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“Whether Business or Pleasure”
Review of Nullagvik Hotel

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Nullagvik Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Kotzebue
Certificate of Excellence
Juneau, Alaska
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Whether Business or Pleasure”
Reviewed June 29, 2012

I am a travel coordinator for a large business and we had to coordinate a large party at the Nullagvik. Thankfully throughout the entire process they were available, attentive to our needs, and very accommodating. Everyone I encountered handled issues without complaint or even an attitude, the front desk staff are easy to speak to and if they can't deal with something they will immediately get you in touch with someone who can.

While we were staying there we used the conference room and they have truly made it state of the art. Setup with an impressive projector, sound system and true blackout blinds for the brightness off the ice (or water depending on the season) we didn't have any trouble getting in touch with the manager Lisa to help us get everything ready.

The restaurant was a little limited but really that's an unfair way to say that you can get pizza or a burger and fries north of the Arctic Circle for a pretty fair price considering they fly most everything in. The food was fantastic, all new furniture and cutlery, desserts that were very fancily done and a real treat.

I would highly recommend that if you need a place to stay and want a little piece of luxury where you sleep that will make you forget how far from a big city you are, the Nullagvik delivers. It's also interesting to see the old hotel adjacent to the new, and you can tell what strides they've made since they closed the oldie.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
3 Thank Coolhand L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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81 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 26, 2012

This is the first time I have been to the new hotel. What a pleasant surprise. The staff was very warm and helpful. We had a small group and they handled some changes and stored our bags while we were backpacking for two weeks. The rooms are very clean and spacious with beautiful views. They have elevators in this new hotel and that makes it very nice to handle large bags etc. The Dining room has large windows that look out over the sound. I also liked the small touches such as the awning and the lights in the lobby.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Gary K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Towson, Maryland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2012

