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“Alaska- Crazy Awesome”

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Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Forsyth, Missouri
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Alaska- Crazy Awesome”
Reviewed 2 August 2014

The lodge is an excellent place to stay. Nice clean rooms, quiet, friendly staff, good food, and awesome views. Stayed here on our way from Fairbanks to Valdez. Good stopping point. We didn't have a reservation, but they even discounted the room. We stayed in two Princess lodges and this one I liked the best.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CindySB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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333 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (95)
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Scottsdale, Arizona
Level 6 Contributor
417 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 180 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 August 2014

Very nice facility--especially all by itself in the wilderness. Some of the staff were excellent at their jobs, but others lacked warmth and common sense. The lack of caring staff made us feel less than welcome. Odd for a lodge that is supposed to be all about hospitality and catering to the guests.

We arrived an hour before their scheduled check in time. After waiting for the desk clerks to stop chatting with each other, the girl assigned to the check in area came back to her area to inquire if she could help us. When we wanted to get our room, she seemed annoyed and let us know in no uncertain terms that there were no rooms available at that time and we would have to wait an hour. Wow! No bedside manner whatsoever. She left to return to her colleagues to resume conversation. My wife and i got the distinct impression that since we were not part of a Princess cruise group, that we were unimportant.

Later, when we did get to check in (another clerk who had some difficulty finding our reservation), we received an excellent view room. However, the baggage cart had a very low tire, which made pushing our luggage from the parking lot to our room difficult. None of the staff seemed to notice. When i returned the cart, i stopped at the desk to alert them to the low tire and to request that it be taken care of so no other guest would have the struggle.

No mention of concern or apology. The desk clerk called someone out of the office and asked him to attend to airing up the tire. He didn't seem to think it was in his job description and suggested calling someone else. At that point, i walked away.

We did find the staff in the gift shop to be warm, caring and fun. Also the day bartender and the morning espresso tender were friendly and warm. Our waiter for dinner seemed experienced and knowledgeable, but after we ordered our dinner, others brought our meals and refilled our glasses. Didn't see him again he inquired about dessert (not interested--nothing gluten free) and later when he delivered the bill. He returned about 15 minutes afterward to collect it (was he unhappy we passed on dessert?).

What started out as a nice, quiet meal turned into "I can't hear You!" as a large group entered the dining room for their evening meal (we assume Princess Cruisers). As the wine poured, the volume increased, and we were very happy to be able to escape back to the quiet of our room. Having to wait so long for the waiter to retrieve our payment became even more annoying.

We were expecting exceptional food as they tout the restaurant as first class. The prime rib slice my wife was served was good sized, but it was not the medium rare she had ordered. Not only was her serving overcooked, it was tough. We would have sent it back if the waiter had ever checked on us. The scallops that i had were very good. Nice fresh salad.

Our room was very comfortable. Nice bed. Nice bathroom. Plenty of ice far enough away not to be heard while dispensing, near enough for easy access. It provided a way to replenish our small ice chest to keep our travel food cold (no in room refrigerator).

The facility itself is beautiful with incredible views of the mountains from our room and from the great hall on the main floor. Comfortable seating indoors and plenty of seating/tables outdoors. We made a picnic lunch of fruit, cheese and crackers (with our wine and glasses provided by the friendly bartender) and sat outside enjoying the view until the mosquitoes chased us inside to finish protected by glass.

There was a presentation by a Park Ranger in the meeting room on our level and i sat in for several minutes while he discussed how the fish populations were doing in this part of Alaska. Great video--very interesting.

We shared morning espresso in our room (surprisingly weak to us) and took more photos of the mountains, this time covered by clouds. Packed up and found a different cart for our luggage with inflated tires, loaded up our things, wheeled down and out and packed our car,

The facility is beautiful. Wonderful fireplace in the great hall with great aromas and warmth from the burning wood. The views are amazing. Amenities like computers for the guests to use in the upstairs lobby are nice, but with only 2 there and with only 1 of them working, trying to find it available for use was impossible.

It was the uncaring/unfriendly staff that kept this from being a destination worth seeking out as an independent traveler. Someone from the organization needs to visit incognito and experience the staff as an independent traveler to see who is worth keeping and who does not belong in the hospitality industry.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view of the mountains. Visit the friendly people in the gift shop-which has s...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank tuc7k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Temple, Texas
Level 5 Contributor
94 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 August 2014

This was the second of 3 Princess lodges that we visited on our driving tour of Alaska. I liked this one the best. All the rooms are on a central hallway and that is always a secure feeling. It is located off the main highway and is very private. The view out of the lodge window is INCREDIBLE. Unlike the Mt. McKinley Lodge I would imagine that this view is present almost all the time. The mountain range is so beautiful. The fireweed in the foreground was in full bloom. The room had carpet that passed the "ok to take my socks off" test. It was updated, with modern linens and furniture. I used the laundry room and it was clean and had 2 washers and 2 dryers. Dinner at the dining room was outstanding. The wait staff was very friendly and informative. I always ask the staff where they are from and usually get answers from all over the world. One waiter was actually from a town 20 miles away from me. A wonderful place to stay off the beaten path. The best part... Princess was trying to fill rooms that weren't being used by their "cruisers" and we got it for $119.00! That is the best deal in Alaska! And it was also one of the nicest places we stayed on our 2 week tour of this beautiful state.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TXFlowerLady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Southern AZ
Level 6 Contributor
241 reviews
77 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2014 via mobile

Of our 2 weeks on the road, this was the nicest place we stayed. There was a little glitch checking in, and we were unable to get two beds, and there was a wait til they found a room . But we were given a free dinner, which more than compensated us for our trouble. The room was luxurious and clean. The staff were helpful and accommodating. The area is beautiful. The food was delicious! We did like the salads and desserts, as well as steak, prime rib, and fish & chips. The only things that we would have liked to have were a small fridge and microwave, because we had been on the road with food for 10 days and most of our accommodations had them.


















