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“WE SLAYED!”

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Glacier Bay Country Inn
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Gustavus
Certificate of Excellence
Spanish Fork, Utah, United States
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“WE SLAYED!”
Reviewed 10 October 2013

I'd only been to Alaska once before and it was a cruise, which, for a fly fisherman, is like just walking through the midnight chocolate buffet on said cruise without eating anything. It's like all of Alaska is just being a big tease.

So this trip was about one thing and one thing only to me: Ripping copious amounts of salmonid lip.

Being a flyfishing guide, I'm probably too prideful (and too poor) to actually use a guide on the river, but the staff were extremely helpful in giving me the fishing info and were more than happy to drive me down to the river to get the party started. (They have gear for you to borrow BTW) After picking me up from the airstrip and letting me get my stuff together, they drove me and my brother to the Salmon River to get a few hours of fishing in before dinner. We caught a lot of pinks and a silver or two there. Just warming up our skills.

Speaking of dinner, the chef, Irish John, is the man. I'm the kind of guy who will gladly live on granola bars and water while I'm on a fishing trip with no regrets, but Irish put the love of food back into me every night and morning. From steak to stuffed peppers to some kind of awesome duck, he had me wondering nightly what the evening's repast would be. I work for a very high end lodge with a very talented chef as well, and while John's culinary skills are king sized, unlike other excellent chefs, his ego is not. He's just a fun guy to be around. But the fact that he'll make you hot home-made glazed donuts in the morning will make you want to take him home.

Back to the nitty gritty. We spent the next couple days on Glacier Bay National Park's Bartlett River. The hike in is ridiculously beautiful through what has to be considered some kind of rain forest as it was so moist that stuff grew on other stuff that grew on yet other things (eg. flowery green plants on a toadstool on a tree). My brother described it in fairytalesque terms, "the mushroom forest". Some people hike for fun. I'm not one of those people. I hike because there are beastly fish on the other end of the hike that need desperately to be tamed by me. But this hike I would walk to just to see what I saw. Many others do.

We were there right on time for the second run of silver/coho salmon. The first day on the Bartlett was great, but some time was spent finding where the best silver holes were. Caught most of my fish dead drifting purple and pink stuff. The second day we limited out very quickly. The fish were pounding big pink and purple streamers swung and stripped. The silvers were amazing and acrobatic, but the unsung chums/dogs were ridiculously powerful too! Awesome fishing. There is nothing like Alaska salmon fishing anywhere else on this spinning blue planet. Do it before you die.

We saw a black bear that tried to make a play for my bag of fish (see pictures) while I had a silver on the line. It took a lot of multi tasking but I took the bag of fish away, fought the silver, and took a picture of the bear for your viewing enjoyment all at the same time. Thank you, thank you.

If you're keeping fish, success is a two-edged sword. The hike through the mushroom forest was less pleasant carrying 70 pounds of salmon on my back. The Country Inn folks had just the answer though: The next day they found sea kayaks for us and we paddled upriver with the rising tide, totally killed it, and easily paddled back downriver and out to the dock of the bay with our catch. On the way we saw sea otters, seals way up into the river, starfish, eagles, bears, etc. Amazing way to get to a fishing spot.

The next day was halibut fishing. I didn't think I would like this. I'm a pretty active fisherman. But our captain, Forest, was amazing. He runs a clean boat and went WAY out of his way to make our trip amazing. I don't want to tell you everything because I don't want to hold him to that same ridiculous standard for others, and folks asked that I not post pictures of the huge limit of halibut that we caught, but I did include a pic of me holding just one of the beasts. My freezer is loaded. Forest is the man. He stayed up late with me after dinner at the lodge to talk fishing too. Good dude. Hugely recommended.

Like I said, for me it's all about the fishing and nothing about this lodge disappointed in that respect. But if you're the kind of person who needs more to do or ways to relax other than relentlessly tying new flies to try out the next day, you'll love some of the ammenities:
-Relaxing around the fire with your friends under the ramada
-Soaking in the spa while the jets work out that lower back issue you've got from packing monster salmon through the mushroom forest
-Watching movies on the reclining stadium seating theater
-Working the entire Montague family at pool (hope you guys come back to read this ;) )
-Ping pong
-A round of golf at the worst, but maybe most fun, municipal course ever.

