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“FANTASTIC PLACE--GREAT WAY TO EXPERIENCE KENAI FJORDS NATIONAL PARK” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge

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Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge
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Aialik Bay, Kenai Fjords National Park, AK 99664   |  
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Springfield, IL
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“FANTASTIC PLACE--GREAT WAY TO EXPERIENCE KENAI FJORDS NATIONAL PARK”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2011

We just returned from 12 days in Alaska visiting the Kenai Peninsula and Denali National Park and this place was my absolute favorite. I hesitated to book it because of the price but it was worth every dollar. We stayed for two nights and hated to leave. It all started with a 4 hour boat ride to our destination with many stops on the way looking at a variety of wildlife and glaciers which took the place of booking a separate wildlife and glacier cruise. The cabins were tucked away amongst the trees with a view of the lagoon and the lodge looked out over the Pedersen Glacier. The setting was just stunning. We canoed to the upper lagoon which wowed us with the beautiful ice formations in the water. We kayaked to the Aialik Glacier for an all day adventure eating lunch next to the Glacier as it was calving. It should be noted that we are not experienced kayakers but had great direction from our guide with no problems. We canoed and hiked to the Pedersen Glacier for some more fantastic scenery. The guides were all very knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. In addition, if you are looking for peace and quiet--this is the quietest place I have ever been. The other plus was the food. It was outstanding. My husband is a picky eater and he was eating things I have never seen him eat before. So my advice to anyone thinking about booking this place is don't hesitate to do it. With all the activities that we did , the great food and accommodations and the beautiful setting I believe it is a great value for your money and an experience that you will never forget.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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85 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
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English first
Oakland, CA
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2011

The lodge has been well described in other reviews, so i won't reiterate all the details. Suffice it to say, a 3 hour boat ride (in and of itself a worthy excursion) takes you away from it all, to a group of 16 comfy cabins, nestled at the foot of Pederson Glacier. A common lodge house for meals, drinks, nature talks, and daytime excursions (mainly sea kayaking, hiking) that are epically wonderful.

The Travel Channel was there, doing a profile of "VIP alaska lodges" and followed us around one evening for an after dinner hike (alaska, summer, no nighttime!) and we had a safe and wonderful encounter with a black bear, who my daughter named Franklin, which coincidentally is the name of the big bear of a chef who whips up miracles nightly! I suspect that's gonna let the secret out, however!

I'd strongly recommend three nights instead of just two (which only give you one FULL day on site, since you arrive on boat in afternoon and leave mid-day as well) but two would be a minimum.

Bring bug spray, but with 30% DEET, we got one bite among the four of us.

Food wonderful, and guides (especially brian....ah, brian, our family has a bit of a brian crush, i think) amazing.

Yes, expensive, but all inclusive (except beer/wine).

And for us, a truly once-in-a-lifetime way to experience a magical place, in relative solitude, with great comfort.

Room Tip: All cabins the same, and great.
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madera, CA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2011

This lodge provides the most unique vacationing experience I have ever had. Your journey begins in Seward, where you climb aboard the perfect-sized boat (not too many people) and cruise down Resurrection Bay and into the fjords. During this enchanting 2-3 hour boat ride, we saw orcas, humpbacks, harbor seals, sea lions, and puffins. A pod of Dall porpoises even played with our boat for about 15 minutes on the return trip! It was amazing! On the way, you get to see unusual rock formations and glacial capped mountains. Then we admired the magnificent calving of Aialik Glacier. Next, the boat brought us to a boat landing where we were greeted by staff. A short 1/2 mile walk into the woods, and here is this fabulous lodge with all the comforts of home. The view of Pederson Glacier is striking and different at all hours of the day! The cabins were comfy, the food was delicious, the guides are top-notch, and the staff is very friendly! I felt like I was a million miles away, yet was able to enjoy the luxuries of a prestigious hotel. Perfection!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2011

