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“AWESOME B&B - sets a new standard”

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Ballaine House Bed and Breakfast
Ranked #6 of 46 Seward B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 23, 2010

My wife and I are on the road full time and when we're not camping we're looking for great B&B's. The Ballaine House B&B is THE BEST B&B we've ever stayed in. The home is cozy and laid out well. The rooms were very comfortable and nice sized, the bed was perfect.

Our breakfast both mornings was wonderful. Each night the host and hostess would ask what we might like and about what time. Each morning we woke up to perfectly brewed coffee and a delicious breakfast right on time. If we weren't sure of the time or what we'd like it would have been no problem, they just like to have it ready when you want to get up.

Ben and Beth were our host and hostess and they did everything possible to make us feel comfortable. We just couldn't ask for anything better. We've never stayed in a B&B this exceptional - we highly recommend it!!

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Bear2ii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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109 - 115 of 154 reviews

Reviewed July 16, 2010

We were disappointed with our two night stay at another B&B in Seward, so we decided to try Bellaine House. No answer on the phone, so we just drove there and were welcomed by Marlee at the door. Yes she had a room, but it wasn't ready yet, wouldn't we like some hot tea (it was a cold, rainy day) while we wait? The tea selection was better than a supermarket. We made ourselves comfortable in the living room/common room, she introduced us to the other guests, a friendly young couple from Denmark, and soon the room was ready.

Staying at Ballaine House is a very personal experience. Marlee has made an effort to gather everything she can think of that might make your stay more enjoyable. She has a huge collection of videos and books on Alaska (we watched a video on the tsunami with our new Danish friends), hot water for drinks available at all times, even a pair of trekking poles to loan guests. Washer and dryer available, as well as boot dryers.

After dinner, Marlee sat with us and we had such a good discussion, everything from Alaska history to politics to great hikes...it felt like she knew us the minute we met.

She apologised that she would not be able to make us breakfast as she was going to Anchorage shopping, but we certainly did not go hungry with nine kinds of cold cereal, yogurt, juice, milk, soy milk, various breads for toasting, coffee....some B&B's are so formal about breakfast. Here, we helped ourselves to whatever we wanted, and didn't feel awkward about it. We borrowed a set of trekking poles to hike up Mount Marathon, and she said we could just leave them on the porch when we were done.

This may not be everyone's idea of perfection, but we were so happy here. We travel quite a bit, and our sweetest memories are of the people we meet along the way. What a special experience this was.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank timmind
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2010

My husband and I stayed here in 2009 and were pretty creeped out by the experience. One year later we still talk about how bizarre this place was. You should know this is a woman's house, and the experience you will have is that of staying in a bedroom of someone else's cluttered home. Marlee wandered the house in her sweat pants, and there was stuff everywhere (books, nick-nacks) in the living room. We felt like we were intruding on our great Aunt Betty. She insisted on probing into every place we were going and what we were doing, and making assertions about our choice of restaurants. In the morning, we were asked at breakfast to "please not speak" since the people in the bedroom just outside the living room were still sleeping (breakfast was very good, though). The room was very clean, though nothing special at all (we had a room downstairs with very little decoration or charm), and we were so uncomfortable to be watched every time we came or left the bedroom. It was literally like being at an awkward family reunion.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank memememuppet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2010

OK, so a lot of people are giving Ballaine House bad reviews because making a reservation is hard. It's true: reservations are slow. It isn't hard per se. It just isn't instantaneous. Truth, relevance, etc aside, I don't think anyone should review a place they didn't actually patronize. You pull down her score because reservations aren't convenient? Go stay at the Marriott and leave the rest of us who actually want a B&B with all its quirks and human feel and personality free of your whining.

Now, for those of you with patience and soul, if you are patient and lucky enough to score a reservation you are going to get more doting on than you do from your mother. Marilee sent me 19 - yes, nineteen - pages of information on Seward months before I left for Alaska. She saved us 20% on the amazing Kenai Fjords tour we took - and did the same for everyone else who walked through her door on not just this tour, but on others and on fishing trips and everything else (but eating) anyone did in the area.

She has done all the stuff she recommends and tailors her recommendations to the guest. The couples in their early thirties w ere sent up the Harding Icefield Trail and the couples in their sixties were sent...well...I don't know where she sent them. But she definitely sized us up for fitness, interest, and time. She talks to everyone about what they did to get their feedback to pass on to other guests.

