"We enjoy providing our guests with a 'taste' of Alaska, with both food & surroundings, and sharing our Old Fashioned Alaskan Hospitality."
Built originally in 1949/50 by the host's parents for their family of 5 children, the house is constructed from 8 in. 3/4 cut spruce logs from a saw mill in the Butte area near Palmer. It was purchased in 1963 by their eldest daughter, Carol, and her husband, Bill Ross, when her folks moved to the Matanuska Glacier area to prove up on their homestead. During the summer of 1974, Bill, carpenter by trade, and son, 14 yr. old Dean and 2 younger daughters Shelley 12 yrs. old and Dell 10 yrs. old, made major renovations and changes to the house. The original gable roof and 2 small attic bedrooms (no bathroom) were removed and designed into a full second floor with flat roof and mansard shake facing to preserve the rustic appearance of the house. The East side of the house was expanded 12 feet from the basement to the second floor to accommodate their family of 3 teenagers and provide space for their growing collection of antiques. Bill learned the art of working leaded stained glass windows and included several in the reconstruction. Carol has tastefully coordinated the selection of carpets, wall coverings and window treatments with the Victorian elegance of antique furnishings, the country charm of American handcrafted quilts, collections of "thunder mugs" and pitcher & bowl sets, and the local flavor of Alaskan art and Native crafts. The original oil paintings of bears for each thematically decorated bedroom and the portraits of Alaskan old timers and Native characters were painted by Carol's mom, Dorothy Steadman. Bill's Polar Bear rug (shot in 1968), for which the b&b
is named, commands a prominent spot in the second floor guest living room. The recently inherited Grizzly Bear rug hanging in the main floor living room, was shot in self defense by Carol's dad in 1947 (ask about the story).
Carol and Bill have enjoyed sharing their home and knowledge of Alaska with B&B guests since 1990. Anticipating the need for a supplementary income for their retirement and an empty nest, triggered the idea of opening a bed & breakfast
. By the time Bill retired in 1993 and Carol, after 31 years with the school district, followed the summer of 1995, the business was well established. It has continued to grow with internet marketing and each year improvements continue to be made. Carol's skills as a Home Economics teacher and Master Gardener as well as Bill's building ability and handiwork have proven invaluable to the venture's success.
The eclectic charm, family touches and exceptional breakfasts provide this B&B home-stay with a comfortable atmosphere and character which their guests, from all over the world, enjoy. Many have commented, "It's like a homey museum. You see something interesting everywhere you look." Since Bill's untimely death in a highway accident in Feb. 2005, Carol and her sister, Janet Perrine, continue to operate the B&B. The fall of 2007 Carol's daughter Shelley Houston with her husband and their two children have returned home to assist with the operation of the business. Carol, Janet and Shelley say, "We enjoy providing our guests with a 'taste' of Alaska, with both food & surroundings, and sharing our Old Fashioned Alaskan Hospitality."
Glacier room: Pillow-top Queen bed, in-room private bath w/shower. Decor: Polar Bear theme, paintings and prints, Blue and white colors. ($105.) Max. 2
Grizzly room: Pillow-top King bed (Sealy Posturepedic), in-room private bath w/shower. Decor: Grizzly bears, Eskimo dolls, butterflies, antique settee, armoire, paisley/colors-Burgundy & peach ($115.) Max. 2
Toklat room: Two twin beds (firm), half bath in room and adjoining full private bathroom with tub/shower area closed off by sliding door. Named for Toklat Grizzlies in Denali Park with light yellow on their backs. Decor: Grizzly moms with cubs, Russian patchwork quilts, thunder mugs.($105.+$15./roll away) Max. 3
Denali room: Queen bed (Tempur-pedic top), sitting area with TV/VCR, and antique Murphy bed & twin love-seat sleeper couch (double thick mattress) arranged side-by-side like twin beds. The sleeping areas are separated by a tall Chinese folding screen, which can be extended the entire width of the room. The adjoining private bathroom has a two person Jacuzzi tub and separate shower, with the bathing area closed off from the other facilities by a sliding door for privacy. Decor: Family tree quilt. Oil painting of Mt. McKinley, art of Denali animals, Chinese items, exotic birds. Colors-jade, turquoise & light green with cranberry accent. Perfect for families, 1 or 2 couples or 4 single adults. ($125.+ $15. per person over 2, or additional beds) Max. 5
Guests are welcome to visit with our other guests in the second floor guest living room that is furnished with antiques, Polar Bear rug (wall hung), Alaskan art & Native crafts. It also has a small refrigerator (complimentary soft drinks, tea, coffee & micro popcorn), dining table & microwave to make popcorn while viewing Alaska videos and/or cable TV. We have a large rack of brochures to help guests with their sight seeing plans. Besides our personal collection, Alaska Native made carvings and jewelry, direct from the artists, are available to purchase as souvenirs or gifts.
