Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge // Cooper Landing, Alaska

October 5, 2018

Happy Friday y'all! I hope that you have had a great week! Today I am so excited to share about another one of the Princess Lodges that we stayed at during our road trip in Alaska. You may remember that I shared that for our trip we stayed one night at the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge (you can read my review of it HERE), two nights at the Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge (you can read my review of our stay HERE), and two nights at the Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge in Cooper Landing.

All three lodges were different and unique and while I enjoyed them all, this one, the Kenai Wilderness Lodge was my favorite!! If I had to choose a second favorite it would have been the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, with the Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge being my third favorite. 
For those who may be wanting to have the opportunity to connect with different parts of Alaska or are doing a road trip like we did these lodges are a great option if can't rent an RV or camper, or have decided to forgo camping for different reasons.
Located at Cooper Landing on the Kenai Peninsula, the Kenai Princess wilderness Lodge is the base for many wilderness activities, gorgeous views of the area, fantastic salmon fishing, and starting points for drives to Seward, the Kenai Fjords National Park, or Homer (which is where we went to explore).

We arrived at the lodge around 6pm after spending a beautiful day driving from Copper River Princess Lodge, along Alaska 1-South to the Kenai Peninsula. If you are new to the blog and are wanting to read about our adventures on Alaska 1- South, you can find the posts listed at the bottom of this post or by clicking on the links right here:

The check-in process was once again extremely simple (our reservations had already been paid for and confirmed prior to the trip) and the ladies at the front desk were absolutely delightful. They truly welcomed you in and it set the "stage" for a really wonderful experience at the Lodge. Because there were not as many people staying at this lodge while we were there there was no reason to make a reservation for dining and we were told to just come to dinner when we wanted to. We drove up to our cabin-style room and prepared to get settled in for the next two evenings. 
Out of all three of the lodges that we stayed at, I would say this one will feel the most "wilderness lodge" like. Part of the reason for that feel is the structure of the Lodge and part that feel comes from the surrounding area, but another key thing though that made this lodge "feel" more wildernessy (yes, this is my new word *smiles*) was definitely the bungalow-style rooms. As you can see in the pictures above the room was incredibly spacious and the vaulted ceilings, wood paneling, wood-burning stove, and private porch made it an unforgettable experience. 
After quickly unpacking a few things, I was wanting to explore the property and the hiking trail down near the river that we had been told about at check in. So I went off to hike for a bit while Ali decided to take a nap in the cabin and we made plans to meet up later on for dinner. 
The hike was beautiful, and I can't wait to share more of it in my next Alaska post with y'all! 

Ali and I met up for dinner at the Rod & Reel Restaurant that was on the property. Y'all. The views from the restaurant (we ate out on the deck both evenings that we stayed at the Lodge) were incredible. As you sat on the deck you just could see the river and the mountains and I was completely in awe.
I would say that we spent several hours both evenings just sitting, enjoying the views, and just marveling at the backdrop as we ate and talked. Ali snapped this picture of me appreciating the views and contemplating the entire Alaska trip and it is definitely one of my favorite pictures from the trip as it was so beautiful there.
Another thing that we enjoyed about the lodge was the fact that we had some of the best dinners that we ate on the entire trip. The food was so yummy, and unlike my experience at Copper River I never had one issue with gluten free meals here at the property. In fact, I felt that the handling of allergies here at this property went above and beyond what you find at most restaurants. This extra attention to allergies just made the stay even more special as I had no concerns about allergic reactions.

One of the things to note is that if you are eating at the Rod & Reel (which is the cheaper option) you can still request the menu from the more expensive restaurant on the property and order from that menu. We didn't do this because we found that the menu offered tons of options for us, but it is an option that you can do. 
As I said- the food was delicious and we tried different things both nights that were all so yummy. And if y'all go- do yourself a favor and order the appetizer "bacon lollipops". Y'all. They were SO good. Our waiter was right that they are more of a desert ... and you won't regret ordering them. SO good. *smiles*
After dinner the first night Ali and I went and explored the gift shop on the property and the ladies in there were a complete riot y'all. They were so sweet and had us laughing and giggling and were so fun to talk with! 

Overall this lodge was my favorite, with the best amenity being the gorgeous beauty you are surrounded with. Honestly to me that is priceless if you are looking for an amazing place to stay. It is secluded, has some trails that you could hike, provides different opportunities for excursions, and is a beautiful getaway whether you are an Alaskan resident or coming from out of state to visit Alaska. If you are looking for a really nice place to stay that provides a lovely atmosphere this is a great choice, and I personally found the views to be just spectacular.

I really liked my time at this property and enjoyed hiking around the grounds in the evenings and and just seeing the beauty that was all around. I do have a few quick notes for those who may visit in the future: 

(1) The #1 thing about this lodge that is a benefit for anyone taking a road trip in this area is the location and the price. If you are taking a road trip to the Kenai Peninsula then you will quickly discover the expense that will go along with staying in some specific areas. The Kenai Peninsula region, from the brief part that we saw, was really amazingHonestly, I want to go back and plan a whole trip around some of this area because it just looked so gorgeous and I definitely want to camp, but if you can't camp than this is in a great central location to the Peninsula and is really an amazing option.

(2) If you are looking to watch your pennies on your trip and save some money than the Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge is also a good thing to check out. Many times throughout each summer season they have special discounts. This can help with the budget overall!  This summer the lodge offered a stay one night, get the next night 50% off. I spoke with a staff member who said that this is very typical and each summer the lodge offers different discounts so keep this in mind if you are looking in this area! You can find out more details for this lodge and their special deals HERE.

(3) Out of all three properties we stayed at, I felt that this one was most like a "wilderness lodge" that you would imagine. You just really felt removed from everything and it was really a neat experience. I will say that this lodge had the most spotty internet service, something that my traveling companion was very unhappy with (but you could go to the main lodge where the service is strong if this is a concern or an issue for you), but this was not something that bothered me at all... and frankly I felt that added to the charm of it being a wilderness lodge so it is not a criticism in my opinion.

(4) One note about the rooms- at the top of the vaulted ceilings there is a "larger" window that has no curtains so staying in the summer (with all of the light) will keep the room lighter. If the light bothers you I definitely recommend bringing a sleeping mask for this room.
I honestly don't have any criticisms of this property at all- it was just a lovely and relaxing and restful stay here. It was definitely my favorite out of all three lodges as I think y'all can tell. *smiles* Okay, I hope all of that information is helpful y'all! If you have any questions please let me know! 

PS- If you are curious about the specific details of the road trip that we took throughout Alaska or if you are planning a similar road trip (or just want to see and dream about visiting the beauty!) I hope the information below is helpful. You can read all of the posts from the trip by clicking on the links below:

Anchorage: // Anchorage Travel Guide//

Chugach Mountains (Alaska 1-South Drive): // Scenic Seward Highway Drive (Turnagain Arm Drive)//

Chugach Mountains: // Eklutna Lake//

Cooper Landing (Kenai Peninsula): // Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge Nature Trail//

Girdwood: // Winner Creek Trail //

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