We did not hear about this beautiful cabin based lodge situated right across from the Pederson Glacier, until we actually visited Alaska and did a one day kayaking trip at Aialik Bay, and the guide mentioned it as an option if we did not want to camp overnight. We loved the area so much, we booked a cabin the next night and stayed for two more days. After spending two weeks in Alaska, we feel Kenai Fjords is the best place to see sea-wildlife, explore glaciers by kayak, and experience true sea wilderness. This is a perfect place for couples or family who may not feel comfortable camping overnight and 'roughing it', although if you do stay here I highly recommend staying at least two nights. Although the costs might seem prohibitive, keep in mind included in this cost are several excursion options including a trip to beautiful Abra Cove across the bay, a day trip to Aialik glacier, and a canoe trip to the upper lagoon at Pederson glacier. Keep in mind, the latter option only is possible if you spend at least two nights because the first day your boat ride will likely come in around 2-3pm and the high tide must be rolling in for this excursion to be possible (otherwise the creek between the two lagoons is flowing away from the glacier, and would be impossible to to row). High tide ranges quite a bit, but at least when we visited, it was around the 1-3pm window. So if you spend a one night stay, you will likely arrive too late to do the trip the first day, and you have to board the boat by around the same time the next day, and will not be able to do it the next. The trip to Aialik glacier is worth it too (lots of calving, and a nice rocky beach to eat lunch and watch from), and so really to get the whole experience of what this lodge can offer you access to, you are looking at a 3 night stay (canoe the 2nd lagoon first day as an intro, abra cove in AM, upper lagoon at Pederson in PM, then Aialik glacier on the 2nd full day, then perhaps relax on the AM before leaving). When considering the cost, keep in mind full day boat shuttle and kayaking trips to this area can cost as much as $300-400, so the cost of the lodge is actually quite reasonable if you have the time. The food and service is well done, the staff seem very happy and blessed to be working here, and you have the likely possibility of seeing black bears in the area as well (thankfully, we only saw 2 at a distance). This place has only been open for 3 years so it is somewhat of a 'well kept secret', but not likely for much longer. Each cabin has views of Pederson glacier, has hot water, a balcony with chairs to relax on, and none are 'second rate' although they are apparently building a "VIP" suite for investors.

Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
central pennsylvania
Top Contributor
128 reviews 128 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
166 helpful votes 166 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2010

A lovely lodge, much more than we expected due to the isolation. To get there we had a wonderful 4 hour ride with views of porpoises, seals, and many birds, including both kinds of puffins. Orcas were in the area but we didn't see them. A stop at the face of the Aialik Glacier with car-sized chunks falling off. We had never experienced the sounds of a glacier and were in awe. Then you are landed on a rocky beach and walk another 1/2 hr into a modern, clean, lovely lodge. Each individual cabin has a big picture window and a porch with a view of the lagoon, seals, otters, birds, bears (lots of bears) and the Pedersen Glacier. The staff was helpful and knew the area well. The canoe and kayak trips were fun. Our only complaint was that the hikes were short and too easy....they seem to be geared for a less able clientele at the moment. But we'd go back in a heartbeat.
The Wildlands folks are a quality operation.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ingatestone, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
152 helpful votes 152 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2010

My husband and I visited KFGL for two nights in early September. We were very lucky with the weather as they had just had over 30 days straight of bad weather - we arrived for the sunshine!

The boat ride to the lodge was fantastic - there were only 8 of us on our way out to the lodge, so we had plenty of room to move around and take photos of puffins, sealions, otters, porpoises, eagles, etc etc. The boat also took us up to the Aialik glacier to see it calving for about 45 minutes before going to the lodge, which was a nice experience.

On arriving at the lodge, we were greeted by some friendly staff members and shown around. We were in cabin number 8 (to the left if you are standing in front of the lodge looking at Pedersen glacier). The lower numbered cabins 1-9 are to the left of the lodge, and the higher ones are to the right; ours had a fantastic view of the glacier, although the higher numbered ones looked like they may have had more trees in front of them. Our cabin was great - it still felt new and it was quiet, clean and cosy, and had two comfy double beds, a deck with a great view of the glacier, and a window to the side, looking towards where the black bears seemed to hang out.

