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“Usual National Park Lodge - Take the Ferry There” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Glacier Bay Lodge

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Glacier Bay Lodge
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Gustavus
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
106 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“Usual National Park Lodge - Take the Ferry There”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2012

We did the 2 night package including meals, lodging, and boat trip and it was just right-- after 5 days in Juneau. I heartily recommend the ferry instead of flying because it is inexpensive and an interesting trip. If I were staying longer than 2 nights, I would take my car on the ferry as well to explore around Gustavus but we really didn't have a lot of extra time and just hung out at the Lodge.
The Lodge is typical national park lodge, nothing fancy-- the food the same. No Wi-Fi except sometimes in the lobby, but not what I need traveling to what is certainly the most remote national park I've been to. On the ferry we traveled for hours without seeing anything man made.
The boat trip was definitely worth it to see the glaciers-- I wouldn't go to Glacier Bay and then not do it.
My only complaint was the weather in that while June is supposed to be the driest month, summer hadn't "arrived yet" according to the ranger and it rained or drizzled almost nonstop. Go expecting rain and then be pleasantly surprised if you have sun. Definitely worth experiencing despite the weather.

Room Tip: Asking for a view room is worth the extra
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PhillyVoyager
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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202 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (51)
Date | Rating
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English first
Tel Aviv, Israel
Level Contributor
221 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 263 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 13, 2012

The lodge is located in the national park, incorporated into the visitor center and the departure point of the Glacier Bay tours by the rangers (the only option to see the bay).
It is nice, and very comfortable to be so close to the park activities. Yes, it is Alaska, but 180$ for it are too much. Would it be reasonable price, I would give them 5*. The restaurant is so-so.
WiFi is unstable, in the lobby only. The lobby is supposed to be open 24 hours but they close it 11PM. No cellular connectivity (there is in Gustavus itself, although not 3G).
Limited parking lot but not too many are coming with cars.
Pay the extra 20$ or so and take the view rooms. There are 2 rows. The upper (2x) is more accessible from entrance but less isolated. The lower (1x) is more beautiful and remote but you need to descend about 20 steps for them. Your choice…
Consider to bring your car to Gustavus, it's very cheap (so called 58$ each direction but it includes the driver, who would otherwise pay 33$, so it's just 25$ and much more comfortable)

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Room Tip: Pay the extra 20$ or so and take the view rooms. There are 2 rows. The upper (2x) is more accessible...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Avi O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
letrips66
Level Contributor
175 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 2, 2012

I had high hopes for the facility that was located within Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve. I was disappointed. The rooms were dated, they had no amenities (including no cell service, no Wi-Fi in the rooms, no televisions, not even a fan. We found a rather large spider under the pillow of one of the beds -- and the beds were a double and a twin. Rustic is okay if you're expecting it but they need to be more obvious about the things they don't have. The views were nice and it was convenient to catch the boat tour, but you can get shuttles from other properties and not be so "captive" with no other dining options, etc. One note -- after not seeing any whales on the boat tour, we wondered if we could go whale watching. The only "official" whale watching company was doing a charter so the front desk folks made a lot of calls on our behalf to find a private fishing charter that didn't have a charter booked. It took them about 2 hours to track down one but we got a trip for our last morning.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank letrips66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cypress, Texas
Level Contributor
208 reviews
142 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 247 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 1, 2012

The Glacier Bay Lodge is the visitor hub of Glacier Bay National Park. The visitor center is upstairs from the hotel lobby, restaurant, and gift shop, and the lobby also serves as the location for several ranger and Tlingit cultural presentations in the evening.

The lodge rooms themselves are scattered across the property - in "wings" of five - ten units per wing. Be aware that some units have fairly extensive walks from the main lodge and involve going up and down steps. Our unit - #9 - required four sets of steps to reach our room from the main lodge. Our unit was also listed as a view unit - and indeed it has a view of Bartlett Cove - but the surrounding vegetation growth is quickly impeding on that view. One gets a better view from the lobby / restaurant - than at least we had in unit #9.

