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“As expected”
Review of Glacier Bay Lodge

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Glacier Bay Lodge
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Gustavus
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 2, 2013

stayed at the glacier bay lodge in gustavus in july 2013 for 2 days. The best part of the stay was the fact that it was super isolated and within the national park. Small rooms connected by board walks with basic servicing daily (very basic servicing mind u)
The dining room was decent - they serve vegetarian dishes on the menu which was a pleasant surprise with a couple of excellent tasting dishes. The restaurant service was hit or miss - functioning and matter of fact.
No wi-fi in room, no mobile service in the area and that goes well with the isolation. There is a slow wi-fi available in the lobby area which is useful.
There is little to do apart from the glacier bay day cruise and a couple of hikes with the rangers. The Glacier bay day cruise is excellent and a must do. The ranger guided walks and talks are also very good.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank BVtraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 2, 2013

We'd done a lot of research into this place using TripAdvisor reviews and felt we were probably going to be OK staying there, but felt there may still be an element of risk.

Having stayed there for 4 nights, I'd be OK to go back. So here's my opinion.

For what they are, the rooms *are* expensive. However, it's remote, you're a captive audience in the park and the season is short, so I'd expect them to be overpriced. That's life.

But they are clean, serviced daily and meet the need. I read a review which said the beds are a bit hard, and I'd agree. Additionally, getting the shower to work was a little complicated. Also, because the cabins are connected by board walks, there may be times in the mornings when you are awakened by people wheeling their bags along the wooden walkways, but not always. Aside from this, the rooms are comfortable enough. Remember they are shut for more than half the year, so you can't expect The Ritz.

The lodge itself is OK. Plenty to see and do. Night-time presentations by the rangers and so on. Free wi-fi, which is handy, but you won't get it in your room and it will be a bit slow.

With regards to the dining room. The lunch and dinner menus are not that extensive. We stayed four nights - which I suspect may be a long stay for this lodge - and it became a bit jaded by the 4th night. I also don't eat fish, which halved the menu for me (but that's my problem). Again, it is expensive, but again, you're in Alaska. The quality was fine also.

It was also nice to see the fruit in the breakfast buffet was fresh. That surprised me - I would have expected canned fruit being so far away from everything.

I've read reports about the service being slow. However, we ate 9 or 10 meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) over the days there and it was mostly OK. Couple of notable exceptions. One night we waited for desert for half an hour, but then weren't charged for it amidst much apologising for making us wait so long. Also, they had one waiter who really didn't wait on you at all well, but I suppose there's always one. It appears to be a mixture of seasonal staff who come back every year and summer workers from colleges. How good the food is can depend on who is cooking also.

On the whole, the lodge is in a great location. If you want to take the Glacier Cruise, this is the best place to stay as it's a 3 minute walk to the dock from the lodge. There's also kayaking near by, which is just a great experience to do. It's easy enough to get to Whale Watching on the Taz too. The shuttle is free and runs regularly enough to get you to the places you may want to go. You'll probably see wildlife of some sort while you're there.

One tip on flying using the daily Alaska Airlines flight in the summer - don't fly out on a Saturday. We arrived on a Tuesday and the plane was lightly loaded and the terminal basically empty when we arrived as if no-one was going out on the return flight. But on Saturday, all the people who have come to fishing lodges in Gustavus go back along with their boxes of fish and the airport becomes sheer madness. And the airport's facilities are fairly basic. So avoid it if you can.

Room Tip: Some of the rooms may be a bit of a walk from the lodge, so you may try and get one close-ish.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank thatwouldbeus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2013

this review is part of our 1st time 18 day trip to Alaska taken in July 2013. The weather was exceptional and we recommend everybody makes this pilgrimage to a place where you are traveling in art. We stayed 2 nights in a water view room in the only lodging inside Glacier Bay National Park. The lodge is operated by Aramark and the staff is very friendly and the main lodge is beautiful. The rooms are in separate buildings which require some steps (no ramps) which is problematic when toting luggage. The walls are thin between the rooms hearing our adjacent neighbors. The food was well prepared in the main dining room.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Henry I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

Glacier Bay National Park is all about water and the glaciers. And staying at Glacier Bay Lodge right in the park is the closest you can get to both of these. No one actually stays in the lodge building itself. The rooms are located along a boardwalk but within easy access to the lodge where all the activities occur. Take advantage of the movies and talks given by the Park Rangers. Also take the boat ride 'up the bay' to see the magnificent glaciers for which this park is best known.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Joan L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2013 via mobile

The location on Glacier Bay and the lodge itself make for a remarkable experience. The service(and in particular Kristie the manager)was extremely good. The rooms were OK-nothing exceptional--but the Glacier/wildlife boat tour made the stay exceptional. The food was very good-especially the fresh crab from their own pots-again complements of Kristies efforts!

