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JCamm2015
Toronto, Canada

Overwhelming Polar Bears!

Review of Lazy Bear Lodge
5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed Nov 18, 2022
This adventure was one of the best my husband and I have had. We arrived in Churchill to blizzard-like conditions, which actually added to the whole polar bear anticipation. Eric and Kelly ( sorry if I misspelled your names) met us there and drove (all of) us to the Lodge, it was lovely. Just like the pictures. We had a quick lunch which was very good, and then went for a tour of the town. Upon return we were able to go to our rooms and unpack before our dog mushing experience. Our room had two double beds, and we were hoping for at least one queen. A little more space for taller people. The weather had turned to a quiet snowfall for our dog sledding and it was great. Don’t miss that one! The next day we were on the Tundra buggy and saw about 13 polar bears. It was amazing! They came right up to the buggy and we all got marvellous pictures. It is definitely a trip you have to experience as I don’t think words do it justice. Second day was just as thrilling. We went to the Tundra Pub for dinner as they are licensed. A glass of wine or beer after that experience was the perfect ending…(Wally, if you’re listening)… The food at Lazy Bear was quite good but again, a glass of wine…?
I would highly recommend this trip to anyone wanting to experience something you may never see.. it is overwhelming, truly. Eric and Kelly were great guides. Very knowledgeable, approachable, and simple nice to be around. I would do it again. The bears are so majestic!
Date of stay: November 2022
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
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      Reviews (258)
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      6 - 11 of 258 reviews
      Reviewed November 11, 2022 via mobile

      Tour was fantastic, we saw a lot of bears, staff was great, very organized. Lodge was very good but not luxurious, with beds subpar but ok considering where u are.food was good, servers very nice. This is not a Hilton, more of a best western.
      I would stay again.

      Date of stay: November 2022
      Trip type: Travelled as a couple
      1  Thank OntarioCanuck1
      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 November 10, 2022

      As each day goes by, I realize more and more just how special this adventure was. Every aspect of the tour was well organized and we were were given clear instructions about times and what to wear and expect for each segment

      We were responsible for our flights in and out of Winnipeg, giving us the flexibility to add a day or two in Winnipeg before or after the Lazy Bear tour.

      We were given a treat bag at the front desk of the Inn at the Forks when we checked in. It included instructions, lanyards, hot paws, name tags, polar bear candies and more.

      Two personable representatives delivered us to the airport the next morning for our flight to Churchill where we met Kelli and Erik. Heino joined us the next day. Our fabulous guides worked as a team, safety always first, and shared many stories, background information, and our enthusiasm, patiently answering questions and gently reminding us to curb our enthusiasm and stay seated on the moving crawler!

      The Lodge was welcoming: clean, comfortable and cozy and ALL staff were friendly and helpful. The food at the restaurant was excellent and whomever does the hiring chose the best of the best waitstaff from around the world.

      Wildlife sighting and ideal weather cannot be guaranteed. But we saw polar bears. We saw ptarmigan. We saw more polar bears. One tried to eat our crawler.

      On our last half day there was poor visibility and a polar bear was in town so we were unable to see or get out at the planned cultural spots. But a Parks Canada rep joined us onboard instead for a history of Fort Churchill and Q&A. Kyle is the grandson of Dave Daley with whom we had mushed dog sleds. Do not miss this amazing sledding activity if it is offered, as you will also be given a window into Métis culture.

      The bear season is only 5 weeks long. The crawlers cost about $1 million each. Food, accommodation and fuel in the sub-Arctic are expensive. The only thing missing was the Aurora Borealis.

      This is an expensive trip.

      It is worth every penny.

      Thank you Kelli, Eric & Heino and all of the staff at Lazy Bear. I learned so much about the north and had an unforgettable polar bear adventure.

      Date of stay: November 2022
      Trip type: Travelled as a couple
      2  Thank Janice M
      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 November 9, 2022

      1) The staff needs BETTER TRAINING:

      On the first night, I came to the front desk because I could not turn on the heat. They said someone would come but no one ever did.

      The restaurant staff was very nice, but the kitchen was slow. Up to 45 minutes waiting for our food at dinner. This resulted in my missing the night mushing bus. More on that later.

      Dirty towels were removed from our room, but not replaced with clean towels.

      Tour/crawler guides should talk less and spend more time looking for wildlife. Less socializing, more scanning for bears. They improved on the second day.

      2) COMMUNICATION

      Lazy Bear scheduled our airport arrival pickup. Because it was 3 earlier than the normal pickup, we had our travel agent confirm the pickup on the day before arrival. But when we arrived at 2am from Vancouver there was no one to meet us. Fortunately there was a taxi we could take. Got to the hotel at 3:30AM!

