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“You can do better in Juneau and for less money”

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Westmark Baranof Hotel
Ranked #8 of 16 Hotels in Juneau
Bay area, CA
Level Contributor
19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“You can do better in Juneau and for less money”
Reviewed 13 November 2009

One thing you should know about Juneau is that the cruise lines own a good deal of the town, so when possible, buy local, as the locals don't benefit much from the businesses that are cruise line owned, and the mark-up on what is sold is incredibly high for what you get - typical tourist trap stuff. I mention this because this is true of the hotel, the Westmark Baranof. Billed as a ritzy, luxurious hotel, it's just a plain, kinda old hotel with small, ordinary rooms - though the prices were definitely those for a luxury hotel. It's tolerable, but not much more. It was clean. But parking was kind of scary (tight) and the staff were - well, they gave the impression of being underpaid, overworked, and bored. Except for this one guy who was very helpful, everyone else was just marking time. I will say the breakfast cafe is not bad - locals even like it, and the prices, service, and food were decent. But don't bother with dinner - for those prices (outrageous) and less-than-enthusiastic service, you can do SO much better, and within a couple of short blocks. Try Tarantino's Italian, on Seward and 4th, just two blocks away - really good, fresh Italian, or Wild Spice, about a block and half's distance on Seward between 2nd and Front Street. or, take the cable car up to the top of the mountain side (across from the cruise ships) and eat at the restaurant there. Not only a spectacular view, but the food was fabulous - fresh, local cuisine, reasonable prices, and a view - coming, going, and while eating - that is incomparable. The cable car ride costs about $30.00, but it's totally worth it - there's trails and a gift shop and - that view. Juneau is a very small town, but it has a lot to offer in the area - Mendenhall Gacier, whale watching, etc. I was there on business and lucky enough to stay a weekend. I don't generally get a lot of choices (my employer determines which ones I can use) when it comes to htoels, but I would definitely choose something else next time - and I'd check and see who owned the hotel.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank CarolEPBayarea_CA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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421 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Level Contributor
22 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 September 2009

Giving two stars instead of one only because we received a good price and the hotel is in a handy location, but poor quality will keep us from returning to this hotel.

The Westmark Baranof is in an old historical building so it is okay that the room was very small. That is to be expected in historical buildings unless the owners do a major remodel.

An "upgrade" got us a King size bed, but the bed was old and uncomfortable so we woke up each morning with aching backs. There wasn't even a nice plush mattress pad on the bed to help counteract the too old mattress. The pillows also were old and flat.

The carpet needed vacuuming and as soon as we entered our room we found a large toe nail laying on the floor between the bed and the TV, right at the foot of the bed. The corners, moulding, and fixtures need a good dusting, and splatters of gunk on the wall at the bathroom sink should be wiped away between guests. A light bulb was out in the bathroom light fixture. The bathtub was a miniature. I've never seen such a small tub! It was too small to bother trying to soak in because one couldn't even lay back but would have to sit straight up.

The window in the bedroom opened but it had no screen so even though the small room was stuffy and too warm, we couldn't keep the window open without bugs entering the room. The drapes were missing sheer panels behind the heavier drapes so we couldn't open the drapes and still have some privacy from the houses and the parking lot outside our room.

There also was no air system to turn on to cool the room or circulate the air, only a heater that we didn't need. At least there was a clean, portable fan that worked well we could turn on when we went to sleep. It was relatively loud but it helped.

Small, old fashioned TV, but it worked and we weren't in Juneau to watch TV anyway.

A reservation for two put us in a room with only two towels, one black tea bag instead of two.

The breakfast in the cafe was good if a little pricey, but pricey is normal for Juneau's historical district.

Despite the good price for the room, we won't stay at this hotel again. It is better to pay a little more to be comfortable.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank lookwestward
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Juneau
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 September 2009

This hotel likes to market itself as one of Juneau's premier hotels, and its anything but. I have no complaints about about the wonderful staff, service, location, upkeep, or cleanliness of the establishment, but the rooms themselves are best described as nonsensical.

First, the layout of the rooms consists of a small space, with an overly large bed, storage bench, television, and tiny desk all shoved in one room. If you have any girth on you, its impossible to open a drawer or pull out a chair to work. Second, what should be closet space is an unusable nook with a microwave, mini-fridge, and sink right next to the bathroom, also with an impossibly cramped layout.

Second, the rooms have overly thin walls. If your neighbor is arguing with his wife, watching internet porn, or just snores, you are going hear every ugly minute of it. Its no wonder the FBI chose this hotel to sting corrupt Alaskan politicians, because if something is going on in this hotel its hard to avoid hearing it.