The Nullagvik Hotel is a new hotel - very clean and pleasant and comfortable, with a beautiful waterside location, and it is also very well-kept, as well as being well-decorated. Those who work there obviously have a great deal of pride in it, and in providing good, exemplary service to their guests. For one who has traveled hard to get there, though somewhat expensive by most standards, it is a welcome rest and THE best place to stay in town if you want a nice hotel room of the sort to which you may usually be accustomed. The beds were some of the most comfortable I slept upon in Alaska. The hotel staff were also very thoughtful in letting me take a bit of a rest on arrival before going out on a tour, and they also very graciously and happily kept the restaurant open a bit late so I could eat dinner there after returning from a tour around town. Operations Manager Rogers Brown and the staff there (including the restaurant staff as well) do a very nice, thorough job of providing a first-class facility in this relatively remote location. One does not go to Kotzebue by accident. As a destination at the northwestern extremity of the Alaska Airlines main routes, it is an interesting place with a mix of influences - the things familiar to those farther south like a large grocery store and amenities such as the Nullagvik Hotel - as well as a place with both great cultural and economic ties to its hinterlands beyond - a lifestyle which depends on subsistence hunting, fishing, and gathering of berries and various other edible and/or medicinal plants. When one sees that a gallon of milk costs $12 in the grocery store in Kotzebue, one begins to realize that it is extremely expensive to live here in the usual way familiar in places like the lower 48 states or even by comparison to places in Alaska like Anchorage, Palmer, Wasilla, or Fairbanks. And similarly, one begins to realize the critical importance of the native subsistence lifestyle for most of the people there. (THIS IS AN IMPORTANT NOTE: The interpretation below is mine from what I saw here and what I have seen elsewhere in similar situations. The Kotzebue tour as presented by the Nullagvik Hotel and my guide Denali was presented in a neutral, enjoyable way, and was not heavy-handed or at all overtly politically-driven or motivated. She merely presented the local history, culture, and values in a positive way - the positive ideals which the native society there holds dear as their cultural heritage, so you should not avoid it if your political and cultural views are different and you are afraid of getting a sermon you won't like. It is not a sermon at all - but rather a sharing of the positive aspects of a traditional Inupiat world-view.) The Nullagvik Hotel's Kotzebue tour, conducted in this case by a young Inupiat university woman student named Denali Whiting, was a very good introduction to both the subtleties and the basic facts and various facets of life in Kotzebue and the surrounding area. With radiantly charming and graceful ways and wit, Denali addressed the traditional migratory Inupiat lifestyle and the way it has been adapted to the present day and conditions, and in a concise, insightful, yet gentle and intellectual way, she briefly addressed the issues of conflict over resources and economics in present-day Alaska (and indeed which sometimes play out as contentious political issues in the US at large) which can threaten the native subsistence lifestyle. She also extolled the traditional Inupiat values and her own poetry and photographs which highlight the importance of family, respect for elders and their wisdom, and recall for young and old alike that there is much to value highly in their culture, language, and way of living as a part of Nature and the ecosystem in which they all reside - a view which has arisen once again after generations of suppression in which well-meaning missionaries and authorities put the native people into westernized church schools and forbade and/or punished many for engaging in some old Inupiat cultural practices and the speaking of the Inupiat language, much as happened with many Native Americans in the lower 48, and (for example) to the native Irish and Scots in Ireland and Scotland, etc., and to other people in various other places around the world where many ancient traditional cultures have been confronted and nearly overwhelmed by more aggressive, sometimes exploitative, and commercial profit-driven cultures and enterprises. Again, this is my own interpretation of what I learned - the actual tour is very enjoyable and a joyous experience, not at all a sermon, and included seeing the tundra bloom and lying on my back on the spongy tundra and feeling how the earth supports us - a nice enjoyable bit of symbolism which, again, was delivered without a sermon, but rather with a smile. Likewise, much as is the case in Barrow and some other communities not on the main Alaska road system but only reachable by air or barge or dogsled in winter, it should be remembered that the people in these native communities are not wasteful. It takes a lot to get anything there, and once there, they do not waste any of it. They use it for its original purpose and then they use it for 10 other things until it is no longer useful for anything, and then it is not easy or practical to remove it. And as for the plant and animal resources there, as in any well-adjusted ecosystem, rather than hunting and fishing for sport, they only take what they need, and they use every bit of what they take, and are give thanks to the animal for giving itself to them to provide food and clothing and other necessities. It is a lesson that those of us in the much more wasteful, planned-obsolescence, throwaway society need to remember about a world where things used to be built to last, and people managed their resources carefully rather than wastefully. It takes strong and special people to live in a tough place like this, and it is a welcome education to visit there and to speak to them first-hand, and to let them speak to you, to share their knowledge and wisdom about the place and about living there. I'd recommend it to anyone, and I believe that more people in the US need to see the remaining places of this sort.

Room Tip: I stayed in Room 427 and it was beautiful, with a great view of the water, so rooms near it should h...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
6 Thank Ray L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
48 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed June 20, 2012

My wife and I and another couple spent three days at the still new Nullagvik Hotel. It's a first rate hotel, far better than any other we have seen in the Alaskan bush. Comfortable, good-size rooms, adequately furnished. There are spectaular views from the ocean-side rooms. The staff was exceptionally helpful and accommodating. At our request, they kept the dining room open an hour later than normal closing when we were returning late from a charter flight. They cheerfully moved our room twice, once to give us a better view and the second time when the air-conditioning was out in the room. In the second case, the manager personally helped us move and upgraded our room. Compared to the limited competition in Kotz, the Nullagvik is definitely the best deal in town. Our only minor complaint was that the dining room hours do not accommodate those taking the early Alaska Airlines flight to Nome/Anchorage; however, there is a counter where cold cereal and other breakfast items can be puchased.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank Tony S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laurel, Delaware
Level 5 Contributor
90 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed May 31, 2012

Current picture is of the old hotel, new one is Blue and faces the water. Rooms are lovely, a bit pricey but only option in Kotzebue. Restaurant is on second floor which has an awesome view of the sound. Restaurant Manager is Alpha and she was very friendly and makes you glad you chose the Nullagvik for a meal. If you have an opportunity to visit Kotzebue this is the best "only" location for your stay. Rates are $269 a night for double with shower if you want a bathtub it is an addition $100. Like I said a bit pricey - but location, location, location. Not often do I visit 33 miles north of the Artic Circle. Probably once in a lifetime. This is true Alaska not the tourism of the cruise ship routes.

