Tutka Bay Lodge

Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, United States of America

At a Glance

  • Spectacular location at the entrance to a seven-mile fjord, with a backdrop of mountains, beaches and forest

  • Experience a wide range of adventures such as deep-sea fishing, bear viewing, ocean kayaking and hiking

  • Home to an acclaimed cooking school which focuses on a different theme each week

  • Family-run property with a warm atmosphere and great attention to detail

  • One of National Geographic's Unique Lodge of the World

  • Six uniquely appointed cabins all with sea and mountain views

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Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

Tutka Bay Lodge is open from May 1st to September 30th annually. May to September is peak season in Alaska and is when the days are longest and the temperatures are warmest. Peak season is an ideal time to enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, rafting, fishing and bear-viewing.

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Insider's View

As well as endless opportunity for adventure, at Tutka Bay guests can indulge in massages with the in-house therapist and daily morning yoga on the deck.

Heading out by boat onto the bay after dinner to watch the sun set and look out for those telltale humpback blows is a magical experience!

Keen hikers must take the opportunity to walk the Grace's Ridge trail - a strenuous 7 hour hike, with constant breathtaking views, and so rewarding!

Kayak out to the Herrings Islands 20 minutes or so from the lodge dock and spot seals, sea otters and amazing tidal wildlife with sea anemones as big as a dinner plate.  

Book in for an afternoon cooking class. The lodge is run by Kirsten Dixon one of the Top chefs in Alaska with multiple cook books out so you don’t want to miss out!

Call us on 020 3993 8245 to start planning your holiday to Tutka Bay Lodge or take a look at our itineraries to Alaska

Description

Situated in a quiet cove at the entrance to an impressive fjord on the southwestern edge of Alaska's Kenai Peninsula, Tutka Bay Lodge is perfectly placed for exploring this rugged section of coast and offers a slice of isolated paradise to all who visit.

Enveloped by Sitka spruce forest, dramatic mountains, deep fjords and rugged beaches, Tutka Bay Lodge is a paradise for lovers of nature and invites visitors to enjoy a perfect blend of high-energy adventure and total relaxation amidst its serene surroundings.

Guests will benefit from either a bear-viewing or deep-sea fishing excursion included in their stay, as well as access to numerous hiking trails in the surroundings, kayaking in the peaceful cove and fishing from the dock. Wildlife thrives in these untouched waters and there are plenty of opportunities to observe whales, sea lions, porpoise and otters. When it comes to relaxation its easy to find a secluded spot to enjoy listening to the sounds of nature and the deck is simply perfect for a morning yoga session (also included in your stay).

Although there is a real focus on the outdoors and nature here, food is also key when it comes to a stay at Tutka Bay, with owner Kirsten Dixon having studied the art of Cordon Bleu cookery. Boasting its own cookery school in a repurposed crabbing boat, there is plenty of opportunity for guests to get stuck in and learn to prepare delicious and fresh local Alaskan specialities, utilising mouthwatering local salmon, oysters and a host of other ingredients sourced nearby. Each week at the cookery school, the chefs will focus on a different theme so there is something to suit a variety of tastes. As you would expect, dining is an intrinsic part of the day and will not disappoint.

Tutka Bay Lodge comprises a main lodge, five private guest cabins, a boat house, sauna and hot tub, perched overlooking the ocean within the property's 11-acre grounds. Each of the buildings is connected by a spacious boardwalk with plenty of seating space to wind down and enjoy the views after a day spent exploring the surroundings. Guest cabins offer plenty of space and privacy and all enjoy wonderful views over the bay, mountains and spruce forests beyond.

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Accommodation

There are just 5 exclusive guest cabins at Tutka Bay, each a private haven of rustic luxury with views out to the bay or beyond. Wooden interiors are complemented by cosy furnishings and neutral bedding creating a cosy atmosphere.

Oyster Catcher Cabin

The Oyster Catcher Cabin is spacious and set apart from the main lodge, offering privacy and fantastic views out to the bay, mountains and forest beyond. The main floor comprises two bedrooms, each with private bathroom, and a large deck area. There is also another floor with one bedroom with a private bathroom, sitting room and large balcony.

