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“Fabulous, breathtaking, back to nature experience”

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Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Laguna Hills, California, United States
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Fabulous, breathtaking, back to nature experience”
Reviewed 14 June 2013

We were the first 2013 guests in the Lodge - and were treated as royalty! The CEO hires the best staff and management is alert to giving the client - us - the best treatment possible, while lightly touching the environment. Pederson Glacier was the view outside our cabin windows; kayaking was a lifetime memory - exhilarating to cross over the ice fields from Aialik Glacier to Abra Cove Waterfalls with experienced guides; bear and red-throated loon sightings on our hikes; frequent eagle spottings; and the nature hikes with the knowledgeable guides made our trip an exceptional experience. Whales, harbor seals, sea otters, puffins, and so much more. Food was exceptional. We felt at one with nature, peaceful and very ready to book another trip. It was the end of our 3 week vacation and well worth every memory and penny.

Room Tip: Any room is good. Wear lots of layers to keep warm, take neoprene gloves, be ready for a great time...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jane M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kris M, Director of Sales at Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge, responded to this review, 20 June 2013
Hello Jane, thanks for taking the time to review us here on Trip Advisor! You describe the experience at Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge beautifully, and I thank you for sharing your details with us. The kayaking is amazing out there, and rain or shine the views are spectacular too. Glad you had a good time, do come and see us again!
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English first
Homer, Alaska
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2013

Have not been to any better lodges in Alaska than this one. Amazing scenery, glaciers & wildlife, food, nice staff. The cabins are nice and warm. Dress really warm and wear many layers. Kayaking to a glacier is like kayaking in a refrigerator. Plan for a spare day in case you get weathered in.

Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank janpeder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kris M, Director of Sales at Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge, responded to this review, 21 June 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge! We appreciate your thoughtful reaction to this unique setting. You are right, as a very early season guest, you might find temps a little cooler! Several light, quick drying layers help ensure your comfort no matter the temperature. Occasionally, weather is a factor in this remote setting, but those days are few and far between, and with our savvy Weather Permitting staff we are able to mitigate rough weather with aplomb.
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Santa Barbara
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 September 2012

My adventure would begin traversing the 130 mile stretch of the highway from Anchorage to the seaside town of Seward. Considered by many to be one of America’s most beautiful drives, the Seward Highway offers many WOW moments along the way. When keeping my eyes on the road became too difficult, I’d pull off and take in the expansive vistas of Turnagain Arm, the Chugash Mountain Range and majestic glaciers.

Once in Seward, one of Alaska’s oldest and most scenic coastal communities, I found a host of tour and charter options, ranging from halibut and salmon charters, Kenai Fjords tours and the Alaska Sea Life Center. In the summer months, Seaward comes alive, serving as the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park and Resurrection Bay.

My fist full day in Alaska would take me from Seaward aboard a 40’ landing craft to Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge, the only eco-lodge within the park. Our landing craft also served a water taxi for groups of kayakers heading into the park for extended kayaking tours. Once the groups debark onto deserted pebble beaches with their kayaks and gear, they are on their own for up to a week. The time and place of their pick-up is re-confirmed by the captain before departing. As we continue motoring toward Holgate Glacier, we sight a group of Dall Porpoise playing of the bow effortlessly keeping pace.

After an hour of at the terminus of the Holgate Glacier I relished in a jaw dropping display of glacial calving. As I looked through the images of glaciers and fjords I had recently captured on my camera the captain announced that we would soon be approaching our destination. As we crossed the calm waters of Aialik Bay, views of the Pederson Glacier dominated the landscape; it would become the focal point of my stay at the Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge for the next two days.

A welcoming party from the lodge waits on the shore as our deck hand lowered the landing ramp onto the pebble beach. As we walked ashore, our luggage and supplies were being offloaded onto all-terrain vehicles. I opted for the 15 minute walk to the lodge which provided an opportunity for a quick orientation and introduction to the recently completed eco-lodge. It was clear that the land I was walking on was recently covered by glaciers. Young Alder trees, dotted the landscape long with other “pioneer plants,” but soil in any quantity was still decades away as the slow process of soil building continued.

On my orientation I learned that what attracts most visitors to Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge is its location and stunning views of the Pederson Glacier and Lagoon. Situated on 1,700 acres within Kenai Fjords National Park, it’s the only lodge within the park. The lodge opened in 2008 after two years of development. It is well to note that every possible precaution was used to keep the building site in its original pristine condition.

