Long a favorite of tourists and Alaskans, The Van Gilder Hotel is a National Historic Landmark built in 1916, which has been tastefully restored to reflect its early Alaska history. You find the Van Gilder a quiet, non-smoking, impeccably clean and comfortable hotel. Brass beds and period antiques allow ... More
Van Gilder Hotel
Property information by Travelocity
Long a favorite of tourists and Alaskans, The Van Gilder Hotel is a National Historic Landmark built in 1916, which has been tastefully restored to reflect its early Alaska history. You find the Van Gilder a quiet, non-smoking, impeccably clean and comfortable hotel. Brass beds and period antiques allow guests to enjoy the authentic Victorian charm of an early century hotel. For your comfort we also feature modern amenities such as in-room phones, cable TV and private baths, along with ample nearby parking for all of our guests. The convenient location of The Van Gilder in downtown Seward allows you access to many area attractions the Sealife Center, the Seward Museum of History and Art, local gift shops and restaurants, and the waterfront. Other area attractions include Kenai Fjords National Park, Exit Glacier, as well as many fishing and recreational opportunities found in Resurrection Bay.
We stayed in a second floor room and as others have mentioned the room is small, no heater or A/C ... open the windows if you need cool air or take a blanket from the drawer if you feel too cold in the night. The hotel is between 2 buildings, so i don't think any rooms have views except into walls of these buildings.
The room interiors are nice, you get to see fancy carpet, drapes and bedding. The room fixtures are very old, even the wooden shelves and cup boards are rickety.
The good thing about the hotel is that it's close to downtown Seward, the sea life center and various restaurants. The staff was polite and helpful, they even had free breakfast in the morning.
If you find rooms in other places (Best Western or Hotel Seward), avoid this place.
I had a nice room with private bath on the third floor. The staff got my heavy suitcases up the 3 flights of stairs for me. There's free parking, but it's a half-block away. The hotel has no air conditioning, and there's fairly poor ventilation unless you leave your door open. The bed was comfortable, the bathroom spacious and very functional. There was a bit of a musty, old-building odor about the room, but it was quite charming. The tv is small, and up in one corner, and there was limited space for luggage without impairing the already cramped walk space. It's very convenient to stores and restaurants downtown.
Originally, we reserved a room with a shared bath...although it was off-season and didn't mind a shared bath, the room was on the 2nd floor, so our window looked out at another building, an alley width away. The room was very comfortable, clean and quaint, however we wanted a more pleasant view, so we upgraded to a private bath on the 3rd floor, which was really nice. I think most of the 2nd floor rooms will have "brick-wall" views.
The hallways are lined with historic photos, and the hotel staff can tell you about the hotel's ghost story; we didn't see any ghost actiivity, even though we had the hotel to ourselves.
If you're into watching TV on vacation, the rooms are only equipped with 13" TVs, although there was a larger shared TV in the 1st floor study. The rooms are very small, designed basically for sleeping only....not for hanging out in. There is also a complete kitchen available for shared use on the 1st floor. The service was fine, though we didn't require much from the staff. There was a new manager who came from working in the historic district of Georgia who was extremely friendly and helpful.
The hotel was located right downtown. Seward is very small, so it would be difficult for anything to be located inconveniently within town.
There were other comparably priced or even slightly less expensive hotels nearby, which were more modern and had more amenities, such as breakfast, and better views, however we thought it would be interesting to spend a night in this historic hotel....and it was!
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