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“Only Place to Stay if You Want to See Northern Lights”
Review of Sundog Retreat

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Sundog Retreat
Ranked #1 of 14 Hotels in Whitehorse
Certificate of Excellence
Vancouver, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
227 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
“Only Place to Stay if You Want to See Northern Lights”
Reviewed 23 March 2014

Wish I could rate this 4 1/2 stars. Only reason that I would not rate it 5 stars is it is expensive so not for everyone. You have to also know that it is very secluded…for some this is a plus for some it is a negative

Having said that, if money is not that big a priority, I would definitely recommend this as the only place to go if you are interested in viewing the Northern Lights.

We were in the Cranberry Suite. All we had to do is step outside our cabin and see the Northern Lights. Because it is so convenient, your chances of viewing the Northern Lights does up exponentially compared to Northern Lights tours that just drive you out to a spot to view for a few hours. We could also set up all our cameras which is a real plus for beginner photographers.

If you have the money, I would recommend the 2 suites that have direct views of the Northern Lights. They are more expensive but it is so convenient to just view from your cabin instead of going out to the viewing cabins in sub zero weather.

The drawback is the suite did not have powerful internet access. I could get wifi to my computer but not my phone. The only suite where you can get wifi all the time is the Nook. Again for some this is a plus and you are away from the outside world but for me, I would have appreciated having wifi access on the grounds.

Heather, Andrew and the whole team was great in assisting us in setting our photographs. They picked us up at the airport and the food option is really good….really good food and large portions. I would recommend taking this option if you are not driving as there is nothing around the retreat for 15 minutes.

Mollie gave us a great City tour and Heather organized a great outdoor campfire dinner which was great. Views are stunning. Free snowshoes to use on site + a toboggan hill. They also have a hot tub & sauna but we didn't use it

They also have 2 viewing cabins which have great viewpoints for the Northern Lights. We enjoyed building fires each night outside the cabins.

Again, if you are there to see the Northern Lights, I can't see why you would stay anywhere else.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Worldtravelorplus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2014 via mobile

The Sundog Retreat is a wonderful place to stay. The cabins have everything you could ask for. They are spacious, comfortable, and beautiful with well furnished kitchens. The aurora viewing cabins are great. They are comfortable with hot drinks and great snacks. The cabins are ideally located for aurora viewing. The other amenities at the Sundog Retreat are terrific too. The sauna and hot tub are very nice. Everyone in the office helped make this a terrific stay for us. They ensured that we had everything we needed, and they were very friendly. They arranged an amazing dog mushing adventure for us. They even suggested camera settings for capturing the aurora. They also gave directions for a run down a trail to a nice lake. We had an incredible time. The Sundog Retreat is terrific, and I highly recommend staying there!

Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank djspann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 March 2014

I stayed at Sundog for one night with a couple of friends, and it was awesome. We only saw a tiny bit of the Aurora while we were there, but it was a super cool place. The hosts were awesome too, they came around to our cabin to introduce themselves and give us the d-low on the Aurora and what to look for, and also what kind of settings we should have our cameras on (since we were newbies to photographing the Aurora). The 2 Aurora watching cabins are awesome, and I'm sure I'll be back!

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sian R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
1 review
Reviewed 18 March 2014

Four of us stayed in the Fireweed Cabin for two nights March 10 & 11. The property is lovely and gives each cabin lots of privacy. The cabin was spacious and well equipped. My only quibble is that we were surprised at having to dispose of toilet tissue, etc. in a covered bin and not able to flush it down the toilet due to a septic tank issue. I don't know if this happens in all the cabins or just the Fireweed, but I think this should be mentioned when people go to book the Firewood as many people would be uncomfortable with having to do this.

I would certainly stay with you if I were to go to Whitehorse again and hopefully see the Northern Lights next time !

Kathy

Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank funtrips16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong, China
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 March 2014

If you are already searching on TripAdvisor I think you don't have to look further.

This was our first time visiting Whitehorse and quite frankly there are choices when you search for accommodations in Whitehorse. I won't say they are better than others as I cannot compare Sundog to others when i have not seen/stayed at other places. This is the one thing I've tried to stay away from in my reviews as it really doesn't help anyone, neither future visitors nor the places themselves.

BUT, let me tell you that if you are looking for a place to stay in Whitehorse to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights/Aurora Borealis and to experience Whitehorse, you cannot fail with Sundog Retreat. They are not the cheapest (relatively) but what you pay for is really what you get, and then some, so it all adds up at the end, and here's why in my opinion.

First off, i usually rent a car if i could when we travel, and when i read the reviews on this forum i cannot quite find the info i needed. Let me just say that it IS OK to rent a car if it fits your budget and you want to get around, and there is parking right in front of each cottage within the property. So there's that. But after 5 days 4 nights there, we were glad we didn't rent a car as when we checked, it was $60++ before insurance and everything per day. Plus, most of the activities that we had Andrew & Heather set up for us involved a bit of distance and they took care of us each of the legs. The money we saved from renting a car and gas was happily going to Sundog Retreat. We say this because they are a self owned and operated business and our entire trip they have earned every penny. We are glad our money was well spent. Plus, having spent 5 days there you find out how genuine Andrew and Heather are and you just wish that they do well and continue to expand their business.