There were some negative comments about service. Don't know how this could be. They went the extra mile for me, including bending over backwards to make sure I got to see a football game that was played while I was on the river. One of them knew I wanted to see it so he called the satellite company to make sure they could get it and then recorded it for me.

Great trip. Great place. Novel over.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tim J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Sandy, Utah, United States
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 September 2013

I've never been to Alaska, but was convinced to go with a friend and didn't know what to expect. I can say with certainty that I will be back now. I had a tremendous experience staying at the Glacier Bay Country Inn. The cabin we staying in was great. Comfy bed, large enough to have my own little space, good shower, etc. The food was AMAZING. John is the chef and he was great. Each morning and night there was some kind of unique meal with amazing desserts as well. Lunch was quick and easy to pack for the trail as well.

There is also a large recreation room with a ping-pong table, pool table, and movie theater. We got comfy many nights in the movie theater after a long day fishing and took in a good movie. Also enjoyed the hot tub, but mostly the wilderness.

While walking around the lodge two black bear stumbled upon us. We were able to watch them for about 20 min. We also saw a huge brown bear while fishing.

The fishing was AMAZING. The guides, Greg, Jim, and others were so great. I limited out fishing each day for Silver Salmon, and also Halibut. I came home with a freezer full of fish and actually just grilled some up tonight.

I'll be back and highly recommend this place!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Andrew M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mesa, Arizona
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 September 2013

From my first day, sitting next to the fire under the Ramada, to clear blue skies in Glacier Bay, this trip was everything I hoped for. We saw floating chunks of ice while kayaking to a glacier, whales, otters, sea lions, puffin, and of course bear. The fishing was better than anything I have experienced. The staff, lodge, food, recreation room, and movie theatre secured my loyalty for a return trip. We had some days of rain, but after reading Glacier Bay Country Inn’s website, I came prepared and was undeterred.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Trent M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 September 2013

After a long hot summer in AZ it was great to get away with a couple buddies to fish in Alaska. Im a huge fishing nut but not very good at it. Glacier Bay Country Inn made me feel like a pro. They had all the gear I needed for the big fish Alaska offers. We limited out on Silver salmon our first day on the Bartlett River. They knew the right spots and had all the gear I needed. We also crushed it with Halibut. The charter Captain, Forest was professional and knowledgable. We all went home with a big box of fish, amazing pictures and great memories.

PS the chef made some of the best meals I've ever had. So glad it was all inclusive. I can't wait to go back except for gaining 10lbs

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Fishingchrisalaska
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mesa, Arizona
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 September 2013

Just returned from a week at the Glacier Bay Country Inn. The food was unreal in it's tastiness. I would return from a day on the river or the halibut boat and the highlight was the food. That says something. Also thanks to the staff for the tip on the fishing guide. It's not every day you catch a fish longer then you are tall!!! Amazing!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Dave J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Riverside, California
Level Contributor
22 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 September 2013

I arrived with a group of friends on 9/3 at the Glacier Bay Country Inn. All of us were expecting a great time in Alaska and it was one of the few times when my expectations were completely exceeded. The fishing was amazing, the food was incredible, and the lodge and location was as beautiful as it gets.

First the fishing. Our group went fishing in the rivers for the first two days and we caught our limit of Silver Salmon. The fish were huge and they put up an awesome fight making it one of the best days of river fishing I have ever had. Truly an amazing experience that will be hard to top. We also went out on the boat to do some Halibut fishing. It was slow at first but then it started to get real busy. At one point we had 4 fish on at one time. We all got our limit and came back exhausted. Cue the food review.

The food was one of the best parts of the stay. I love to eat. On vacations I love eating out and food is the most important part of the trip. Glacier Bay Country Inn did not disappoint as the meals were perfect. From the well rounded breakfast to the full course dinners it was a perfect beginning and end to each adventure packed day.

