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“THE WORST PLACE I HAVE EVER STAYED IN MY LIFE” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Glacier Guest Suites

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Glacier Guest Suites
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8040 Mt Baker Hwy, Maple Falls, WA 98266   |  
Hotel amenities
park city UT
Top Contributor
126 reviews 126 reviews
111 hotel reviews
Reviews in 79 cities Reviews in 79 cities
139 helpful votes 139 helpful votes
“THE WORST PLACE I HAVE EVER STAYED IN MY LIFE”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2014

It is hard to find the words to express just how atrocious was our stay at the Glacier Guest Suites. Having reviewed over 110 hotels for this site, I think I speak with some authority on what is outstanding, excellent, merely good, fair, poor and truly awful. This place deserves a new category of its own, squarely at the bottom.

Following a dark and rainy drive from Seattle, we came up the Mt. Baker Highway in possession of the “clear directions” to find the entrance to the property. Back and forth we drove only to discover the clear sign was deeply overgrown with weeds, without a light in sight, and no “hotel” anywhere to be seen. We should have turned around then, but we didn't.

Instead, tired travelers we were, we turned into the deeply potholed mud driveway and headed up, slowly. The potholes were so large and deep we had to navigate the car around them as if on some off-road expedition. After winding through the deep grasses and dank forest, past dreary sheds, abandoned rail cars and other industrial detritus, we eventually found first the main building and then, after several passes and flashlight searches, we discovered another overgrown sign pointing toward the “Retreat Unit.” Appropriately named, retreat is exactly what thinking person would have done at this point. Of course, we didn't.

Let’s be clear, the “Retreat Unit” is not a “room” or a “unit”, it is a shipping container. Yes, you read that correctly. And in case you are thinking, “Cool, I’ve seen those things beautifully repurposed in Dwell,” think again. In fact, think of a rusting, stained and banged-up hunk half- sheathed in moldy particle board that one might see languishing on the docks of Port Au Prince, cut in a few windows and a door with a torch, surround it with mud and weeds, and you have the “Retreat Unit.” I was finally ready to pack it in then and there but the GF, being the positive thinking, give-it-the-benefit-of-the-doubt doll that she is, insisted we head inside.

Would that it have been possible to have left my nose outside. Upon entering, the first thing we noticed was not the 2x4s propping up the sagging counter in the kitchen, nor the creepy faux-wood 70’s paneling. It wasn’t the magazine collection 10 years out of date left behind by a decade of victims, nor the red shag carpet and pleather couch adding to the overall horror-movie atmosphere. It wasn't the exposed wiring or even the temperature which was perhaps 2 degrees warmer than outside. No, the first thing that we noticed upon entering was the smell.

Smells are notoriously difficult to capture in words but try to conjure a combination of diesel fuel, ammonia, industrial cleaning solvents, toxic mold and exhaust and you’ll be getting close. It may have been the scary, open flame garage heater that warmed the place causing it, or possibly whatever they used to clean up the crime scene that perhaps preceded our stay? It may have simply been whatever carcinogenic chemical was transported in the container before the owners discovered it in some third-world cesspool and decided to turn it into a hotel. We’ll never know but we do know it never disapaited and by the morning, every article of fabric we made the mistake of bringing inside with us reeked of it; for days later.

I could tell you the bed was terrible. I could mention the dripping condensation covering every surface the following morning. I could show you a picture of the hairs sticking out of the scones left for us for breakfast. I could mention the GF’s “hot shower” which lasted all of 10 seconds before the water turned to glacier runoff. I could even ask myself for the 1000th time why did I pay $100 to spend this night of horror – a sum which is not only embarrassing, outrageous and unethical, but borderline criminal for this disaster. But why? I will never return to this nightmare and you should never even consider staying there. It was, without a doubt, the worst place I have ever paid spent the night.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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10 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    5
    1
    0
    3
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2
5
Solo
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1
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

The main purpose for my trip was to find a place that could accommodate a group of 9 people, was in close proximity to mt. baker for us to go snowboarding,and would offer a quaint cabin feel that was remote and unique from the typical condos and hotels, and in good faith for an affordable price. Considering that i only planned my trip a week in advance, i was very fortunate that I found this offer. The website best describes what you can expect to find, the pictures don't portray the inside of this place as much as it really should. When you first drive into the property, you may start to question how remote the cabin will end up being, to be honest i was slightly concerned that it would be a little less accommodating than what I'm normally use to, being a city girl and all.... but once I walked up into the suite, i was quite relieved. The view was amazing, it was very clean, and it the collection of games, books, and entertainment were a very nice touch that were quite amusing, but it made me appreciate the place that much more. It was really sweet that they had also stalked the place with food as well, even when we were gone for the day they had placed a fresh new basket of muffins and fruit at the door (I am having a hard time finding any muffins that could even compare to the ones they had). Although I never had the chance to meet the owner in person, he was very welcoming and was great in getting back to my inquiries by phone and email. Overall, a very good experience. Some things you can't really expect from this place is any phone service (you won't pick up anything from miles away), and a 5 star lodge hotel (honestly... you really shouldn't have that high of expectations if your in this area!) The downstairs restroom is a little odd in its layout but hey, i managed to have a comfortable stay and I should also add that i forgot to bring my bag with ALL my travel necessities... I think i said it all. I suggest you book both rooms with a max of 9 people, and stay at least two nights. It's worth it!

