5 on January 18, 2012
The Olcott has rapidly become our favorite B&B, and is often the standard by which we measure other Bed and Breakfasts. First of all, the historic house's charm cannot be overstated. There are timepieces, pictures, and memorabilia to take in and explore, and the rooms are at once luxurious and appropriate for the overall feel of the era. Second, David and Jerry are just amazing. David is very present, attentive, and interesting (and interested). They are very knowledgeable about the area. Third, the breakfast...outstanding! Fourth, even though there are lots of fun things to do in Duluth, it's almost more fun to just hang around the Olcott House just to read, play one of the numerous games available, or just learn about the house. There is a music room, a sort of game room, and the rooms (the guest rooms as well as the music room, sitting room, etc.) themselves are comfortable enough to make you want to just sit around and read all day. I could go on and on, but this is my (our) favorite place to stay, and there is simply nothing negative to say about it. On every level, the Olcott House is wonderful.
5 on December 02, 2011
This was the first time my wife and I had done a B&B. After our experience at the Olcott House, we will never waste another penny on a hotel stay! David and his staff do an amazing job and will make your stay one to remember. The breakfast was way above and beyond what we had expected. It really made me want to have breakfast 3 times a day! The artwork and the decor of the Olcott house was warm and inviting. So much class, history, beauty everywhere you look. We stayed in the Carriage room which was a detached suite from the main mansion. It was spotless, peaceful, cozy, and beautiful. David (the owner) is very knowledgeable about the Olcott house and about Duluth. He spent a lot of time talking with us and answering every question we could come up with. He made a number of recommendations about our stay in Duluth and was spot on with each one from evening dining to daytime tours. In all, my wife's 30th birthday was one she and I will never forget. We will be coming back to the Olcott House again. The only bad thing is that unless we go again this weekend, our next visit won't be soon enough!
5 on October 20, 2011
All eight of my immediate family stayed at the Olcott House this past summer to celebrate my parent's 35th wedding anniversary. We were so fortunate to have found the Olcott House. Welcoming hosts, lovely breakfasts, antique furnishings, and relaxing mornings/afternoons on the porch made the Olcott House a superb choice for us. David was so accommodating to our large family. As appreciators of antiques, my parents absolutely loved the decor of the Olcott House. But the best of all was our time spent on the porch. In the mornings we drank coffee before breakfast, and in the afternoons we enjoyed lemonade, wine, and cheeses. This was exactly what we wanted for our escape from our busy schedules.
5 on September 24, 2011
My husband and I made a long over due trip to Duluth, our destination ? Olcott house. What a Beautiful and well kept place. David was very warm and welcoming, I loved our room and the hospitality was above and beyond our expectations. Breakfast was very tasty and always served with a smile. We will definetly be back to visit our dear friend again, Thanks David .
5 on September 11, 2011
My husband and I stayed at the Olcott House in September at 2011 as part of a weekend getaway to Duluth. The house was beautiful and very well kept. The owners seem to relish in the homes history, as it has many photographs and artifacts that were those of the original owners. Also - each room had a book David and Jerry (the owners) had put together explaining the homes' history and how they eventually came to own it. They also put several thoughtful touches throughout each of the rooms and you can tell they enjoy antiquing and finding fun artifacts to tastefully decorate each of the rooms. When we arrived, we were greeted by David who was very helpful in providing us recommendations of things to do and see while we were in Duluth. He also provided us terrific restaurant recommendations - none of which disappointed. We found David, Jerry, and their staff to be very hospitable. As I would assume many folks traveling to a bed and breakfast would enjoy, was the ability and warm welcoming environment in which to talk and chat with other guests. Breakfast was served at 9am in the dining room with tables of 4, 6, and 2, so you could chat with other guests if you chose. (and by the way - the breakfast prepared was simply stupendous ... ) In addition, they put out wine, cheese, and meat around 5pm. We were delighted to enjoy this cocktail hour on the porch with 4 other people who were staying there. It was a great way to start our evening. My husband and I very much look forward to staying at the Olcott House again and we will absolutely recommend it to our friends and family. We thank David and Jerry for helping make our anniversary celebration one we will remember.
