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“A Major Disappointment”

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Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge
Ranked #10 of 44 Specialty Lodging in Seward
Certificate of Excellence
Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“A Major Disappointment”
Reviewed March 19, 2013

We were so looking forward to spending the night on this island and enjoying what it had to offer. The rooms were very nice. But that was it. Food, which was to be gourmet, was tepid and skimpy portions. My husband was hungry. The cruise people, who got a salmon buffet, had a better deal!!!!! Then to go kayaking, they were going to charge an additional $80 apiece. I would think, at the very least, that could have been included in the package. It was expensive to stay here, around $400 a night so I would think mighty hard before taking this trip.
Plus, a guided walk, was included. We knew more than this ranger did on the area. And we hiked all of about 1/2 mile to this small pond area. I hope she was a volunteer, because she was awful!!!!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank MaryBeth44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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54 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
88 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed September 24, 2012

The website for this Lodge is so misleading that we actually expected that we would be hiking and kayaking. Silly us. We also thought we would be away from the predictable tourist routes of Alaska. Silly us again. Fox Island is the site of two distinct tourist oriented venues on the same small beach. One is th Wilderness Lodge. The other is the tourist restaurant, feeding 700 people per day a buffet of salmon and prime rib. Kenai Fjords Tours owns everything so you get to Fox Island on the tour boat that brings the 150 people for their mass meal. The Lodge and cabins are down the beach and apart from the thrice-daily arrival of the big boat and its 150 tourists. Nonetheless, you can't ever really feel that you are on an isolated island; you are not. The cabins are very simple, but they are very clean and have everything you need. However, you are paying hundreds of dollars per night, so it's rather underwhelming. The Lodge is tiny and is just a place to be when it rains. The surprise is the fantastic food. They really have a gourmet chef and the meals, especially dinner, are first-rate. OK, back to the hiking and kayaking. There is just one hike. One. And they prefer you go with their naturalist. It's nice. Once you have done that, that's it for the hiking. And the kayaking costs extra! Also, it is subcontracted out to another company. OK, so you pay $100+ for two hours and find out you are with a large group from those tour boats. Yup! You are put with day-trippers.... perhaps like we were, with an extended family of novice kayakers. The beach is all flat rocks which are great for skipping. It's not more than 1/4 of a mile long, and that is it. If you stay more than one night, you will walk up and down that beach many times because there is nowhere else to go and nothing else to do once you have gone on the one hike and spent $100 extra to kayak. The staff is truly wonderful, all young kids from all over the US, in for the summer season, but full of energy, lovely, really willing to go out of their way for you. So, this is a nice place for one night (24 hours or less) but way too expensive. It is also notable that you can only leave by taking a Kenai Fjords Tour, 4 hours or 6 hours, or 8 hours. If you just want to get back to Seward, you can't. If coming to Alaska is a once in a lifetime trip for you, you have never been anywhere in the wilderness and never intend to again, and you can afford $700-800 for one night, go for it. But otherwise, you can spend your money in better ways.

Room Tip: Ask for the renovated cabins with the sliding glass doors.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
10 Thank luv2travel19941953
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rolling Hills Estates, California
Level Contributor
98 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed September 6, 2012

If you decide to book a stay at the Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge on Fox Island, be prepared for lots of rain, a soggy trail, and a sedentary lifestyle. If you want to kayak like we did, chances are that you will be unable to because of the weather. Remember that this lodge is located in a temperate RAIN forest . Thus, rain is the norm. If you don't mind the isolation and weather but just want to eat meal after meal of delicious food prepared by outstanding chefs, then this is the place for you. The cabins are cozy and very green, and because of the weather, the solar panels sometimes aren't enough to power the lights very well.

Room Tip: Ask for a cabin with a view of the water.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank CaliPalosVerdes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 26, 2012

I booked this stay for my family - husband, 10 yo, and me - so far in advance, that I had no idea what we were heading into. Everything we did was a delightful surprise. Gourmet meals cooked just for you and a few other guests. Quiet, rustic cabins in such a secluded, gorgeous setting that you really fell away from it all. Plentiful staff to take care of your every need. Day and evening kayak trips available (for extra, but worth it). We woke up to a sea otter dining in the cove on a big hunk of something yummy. Later that morning, a humpback whale and baby hung out in the cove.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Bridget H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lynwood, Ilinois
Level Contributor
24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed January 26, 2012

My husband and I stayed here and it was truly amazing. The rooms are simple, green and adequate. The food was marvelous and well prepared and the Island itself is a natural wonderland. There are mounains and ocean everywhere you turn. The beach has flat rocks and the sound you make walking on them is something you will never forget. It is a great place to enjoy the out of doors and truly "get away".

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Diane S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
State College, PA
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed December 20, 2011

I stayed here with my husband and two children in August for one night. Let me say at the outset that a single night here cost us around $1200, including a bay cruise in the Kenai Fjords. For a couple it would be far more affordable, but still ridiculously overpriced for what you get. We had a nice and tastefully-decorated cabin with one room and two beds, and very good meals that did not include any beverages in the price. We met some very interesting people. The beach is lovely, and the hiking trails challenging. But there is a sense that you are being ripped off here. During dinner someone from the kayak concessionary showed up to offer a kayaking "special" after dinner- for something like $80/person they would take you kayaking in the perfectly calm bay! Is it too much to ask that kayaks be included when a family is paying over $1000/night? We enjoyed our short stay, indeed it was the highlight of the trip for one of us, (so nice to get away from hordes of people for a while) but you can find better and similar wilderness lodges for one quarter of the price in British Columbia, Oregon, and Maine (these are just the ones I have visited- there are probably better and cheaper wilderness lodges many other places, including Alaska). No s'mores- but it was raining.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank PSUTravelM0m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Collins, Colorado
Level Contributor
32 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed July 12, 2011

This place is amazing. So great to have a personal chef and staff eager to serve and fulfill any request from s'more makings to best hiking trails. Fox Island is like paradise--so quiet and beautiful with awesome food, a lodge where you can read or play board games and relax on the flat rock beach, frequent animal sightings, and sunshine all the time (in the summer). Thanks for a memory that will last forever!

Room Tip: Get the package deal; it's a great value and you get to spend a day kayaking and a couple of nig...
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank outdoorjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge

Property: Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge
Address: Fox Island (aka Renard Island), Resurrection Bay, mail-1304 4th Avenue, Seward, AK 99664
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Alaska > Seward
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 44 Specialty Lodging in Seward
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge is Kenai Fjords Tours’ greatest escape located on Fox Island, just 45 minutes from Seward. Enjoy secluded lodging, ocean views and a private cabin as you relax at our exclusive wilderness lodge. Activities; hiking, guided sea kayaking, beachcombing and more. This all-inclusive package includes our premium Northwestern Fjord cruise and all meals on Fox Island. ... more   less 
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