous drive and also allow us the opportunity to explore Duluth (a city neither of us had visited in years).
Luckily, my fiancé had wisely predicted this course of action and done his research regarding places to stay. We ended up at a very cute and quaint B & B called The Solglimt. The location was perfect, only a block past the lively Canal Street, and would have been a very convenient walk across the lift bridge to restaurants, pubs and shopping if it hadn’t been for the freezing rain.
The Solglimt is highly lauded as one of the top B &B’s in Minnesota. It has been recognized as having one of the best breakfasts around and it is green certified! They enforce green building practices, purchase and serve only local and organic food and recycle. Awards aside, it’s charming, well-kept and the owners are thoughtful, friendly and make their home a very welcoming place.
The Solglimt has parking in their driveway enough to accommodate most guests. This makes it easy to carry your suitcases up to the front door and it’s always nice not to have to worry about permits, street parking etc. If you arrive late and there are no spots, they do have a lot across the street that is free.
The Arrival & Tour:
We were greeted by both owners at the front door (where we removed our shoes) and were given a tour of the house. There is a cozy living room with a nice DVD selection, a computer with internet access and some sweet treats for nibbling. Downstairs is a sitting area and kitchen. The kitchen is stocked with coffee, tea, water and soda for the taking. They also allow you to keep your leftovers in their fridge if you have dinner out.
The Inn hosts 5 suites and ours was The Kandinsky Loft. The top suite in the house, it indeed had an open loft layout. The room theme was inspired by Kandinsky’s “Open Green” painting which adorned the wall, and the decorations throughout the suite utilized primary colors with a contemporary style. Small, but comfortable and quite cozy (like you’re staying in a good friends home), the room was perfect for a romantic one-night stay. It fit a queen bed which had soft sheets and was positioned next to a gas fireplace. There was a skylight over the bed that gave us a cool view of the drawbridge and we even saw a barge moving through the harbor late at night.
The bathroom had everything we needed from towels, shampoo, conditioner, and soap to thoughtful details like make-up removal packets. They also had two glasses available for wine or champagne, which we made use of upon arrival. And there was a small TV in the corner of the room.
Our room was around $115 a night. During peak season the rate is $135. I believe this is the lowest priced room available, but still had all the luxuries of the other suites. Relative to hotel prices for the night, this was slightly more expensive, but certainly worth it for the unique experience.
Overall, it was a treat. I love staying in places with character and special attention to detail. One word of caution - the general nature of a B & B is very different than that of a hotel. You don’t have that anonymous feeling, rather you feel like you are staying as a guest in someone’s home (even though you are paying for it!). If you enjoy saying hello to the owners and other guests as you come in and out of the house, and don’t mind being considerate of your noise level, then you’ll love staying here.
Unfortunately I can’t give you a verdict on their breakfast. The weather continued to get worse and by morning. The rain had turned to ice. The roads were slick and it took us almost a half an hour to get into my car (doors were frozen shut). I had to shimmy in through the hatchback of my car, all the way up to the front seat to turn it on! And it was snowing. As a result, we left early in the hopes of getting to our final destination before the weather got any worse. Next time I will definitely be staying for the breakfast though, my mouth was watering as I left!
I would definitely stay here again, but only in the summer or fall. One of the perks of this B & B is the location. It’s right on the beach, so you want to be able to enjoy sitting on the deck, watching the ships pass by and sticking your toes in the water.
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