The Elderberry B&B was recommended to me by a colleague who had stayed there before. It is an outstanding B&B. The rooms are comfortable (I ended up staying in all three) and spotlessly clean. The common areas are very nice and a computer with internet is available on request. At $85-$95 (with breakfast) you will not find better value in the Anchorage area.
The location does require a car. The Elderberry is ~3 miles south of the airport, ~4 miles from Gwennies, ~4 miles to Costco, and ~7 miles to downtown.
The Elderberry B&B is like being at home. You will not find nicer people than Linda and Norm.
This B&B is in the southern part of Anchorage (not downtown). It's in a private home in a quiet residential area and only has a few rooms for rent. We stayed in the Bird House room. It is a quiet, clean, good size room (for 2 people) with a large private bathroom (entered from the room not the hallway). The hostess was very nice and she made a delicious full breakfast. The taxi ride there was $27 from the airport.
Skip the hotels, go to a B&B. The hotels in peak season are crazy expensive. The Marriott Courtyard was almost $300 in 2000. Our B&B was under $70 an night. We met some awesome people. One couple brought their three kids for vacation. They stayed in Anchorage for a few days and then went and did a week north of the artic circle in tents. We met three guys that originally were college buddies in Germany. They travel together once a year. Also, the house keeper was from Russia. You don't meet people like that in a hotel.
We went mountain climbing, glacier hiking, fly fishing, and flew up to Denali national park. Oh yeah, we went there to see some of our closest friends gets married. There are some first class restaurants downtown (The Glacier Brewhouse).
Some travelers might think being close to the airport is an advantage, but in the case of A Homestead B&B, it was TOO close. Late into the evening, and again early in the morning, we heard planes taking off every few minutes.
The B&B has two separate accommodations. One is a free-standing log cabin that looked really cute. Our family stayed in the upstairs of the owners' house. There were two bedrooms, a bathroom, living area, kitchen and dining area. The bathroom has two doors, one going into a bedroom and the other into the living room. The toilet is really close to the wall, such that you almost have to sit sideways. It's an older house and the floors creaked, so we wondered if we were disturbing the owners downstairs.
The breakfast was good, served to us and the couple staying in the cabin. There were 3 kinds of fresh fruit on each plate for the first course, followed by an egg & sausage stratta.
I have been asked several times for advice on where someone on a tight budget can stay in Anchorage. Below is a list of Guesthouses and their contact information. The only facility that I know much about is the downtown hostel which gets good reviews but is often full. If you try some of the other places please post your reviews on VT so that others can get an idea of quality and convenience of location. I have ranked them by location only.
Hostelling International, Anchorage - downtown
Anchorage Guesthouse - near downtown
Spenard Hostel International -Near Lake Hood
Jason's International Hostel - Midtown
Common Ground Guesthouse - Midtown
International Backpackers Inn - Strange Area in Downtown ??
Alyeska Home Hostel - Girdwood - 30 miles south of downtown - near Alyeska Resort
No matter which place you want to stay try to book a room far ahead of time as most accommodations (cheap & expensive) fill up to capacity all through the summer season.
This hostel has a perfect location, in the downtown of Anchorage. I never stayed here as a guest, but visited my friend and it looked like a good hostel should, clean and cozy. Not so quiet thought, but it look liked people were having fun there.
They have some odd ( kind of I think) rules here such as dormitories are closed everyday for five hours because of cleaning. As I said the location is perfect, but there are certain things you usually get free at some hostels, like Internet - here you need to pay. And then, Jason's Int'l Hostel in midtown of Anchorage offers free pick-up from airport, this ones not.
Pretty strick, uh?
Checkout time is 10 a.m.
Curfew is at 1 a.m.
Dormitory beds are $20 per night per member and $23 per night per non-member.
I have stayed at this hostel on two different occasions and would definitely do so again. It is cheap, clean, well run, and very conveniently located in downtown Anchorage, within walking distance of many attractions and points of interest, as well as bus and train stations. One of the things I enjoy most about staying in hostels is the opportunity to meet other travelers from around the world. Anchorage International Hostel is a big bustling place and the staff and guests I have met here have all been friendly. Some have been downright interesting as well.
There are 3 to 6 beds in each of the gender-specific dorm rooms, with gym-style lockers. There is a large, well equipped common kitchen and seperate dining area as well as a large living room. The dormitory rooms are closed daily from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. for cleaning and security purposes, however, the common areas remain open from 8 a.m. 'till 1 a.m., which is cerfew. There is a courtesy telephone for local calls and pay phones for long distance. Internet access is available for a small fee.
