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“UNFORGETTABLE - ONCE IN A LIFETIME EXPERIENCE!!!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Bettles Lodge

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Bettles Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Kalispell, Montana
Level Contributor
64 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“UNFORGETTABLE - ONCE IN A LIFETIME EXPERIENCE!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 January 2011

I had always wanted to see the Northern Lights and search all over the Internet for the best place to stay with the most amenities to offer. The staff was extremely helpful in telling us the best times of the year to come up, the most likely times the aurora would be seen. Once we got up to Fairbanks the adventure began! This is a fly in only lodge...no roads except 6 weeks a winter when the ice roads are driveable (think Ice Road Truckers). We took a bush plane up to the Arctic Circle and met our host(s). The lodge was quaint and rustic, if you want 5 star you shouldn't be going to the Arctic Circle! There was internet access, but via satellite. And no cell service (a wonderful thing if you want to escape the office!) However, with that being said, the staff was wonderful, the rooms were comfortable (we stayed in both the room with a private bath and a shared bath), the food was quite delicious and the Arctic gear provided to us made us warm and comfortable. The staff was more than accomodating and friendly. This is a trip to take if you want to see the northern lights, experience the Arctic Circle, and spend time getting to know other people who are from all over the world visiting for the same reason. Its a small quaint lodge and very easy to make new friends! Can't rave enough about the staff, the villagers, the extra activities, the scenery and of course the lights! Wonderful! By the way, I rated sleep quality a little lower only becsue you are up from midnight until 2-3AM watching the lights! You just don't want to go to sleep...they really do dance across the sky!

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank DreamcatcherLodge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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155 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    106
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    7
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 March 2010

Excellent staff. Good food. Arctic activities. Staff and guests bond ...it is almost like visiting in someone's home. Hoping to revisit during the autumn season. Loved it!

Suggestions:...
1..need provision in rooms for placement of bags...(I shared my bed with my luggage!)
2. Place bottled water in rooms daily for usage in dental hygiene...tap water has exceedingly high mineral content

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank glsterling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
33 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 September 2009

The flight from Fairbanks to Bettles was without incident. On arrival the staff were full of encouragement to ditch my booking with them and take off into the wilderness with my new found friends from the flight (they did not charge me for doing so). I had lunch with them and then boarded the float plane which returned 3 days later to pick me up and take me back to Bettles where I stayed for one night before returning to Fairbanks. I stayed that one night in the bunkhouse for $40 and it was comfortable. I ate at the lodge and food was good on all occasions. The staff were extremely friendly, as were the resident dogs and the locals who came and went during the afternoon. I had a brilliant stay in Gates of Arctic and would recommend a trip there and a stop in Bettles Lodge to all my friends.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sss72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South Lake Tahoe, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2009

In the middle of nowhere but worth the visit to see.food was expected to be average but
almost inedible.Nice enough old shack of a lodge with lots of character let down by the 20
something year olds trying to run a rural location am sure its tough but not so hard surely
for the place to be clean and food hot.Good place to chill and get away from everything
but for the money could have got a lot more elsewhere in AK.

Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
7 Thank numt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AKLynK, General Manager at Bettles Lodge, responded to this review, 9 November 2011
We were sorry to hear that you did not enjoy the cuisine or the management during your stay. Our staff includes many age ranges, from our 85 year old '' coffee maker '' Ted to our Manager who is 40 something, to our pilots whose ages range from 35 years young to mid 60's . We do hire a few seasonal hands that can be younger, usually they are in Alaska to experience the beauty - we feel they add a lot to the crew, their enjoyment of being in Real Alaska with authentic people enhances not only the crews work day but our clients vacations as well. If you decide to come back to Alaska, let us know - we would love to offer you a great deal with incredible food and a great team of employee's to accommodate all your needs.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City
Level Contributor
22 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 September 2008

My crazy Fiance decided to propose to me here. This is definitely a place for the adventurous. You take a small plane from Fairbanks to get here which takes about an hour and once here you land in the middle of nowhere literally. This lodge is located in a small town of maybe 15 to 20 people. It is above the arctic circle so it was pretty cold. The temp when we went was below 30. So make sure you bring proper clothing if you go around the winter months. People mainly stay here because they want to see the northern lights. The lodge is very small and cute. Anne and her husband were running the lodge when we went and boy were we lucky because they were the best and the stories they told were simply amazing. Because the lodge also has a store where the locals get groceries we got a chance to meet the locals and I was introduced to a Indian Chief. Best activity to do is ask the local man with dogs to take you on a sleigh ride it was probably one of the most amazing things i have ever done. The room we were in was very cozy. It's not anything compared to a 3 star hotel but it was nice. There is a suana room where you can get warmed up in before you hit the bed.