The lodge rooms are very basic. Our room had one double bed and one twin bed. There is no TV, microwave or fridge in the room. There is no internet access in the room. We could not get a cell phone signal in the room (or if I recall correctly, at the lodge, either). There is a phone in the room. We found the room servicing crew to be inconsistent. We stayed three nights, and there was very poor servicing after the first night - a bit better after the second night. There does appear to be a toilet paper and towel shortage at the lodge, as they did not leave spare rolls (we had to ask) and they took up the towels in the morning before returning clean ones in the afternoon.

The restaurant is your only dining choice without driving into Gustavus, which itself does not have abundant dining choices (the Gustavus Inn for dinner; the Sunnyside Market for a deli lunch (very good sandwiches), the Fireweed Gallery as a coffee shop and that is pretty much it from what I could tell). The food at the lodge is on the whole good. As others have noted, the food can get a little pricey. The breakfast buffet in my opinion is way overpriced for what is available, but there are more reasonably priced choices if ordering off the menu. The service was very inconsistent. We had several good servers and several who need to polish up their wait routine a bit. Two major complaints: the wait staff would not write down customers' orders. That led to two issues during the course of our seven meals at the lodge. I don't know why there is a reluctance to write down customers' orders. Secondly, several times the wait staff tried to take our plates while there was still food on them and we were still eating. That behavior is a real sore point with both my wife and I and to have it happen multiple times during our stay left a negative impression.

One final point about staying at the lodge. Gustavus only became a frequent stop on the Alaska Marine Highway System in 2012. It is very possible to plan a reasonable length stay at the lodge as a part of a driving trip, without having to rely on flying over from Juneau. However, the infrastructure of Gustavus and Glacier Bay Lodge is still trying to catch up to / come to grips with this new accessibility. The parking lot at the lodge has only about 12 slots - for a 55 room establishment. Clearly, the traditional way of arrival is by flight and then shuttle from the airport to the lodge. Even now, the lodge runs shuttles to meet each arriving and departing ferry. My suggestion to lodge management is that they should recognize that an increasing number of guests will arrive via automobile and add more parking.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jbtexas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asheville, North Carolina
Level Contributor
21 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2012

This isn't a four star hotel however, it has four star location and five star views! The room was rustic and simple however, clean, quiet and a perfect place to lay our tired heads after a day of exploring. The staff is very friendly and helpful. The food ok. The location is very remote and a perfect place to feel that you are truly experiencing Alaska's great nature w/out having to actually be tenting it. There were bears w/cubs and moose w/their babies walking around the resort area when we were there in June so be aware, but we didn't have any issue.

Room Tip: If you are going this far, get a room w/a view.
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank bludaizie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 24, 2011

I'm so glad we spent the money for a view room - it's so serene there and gorgeous, we enjoyed the view from our room so very much. Although it's rustic - it's clean, private and we had a wonderful stay at the lodge.

The restaurant can get pricey so ask for the 'bar' menu vs. the dinner menu! It's more reasonable.

Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank Kim B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geneva, Switzerland
Level Contributor
46 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 9, 2011

This isn't the BEST hotel in the world, but it's a really nice place in a very remote location. the rooms are large, the people are helpful and the park is beautiful. There's enough to do in and around the park. This is exactly what we were expecting - a slightly nicer than usual lodge. Perfect.

The biggest downside is that, because it's so far from town, the only place to eat is the restaurant at the lodge, which isn't great.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank N0nickname
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Glacier Bay Lodge

Property: Glacier Bay Lodge
Address: 179 Barlett Cove, Gustavus, AK 99826
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Alaska > Gustavus
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Gustavus
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Glacier Bay Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 48
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Glacier Bay Hotel Gustavus
Glacier Bay Lodge Gustavus, Alaska

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