Eagle's Nest Cabin

The Eagle's Nest Cabin sleeps five and boasts beautiful panoramic views of the scenery through the large windows. There is a cosy sitting area with wood-burning stove on the main floor with a sleeping area and private bathroom. A spiral staircase leads to an attic room which sleeps three and enjoys even better views.

Kittiwake Cabin

The Kittiwake Cabin is a cosy cottage which can be found on the lodge's main deck and comprises a combined sleeping and sitting area with a spacious bathroom and a separate large bedroom which is accessed by a spiral staircase. In the upper floor bedroom there is the option to have a king bed or three singles.

Steller's Jay Guest Cabin

Sleeping up to four, the Steller's Jay guest Cabin is a cosy cottage on the main deck of the lodge which boasts fantastic views of the bay from its private porch. The main floor comprises a sitting room, bedroom and private bathroom whilst upstairs provides a separate bedroom accessed by a staircase.

Loon Guest Suite

The Loon Guest Suite is located within easy reach of the main lodge and is perched above a small lagoon which fills with the tide. The Loon comprises two bedrooms, each with private bathroom, joined by a shared common area. There is also a balcony which enjoys ocean views.

Facilities

Facilities at Tutka Bay include a hot tub and an acclaimed cookery school, as well as a fantastic restaurant which dishes up delicious Alaskan cuisine made from fresh local ingredients. There are plenty of communal areas ideal for socialising in the main lodge.

Activities

Guests staying at Tutka Bay for a minimum of two nights will have either a deep-sea fishing excursion or bear-viewing excursion included, along with yoga classes, guided hiking, kayaking, fishing, tours of the bay or tidepools and a complimentary massage. Foodies will love the wine and cheese tastings and classes can be arranged at the acclaimed on-site cooking school. For relaxation, guests will have use of the hot tub and sauna.

Reviews

5

Dominic Atterton (Staff)

Tutka Bay is situated on the edge of the Kenai Peninsula, one of the most beautiful parts of Alaska surrounded by mountains, forest and the ocean. The lodge is run by Kirsten Dixon one of Alaska's best chefs and along with the incredible setting the food is what sets this place apart from other lodges in the state. Meals are taken communally in the main lodge and menus read like the trendiest of London restaurants. The lodge is built up over the surrounding tidal waters on stilts with a huge decked area perfect for sitting out on warm sunny evenings and admiring the incredible views.

With the water surrounding the lodge on three sides most of the activities on offer involve getting out on kayaks or by boat to explore the incredible wilderness that surrounds you, spot sea otters, whales and the tidal pools exposed as the sea comes and goes. Included with each stay is a chance to go bear viewing or deep sea fishing. I chose the former as I had wanted to see bears in the wild my whole life and it was a truly incredible experience. Taking the boat from Tutka to the nearby town of Homer, famous for its fishing community and open minded friendly residents, we arrived at an airstrip and boarded a small plane. The plane has extra wide tires perfect for landing on uneven ground and our pilot and guide Zach explained we would be flying an hour across the sea, past three volcanoes to the Katmai Peninsula National Park where we would land on the beach. We took off and sure enough passed by a trio of beautiful volcanoes jutting out form the ocean before setting down on a beach backed by grassy meadows. There were bears everywhere and for the next three hours we walked as a small group gently making our way around the fields as bears made their way around us. They would come as close as 20 feet away but with Zach's professional guidance we never felt threatened. It was one of the most incredible experiences. Arriving back to the lodge that evening I booked in for a massage and then after dinner we headed out for a sunset cruise to a nearby waterfall. All this in one day. Incredible.

5

Camilla Swift (Staff)

Guests arrive at Tutka Bay by water taxi, helicopter or sea plane at a huge decking area, on which is a small circular bar and a fire bowl in use most evenings. The six beautifully appointed cabins each sleeping 2-6 people, have mains electricity and are extremely cosy and comfortable, each with their unique features. From the main deck is a boardwalk round a small tidal creek in which is beached an old wooden ship 'The Widgeon' (formerly a WW2 troop carrier and ferry) now housing a cookery school run by chef and owner Kirsten Dixon and her daughter.

