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“Beware: Bad food and Uncomfortable Beds.”

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Kantishna Roadhouse
Certificate of Excellence
Newburgh, New York
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Beware: Bad food and Uncomfortable Beds.”
Reviewed October 7, 2012

This lodge is owned by a large corporation,but the facility seems to be run by college students and interns. They were very nice , but clueless to what people expect for their money. The only person who appeared over 21 was the bartender. The food was horrible, the beds were saggy and the cabins were out dated and in much need of renovation. But.... the hikes and scenery are beautiful. It is a very long ride to Kantishna, so staying over night in a lodge seems to be make the most sense, but I wish I had done a little more research and checked out some of the other lodges.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
9 Thank vigee8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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184 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
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English first
Port Macquarie, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2012

It was surely a long bus ride from the park entrance but our very safe driver Gary made it interesting and enjoyable (there and back, with some good wildlife spotting). The Roadhouse provided a very pleasant stay and we were pleased with our two nights there. During our day at Kantishna we had a great hike and the mountains finally emerged from the clouds. Memorable experience.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank John B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sonoma, California
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed September 14, 2012

Just spent 4 nights at the Kantishna Roadhouse and it was terrific! The bus ride in was so fun--- lots of furries sighted, including many grizzlies and Dall sheep. The staff at the Roadhouse were wonderful. Meals were excellent and the setting is just so beautiful. They even managed to ge The Mountain to make an appearance along with the entire mountain range! Took us guests over to Wonder Lake to view it and it was just incredible. Emmitt Peters, Jr. who does their sled dog talk is a gem! He does a great presentation and has the "credentials" to back it up--- he has been in the Junior Iditarod and won it and his Dad, Emmitt Sr., is a famous participant and winner of the full Iditarod. Emmitt Jr. also leads some of the hikes and we took one with him. It was a great hike and we learned a lot about the area including the flora and fauna.
We have recommended this place to several friends who are considering an Alaskan adventure and think this facility does a great job all around for a place to stay and enjoy this amazing and beautiful place. Plus late summer is a good time to go as the colours are all changing and there were not many mosquitoes! Hurray!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank meelk45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sweetgrass, Montana
Level 6 Contributor
224 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 184 helpful votes
Reviewed September 11, 2012

I was a little apprehensive about my stay, since I had trouble finding the information I was seeking, and didn't know what to expect. But Kantishna Roadhouse is a fantastic all-inclusive resort!

Here's what you need to know... The bus picks up guests from the Denali Train Depot after the 1 pm train, which comes from Fairbanks. If you arrive on the train from Anchorage, plan on staying the night somewhere else and meet the Kantishna bus the next afternoon. The bus ride from the train depot to the roadhouse is about 6 hours, as it's a 92 mile trip with stops for scenery and wildlife viewing, so you will arrive at the roadhouse around 7:30 pm and dinner for the new arrivals will be served at 8 pm. (More about dinner later.)

The cabins are about the size of an average hotel room, but the wall are very thin. You will have running water (i.e. shower, toilet, sink) and each room has a heater, but being in a rather remote area, the heat is propane and it takes awhile for the heater to heat the cabin. You are provided with fresh towels and sheets and blankets, but not hair dryers or irons or in-room coffee makers. And don't forget your alarm clock!

Breakfast is buffet style and offered from around 7:30 to 8:45, with no assigned seating. Toast, English muffins and bagels are staples, as is a hot cereal, like oatmeal. Biscotti and small muffins are also available, as well as a couple hot items such as pancakes or eggs, and seasoned potatoes and/or bacon. Yogurt and fruit are also provided. There is not a wealth of choices, but what is available is good food.

Every morning there are group hikes led by a staff member, which leave the lobby at 9 am. There is a casual hike, usually around 2 miles, a moderate hike and a strenuous hike. The roadhouse provides a sack lunch, which includes a wrap, a piece of fruit and a cookie. Guests in need of a waterbottle, day pack, rain gear and/or mosquito net can sign out these items for the day, free of charge.

At 9:30 each morning, a shuttle is available to take guests to Wonder Lake for about an hour.

A dogsled demo is presented every afternoon at 2 pm for anyone that is interested in attending, and guests can pan for gold with an employee at 3:30 every day. Also available upon request at any time: fishing rods (spinners and fly) and waders, bicycles and helmets. There are rocking chairs on the porch, a free-standing swing by the river, a campfire circle, a second story screened porch and library as well as a small gift shop. Soda and candy is also available for about $2 each.

Smokey Joe's Saloon opens at 1 pm every afternoon for drinks, with appetizers served at 5:15. The selection in the bar is limited- mostly wine, a small number of Alaskan beers on tap, and a few drink specials, some hot and some cold.

Dinners at the Kantishna begins at 6 pm, and offers two choices- meat or vegetarian. The tables are usually multiple parties seated together in groups of about six or eight. The food is very good and is generally served family style. Bread, salad with dressing, a main dish and a side, and then dessert. Coffee, tea and cocoa are available pretty much all day long, but again the selection is limited due to the remote location and difficulty of transporting supplies.

