Dutch Harbor

I’ve always wanted to go to Dutch Harbor… a comercial fishing “outpost” in the Aleutian Islands.

Dutch Harbor in December: alaksa.fws.gov

Supposedly, in the winer, a near constant gale (Force 6/7 winds, 25-48mph) and a constant low perssure system pummel the island in mixed snow, rain and sleet. The place has no trees and, while a very large island, is only populated right in Dutch Harbor.

Sounds like paradise. I’m very seriously thinking of going there for Christmas this year.

Anyway – I was looking for a place to stay and found the hotel reviews (for the only three hotels on the island) fucking hysterical… if I wasn’t sold before reading this (which has got to rank up there with the worst reviews for a town I’ve ever read) I am now… sounds d’lovely.

From TripAdvisor:

  • To my knowledge there are 3 hotels on the island with the Grand being the nicest of the 3. I stayed 3 nights while on business and it was quite probably the worst hotel I have stayed at in quite sometime. There are drunk and obnoxious people wandering the halls at all hours of the night giving you a not very secure feeling. The hotel staff acts like this is an every day occurrence made no effort to make me feel secure. I saw the police there 4 times in my 3 nights carting off drunks, I talked to one officer who said that this was a hot spot for this type of behavior. I also saw 2 people passed out in the lobby after partying in one of the bars in the hotel. There are also security guards who patrol the hotel but they do not look capable of stopping anybody who gets out of line. On the upside the food at the restaurant was very good. I wish that this could make up for the overpriced rooms or the dirty carpet but it does not. I guess because of no competition they don’t have anything to worry about but if this hotel was in the lower 48 they would go out of business very quickly. The people behind the desk try but I have the impression that the upper management is either incompetent or does not care.
  • Recently went to Unalaska to fish for Salmon. Stayed at the UniSea Inn much to my regret. No clean towels and a lumpy bed were the least of my grievances. Too many problems to list. You’re better off at Bates Motel.
  • Stayed at the Grand Aleutian while filming Deadliest Catch for Discovery Channel. Worst hotel I’ve ever been to. Lost luggage, lumpy beds, dirty carpet, noise, bad food, poor customer service…etc. Stay away!
  • Just returned from Dutch Harbor on business and thought I’d warn any future travelers about the UniSea Inn. The room was filthy and noisy. The food at the Sports Bar was not very good and a drunk fisherman tried to pick a fight while I was eating there. Overall, a very disappointing experience. Try a hotel on the Unalaska side if you’re planning a trip.Clarence NewmanNOAA observer
  • The hotel is average, however the Sports Bar is fantastic. Great music, food and reasonably priced drinks for Alaska. They have an occasional fist of cuffs there between the fishermen which makes it an entertaining place to unwind.


mattSeptember 3rd, 2006 at 7:32 am

I think that last one seals the deal. You know, you shouldn’t feel guilty about going to Hawaii or Fiji over Christmas. It probably wouldn’t cost much more than this hell hole and you could save yourself the suffering of penance. :)

AdministratorSeptember 3rd, 2006 at 7:40 am

“fist of cuffs” – who the fuck talks like that? :)

DadSeptember 5th, 2006 at 8:34 am

Sounds like you’d have more fun walking down the middle of 128 at rush hour. Maybe you should just donate the trip expense to the charity of your choice and sleep on your roof at Christmas.