by Lisa Meyers McClintick
Observant kids will scream “Bear!” before you even park at this lodge-themed hotel in West Fargo’s thriving retail area. Wooden black bears climb across the building’s exterior and appear to be peeking into windows of the three-story 83-guestroom building.
That extra bit of playfulness helps this hotel stand out from the many accommodations along the Interstate 94 corridor in North Dakota’s largest metropolitan area.
What really grabs the kids? The Beaver Dam Water Play-Land. Part playground, part pool, it keeps them busy with shallow areas and a fountain for toddlers and a slide and other features for older kids.
Families can appreciate the convenience of complimentary morning breakfast, microwaves and mini-fridges in guestrooms, and a public washer and dryer for wet suits. There also are 18 suites for families craving extra space and amenities such as a fireplace or whirlpool.
The hotel sits within two blocks of the Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitor Bureau’s Welcome Center, a mile from the Red River Zoo, less than a mile from West Acres Regional Shopping Center and less than 15 minutes from downtown Fargo, North Dakota and the bridges that cross into Moorhead, Minnesota.
Our Editor Loves
- Indoor pool with slides and fountain
- Complimentary breakfast with waffles
- Lodge theme
- Connecting Rooms
- Free Breakfast
- Free Wi-Fi
- Game Room
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All rooms are non-smoking and include coffeemakers, hair dryers, microwaves and mini-fridges, radio alarm clocks with MP3 plugins and 32-inch to 37-inch TVs with more than 100 TV channels. Both cribs and rollaway beds are available.
Double Queens and Kings
These standard rooms come with two queen beds or one king bed and a sofa sleeper. They can be found on all three floors of the hotel.
Larger families and groups can request connecting rooms, either a king-bed room attached to two queen beds or two connecting double-queen rooms.
Executive Heartland Suite
These larger-sized, one-room suites on the first floor include a king bed and sofa sleeper, plus a whirlpool tub and shower combo in the bathroom.
This spacious one-room suite features two queen beds, a fireplace and whirlpool tub and shower.
Horse Whisper Suite
This suite includes a bedroom with a king-sized bed and double-sided fireplace that also faces the whirlpool bath. The living space includes a pullout sofa sleeper, seating area and wet bar.
Spur Valley Suite
These second-floor suites include an oversized room with king bed and sofa sleeper, a wet bar and whirlpool tub and shower combination.
This larger suite features a master bedroom with a king bed and a whirlpool bathroom, a double-sized fireplace and a living room with a sleeper sofa and wet bar.
Four guestrooms have accessibility adaptations to accommodate anyone who is hearing impaired or in a wheelchair. There also is a motorized lift into the pool.
This best western is by far the best one we have stayed at. My wife and I are platinum rewards members, we stay at a lot of best westerns. This hotel is by far the best to date from the great staff to the amenities and the comfort of the rooms. The rooms were immaculate. They offered room service from a near by restaurant. Upon check in we were given a paper that had a lot of great info on it. The bed was clean and comfortable, the pillows were comfortable. If we every stay in Fargo we will definitely be staying here!
It was a wow type of hotel. The beds and room was very spacious. They even gave you ear plugs Incase it got noisey outside hotel during the night.the reception staff were friendly and approachable . The breakfast in their restaurant was wonderful.
Indoor Water Park
Whether you call it a small water park or a pool with bells and whistles, kids like the variety here, with a shallow (1 foot, 6 inches) area and small slide and fountain for toddlers. Water gets as deep as 3 feet 6 inches for older kids playing water basketball, going down a tube slide or trying to cross floating logs while hanging on to an overhead net.
The pool and hot tub open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. for families and is open 11:15 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. for adults only. There are a few floats available for toddlers to strap on and a bathroom in the pool area. Children 14 or under require parental supervision.
For arcade addicts, there is a small room with a shooting game, racing game and crane game on the second floor near the overlook of the pool.
Games and Movie Nights
The hotel has movie showings in the lounge area at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings. Kids can vote for what they want to watch from the hotel's selection of DVDs. There also are games at the front desk for guests to check out.
Early risers may be able to dodge the weekend breakfast rush when late sleepers hurry downstairs before the waffle stations close and food is put away for the day at 10 a.m. Hot offerings change daily, but may include hash browns, scrambled eggs, ham patties, sausage or bacon or omelets, along with the make-your-own waffles. Other choices include fruit, yogurt, cold and hot cereal, coffee, juices and vitamin water, and pastries.
Guests who need to check out before 6 am can request a grab-and-go breakfast from the front desk.
The hotel serves appetizers and refreshments Monday through Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. The lobby usually has coffee and tea available throughout the week and in guestrooms.
Room service can be ordered from Carino's Italian restaurant, which is next to the hotel and charges a small fee to deliver spicy shrimp and chicken, loaded mac and cheese, 16-layer lasagna and family-sized entrees such as spaghetti and meatballs. Those orders can be billed to the room. It's also easy to walk over for in-restaurant specials such as $6.99 unlimited soup, salad and bread for lunch. Gluten-free pizzas and entrees are available, as well as a kids' menu.
There are dozens of dining options within a few blocks of the hotel, which is also adjacent to Subway and across the street from Hu Hot Mongolian Grill and Space Aliens Grill and Bar, a favorite with families for its indoor arcade and lighthearted outer space theme.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Guests can check in 3 p.m. and need to check out by noon.
The hotel exercise room for adults only includes a universal gym, treadmill, stationary and recumbent bike and Precore machines. It's open 24 hours a day.
There is no extra charge for pets if they are registered at check-in and stay confined in a kennel.
The hotel has a washer and dryer on the first floor if you need to wash clothes or want to dry swimsuits before packing. The hotel also has a daily dry-cleaning service. Anything dropped off by 7 a.m. is ready by 6 p.m.
The Art of Smart Timing
Summer is high season for the hotel, but it can book up during the rest of the year, too, especially with special events, athletic competitions, university happenings, holidays, weddings and more. The lowest rates tend to be Sundays and midweek Tuesday through Thursday.
Winter guests whose trip coincides with the coldest nights of the year can use one of the battery plug-ins in the parking lot.
The hotel offers a free shuttle to and from Hector International Airport, which is less than 8 miles away. There is a Jefferson Bus Lines stop and an Amtrak station about 7 miles away in downtown Fargo.
Most travelers have their own vehicle or rent one, but it's possible to get around with Metro Area Transit, which has a bus route that stops at the corner of 45th Street South and 18th Avenue South, where the hotel is located. The purple bus route also goes to the Red River Zoo and West Acres Regional Shopping Center. Route transfers would be needed for additional destinations, including downtown. The www.matbus.com site lets riders see in live time where the buses are.
For Mom and Dad
If parents are able to get a sitter and sneak away from the kids for an hour or two, there are dozens of restaurants to choose from in West Fargo or they can head downtown for more date-night destinations such as The Boiler Room, Mezzaluna and The Toasted Frog.