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“Great place to stay,bay walk,info signs along the walk,”
Review of A Swan Nest Inn

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A Swan Nest Inn
Ranked #31 of 44 Seward B&B and Inns
California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great place to stay,bay walk,info signs along the walk,”
Reviewed May 11, 2011

I love this place.I stayed here about 5 years ago and it was great to see all the improvements the owner has done over the years,,,He has restored this historic property with his own labor and you can see the love in the details,,a lot of hand crafted furniture and innovative details,,The location is perfect,,centrally located and his manager,Heather,was born and raised in Seward,,and she was a great help with setting up tours and hikes,,,which in May was important because not ererything is open and there is still snow on the trails...Friendly helpful,quiet and a unique place to stay..SUPER,,my kind of place..

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank grumpy22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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132 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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phoenix, az
Level Contributor
53 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed October 14, 2010

It is a little walk from the Seward shuttle stop and the bldg front as well as the BnB seems to be in various stages of repair or maybe disrepair. Rickety uneven stairs but only a flight up. It is a homey great room style of reception area, a sort of put together from junk kind of look. Armchairs with sagging slipcovers, and when you look under they are ratty throwaway junk that really needed slipcovering. The room is decorated quaint with a lot of pine custom furniture. The loft ladder is surprising strong and the loft above 4 ft is a crawl space, carpeted, with two mattresses laid on the floor. I was concerned about this area getting proper vacuuming but my children skin and allergies did not react adversely. We stayed only one night. The lighting was poor, the bathroom was clean , no view. The selling point for this was .." it is better to have a view blocked by another building since the Alaska long daylight would not give you a good nights sleep"! The manager, Heather, is hospitable and professional, and such an excellent baker!! The breakfast was wonderful, fresh and a satisfying start for a long day ahead. It was a decent price point, fair, but as travelers have probably discovered, Seward is an overpriced place for tourists. This BNB would be roughing it specially if you purchased upscaled cruise accommodations.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank racoontraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at A Swan Nest Inn, responded to this review, March 17, 2011
A Swan Nest Inn is one persons attempt to save a small part of Seward’s history. Originally built in 1918, the building was ready for the wrecking ball and I took the challenge to save it. Over the last 10 years she has been brought up to current commercial building codes and the original I00F front was restored. We received an award for the restoration. We are working on restoring the original ballroom on the first floor but that is still a few years away. The stairs to the second floor are beam and plank construction and certainly not rickety; however, even with new paint they show the signs of many Alaskan winters. An elevator is in future plans also. With only a few exceptions I have done all the work on the building.
October is a change over time of year for us. The summertime tourist are gone. In winter our clientele are generally longer term visitors (scientist working at the Sealife center or temporary work crews here in Seward). The summertime furniture is moved out and a few couches and armchairs are pulled out of storage. Miss Racoontravler is right about a few pieces of this furniture. They have out live their life and I am glad to say they have been replace along with new carpet and a completely renovated reception area.
We regularly receive positive comments on the quality of sleep. This is not an accident. The most expensive pieces of furniture in the building are the mattresses. We do not use chemicals to provide that fresh, clean smell. We use a little more elbow grease and lots of airflow. Cleanliness is all important, we have a special vacuum to do the lofts and high quality washer and dryers. The description of the lofts is accurate. I describe them as glorified bunk areas and they have very comfortable mattresses which lay directly on the carpet to provide the maximum head room. Kids love the lofts. They have open banisters that look down on the rest of the room.
Clean, comfortable and affordable accommodations is our goal. Our Standard rooms at $115 are the lowest priced rooms with a private bathroom in the downtown area of Seward. If you want a view of the Bay it is only $10 more. If your looking for something that is not typical hotel then I hope you will take a look at what we have to offer.
Thank you, Tom Swann
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado Springs
1 review
Reviewed August 24, 2010

Well……a wet couple of days, but I enjoyed my stay. The train reservations went without a “hitch”. Great ride in those new “Gold Star” double-decker dome cars. Nothing like the old ones. Highly recommend it to anyone making the Anchorage to Seward run.

Even though it appeared you had a couple of unhappy campers (weather makes some folks cranky) – I loved my room. I was pretty much soaked by the time I checked in, but a change of clothes, a book from your shelf and I just sat back, enjoyed my room and read until bedtime.

The breakfast was just what I needed, a cup of coffee, a piece of pumpkin bread and a banana. It was nice getting to share the breakfast room with a family from Eagle River and talk to them for a bit before they headed out in their boat.

Sure – no view (but you told me ahead of time), but everything else was great. It was just what I was looking for – a warm, cozy, laidback place to sleep the night. I was impressed. I would sure like to come back again (maybe again in the Winter) and when I do, I will look you up and I hope you have room # 3 available again. VERY relaxing.

