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“It's so so”
Review of Hotel Arctic

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Hotel Arctic
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Iqaluit
Certificate of Excellence
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“It's so so”
Reviewed 13 May 2011

You know when you arrive with luggage at front desk on an island, you expect hi welcome you have a reservation? Well here this idiot greets you with a stare and you have to greet yourself. Doesn't know long distance rate but you will know when you check out. Arrive at 2 and not a room ready. Some staff were good others not. Restaurant was excellent but lots of caribou yet none in stock.

Service sucked at $190 a night blow. Colleage said try capital suites, the rooms are quiet and safe. Will see.

  • Stayed March 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Rockcanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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65 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
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English first
South East UK
Level 4 Contributor
47 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 May 2011

Stayed just overnight passing thru Iqaluit. Actually I arrived at 0130hrs and just about everywhere was shut up but the Nova welcomed me, despite having no reservation (not a recommended tactic for Iqaluit).

Not too far from the airport, maybe 10 mins walk. Straight down the road from the airport, past the Navigator Inn on the left, which I reviewed a while back, and left at the next main intersection. It was snowing but only -2C, which is balmy for Iqaluit. Don't try walking this in January; take a taxi at $6 (to anywhere).

Room was large with 2 beds, so way in excess of requirements. Clean and well furnished. Bathroom clean and tidy with plenty towels. Fridge (which I never use) I thought noisy so I turned it off as the compressor noise usually disturbs my sleep. Was rewarded by the sound of defrosting ice chunks falling about 4 hours later, so I got woken up anyway. Do hotels ever defrost their fridges ? Given the time of my arrival, the hotel was very quiet and stayed so, apart from the fridge.

Breakfast (costs extra) was a choice of set menus on a bacon and eggs sort of theme. The food was good and I dined totally alone in the attractive restaurant at 0730 hrs.

Thus fortified, I trudged off back to the airport once more. It was still snowing. It seems to be always winter in Iqaluit !

Overall, a most satisfactory, if short, stay. But as the other reviewer below says, everything is VERY expensive in Iqaluit. Different sort of place though.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Loosecannon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vermont
Level 5 Contributor
88 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2010

Went with four friends to Iqaluit for no particular reason other than it is far north and what the heck, one of us had a plane and was willing to fly there. The ice had just gone out of the bay the week before so we missed winter action. The Nova is right in the center of town, the town being small and walkable in any event. Desk folks were fine and very helpful. Get ready for Iqaluit time, where things never quite go according to plan. When we got there, we had reservations but the rooms weren't ready, except when we checked, they really were. It was all handled very well, and it was even a bit fun because it turns out that's how things work in Iqaluit. Everything in Iqaluit is expensive so the rooms were $230-275 USD. They were equivalent to Comfort Inn or the like, but were fine and clean.

Rooms were quiet. No air conditioning, but why would they have it on Baffin Island, so open the windows and let the fresh, cool air in at night. The only complaint is that the room darkening curtains weren't that good at room darkening, and the midnight sun kept things light, especially when the sun started beating down around 2:00 AM, but I slept just fine.

The Nova is right in the center of town. Its bar was mostly non-Inuit travellers, but there is a mix and folks are friendly. Lots of converation in the lobby where everyone shares where they are from and why they are there. Government and airline people stay here as do bush pilots, construction people, tourists, and locals.

As for other places, the bar at the Frobisher Inn, the Storehouse, was described to us by locals as a rough and tumble bar, but it seemed tame enough and we had no problems. Mostly local Inuit people, and while there is plenty of drinking despite the fact Iqaluit is a dry town, everyone was in good spirits and there was plenty of dancing.

As for restaurants, breakfast at the Nova was very good. Elsewhere, we were disappointed with our first meal at the Frobisher Inn which was very pricey and not much to talk about except that the salads were fresh and huge, not an easy thing when everything comes in from the outside. We were happy with the food at the Grind and Brew which is informal to say the least but had a chef/cook from Montreal who could really cook. Don't let the appearance turn you off. The staff is super friendly. Even the pizza was good. They make Thai food that worked for us.

Hard as it is to believe, our best meal may have been the Chinese food at the Navigator. If you look at my travel map, you'll see that I have been many places in China. There is a Chinese chef here who made an excellent Szechuan meal that was spicy as requested and was great. It was one of the better Chinese meals I have eaten in North America.

Food prices are shocking. Most entrees are $40. A burger can be $18-$20. Pizza is $30 or more. Beer is $6.50 a can in a bar. If you go to the markets, you'll see that groceries are double the US. So just face it that you ain't in Kansas anymore and that nothing comes from Baffin Island and everything must be brought in.

Taxis are to be avoided as they are $6CDN per person, however short the trip. Five minutes can cost $30 if there are five of you. One can walk anywhere. Mobile phones don't work here except on occasion, not even international Blackberry messaging, but there is internet at the Nova. The desk people at the Nova were also great about letting us use their phone. They know everyone in town, so if you want to see or do something, just ask them.

Hard to say what one can do there in summer, other than that each day passed quickly and we were never bored. It is fascinating to see windowless schools, (it's dark half the year anyway) and every building elevate on stilts about four feet because of the snow and frost. It was easy to talk to people who live there, many of whom come from very small villages all over Baffin Island, and there was much to learn. Many people live by hunting seals and whales, and go in an out with the tides (which can be 40 feet). We were lucky that we had a plane and could fly way north to see glaciers, icebergs, and frozen seas and rivers with miniscule villages of 30 or 40 people placed here or there.

Sled dogs who work during winter are chained up at the river near the airport, and they howl at night which can fill the air with a very Arctic sound. All in all, when we left we realized we would miss the place, and maybe go back when the ice is in to do some sledding and enjoy running with the dogs. Go if you can and if you have a bit of adventure in you. Stay at the Nova to be at the center of town.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Vermontman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Arctic

Property: Hotel Arctic
Address: 923 Federal Road, Iqaluit, Nunavut X0A 1H0, Canada (Formerly Nova Inn)
Region: Canada > Nunavut > Iqaluit
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Iqaluit
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hotel Arctic 2.5*
Number of rooms: 76
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel Arctic Iqaluit, Canada - Nunavut

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