Located in central Fairbanks on the banks of the Chena River, the Springhill Suites Fairbanks enjoys proximity to the downtown district with its numerous shops and cafes, and the Morris Thompson Cultural & Visitors Center. Large studio-suite rooms feature contemporary design and stylish furnishings, with one king or two double beds, plus a sofa bed. Amenities include deluxe bedding, writing desk, free Wi-Fi, mini fridge and microwave. Start your morning with a full hot breakfast buffet. Recreational facilities include a fully equipped fitness center, heated indoor pool and whirlpool spa. The Springhill Suites Fairbanks is a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award-winner.
Denali National Park, Alaska
Natural Habitat's Alaska trips differ from most others in that we take pains to stay as close to nature as possible and away from crowds. This is especially important in popular locales like Denali National Park, where we seek to provide our small groups a genuine wilderness experience. That's why we stay at Kantishna Roadhouse deep within the park, surrounded by epic scenery and wildlife, not tourist throngs and gift shops. Kantishna Roadhouse, which dates to the early 20th-century gold rush in the area, is one of only three lodges inside Denali National Park, situated well beyond the boundary where park tour buses operate. Its remote location 90 miles from the park entrance allows guests an exclusive encounter with wild Interior Alaska, in solitude.
This historic backcountry lodge provides this rare experience for very few travelers each season. Guests arrive by private bus and settle in to cozy cabins built of Alaskan white spruce logs. Simple yet deluxe by Alaskan wilderness standards, the duplex and four-plex cabins have charming rustic decor including knotty-pine wainscoting and log beam ceilings, one queen or two full beds with down comforters and quilts, and private en suite bathrooms. Each has an outdoor veranda with benches for quiet moments observing nature. Cabins are conveniently located near the main lodge, which is the central gathering place. Enjoy lounge space around a crackling fire, peruse the upstairs library with its arge collection of Alaskan books, DVDs, puzzles and games; relax on the second-story screened porch overlooking Moose Creek; have a drink in the saloon, and savor hearty meals in the dining room. Dishes are prepared with the freshest ingredients possible, including vegetables grown in the large backyard greenhouse. Breads and pastries are baked fresh daily, and the menu often features fresh salmon, halibut and cod from Alaskan waters. Outside, a wraparound deck with rocking chairs beckons guests to sit back with a glass of wine and soak up the sublime scenery.
Kantishna Roadhouse aspires to be considerate of the environment. Electricity is produced on site by a 100kw diesel generator, making it a precious commodity that must be carefully conserved. As such, electrical appliances such as hair dryers, coffee pots, irons and electric alarm clocks are not provided in the rooms. Battery-operated alarm clocks are available at the front desk. Due to its exceptionally remote location, there is no radio, television, cell phone service or Internet access at the Roadhouse. A satellite payphone is available on the property for outgoing calls. This is truly a rare opportunity to unplug and experience an interlude of supreme peace and quiet. You won't want for things to do while you're here, though. A variety of daily activities is offered, including guided hikes, mountain bike rides, fishing, naturalist programs and the chance to observe wildlife and experience the stunning grandeur of Denali at far closer range than most visitors are fortunate to enjoy.
Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge, a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence winner, sits atop a bluff above the rustic hamlet of Talkeetna on the south side of Denali, offering magnificent views of "The Great One" and the Alaska Range. Talkeetna has long been the jumping-off point for climbing expeditions to Denali, and the historic town retains a rough-and-tumble charm. But the lodge itself, situated on 640 acres, provides a luxurious respite from the Alaskan wild. Guest rooms are located in three different lodge buildings, all constructed with massive timbers and stonework—160 tons of rock collected from the Matanuska River are incorporate throughout the lodge's design and decor. The central feature of the main Great Room is the 46-foot tall river rock fireplace, and various animal designs have been crafted in stone in the pillars at the lodge entrance. The enormous logs in the Great Room are from beetle-killed spruce trees from the Ninilchik area, and the ceiling is constructed of knotty pine. Throughout the lodge, the trim is crafted using birch from Trapper Creek.
Spacious 364-square-foot guest rooms have two queen beds or one king, a private bath, hair dryer, writing desk, coffee maker, satellite television, telephone, and optional wireless Internet. Fine food and drink is available in the Foraker Dining Room, while casual fare is served at the Base Camp Bistro and Lounge. The Tokosha Coffee & Gift Shop in the main lodge carries a variety of souvenirs and authentic Alaska Native art, as well as your favorite espresso drinks.
Designed to integrate Alaska Native heritage with modern luxury, the chateau-style Hotel Alyeska is one of Alaska's finest accommodations. Located within the Alyeska Resort in a lush valley near the historic mining-supply town of Girdwood, the hotel provides visitors access to stupendous mountain environs via a mountaintop tram, with plenty of enticing hiking and walking trails. Views from the summit take in the length of Turnagain Arm and the glacier-clad peaks of the Chugach Range and Kenai Mountains. The renowned "Seven Glaciers" AAA 4-diamond restaurant located on top of the mountain (accessed by the tram) is an enticing option for a gourmet meal (not included) during your free evening at the resort.