Ken Kramer
Colorado Springs, Colorado

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank KenColoradoSprings
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, TX USA
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2010

A great find in downtown historic Seward. Somehow it was spared by the Good Friday, 1964 earthquake that lowered Seward 7 ft! It has 8 rooms, 2 sitting areas, and a fully-equipped kitchen for the quests to cook whatever they wish. Beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.
Heather, the manager, was very helpful, informative, and knowledgable about the area and it's activities.
Every morning a fresh breakfast was ready, including eggs, fruit, fresh-baked breads, and freshly ground coffee. What a feast! A DEFINATE STOP FOR ME AGAIN WHEN I VISIT SEWARD.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank BOBHouston_TXUSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed June 9, 2010

We enjoyed our stay two years ago and enjoyed it again this time. The building has many interesting touches and the location is excellent. There is free wireless internet and the rooms are very comfortable.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank blkatz2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
1 review
Reviewed June 4, 2010

My husband and I stayed at A Swan Nest Inn and absolutly loved it! Fresh breakfast every morning, stories from real Alaskan grown locals, and a room that was not only cozy but unique and quaint to stay in.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank illusivephoenix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rockville, Maryland
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed May 21, 2010

Quick pros: great location, walking distance to shops, restaurants, Sealife Center. Friendly and helpful staff, tasty breakfast, extra blanket/pillow/amenities easily available. SCRUPULOUSLY clean. Nice common area for breakfast, evening activities.

Quick cons: smallish rooms, lofts involve a ladder climb and some crawling, no handicap access, not good for anyone with dog allergies, rooms off common area would be loud for late risers.

Details: We were the only guests during an off-peak time, and we found our stay very enjoyable! One thing to keep in mind is that this is more a B&B than a hotel.

- The staff were all very helpful and friendly. They did everything from chatting with us at breakfast to checking on the weather for our boat tour to helping one of our party find a hairdresser in town.

- The bedrooms and common rooms were incredibly clean. Most spotless place I've ever been in.

- This was, as the owner Tom said, a "guy's B&B": if you needed extra blankets/pillows/etc, they were available by the common area. If you wanted some of the tea out in the common area, you made it. If you needed help/area advice/something more, you ASKED, and they were more than happy to provide.

- The rooms were lockable and you kept your key. The outer door was left unlocked so that guests could come and go as they needed.

- The owner and manager both had dogs that often came to visit in the common areas (not the rooms). If you've got dog allergies, this probably will be a problem for you.

- The Inn is not handicap accessible: you have to climb outside stairs to get to it. Tom did say that he's planning on putting an elevator in, but that's in the further future. Likewise, beds in the lofts have to be reached by climbing 4-5 rungs up a ladder attached to the wall. The lofts are not tall enough to stand in, so you crawl a few feet to the mattresses. If you're not physically capable of any of this, another B&B would be better.

- They will not come clean the rooms during the day. Personally, I found this nice, as I don't like folks bothering the room while I'm away.

- We stayed in one of the Bay View rooms, and once you looked out over the surrounding houses, the views out of the bedroom and the south lounge were lovely.

- The room was smaller than anticipated: a bit of a tight fit for more than two people and their luggage. For us, the room was just for sleeping in, and we spent any other time we were there in the sunny and pleasant south breakfast room.

- Breakfast was coffee, juice, fruit, and fresh-baked scones/bread. Plenty for us. The bread was so tasty I asked for the recipe before we left. A full breakfast with eggs/etc. was available for $5 more, which would have been a steal, if we'd taken advantage of it (eating out in Seward is VERY expensive).

- The inn was extremely close to the downtown stretch of gift shops and restaurants, a few blocks from a post office, and there was a quirky and fun coffeehouse a few blocks over.

- A few of the rooms (possibly both the Bay View rooms with the best views) open out into the south common room. As the common room has wooden floors, sound bounces and carries a lot, and the rooms would get loud once others were up and talking in the common room. However, the quiet hours are clearly posted (11pm-7am) and just need to be kept in mind. Otherwise, I suggest some good earplugs.

Overall, we got a great rate in this pricey town, and if you're willing to accept the Inn's quirks (and really, what place doesn't have some?), it's a cozy and friendly place to lay your head!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank N0tL0stJustWandering
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about A Swan Nest Inn

Property: A Swan Nest Inn
Address: 504 Adams Street, P. O. Box 905, Seward, AK 99664
Location: United States > Alaska > Seward
Amenities:
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #31 of 44 B&Bs / Inns in Seward
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 6
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Also Known As:
a Swan Nest Hotel Seward

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