  • Stayed July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank AZTravelLady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reno, Nevada
Level 6 Contributor
178 reviews
102 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2014

I stayed here for 2 nights. My room was on the 2nd floor with great views of the mountains. I wasn't sure what to expect since this would be my first experience with Princess (as a company). I did not cruise with them. I booked this on my own as part of a trip into Wrangell St Elias NP and Preserve.
My room was clean, comfortable and quiet. I had my doubts in the beginning that my room would be quiet since I was right next to the elevator, but after about 930pm I never heard the elevator.
I did have dinner at the Whistle Stop Bar and Grill. Although the restaurant was busy (the hotel was sold out), I was served quickly. J was my server and he was great. The food was good, but pricey (which I expected).
The only problem I had was with the person who checked me in and checked me out. His name was Mike. He was grumpy when I checked in and more grumpy when I checked out. Nonetheless, I didn't let his attitude dampen my trip. Despite his attitude, I'm still giving this property an Excellent rating.
If you are planning a flight with Wrangell Mountain Air out of Chitina, if you stay here you'll be about an hour away from the airport (well worth it).

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank smokymtndeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Georgia
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 July 2014

We wanted to experience the Copper River Area and the Princess Wilderness Lodge had a great deal - buy one night and the 2nd is half off. Could not resist and drove from Wasilla to Copper Center about 4 hours. Upon entering you are struck by the beauty of the lobby. The lobby windows are big and looks out to the Wrangell St. Elias National Park. They have a telescope for viewing the mountain and several tables and chairs in you want to sit outside or enjoy a meal there as well. Bring bug spray! The rooms are quaint but very nice and clean. The bathroom is standard size and also very lean. We ate at the restaurant. They offer a decent buffet breakfast for about $13.00 and it's ok - nothing great. It's eggs, sausage or bacon, oatmeal, danish the usual items. For the price you cannot beat it. You can also order offer the menu and my husband ordered the pancakes. They looked good and he said they were fine. I think it was about $10.00 and now you understand why the buffet is a great deal which also includes coffee. A la carte coffee is $2.50 One evening we had dinner and it was very nice. The prices are reasonable for Alaska where everything has to be imported. I order the copper river salmon and it was delicious. It is worth staying here since your choices are limited. The staff is very helpful and nice and this hotel is only opened from May - September. They also set up excursions and we chose the Valdez Glacier Cruise and Wildlife Expedition. Excursions in Alaska are expensive so this was no surprise to us; however, it was great having someone else drive since Valdez is about 2 hours away. The bus driver was knowledgeable, friendly and got us there safely and back. The hotel will even set up a box lunch for you for a reasonable price. Very happy with this place. The icing on the cake was running into Jeremy Wade, the River Monster host who was here to film a new piece for his reality series. I don't know what kind of salmon monster they were looking for - but I'm sure they found it!

Room Tip: Ask for 2nd Floor facing mountains for a good view
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank pagonick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 July 2014

We moved to this lodging from a B&B (see separate review of The Copper Moose) closer to Chitina, after our first night in the Wrangell St Elias area. The B&B location was excellent for a day or overnight trip to Kennecott/McCarthy, but this Lodge was more centrally located for the Wrangell St Elias Visitor Center and to the Slana entrance and Visitor Center. One of its prime advantages, besides the fantastic view from the common area that everyone has noted, is that there are excellent NPS Ranger conducted walks and talks at 6 PM, and an NPS film at 7 PM every night during summer season. We were 2 of only 4 persons who took advantage of the walk on one evening - I guess because the tour groups are doing their own thing.

The on-site restaurant is also good, if you choose carefully. Fresh sockeye/Copper River Red salmon, simply prepared - NO sauces - was excellent. Be prepared to spend upwards of $65 for 2 without alcohol and including tip for main entrees. I don't recommend the soups or salads. And we brought and ate breakfasts in our room, as hot water was available from the coffee brewer for our oatmeal. There was no fridge, but we had a collapsible cooler that we regularly refilled from the ice machine for our drinks, yogurt, fruit, and cheese.

The king room was nice and big, with a bed that was very comfortable with a choice of firmness level for pillows, and quality linens. The curtains blocked out the 18-hr summer light well enough, as long as you were careful to leave no small openings.

Because they were almost completely booked with tour groups during our stay, we were unable to get a mountain view room. We liked our 1st floor room almost to the end of the hall, though, because we looked out onto a pleasant grass area, rather than the parking lot. I think this would be a quieter location, too, because tour groups leave their luggage out the night before departing early the next AM. The price was also impossible to beat in the area, as they were offering a book one night, get one night half-price during prime season, which worked out to be only $89/night. Compared to B&Bs with shared baths, we considered the lack of included hot breakfasts to be a worthwhile trade-off for $45-55 less per night.

Room Tip: If you can't get a mountain view, ask for a room on 1st or 2nd level as far as possible toward t...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank whencanwego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge

Property: Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge
Address: Brenwick Craig Road, Mile 102 Richardson Highway, Copper Center, AK 99573
Region: United States > Alaska > Copper Center
Amenities:
Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Speciality Lodging in Copper Center
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 85
Also Known As:
Copper River Princess Wilderness Hotel Copper Center
Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge Copper Center, Alaska

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