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“Excellent Option”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Glacier Bay Lodge

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Glacier Bay Lodge
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Gustavus
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
37 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Excellent Option”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 4, 2013

We always like staying in the Park when we visit National Parks, so that was the draw and we were not disappointed. The Park Visitor Center is incorporated into the Lodge and makes the daily guided tours and NPS Ranger presentations at night very convenient. The location/views from the Lodge/deck/room are unbelievable and the boat tour dock and trails are all steps away. Transportation provided by the Lodge is very good if you need to go into town, whale watch or to/from the airport. The Lodge is dated and needs some major updating, but everything is clean. The staff are all very good, there just aren’t enough of them -- and then the service suffers…especially at peak times in the dining room.

We stayed in room 15 – great cove views and close to the Lodge & hiking trails.

If you want to stay in the Park and have all of the amenities close by and don’t mind some of the miscues that go along with NPS Lodging, this is the place.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank tjel
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
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Whitehorse, Canada
Level Contributor
175 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 3, 2013

I loved the boardwalks to the rooms. There was a bit of noise from people walking but it also meant that everyone was spread out and our room looked through the trees towards the ocean. The rooms were spacious enough and so convenient to the dock, the nearby walk in the forest and the beach walk. Upstairs there is a good display of animals and information about the park. The Lodge is run by Aramark and I heard that they were not going to renew their contract so not sure what is going to happen. There is a shuttle to town. We stayed one night before going on a kayaking trip. You couldn't have asked for a more convenient spot as it was very close to the dock It was a bit pricy but was the only available room for that particular night and it turned out to be a good choice because it gave us an opportunity to spend time wandering around the park before leaving the next morning. We ate on the deck in the afternoon - fish and chips and beer. The food was okay. We had a quick coffee and toast before leaving in the morning. The staff was very helpful.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Gertie68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BVtraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles 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.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank thatwouldbeus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
33 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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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Helpful?
Thank Henry I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gainesville, Florida
Level Contributor
162 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Joan L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omaha, Nebraska, USA
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank William K
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
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Also Known As:
Glacier Bay Hotel Gustavus
Glacier Bay Lodge Gustavus, Alaska

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