- Reviews: 1
MicroTel Eagle River: If you're looking for a nice place to stay in AK
Ug! Doesn't take but a few minutes in Alaska to know that as a tourist you are going to get overcharged and treated like a smelly dog on a hot day, but at least most of the places give you a little something special for the abuse like a great view or a nice boat ride.
And you know when you book at a Microtel you are not going to get grand accommodations, but for a hundred plus bucks a night, one might reasonably expect air conditioning and a good night's sleep. What you will get at the Eagle River Microtel is a stuffy, cramped, 30 feet from a noisy main artery view of the a gravel parking lot, can't sleep because so much light is coming in on the cheap window coverings, don't bother with the TV because they don't even get CNN rip-off. When I asked for a room on another floor (we were on the ground floor) where at least I might feel safe leaving the window open for awhile, I was told those rooms were another $50 per night.
No Air Conditioning
View of a gravel parking lot
Unsafe for women
No computer access - even in an emergency
No sound on CNN
Don't answer emails with basic questions
One thin postage-stamped sized towel per guest
- Reviews: 620
Tents, Permafrost and Bugs: Camping in the Interior
It sounds like a fabulous idea--I love camping, why wouldn't I love camping away from any kind of town but near the Arctic Circle. I heard about the bugs in the Interior--the mosquitoes and flies but I lived in the South (US) before. Bugs are always bad there, right? Bobby lived in the Middle East where biting flies are common. We both dealt with sand and deer flies. Just pack up the Deet, the tent and pick out a spot.
Or it's not that easy. In fact, it's the opposite of that easy. It's a large scale production. We took extra precautions...got mosquito netting, 100% deet, were fully covered and so on. Having read up on sites before the trip, we found an undeveloped one at the Arctic Circle. After driving though the camp, we picked out a fairly clear, flat and somewhat dry plot of land and starting setting up. Mistake 1: bending down to set up the tent. My back was exposed and within 2 minutes, I had three bites. Mistake 2: Bobby's neck was exposed. He got assaulted by both flies and mosquitoes and got 10 or more bites under his hair. Mind you, we're drowning in Deet. Mistake 3: trying to anchor the tent. The ground is not meant for this kind of thing and a we broke a giant rock in half using it as an additional hammer. We had to move on.
About 2 hours up the road we arrived at a BLM (Bureau of Land Management) campsite...this one developed with platforms for tents, a grill and outhouses. It was very wet here but not as unforgiving. However, there was no enjoying the evening...there wasn't even time to get bread out to make a sandwich. We opened a beer, took out our chairs and relaxed for less than 5 minutes before we were covered in mosquitoes. Throwing some cheese in our mouths, we moved the operation into the tent where we trying to balance beer and food. So here we are, sitting in a tent and still killing mosquitoes who, I can only assume, have amazing shrinking power and can work their way into the screen. It's about midnight, the sun is shining into the west side of the tent and we put on sleeping masks and get into the mosquito netting. At 3am, I have to go to the bathroom...the sun is still up and the mosquitoes are still waiting for me. We still have to get up and pack out in a few hours. It rained a little. Some giant bird jumped on our tent at like 5. By 7, we were taking down camp in record time.
It's very difficult to tent camp in the interior. Technically, you can stay wherever you want as long as it's a certain distance off the road, off of someone's land and away from the Alyeska pipeline boundary. But then you also have to find a place that is on solid ground...you're left with 1% of the area. However, you need to choose a site that's not in a wooded area because that's where the bugs are the worse--or by a still lake. What an ordeal. I used to think I'd never RV camp but those people had straight up luxury and comfort.
But hey, we did it and next time, I'll be armed for battle with these insects of evil. You need to laugh after how difficult the whole thing is. I'll never forget it and really, I had a great time.
- Reviews: 620
Best Western Fairbanks Inn: Choose Something Else in Fairbanks
You have no idea. This was the worst hotel we've come across in a long time. I have a problem with false advertising and this place really just should have said, "If we say we have it on our website, in actuality, we do not." We chose it because we knew we'd be getting in late and wanted to have a place to eat either nearby on better yet, on the premises. The Best Western Fairbanks Inn's website claimed they not only had a restaurant but also a saloon open until 2, an internet cafe and an ice cream place. Sounded great. Guess what was locked up (with a padlock) when we arrived? The restaurant closed early, the saloon was never to open during our stay and the only thing available to us at 10pm was old coffee. I checked the guest directory...absolutely NOTHING about the saloon being seasonal. After driving up from Anchorage, the last thing we wanted to do was get back in the car and look for a place to eat but we had to just that. It goes way beyond the false advertising-- from a dirty washcloth to the broken A/C unit (in a room that was 80F) and a stuck window. It goes beyond the less than welcome reception we got at the front desk and goes beyond the unattractive neighborhood and creepy population surrounding the hotel. For more, read Bobby's write up about our stay at this Best Western. Never again will I stay there and never again do I even hope to see it.
