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“AMAZING Stay of a lifetime” 5 of 5 stars
Review of River House

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River House
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3 River Road, Haines, AK 99827   |  
Hotel amenities
Berkeley, California
1 review
“AMAZING Stay of a lifetime”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2014

After visiting Haines for 10 years i can tell you that the the River House is an incredible place to stay- i HIGHLY recommend it. It was built by a friend of mine and is a piece of art. Its location, close to town AND on the river could not be better. The current owner, Deb, is lovely and so very kind. Staying here will bring you much rest and JOY!

Room Tip: Stay at least a week- 2 weeks is even better!
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
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9 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2014

As host of the TV travel show GLOBETREKKER, I have traveled to over 40 countries and on my own, I have traveled extensively. I have slept in every imaginable bedroom from luxury to down home hotels to mud baked huts to yurts and retreat spas to B&Bs and guest houses of every kind. You name it. Many of these places were truly wonderful and yet, if I had to choose ONE place I'd return to, it would be the upstairs of THE RIVER HOUSE. In fact I have returned to the River House twice and I plan to go again. In fact I loved it there so much I dreamt of giving it all up and moving to Haines but then I realized that what I most loved about Haines was the River House and the owner wasn't in a position to sell it! If you have 1 week and you want to sleep in peace and wake up to beauty, and find yourself in a rhythm of life that will rest and awaken your soul, then look no further than the River House in Haines Alaska. Haines is a magical place and I rarely use that word. The River House, the upstairs, is cozy, and comfortable and the kitchen offers all that you need to prepare your own meals. The house was hand built and you can see how thoughtfully it was constructed to make the most of the space in an aesthetically pleasing and practical way. Best of all, the River House offers SPECTACULAR views. With 18-20 hours of daylight in the summer months, you get a whole lot of time to view the view. And in the darkest night the moon casts its glow over the majestic mountains. The scenery, day and night, is so breathtaking that I found it hard to sleep becaue I just wanted to keep my eyes open and so as to take in the beauty.There is a telescope in the River House and one can spend hours bear spotting. The Bald Eagles are ubiquitous in Haines. The view of the water and the mountains will inspire you to become a poet or a painter. This is a wonderful space for couples and for singles. The owner, Deb, lives in the house just above the River House. She is one of the most unique marvelous persons I have ever met and possesses a profound wealth of knowledge about the state of Alaska (she used to work in Alaskan politics). Her dog Rufous is hilariously large and friendly. Haines has one of the best libraries of any small city in the USA with a huge DVD collection. There is a terrific natural grocery store, a wonderful brewery, some terrific restaurants, brilliant art galleries, lovely hikes, and a marvelous bookstore. But if you are staying at the River House you might find that you won't want to do anything more than sit on the porch at the River House and admire the water and the snow capped mountains. Enjoy! Justine Shapiro, San Francisco California

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Alberta, Canada
Top Contributor
124 reviews 124 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013

This was our favourite place we stayed on our trip to Alaska in June; staying 3 days here , one of the 10 different places we stayed. The scenery is spectacular and views from every room. Homey and comfortable, clean and has everything one needs. Deborah has a real interest in her guests and her environment.
We used the wood stove to get the chill out. Great place to return after a day of hiking. If I came back to Alaska, I would want to come back to Haines and to Riverhouse.

Room Tip: Pick the upper level with full kitchen and livingroom.
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  • Stayed June 2013, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palos Heights, Illinois
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
105 helpful votes 105 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2012

I have traveled throughout much of Alaska but in my opinion tiny Haines, Alaska ranks as perhaps the most beautifully positioned little town in the entire state. Dwarfed by jagged mountains that scrape the sky, Haines nestles on the northern reaches of the Lynn Canal, a 4 1/2 hour ferry ride from Juneau.

For my husband and me, Haines’ River House vacation rental is a great property to rent, located along the wide tidal flats of the Chilkat River. Location, location, LOCATION! River House has it all with spectacular views of icy glaciated mountains looming over the Chilkat River greeting visitors every day from the windows and deck of the house. Early or late in the day be on the lookout for brown bears searching for food at low tide or strolling down the quiet lane that passes by the house. Eagles soar overhead and are often seen scavenging for a meal on the river’s tidal flats. Many times during our visits my husband and I found it difficult to leave the River House, content to while away the hours watching the play of light across the mountains.

On to more practical matters; River House can be rented in its entirety or the Upper Level (full bath, full kitchen, wood burning stove, living room and dining area) or the Lower Level (Bedroom, sitting area, efficiency kitchenette, full bath with washer and dryer) can be rented separately. My husband and I have rented the Upper Level twice (once in November and again in August), feeling very comfortable in our home away from home. NOTE: the Upper Level is accessed by a set of stairs and the Upper Level’s bedroom is located upstairs via a circular staircase so bear this in mind if mobility impaired.

