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“Fantastic location - abysmal food”

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Kantishna Roadhouse
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 weeks ago

The bus ride in and out is fantastic. Great driver/guides Christine and Kirsty provided a wonderful running commentary.

Considering the location, the accommodation was clean, comfortable and spacious. Restaurant was very poor - set menu with no choices and served "family style" which is OK unless the first people served are suffering from colds!. I don't like poultry which was a problem because it was featured in most dinners and lunches. One night they offered a pork tenderloin which was so tough it was inedible. It's takes real creativity to mess up pork tenderloin! If you choose the vegetarian option, you get the same meal without the protein. Apparently the only vegetable they serve is kale. Couldn't even get plain vanilla ice cream for desert! Bar snacks consisted of cubes of cheddar and jack cheese with a few crackers. Salads were OK despite weird blueberry dressing one night. Dining was not exactly what we expected.

Considering the $500 per person per night charge, they could do a whole lot better but without any real competition at the end of a 90 mile gravel road, there probably isn't much incentive.

In general, it was a memorable experience, especially with good weather for all four days, but a pity about the catering.

Room Tip: Great location - bring your own food!
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  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank impeder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6 - 10 of 212 reviews

Reviewed 9 September 2017 via mobile

We will never forget our stay at the Kantishna Roadhouse for it was really one of the highlights of our Alaska trip. First we were really annoyed facing the long travel to go there but after a few minutes with the incredible Kirsty time was flying by. Luckily we had only 18 people in the bus and Kirsty kept us entertained during the whole journey. Unbelievable what she knows and what we saw. The roadhouse is not a five star hotel - surely you know that when you book it - but it is cosy with a breathtaking nature around you. Food was great, our tours with Mary and Josh (a pleasure for the kids being allowed to step in every muddy puddle on the way) great fun and we really enjoyed the place. Waking up early on the last day was first awful but with a clear blue sky an full sight of Denali with an amazing alpenglow we never have been happier for the early hour. A moment we won't forget.

Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
Thank Nicole J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2017 via mobile

On the 16 August 2017 my wife and I started our 3 night stay at Kantishna Roadhouse! We arrived at the Denali Park entrance and visitor center early so we could locate were to met the Kantishna bus near the train station and park the rental car during our stay! We loaded the bus around 1pm for our 6 hour, 90 mile narrative Denali Park Road tour to Kantishna Roadhouse! We saw several grizzly bear, dall sheep, caribou, a cow moose, willow ptarmigan, snowshoe hare and various birds! We arrive at Kantishna around 7:30pm, thanks to our great bus driver and guide, Christine! Dinner and conversation at 8pm and then settle into our wonderful duplex cabin room!
On 17 August 2017 we took the van to Wonder Lake and spent the morning and early afternoon on blueberry hill watching for wildlife and hoping Denali would show itself. Had a clear view of west flank through the clouds! Nice start! My wife and I and another guest, Rob, walked the 3 plus miles back to Kantishna from Wonder Lake since we declined to ride the van back for lunch. Made it back to roadhouse in time for some gold panning and history of gold mining Kantishna Hills in early 1900's! Then appetizers and drinks in the bar with Johnny! Dinner and evening presentation after dinner were great! An evening trip to Wonder Lake for a possible view of Denali, not tonight, great evening!
On 18 August 2017 my wife and I signed up for the McKinley Bar hike with Josh, our guide! Glad we did! Nice leisurely hike with little elevation change! Nice hike through glacial deposited rock, black spruce forest, several bear scratching trees along trail, and the McKinley Bar for lunch! Then as if Josh arranged it, the upper 1/3 to 1/2 of Denali became mostly visible and lasted for our 20-30 minute lunch! Awesome! Nice hike! Got back to Kantishna in time for gold panning again today! 0 for 2 gold panning, no flakes! Appetizers and drinks and conversation at the bar with Johnny, the bartender! Met two men at the bar, from Norway, father and son! Turns out, the father/grandfather of the two men was a gold miner there around 1920's. Great to met them and talk with them! Then another great meal and an evening presentation about some history of Denali, the mountain! Great presentation Mary! 2 great days and 3 nights at Kantishna Roadhouse! On 19 August 2017, at 6 am, my wife and I loaded the bus for the 90-mile Denali Park road back to the Park entrance! Saw 8-9 grizzled bear, caribou, dall sheep and willow ptarmigan thanks to our bus driver Kristie! It even snow part of the drive out! Denali Park and Preserve and Kantishna Roadhouse! Marie, the Roadhouse manager, great to met you and talk to you! You have a great lodge and staff! Thank you very much!
Craig and Diane
Silt, Colorado

Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank craigvardaman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2017

Our trip started out with a very informative 91 mile bus trip mostly on a single lane gravel road. Thankfully the Roadhouse has very experienced drivers as the road winds over three mountain passes with no guard rails! We arrived in time for a late dinner which was the worse of the meals we were served, the kitchen can do much better and does with every other meal. Our cabin was very comfortable and had everything we needed, plus beautiful views from every direction. Breakfasts were a large buffet with lots of yummy choices. My husband and I went on the casual hike every morning and really enjoyed the hikes and the guides. Our favorite hike was Blueberry Hill with the beautiful views of Denali. We were even fortunate enough to see three moose swim across Wonder Lake from that hike. Lunch at the lodge consisted of soup, salad bar and wrap or sandwich, all of which were very good. There is a group that comes in just for lunch everyday, but it was very easy to find quiet areas where we could avoid the lunch bunch folks when we wanted to. Afternoon activities consisted of gold panning, dogsled demos, or historic tours. We could also borrow bikes, or fishing poles. Happy hour started a 5 and there was a nice choice of wines, beers and other drinks. Dinner was served family style and each was very good. We attended evening programs every night and learned about climbing Denali, growing up in Fairbanks and heard a very nice concert by a singer/songwriter who also happened to be a guide at the Roadhouse. Overall our stay there was wonderful and much better than I expected. I would highly recommend staying at Kantishna Roadhouse!

Stayed: August 2017
Thank Patricia T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2017

We spent 3 nights at the Kantishna Roadhouse in mid August. We had a cabin by the creek. The cabin was very basic but it was what we expected based on prior reviews. You would not want to spend a lot of time in the small cabin but it was fine for sleeping and for short stays. The bathroom was pretty crowded for the 3 of us but we made do. We thought the family style dinners were very good and really enjoyed the bright and open dining room atmosphere. I had the vegetarian meals for both nights and the others in our party had the regular meals. While not fancy, the food was hearty and tasted great. We took a very nice hike with one of the guides and, yes, it rained on us. Our guide was very enthusiastic and had been there for several seasons. All but one of us had brought our own rubber boots but the roadhouse had a pair for our other fellow traveler to borrow. Thanks goodness because it can get really muddy out there! The forest, rivers and mountains were just beautiful. We even saw the top of Denali one day. The bus in was really very long but well worth it to see all of the animals and the beautiful vistas. We chose to take a bush plane out at the end of our stay. Make sure you understand the luggage limitations before you go. We were not informed by our tour company and had to do some quick repacking at the Visitor Center in Denali before we boarded the bus. Thanks goodness we could leave our extra luggage there for a fee. It was a very pleasant stay and we are glad to have experienced this part of Denali National Park at the end of the road!

  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Chafffamilytravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kantishna Roadhouse

Address: 1 Doyon Pl # 300, Denali National Park and Preserve, AK 99701-2941
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Alaska > Denali National Park and Preserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 26 Speciality Lodging in Denali National Park and Preserve
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Kantishna Roadhouse 2.5*
Number of rooms: 32
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kantishna Roadhouse is a backcountry lodge resort in the heart of Denali National Park. Comfortable well-appointed cabin lodging, all-inclusive experience. Enjoy abundant activities including daily guided hikes, gold panning with expert guides, free mountain bike rental/usage, and fly-fishing for Arctic Grayling in Moose Creek. For those that choose to stay in camp for the day, our comfortable natural history library, cozy lobby, or outdoor screened-in porch -- offer pleasant alternatives. This is a true Alaskan adventure in one of the most beautiful national parks in the world. The transportation to and from the resort is half the fun. Our red and white bus, marked "Kantishna Roadhouse," gives you the opportunity to see abundant wildlife in its natural setting, including grizzly bears, wolves, moose, caribou, dall sheep, among other critters. Kantishna Roadhouse is the only resort in the backcountry with a bar/saloon. Sip wine on the banks of the Moose River while you take in a beautiful sunset by the fire. Enjoy activities and relaxation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kantishna Roadhouse Hotel Denali National Park And Preserve

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