Blonde Bear Bed & Breakfast3.0 out of 5.0
Recent guest reviews
Savvy travelers, unfamiliar with new digs they are prospecting, know enough to ask their would-be host/hostess a battery of questions. In the case of the Blonde Bear B & B, I asked if the room about which I'd inquired had a private bathroom or a shared bathroom. I was assured it had a private bathroom. The term "private bathroom" clearly has a different meaning for me than it has for the host. The sink, tub, and commode were all in the same room as the bed. The problem was that the toilet sat there like a giant toad, shielded only by a low, partial wall, as if the carpenter had simply run out of wood and couldn't finish the job. The question I failed to ask, because it had never been an issue in past travels, even in China, was whether the "private" toilet was enclosed. Silly me. You would think, for just short of 200 bucks, the toilet would have its own four walls. Heck, the toilets at O'Hare and LAX are free and, glory be, they're enclosed! A shower in the "private" bath would have been nice, too, rather than a tub, but that was another question I failed to ask, having assumed that 21st century accommodations with two-bill tariffs would provide showers. The host did say, upon seeing our obvious shock at the, uh, room "design" that we were welcome to cross the hall and use an already "shared" bathroom; in the interest of basic decorum, we did exactly that, making a shared bath super shared. But somehow that defeats the purpose of a "private" bath. The bed was comfortable once you clambered onto it. It was built like a swamp buggy, high enough off the floor that it required either a running jump or bear claws to surmount it. A step stool would have solved the access problem and made any middle-of-the-night travel from bed to floor far less perilous. (This wee hours accident-waiting-to-happen is an insurance agent's nightmare, and perhaps a lawyer's dream.) Breakfast featured a fresh and robust variety of fruit, but for the non-chimps among us, a single piece of French toast, accompanied by greasy sausages, was hardly the "hot, hearty breakfast" of Alaska lore. The Blonde Bear website lists among its amenities the following: bathrobes, a hair dryer, and bottles of water. One, then, can reasonably expect those "amenities" to be in the room;that's usually how it works. Wrong again. No bottles of water, no bathrobes. And when our in-room treasure hunt turned up nada a hair dryer, I guess we achieved the Blonde Bear trifecta. At that point we flagged down host Tina, who raided another room for a hair dryer. The amenities, it seems, were either non-existent or mobile. This is a clean B & B in a comfortable, woodsy setting, but it doesn't provide what it advertises and it lies a something of a far piece from town. During our 11-day stint in Alaska, we stayed in four bed and breakfast establishments in four cities. Three of the B & B's were satisfactory or better and one, Bear Lake Lodgings in Seward, was exceptional. If you're a reasonably experienced traveler, you have a basis for comparison, and you'll never confuse the Blonde Bear with the best of the B & B's.
Stayed two nights here and loved it. Tina is a super host, goes out of her way to make sure you are happy with your stay. Her breakfasts were hearty and yummy. I am a non meat eater and she went above and beyond to make sure I had plenty of good food. We met some nice people while staying there. Take the time to look at the decorations in the home, they are Interesting and her house is lovely. We are glad we stayed at Tina and Georges place. Location: about 11 miles to Kenai for anyone dip netting and maybe another 10 miles to Soldotna. Easy to find location
I travel to Kenai several times a year for business. I have stayed at the Blonde Bear for the last 7 years. George and Tina are great hosts. They are both Alaska natives and can recommend great activities and sights to see. The rooms are always clean and the breakfast is 1st class. George is a US Navy veteran cook. He has prepared everything from halibut omelets, fresh blueberry pancakes (he picked the blueberry's) and moose sausage. If you want to stay in a nice place with nice people, stay at the Blonde Bear... Bart
I missed a day here because of delayed flights but Tina offered me the next night instead, I already had another booking so had to decline. The house is wonderful, the wooden staircase is amazing too Tina was a great host, she took time to chat to me and the other guests there,she cooked a lovely breakfast and I am looking forward to getting back there next year
DO NOT GIVE THEM YOUR CREDIT CARD # WITHOUT SEEING THE ROOM. We were told over the phone that The Raven was plenty big for 3 of us. Upon arrival and seeing the room which was very small, I asked where we were supposed to put our luggage. Duh, I guess she never thought that one would be "traveling" and living out of suitcases. We were supposed to stay 4 nights but did not stay even one night. Our room was quite stuffy as there is no air conditioning and no cross ventilation. It can get quite humid in AK and this would have been uncomfortable also. There are 3 bedrooms upstairs (10-12 stair steps) so if steps are a problem, be aware of that also. Our 9-year-old grandson had socks on and fell down the rather slippery wooden stairs. One upstairs bedroom has a private bath (but no shower) so possibly all 3 bedrooms could be sharing the one bath that has a shower. All in all, I would rate this place as a 1 out of 10. It is in the suburbs, hardly the wilderness, and not close to town. Also very expensive compared to what the nice roomy hotel room was in town. She charged us for all 4 nights even though we left right after we saw the room. I could understand a compromise, as most hotel rooms offer a 24-hour cancellation notice, but I guess she can "misrepresent" all she wants and leaves the guests paying. She said there were pictures on the website but of course you cannot tell how large the rooms are when you only see the bed portion. If your idea of experiencing the "Alaska Wilderness" is sitting in someone's yard in the middle of nowhere, this is your place and good luck! Don't say you weren't given a heads up.