  • Stayed: June 2013
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Thank William K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2013

My wife and I recently returned from a wonderful Alaska vacation. During this incredible trip we visited Glacier Bay Lodge located on the beautiful peninsula Gustavos. Only about 400 people live on this peninsula. Very quaint, quiet and hospitable. We stayed at the "lodge" at Glacier Bay which is only one of two or three places on the whole peninsula to bed down. Those others being Bed and Breakfast type places. We opted for the scenic cruise along with the all inclusive package. Package included two nights at the Lodge, scenic whale watching cruise (which is an all day cruise), and food and drink, excluding alcohol. We arrived on Alaska airlines, not included in package.
The property that the lodge is located on is truly beautiful and contained 3 or 4 hiking trails. My wife and I hiked the 1 mile and the 3 mile trail. There is a 10 mile trail as well but we ran out of time. The trails are rugged in areas and breathtakingly beautiful. Hiking shoes highly recommended,waterproof preferred as there may be some shallow water encountered. We saw black bear, moose, and an incredible amount of eagles.
The cruise is the main event and most if not all the people who stay at the lodge do so to take the cruise. The marina is a stones throw from the lodge so very convenient. The cruise simply put was FANTASTIC. We saw whales, seals, otters and an incredible amount of wildlife. Even saw some baby killer whales chasing seals. Bring your camera. There are binoculars on the boat for passenger use. The boat captain and crew were friendly and amazing. On board was also a representative from the National Park Service who answered questions relating to the environment and wildlife. Saw glaciers and icebergs and learned so much.
Okay, now the lodge itself. It was very nice, but really nothing to write home about. The lobby was ok. Gas fireplace, not real wood was a disappointment at a remote lodge in Alaska, Food at the lodge was very good and a decent value especially if you do the all inclusive package which I would recommend. We departed from Juneau on Alaska airlines. Transportation from airport supplied by lodge.
The rooms at the lodge were small, kinda stuffy, and contained the bare minimums. It reminded me of a camp lodge and room when I was a kid. Dont come here for the lodge. Come here for the environment,hiking, and the cruise. You wont regret the trip.

Room Tip: I am not sure if you can upgrade rooms to be honest. Since we did the all inclusive package I didnt...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Paul L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2013 via mobile

Bring some good books and leave your wireless devices at home. Relaxing in the large main lodge room is lovely with a big main fireplace, had wished it was wood burning rather that gas or propane. Staff is very friendly and accommodating but because they are seasonal, don't always have the right answer or depending on who you ask will depend on the answer. Food for 2 people -3 meals is about $140 a day. Fish entrees -the same two offering of salmon or halibut are $30 each. salad apps are $10. No specials and no menu change. There is a fabulous Gustavus Inn that we went to- a full bbq white salmon dinner, unlimited, gourmet fresh meal- reservation required- for $50pp, it was the best meal and well worth the trip. You can stay there with bike access and 3 meals included, next time that is where we go!

The lodge has an irregular transport schedule to anywhere based on airport passenger pick up so if timing is not right you can pay them $10pp to go the 9 miles into town, though another staff member told me it was $5. Taxi is $15pp each way- $60 for 2 round trip. The kayaking on a sunny day is spectacular, not cheap with a guide- which is key, it's $95pp and 20% tip. $240 fir 2 people for 3 hrs.

All fay Boat tour is a must to see Glaciers, also $225pp, but includes food and great park commentary. Bring warm clothes! they provided binoculars. 4 nights at the lodge will set you back about $2400 double occupancy, 3 meals, 1/2 day kayak and boat trip for 2. Trail walks around the lodge are nice, but getting to the other trail heads is about 6miles- you will have to walk there. Staff is very friendly but not consistently informative. Gustavus is 2 stores and a public dock, but you need a car to get there and fun to see. My understanding is the lodge does not want you to leave. My recommendation is to stay 2-3 nights max and bring some breakfast meals. $11 for an omelette won't get you toast, only potatoes. Or stay at Gustavus Inn and go to national park via bike. We missed a lot of trail blazing in other parts because we could not get there.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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Thank DerbyNYC
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

Address: 199 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 4 Hotels in Gustavus
Price Range: $207 - $274 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Glacier Bay Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 48
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Also Known As:
Glacier Bay Hotel Gustavus
Glacier Bay Lodge Gustavus, Alaska

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