The main lodge-building has a small communal sitting area, the kitchen and dining area. Meals are taken family style and the food is of exceptional quality. Fish caught by guests on conducted fishing expeditions (mostly halibut, king salmon) was served the same evening accompanied by foraged mushrooms and berries.

Activities are always arranged with one guide per family group. Guides are extremely knowledgeable and evidently love what they do. Kayaking in the bay was a fantastic experience: the sea-otters seemed particularly fearless, swimming up to the kayak, rubbing up against it or diving under it at the last minute. Humpback whales were also seen feeding barely 50 metres distant. Tidal flows were moderate and so paddling should not be beyond anyone over the age of ten. Walking is excellent, starting with a ride to a beach by RIB. A short walk to Tutka lake was rewarded with countless and varied mushrooms, plants and trees on the way to a mirror-like lake complete with nesting loons (a large arctic diving duck known as Great Northern Diver in Europe). Unusually for Alaska, some hikes are available on marked trails: an all-day hike on Grace's Ridge on the headland opposite the lodge climbed two thousand feet through thick forest then alpine meadows and tundra to a rocky mountain ridge. Actually only nine miles, the terrain ensured seven hours was required to complete, seeing Bald and Golden Eagles, Marmots, several different sea-birds, and breath-taking views.

Experiences

  • Bear Viewing in Katmai National Park

    This excursion provides an amazing opportunity to explore the most populated wild habitat of Alaskan brown bears. Fly from Homer over to Katmai National Park for a once in a lifetime experience of bear viewing in beautiful surroundings.

  • Fishing in Kachemak Bay

    Spend the day fishing for salmon and halibut at Tutka Bay, alongside informative local captains with all gear included. The largest halibut in the world was caught in Alaska!

  • Learn to cook in a unique setting at Tutka Bay

    Take the opportunity to learn to cook with local and foraged produce at Tutka Bay’s cooking school, housed in a historic crabbing boat!

  • Yoga, spa and wellness at Tutka Bay

    As well as the award-winning cuisine and lodge amenities, a stay at Tutka Bay includes a complimentary massage for each guest, daily yoga and afternoon wine tastings for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Holiday Ideas

  • Alaska in Ultimate Luxury

    Anchorage, Kachemak Bay, Winter Lake & Wrangell St. Elias

    from £24300 pp inc flights & transfers for 12 nights

    • Best visited between May and September
    • Experience some of the most remote corners of Alaska, enjoying mind-blowing scenery and treading trails where no one has walked before you
    • Stay at the absolute best family-run Alaskan lodges, offering attentive service and an exclusive wilderness experience - each totally unique
  • Simply Alaska

    Alaska

    from £8000 pp inc flights & transfers for 9 nights

  • Wild Alaska

    Anchorage, Talkeetna, Denali National Park, Alyeska, Homer & Kachemak Bay

    from £9600 pp inc flights & transfers for 13 nights

    • Experience the best of Alaska; from Denali and the continent's mightiest mountain, to picturesque bays, deep-sea fishing and the best bear viewing spots
    • The ideal trip for adventurous couples or families
    • Following this itinerary you cover quite a bit of ground, and have the opportunity to see the best of North America's largest state

Location & directions

Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, United States of America

Tutka Bay can be found on the southwestern edge of Alaska's Kenai Peninsula, next to the Kachemak State Park. The nearest town is Homer, situated across the bay.

How to get there

The easiest way to reach Tutka Bay is to fly from Anchorage to Homer, approx. 40 minutes. Tutka Bay is a 30-minute boat ride from Homer.

If driving from Anchorage to Homer we would recommend spending the night in Homer to split the journey. Expect to spend 4 - 4.5 hours on the road.

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Call us on 020 3993 8245 to start planning your holiday to Tutka Bay Lodge or take a look at our itineraries to Alaska

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