I didn't actually stay at this B&B, my experience is solely about the booking process. I made my reservation for 2 nights approximately 2 weeks before my arrival date on the phone and the owner was gracious enough to waive the booking fees if I paid cash. I never received any email confirmation or any disclosure about their cancellation policy. 6 days prior to my arrival, I tried to cancel my reservation because the opportunity came up to stay with my friends. Long story short, I was told that there is a 30 day cancellation policy and I can not cancel it, despite booking within less than this allotted time. I agreed to keep the reservation even though I was less than happy that I will have to pay over $300 for my stay, when in reality I could've stayed somewhere else for virtually free. I told my friends I could not accept their offer. 2 days later I had a voicemail informing me that my room has been sold to someone else, my CC info destroyed and "I was all set". I was not even asked if I still wanted to cancel the room. They obviously hadn't thought of the possibility that my plans have changed in light of our conversation. In the meanwhile, my spot w/my friends was offered to someone else, and I was unable to go on my trip as a result since I had no place to stay (this is during the busiest fishing week in Kenai). Thank you for ruining my vacation.
Room is all wooden Bathtub is huge Bed is clean Expecially host is kind
The Blonde Bear is in a terrific location for anyone needing to stay in the Kenai area. It's close enough for a ten or so minute drive, and far enough away to feel "away from it all" during your stay. We found our hosts to be very gracious, and breakfast each morning was very, very good. We chose the Blonde Bear Den room. Our only knocks on it were, the bed is very high off the ground. If you're under six feet tall, you may want another. Our host George mentioned he may put a step or two to make it easier to use at another time. And while it has a soaker tub, you must go across the hall to a shared bathroom to use a shower. That didn't bother us, but it might some. Also, cell phone coverage is zero there. The owners do allow free local calls on their land-line, and if you really need to use your cell, you can drive a short distance as the reception is fine nearby. We also found that voices and sounds carry very well downstairs, but things get quiet enough late in the evening. Overall, I have no problem offering the high rating here, and should we return to the area, plan to make this our first choice for lodging.
During the early part of August, 2013, my brother and I were fishing with a guide on the Kenai River, and, at his recommendation, booked reservations at the Blonde Bear for 6 nights. We were not disappointed. The whole place is neat and clean and nicely furnished. George and Tina were gracious hosts, who treated us like family. Each breakfast meal was delicious, with plenty to eat, served at whatever time we asked. George is a retired navy cook who served aboard nuclear submarines, whose skills are amply shown at the breakfast table. He prepared whatever we asked, which included, among other things, eggs benedict, blueberry pancakes, and even a delicious serving of trout we had caught the night before. We enjoyed so much our conversations with them and felt right at home. Their knowledge of the area and fun stories made our time there a delight. One evening, when we told them we were interested in seeing local wildlife, just out of sheer hospitality and at no additional cost, George took us out in his pickup truck for a couple of hours to look for wildlife in areas only local residents would be aware of. He knew the right spots which gave us the opportunity to see up close and take pictures of moose, caribou and other animals. I would love to go back there another time. Highly recommended. Dave S.
My husband and I decided to take a quick get away, do some fishing, visit friends, maybe see some sights. George and Tina made our stay so very special. The location was perfect, as the grounds were beautifully surrounded by nature and the accommodations were five star. We could have slept in every morning, if it wasn't for the wonderful homemade breakfast that was provided. Our room was so clean, quiet, and comfortable. Both of us enjoyed meeting other guests, as well as driving around to look at the magnificent local scenery as suggested by the owners, who were extremely knowledgeable and resourceful. Our only regret is that we couldn't have stayed longer.
Reviews from Trip Advisor
80% of guests recommend this hotelTotal of 18 reviews