Third, there's no environmental controls in the rooms at all. If it's hot, you broil, if it's cold, you broil, because they heat the entire floor with central heat and the only way to regulate the temperature is to open a window.

So, this would be a decent hotel, if it wasn't for the fact that the rooms seem to have been designed by a midget race of aliens from a desert planet with no sense of privacy.

  • Stayed October 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank BigBearAndy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tucson
Level Contributor
21 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 September 2009

We stayed two nights, Sept 1 and Sept 4. While there were some paint nicks and rug stains, overall the rooms were clean, well furnished and very comfortable. Both nights were very quiet and we did not experience the noise some guests are reporting. Perhaps they had the misfortune of being there when a rowdy crowd was present. That can happen anywhere.
The staff was very courteous and helpful, even to the extent of storing our luggage when we arrived at 4:45AM on the ferry and then flew out that afternoon to Gustavus. On the night of our first stay, the Gold Room served us a King Crab Leg feast equal to any we have ever had even though it was not on their menu that night. Not many restaurants are willing to do that.
And what would a trip to Alaska be without enjoying the signature dish, sourdough pancakes? The Capitol Cafe next door with entrance from the hotel lobby opens at 6:00AM and serves the most authentic sourdoughs I have eaten since I worked on a track crew of the Alaska Railroad in the 1950s

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank TucsonDakota33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
maryjhall@comcast.net
Level Contributor
70 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 August 2009

A lady friend and I spent a week at the Baranhof July 1-July 7. The hotel was clean and neat. Staff were friendly, warm and helpful from check-in to check-out. As a Juneau descendant, I was attending the Juneau International Family Reunion, where the hotel was our "home base". Service was excellent at the reception in the Banquet Room as well as Express Breakfast and the lovely Dining Room. When my friend needed medical attention, the desk clerk directed us to Urgent Care, where we received immediate help. The central location made this ideal for us to walk almost everywhere we wanted to go.
A very special treat was the 4th of July parade and celebration of Alaska as the 50th state to join the union. It seems the entire town turned out to see this! What a sight!

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ladyjo11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mill Valley, CA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2009

First of all, this is in "the historic" downtown, which is a fun place to stay. I stayed in this hotel for two nights (one before and one after my ferry trip down the inside passage). I went back the second night only because I had a non-refundable "deal" through Priceline. The hotel rooms need lots of refurbishment: the cheap wallpaper is pealing, the carpet is stained, and the wooden baseboards were obviously battered and repainted many times, very badly. One side of my room appeared to have a fake wall, a sort of divider, perhaps. This was supposed to be a non-smoking hotel, but cigarette smoke drifted into my room at least twice on my second stay. Also, on my arrival on the second night, the hostess scowled at me when she said, "May I help you," perhaps because of my backpack, though my clothes were clean and neat. The canopy above the inside door to the cafe was faded and very dusty, which turned me off eating there. If you can manage all this, I should say that the housekeeping in the room was good, and the bathroom and linens clean and fresh. The bathrooms appeared newly refurbished, and if the rest ever gets this attention, this could be a nice place to stay in the future.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MillValleyAnnie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
292 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2009

Great location, good cafe, clean rooms. Thin walls, staff a bit flightly. Overall an OK hotel, it's just surprising that it's the nicest hotel in Juneau since it's just ok.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank WanderLSP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Westmark Baranof Hotel

Property: Westmark Baranof Hotel
Address: 127 N Franklin St, Juneau, AK 99801-1222
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Alaska > Juneau
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 16 Hotels in Juneau
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Westmark Baranof Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 195
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Largest hotel Juneau – Located in the heart of town. - The historic Westmark Baranof Hotel is centrally located in downtown Juneau within walking distance of the Centennial Hall, waterfront, cruise ship docks, shopping, state capitol and government offices. There is complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. •Convenient Downtown Location•195 Rooms and Suites•Cable TV•Room Service•In-Room Coffee Makers•Channel and Mountain Views•Walk to Historical & Cultural Sites and Cruise Ship Docks•Gold Room Restaurant & Bubble Room Lounge •Banquet/Meeting Rooms•Fitness Center•Free Parking•Free High Speed Wireless Internet available in all Public Areas•Free Internet Access in Lobby for Hotel Guests•Westmark Guest Rewards•Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan•A FEMA Certified Hotel•Smoke Free Environment. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Westmark Baranof Juneau
Westmark Baranof Hotel Juneau

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