Guests are welcome to use our computer to check email and to check into flights online. We also have WiFi available to all guests who bring their own laptop.
Many guests use Anchorage as the hub of their travels and stay with us several times, between excursions South (to the Kenai Fjords cruise out of Seward and fishing in the Kenai River or Homer on the Kenai Peninsula) and North (to Denali Park and the Riverboat Discovery & Alaska Pioneer Park in Fairbanks), as well as the night of their arrival and the night prior to departure. There are also several interesting day trips out of Anchorage such as the Kenai Fjords Cruise out of Seward, the 26 Glacier Cruise out of Whittier and the old Independence gold mine on the Hatcher Pass Road or airboat ride to Knik Glacier in the nearby Matanuska Valley. You will need at least 2 full days in Anchorage to experience the local attractions. Expect to spend 3-4 hrs. to see all the performances and demonstrations and tour the Alaska Native Heritage Center. The trip to and from Denali Park, including the shuttle bus tour into the park, takes a minimum of two days and one night away. The most scenic train ride is from Anchorage to Seward, one of the top 10 in the US. After a 6 hr. Kenai Fjords cruise, you can choose to return by motor coach to see a different route.
Policies & Restrictions
Our home-stay B&B is smoke, fragrance and pet free. Since some of our guests, staff and family members are sensitive to perfumes, hair spray and colognes we ask that guests please refrain from using fragrant products.
To book your reservation, please e-mail or call as soon as you have determined that Big Bear will suit your needs for accommodations while in Anchorage. You may guarantee your reservation by providing your credit card number. We do not charge your CC until you arrive with "card in hand", unless you are a "no show", of course. Guests who inquire from outside the USA also may 'guarantee' their reservation by supplying their pertinent credit card information.
Our cancellation policy is very liberal. If there is a change of your itinerary or a cancellation that would affect Big Bear B&B, please notify us as soon as possible so we can reopen those dates on our Webervations Availability Calendar. We often have to refer inquiries on to other B&Bs when we cannot accommodate their entire stay. We will refund all of your deposit (when paid by check) if we are notified 7 days prior to your date of arrival. We also give a full refund, or do not charge your CC for the 1st night stay, if we are able to fill the room when notified less than 7 days prior to arrival date. "No shows" will be charged for one night stay if we do not receive notification at least 7 days prior to your expected arrival. We will email a Confirmation of Cancellation reply to assure you that we have received your cancellation notice. If you do not receive a cancellation reply from us within a week, be sure to notify us again by another method to insure we receive your cancellation. Occasionally a message is caught by our spam filter and we do not receive it. We are very considerate of flight cancellations or family emergencies or delays due to weather over which you have no control and appreciate a phone call to let us know of changes to your expected arrival time.
Rates & Availability
Our Denali room is perfect for families, 1 or 2 couples or 4 single adults. $125.+ $15. per person over 2, or additional beds, Max. 5
Our Grizzly room is $115., Max. 2
Our Glacier room is $105., Max. 2
Our Toklat room is $105.+$15./roll away, Max. 3
All hotels and B&Bs in Anchorage, are required to charge & collect a 12% bed tax, which is added to the stated rate.
Most of our guests plan their own itineraries (half the fun), nearly all arrive by air or cruise ship and use rental cars for most of their transportation. We live 2 miles from the downtown tourist area and 9 miles from the airport which takes between 15-20 min. driving time. Guests renting a car can expect to take an hour from arrival at the airport to our home. We do not pick up guests from the cruise ship ports in Seward (130 miles from Anchorage) or Whittier (approx. 60 miles from Anchorage), nor do we pick up guests from or deliver guests to the airport or train depot. Guests not renting a car at the airport, can ride a taxi for about $27. A People Mover City transit bus passes a bus stop (which is one block from our home) every 30 minutes to & from downtown on week days and every hour on weekends.
Directions are provided upon reservation guarantee.
The single rate, for all rooms, is $10. less than listed rates, children 5 or under are free. I offer a 10% Senior Citizens Discount to guests 65+ years of age.
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