The accommodations were another great part of the trip. After a long day of fishing and pigging out you can go back to your room or cabin and relax in the perfect atmosphere. The cabins are rustic and give you a great outdoors feel while still being extremely comfortable. I always rate a hotel based on beds and maybe it was the fact that I was in Alaska but I haven't had such a good nights on vacation in a long time. The beds have some kind of memory foam and were just perfect. There is a large cabin type building that has a theater room, ping pong, pool, and table games. The theater was top notch. There is also a covered area with a fire pit, a hot tub, horse shoes as well as numerous trails throughout the huge secluded property (the owner said it was about 170 acres).

The staff was so friendly and accommodating to our needs. The chef and his staff treated us like family and made it a point to make sure we loved our food and our stay.

Our group is already planning our stay to come back in July 2014. This truly was an awesome experience and I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a great Alaskan experience.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank huntinfoolca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mesa, Arizona, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 September 2013

Glacier Bay Country Inn, owned and operated by Jim Lindblom and his wife, along with an excellent staff (especially the chef, John) is a great choice to stay for any adventure in the Glacier Bay National Park area. The lodge is just a mile or so outside the small town (population 435) Gustavus, Alaska, which is surrounded by the national park. The folks at Glacier Bay Country Inn arranged for a fishing expedition for Halibut with a very competent guide, and we had a great day fishing, with all six of us catching the limit. They took us to a couple of rivers for some salmon fishing (we chose not to have a guide with us for that), and one day we took kayaks to one of the glaciers. It was fun just hanging around their lodge, which has a choice of individual cabins, or a room in the lodge. There were gorgeous trails to walk on, with wild blueberries everywhere, or you could play horseshoes, sit around the fire outside on the covered deck, take a dip in the hot tub (very nice after a hard day hoisting in heavy halibut) or play pool, ping pong, or watch a movie in their theater room. There is an honor system lock-box, self-serve, country golf course close by that they took us to. Totally fun! I recommend one day of heavy action, interspersed with a lighter day. The cabins & lodge are rustic and simple, yet beautiful. We saw black bears walking the grounds on two occasions. BUT...the best part was the food. Oh my goodness. I've never eaten so well, and when I travel, the food is one of the most important things to me. Their chef baked bread and pastries every day. They had great breakfasts, with eggs, bacon, sausages, hash browns, fruits, pastries, yogurt, juice, milk, etc. They prepared us good lunches for our expeditions, with sandwiches on soft, moist homemade bread every day. Dinner was a 3-4 course feast every night, the food being on par with some of the best restaurants I've been to, which is saying something. Service was attentive, though more of a friendly Alaska-casual than a stuffy very formal establishment. Their chef made wonderful soups, salads, breads, prime rib, shrimp, steaks, halibut, with beautifully prepared side dishes, pastas, a risotto, vegetables, etc. And lovely desserts. I've never had better creme brulee. His homemade donuts were as addictive as crack. The cheesecake was incredible. I am definitely going back. And I am definitely recommending this place to friends and family. If they have half the experience I had, they will not regret going to the Glacier Bay Country Inn.

Room Tip: Cabins for complete privacy, in the lodge for a still-private, but little more communal experience...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Tyler M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Glacier Bay Country Inn

Property: Glacier Bay Country Inn
Address: 35 Tong Road, Gustavus, AK 99826
Region: United States > Alaska > Gustavus
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Gustavus
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3 star — Glacier Bay Country Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Glacier Bay Country Inn is a gateway to Glacier Bay National Park. Their world class service, location, and amazing cuisine from a professional staff will provide you with what guests have called "the best Alaskan Trip ever!!"€� It is why most of their guests return year after year. They offer some of Alaska's best fishing and outdoor adventures: Salt Water Fishing, Fly-Fishing, Kayaking, Whale Watching, Sight-seeing, Hiking, Photography, and Glacier Tours. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Country Inn Gustavus
Gustavus Country Inn
Glacier Bay Country Inn Gustavus, Alaska

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