Just a five-to-ten-minute boat ride from Crescent Harbor, Twin Islands Retreat might as well be a world away. With diverse meeting venues and a distraction-free setting, this all-inclusive island retreat is the perfect space for small meetings or business retreats.
When Merri and Larry bought the property in 2019, they knew it would be a labor of love – but for the husband-wife team, it also felt like destiny.
“I loved it immediately,” says Merri, “It just needed a nice bath, but I loved it.” In this case, ‘bath’ refers to extensive renovations, a fresh coat of paint, and a new dock, which was brought in on a 100-foot barge and then lifted into place via helicopter.
In addition to the changes, Merri and Larry also shipped in over 9,900 pounds of comfort and luxury items to get the lodge started – something that Merri still jokes about. “We used Alaska Marine Lines,” she says, “And my sister says AML stands for ‘Another Merri Laursen’ delivery.”
Almost two years later, the lodge looks unrecognizable; from the moment you step off the dock, you know that you’re in for something truly special.
Whether you’re hosting a small, intimate board meeting, organizing a multi-day workshop, or planning a weekend of team building activities, Twin Islands Retreat houses a variety of meeting venues with spaces that can be adapted to accommodate your vision.
One of these spaces is the recreation room, which features a collection of state-of-the-art workout equipment and a spacious home theater overlooking Sitka Sound. The main lodge, meanwhile, is a bright, open space, great for after-dinner socializing and creative, less formal work sessions.
With a sharp eye for beauty and detail, Merri is like a museum curator, playing expertly with colors, patterns, and texture. From whale bones to rescued oil paintings, every hand-chosen piece of decor has a story behind it.
Her magic touch is everywhere – except for the Alaska room, a private lounge branching off the main lodge.
This is Larry’s realm; as an avid hunter and outdoorsman, the Alaska room is a place to share his passions and give guests a rustic Alaskan experience. The room is decorated with animal mounts, big game furs, and unique additions like a vintage yacht seat and a large home bar. Guests can enjoy late night drinks in a sophisticated setting or hold a thoughtful discussion from the comfort of the leather chairs.
For smaller, more intimate meetings and one-on-one sessions, there are private nooks nestled throughout the lodge. On a sunny afternoon, attendees can lounge around the propane fire on couches that comfortably seat 8-10 people.
Dining and Accommodations
With room for a small, intimate number of guests, a stay at Twin Islands Retreat feels highly personalized; from plush bathrobes to sample platters of locally made snacks, Merri and Larry are determined to make guests feel special
As for Twin Islands Retreat’s tasty, gourmet meals, those are all cooked by Merri. On the day of my visit, lunch is a savory California roll the size of my dinner plate, made with locally caught Dungeness crab. Larry shows me a picture of the crabs, which he’d caught that morning, on his phone.
In the morning, guests wake up to the smell of fresh espresso and a filling breakfast like avocado toast with smoked salmon, poached eggs, and blueberry waffles. Merri’s fresh baked cookies are another highlight.
Twin Islands Retreat includes all of the amenities you’d expect from its name: a dry sauna, hot tub, and a recreation room to unwind in. Other features include a driving range overlooking the water, where golfers can practice their swing. Merri and Larry offer an extensive gear closet, with rain coats, water socks, and Xtratufs in all sizes. Guests can cruise around neighboring islands on kayaks or paddeboards, or chart a more ambitious course through Sitka Sound. There’s even a fire pit down by the water, and at low tide you can spot ravens, eagles, whales, and rainbows! In the sunlight, the beach glitters with abalone shells.
Lodges in Sitka are often synonymous with saltwater fishing, and Twin Islands Retreat is no different. Whether you want to go on an afternoon trip or spend several days fishing, Merri and Larry will help you plan the Alaskan adventure of a lifetime. They partner with various charters who can get you out on the water, and then Larry will process your fish at the lodge.
The personal touches at Twin Islands Retreat is what makes it so special. Merri and Larry go above and beyond to give their guests a personalized experience and make them feel special. It doesn’t matter if you have a small idea or a large, ambitious vision; these two will help customize a retreat that your attendees will never forget. Check out Merri’s Instagram at @twinislandssitka_retreat_lodge.
For more support with planning your event, check Visit Sitka’s Digital Meeting & Convention Planners’ Guide to access our resources.