We saw several black bears whilst we were there, some walked past our cabin and the lodge a couple of times - we saw most of the bears further over to the left of the lodge (past cabin number 1).

We did a couple of the excursions - the aialik glacier day drip by kayak was great; reasonably strenuous if you are not used to kayaking, and I would imagine a little to tough for some of the elderly guests who were staying there (a large proportion of the people we saw staying at KFGL were in their 60s and 70s, and they were unable to do some of the trips on offer). Make sure you take a waterproof camera if you do this trip. You can also go walking on your own, but the front desk will give you pepper spray for protection just in case. There was a selection of about 3 or 4 trips to do - we stayed two nights and did 3 of them. The canoe and walk up to Pedersen Glacier was great; I'd recommend that one. I would recommend staying 2 nights - one night isn't enough to enjoy this location and the activities on offer.

The staff were nice - Gus and Foe particular were our two regular guides - both very good, and they really looked after us. Foe did a presentation about the building of the lodge one night, which was really interesting.

Food was amazing - gorgeous prime rib one night, yummy halibut the next. Lunch was a buffet-style affair with soup and sandwiches, etc. We were in foodie heaven!

This is definitely a place that I would love to return to - so peaceful and relaxing; you can do as much or as little as you feel like. Sitting in a canoe on the lagoon watching otters playing, eagles soaring, and bears strolling on the shore.... I want to be there again now!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
158 helpful votes 158 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2010

We toured Alaska (4 Nat'l Parks) in 2 weeks. We are very adventurous and like to hike, kayak, etc... Our travel agent told us about this lodge so we opted to start our trip in Kenai (2 nights).

Three nights might haven been better, but we opted to spend 3 nights at Kennicott Glacier Lodge in McCarthy, AK (see other review) where there are more strenuous/variety of activities. My boyfriend thought 2 nights was perfect.

This is a light - moderate activities lodge. If you are looking for more strenuous activities, this is not the place for you.

This was the nicest (and newest) of all our accommodations throughout the trip and the Kenai National Park scenery is amazing.

We tend to like 5-star properties but in Alaska, this is unrealistic. This lodge is as close to 5-star as you'll get in Alaska.

The cabins are quant and comfortable. Pull out the REI down comforter under your bed for that extra cozy feel. Most cabins have an obstructed view of Pedersen Glacer, which was the intent in building it. They were very eco-friendly and wanted to make sure the buildings blend with nature. We were in Cabin # 5 which seemed to have the least obstructed view!

It rains A LOT in Alaska and the 2 hour boat ride to the lodge was rough on the stomach due to bad weather. The second day the skies opened up to beautiful sunshine and beautiful scenery. And, we saw whales on our boat ride back to Seward, AK. Awesome!

We took the full-day kayak trip to the Aialik Glacier which was one of the highlights of the entire trip. We also did the 1/2 day Pedersen Glacier hike which was nice.

Overall, the food and staff are excellent and the rooms are charming. This lodge is worth the money and the location is unmatched. And, the mama bear with cubs we saw outside the dining hall added that extra special touch!

Turn your blackberry's and cell phones off. There is NO SERVICE in this part of the world.

We LOVE this place!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge

Address: Aialik Bay, Kenai Fjords National Park, AK 99664
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Alaska > Kenai Fjords National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Kenai Fjords National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge is an all-inclusive wilderness lodge located within Kenai Fjords National Park. Nestled within a Native-owned wildlife sanctuary on the edge of a protected lagoon, Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge and guest cabins enjoy stunning views of Pedersen Glacier. The rugged beauty of Alaska's spectacular seacoast and abundant marine wildlife is balanced nicely with the creature comforts of private cabins, a cozy main Lodge and hearty meals with gourmet flair. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Kenai Fjords Glacier Hotel Kenai Fjords National Park
Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

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