Value Score Poor Value
Good For Business
Staff very accommodating
We stayed twice in the past month for a couple of days each trip and found the front desk staff highly accommodating to our needs. I suspect that there has been some very good training involved, especially when I see past posts on other sites that slam the personnel for rudeness. The hotel served us well as it is a quick five minute walk into the shops area of town. Parking is not the easiest, but we don't mind slepping our suitcases around a bit. You have to park behind the hotel and then wheel the luggage down and up a small hill. I did not see valet parking or bellboys, nor did I ask for them.
As mentioned in an earlier tip, ask for fourth floor and up. The harbour view is excellent, and for privacy and a nice green look out the window the mountain view is okay. What was great were both times we had excellent rooms, looks to be remodelling work done in the past couple of years. This hotel is on the priceline.com bidding as a three star hotel, and it does deserve three star rating. Rooms were clean, beds firm, no odd smells or mildew noted, which in this wet climate seems a miracle.
Unique Quality: When walking to and from town be aware that the local homeless will be looking for a couple of dollars. Be kind, they were. No shuttle service to or from airport or ferry, cab runs about $20. to airport, $35. to ferry.
Sad little hotel
Stayed at the Westmark Baranof for 7 days on a business trip. PROS: Nice Lobby. Great downtown location. Walking distance to restaurants, bars, movie theaters and gift shops, and cruise ship terminals. (If you are walking, ignore the fact that the streets are packed with drunks. They are all very harmless and some are quite nice. ) If you need a department store, you will have a bit of a drive. Airport is a bit of a drive also. Price seemed to be about on course for Juneau. CONS: Very old hotel and not even as close to being grand as their advertising would suggest. I am sure in the 40’s it was great. Very small rooms. I only had about 1.5 feet at the end of the bed. Cheap furniture, ZERO extras. I had a major problem with the serious mold issue in the shower and in the closet. If you have health or respiratory issues, this is definitely not the place to stay. I travel a lot and can say without a doubt, this is the worst bed I have ever slept in in a long time. I also did not like the two very thin pillows they give you. A queen size bed only gets you two flat pillows. No extras in the closet. Zero ventilation in the room. If you take a shower, the room is still humid that afternoon. This could explain the mold problem. Parking lot in the back of the building. When you are trying to haul luggage to and from your car, you have to walk around the building and up a hill. In bad weather, this may not be ideal for you. They offer “non-smoking” rooms, but my room definitely had been smoked in. furthermore, the other rooms in the hallway were smoking and the nasty smell would seep into my room. Walls are paper thin. Better hope that you do not get neighbors that snore or like to watch TV late like I did. 7 nights, not a single night of good sleep.
I was a zero maintenance guest, so I cannot comment on the staff other than for the unprofessional clerks at check in and check out. I will not stay here again.
The grand old lady
Have stayed many times at the Baranof the past 13 years. The common areas are it's best feature. In the bar, you catch a bite to eat until 10 PM. During the legislative session (Jan-May), you very likely to be sitting next to a either a legislator or a lobbyist. The Gold Room restaurant has great food, a well stocked wine list and nice atmosphere.
Where the Baranof falls short is in their rooms. Attempts have been made to modernize the ammenities over the years, but the rooms are small, the bathrooms tiny, and the walls are paper thin. Every snore, throat clearing, and phone conversation sounds as if they are in your room! The last time I stayed here (April 05) some remodeling was starting. If they can fix up their rooms better, I would make them my first choice.
If you are on a lower floor, ask for the mountain facing side to avoid the street noise, especially when the bars close.
UPDATE: Found out from a lobbyist friend that if you ask for the 9th floor and pay the extra $30 you can get a junior suite, which is really more like a large room, but completely remodeled and sound proofed and with a great view. I just called to make a reservation for next February and sure enough - it worked. But seeing is believing.
Another Tip: None of the downtown hotels have shuttle service to/from the airport. If you aren't renting a car ask the folks around you on the flight or wait until you are at baggage claim and share a cab. Runs about $20 one way. I don't rent when on business because everything I need is within walking distance.
Unique Quality: If you're planning a stay at the Baranof, try and get a room on the 7th thru 9th floor with a water view. Anything above the 4th floor works, really. Fantastic views of the Gastineau Channel and Douglas Island.
The Gold Room is perhaps the only formal restaurant in Juneau. It is spendy, but if you stay at the hotel ask the front desk for a coupon. Don't be proud now - 20% off is worth a little humility!
Directions: On Franklin, two blocks down the hill from the capitol. If you are coming up Franklion, then about halfway up the hill.
I will start by saying the front desk staff was very accomodating when my ferry schedule changed to an early am arrival. They did not charge me for the first of three nights which I had originally booked. The Capitol Room diner offered the same excellent service I had had before on a Holland America Line cruise ship. (Westmark is a Holland America Company) The macadamia encrusted halibut and the t-bone were delightful in the historic Gold Room. The rooms were pretty standard, but the furnishings were new. I appreciated the original black and white fixtures in the bathroom. If you request two queens or doubles you will get a larger room. (I noticed that on the fire map.) We had a smaller room with two twins which was recently refurbished and furnished. It was fine for two nights.
Caveats would include the fact that the steam heated room was too hot. I raised the windows to cope with this problem. Perhaps it had to something to do with the recent cold snap. The hotel has concealed steam heat that seems to work well in our room, even though we had turned it off. There are also no stamps or mail drop at the front desk: a very basic requirement for a full service hotel, which they failed to meet. With it's central location you don't need transportation while downtown, but you will have to pay extra for transportation to the airport and ferry terminal. This is often included with other Juneau hotels. It is very convenient, and I would stay here again. I found the Baranof cheaper than either The Prospector or the Goldbelt when we were there. As long as that remains true, it would probably still be my first choice for a full service hotel in the downtown area, but only if have a car on my next visit.
Unique Quality: The ground floor is a beauty with it's 1939 era decor largely intact. Above about the fourth floor the front facing rooms have a nice view of lower downtown, the cruise ships and Gastineau Channel. Back facing rooms face the steep neighborhoods above Juneau. You can also spot waterfalls on Mt. Juneau from a distance. It is probably the best location in Juneau.
Directions: Downtown Juneau. A little over half way up the hill on Franklin Street from the waterfront.
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