The hotel, built in 1994, underwent a multi-million-dollar renovation in 2007, bringing interiors and guest rooms to a new level of luxury. Expansive rooms feature elegant decor in rich natural colors, Alaska Native artwork and Edward Curtis photographs, plush new carpets, premier pillow-top mattresses, satellite TV, MP3 clock radio, complimentary wireless Internet access, mini refrigerator and in-room safe. Large bathrooms have heated towel racks, lighted make-up mirror, hair dryer, bathrobes and slippers for guests' comfort and convenience. Starbucks' in-room coffee and complimentary bottled water are provided. Hotel amenities include several restaurants and a bar, 24-hour room service, a full-service spa, pool and whirlpool, and fitness center.
Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge
Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
A short, scenic boat ride from Seward brings guests to a rare backcountry experience at Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge. This remote outpost is located on a privately owned parcel of land on Fox Island in Resurrection Bay, surrounded by Kenai Fjords National Park. Tucked in the woods between a pebble beach and quiet island lagoon, the lodge provides a serene retreat amid some of Alaska's grandest landscapes. Just 18 guests are accommodated in eight cozy log cabins situated on a narrow peninsula of land near the main day lodge. All cabins are on the waterfront, with some facing the freshwater lagoon while others survey the bay. All cabins have one queen bed and one queen sofa-sleeper, with premium linens; en suite bathroom with shower; propane heating; solar-powered electric lights; and a battery-powered alarm clock.
The main lodge has immense two-story windows that look out across Halibut Cove, where guests should a lookout for sea lions or humpback whales occasionally come into view. Fine dining is a highlight at the lodge, and guests will enjoy innovative meals infused with seasonal ingredients found around Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. The executive chef and kitchen staff enjoy welcoming guests and are happy to share their techniques and recipes.
The Fox Island setting is magnificent, with glacier-iced peaks towering over the waters rich in marine life. During our stay we will have the opportunity to paddle sea kayaks in search of wildlife. No prior experience is necessary, and our guides will assist even the most rank beginner. We also enjoy a private wildlife cruise on a small chartered vessel, looking for puffins, sea lions, otters and perhaps even whales. It's a vivid contrast to other boat trips where a hundred or more travelers jam the decks.
Alaska's Gold Creek Lodge
King Salmon, Alaska
This remote fly-in wilderness lodge located on 16 forested acres on the Naknek River near Katmai National Park is among Alaska's most exceptional accommodations. The main lodge and individual cabins and yurts enjoy territorial and river views along a stretch of water that's famed for some of the best salmon and rainbow trout fishing in Alaska (including from the lodge's 200-foot private dock!). Wildlife surrounds us here, and a viewing platform overlooking the river offers a safe place to observe the bears, moose, bald eagles, waterfowl and occasional sea lions that frequent the environs.
Alaska's Gold Creek Lodge is a two-generation, family-run operation, where a select number of guests enjoy an intimate experience of "bush luxury" and genuine hospitality. The deluxe main lodge provides a central gathering place for gourmet, locally-sourced meals surrounded by a
high wood ceiling, imposing stone fireplace, cushy leather sofas,
rustic wood tables and chairs, and trophy fish mounted on the walls for
added ambience. Accommodations are in individual private log cabins, private rooms in the main lodge and deluxe yurts that exude Alaskan character. Each cabin has a cozy wood stove, two full-size beds, en suite bath, private deck overlooking Gold Creek and the forest, 40-inch flat screen cable TV, Wi-Fi, Keurig coffee maker and a small fridge stocked with cold drinks. The main lodge suite has three rooms that share a large common area with comfortable couches and a flat screen. Guests wishing to stay in a yurt must make a special request. Each yurt has a queen bed and lounge area, but restrooms are located 25 feet away, requiring you to walk outside the structure.
Katmai National Park, Alaska
World-famous Brooks Lodge is one of the best places on Earth to view giant Alaskan brown bears—the world's largest grizzlies—at close range. The lodge, originally conceived as a fishing camp, overlooks the Brooks River in the heart of Katmai National Park and has been in operation since 1950. From the lodge's 16 rustic cabins, it is an easy mile walk to viewing platforms overlooking Brooks Falls, where bears famously fish for salmon as they fatten up for hibernation during winter's long freeze. In September, bears are seen everywhere in the area, not just at the falls.
Accommodations are rustic but comfortable, requiring 3 to 4 travelers to share rooms with bunk beds. Here, we match travelers by gender (or by couples, depending on the group). The cabins have private bathroom facilities. Any inconvenience caused by having to share a cabin is more than outweighed by the spectacular show the bears put on, however! The main lodge enjoys a splendid view of Naknek Lake and surrounding forest. Its large circular fireplace is a popular spot for relaxing in the evenings and sharing stories about the day's adventures. Hearty Alaskan fare is served buffet-style three times a day in the lodge dining room. Cocktails are available for purchase at the bar each afternoon and evening.
Anchorage Marriott Downtown
This upscale contemporary hotel in the heart of downtown Anchorage is ideally situated in walking distance of local dining, shopping and attractions. Large, colorful rooms feature plush bedding, high-speed Internet access, flat screen cable TV, writing desk and oversized picture windows that frame striking views of downtown Anchorage, the Chugach Mountains and Cook Inlet. After a busy day of sightseeing, unwind in the hotel's fitness center, indoor pool or whirlpool. The Cafe Promenade serves fresh, locally sourced meals in a casual setting. The hotel is proud to the recipient of TripAdvisor's Certificate of Excellence.
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