Enjoy your stay!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
Albany, New York
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2012

We paid about $160 for one night in the Glacier Suite. While the owner was very nice, there were pastries and fresh fruit available I do not think that the state of the accommodation or the view of Mt. Baker were worth the price. I think that $100 would have been a more appropriate price.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Providence, Rhode Island
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2012

We stayed in the Alpenglow suite, in our case the two seperate rooms, with bathroom and laundry on a lower level, were quite acceptable, for our party of four;

If you are looking for a retreat to a quieter time, a restful place, yet with a rustic flavour, this could be what you want;
any minor inconveniences, were outweighed by the basic comfort, outdoor setting, location and reasonable pricing.

We wanted a place mid-way, on the Mt Baker service road, so that we could go hiking the next morning, after spending a day driving up the coast from Seattle-Whidbey Island-Anacortes; We allowed time to get there before dusk; Our timing was great, as the light off Mt Baker was very nice... if you can imagine waking in the morning to a view of that summit, nestled in a warm bed, and plesant surroundings, then you should consider visiting this place... The mountain and general weather at this time of year, area noting short of near peak enjoyment.

If you are a city hound, expecting seattle coffe, and luxurant breakfasts, perhaps you should look elsewhere...or bring your own "necessities"; There are local spots offering more breakfast options.. we just wanted to relax, in a rural environment, but that is not what our needs or focus were..

My wife and I are retired, educator/scientist, and my daughter, an elementary math/sci teacher, and her friend, an environmental scientist... We found this a place to relax, read, and enjoy the quite of the woods. We all like the out-of-doors, so perhaps that colored our experience as very favourable..

Our host and his family, went out of their way, to accommodate us, and provide a clean, rustic place. I found the Mt-Baker.com website an accurate portrayal. We could resonate with the large majority ofcomments of the reviews from that site. The pictures thereon, were good, but the experience of awaking to a spectacular view of Mt Baker, is perhaps beyond pictures.

The expereince of the countable few who did not like this place, were un-imaginable to us, as contrary to our observations.
I would expect that they wanted a city type facility, or had never been in a cabin like environment.

I would recommend, and have recommended this place to those serious about having a peaceful place to relax, privately; yet knowing that their host will try his best to accommodate, reasonable needs.

We saw may bikers and hikers along the miles up to the Mt.Baker Meadows and ski lift areas, and could see this place as a nice place to based from; I only regret that our travel itinery, and work constraints, only allowed us to stay for much too short of a time.

We would definitely stay here again.

Thanks Bill, Julie and Jeffery
Sam & Nancy

Room Tip: This is a great place for reading and reflection; for a base for hiking or your outdoor activities...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2012

We wondered whether we had done the right thing on arrival but had the luck to be met by the owner and his son and we were kindly welcomed. A place for our good walking shoes. And our Forester AWD was not out of place--- nor we found later was the flashlight we keep ready!
After two nights in the Alpenglow Suite we extended our stay and moved into the Glacier Suite ------ preferred as all on one level.

Breakfast muffins and blueberries delivered to the room were excellent. We would stay again.

Room Tip: Choose the Glacier Suite if ensuite bathroom on same level preferred.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Seattle, Washington
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2012

I recently had a very enjoyable stay at this B&B. It is by no means fancy but is spotlessly clean, warm and cozy. It you are looking for the kind of B&B you might find in Port Townsend, Washington, this is not the place for you, and you should look closely at their web site, which makes it clear there is no sit-down breakfast, only pastries in the rooms. If you are looking for a quiet retreat surrounded by forest, with great views and ready access to winter sports and hiking, this is a good choice. Like the last reviewer, I was surprised by the negative reviews and asked the innkeeper about them. As to the "stay away" review, my understanding is a couple from Canada reserved a room for an extended stay. The woman apparently had an urban B&B in mind, as she showed up in high heels. Obviously disappointed by the outside appearance of the property, they fabricated a claim that their room smelled bad. The innkeeper asked them to come inside and show him where the smell was located, which they refused to do. Having set aside several days of reservations for this couple, he insisted on being paid. The other negative reviewer also obviously was expecting a different sort of B&B experience. The claim that the place is not warm enough is not accurate. I turned the heat off in the night, even though it was quite cold outside and slept comfortably. If your idea of a good B&B is lots of interaction with the innkeepers, this is not the place for you. Again, the web site makes clear you may not see the innkeeper at all during you stay.

Room Tip: Either room is fine. One has a large bath and the other a sitting room/extra bed.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled on business
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2012

I almost wonder if I am posting my review for the right accommodations, but know I am.

The two negative reviews have curious inaccuracies that seem quite odd.

My experience was great! Yes, this place is rustic in age and design, but it is very comfortable. Heating was no issue, and we could make the place toasty warm with the gas stove/fireplace.

The view is spectacular, and the hosts were exceptionally hospitable providing a tasty breakfast nibble as part of your stay.

If you are looking for a Hilton, then no this won't do, but if you are looking for a quaint, relaxing, tucked out of the way accommodation in a spectacular setting, then this will definitely fit the bill!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Glacier Guest Suites

Address: 8040 Mt Baker Hwy, Maple Falls, WA 98266
Location: United States > Washington > Maple Falls
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Maple Falls
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
It's near Mount Baker, WA ... more   less 

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