5 on September 06, 2011
My husband and I so enjoyed our stay at the Olcott House. The house and grounds are beautiful and you truly feel at home when you walk in the entrance. We stayed in the East Wing Suite and absolutely loved it. The care put into the home from the bedding, to the books, to each trinket and vase makes you feel completely at home and at the same time like you are stepping into history. Breakfasts were lovely and delicious and David and Jerry are great. David proved to be a perfect host with spot on recommendations. We felt like me made two friends in our hosts and definitely will be back and make a anniversary tradition at the Olcott House.
4.4 on August 22, 2011
We made a short trip to Duluth to see our first grandchild and discovered that the rates at the Olcott House were comparable to the downtown 3-star chains, so why not? Delightful! Arrived on a very hot summer night; host David had the air conditioner and fan going in our room for us and it was quite comfortable. We joked that we'd need a ladder to get into our four-poster, but loved the grandeur of the bed and the room. Breakfasts were inventive and delicious (on the rich side, but isn't nice to be a little spoiled?); dietary requests were gladly accomodated. And while our host's personal manner felt a bit reserved, we took him at his word and called on him whenever needed; we felt most welcome and cared for. We would definitely return when back in Duluth...
4.0 on August 04, 2011
My husband and I received a gift certificate to stay at the Olcott House Bed & Breakfast. We did a one-night overnight stay 7/31 - 8/1 and truly, it was not long enough! This place is exquisite and so well-taken-care of. The rooms are beautiful and clean and it's close to everything (Canal Park, restaurants, Glensheen Mansion). David was our host and he was so kind and accomodating - not to mention a great cook - our breakfast was wonderful. I would recommend this place in a heartbeat. A must-see & stay in Duluth!
5 on July 04, 2011
We visit the Duluth area each year...This time we decided to try something new...stay at a B&B rather than our usual stay at Canal Park or up the shore at a condo. What a treat! We couldn't have had a better experience had we written a script! David was so very welcoming and genuinely interested in our stay. He made dinner reservtions for us and adjusted his breakfast menu for me as I am a vegetarian. As the state parks were closed, David helped us discover new trails and creeks that in all the years of visiting had never had the pleasure to explore. A better alternative to the crowds we would normally see at Gooseberry ot Split Rock! Our room...the Lester Master Suite was so comfortable and tastefully done. We loved the library and side porch and I spent an afternoon out there reading while my husband played golf with a local friend. We loved the Olcott and are thankful that we got to experience a little piece of heaven for a couple days in Duluth!
1.6 on June 08, 2011
The Olcott may be a house to see on a walking tour of historic Duluth mansions. The owners’ taste is demonstrated by arrangements of books and vintage objet d'art throughout the house. While the proprietor’s love of old homes and garage sales is evident, I won’t be the first reviewer to suggest he lacks a similar affection for guests. Olcott House reminds me of visiting grandmother’s home as a child; we were tolerated, but not really welcome. “Breakfast is at 9am. I think I’m doing eggs-benedict”, he sniffed. “Do you drink Coffee”, he asked. “Yes”, we replied in unison, emphatically. “Coffee’s at 8am”, he replied. “Really? We’re early risers”, we said. “REALLY”, he replied, with emphasis. Here was an opportunity that even a reasonably attentive host might have seized to accommodate a guest’s desire for a cup of coffee, never minding paying customers. But the opportunity passed, declined in favor of whatever more important activity was planned until 8am. Olcott House accommodations are equally indifferent; not particularly clean, not in particularly good condition, not particularly comfortable, not altogether particularly functional. The environment of an old house, however, neither surprised us, nor bothered us, but the house’s careful staging in contrast to the proprietor’s lack of warmth and hospitality made us feel no more important than props in a drama featuring the house, starring him, but where guests are not really welcomed in reality. One final thing. We had a private conversation with the owner when we checked in concerning playing the house piano. That conversation was later repeated to us by another guest in the house, suggesting we were being mocked. Such creepy things as that make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.
