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“Vacation and Wedding that will not be forgotten”

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Great Alaska Adventures
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Parker, Colorado
Level 6 Contributor
120 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Vacation and Wedding that will not be forgotten”
Reviewed October 20, 2013

I want to first thank the owners, Kathy, Lawrence and Deb for allowing us to get married on the observation deck at the Great Alaska Adventure Lodge. This was first set up to be a family vacation but we decided to tie the knot as well.

We flew into Anchorage and rented a car to drive out to the Lodge, so we could explore Anchorage before heading out. If you don't feel adventurous you can opt in for the shuttle that will pick you up and delivery you to the doorsteps of the Lodge.

Our first day we were taken out in the afternoon for a bit of catch and release. The lodge provides all equipment necessary, and will set you up with a license and a fish packing house.

Having fished for trout as a kid I was excited about reliving the fun. I was overwhelmed at the size of the trout we were catching, nothing like the stream trout in SoCal. We caught and released, trout, dolly varden, silver salmon and sockeye.

Day two and every day after that, we were awoke by our hosts with coffee in hand at 4am. I'm not much on early mornings but after the first day, no complaining from me. The chef had breakfast to order and a buffet to make our sack lunches to take out with us on what ever adventure we chose. Our guide the second day was Steve, who has been with the lodge for over 12 years. He is very knowledgeable and has done lots of research habits and areas that the various fish congregate. He instructed us on the handling of our tackle and how to best catch the eye of a big silver or at least how to piss them off enough to bite. We caught our limit in less than two hours after which we continued fishing on a catch and release basis. I was lucky enough to get a 20lb sockeye to bite on my hook and it was early enough in this salmons migration that we brought it home for dinner.

Every day after that (a total of 6 days fishing) we had a new guide taking us out. We fished spin casting with lures in a power boat and drift boat, back trolling in a power boat (have to say this was not my favorite way of fishing, I am more of a hands on fisher person).

Each night there was a hosted happy hour where you could share your days adventures and talk to your guide for the next day. Next was a sit down four course dinner that was delicious! The staff was incredible and made our stay comfortable and memorable. The fishing and adventure guides were knowledgeable of their sport and the history of the area.

The lodge does not do weddings, but they were kind enough to allow us to plan our celebration using their facilities. What's funny about getting married in Alaska is that ANYONE can marry you, all you need to do is submit their name and they become a justice of the peace for the day. We brought our champagne from Anchorage and ordered gourmet cupcakes from "The Cupcake Lady" sight unseen and without taste tests and were very pleasantly surprised at how yummy they were. The lodge accommodated our reception in their dining hall. Needless to say, being married overlooking the Kenai River, on a sunny August day in in Sterling, Alaska was better than anything my imagination could have dreamed up. Again, thanks to Kathy, Lawrence and Deb you guys will always be remembered for your kindness.

Would I recommend this place, OH HELL YES! At the end of our vacation we came home with over 145 lbs of salmon fillets. YUM!

We will be back, you can bet on it.

Room Tip: All the rooms are great, we had the last lodge which had four double rooms. There is lodging on the...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Stacy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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121 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
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English first
Tucson, Arizona
Level 6 Contributor
124 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed September 10, 2013

I was hunting for a fishing experience on the Kenai River in Alaska where my wife would feel at home and would be comfortable in her surroundings. The Great Alaska Adventure Lodge in Sterling, AK met our every need. The staff was. most professional, friendly and helpful. Great Alaska has a group of fishing guides that are regarded as among the best on the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers. The power boats and drift boats are very comfortable and Great Alaska caters to the occasional /first time fisherperson to the dedicated fly fishing angler. Both rivers are world renowned for there populations of trophy King Salmon.

The sleeping accomodations were very nice and you received a wake up call with coffee delivered to your door and daily housekeeping service. Breakfast and dinner were provided for each guest and a "pack your own lunch" sandwich buffet was available each morning. A "happy hour" was made available prior to dinner with a host of excellent appetizers and adult beverages.My only less than excellent rating for Great Alaska was the quality of the dinner offerings. Everything at dinner seemed to be overcooked including fresh salmon and halibut.

I had several requests during our 5 day stay and each request including specific fishing guides was honored. These folks break their backs to meet their guests requests when possible.

We took the bear viewing trip across the Prince William Sound. The Alaska Adventure maintains a bear camp at the site for guests who desire to spend the night with the bears. Although the experience is different from a Brooks Falls experience, we observed approximately 35 grizzly bears and cubs during our brief visit. The bush plane ride from Soldatna to the bear camp is better than any C ride at Disney land. Great views of the coastal waters and extinct volcanoes
were outstanding.

I would give Great Alaska Adventure Lodge a solid grade of A for an Alaska experience for all aged fisherpersons or those not fishing.. One couple during our trip were returning to the Great Alaska for their 26th time.

We will also return later in the season to catch silver salmon and to avoid the sockeye fisherman run on the Kenai .

Room Tip: All rooms overlook the Kenai River. No bad room as best I can tell. If you want to avoid the socke...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Mel F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
brockville
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2013

We spent a night at Bear Camp August 7th and loved it. IT was cold and windy but it didn't matter. The main attraction was worth it. We saw too many bears to count and could have watched for hours. The staff were amazing, friendly, knowledgable, and went out of their way to make sure we saw as many bears as possible. I also appreciated their dedication to preserving the environment and not disturbing the bears as much as possible. The food was great, hard to believe she could cook in that little shack! If you are looking for a luxury hotel it's not for you but if you want the experience of a lifetime I would recommend it. Remember to take layers, and rain gear!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank coodermarley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fishers, Indiana
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed August 30, 2013

We spent a week at Great Alaska at the end of July/beginning of August for a family reunion. It was a fantastic experience. The family cabins are great -- two stories with plenty of room for everyone. Food was good and happy hour every evening was something we all looked forward to at the end of a long adventurous day. One of the best days was Bear Camp--so amazing, I highly recommend it. Not only did we see bears, at a distance and one very close on the beach, but the scenery on the flight over and back was breathtaking. That was our first day and I felt that if I'd done nothing else all week I would have gone home happy. My other favorite trip was the Kenai Fjords boat trip, where we got to see glaciers, Dall porpoises, seals, sea lions, sea otters, puffins, bald eagles, etc, all capped off by a half hour watching humpback whales playing in the ocean amidst the gorgeous rocky scenery, jumping, waving and smacking the water with their tails. Incredible. All in all, just a fantastic experience with great guides and staff. I would definitely recommend it and hope to get back someday.

Room Tip: The two-storey family cabins were great and roomy.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank AKTR2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
2 reviews
Reviewed August 14, 2013

We recently enjoyed a week's worth of adventure at the Great Alaska Adventure Lodge with a large group of family members from age 6 to 70. Everything was fantastic! The guide staff was outstanding (especially with our large group)! They went above and beyond to keep us informed, entertained, and most importantly safe! The food was also fantastic-delicious morning breakfasts, amazing happy hour apps, and full course dinners each night-enjoyed by all. Daily trips were terrific, and could be adjusted if necessary. The staff was friendly, accommodated our needs, and made us feel welcome and comfortable. I would highly recommend a day trip to Bear Camp and the Glacier trip to Kenai Fjords National Park. Congrats Great Alaska! We will be back (especially to do some more fishing!).

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank kmc47bos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wisconsin
Level 6 Contributor
138 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed August 13, 2013

We didn't stay at Great Alaska, only went on the 1 day bear camp trip that we booked through Kenai Princess. My average rating is for the overall experience, not for bear camp itself.

Bear camp on its own is awesome! We saw literally 29 bears (including many cubs) in an hour and a half from 1 viewing platform. These are coastal bears in their natural habit. Amazing!

Unfortunately our overall experience was not so amazing. We had a long drive from Princess Lodge to Great Alaska, which was expected, and I'm not complaining about that. The drive was actually pretty nice. Our driver was really talkative and only had great things to say about bear camp, which got us pretty excited. Then we got to Great Alaska and waited about 2 hours before actually going to the airport (with a mediocre lunch in there), and then we waited another hour once we got to the airport. Then after at bear camp we were told we only had an hour and a half before the plane would be back to pick us up. When got back to Great Alaska we waited another hour for our driver to take us back to Princess lodge. If you like waiting in a hotel lobby and/or on an airport runway the 1 day trip is the trip for you!

If I could have a do over I would stay overnight.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank LizEWisconsin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent J, Owner at Great Alaska Adventures, responded to this review, August 14, 2013
To this reviewer and other travelers reading this review: Our bear camp experience is not a zoo. To get to the location requires 45 minutes of flying time each way. Travel time for this particular traveler was 25 miles from the Kenai Princess Lodge to our main lodge on the Kenai river- if 24 miles of driving ("a beautiful drive", I believe it was called in this review) is considered a long drive, then perhaps Alaska is not the place for you. Finally, if seeing 24 bears in a single day experience is not enough for you to consider the trip a success, then I don't know what we can do to make it a success for you. With a full time staff of 5, and a full time permanent camp, and nearly 2 hours of chartered flying time per guests, our investment in BearCamp is substantial, and it means it is not in inexpensive experience.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2013

I spent five days at Great Alaska Adventure Lodge, each day fishing with my favorite guide "Lucas" - professional, skilled, good teacher and always passionate about our fishing. We had several days of sockeye and coho limits; king season was closed. Also got some huge fat dolly varden and trout. Fishing by drift boat is the way to go! Lodge staff were attentive, the food was good and the scenery from the lodge outstanding. I met powerful and interesting people from all over the world!

There were many adventures available to me that I will partake in next time I come - bear viewing, kayaking, hiking, fjord and glacier viewing. The accommodations were comfortable - and I loved the evening happy hour each day.

The only draw back had nothing to do with the Lodge - waking up at 4:15 am each morning - ouch!

Five stars - Go Great Alaska Adventure Lodge!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Cal N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent J, Owner at Great Alaska Adventures, responded to this review, August 19, 2013
Dear Great Alaska Traveler:

thanks so much for your very kind review. We loved having your wonderful family and it is gratifying to see that you enjoyed the trip as much as we enjoyed having you.

Safe travels to you and perhaps we'll see you at one of our lodges in Mexico or Costa Rican lodges sometime soon!

Sincerely,

Kent
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Great Alaska Adventures

Property: Great Alaska Adventures
Address: 33881 Sterling Hwy, Sterling, AK 99672-9510 (Formerly Great Alaska Adventure Lodge)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Alaska > Sterling
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Sterling
Number of rooms: 23
Also Known As:
Great Alaska Adventure Hotel Sterling
Great Alaska Adventures Sterling

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