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“Van Gilder Lost My Reservation”

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The Van Gilder Hotel
Ranked #7 of 14 Hotels in Seward
Fairbanks, Alaska
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Van Gilder Lost My Reservation”
Reviewed June 26, 2013

I made reservations here for 4th of July weekend in March. MARCH, people!
They lost my reservation.
It is the busiest time of the year, and after furiously making a bunch of phone calls found something else.
How does a hotel lose a reservation?
How does a hotel not have any financial record of my reservation????
Is the Internet new to this place?
Take your business elsewhere.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank leahdcurtiss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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152 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
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English first
Penang, Malaysia
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed June 22, 2013

The Van Gilder is on the National Register of Historic Places, and guide books as well as Tripadvisor reviews all stress its old world charm. There is also, possibly, a resident lady ghost- all very appealing.

The positives are; you can be sure of a warm welcome and usually there is free flow of hot coffee, but fittings, carpets etc are definitely on the 'too old' side of interesting and quaint. The wifi in some rooms was too weak to use; our TV had strange colours on screen - maybe there has to be a trade off if you want genuine old buildings. It must be a tricky balance to maintain- keeping the olde worlde atmosphere yet meeting people's expectations, but I think the owners do need to spend some money on refreshing the place.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mike g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moab, Utah
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 14, 2013

This was the only hotel we could find online that could sleep all five of us in one room. That worked out well. There were two adjoining rooms with a Murphy bed in the second room. Everything was visually appealing, but we did feel like we were stepping back in time. We were there in June, when the sun hardly sets and there were no room darkening shades. The wi-fi was spotty. The very nice young man who was at the desk said there was a booster, but he was having electrical issues. The location, however was excellent.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lafmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alaska
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2013

Which I liked and was also 100+ years old. There are certain things that this old building will not give you. Fortunately, I don't care about most of those things. I booked this hotel because it was more cost-effective than the other options in Seward. The next time I travel to Seward, I will intentionally stay here. The room was cozy, warm, clean, and close to the Sea Life Center. Don't stay here if you are looking for a modern hotel experience. Do stay here if you can appreciate something different.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AKWeezy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Farmington Hills, Michigan
Level 6 Contributor
51 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed April 26, 2013

I think how much you like the Van Gilder will depend upon how you're traveling. If you're solo like I was, or perhaps a young couple, I think you'll find it charming. I loved the historic feel--it's very 1909, or at least, it's what I feel 1909 must have been like. The ruby carpet, the dark and thin hallway, reminded me of The Shining--in a non-scary way, but I still half-expected to turn a corner and see those two creepy twin girls. And I loved the old-fashioned windows--it's nice to slide it open and just enjoy the view with no screen or bars, just the crisp Alaskan air. And it's very refreshing that I'm trusted not to kill myself.

The room was clean, and even though it looked old, I didn't find it ugly or musty or anything like that. The room was nothing spectucular, but fine for a few days. I've slept in better beds, but this one was okay. I had desk space, a TV high on the wall, and reliable Wifi. A mini-fridge would've been great, but there are stores and restaurants literally minutes away on foot, so that wasn't an issue. The location is great--the stunning Resurrection Bay, and 4th Avenue (and its restaurants, cafes, and souvenir shops) pretty much right outside the front door.

However, if you're used to modern hotels and amenities, I guess I could see why you may not like the Van Gilder as much as some other places. I've heard a few people call it "musty"--I didn't think it was, but I guess I could see why some people might think it so. And regarding the window with no screen that didn't quite close all the way and thus didn't lock--to an athletic guy like me, on the third floor, it was no big deal. However, if you're traveling with small children it can be downright dangerous, and if you're a woman traveling by herself and you're on the ground flloor or even the second, it could certainly make falling asleep a bit tougher--you might want to ask if the window locks when you check in, or ask to move to the top floor. Just a thought.

Like I said, it depends on how you're traveling. This solo traveler looking to explore Alaska, then wind down at a restaurant or coffeehouse down the street, liked it.

Room Tip: If you're on an upper floor, no fridge isn't that big of a deal--just open the window and se...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Matthew M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Orleans, LA
Level 6 Contributor
82 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2013

A friend and I planned our trip to Alaska months in advance. I selected this hotel based on their website and price. It is within walking distance of everything in town, esp. shopping and the waterfront. Great price online. Nice, friendly staff. Adequate free continental breakfast is served in the parlor and the fully stocked kitchen is available for other meal preparation. We cooked fresh salmon and steamed veggies and enjoyed a "home cooked" meal! If you get to Seward, make sure you take the short road trip to see Exit Glacier. Beautiful view and worth the walk up!

Room Tip: I understand there is only one room with two double beds. It's on the first floor which is anot...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank UntilWeEatAgain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton, Montana
Level 5 Contributor
42 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2013

This is a nice hotel with a friendly staff. I loved the decor and the old time feel of this hotel. The rooms were perfect and the bathroom was bigger than expected. This hotel is within walking distance of the stores and shops that line the streets. My favorite part was eating gelato on a bench overlooking the water. I would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lisa C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Van Gilder Hotel

Property: The Van Gilder Hotel
Address: 308 Adams St., Seward, AK 99664
Location: United States > Alaska > Seward
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 14 Hotels in Seward
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — The Van Gilder Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 23
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Also Known As:
Van Gilder Hotel
Van Gilder Seward

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