      Staff did not know many elements of the schedule such as starting times, checkout time, luggage pick up times. They seem to make it up as they were asked. We got different answers from different staff. For example, we had an 8:30 helicopter tour the last day and wanted to know if we had to get up early or could wait to put our bags out when we got back.

      When we arrived, our prepaid helicopter tour was not on our schedule even though it had been on previous versions of our itinerary.

      The emergency number you provided in Winnipeg rolled over to voice mail. It said “the office is open Monday through Friday”. Not very encouraging.

      The people in Winnipeg don’t know what is planned in Churchill. The tour leaders don’t know how the lodge functions, and the people at the front desk don’t seem to know much of anything.

      3) FRUSTRATING INCIDENT

      When my dinner arrived 45 minutes after ordering, I told one of the staff that I would be at the evening bus at exactly 7pm, but not earlier for the mushing bus. He said no problem. When I dashed to my room for my coat, I past the same staff and the driver who was taking us to the mushing. I reminded them of my coming. They said no worries. BUT when I went outside the bus was just driving away. I was upset. Fortunately I requested/demanded the same staff person drive me to the mushing location.

      We were told to get dinner in the hour between the two tours. Someone should have told us an hour was not enough time for dinner at the lodge. I still do not know what we were supposed to do.

      4) OTHER SUGGESTIONS:

      The guest rooms need more light. All lights were on one side of the room at the head of the beds. Hard to see our stuff getting dressed in the dark.

      Date of stay: October 2022
      Trip type: Travelled as a couple
      1  Thank Lee M
      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 November 8, 2022

      Better than expected. Saw Polar Bears on both days on the Tundra. We were lucky as the 2nd day we had a Polar Bear come up to the Tundra Buggy. (I think it was the smell of chili as the guides were getting our lunch ready). Our guides, Eric & Deacon - the owner's son were great! Funny and knowledgeable about the bears and the area. Deacon - aka Muskrat King was hilarious and his magic show was great. The lodge was comfortable with private bathrooms in each room. Restaurant had great food, we loved the breakfast and dinners. The entire staff were friendly and helpful. Sue was great answering all our questions when booking and getting to the airport and lodge. We saw the Northern Lights, Could not go on the dog sled ride as it was too warm for sled and too mushy for the wheels. But Dave Daley gave a nice talk about the dogs and his adventures in dog sledding. I did a lot of research on several Polar Bear excursions before I booked with Lazy Bear Lodge. I made the right choice and would definitely go back sometime to see the Beluga whales too! Thanks to everyone at Lazy Bear Lodge for checking everything off my bucket list!

      Room tip: All rooms are comfortable. Some are on 1st floor, rest on 2nd floor.
      Date of stay: October 2022
        • Sleep Quality
        • Cleanliness
        • Service
      1  Thank FrankieNi
      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 October 30, 2022 via mobile

      First of all I read sone negative comments regarding Lazy Bear Expeditions which were written be A few unhappy travelers that expected a Marriott with all the amenities. Well, this not a Marriott it is a lodge built and owned by Wally Daudrich, a man born in Churchill who was a guide and built this business from scratch. He and his family have worked hard to build a fantastic operation that employs many from all over the world. His employees are hard working, courteous and friendly. His son, Deacon alias “muskrat king” as I called him is a terrific young man and was our guide; 17 years old and is years old and most knowledgeable and makes sure all tourists remain safe as this is polar bear country. Our trip was booked thru Lazy Bear and there Winnipeg contact, Sue, was terrific. Stayed at inn at the forks in Winnipeg; a terrific hotel at a great location. Our flight was delayed on first day by snowstorm in Churchill some 7 hours. Sue made arrangements to take the group to Winnipeg museum, and we finally arrived in snowy, clod Churchill late evening where they kept the restaurant open for us. Our rooms were small bit cozy. Hot shower and Keurig machine. Breakfast was great and they have the only espresso/ Cappucinno machine in Churchill. Which by the way is only aaccessible by train or plane. That’s why expensive.
      FYI, Wally just bought a 47’ catamaran boat foe beluga tours. A state of the art boat that was shipped up and will be ready for upcoming summer.
      We viewed many polar bears, red Fox during our trip. Remember, nothing is guaranteed in life, that means polar bear sighting is not guaranteed but our driver and guide found them.
      So prepare for an adventure with a terrific family owned tour operation and remember that you are in Churchill, CA, population of 950, three restaurants and no five star hotels.
      Oh, yes we saw northern lights, the front desk called us three times at night to let us know the northern lights were going on and what colors they were.

      Date of stay: October 2022
      Trip type: Travelled as a couple
      Thank Bostonwhaler43
      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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