Back to the doting. She is totally, totally amazing. When we came in mud caked and freezing, she put our boots on the boot dryer, washed all our clothes and provided hot chocolate. In the morning she made exactly what each person wanted for breakfast. Which meant one order of soft scrambled eggs, the next person likes *dry* scrambled eggs, the next sunny side up, the next fried, etc. Bacon or sausage? Neither? Some of each? Crunchy or soft? Omelette? What kind of cheese? Veggies? Blueberry or buttermilk pancakes? It's nuts! When we left for our boat tour of the Kenai Fjords she gave me motion sickness pills and the=ose wristbands, sent us with gloves and extra hats and extra coats. Yes, she has extra winter coats big enough to go over my ski jacket and shell. Thank you very much! We were the only people left standing on the deck! Everyone else shivered and surrendered retiring to the interior to look at things through windows....

Breakfast is amazing. Cooked to order. Huge fresh fruit plate, yogurt, bfast meats, eggs, toast, pancakes, homemade muffins, coffee, tea, juice, coco. Dreamy. Oh and the hot drinks are available all day. The tea selection is as vast as the grocery store's.

Rooms and baths are totally clean and comfortable with decent views.

Parking a breeze.

There's a hilarious bar within walking distance.

The other guests were totally fun. We made friends we're keeping back down here in the Lower 48 and thoroughly enjoyed the eclectic crew of single serving friends we met at breakfast every morning.

O, there is an enormous video collection if you want to doze off in front of a movie.

BLACK OUT CURTAINS!!! This was the first place I stayed where I actually slept in AK! They say there are 20 hours of daylight. What they don't tell you is that the other 4 hours are twilight, not dark. It's enough to make a person crazy!

Anyway, this is the best value in a B&B I have ever gotten in my life! Even my husband who still calculates prices in the rural southern 1980s figures thought it was an incredible deal when you consider the service!

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank BoldlyGoing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 11, 2010

Read about Ballaine House on TripAdvisor and in Lonely Planet and booked a room for my brother and I for 3 nights. From the moment we stepped through the door out of the rain we were made to feel like we were at home. Marlee was welcoming and professional, the lodging was immaculate, and the breakfasts were OUTSTANDING. The is easily one of the best deals to be had on lodging in Seward - not only did we get to stay in a beautiful room with 2 queen beds and a lovely view out the front of the house, but we also got a made to order breakfast every morning (egg scramble, blueberry pancakes, meats, oatmeal, whatever we wanted really) in addition a great fruit tray was available daily with yogurt as well as a great tea selection, coffee, and hot cocoa. In fact the tea and cocoa were available throughout the day and was a great welcome after a hike or a day on the water!

Ballaine House is a historic home, and bathrooms are shared, but I must say that I did not have a problem with bathroom availability. Other amenities inc luded free WiFi if you had a computer as well as a desktop available for guest use, TVs with VHS/DVD player and satellite TV in each room as well as a huge collection of movies - both entertaining and educational about Alaska, as well as a great little library of books about Alaska. Not to mention you will never leave on a boat tour without the offer of an extra jacket, hat or gloves, and I was even able to get a few items of laundry done that had gotten dirty while I was at Denali.

Again, really can't say enough good things about this experience! Marlee creates such a warm, comfortable environment fellow guests quickly become friends and day's experiences are eagerly shared each evening in the living room.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with friends
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2  Thank jknd02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2010

My wife and I stayed here for 3 nights while in Seward. The owner was very nice to us and all the other guests we encountered during our stay. She gave us tips on where to dine and coupons for attractions we were going to. The coffee and made to order breakfast every morning exceeded our expectations. The host was a real people's person, we enjoyed the conversations over breakfast before we ventured out for our day's activities.

If you're looking for a sleek W hotel atmosphere, then this is not the place for you. What you'll find if you stay at Ballaine House are all the amenities you'll need, excellent breakfast in the morning, free WiFi, and a host that really cares to make sure you're comfortable. We would not hesitate to recommend this bed & breakfast to our friends and family and everyone on TA.

Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
Thank Matthew Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2010

My girlfriend and I booked this Bed and Breakfast without knowing very much and our stay exceeded all possible expectations we had. We wouldn't think of staying at any other place in Seward ever. I guarantee it will be one of the best stays in Alaska you will ever have!

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank pspalm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ballaine House Bed and Breakfast

Address: 437 Third Ave, Seward, AK 99664-2051
Location: United States > Alaska > Seward
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 46 B&Bs / Inns in Seward
Number of rooms: 4
Also Known As:
Ballaine House b&b
Ballaine House Hotel Seward

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