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“Decent but showing its age”

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Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge
Reviewed June 8, 2008

Although our room was clean and we had a great experience at one of the restaurants, let me caution anyone who is staying here in order to see McKinley that that very likely will not happen. I wish I had been informed of the fact that only about 30% of the people who stay at this lodge get to see the mountain when I was booking my trip, because in that case I would not have wasted a night here. There is nothing to do at this lodge other than eat, drink, go to the gift shop, and walk the surrounding nature trails. As it was about 40 degrees and raining the entire time we were there, we did not even get to do the latter.

That said, I was also severely disappointed in the fitness facility, which included a very small room equipped with one treadmill and two stationary bikes, one of which was broken.

I would caution anyone booking a Princess Cruise Tour to think very hard about whether they want to stay at this particular lodge and/or how long they want to stay here.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with family
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Thank ageeksaga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 29, 2007

We stayed here as part of a Princess Cruise package. The location is nice, and I'm sure the views of McKinley would have been great if there were no clouds. The rooms are mostly in dormitory-like buildings scattered around the property. Our room was not particularly clean, and the hallways were somewhat in disrepair. The main lodge was very nice, and we had a good time in the lounge, where we also had a pretty good dinner. As the lodge is out in the woods, there is nothing to do other than those activities provided by the lodge and Princess. We would prefer to have been close to a town where we can go and discover the local color and people. We will NOT stay at the McKinley Princess again.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank lesbriggs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2007

We just checked out of a two night stay at the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge. We had booked this on the tail end of an Alaska cruise on a Princess ship. We didn't realize it, but our cruise was the last of the Alaska cruise lines to stop in Anchorage for the season, and our group was the last to stay at the lodge for the season as well. Because of this, there were only about 50 guests staying at a lodge that generally hosts thousands at a time. Many of the seasonal staff members had already left for the winter (most were students or teachers who have gone back to school). So there were both good and bad things relating to that.

However, the lodge itself was very nice, and the staff that was left were very accommodating. Our room was very comfortable. There was free wireless Internet in the lodge, but not in the rooms.

My wife and I took a free Princess bus to Talkeetna for a day, and spent half of it fishing one of the rivers. Very good fishing, as we (and another couple) caught plenty of salmon and trout.

There are several food options at the lodge to select from (although half of them closed while we were there, again because they were in the process of closing down the lodge for the Winter). However, the food selection at all of the venues was rather limited, so there was not a big selection to choose from. There was one restaurant at the lodge that provided a rather pricy dinner, which we think might be akin to the type of food selection you would get on the cruise ship.

The lodge is in the state park system, and is in beautiful country.

Overall, we were pleased, not overwhelmed.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Stu W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2007

My husband and I and our 2 year old decided to come here for a weekend get-a-way. I am surprised at the negative reviews. We had a great time and the staff was very friendly and knowledgable. We loved walking around on the spacious grounds and my daughter loved the small playground for kids. I thought our room was very nice and clean. Not too small at all, we put up a playpen and still had extra space. Ice, vending, and laundary came in handy. The lodge was beautifully decorated. We enjoyed all the big screen tv's w/ a different football game on each (when it was raining), the espresso bar, and plenty of comfortable chairs and couches. We ate at the Cub Cafe (recommended for small children). The food was great. For $40. we had 3 meals w/ dessert and drinks, which I thought was decently priced. The wait staff was very friendly and brought over crayons and a coloring book for our daughter. Overall there was nothing to complain about (except the weather, but it was september in Alaska) We really enjoyed everything.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled with family
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2  Thank chanchorage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2007