So to the place itself. Sundog has a few cottage choices to choose from, and there are three that are Aurora Viewing cabins, which means they are positioned within the property to be able to view the lights directly. But make no mistake, each cottage is a gem in its own right, just really depending on your budget, size of the group, and of course availability. I stayed at the Cranberry which was THE BEST cabin on the property. Words cannot describe it but let's just say that we had way too much space to ourselves! This cabin also has the most 'privacy' as there are no direct cottages nearby. The others are located slightly closer to each other although they each have their own space as well in other parts of the property. This cabin was also the closest to the 2 immaculate 'viewing cabins' Sundog has built just for guests to 'wait' for the lights, so for those at the other non-viewing cabins you really aren't missing much. They have ample snacks (cookies/marshmallow) and beverage mixes (hot choco/tea) waiting for you in each viewing cabin, plus a fire pit outside for those who wants to heat up some marshmallows! Last but not least a professional (i think) telescope for those who enjoys one.

In terms of the rooms, very new and spacious with everything you need, cable TV is available and they are working to have wifi at each cabin but right now it's only at the Den (forgot most of the names of the cabins already) and signal can be picked up at the Cranberry for the most part. All of the necessities are there, almost everything you can name from rice cookers, to pots, to utensils, wok!, cooking oil, salt/pepper etc. the basics (don't expect ketchup now :)) They provide biodegradable liquids for the bathroom as well so depending on how 'green' you are, that would cover your shampoo/body wash, with fresh towels provided.

All you really need to bring is food which you can buy the first day if you bought the Aurora package as we did, which included a city/downtown tour where afterwards you can get everything you need (Canadian Superstore, or Walmart if you prefer them). We stocked up to cook for ourselves for 5 days but you can also choose to have Sundog prepare meals for you. Just gotta let them know in advance and add it to the package. Our package also included the airport transfers both ways, and again, it just saves the money for a taxi/transfer/car rental and makes it very easy.

Separately, we've also booked through Sundog the dog sledding experience and also Hot Springs (at Tahini?). both are a must if you ask me, especially if this is your first time to a cold (and i mean COLD) weather destination. Yet again, booking through Sundog they will take care of everything, including the transfers to those locations.

I hope i didn't miss anything as i really wanted to spend some time to write this. From the moment when we arrived, they were ready for us and had an itinerary planned for us for our stay, up through when they dropped us off at the airport. What i wrote was for the winter visits only and i'm sure they would be just as great during the warmer months.

Room Tip: Pay more for the Aurora Viewing Cabins as a package. Unless you really want to walk to the Viewing C...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Airball917
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bear, Delaware
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2014

We are a senior couple, accustomed to up-scale accommodations, so quite pleased to find this remote "cabin" actually quite large and modern. It is very private, warm, clean & comfortable, including a well-equipped kitchen, bathroom with shower, telephone, and even satellite TV.

We could not have found a more superb location to view wilderness, wildlife, mountains, and stars at night. We were there at a new-moon time in late January. The site is very dark, and this particular cabin has two large windows with a clear view of the sky, properly oriented to see northern lights (when conditions permit, and they appear).

Our guide service arranged for Heather Finton, hospitable Sundog proprietor, to provide transportation to/from Whitehorse; she even suggested, and waited for us, at a grocery store on the way out to the site. If you are up to it, the Yukon river is within a very picturesque walk. Or if you are driving (that's what we will do next time) the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, and Takhini Hot Springs with excellent restaurant are also relatively close. Wish we could have stayed longer.

Room Tip: We were there at a new-moon time in late January. The site is very dark, and this particular cabin...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kelly G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
canada
Level 4 Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed 3 March 2014

Thank you so to Andrew and his family for his hospitality. We appreciate all the advice and our chats. You could simply book a flight ticket and book a place here without any research, and Andrew could fill in the rest.

We were also very lucky as we had a good show right on our first night! If the aurora lights are out in the whitehorse area, this is the best place to comfortably watch it when it is -20C outside! No matter which unit you stay in, they have viewing cabins with refreshments to ensure you are warm and entertained!

Thanks,

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank geminihc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sundog Retreat

Property: Sundog Retreat
Address: Lot 1160 Policeman's Point Road, Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 6N9, Canada
Phone Number:
Region: Canada > Yukon > Whitehorse
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 14 Hotels in Whitehorse
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Sundog Retreat 3*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Winter northern lights, summer midnight sun. Private cabins, hot tub, sauna, full amenities. Yukon hospitality and welcoming fruit basket. Near Whitehorse on 160 private acres. Friendly hosts respect your privacy. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sundog Retreat Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada

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