15 Top-Rated Resorts in Alaska
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Still wild, Alaska may be known as the "Last Great Frontier," but the state is also home to a varied selection of hotels and resorts that cater to all styles of travelers in many budgets. Whether you are headed to Alaska with the family in the summer to photograph wildlife, like bear and moose, and are looking for a hotel that can help arrange an excursion, or you are on a romantic honeymoon but looking for adventure, or you just want to ski the wilderness in winter, Alaska offers both incredible destinations and lodging.
Resorts are scattered across this vast, still sparsely populated state, but a number are concentrated in tourist hot spots, like Homer, which is famed for its bear viewing; Anchorage, which is Alaska's largest city, with easy access to the legendary Denali (Mt. McKinley); and Ketchikan, a gateway to the beautiful Inside Passage in Southeast Alaska.
When you visit Alaska, however, the time of year will greatly influence what kind of trip you have. In the winter, many areas are extremely cold (Fairbanks often sees temperatures as low as -50 degrees Fahrenheit) and snowy. Access can be difficult. During winter, you can also expect very little daylight. That said, winters can be magical, especially if you want to experience the northern lights (also known as the aurora borealis) that can be viewed from a number of Alaskan destinations.
Summer is the high season, when temperatures warm up, ice melts in waterways, roads become accessible, and daylight is plentiful.
Find a great place to stay in this wild and rugged state with our list of the best resorts in Alaska.
1. Hotel Alyeska
Accommodation: Hotel Alyeska
In Girdwood, this luxe ski resort property has the vibe of a classic European chateau and is surrounded by towering mountains. Aleyeska is a top ski resort in Alaska and the largest in the state.
Rooms and suites are well-appointed, and even the rooms have sitting areas and, often, mountain views. The suites come in a few different sizes, and the best have loft bedrooms with stunning views.
On-site amenities include a number of restaurants, an indoor saltwater swimming pool and hot tub, a spa, and even an aerial scenic tram. Activities from disc golf to glacier Jet Skiing can be arranged depending on the season.
2. Pearson's Pond Luxury Inn & Adventure Spa
Accommodation: Pearson's Pond Luxury Inn & Adventure Spa
On the water in Juneau, Pearson's Pond Luxury Inn & Adventure Spa is a beautifully appointed bed-and-breakfast that offers stunning views and cozy, elegant rooms, along with a delicious home-cooked breakfast. They also provide impeccable service, and plenty of activities are included in the rates.
Many rooms feature balconies facing the water, with opportunities to look for wildlife day and night. On-site amenities include multiple hot tubs, a sauna, and garden area with a waterfall. There is also a spa on-site.
3. The Hotel Captain Cook
Accommodation: The Hotel Captain Cook
Hotel Captain Cook is in a great downtown Anchorage location just a few blocks from the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. One of the city's most luxe properties, it covers 20 floors of a high-rise building and offers 546 rooms and 86 suites that are all clean and comfortable, with down comforters, quality linens, and an 18th-century traditional-meets-modern design.
There are a few different dining options on-site: Crow's Nest is the signature restaurant. The four-diamond fine-dining establishment serves French and New American fare with stunning views across Anchorage, the Cook Inlet, and Chugach Mountains. There is also a health club with a workout room, an indoor swimming pool, a sauna, and hot tub. The property works well for families or couples.
4. Summit Lake Lodge
Accommodation: Summit Lake Lodge
Located in the middle of the gorgeous Kenai Peninsula, Summit Lake Lodge re-opens for the 2022 season in May. Set on pristine Summit Lake and surrounded by mountains, the four-star property is family owned and operated. The serene setting allows you to relax in the Alaskan wilderness while experiencing the modern conveniences of home.
There are 16 cabins and six historic hotel rooms to choose from. Cabins have either mountain, lake, or woods views, and come in a number of shapes and sizes. The Lake Front Cabins are designed for couples and have just one king-sized log bed. At 610 square feet, they are the largest and most luxe of the cabin accommodations. Each one features a private deck with views. A three-night minimum stay is required.
The Mountain Cabins here are a great-value choice and can sleep up to four people in two queen-size log beds or one king bed and a futon. They are popular with families, although there is an extra $30 per night fee for more than two guests. A two night minimum stay is also required.
Breakfast is complimentary, and other meals can be taken at the lodge's restaurant. Many guests also take advantage of the resort's various packages that can include meals and activities like float trips or drift fishing.
5. Homer Inn & Spa
Accommodation: Homer Inn & Spa
In a beautiful location, on a bluff fronting Kachemak Bay, Homer Inn & Spa is a quaint inn with a mix of rooms and suites that all face the ocean. These are done up in warm colors and feel very spacious. All come with amenities like kitchenettes and sea views from private balconies. The one-bedroom suites feature even more room with a living area as well as a full deck.
On-site amenities include a hot tub and options to arrange for massage treatments. There is no restaurant on-site, but it is easy to access the many dining options in the town of Homer. The hotel can arrange bear viewing trips, which is one of this region's top outdoor experiences.
6. Homer Ocean House Inn Hotel and Condos
Accommodation: Homer Ocean House Inn Hotel and Condos
In Homer, which is known for its wilderness access and wildlife, the Homer Ocean House Inn Hotel and Condos sits on Kachemak Bay and is a laid-back, beachfront spot with a number of room sizes and styles that ultimately work well, whether you're on a romantic getaway or family vacation. Check out the spacious condos with full kitchens if you're traveling with kids or want to cook for yourself.
On-site amenities include a private beach, two hot tubs, bird and wildlife viewing decks with wood furniture, and a kid's playground. There is not a restaurant at the property, but the staff can recommend many nearby dining establishments, just ask at the front desk.
7. Waterfall Resort Alaska
Accommodation: Waterfall Resort Alaska
The Waterfall Resort Alaska is a legendary sportfishing lodge near the state's famed Inside Passage that can only be accessed by float plane or boat from Ketchikan in Southeast Alaska. The property is on 52-acre Prince of Wales Island and is known for its wild king and silver salmon, halibut, and lingcod fishing, among other species.
Choose from historic lodge rooms, cabins, or family-sized townhouses, although know the focus here is on fishing and not luxury. All rates include meals and fishing adventures.
8. Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge
