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“Outstanding Lodge”
Review of Kenai Magic Lodge

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Kenai Magic Lodge
Reviewed August 21, 2012

I do not believe there is a better lodge to stay at in Alaska. Clarissa, the owner will do everything possible to insure you have a wonderful vacation no matter what you wish to do. The cabins are fantastic with everything a person could want. For a real treat book the stay with the meals package. The food is 5 star and that is not an exaggeration - steaks are huge, king crab legs to die for and all meals have many courses and all are of gourmet quality. All meals are paired with an apporpriate wine - all of excellent quality. I cannot wait to return - not only for the fishing but the wonderful meals and the great conversations shared with Clarissa and Mario..

Room Tip: Cabib #1 has the best view of the Kenai River from the cabin porch
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank 973BobG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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12 - 18 of 21 reviews

Reviewed April 4, 2012

We have fished and hunted all over alaska and many other states and this place was a real treat. The rates are comparable or less than most of the local motels and twice the ammenities and hospitality. Private river front access made this place over the top. We caught limit after limit of sockeye salmon along with dolly varden and king salmon. We will be there again this year and many to come. Thanks Clarissa!
P.S. I think the negative review below must have been a mistake since our cabin had fresh expensive linens and second to none service.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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4  Thank Ryan D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2012

My family and I have visited all over the world....from Namibia,Africa, Jamacia, Cabo San Lucas Mexico, and more, we have never felt more spoiled and relaxed than we did at the cabins in Sterling Alaska. This will be our 3rd year in a row staying for a week at a time. Every detail is custom....the fishing is unbelievable....the view, the jacuzzi bath tubs, the awesome staff, the fukly stocked kitchens, and so much more. We are in heaven each time we gi.....and are excited all year to go back. Thank you Clarissa for your generosity, humbleness, and piece of heaven you made for us.

  • Stayed: July 2011
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3  Thank ekelber207
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2011

This place was a total rip off!! The cabins were beyond filthy and smelled like old fishermen had been cooped up inside for months! There was no new linen provided the entire week we were there! I asked one of the staff when the beds would be made and new linens replaced and she just shugged her shoulders and said "whenever!" I spoke with Clarissa (the owner, I assume) who didnt seem to care either! She was more interested in if we were going to pay extra for toothpaste that my wife had forgotten!! (she charged 15.00 by the way because of our remote location!) Seemed like she was more interested in Money than running the business! The staff was VERY unfriendly and Rude and I will NEVER stay here again!

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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9  Thank SODFIn11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2008

I give Kenai Magic a 5 star rating based on what we saw other properties in the general vicinity to consist of, and this lodging, in my opinion, was first rate. Alaska in general seems to be a very rustic state, so don't expect any lodge experience on the Kenai to provide you with Omni or Marriott style accomodations. If you don't want to stay in a cabin, you should probably book a cruise and see it all from a distance. But if you want to get up close and personal with the beautiful teal/turquoise Kenai river and experience the great area of the Kenai Peninsula, book some time at the Magic Lodge and ask them to put together a package to meet your desires. You will not be disappointed.

Also, Sterling is barely a town, so if you're looking for night life after your day of fishing or kayaking, you'll have to drive about 15 minutes into Soldotna. Sterling does have a charming '50's style ice cream parlor right at the corner where you turn for the Kenai Magic Lodge, but other than that, there isn't too much besides some gas stations, mom and pop stores and a coupla wannabe restaurants. Its location puts it halfway between Seward and Homer, however, so your driving, while extensive, is pretty even.

We found the Kenai Magic Lodge on line through various web searches, and contacted the owner, Clarissa, directly. We booked the 7 day "Kenai King" package, which included all meals and activities for 7 days. Clarissa asked what we were looking for (2 parents with 2 kids under 12) and all was booked and arranged when we got there: rafting trip up the Kenai river (where we lunched about 50 yards from a grizzly who was busy feasting on salmon) where we saw bears, bald eagles, golden eagles, and numerous beautiful waterfowl; horseback riding; fjords cruise in Seward; kayaking in Homer (watched otters wrestling with each other just yards away); absolutely awesome fly-out fishing trip and bear viewing. The only tiny glitch was that we went out for our horseback trip really early and it had been mis-booked for the later afternoon. The owner of the ranch was great, however and accomodated us early, and every other trip went off without a hitch and we didn't need to bother with paying anyone, just remembering to tip our guides.

I think Clarissa knows everyone in the area and is able to get really good adventures for people. Our fly-out fishing trip was really one for the memory books: 10 sockeye salmon caught and later on, we watched several grizzlies (including a mama with 2 cubs) do their stuff in Wolverine Creek. This is stuff the kids will remember for the rest of their lives with the video to prove it!!