The 16 well appointed guest cabins, connected by boardwalks; all enjoy unobstructed views of the Pederson Lagoon and Pederson Glacier. The main lodge was built in part by utilizing large timbers cut from the site on which the lodge was built. The oversized windows in the great room provide an excellent vantage point for viewing wildlife and around the lagoon. Overstuffed chairs and a wood fire invite relaxation along with some wine tasting. Handcrafted rocking chairs line the outside deck and provide a comfortable outdoors gathering area. Photographers will find the picture postcard vista created by the glacier a difficult object to resist as the soft morning and evening light play upon it face.

Before my sumptuous family style dinner, the activities coordinator checked in with me to see if I was up for a hike to the glacier the next morning. The three mile round trip hike which begins and ends with a canoe trip across the lagoon is just one of the popular activities available at Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge. During my hike the following day I viewed black bears; sea otters; eagles; mountain goats; and a cacophony of birds which inhabit this wilderness setting. Kayaking trips across Aialik Bay are popular for those seeking a little more adventure during their stay and require some endurance.

In summary, I was most impressed with the sense of respect for the land and wildlife that was evident throughout my two night stay. There was no disturbance of the surroundings save for the footprint of the buildings and pathways that lead to it. The lodge staff was knowledgeable and helpful. The activities and meal schedules offered a relaxed rhythm that I found refreshing and restful. The retreat like setting allows nature to take center stage as it should in the within heart of Kenai Fjords National Park.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
6 Thank geodefilippo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kris M, Director of Sales at Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge, responded to this review, 23 May 2013
Thank you, George for this great review and write up. I am glad you were able to clearly recognize the commitment of all Alaska Wildland Adventures staff and management to the protection of wild Alaska. The story of how Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge was built is a testament to our company owner's personal intent to create a place that seemed as though it had always been there. To do this, incredible attention was paid to disturbing as little ground as possible; even creating a 3 person "tree cutting" team that had to agree to cut any tree. Guests considering a visit to the lodge, be sure to ask about the story, and if the presentation and slide show is available while you are there. We rotate presentations and topics, but a lodge manager or guide is always happy to share the building story and point out the little things that mean so much. Appreciate your insights, George. Thank you!
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Manchester
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 September 2012

We visited this wonderful lodge as part of our 2 week long tour of Alaska. The whole experience starting from the boat trip out of seward was brilliant. We were lucky to arrive when the sun was shining and it showed the beauty of the area in all it's glory.
The staff were all very welcoming and skilled in their various roles. The accomodation is very comfortable, all cabins have a view over the lagoon and the glacier. Best bit is there are no tv's, no mobile phone reception, you are truly cut off from the rest of the world!
We went on several of the canoeing trips whilst we were there - have to recommend canoeing up to the upper lagoon and going through the ice.
We were also lucky enough to see a number of black bears roaming around on the shoreline. Also during the boat trip we saw numerous different wildlife including killer whales, humpback whales and sea otters. From start to finish it was a wonderful experience and one which we didnt want to end. Definately on our list of places to revist if we get the chance!

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Annie78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kris M, Director of Sales at Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge, responded to this review, 23 May 2013
So nice of you to review our lodge and your time there! I am glad you were able to observe our black bear friends, they were "there first" and we realize it is their sandbox we came to play in, so we love that guests can safely observe them from time to time, and learn a bit about these wonderful creatures. (For those who have not yet visited, safety is our utmost priority, and every guest is given a complete safety briefing about this remote location and how to be around bears...and we are happy to say we have never had a negative bear encounter at our lodge!) And the marine mammals are such fun to watch - I love the Dall's porpoises that play in the water and race the boat. Such fun loving creatures. Thanks again for writing to us!
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Los Angeles
Level Contributor
27 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 August 2012

From the moment we stepped onto the boat to take us to our wilderness destination, we knew we were in for a special experience. Our boat driver and mate made every effort to make sure the trip was comfortable, as well as eventful for viewing wildlife. What impressed me was that both going and coming from the lodge, our boat drivers and their mates made sure we saw all wildlife in the area (boat captains constantly communicate with one another) and they were not at all jaded about the experience themselves, so the excitement was contagious and the experience even more engaging. Can you imagine...we saw: humpback whales, sea lions, seals, puffins, gulls, eagles, orca, and porpoise, all up close and personal!

We were greeted at the lodge by an enthusiastic young man who turned out to be leaving the next day to return to school, but who was representative of all the staff: young, adventurous, and truly loving their job. There is a 20 minute, easy walk to the lodge from where the boat lands, but it was a welcome opportunity to stretch our legs after being on the boat for about 5 hours. Our luggage was shuttled directly to our cabins while we had a bit of an orientation to the lodge. Given how remote the place is, they do need to educate everyone on bear safety and let everyone know the ins and outs of the water and electric systems. By the way, both worked perfectly.