After dinner, an educational presentation is usually offered by a member of the staff in the library. Attendance is completely voluntary. There is also a green house and a few historical buildings that remain. A pay phone is also available since there is cell phone service or internet at Kantishna.

Remember to bring clothes for layering,as the weather is unpredictable and can change quickly. You may also want to consider bringing snacks and anything required for specific tastes (flavored creamer for your coffee or a specific flavor of tea, etc.)

Kantishna Air Taxi is also available for flightseeing tours of Mount Denali and the area, but the cost is not included in your stay at Kantishna.

On your last day at Kantisha you will need to be up early and have your bags out on your porch by 5:20 am. Breakfast will be served around 5:30, and you need to be on the bus by 6:15 because it will approximately 5 hours on the return trip since fewer stops are made.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
17 Thank Crissy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Windham, Maine
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 29, 2012

We stayed at the Kantishna Roadhouse for 3 nights in mid-August and have no regrets. True, it is expensive but we may not make it to Alaska again so we splurged. The bus trip in with Kirstan was amazing. Kirstan has an amazing amount of knowledge about the park and its wildlife and she shared it all in addition to spotting wildlife. She gave our bus full of people plenty of time to view and take pictures and still got us to the lodge in time for a fantastic meal. The food was great. Yes, sound transmits through the log walls (which we have experienced before) but our neighbors were quiet and considerate. The atmosphere is very friendly and laid-back, the staff is knowledgeable. The guests all appeared very happy and like minded. We did two hikes with Kelly, whose enthusiasm was catching; the dog sled demo with Emmit far exceeded our expectations; and the gold panning was fun. The only fault was the breakfast which was very standard with no meat offerings and cool scrambled eggs. The small bar was a terrific place to hang out before dinner and share experiences with the other guests. If you go, go for at least 3 nights to be able to experience everything and seriously look at your budget to see if you can fit in the flight-seeing from the neighboring airport.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Joleen R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed August 25, 2012

While the price is a shock, it is understandable, given the remote location and the short season. The 90 mile bus ride is more of a safari than a transportation. Our driver, Gary, was a very effective wildlife spotter and the scenery is stunning. One major advantage of staying at the Roadhouse is that the return trip starts at 6:15 am and is first bus until at least the halfway point, allowing a better view of the more shy wildlife, who disappear with the traffic. The guided hikes that my wife and I took, were world class with few other hikers. Each morning's hike selections are graded by difficulty and are timed to return for the sled dog demo. The hotel staff is mainly young college students, although the bar is run by John, a veteran of 16 seasons with many stories. The only downside is the food. The pork dinner was very tough and the buffet breakfast had no breakfast meats. While the cost of transportation is high, it costs the same to transport a high quality cut of meat as a poor quality cut. My rating is 2 stars for the food and 5+ for everything else.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Ted W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Detroit, Michigan
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed August 22, 2012

We took the bus 90 miles into Denali to reach the end of the road. Our bus driver Kristen was simply amazing and had amazing skill at spotting wildlife. the ride is long but well worth it. We saw all of the big 5! even saw a mother bear with 2 cubs. Kantishna is located at the end of the road and when you stay here they provide all the meals. Also available is gold panning, sled dog demosntrations, guided hikes, bikes. Can get cool at night so bring a good jacket. We did not have a warm enough jacket which was needed on the evening hikes. During the day, mosquitoes can be a nuisance. Nice place.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Robert H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kantishna Roadhouse

Property: Kantishna Roadhouse
Address: 1 Doyon Pl # 300, Denali National Park and Preserve, AK 99701-2941
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Alaska > Denali National Park and Preserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 26 Specialty Lodging in Denali National Park and Preserve
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Kantishna Roadhouse 2.5*
Number of rooms: 32
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kantishna Roadhouse is a backcountry lodge resort in the heart of Denali National Park. Comfortable well-appointed cabin lodging, all-inclusive experience. Enjoy abundant activities including daily guided hikes, gold panning with expert guides, free mountain bike rental/usage, and fly-fishing for Arctic Grayling in Moose Creek. For those that choose to stay in camp for the day, our comfortable natural history library, cozy lobby, or outdoor screened-in porch -- offer pleasant alternatives. This is a true Alaskan adventure in one of the most beautiful national parks in the world. The transportation to and from the resort is half the fun. Our red and white bus, marked "Kantishna Roadhouse," gives you the opportunity to see abundant wildlife in its natural setting, including grizzly bears, wolves, moose, caribou, dall sheep, among other critters. Kantishna Roadhouse is the only resort in the backcountry with a bar/saloon. Sip wine on the banks of the Moose River while you take in a beautiful sunset by the fire. Enjoy activities and relaxation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kantishna Roadhouse Hotel Denali National Park And Preserve

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