People who come to this lodge expecting a world class hotel experience will be disappointed. But people who recognize that it offers the nicest, cleanest accommodations for miles around should be satisfied. My husband and I were traveling with our 13 month old son and didn't want to drive 5+ hours from Anchorage to Denali NATIONAL Park so we compromised and drive 2 hours and stayed at the lodge to visit Denali STATE Park. We got to see the same wildlife, got better views of McKinley, and saved many hours in the car.
But back to the lodge. There were several dining options to choose from on-site, though the menus were somewhat limited and featured a lot of uninspired fried foods. Staff was very friendly and all areas were kept clean. The McKinley viewing deck was definitely the highlight, and we appreciated the access to on-site Park Rangers who were eager to share information about the local scenery/flaura/fauna.
Be aware that the rooms are in separate buildings from the main lodge so there's a fair amount of walking involved to get from place to place, much of it hilly. You can drive but the parking spaces are far enough away from the buildings that you'll still have to walk a bit - - at least you'll avoid the hills. The walking trails they mention could not be considered hikes as they are paved and very short. But this lodge is definitely designed with older travelers in mind, with everything wheelchair accessible (which made it better for us traveling with a baby stroller too).
Overall I would definitely recommend this lodge to other travelers. As you pass all the ramshackle hotels alongside the highway on the drive north, you'll be all the happier when you pull into the Princess Lodge driveway!

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled with family
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2  Thank mamafox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2007

DENALI NATIONAL PARK, Alaska
McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge
August 26-27, 2007
Reviewer: TripAdvisor Member-Miami, FL
Beautiful scenery with a perfectly clear view of the big mountain...Denali...aka Mt. McKinley from the viewing deck. Room was small and not enought towels provided. I am physicall handicapped and we could not even park our car outside the rooms...husband had to walk a long way to parking area and then walk back to room...very inconvient for diabled visitors...also we were told they had no one to help us with luggage. Food in cafe was nothing to write home about, cheese was omitted off sandwiches and the bacon was almost raw...had to send it back to be cooked....service was very slow and only three other couples dining...dinner was somewhat better in dining room but food was not hot enough. Our room was too hot when we checked in and when I ask the front desk to help with the thermostat they told me to open the window to cool off...meanwhile it was raining and pouring in the window so there was no way to leave the window open...plus this would put us at a security risk as we were on the ground floor and the window screen could have been very easily pushed in to enter our room. When checking out we were told..."thank you, everything is taken care of and that we did not owe anything." My husband ask to see the final bill and again was told we did not owe anything. My husband had to insist on seeing the bill and found we had been indeed charged $70.00 too much. We were using a coupon which entitled us to one free night with a paid night, rate was $270.00 a night....they were charging us a higher rate than quoted on the phone when reservations were made and on top of that they charged $70.00 too much. When questioning the nightly rate they said they could not do anything about it that this is what the computer is telling them our charge is. My husband ask to see a manager and after much wasted time and stress they said they would have to call Seatle to clear the problem up and that would take a long time so they were not sure we wanted to wait that long...meanwhile my husband said we will wait and finally after about forty minutes of this they corrected the mistake and did not even apologize for the mistake or delay....we will never stay there again! Our friends stayed at the McKinley Princess Cabins inside Denali National Park on the same nights we stayed at McKinley Lodge and they said they had a power black out and the staff did not even know what to do....they said they also had personal items stolen out of their cabin and from their refrigerator...they staff said they were sorry but there was nothing they could do about it. My friend say they should at least report it to higher management to look into the hired help that was doing this....NEVER AGAIN WILL WE STAY ANYWHERE WITH PRINCESS. Rather pay double somewhere else.

1  Thank Y2Kgramma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2007

The Mt. McKinley Wilderness Lodge is a beautiful place to relax, be one with nature, and see Mt. McKinley when it is out of the clouds. The main buildings and restaurants are great. The property is so spread out that shuttles take you from your room to the main buildings. The rooms could be a bit nicer, but they were comfortable and nothing to really complain about. There are wilderness walks on the property that are well worth the time as well. We enjoyed our one night stay here and would surely go back if we were in the area.

  • Stayed: May 2007
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2  Thank lowens311
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge

Address: Mile 133 Parks Highway, Denali State Park, Trapper Creek, AK 99683
Location: United States > Alaska > Trapper Creek
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Trapper Creek
Price Range: $156 - $195 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 238
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Also Known As:
Mt. Mckinley Princess Wilderness Hotel Trapper Creek
Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge Alaska/Trapper Creek

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