The hostel does not provide parking, but I found free on-street overnight parking just a couple of blocks away.
I chose this hostel for my first couple of nights in Anchorage primarily because my flight was arriving late and it is close to the airport. I had a reservation and when I got to the hostel I found a note taped to the front door with my name on it and directions to my doom room. I need not have worried about arriving so late because the place was open and a few people were around. The staff had just left at 11 p.m. - a few minutes before my arrival. Quiet time begins at 10 p.m., but there is no curfew and no lockout. It was a comfortable, friendly, no-hassle place to stay.
There is a large fenced yard yard with barbeque grill, bike storage, laundry room and free, but limited, off-street parking. A small market and restaurants are nearby. They have 3 full kitchens and four homestyle bathrooms. The dorms are a little tight, but ok, and contain 4, 6 or 7 bunks. There is a dining room seperate from the kitchens and three large common areas.
Our stay here was very pleasant. After 3 weeks of knocking around in a camper RV with our family of 4, it was nice to spread out for two nights and have a big bed to sleep in!
The people were helpful, the accomodations were nice, and the food was good.
We had the opportunity to enjoy their Wednesday night free social hour, which included food that equaled a light dinner.
Their free breakfast buffet was fabulous - make-your-own Belgian waffles, eggs, potatos, bacon, pastries, cereal - the works!
Pool was nice. Exercise room, too.
Look for their coupon in the Toursavers's Book (Must-see Activity Page under my Alaska page), we took advantage of their buy-one night get-one free coupon. The food manager says that was better than the least expensive rate, which they give to the military. The price recorded below reflects WHAT WE PAID, not their full rates.
If you are taking a motorcycle tour of Alaska, the House of Harley does have a small camping area. I did not inquire as to the requirements to use this facility, but I am sure the friendly folks will assist you.
Camping within the city, and convienent to all city ammenities.
I've camped at Centennial Camper Park several different times. I'm always happy for the showers! Nearby is this park with a nice view of the Chugach Range.
I’ve stayed in enough hotels in Anchorage over the past 4 years to basically not have a favorite. Every place I’ve stayed in Anchorage has plus and minus qualities. The more money you can spend, the more comfort and cleanliness you will find. My suggestion is that if you are traveling on a budget, request to preview your room before checking in.
I have stories that defy the imagination, it’s so surprising the kinds of irritations I’ve come across happen in modern hotels in a place with as much competition as Anchorage. I won’t give the gory details about specific hotels because the truth is you might have a great stay. But, in general, if you are traveling on a budget don’t be afraid to ask to preview your room before finalizing check in and feeling obligated to stay. Most people don’t ask to do that, but you can.
Hostel International (HI) has one in downtown Anchorage (700 H Street). It's one of the biggest hostels in Alaska. It's within walking distance to 4th and 5th Ave where you can book tours, shop in malls, and check out the Visitor Center. It's also close to Anchorage's Performing Art Center and History and Art Museum. I paid $16 for a Sat night stay in May 2002. I had a rental car and had no problem parking in the streets. Not sure about weekdays.
Like most hostels they have a shared kitchen and dining room. It's a great place to meet people and trade stories. Around the hostel you occasionally see homeless people, which is common in most downtown hostels across north America.
The attached photo was taken from HI official site. The web address is shown below.
As big as Alaska is and all the motel, hotel in the whole area, the best accomodation we make before leaving was to call friends that live in the area. And you'll notice when you come...tall beautiful trees that surrounds everything and if you look hard enough you will see wooden log cabins here and there all through out Alaska.
My family and friend in front of this cute log house. I love it. But they did say come wintertime, when the snow falls they are trap in for months and do get cabin fever.
Lot of green, nice smelling flowers, and interesting things to do around the log cabin.
The International Hostel is where I choose to stay. Inexpensive, and convienent to everything. Absolutely best is you do not rent a car. Access to public transportation.
A night in the dormatory rooms is $19. Discounts for longer stays, private rooms are available.
The best thing about the hostel is that you will meet many colorful travelers, and will likely make friends.
It is a hostel so be aware that it is dormatory sleeping, and you may hear someone snore all night. There is a kitchen, and common areas for relaxing, and meeting
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