  • Liked — Staff, Sauna
  • Disliked — Rooms need updating
  • Stayed November 2006, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank NSL76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Germany, Gorxheimertal
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 September 2008

We were in Bettles Aug./Sept. 2008 to go rafting on the Northfork of the Koyukuk – Gates of the Arctic Nat. Park. One has to fly into Bettles and leave it this way. Bettles is south of the Gates of the Arctic Nat. Park and one of it's main entrance points. Our guides booked with Bettles Air and we stopped at Bettles Lodge. Gates of the Arctic Nat. Park is a great place.

We had some problems with the transport of our luggage and part of the luggage was lost in Bettles during the transfer from the plane Fairbanks - Bettles (Bettles Air) and Bettles to our starting point for the rafting (also Bettles Air). I cannot comment, because I do not know the details sufficiently.

On the way back to Fairbanks, we were supposed to leave Bettles, Sept. 3rd at 14:30 with Bettles Air together with two other passengers, who had the same information. The plane was there, everything else was there, including the pilot, but there was "no go". First we were surprised by the message that there was no flight scheduled on the 3rd anyway - then it was 7:00 pm. As a consequence of this delay we wanted some hot lunch in Bettles Lodge shortly before 2:00 pm and were told they were going to close at 2:00 pm - therefore no warm lunch!-- Bettles Air and Bettles Lodge have the same owner!—We did not find this very helpful.

We heard a funny story during waiting: The pilot was not prepared to go before 7:00 pm, because he wanted to take his girl friend with him, an employee of Bettles Lodge, who was not free before 7:00pm. You do not believe this?-- We did not either!-- At 6:00 pm the pilot came with a little Blonde with a night pack, hand in hand, who took a seat next to the pilot. Your guess is as good as mine, whether the story we heard was true or not. Independent from this story we did not find this reliable.

So much about the service of Bettles Lodge and Bettles Air. Fortunatly there is another Air Charter in Bettles and there is at least one other Lodge there.

Jo
Germany, Gorxheimertal

Helpful?
13 Thank Joa80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AKLynK, General Manager at Bettles Lodge, responded to this review, 9 November 2011
We are sorry to hear of the problems you experienced while at the Betles Lodge and Air Service. The confusion with your flights and the Lodge meals is not at all typical of our staff or our flight crew. It sounds as though either party or both were misinformed at the time of your travel. If you come through Bettles again, please let us know so that we can make it up to you with great service.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, WA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 April 2008

My wife kept repeating "Best. Vacation. Ever!" for weeks after this trip. We've stayed in fancier resorts and have had incredible experiences elsewhere but this trip was unique. How often have you seen your pilot de-ice the plane with a credit card!

We wanted a remote getaway to, hopefully, see the Northern Lights. We considered a different, more upscale resort but the TripAdvisor reviews were not favorable to the staff and experience. We then discovered the Bettles Lodge through this site.

Like others, we walked into the more modern lodge at Bettles and were initially disappointed. It's nothing fancy but it was clean, comfortable, and WARM! (It was in the negative 20's on arrival.) But, later, we toured the older lodge and agreed that we were much happier staying in the new lodge. We liked our room with private bath and didn't need the "charm" of the old lodge to enjoy our stay.

The staff was extremely friendly and helpful. The food was incredible! There was only one entree prepared each night for dinner -- everyone has the same thing -- but that was never a problem for us. (And I consider myself a picky eater.) In such a remote location it would not be practical to have a diverse menu for the 7-8 of us staying there.

We felt lucky to see the Northern Lights our first night. We took amazing photos in the bitter cold. (Thanks for the bonfire!)

This is certainly not a trip if you are looking to be pampered in luxury. It was expensive because it's expensive to bring people and supplies to a location such as this. But it was worth it to us and we hope to go again.

  • Liked — Great Food! Adventure.
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank JiminSeattle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Bettles Lodge

Property: Bettles Lodge
Address: 101 Main St, Bettles, AK 99726
Region: United States > Alaska > Bettles
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Speciality Lodging in Bettles
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We offer food, aircraft fuel, and lodging 365 days a year. We still harbor wayward pilots just like when we opened in 1951 as a Wien Alaska Airlines Lodge. We offer world class Aurora viewing (235 nights a year possible here/weather dependent) during the Fall and Winter season, National Park Collecting & Flight seeing, fishing charters, and camping / hiking drop off and pick up in the Gates of the Arctic & Kobuk Valley National Park flights with our full service Air Taxi operation based in Bettles. We have officially the best weather in Alaska, here at Bettles Field. Come see the REAL, Arctic, Bush, Alaska! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Bettles Hotel Bettles
Bettles Lodge Alaska

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