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“WOW What a view!!!”
Review of Kenai Lake Resort

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Kenai Lake Resort
Rockford, Illinois
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“WOW What a view!!!”
Reviewed August 8, 2008

This was our first trip to Alaska and also our belated honeymoon. We wanted a quiet cabin on a lake with a mountain view, and our cabin delivered. We stayed in cabin number three which was very nice with everything we needed including a small kitchen and a covered grill so we could cook. The view out the front window was wonderful; a lake with a mountain in the background. Everything in the cabin worked just fine with no problems. The hot water is VERY hot and almost immediate. The owners are adding new amenities to the office and campground area which was great to see. They have WiFi in and near the office which was good to use when needed. The owner was very nice and attentive to our needs when we had a little problem with our neighbors traipsing back and forth through our front yard.....(if someone stands in front of your cabin they can see the whole inside less the bathroom; however, no complaints about that as the unobstructed view out the picture window is worth it!! and unless there is someone in your yard, you don't notice the neighbors or the other cabins at all.) All in all we really loved staying at this resort and we would not hesitate to stay there again.

  • Liked — The mountain/lake view, off the beaten path, quiet
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank LoveAlaskanStyle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Atlanta, GA
Level Contributor
43 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed July 30, 2008

I reserved one of their cabins 4 months before our arrival. We arrived very late but had called ahead so they had directions and a key available. Good thing for the map because finding the cabin number was a challenge!

The door faces the lake and there couldn't be a more beautiful setting. The cabins are far enough apart that you really don't see the others and you feel very secluded. Their website lacks a lot of info so I'll try to give as much detail as I can. There's no phone, no tv, no radio and no wifi. It's you and nature. The cabin has that gas smell that's typical of a place using propane heat. It's rustic because of the lack of amenities and it's seclusion. But the appointments inside are really very nice -- log-type furniture. My one complaint was that if you want to sit down you have to use a kitchen chair or the futon bed in the alcove. They could use a nice easy chair or small sofa. The kitchen has a small, dorm size refrigerator and a small range (I think there was an oven, but I know there was a cooktop). Ours was cabin 2. As you walk in there was a spiral stairway leading to the loft. The loft had a queen size bed and nothing else. Reading lights were on either side attached to the wall. Downstairs there's a picture window framing the gorgeous view of the lake, and snow capped mountains beyond. The dining table and chairs are against the window with the kitchenette opposite. Back in the nook behind the spiral stairs is a bunkbed with single on top and double futon on bottom. The bathroom had plenty of towels and was modern enough, although the shower stall (no tub) was small. Except the bathroom (and maybe the kitchen) the whole place is carpeted in green low loop carpet. It looks and feels clean.

Unfortunately for us, we got there at 1:30 am which was 5:30 am to us. I hopped in the shower and the water was cold. We tried everything to get it warm and it wasn't happening. The next day after working on it quite a bit the maintenance man couldn't get it going either. So we had to leave and find another place to stay on 4th of July week!

The office is undergoing a major renovation and will obviously be very nice when it's finished. The lady in the office (I think she was the owner) was very nice and apologetic about the hot water situation. She tried everything to make it right, refunded our other nights and gave us a discount for the one night.

If isolation (and literally fishing out your back door) is your thing this is the place for you. There was a firepit by the lake and it would have been a great place for solitude and just us. But you really are in the woods. Before I went to sleep that night a spider ran out from under my pillow (my head on it) and I killed a mosquito as big as my thumb (I later learned typical for Alaska). Armed with bug spray I would have enjoyed lounging on the porch which did have chairs. Also, they say you can get a wifi signal near the office but we weren't there long enough to test it out.

I wish their web site had more information. Knowing what to expect would bring them more business, I think.

  • Liked — beautiful surroundings, nice for rustic
  • Disliked — broken hot water heater, web site with little info
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank georgia1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed October 14, 2007

We stayed here for two nights on our driving trek from New York to Alaska. This place used to be Renfro's Lakeside Retreat and we booked it in January with the Renfros. However, they sold it to another family in the spring. We booked this place because of the top reviews on this Web site (see "Renfro's Lakeside Retreat"). The place consists of cottages near a lake. We were quite disappointed. The place was a few miles north of Seward.

We telephoned the (new) owner that we'd be arriving late the first night. It then took us almost 40 minutes to locate our assigned cottage in the dark. The owner said on the phone there would be a map on the door of the office but when we got there and found the office closed (we knew it would be closed), the map was on the inside. I had to memorize the map. With the memorized map in my mind, I attempted to locate the cottage (#5) but was unable to do so. So I returned to the office door and tried a second time memorizing it. Fortunately I found it the second time around but it was very harrying to do so in the pitch dark. In the process of finding the cabin I had to drive over railroad tracks. The owner should have posted the map on the outside so that I could have taken it with me as I drove to the cottage. Walking around in the dark after I parked turned out to be very dangerous due to the presence of bears in the area. The following morning I discussed with the owner the situation vis-a-vis the number “5,” and while she was correct that the number “5” was on the back side of the cottage facing the raod it was not prominently displayed.