5 on January 17, 2011
Here's a letter I wrote to the management of the Olcott House following a recent visit. Thought I'd share it here: Dear Olcott House Staff: I just wanted to drop a quick line to once again say thanks for helping to make our recent weekend visit to Duluth so very special. Until pulling up to the outside of the Olcott House, my wife thought we were only on a bit of a sightseeing tour, taking a look at some of the more beautiful examples of architecture in the area. She gasped out loud when I told her that the Olcott would also be serving as our evening's accommodations. There was even more gasping upon seeing our incredible suite. Further, the unrelenting beauty and charm of the house were matched only by the hospitality of our hosts. Even in the face of caring for his partner (put out of commission by an unfortunate car accident) David went out of his way to make us feel at home at a time when treating guests as an inconvenience might be seen by many as an excusable necessity. At no point did we feel anything less than warmly welcomed, from being greeted upon arrival, to being served a truly sumptuous and unhurried breakfast, to being thanked for our visit upon check-out. Needless to say, the overwhelming combination of astonishingly gorgeous accommodations, warm, friendly hospitality and amazing value will stick with us until our next looked-forward-to visit. I'd enthusiastically recommend the Olcott House to anyone looking for a plush getaway, and plan to do exactly that whenever possible. We'll be seeing you again sometime over the summer, as we're already planning our next trip. In the meantime, take care. -Jim, Richfield, MN
5 on August 17, 2010
This was our 2nd stay at a B&B and we absolutely loved it! From the beautiful African Mahogany woodwork in the dinning room to the rare Birdseye Maple flooring of our suite we were swept away by this mansion. Jerry and David were gracious hosts and made us feel right at home. The breakfast was delicious and very elegant. At night the house glows with a warmth and presence that make you feel like you are in another world. There was always relaxing music playing downstairs and snacks to eat. Even though the home is 10,000 sq. ft it feels so cozy and not intimidating. I could go on and on about the Olcott House but I don't want to get to long winded, so with all the said I HIGHLY recommend this B&B!!
4.8 on July 12, 2010
My husband and I had only a few days before I was starting a new job. Duluth was only a day drive away and I picked this Band B off the internet from the comments! The place was beautiful!! David (owner) was so helpful with directions and patient with our bad sense of direction. He had lots of suggestions for our time. The house was outstanding!! Clean, quiet, and welcoming. The breakfasts were huge and gourmet. We even had wine and snacks in the evening. The neighbourhood is beautiful to walk in with lots of period houses to look at. I learnt alot more history in that short time than I had expected to.
5 on May 03, 2010
I travel regularly to Duluth from the East Coast, and have found the Olcott House to be my favorite place to stay in Northern Minnesota. It is an amazingly beautiful Georgian colonial with great historic value, that has been maintained in pristine condition by innkeepers David and Jerry. I've stayed in 4 different rooms in various seasons over the past years, and all of them have been absolutely wonderful, each with its own character, intriguing antiques, and the most luxurious linens and comfortable beds. Upon arrival in the magnificent main foyer, I marvel each time at the many gorgeous rooms open to guests, from the library and music room with grand piano, to the spacious dining room. In every nook and cranny and on every wall and mantel, there are fascinating pieces of art, antique photographs and amazing curiosities to enjoy. The library is a personal favorite of mine because of its warm and inviting fireplace, and the elegant but cozy atmosphere of the room -- it simply invites you to settle in and relax! The library also contains a vast amount of movies and books for guests to borrow while staying, and in seasonable weather, the spacious adjoining porch is the perfect spot to enjoy the Lake Superior breeze and a wonderful view while relaxing with a glass of complimentary wine, a snack, or tea on a warm evening. The delicious,homemade breakfasts are served with style in the beautiful dining room and vary daily. David and Jerry are wonderful hosts, always ready to provide useful suggestions on the best places to dine, explore and shop in the area. The Olcott House is such an amazing Bed and Breakfast -- nothing ordinary about it -- and I whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone looking for a very special place to relax and feel truly pampered. I look forward to coming back to this lovely home again soon to enjoy the unique experience it offers -- a real "taste" of a bygone era with all the comforts one could want.
