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“We were lucky to find this gem”

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EarthSong Lodge - Denali's Natural Retreat
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 21 August 2011

Tucked away from the highway, with nice views of the mountains, Earth Song Lodge is indeed a retreat. Since I had a broken foot, while the rest of the family hiked read on the porch and enjoyed the sweeping views. Cabins are CHARMING, and comfortable; great linens and good beds ensured a perfect night's sleep. With my bum foot, I appreciated the easy to navigate boardwalk linking the cabins to Henry's restaurant. The restaurant offers great food as well as a terrific sofa-filled lounge area with lots of magazines and books. Loved the lodge, and after seeing how most lodging around Denali is clustered on a highway, I felt lucky to have landed this more natural setting in the Denali neighborhood.

Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
3  Thank iggytx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (271)
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176 - 182 of 271 reviews

Reviewed 16 August 2011

I travel a lot and solo 99% of the time. I am always looking for hidden gems and I hit the jackpot with Earthsong! I found a place away from the the tourist trap that is surrounding the park entrance. The drive down Stampede Road to the lodge was Alaskan and that is what I wanted.

Jon, the owner, greeted me and was quite informative and helpful to this single gal! I stayed two nights before I was to head to Fairbanks (wish I would have stayed at Earthsong longer). The cabin I was in was SPECTACULAR, wait did I say SPECTACULAR? Henry's coffeehouse was amazing, I may have even drooled while looking at the menu. Jon's slideshow was PHENOMENAL and the dogs...oh the dogs. What well mannered, friendly dogs!

I will be back! Your lodge has set a precedence for all of my future travels. I also am not one to leave reviews but I had to let you all know what an amazing place Earthsong Lodge is! Thank you Jon and Karin for making my trip most memorable!

Room Tip: Clean, Quiet and Beautiful
  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled solo
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3  Thank Alicia F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2011

was looking forward to our stay here. We had been warned it was small but other than this it sounded as if it suited our needs.
It was very small, about the size of a garden shed and was not helped by the unusual choice of furniture - a day bed! and the large number of cushions which needed a space at night. We had nowhere to put our luggage. I was also put off by the number of rules that gave the place a very negative aura. I understood the reason for the rules but the number of 'don'ts' was quite off putting.
There is a coffee shop which does some great evening meals and where you can watch a slide show and chat with the owner who is very gregarious.
The trip around the kennels is interesting and worth doing,
I had also not realised how far out of Denali the place is and if you are looking for something as a base to explore denali I would find somewhere closer. On the up side leaving there early one morning we came across a moose and her twins at the side of the road something that we might not have seen had we stayed in the gulch.

Room Tip: if you want somewhere to put luggage and to sit outside ask for one of the larger cabins
  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank filligirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
earthsonglodge, Owner at EarthSong Lodge - Denali's Natural Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 13 August 2011

I appreciate the positive scores our lodge received under the all the catagories except "value"...but a good value score is very important to us. If our guests feel they are not getting a good value, their stay with us is less than desirable. That seems to be the case with this guest from Wales, and we are lucky that almost all of our guests feel otherwise.

Yes, some of the cabins are small. That is mentioned over and over again, both in a positive and negative manner. And again, floorplans are up on our website, so people know what they are getting. But a "garden shed"?...we have one of those, and I don't recall this guest being booked in it! We usually keep garden items in that!!

We do not have any day beds in our cabins. Most have either a twin sleeper sofa or a "click-clack" leather sofa...this allows for guests to have more options (mom and son traveling together, not having to share a bed, for example). There is no real difference in space and ambiance between a small sofa or chair that can pull out to add more sleeping space, and one that just sits there. I really don't understand this complaint. Across the board, guests compliment us for the tasteful decorating in the cabins, the cleanliness, comfortable mattresses (most brand new), and the excellent service. Most of this is due to my wife Karin's high standards, ones that you would find in a quality bed and breakfast. As for the pillows, yes, there are many extra pillows in the cabins, to be added to the bed for sleep comfort, and for decor. If this commentator was a guy, I might understand the issue...I myself don't always get the decorative pillow deal, but then I don't know interior design! I just keep the cabins going and sled dogs happy. But the extra pillows do not add to clutter at all.