Each time we participated in an activity, and even when the staff were around the Main Lodge, they were excited to share their knowledge and love of the area. They all clearly enjoy working for Alaska Wildland Adventures and feel they are part of the company; all use the pronoun "we" when discussing the company, making it feel like a family rather than a corporation. All are 'jacks and jills of all trades", your kayak guide might also serve you dinner or be seen working to fix a broken down engine!

Activities for our 2 day visit were varied enough by level so that even the most inexperienced could feel comfortable with a choice, and those who are active could be challenged. But then, hanging out around the Main Lodge and reading or watching wildlife was a perfectly acceptable option as well. My husband and I kayaked with groups both days; the first to Aialik Glacier with lunch on Slate Island and about 6 miles of paddling, and the second to Abra Cove just across Ailik Bay where we were back in time for lunch. We were lucky to have great weather and barely needed our own rain gear, but if needed, the lodge has all kinds of equipment to borrow so that activities go on rain or shine and guests can still feel warm and dry.

The lodge itself is beautifully designed to blend into the surrounding wilderness, and as you approach from Aialik Bay, you are hard pressed to see evidence of human habitation. In spite of being so remote, the lodge and cabins are well appointed and extremely comfortable. Each cabin has a beautiful view of the lagoon, Pederson Glacier, and the surrounding mountains. The food is plentiful, fresh, and downright tasty. It is served family style so that you can pick and choose what you like, and how much you want to eat. They are also very accommodating for food allergies and preferences in spite of how remotely the lodge is situated. Coffee and tea are set out early for those who are up with the sun, and there is a bar for evening cocktails or wine. Evening programs are informative and a great chance to learn more about the area and the staff.

This is a very special place, and worth every cent for the memorable experience. I actually hope to return with our grown children someday to celebrate a special anniversary (or just to be together in those wonderful surroundings.)

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank mtngirl50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kris M, Director of Sales at Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge, responded to this review, 23 May 2013
Thank you, "Mountain Girl" for this beautifully written and thorough review. I can't thank you enough, really, for taking the time to outline in detail your experience. I think you captured the sense of the place and what we offer in your own words. I can feel the awe and wonder of the marine wildlife tour to the lodge, and the awesome experience of kayaking to a massive tidewater glacier with just a handful of other people. It is a magical place. Would love to welcome you back any time, and hear more about your experience!
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Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
96 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 August 2012

You are taken by boat from Seward and given an approximately 3.5 hour tour of the scenery and wildlife on the way to the lodge. Upon arrival you walk in to the lodge, about 20 minutes, with the bear safety talk given on the way, then get assigned to your cabin. There are only 16 cabins, all identical, no TV or telephone but it doesn't matter. The lodge is close to Pederson Glacier and is sited next to the lower Pederson lagoon. The cabins are arranged so your small back deck with rocking chairs is private. Meals are served at 3 long tables so all guests sit together and get acquainted. The food is excellent although there is no choice but you have to specify any dietary requirements before your arrival at the lodge as they have to bring all the food in on the boats. There are kayaking and canoe trips, and walks available and you don't have to be experienced to take part. The staff are very knowledgeable and enthusiastic and take turns giving short talks in the evening about topics that interest them. All in all a memorable experience in a beautiful and serene place.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rainbow19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 August 2012

You start with a several-hour scenic/wildlife viewing boat ride into the lodge, with a stop near a calving glacier and it just gets better from there. The lodge has a lovely view of one glacier and you can kayak to another or explore the other areas around the lodge with a variety of guided trips. The staff is extremely knowledgable and enthusiastic, food was great, and activities were accessible to all skill levels. Kayaking equipment and cabin and lodge facilities are done right. It's amazing to stay so comfortably in such a beautiful and remote setting.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Lily_F11_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kris M, Director of Sales at Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge, responded to this review, 23 May 2013
Hi Lily, thank you for the great review and comments! We do try to maximize comfort at our lodges, without "overemphasizing" it - so I'm very glad to see we are accomplishing that mission! As an eco-lodge, we are always seeking non-impact ways to provide a high quality experience. We appreciate your feedback!
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Additional Information about Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge

Property: Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge
Address: Aialik Bay, Kenai Fjords National Park, AK 99664
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Alaska > Kenai Fjords National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Speciality Lodging in Kenai Fjords National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge is an all-inclusive wilderness lodge located within Kenai Fjords National Park. Nestled within a Native-owned wildlife sanctuary on the edge of a protected lagoon, Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge and guest cabins enjoy stunning views of Pedersen Glacier. The rugged beauty of Alaska's spectacular seacoast and abundant marine wildlife is balanced nicely with the creature comforts of private cabins, a cozy main Lodge and hearty meals with gourmet flair. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Kenai Fjords Glacier Hotel Kenai Fjords National Park
Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

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