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“Super Innkeeper - A #1 in my book!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ballaine House Bed and Breakfast

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Ballaine House Bed and Breakfast
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437 Third Ave, Seward, AK 99664-2051   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 52 Seward B&B and Inns
Santa Cruz, CA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Super Innkeeper - A #1 in my book!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2008

Marlee is an amazing hostess/innkeeper/concierge/driver/cook whose hospitality made the experience overall an outstanding one. I was at first hesitant because I had read a review that indicated trouble contacting her. This was not my experience. She was responsive, even though we were booking well before the season started for travel in May, and included so much information on local activities plus offers for discounts and help in arranging activities that we were nearly overwhelmed. The house is not fancy, but is cute and homey. Marlee's e-mails helped us decide what room to select, and it seemed there were rooms in several sizes, for travelers with varied budgets.
Marlee was so nice, picked us up at the train station, arranged activities, etc. etc., and her staff were equally friendly and conscientious. Although we normally "do our own thing" when traveling, Marlee arranged for all the guests to visit Exit glacier our first night, and recommended the local Salmon Bake. We had a ball and enjoyed getting to know Marlee and the other guests. She definitely contributed to the convivial atmosphere. As a plus, she is extremely knowledgeable about the area, which added to our enjoyment of our visit there. (Don't miss the aquarium!)

  • Liked — Marlee and her outstanding hospitality; camaraderie among guests
  • Disliked — can't think of anythig
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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101 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Houston
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2007

The Ballaine House is a nice enough place to stay in Seward. But the incredible service from the hostess Marlee was what impressed us the most. She not only runs the B&B and keeps it clean, she also acts as concierge, waitress, chef, launderer, chauffer, and somehow manages to seem genuinely concerned that every single guest have a wonderful time. I felt like I was staying at my aunt's house, not at a B&B. I'm a fairly private person, and wasn't so sure if I'd like having someone so involved in my travels. Now that we've stayed there, I'm 100% satisfied that we went with the true B&B experience that Marlee provides and would definitely stay here again.

  • Liked — Marlee, the hostess, is exceptionally talented at what she does - make everyone feel welcome!
  • Disliked — House is very old, and our room smelled a little funny
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco CA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2007

A friend & I stayed at Ballaine House in Seward, AK for 3 days in August. It is a phenomenal B&B, and I don't say that lightly.

Marlee went overboard to cater to travelers' needs. I've stayed in many B&Bs & it's rare that you feel like a place truly is a home away from home and that the proprietor genuinely cares about making sure you enjoy your stay, but Marlee obviously works hard to make sure all guests feel at home. Her enthusiasm and her interest in everyone and their needs really put this B&B in a class by itself.

Beyond a comfortable room, Marlee was patient with all our questions, gave us ideas for things to do, provided discounts on local attractions, had menus for local restaurants, offered free Internet access and even had a bookcase of Alaska videos available to watch.

As for breakfast, Marlee had such a long list of options I needed to have a cup of coffee before I could begin to make a decision. When I asked if she had English muffins, she offered 3 different types! Plus eggs to order, fruit, cereals, etc.

I've read some of the people's reviews that they couldn't get a hold of Marlee. We had no problem getting a response and she even emailed driving directions from Anchorage, gave us a heads up on what to wear on boat cruises, and sent us ideas on things to do around Seward, including a list of hikes.

She was constantly on the go, picking up people, helping guests with their travel plans, offering to do laundry after muddy hikes, and even picking fresh berries for breakfast. So it may not be easy to get reach of her, but it's definitely worth it!

The friendly breakfast table & comfy living room made it easy to talk to other guests. As an unexpected bonus, we became friends with a fellow guest Marlee after took us out to dinner and continue to keep in touch with her.

If you like meeting other travelers and appreciate a hostess who can give you great tips for things to do, I'd highly recommend Ballaine House.

Ballaine House, Seward Alaska <historicsewardbb@yahoo.com>

  • Liked — Marlee the owner really tried to make our stay special
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palm Springs, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2007

This was second visit to Seward, Alaska and our first stay at Ballaine House. Marlee Lusk, the owner, is so very helpful. She goes out of her way to make sure your stay in Seward is not only very comfortable at her historic B&B, but also that your visit to Seward is as full of activities or relaxation as you want it to be. Marlee is very accommodating.....more so than any B&B owner/operator that we have ever encountered anywhere in the world! She was a pleasure to meet and get to know. We will definitely stay with Marlee at Ballaine House again when we return to the beautiful Kenai Peninsula area of Alaska in the future.

  • Liked — Pleaceful and very comfortable atmosphere in this beautiful part of Alaska
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Union, Kentucky
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2007

My husband and I spent 2 nights at Ballaine House during our stay in Seward and we were very happy with our choice. This trip to Alaska was our first experience with bed and breafasts so we were a little hesitant but the Ballaine House turned out to be a great surprise.

Marlee was very helpful with all her informative emails and with answers to all the questions I had before we arrived. Unfortunately we didn't get to meet her. A young lady named Jessica was working there for the summer and she did a great job taking care of everyone. She had great suggestions for activities in town and lots of information about Alaska.

Ballaine House is a traditional B&B with shared bathrooms and home-cooked breakfasts made to order every morning. The house is older but it is well kept and has a very cozy feel. The rooms were very clean, nicely decorated with antique furniture and comfortable beds. There were also tvs in every room and wireless internet access available as well as a desktop computer in the dining room for everyone to share. The house is well within walking distance of everything downtown including the Sea Life Center. The small boat harbor is also within walking distance but a little farther.

Our only complaint was that our room opened up into the kitchen/dining room and we had to walk by everyone in the morning on the way to the bathroom. We would definitely stay here again but would request a room upstairs instead.

  • Liked — location and it felt very welcoming
  • Disliked — shared bathrooms
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2007

Marilee is truly resourceful! Her informations on all the tours and restaurants around Seward are more detailed than any travel books could offer. She can also get you 20% discounts on may day cruses if you stay at Ballaine House.
Marilee is always ready to help and she responded my email very quickly.

Stayed May 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, NC
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2006

I was initially really frustrated with trying to get ahold of someone to make our reservations last year... had called/emailed several times and couldn't get anyone. I tried one last time and PRESTO! Marilee answered the phone and was incredibly gracious and wonderful... she even shuffled some things around so that she could accommodate our dates. She followed up with an email including tons of really valuable tour info and deals... I was thrilled! Unfortunately, we had an emergency arise a few months before our trip was scheduled... when I contacted Marilee to let her know, she was just wonderful and thanked us for letting her know so that she could re-let the rooms... she even asked after my Mom (who we were bringing on the trip). She's a gem! We've rescheduled the trip and I can't wait to be able to stay this year... I don't care how many times I have to call to get a reservation here - I'll do it!

Stayed July 2006
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ballaine House Bed and Breakfast

Address: 437 Third Ave, Seward, AK 99664-2051
Location: United States > Alaska > Seward
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 52 B&Bs / Inns in Seward
Number of rooms: 4
Also Known As:
Ballaine House Hotel Seward
Ballaine House b&b

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