River House offers comfortable furnishings, a spotlessly clean interior, abundant kitchen utensils, wifi and cable television that make this vacation rental welcoming to visitors. Hostess/owner Deb is particularly accommodating, helpfully offering information about local tours, galleries, stores and restaurants. During our first visit to Haines in November our rental car was unfortunately pushed off an icy snow-packed road into a ditch by a pick up truck during a snowstorm. Deb offered to drive us back into town to help us get all the post-accident details sorted out. That’s very kind, memorable Alaskan hospitality!

A car is a necessity if staying at River House in order to drive into town, look for bears and salmon out on the nearby Chilkoot River during summer, or to drive up to the Valley of the Eagles along the Chilkat River any time of the year. Haines offers many good choices for dining. For retail therapy, several galleries and gift shops are located in town. Many restaurants and stores are closed off-season although during summertime local businesses are open. A well-stocked grocery is located in town and a local wine shop offers plenty of good bottle selections. We have purchased flash frozen, vacuum-packed halibut and salmon to cook at River House from “Dejon Delights” (try their smoked salmon too!) and the local cannery. Be sure to check for hours and whether they are open.

Fortunately only a few mega-cruise liners visit Haines during summer so Haines still retains small town charm that is absent in cruise-dominated Alaskan towns. Happily there are no cruise-affiliated diamond and t-shirt stores lining streets in Haines! It’s a sleepy and laid back little town. On non-cruise ship days, it’s a pleasure to speak with locals one meets on the street, at the local bookstore or the fish taco stand. The fast ferry from Skagway shuttles cruise passengers to Haines for excursions but they only go on tours and then leave Haines quiet once more when returned to their mega-ships.

If you are a traveler looking for a special Alaskan experience spend some time in beautiful Haines. To make your visit even more memorable, book the River House. If you are like us, it’s likely you’ll never want to leave.

  • Stayed August 2011, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whitehorse, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2012

We love this place! Although one of the pricier options in Haines, the stunning mountain and ocean views, superb craftsmanship and fully equipped kitchen make it all worthwhile. It's just steps away from quiet and wild Mud Bay and a short walk to funky "downtown" Haines or Fort Seward. Would be perfect for our small family if main floor couch was a hide-a-bed, but we make it work! Can't wait to go back.

Room Tip: Upper level has full kitchen and dining area - lower level is mostly a bedroom and bathroom with sma...
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ft Collins, CO
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2012

Summer 2012 will be our 5th (successive) annual stay at the River House (large main floor unit with spacious (no partions) kitchen, dining room and living room plus full bath and with bed room up the spiral stairs. No other commercial lodging in Haines offers the spectacular views of the snow/glaicer covered mountains (rising up >3,000 feet) across the Chilkat River which are seen from the main floor (dining table, sofa, or deck) or upper bedroom where you can lay in bed or the special relaxing window ledge to take in the view. Herons and other birds come and go from the land across the road as the tide comes and goes 2X daily. The upper bed room has a large skylite deck that you have to experience. All rooms have good cross ventilartion and AC is not an issue; heat on main floor is easy to control propane unit (there also is a wood stove). The furniture is appropriate and comfortable, and the dining table can expand to accommodate 6-8 adults. Bedding is more than sufficient. The kitchen is well equipped and a barbacue is handy for fresh fish. For us, a great feature is that walking north along the river for as far as you choose (usually see eagles and evidence of bears), or exploring the estuary to the south. Trail heads for Mt Riley and Moose Meadows are short drives. There is a ridge between the River House and down town, but the 20-30 minute walk is OK if you are not after a complete re-stock.

The owner lives in neighboring house (up the ridge). She keeps place well stocked, cleaned, and works to make your stay delightful.

Some might find the easy flight of stairs from the parking area to the main unit (serves well to take off muddy boots) or the circular stairs between the main floor and upper bed room beyond their tolerance, but we (both >77) have no problem. Access to the lower unit is easy unless one is in a wheelchair. [The general terrain is not ADA friendly.] The bathroom is functional, not fancy, and adequately sized although compact.

Room Tip: Take the main floor unit.
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about River House

Address: 3 River Road, Haines, AK 99827
Location: United States > Alaska > Haines
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Haines
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 2
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Charming cottage on the mouth of the Chilkat River, where the fresh water meets the saltwater. Stunning river and mountain views, great wildlife viewing opportunities. Migrating birds, brown bears, moose, wolves, coyotes, sea lions have all been seen. Spotting scope in upstairs unit. Close to town but feels miles away. BBQ; sauna. Open spring skiing through fall silvers and Eagle Fest.Fully equipped kitchen in one unit, mini-kitchen in the other. Living area, dining table, deck, picnic table, w/d. Three night minimum; pets on approval. ... more   less 

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