The Hotel Alyeska
What We Love
- The location is convenient for exploring the rainforests, glaciers, national parks and mountains of southeast Alaska
- Free bike rentals
- Hiking and biking trails start right outside the resort’s front doors
- The concierge team recommends outfitters they personally know and trust
- The pool and hot tub remain open year-round
What To Know
- Sakura Restaurant is open Friday through Monday (it closes for the season on September 7), and the award-winning Seven Glaciers is open daily until September 20
- Alaska gets up to 20 hours of daylight in the summer
- The resort’s TRAM stops running on October 12 and reopens on November 28 (when the mountain opens); see their website for more info
- A $10 resort fee per night will be collected upon Jetsetter checkout
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
When you’re standing at the 2,300-foot top of Alyeska’s aerial tram in Girdwood, snowcapped mountains and hanging glaciers dominate the scene. To the west the cold, clear waters of Turnagain Arm twinkle; below you, the world’s northernmost coastal temperate rain forest. Alyeska Resort is — by far — the nicest place to stay for miles around. It’s billed as a chateau, but don’t think spires and steeply pitched roofs; Alyeska is a chateau only in terms of its ski-friendly location. The architecture and interiors are mountain-modern, with walls made of vibrant cherrywood and organic elements reflecting the region’s Native heritage (wood, alabaster and ivory sculptures).
Bed & Bath
The 304 guestrooms have large windows with the kind of views you want in Alaska: mountains, thick forests and blue sky. Like the state itself, guestrooms give you plenty of space to spread out (starting at a roomy 350 square feet). All rooms have heated towel racks, lighted makeup mirrors, bedside do-not-disturb controls, Serta Presidential pillowtop mattresses, Gilchrist & Soames products and more.
Though the area is relatively isolated, Alyeska itself has enough restaurants to keep you busy for days. There are four inside the hotel and another, Seven Glaciers, at the top of the Alyeska Tram. The views from Seven Glaciers — so named because on a clear day you can see seven hanging glaciers — are the stuff slideshows are made of. With the cold, clear waters of the North Pacific only a couple of miles away, the Sakura & Sushi Bar trades in the freshest of catches from king salmon and halibut to Kachemak Bay oysters. Also onsite? A heated indoor saltwater pool, a serene spa and a well-equipped gym.
In the Area
The resort is about an hour from the Anchorage airport; most guests rent cars and drive themselves. In the summer, suit up for lift-assisted mountain biking, hiking in the world’s northernmost temperate coastal rain forest (trails start at the hotel) and rock climbing with local guide company Ascending Path. Its creekside cragging area, Tram Rock, is just a 10-minute walk from the hotel. Get up close and personal with Alaska wildlife—brown and black bears, caribou, musk ox, bison, moose, elk and bald eagles—at the nonprofit Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, nine miles south of the resort. Ciri Cruises offers three- to nine-hour cruises in Kenai Fjords National Park to see sea otters, orcas, puffins, cormorants, harbor seals, Steller sea lions and porpoises. In the winter it’s all about the snow—650 inches on average blanket 2,500 vertical feet of terrain over 1,400 skiable acres. Oh and did we mention? Practically no lift lines.
How to Get There
We were very disappointed in our stay at the Alyeska resort this time around. We had previously stayed here 4 years ago and had a decent experience. This place is very special to my husband and I because this is where we got engaged 4 years ago. We had returned to celebrate our anniversary and it really was a bummer this time around. Online they have a feature to get a free upgrade if their website is shared on facebook, this upgrade was literally just to a different floor level ( no different view, by the way). The beds were very uncomfortable and definitely not what I expected for the price of the room. The pool was very nice. The tram was expensive for being a guest at the hotel. I knew this from the past but last time they gave us some of these perks because we were getting engaged on the mighty might trail. We were expecting to be able to hike some of these trails but unfortunately they were all covered in snow and closed to the public. I know this is at no fault to the hotel but it made the price of the tram not worth the view for 20 minutes.
Overall, for the average person it just was very overly priced and not worth spending. All of our other hotels/air b&b's were better than this hotel throughout the trip and this was the most expensive. We did love our experience at 7 glaciers but again it is a very pricey restaurant and not reasonably priced for the average person.
Great way to start the great Alaskan adventure lol,,very clean, no bad smells. The Safe in the room is always a plus as I fear the cleaning lady will rob me,, really just came for the baked Alaska!!!!
My husband, in-laws, and I stayed in two rooms, and we couldn’t have been happier about the hotel.
Location: It’s about a 30-minute drive from the Anchorage airport, but the drive is amazing. Once you get out of the city, you drive along the coast and can see mountains, bald eagles, and other wildlife. We headed to Seward one day, and it was only about a 90-minute drive there (no traffic or construction).
Food: It’s a good thing their restaurants are tasty because there’s nowhere nearby to eat! We ate in the bar & grill the first night and the breakfast restaurant each morning. For breakfast, you could order off the menu or go for the $23 buffet, which included an omelet station and different offerings each day.
We took the tram to the Seven Glaciers restaurant at the top of the mountain for dinner, and it was wonderful. Service was a little iffy, but the food and view more than made up for it. The tram runs every 15 minutes and takes 6 minutes to make one ride up or down. Reservations are recommended at Seven Glaciers – they’re on OpenTable.
There’s also a Starbucks inside the hotel, which is next to a “grab and go” convenience-type store and on the same floor as a gift shop and outdoor gear shop.
Rooms: We had a great view of the mountains, and our room was incredibly spacious. Toiletries and amenities included shampoo, conditioner, bar soap, hair dryer, shower cap, slippers, safe, ironing board, desktop fan (which was great for white noise at night), and Do Not Disturb/Housekeeping buttons on the nightstand so you don’t have to fiddle with a placard on the doorknob. The curtains were also good at keeping out the light at night – we were there in June when it’s daylight nearly 24 hours straight.
Parking: We always found a spot in the parking lot, but sometimes we had to drive around a little.
Business center: There isn’t one, BUT there is a computer in the lobby where you can access the Internet and print documents. The wi-fi was also really strong in the rooms and on the property.
Animals: From his room, my father-in-law saw a black bear in the parking lot. There are a ton of trails around the property, and the property itself is pretty massive with sitting areas inside and outside, a lake, etc., so you never know what you’ll see!
The building is rustic and comfortable. The facility however is packed with tours and events. The result is overly intensive use. On the other hand it is the only game in town or many nearby towns. The beds were too soft for our comfort. There are hikes and tours but on a rainy day you will basically get a big hotel with lots of people. Good spa services. If you want the hotel restaurant book in advance.
If you want to get away from it all but not get away from it all -- this is the perfect place. You never have to leave the hotel ground. You can do hiking, biking, swimming and others. You can ride the tram up to the top of the mountain to enjoy the great view of the city of Girdwood and the Turnagain Arm. The trails are clearly marked and you can take it easy or challenge yourself (if you want to).