Surround sound. This is not from the TV, though. It is from guests having...um..."relations" in the next room and every sound amplified in the hallway. Again, Bobby's account will have to share the details. If a unique quality is forcing us to contemplate driving back down to Anchorage at 2 in the morning because the stay was that bad, then this place is most definitely unique.
- Reviews: 183
Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge: Close to the National Park
This hotel/lodge is part of the Princess Cruise company. We stayed here for one night as part of our Alaskan land tour. The standard of the accomodation was good, we stayed in the newly built 'Canyon Station' wing.
The lodge is very large and covers a big area of land; it is almost like a resort. There are various dining choices, we went to Subway across the road for lunch! The main road runs very close by the front of the lodge, but isn't very busy and we weren't disturbed by noise.
Poor weather spoilt our experience - not the lodge's fault!
Lovely views behind the lodge and quite a lot to do if you are only staying a night or two. Very close to Denali National Park.
- Reviews: 183
Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge: In the middle of nowhere!
We stayed at this lodge for one night during our organised Alaskan landtour. As the name suggests, it is part of the Princess Cruises company. The accommodation was of a very good standard, as were the public areas. Everything was designed as you would expect from a lodge. The key reason for staying here was to enjoy the great views of Mount McKinley, unfortunatly we didn't get a glimpse all day!
This hotel is great if you're happy to do very little all day. They offer a guided nature walk but there's only really plants to see, The river view is interesting, but once you've looked, that's it. We took a walk around the whole complex ( the rooms are in blocks, at varying distances from the main lodge) and then found nothing else to entertain us as we didn't fancy a trip out to do white water rafting.
Don't take the kids! Take a book and lots of patience to wait to see the mountain.
- Reviews: 183
The Island Princess: Cruise ship
As this ship is a floating hotel, I think this is the best place for this tip!
The Island Princess is a very good quality cruise ship with excellent facilities. It has 2 theatres with different shows each night, always great quality entertainment. There are a number of restaurants: The two main diningrooms are designed to feel cosy although they are huge. We found the service to be very efficient and friendly, although if you choose 'anytime dining' be prepared to wait for a table for up to half an hour at popular times. There are the customary formal evenings, where everyone dresses up, looks beautiful and has their photo taken. This is not compulsory, but you will feel very uncomfortable if you don't join in!
As this boat cruises Alaska, the outdoor swimming pool is quite empty! If you're feeling brave,use the hot tubs, which are great once your in them! There is also a covered pool, with loungers around it, so you can pretend you're sunbathing.
Lots of shopping opportunities are available on board, as well as in the ports.
727 of the staterooms have balconies. I would recommend one of these rooms as one of our most memorable holiday experiences was sitting on the balcony, listening to the classical music playing over the public address system, and looking at the wonderful glaciers in the brilliant sunshine. A balcony also allows you to rush outside whenever something exciting goes past, instead of having to go on deck, which can be a long walk.
- Reviews: 12
Skip hotels, go for B and B's or hostels
Alaskans do not care much for appearances and it is unfortunate that the service and care in hotels in smaller cities is often no very good. This is because the culture has not lent itself to needing tourists in some areas. The standards are not there. However, the bed and breakfasts are very, very good. Skip hotels and find a b and b or a hostel.
- Reviews: 181
Skagway Home Hostel: Hostel in Skagway
I can recommend if you're looking for some special. Cannot if you wanna sleep. I didn't want to stay here either but ended up sleeping here due to that damned rain. I've been told that there are lots of campgrounds in the mountains so I was thinking of trying one of those but when a got to Skagway decided to sleep in a hostel. The hostel itself is a big house actually. There's a small building with one room and lots of beds in the garden. This is the dormitory. If you want to have a shower, cook whatever you have to go into the house. The hostess lady was very kind and the prices were also ok. The dorm was full and I couldn't have a good rest to tell you the truth...From around 11pm till 2am an old lady was snoring just above my head and the others got up at 5am to catch a ferry to Juneau. It was a terrible night but special experience..that was my first time in a hostel like this. A real home:)
The hostel is located in one of the historic homes built sometime between 1899 and 1901. It appears on the tax rolls in 1901 as a completed structure.