The Kenai Magic Lodge has 6 cabins, with #1 being the prime cabin you would want -- overlooking the Kenai river. Awesome views of the (very late) sunset. We were in #2 and luckily the residents of #1 always came back late from fishing and so we enjoyed the space in front of their cabin!!! The kids played down near the river (though not too far away as bears were extremely prevalent in the area) and got a great sense of freedom and outdoors that they often lack in the big city.

Every meal was great: breakfast was always hearty and plentiful with pancakes, eggs, bacon, ham, reindeer sausage, coffee and juice; lunch usually consisted of a cooler with more than enough sandwiches (good ones, too, not just ole meat and cheese, but gourmet type stuff), fruit and snacks for the day and our kids eagerly anticipated dinner every evening. Yvonne is the general manager or "overseer" of Kenai Magic and she definitely will accomodate your eating habits. One of the other guests ate no meat and she made sure all of his dishes were meat free. Breakfast and dinner was served family style, with excellent wine selections and good variety from day to day: ribeye steaks, salmon, halibut, pork chops, filet mignon, one night pasta especially for the kids, king crab, and Yvonne's own specialty, cheese and bell pepper stuffed chicken breast -- very yummy. By the end of our second or third day there it all felt like family. We all hung out after dinner to chat about our days and our lives and really made good connections with our fellow travelers and hosts.

The cabins, as I say, were rustic, but very clean, comfy and homey. Within a day we felt completely relaxed there.

If you book the 7 day stay, they have a special going on where you will get reimbursed for the cost of your car rental.

This was our first trip to Alaska and we felt we took a bit of a chance booking a land trip instead of a cruise. After 7 days in Kenai at the Magic Lodge, we felt we had done and seen enough to go home with a true sense of the majesty and beauty of the state and the friendliness and courtesy of the residents there.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
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3  Thank NAspy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2008

We enjoyed a 2 week trip to Alaska this past June of 2008. Planned the itinerary ourselves and we ended our trip with 4 days on the Kenai Pennisula at Kenai Magic Lodge.

Found the Lodge just reading and researching. We planned to fish only one morning and to perform other activities other days. So we did not get the "full package" with meals and everything. Got a good deal at $99 a night for our own cabin and the Lodge arranged our other activities which were wonderful. The Kenai Fjord cruise was great and we really enjoyed the horseback riding. The fishing the Lodge arranged was with the best guide on the river-he was a Cabella's spokesman and our son loved the fishing.

As far as the accomadations, the cabins where fine with well stocked kitchen and nice beds. Would say average to above average on the cabins. The grounds were a bit overrun and unkept but that appeared to be the rule rather than the exception in Alaska. The overall location is good because it is kind of in the middle so we visited Soldoltna, Homer and Seward from here. The Lodge is not on the river. The lodge property sits on the bluff overlooking the river and there are other properties below on the river. There were 5 or 6 cabins and larger building we thought was the lodge or caretakers home. We were only people there during our stay.

The hospitality and service was a mystery to us. We joked that we got the $99 hospitality and thought we must have got the cold shoulder for not getting full service with meals. Not once in five days did a person ever greet us or ask if we needed anything. Our cabin was fully cleaned and made up once during our visit and once the bedcoverings were kind of flattened out-so serviced one and a half times in five days. We had to ask for extra towels to a person staying on the property whom we assumed was the caretaker but we never actually were introduced.

So, all in the all the property was fine and the activities were great. The location is good for Kenai exploring and activities. Just weird on the service.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
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6  Thank CincyToolman2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 17, 2008

It all started with a late arrival(midnight) with DINNER in the fridge, EXCELLANT. The service was EXCELLANT, Yvonne was the most gracious host and chef, my wife had a vision of a "Fishing Lodge"...., was she surprised, the meals were fabulous, (accommodating our taste and dietary needs (I'm diabetic), but more the service, setting and warmth was unforgettable. The feeling of "belonging" was effervescent, refreshing, not stressful, but at home every evening. Their service to us, as guest was "familia". The fishing was great, silvers and rainbows for us guys, but the other sightseeing activities were perfect from Homer to Kenai to Seward for the gals. We appreciated everything....... the accommodations were relaxing, spotless, spacious and beautiful, overlooking the river (Cabin #1), we saw a bear and a caribou wander through camp a couple of evenings during and after dinner. I don't think my wife will stay anywhere else.....perfection is hard to beat. We hope to be back in 2009.
Murfreesboro, TN
bc & pc

  • Stayed: August 2006, traveled with family
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1  Thank train-brake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Kenai Magic Lodge

Address: Greatland Street, Sterling, AK 99672
Location: United States > Alaska > Sterling
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Sterling
Price Range: $299 - $309 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Kenai Magic Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 6
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Also Known As:
Kenai Magic Lodge Alaska/Sterling

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