I don't believe that we have too many rules, and I also don't believe they are presented in a negative manner. Even our strong "no smoking" policy is polite, but to the point. We want our environment kept clean and healthy, and quiet in the late hours. We are more than accommodating to our guests, and only ask them to respect our home (this IS our home) and other guests. If these points are too much to ask, think about staying in a more conventional hotel when traveling.

My last point is something that, again, we've gone over many times. Our lodge is located 17 miles from the park entrance. We are set up for guests that want to do activities in the park, but want to be in a more calm, natural environment, away from the industrial tourism at the park entrance. I don't know how this guest was surprised about our location...I am guessing that she was booked via an agent instead of directly with us, and never looked at our website or read anything about us in a guide book. Luckily, almost everyone who stays with us finds us on their own, so they get what they are looking for. Seems like the biggest complaint is not with us but rather the booking company that may have misrepresented us or not accommodated their needs. Luckily for independents there are resources like TripAdvisor and guidebooks, so you can get the information you need to make an informed decision.

I've been called many things over the years, but never "gregarious"...I do thank the guest for that!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2011

My mom-in-law and I stayed at Earthsong for three nights while we explored Denali, and we could not have been happier. The cabins are beautiful, cozy, and hand-built. The owner/hosts Jon and Karin are warm, welcoming, and very knowledgable about the park (they helped us plan our hikes). The coffeehouse serves delicious food (we ate there every night), and they do a slideshow in the evenings -- the perfect way to unwind after a long day of hiking. We found this lodge quite convenient for exploring the park -- it's only about a 20-25 minute drive, and the extra minutes are well worth it as you're far away from the crowd, down a beautiful country road with mountain views. We even saw a moose right near the lodge!

The highlight for us was meeting the sled dogs. They have a kennel of 20+ Alaskan sled dogs, and we loved learning about (and cuddling with) these incredible athletes. The dogs are very quiet -- they only sound off for about 30 seconds at feeding times, but we loved hearing them sing -- you won't get that in glitter gulch! Thanks Jon and Karin for a fabulous experience.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank Rebecca M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2011

Earthsong Lodge is a 20 minute drive from Denali Park entrance and worth every minute of the drive. (especially to get away from the big hotels clustered just north of the park entrance). It is set on tundra that is beautiful, peaceful and absolutely quiet at night. Cabins are charming, clearly handmade with love by someone with skill and artistry (I"m assuming the owners John and Karin built them?) Each one is unique. Included in price of stay is a slide show of Denali area nature pics that is nice and a tour of John's dog yard in the morning that is outstanding. The yard itself is so well kept and the dogs are the nicest best trained sled dogs I've seen in Alaska so far.
The best part for me was talking with John, he knows Alaska and in particular the Denali area, like very few people do and he is generous and gracious in sharing this knowledge.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank DavidHenry99709
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 July 2011

The ten of us stayed here for two nights while we visited Denali and the surrounding area. If you are looking for a place away from the "tourist trap" that is quiet but still close, this is the place. Nicely decorated and clean little cabins with very comfy beds. Henry's Coffeehouse is a great place to sit on the porch and sip a hot coffee or latte and take in the wonderful views. You can tour the sled dog kennels in the morning and take in an outstanding presentation that Jon puts on at night. I plan on returning here and taking a dog sled tour with Jon and Denali Dog Sled Expeditions.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
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Thank Steve42150
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2011

The entire place has been built by the owner (Jon) out of, I think, local materials and his love for the place shows in the workmanship. Each cozy cabin has its own theme and the walkways are lined with flowers. (I don't think the user photos of the place do it justice--they don't capture the magical personality of the place for me.) The cafe is comfortable and filled with books. You can even tour the sled dog kennel in the morning and end the day with a slide show in the evening. As a bonus you get to discuss all this with Jon. Oh year, the view can't be beat either. The lodge is about 30 minutes north of Denali but is worth the tiny bit of extra driving. This was our favorite lodging in Alaska.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank Doggerol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about EarthSong Lodge - Denali's Natural Retreat

Address: Mile 4.0 Stampede Road, PO Box 89, Healy, AK 99743-0089
Region: United States > Alaska > Healy
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Speciality Lodging in Healy
Price Range: £148 - £227 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — EarthSong Lodge - Denali's Natural Retreat 2.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Free daily sled dog kennel tours to guests. Evening slide programs. Divas of Denali Gift Shop, local crafts. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Earthsong Lodge - Denali`s Natural Retreat Hotel Healy

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