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The Van Gilder Hotel
Ranked #7 of 13 Hotels in Seward
Reviewed 22 September 2009

Stayed 2 nites in July 2009. A buddy and I had a small suite with two beds in separate rooms, and one bathroom. It was clean, adequate, and "historic". "Historic" includes furniture that looks like it came out of your great aunt's basement. But I don't need Miami Beach chic when I'm fishing.

Staff was kind and accomodating; continental breakfast and coffee a nice touch.

I used a coupon and got the large room for $240 for two nites, and consider it a real value for Seward in July.

Some readers might be interested in the presence of a communal kitchen that folks use to cook. I did not use it, but it is adequately appointed and clean.

Other readers might care to know that there is no elevator - third floor rooms can be a hike.

I'd recommend to the someone like me, but no to my parents.

Stayed: July 2009, travelled with friends
3  Thank jfhscott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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128 - 134 of 155 reviews

Reviewed 21 September 2009

We stayed here for 2 nites. Everything was very well kept, clean and in good working order. There is a wealth of history in the many pictures throughout the hallways. We enjoyed checking them all out. All the rooms are set up pretty much the same with a full size bed and a murphy bed. A continental breakfast is included with the room and consists of toast, bagels, muffins an assortment of danishes, juices, coffee and teas. The staff was pleasant and helpful.

Although each room has a murphy bed, the room becomes very crowded and cramped if you need to use it. There were 3 of us and the room was too small for all of us and our luggage.

There are 3 floors to this hotel and there is no elevator. If you cannot carry your luggage up stairs this is not the hotel for you. Just to get in the lobby, you will have to carry your luggage up a small flight of stairs. There is no parking lot designated for hotel guests. We parked on the side of the street.

Overall, for the price, we were happy and would recommend this hotel to others.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank rainlily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2009

We stayed in the Van Gilder Hotel with the Alaska Tour Saver, which gave us two nights for the price of one. At this rate, the hotel was a great value for the price we paid.

As we first entered the hotel, I was a little unsure of how I felt - mainly because it's not like what I typically think of when I think "hotel". It is an early 1900s hotel, so the decor is quite old - the carpet is fairly worn and the furniture and decor are worn as well. There is no real hotel lobby - just something like a living room where the office is. Also on the main floor is a shared full kitchen and a library where breakfast is served each morning. The walls are decorated with nostalgic pictures and information from Alaska's history which were kinda cool to peruse.

After check-in, we proceeded upstairs to our room. I was a little surprised to find that any vacant rooms were left with the doors standing wide open. Most of the rooms appeared the same with the single bed, a small dresser and TV. Be aware the some of the rooms do not have a private bathroom. These rooms share a small shower room and small toilet room in the hallway.

We entered our room to find that yes, the decor in here was quite outdated as well. I pulled back the worn-looking comforter to find that underneath was perfectly clean and nice bed linens. The bathroom was clean with clean towels. We were also provided with basic sundries - as I believe a previous poster said they were not. The shower head was also quite low, but not impossible to deal with.

The rooms were a touch on the small side, as mentioned by several previous posters, but they had all of the necessities - a clean comfortable bed, a toilet, a shower, clean towels and linens, an alarm clock and a small TV. If you're looking for a Ritz Carlton-like hotel with lavish rooms and amenities, perhaps Seward, AK isn't the place for you... There are no large chain corporate hotels, and most if not all of them will be basic hotels like the Van Gilder.

I'm not sure if we paid for a room with a view. But I can assure you, there isn't much of a "view" from this hotel. If you have an option of a view room or not with a price difference, I would certainly go for the cheaper. The real views around Seward require that you leave the hotel and get out and around to enjoy what the area has to offer.

The location of the hotel was pretty good. It was a nice 10-15 minute walk down to the boat harbor for a lot of the restaurants and tours. It was also right next to the "real" downtown area with many of the locals pubs and restaurants and the Sea Life Center.

The staff were quite friendly and helpful. They provided us with excellent customer service at check in and cleaning our rooms. They were also very helpful with pointing out where things were, how to get around, where to eat, etc. They also made breakfast each morning and served it continental style in the library. Breakfast was typically blueberry muffins, bagels, pastries, coffee and orange juice. The blueberry muffins were delicious!

Overall, though the Van Gilder was not what we were expecting, it turned out to be a great place to stay. We had great service, a great location, and a clean, comfortable place to sleep and bathe.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank grateful_travels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2009

Ok, don't think Four Seasons. You're in Seward, AK, for goodness sake! I don't give a 5 rating because the room's "view" was non-existent and the rooms were not very large. However, despite this, the rooms were clean, the breakfasts quite acceptable and it is just steps from the Sea Life Center! We enjoyed the historical photos and write-ups around the hotel and we felt happy and safe!

If you're in Seward and would like to stay in a historic building near restaurants and entertainment, this is the place for you!!

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank musictraveler73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2009

Antique furniture throughout. Rooms are average to small size. Managers are most accommodating--offered use of their personal refrigerator and dryer. Had coffee, juice and bagels/muffins for breakfast. No AC (but no hotel we stayed in had AC) and no elevator but wasn't a problem. Wi-Fi was great. Managers accepted AAA and Tour Saver Coupon so I got a great rate.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank BESTN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2009

I had some trepidation after reading previous reviews. The shower is, as some have said, tricky -- but you just need to fiddle with the nobs and set the temp before you get in. It didn't fluctuate for us after that. This is a nice, basic hotel. We got the 2-for-1 deal and were quite satisfied. I think the choice rests on whether you want to be downtown or at the boat harbor. The upscale (for Seward) restaurants are at the boat harbor, but we got a slightly more local feel walking around downtown. Plan on a 20-25 minute walk if you're headed to the boat harbor for a tour. Take the trail by the water...it's flat, it's pretty and you can marvel at all the hardy souls in their RVs.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank admiralnelsonden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 June 2009

I recently stayed at the Van Gilder Hotel in Seward, Alaska. It was neat and clean, definately a historic hotel with older furniture and a Victorian atmosphere. The front desk employees were very friendly and the price included a continental breakfast. I would have stayed here again except for one problem. I am a light sleeper and you can hear people talking in the rooms next to you, above and below you. I was awakened several times by people closing doors, the creaking of the stairs and water running through old pipes. If you are a heavy sleeper, this is a nice, economical hotel. Otherwise, steer clear. I hardly slept a wink.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with friends
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2  Thank annr66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Van Gilder Hotel

Address: 308 Adams St., Seward, AK 99664
Region: United States > Alaska > Seward
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 13 Hotels in Seward
Price Range: £96 - £159 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — The Van Gilder Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 23
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Also Known As:
Van Gilder Hotel
Van Gilder Seward
The Van Gilder Hotel Seward, Alaska

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