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Michelle L
newport coast, United States

Beluga whales abound

Review of Lazy Bear Lodge
5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed Sep 12, 2022
We were here in July . The town of Churchill is very slow with a few treasures in it. Lazy Bear Lodge was wonderful The food was great in the restaurant . The service was really good. They busted their behinds while being understaffed . They were so nice and respectful . Patience was key. The rooms were very comfortable . I know that 4 days isn't a long time but it was plenty to do everything we had signed up for. Don't pass on the up close and personal with the Belugas. It was such a treat to put our face in the water and SING , yes SING, to the whales! We loved our time there. We saw polar bears lounging around the shores. We of coarse were in a boat or HUGE snow truck. We went dog sledding too. What a treat that was. When you have an incredible opportunity like this you should take it!
Date of stay: July 2022
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
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      Reviews (258)
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      14 - 19 of 258 reviews
      Reviewed September 10, 2022

      I booked the Bears and Aurora Tour mostly to see the northern lights. The one night that one was likely to see them, I stopped at the front desk around 6 p.m. and specifically asked when we would be taken to an area to see the lights. I was told that it was up to the tour guides. The desk clerk suggested I just go outside the hotel across the street to view the sky between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m.

      The next evening at dinner I was talking with some other tour members and commented that it was too bad we weren't going to see the northern lights. My friends said but we were taken out to see them last night around 10 p.m. and she showed me some pictures she had taken of the aurora. So the very same night that I had spoken to the front desk clerk, a tour had been quickly arranged and the management didn't care enough to be sure to notify EVERYONE of the opportunity--especially since I had specifically asked about this--they simply don't care!

      On our last day there we were to leave for the airport around 12:40 p.m and I was told to be at the pickup spot at 12:30 p.m. So I figured I could have a leisurely time until 12:30 p.m. NOT SO--a loud mouthed housekeeper BANGED on my door at 11:00 a.m. and said they wanted to strip the beds now which meant I had to scramble aand get out of the room. I learned other tour members had been acosted at 8:00 a.m. in the same way but but didn't move. HOW CAN A COMPANY TREAT GUESTS WHO HAVE PAID ABOUT $1,000/DAY FOR THE EXPERIENCE SO UNPROFESSIONALLY???????

      Oh, and don't plan on gaining weight by eating in their restaurant. Half the items they have on their menu are not available. One of their waitresses needs to be either trained or retrained. She would take an order, not write anything down, and then deliver about half of what you actually ordered. And about half of the food on the plate was not hot; vegetable were not cooked.

      Date of stay: September 2022
        • Value
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      2  Thank carolhP9432PN
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
      Reviewed August 15, 2022 via mobile

      I took my two sons to Churchill in hopes of seeing belugas, polar bears, and if we were lucky, the aurora. We saw all three and our trip was fantastic! Truly a trip of a lifetime! We enjoyed our tours and walking around the little town, including the museums and train station. We had Derek as our guide and he was really fun and had lots of interesting facts about the history of Churchill, since he used to live there. Katelyn was a great guide also and we really enjoyed being with her on our kayak trip! Wally, who built and owns the lodge, gave us our coastal tour on his boat. We saw many swimming bears and a mama and her cub, plus lots of whales. He was also a great source of information on the area. The restaurant has really good food and the most amazing vegetables you’ve ever had, courtesy of their own greenhouse. We found the serving staff to be very friendly and accommodating. They are usually bombarded with many guests all at once, (returning from tours) and did their best to keep us all happy. Overall a great experience and highly recommend the Lazy Bear Lodge!

      Room tip: Bring wipe on mosquito repellent and sunscreen. Also, quick stop to Northern to get some wine and alcohol if you enjoy a glass with dinner.
      Date of stay: August 2022
      Trip type: Travelled with family
      Thank 683gwent
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
      Reviewed August 9, 2022

      Without a doubt, a stay here is an experience of a lifetime to be able to enjoy close encounters with beluga whales, see polar bears, and other wildlife. I was surprised that we saw the northern lights 3 out of 4 nights too, especially in late July/early August, and the rooms exceeded expectations, very comfy, and even included robes, bathtubs, and Keurig coffeemakers. Another big plus was Derek, he is a super friendly guide with some great stories, and I enjoyed trips with Kaitlyn (SP?) too.

      As part of the package we were booked in hotels the first and last night in Winnipeg which were great, very impressed with that, and the charter flights with Calm Air too.

      I'm baffled by the people who blame the lodge for mosquitos and other insects, I've seen the reviews here and heard a guest complaining. I brought a hat with a net but didn't have to use it, just a dab of lotion with Deet was all it took, no bites. There was only a few minutes at one point where they were bad when we were out sightseeing, surely not the lodge's fault.