Room Tip: Westside Waterfront, you will see the sun set, if it sets, remember this is the land of the "m...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Cyndee1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Juneau, Alaska
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed February 21, 2012

I was in Kotzebue for work. Apart from going there for at the request of your employer or using it as a base camp for visiting any of the various nearby national parks, I’m unsure as to why, exactly, anyone in their right mind would end up in Kotzebue, AK. Regardless, if you do happen to find yourself there, this is the place to stay. It is new, clean, modern and within walking distance (or about a $7.00 cab ride) of the airport. It is also rather expensive if you have not yet acclimated yourself to prices in this part of the state but overall is worth the cost as the other options in town are noteworthy for reasons other than being “new, clean, and modern”. The staff here was very accommodating and allowed me to check into my room at a little after 8:00am after my 7:30am flight arrived and I had no place to go. The onsite restaurant’s menu choices were not overwhelming in their variation, but the sandwich and fries I had were good and again the staff was very friendly. My room had access to wireless internet that, while reliable in its service, was quite slow as well as a nice flat screen TV and decent cable. All in all, if you find yourself above the Arctic Circle and in need of a warm place to stay for a night or two, this has got to be one of the most attractive options in the state.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
2 Thank Nimes011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Great White North
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed January 30, 2012

Out with the old and in with the "NEW"llagvik. This property is an amazing addition to Kotzebue's charm and allure as a western Alaska destination. A bit pricey for the uninitiated, but no more than a premium hotel in any other North American city. The restaurant, while still serving a limited menu, is doing its best to raise the bar througout the regionAlaska. Don't miss the desserts, served complete w/ decorative icing presentation on the china. The rooms are smart, crisp, clean and completely modern, including outstanding new bedding, flat screen TV, full wireless, automatic motion sensing light systems, a simple electronic thermostat to adjust to your taste, microwave, coffee maker, little fridge, etc., etc. One missing item re: the old Nullagvik is a tub...just a shower now; and gone is the sign in the lobby warnubg guests "No cleaning fish in the tub." A sign of the times, I guess. The only real lacking element that you wish they had is a pool or hot tub....maybe someday, NANA Corp.? That'd be sweet!

Anyway, don't miss staying at the Nullagvik if you travel to OTZ, nor wonder if "...that place is any good." if you're planning a trip from afar. It's good. It's GREAT! Taikuu to all the folks that made this hotel happen....it's a welcomed addition to your great little city.

Room Tip: Go for the third floor for the best ocean view.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank Airworthy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Nullagvik Hotel

Property: Nullagvik Hotel
Address: 301 Shore Avenue, PO Box 336, Kotzebue, AK 99752
Location: United States > Alaska > Kotzebue
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Kotzebue
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 79
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience the Arctic in comfort and style. The Nullagvik Hotel –Inupiaq for ‘a place to sleep’ – offers a unique experience for travelers. Located 26 miles north of the Arctic Circle, the Nullagvik Hotel is much more than a place to sleep. It’s a place to reflect, to rest, to meet and to dine.The Nullagvik Hotel has long been a gathering place in Kotzebue, the thriving hub of Northwestern Alaska. In addition to 71 guest rooms and 7 suites, the hotel also features a meeting room, an observation room that looks over the Sound, an exercise room and a restaurant that offers delicious food and fantastic views. The Nullagvik Hotel also offers a city tour which is more than just a sightseeing tour; guests will gain a deeper understanding of the history, culture and way of life of the Inupiaq people of the region, by visiting local points of interest. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Nullagvik Hotel Kotzebue, Alaska

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