- Reviews: 181
Dry Creek State Recreation Site: Campground in Glennallen
A huge and almost empty campground. It was strange that I didn't find boxes for food storage so I had to pull up all of my stuff. Maybe i was blind or i don't know but I did not see and cannot recommend sleeping with your food to anybody...especially in this area. Full of bears.
The campground is close to Glennallen, you can get info at the locel visitor centre near the gas station. Can be a good spot if you're travelling towards Tok or the Canadian border.
- Reviews: 181
Near the Harding Icefield: Campground in the KFNP
Backcountry permit needed for staying overnight. Actually you can camp anywhere you wish according as nobody can see you from the trail but the rangers will inform you just ask.
The only place which is good for camping lies about an hour from the Harding Icefield trail between the Icefield itself and the north range. Excellent experience.
- Reviews: 181
2 metres from the Lake: Campground in Moose Pass
Shaped campground without facilities. If you need something do not stay here. This is for hikers.
- Reviews: 181
Choose your own!: Campground in Girdwood
Would be exaggeration to assert that this will be an accommodation tip. Actually this campground was not a campground:)
There are several formed spots along the fore part of the trail where you can camp for free. These are "official" campgrounds and you can stay at the same place maximum 3 days as far as i know but i'm not sure.
Anyway this forest was a perfect place to stay, fires are allowed just pay attention. I've seen 2 black bears about 30 metres from my tent...keep the rules and you will be okay.
Camping in the wilderness meanwhile close to town. Do you need more in Alaska?!:)
- Reviews: 181
Riley Creek Campground: Campground in Denali
I can recommend this campground for tourist but not for travellers and people who are looking for peace and nature. Actually the Riley Creek Campground is a huge one directly near the Denali Highway.
I had a great time thanks to my friends otherwise it could have been a bad choice. I didn't like the garbage trucks at 7am nor the noise of motorhomes at 6am!! Otherwise it's okay you can get a few pieces of firewood for 5 bucks and some basics in the grocery store for more expensive than in general.
In 2006 one night costed 12 USD. No showers available.
Describe any outstanding characteristics of this accommodation? Different seasons offer different activities and things to do in the park. Northern lights, snowy summers, bright nights and many more that can be exciting for humans.
- Reviews: 620
Kim's Country Inn of Alaska: Not worth the money
We didn’t find many choices for places to stay in Delta Junction. The ad we came across sounded great—we weren’t looking for anything fancy; only a place to sleep. Good thing we didn’t have high expectations when we settled on Kelly’s Alaska Country Inn. First, for the off season, the price was ridiculously high. Bobby asked about a government discount and the lady said something like “I don’t feel a certain big corporation should get a discount when others don’t, so everyone gets the discount” There was no discount. She was very annoyed by Bobby trying to make a reservation and interrupting her vacuuming that she sent her 12 year old daughter to complete the reservation.
The hotel is a glorified group of trailers or modular classroom like buildings—complete with the slanted floors and 70s carpeting and high, small windows. The rooms are warm and okay…but definitely need some updating. As it is a trailer-esque structure, the walls with the clapboard are very thin and the door, if not pushed shut tightly, has a tendency to swing inward. They boast satellite TV, but it’s a modified system which doesn’t really get any channel very well.
The best thing about this hotel is that they do give you lots of coffee to make in the morning. But not $90 worth;-) Hotels in Fairbanks, this time of year are around $65 so that tells you something.
- Reviews: 620
camping...various locations: Camping in Alaska (outside the interior)
There are millions of places to camp in Alaska. From state parks to RV parks and the backcountry/bush, this is probably the easiest accommodation to come by. Many sites are seasonal, of course but although it was colder and rainy at Denali we can across a group getting a backcountry camping permit in late September. Risks come with camping in Alaska so at the more established sites or places that issue permits, bear canisters are available for a deposit. If you’re planning on just going out on your own, bring one along. Don’t put your food anywhere else and dispose of everything property (common sense, but obviously enough people don’t do this that there are warnings everywhere). It’s not just the bears who can pose a threat—other large animals roam Alaska too. And weather is always a factor, so bring waterproof gear and expect the conditions to change quickly.
I’ve camped in this state before and there’s nothing like it. You can easily be alone, not crowded into developed sites if you don’t want to be. On a clear night, you can see forever and may even see the northern lights (aurora). You do have a better chance to view wildlife and best of all, you’re camping in Alaska!
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