More importantly, I mentioned that next morning that the top lock latch was not aligned with the hole so we were unable to lock the door with the top lock latch. Nothing was done about it that day (the owner had a whole day to deal with it) and we slept a second night without being able to lock the top lock. We come from New York, where one expects locks to work. We are used to locking our doors at night.

The cabin had two floors. There was a bunkbed on the first floor, kitchen area with table, and bathroom; the second floor had just a bed. On the second floor there was no dresser or anything of any sort -- not even a shelf -- in addition to the bed. Where was a person supposed to place personal items when getting undressed?

On both mornings there was a problem about taking showers. The first morning there was hot water at first but it soon turned all cold and only one of us was able to shower. The second morning there was no hot water to shower so none of us did. I mentioned this to the owner when we checked out the second morning but she was there all by herself (her husband was out of town) -- no additional help -- and frazzled from telephone calls constantly coming in. Her response did not evince any sympathy, in my opinion. I really thought a more sympathetic response was called for. At a minimum, a place to stay should have hot water unless the lack of it is clearly related to guests in advance. The cabins were not advertised as wilderness cabins so there should have been hot water. We spent two months on the road, driving from New York to Alaska and back. We did stay at other non-hotel/motels, i.e., cabins and bead & breakfasts, in Alaska, and this one was the only one I had to complain about. (Complained about one hotel and they gave us partial credit.) We were very disappointed due to the above matters.

I didn't even mention to the owner at the time but in front of the cabin (facing the lake) was metal junk.

We were charged $145 a night and I wrote to the owners when we came back home, asking for some money back but I never got a response. If a guest complains about things which rally ruin a stay at a lodging accomodation, the least the owner can do to rectify it (if it can't be fixed before the guest leaves) is to return some of the money back. It doesn't have to be the whole amount -- just something to show you empathize with the disappointed guest.

I know this is Alaska and some things are rugged but there should be minimal comforts like warm showers if the cabin is a furnished one (and not an empty wilderness cabin). Just as a comparison, I note that we stayed in a village north of the Arctic Circle called Wiseman, population 18, but the cabin was comfortable and the shower worked and the locks worked, even as the cabin was powered on a generator.

I would recommend that you not stay at this establishment.

  • Liked — Clean inside -- only good thing
  • Disliked — See my review
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TravelLawyerFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KenaiLakeResort, Owner at Kenai Lake Resort, responded to this review, April 14, 2008
Kenai Lake Resort is located 20 miles north of Seward, Alaska in between Chugach National Forrest and Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. The cabins are located on the pristine Kenai Lake, because of the close proximity of the national parks the view here will never change.

We are a family owned business we handle the reservations, the house keeping, grounds maintenance, and cabin maintenance, this is a lot of work but we get to know our guest on a personal level which adds to everyones experience. We take all of our guests suggestions very seriously and when time and money permit we will try to implement the ideas, these things don't happen over night, but we are in it for the long haul and hope to build something truly unforgettable.

The lakeside cabins are log cabins that are fully outfitted and furnished with a bathroom, kitchenette, a queen size bed on the half loft, a futon bunk downstairs, all the linens, and everything you would need to cook a meal either in the kitchen or on the grill. Hardly an empty cabin in the woods, but there is a real sense of being in the wilderness which 99.9% of our guests love.

To address a couple of the guests concerns from the "awful time" review, for our guests who arrive late we now leave an envelope with the keys and a copy of the map so they can have the map in hand when locating their cabin. As for the dead bolt that was not aligned; my wife is capable of a lot of the required maintenance for the cabins but re-setting a door and lock is not one of them, please except our apologies. The door handle lock was in working order so there was some security available. However, hot water is something she could fix but if you wait until you leave to say something there is little that can be done for your stay. Last year was our first year and our planned helped canceled last minute so we were on our own, this year we will have two teams of workers to help so we will be able to meet the needs of all our guests.

As for the bears...we will never be able to guarantee that they will not wander through once in while. Afterall...would it be the true Alaskan experience if we did?

In closing, what Kenai Lake Resort has to offer is cabins that could double as a suite in many four star hotels, ours come with a view that any hotel would be proud to call their own. We are not a part of a large hotel chain, we do not have a huge staff, but we do have a passion for this place and we hope to meet everyones demands, even the ones that don't seem can be satisfied, and possibly see our guests leave with the same passion we have for this wonderful place we call "heaven on earth".

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Kenai Lake Resort

Property: Kenai Lake Resort
Address: 27177 Seward Hwy., Kenai Lake, AK 99664
Location: United States > Alaska > Kenai Lake
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Kenai Lake
Number of rooms: 8

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