      Bottom line is that I really wanted to give this 5 stars and would do 4.5 but it's not an option. There is some room for improvement, I agree naturalist guides would be a good idea but that didn't really detract from the trip because just being there with the wildlife and spectacular scenery was fantastic. Service/organization could be improved a bit to make it better - there wasn't an explanation of how meals worked and while all of mine were included in the package I purchased, not all were for others so it was confusing to servers and to guests too, leading to some awkward moments, especially on the first day before we got our bracelets that indicated that (something none of us knew until it happened). The food was good but the service in the restaurant was generally average to poor with a couple of exceptions. Had to wait an hour a few times and once close to 90 minutes for a sandwich, plus a very long time to sign off on the bill at the end of many meals which meant having to skip at least a few meals there to avoid missing an activity/tour. Minor issues at the front desk - I canceled an activity because it was scheduled too close to another tour on the same day and there wasn't an option to reschedule, a bit frustrating but understandable due to the scheduling. It was never actually canceled though, and another guest who became a friend was missed on the list for northern lights calls - the response from the front desk was, "it wasn't me who was working." That said, upping the customer service a little would definitely make this a 5-star experience.

      Date of stay: July 2022
        • Location
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      1  Thank KCsEndlessAdventures
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
      Reviewed July 26, 2022 via mobile

      Third time to Churchill. First time with Lazy Bear. The lodge is lovely. The best in Churchill, for sure. People are nice. Tour was a HUGE disappointment. For the hefty price I was expecting a “real” whale watching experience. You can’t predict the weather, or where whales will or won’t be—that I completely understand. That said, they only took us to the ugly, seemingly polluted, harbor area to kayak and on the zodiac. We spent very little time on the zodiac looking for whales. Spent most of our time at some fort. Traveling so far, we expected to have more of a nature whale watching experience. We should have gone to other costal areas on the kayak and zodiac. To only go to the port area was a HUGE disappointment. Meals are not included in the package. All in, this is close to a $5600 tour, not including airfare to Winnipeg from the US. You might be better off making your way to Churchill and pre booking tours with another local tour company. Or spend a bit more with a more organized inclusive tour company. We didn’t have the chance to take a helicopter tour, which I highly recommend. We met many who took the hour long helicopter trip, which is pricy at $600. But they all said they saw large pods of whales from above, as well as bears. They even landed to visit a bears den. Space is limited. So if you decide to go, book early. Lastly, we did do a costal boat tour, included in our package. We did see several bears, including swimming bears, which was wonderful. However, they had us out for nearly 8 hours and we returned to the lodge after the kitchen was closed. You would think they would keep their own kitchen open to accommodate their paying guests with a warm meal after being out in the cold elements for 8 hours but they didn’t. The challenge is all the restaurants in town close at 8:00 PM. It would be a good idea, in my opinion, for them to be more nimble with their schedules and adjust the dining hours accordingly, to accommodate their guests who have spent thousands to be there. The last day here we spent doing absolutely nothing. There was only one activity offered to us—which was an additional $200+ . I would have gladly paid extra but they brought you back, once again, to the ugly port area. I didn’t expect to spend $5000+ to tour around an ugly port area. Do your research before booking. If you are looking for an expensive trip, with lots of downtime, where meals are not included and somewhat limited and expensive, this trip is for you. If you want to have more of an immersive experience you may want to look elsewhere.

      Date of stay: July 2022
      Trip type: Travelled with friends
      1  Thank whateveritsmyopinion
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
      Reviewed July 17, 2022

      We came to Churchill for the beluga experience and Lazy Bear delivered in spades. Nobody can guarantee where bears and beluga will be, or the weather, but we got amazing breaks on both as far as the belugas went, and terrific food and lodging in between. Try the elk stew and arctic char for dinner, and a milkshake for an afternoon treat. The lodge rooms are clean, the beds are comfortable, and the showers hot. It's a terrific place to come back to after the contrast of boating through ice flows or walking around the tundra.

      Everyone at the lodge was lovely, enjoys being there, and takes care to answer questions and needs. Our exceptional guide, Heino, was knowledgeable and watched out for our safety and optimal experience.

      I suspect I'll be back for another beluga experience, but may come up again for the polar bears. Churchill maybe addictive. If I do, I'll be booking through Lazy Bear. They know how to deliver an outstanding customer experience. Several thumbs up!

      Date of stay: July 2022
        • Location
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      1  Thank Ambassador253029
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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