4.6 on February 28, 2010
We planned a trip to Duluth to stay at the Olcott for a mini mid-week getaway. It was our first experience at a B&B. We stayed in the East Wing Suite and loved it. It was spacious, quiet, and had the best bed ever! We still joke about buying the bed for our own place. Breakfast was delicious. Their eggs benedict rivaled my mom's (which is difficult to do). Staying entertained was easy. Olcott provided a nice selection of DVD's, was close to local attractions, offered a piano, and had a beautiful porch (it was too chilly to sit outside for any extended period of time though). The owner (we only met one) was helpful in his recommendations. Because of him, we discovered a little cafe with great food. Listen to him - he knows what he's talking about! The only drawback was that for some reason, both of us didn't feel the most welcome. It could have just been a difference in personalities however. We still thought service was great. Overall, we loved our stay and would definitely return.
4.4 on May 08, 2009
The service is as grand as the house - a great place to stay.
5 on May 04, 2009
Our first experience with a bed and breakfast and it was outstanding.
4.0 on August 25, 2008
My husband and I just returned from our 2nd, multiple night stay at the Olcott House (first time with the new owners). We've stayed at 10+ B&B's over the last few years and this one is our favorite by far! The breakfast was not only substantial, it was homemade "gourmet" (egg strata, pancakes with warm apples, pure maple syrup-yum!). We stayed in the Lester River Suite and have also stayed in the carriage suite and we loved them both. The inn itself is spectacular inside and David and Jerry (the innkeepers) have been working on the inn inside and out to make sure Olcott House will be enjoyed for years to come. All these accolades asside, our favorite part of our most recent visit was the innkeepers themselves. David and Jerry could not have been more gracious, accomodating, personable or entertaining. Even if the inn weren't so spectacular, we'd go back just to see David & Jerry. I'll admit I'm more than a little surprised at the feedback from one visitor who claims to visit B&B's frequently; "...had to use wet towels for [his/her] entire stay". Are you kidding?! Why would you want to use wet towels day after day? What happened when you asked the innkeepers for more towels? If you didn't ask, then complaining about wet towels isn't very fair. I sympathize with the guest being cold because the heat was turned off (for the summer). However, check with any innkeeper and you'll find that it is quite common for B&B's to turn off the heat in the summer months. I hope you go back to Olcott and give it another chance.
3.2 on June 18, 2008
I am going to list what I liked about my stay and what I thought could have been better: Wells: 1. The service was fantastic. I was made to feel warm and welcome 2. The dining experience was great. Although I didn't always care for every single item on the breakfast menu (organic chicken links), overall, it was very good and a fun atmosphere 3. Staying in the Carriage House was really charming. It had a very cozy feel to it and it was a great getaway 4. Enjoyed the grounds and access to the house. A great way to relax Betters: 1. Felt it was overpriced for what I considered were some inconveniences: a. The heat was turned off for the summer. My room was cold at night and in the morning. Not much chance to relax without heavier clothes on b. Whirlpool tub listed as usable for 2. While this is "technically" correct, it has to be for 2 very small people. Great for 1....uncomfortable for 2 c. Given that it had a whirlpool, I was expecting to have extra towels. Another small annoyance was that there was one hook to hang the towels. I had to use wet towels every day of my stay d. Bathroom mirror was very small and above the toilet and basically very hard to use e. Carriage House had a very musty odor to it. I realize it's an older home but this was unexpected Summary: The house is very nice and the Carriage House was very private. Perhaps the rooms inside th mansion are much better. Will I cherish the memory....yes. Will I go back and recommend to my friends....not so much
5 on May 07, 2008
We stayed at the Olcott House over Feb 14-17 2008, and it was a wonderful visit. The house is beautiful and lovingly maintained, breakfast was amazing each morning, our room (the Lake Superior Suite) was very warm and comfortable (especially for the middle of winter!), and David & Jerry were gracious and friendly hosts. I highly recommend the Olcott House if you are planning to visit Duluth.
5 on January 11, 2008
This place is just gorgeous! During the day you may have a chance to see some of the other rooms--and the antiques and details in the rooms are elegant and sometimes seem to have a sense of humor, just like the owners. Touring the surrounding streets, there are more beautiful homes to see and great views of the lake. I also had a view of Superior in the Lake Superior suite.