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“Wonderfully rustic”
Review of Glacier Bay Lodge

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Glacier Bay Lodge
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Gustavus
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 February 2012

This isn't a four star hotel however, it has four star location and five star views! The room was rustic and simple however, clean, quiet and a perfect place to lay our tired heads after a day of exploring. The staff is very friendly and helpful. The food ok. The location is very remote and a perfect place to feel that you are truly experiencing Alaska's great nature w/out having to actually be tenting it. There were bears w/cubs and moose w/their babies walking around the resort area when we were there in June so be aware, but we didn't have any issue.

Room Tip: If you are going this far, get a room w/a view.
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  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank bludaizie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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168 - 174 of 231 reviews

Reviewed 24 October 2011

I'm so glad we spent the money for a view room - it's so serene there and gorgeous, we enjoyed the view from our room so very much. Although it's rustic - it's clean, private and we had a wonderful stay at the lodge.

The restaurant can get pricey so ask for the 'bar' menu vs. the dinner menu! It's more reasonable.

Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
3  Thank Kim B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2011

This isn't the BEST hotel in the world, but it's a really nice place in a very remote location. the rooms are large, the people are helpful and the park is beautiful. There's enough to do in and around the park. This is exactly what we were expecting - a slightly nicer than usual lodge. Perfect.

The biggest downside is that, because it's so far from town, the only place to eat is the restaurant at the lodge, which isn't great.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank N0nickname
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 September 2011

We stayed at Glacier Bay Lodge for three nights in early August. We booked a package including all meals and the Glacier Bay cruise. Also arranged our flights to and from Juneau through the lodge. Having read some earlier reviews we were a little apprehensive but would have to say that overall we had a very good experience and loved our stay at Glacier Bay Lodge. Rooms are basic but more than adequate, food was general good and our package provided more than we could consume! Tour of Glacier Bay was an excellent day. In addition we did a whale watching tour and were fortunate to see a lot of hump backs. Overall and excellent stay and all the staff were friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Roger H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2011

The lodge is in a beautiful location in Bartlett Cove. From the dining room and deck, we watched many humpback whales feeding and breaching. The rooms were basic, but you are out in the middle of the woods. Food was generally good. The waitstaff were extremely friendly but the rest were a little inconsistent. Overall, a very convenient and pleasant place to stay for visiting Glacier Bay.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank nybos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2011

We recently spent 2 nights at the Glacier Bay Lodge. We opted to do the all-inclusive version which included two menu based dinners and two buffet breakfasts as well as the on site whale watching trip which included a lunch. (I am not sure why but our package did not include lunch on our second full day there...)

The lodge itself is smallish and a bit drab compared to other national park lodges we have visited but was functional. The building contained the lodge desk, the dining room, a small seating area by a fire place, a large balcony that overlooked the beautiful bay, a small giftshop and upstairs a ranger-staffed exhibit area. Our arrival at Gustavus airport was a bit disorganized as we had booked the trip through Grayline and thus expected to be met and directed by someone from the tour company. However, the lodge does send a large school bus to pick up guests and luggage when large flights arrive so we were able to figure it out. The rooms are not in the main lodge building and are instead spaced out along a boardwalk that runs adjacent to the lodge. When we first checked into the lodge we were given a room that looked immediately on the lodge itself which was very disappointing because it promised to be noisy and bright and we had come to see nature and the great expanses. We went back to the desk and had an awkward few minutes dealing with the college kid staffing the desk until someone with slightly more knowledge came back and found us a different room away from the hubbub. (Unfortunately the bulk of the people working at the lodge seem to be young people who are seasonal and are from every where but AK and thus have little experience in the industry or with AK. They were generally pleasant if not always knowledgable.) The new room was wonderful! It was toward the back of the property with our window looking directly into the woods. The rooms were functional but not luxurious. It did have a full bathroom with a tub which was nice as well as nice heavy comforter with a flannel cover on the bed whereas the first room had had a Motel 6 type polyester bedspread. It seems that the rooms vary a lot in terms of lay outs, views and characteristics. One note about the rooms is that supposedly there is an option to pay more for rooms with a "view" but from what we could tell walking around the property, the area was so wooded that even rooms that looked toward the bay probably didn't have much view other than of the trees. We were pleased where we ended up.

The dining room is small and is the only place to eat at the lodge. It seems like it would have been possible to work with the lodge to get to the town itself to eat there but shuttle/bus schedules were eratic at best and did not seem to particularly adhere to convenience for the guests so I am not sure how difficult it would have been to arrange. Nothing was within walking distance of the lodge. For people who like to eat at prime times, reservations were critical (and probably recommended just to be safe the rest of the time). We had come from the east coast and wanted to eat much earlier than others so did not have a problem. We really enjoyed the food and the all-inclusive package provided much more than we cared to eat including: one appetizer each, soup or salad each, one entree each and one dessert each. The breakfast was a decent buffet. Our only bad experience with the food was that we ordered their nacho plate on our last day for lunch since we had seen others eating it while we were there and it was huge. When it arrived however, because we had asked for it vegetarian style, it literally had a couple bits of melted cheese and some sour creme and that was it! The food is pretty outrageously priced if you are ordering a la carte so requested that the waiter ask the kitchen to find something more to put on the plain chips that were costing us around $12. They obliged and it came back slightly better. Apparently the issue was that since we were there at the very end of the season they were literally running out of food so didn't have many options. Might have been better if they had told us that before we ordered but it ended up being ok. We felt the chowder, Fairweather salad, and salmon cakes among others were excellent.

One nice aspect of the hotel was that it did have a small self service laundry room with two washers and dryers where you could wait in line to process your clothes after being out in the rain all day.

We really did enjoy our stay there. We would wake up before dawn and could already hear the whales blowing from the lodge balcony and the boat trip was wonderful. We saw more species of wildlife on the day trip in Glacier Bay than we did on our subsequent small ship cruise. We saw whales, sea otters, seals, sea lions, eagles, puffins, and mountain goats just from the boat as well as a black bear in the park. The boat from the lodge was also used as a ferry for remote campers and kayakers going into and out of the back country which was neat to see. While we were jealous for a few minutes, I was glad to have a warm comfortable room to return to after cold wet activities for the day. Being at the lodge and having immediate access to the national park exhibits, rangers, and activities was wonderful. Glacier Bay was truly one of the loveliest places I have ever visited and was a high point of our 12 day trip to AK.

Other than going to the airport we did not visit the tiny town of Gustavus so I cannot speak to its amenities. However, for convenience to the park, you cannot beat the lodge.

Room Tip: Ask for rooms away from the lodge building itself for more quiet and privacy. Be aware that rooms fa...
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank spgtraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2011

Glacier Bay Lodge was really nice. There is plenty to do at and around the Lodge. The dining room menu was very good! And on top of all of that...we took the day cruise. What a great way to end a great trip to Alaska!

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank 1ladybug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Glacier Bay Lodge

Address: 179 Barlett Cove, Gustavus, AK 99826
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Alaska > Gustavus
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Gustavus
Price Range: $211 - $223 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Glacier Bay Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 48
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Also Known As:
Glacier Bay Hotel Gustavus
Glacier Bay Lodge Gustavus, Alaska

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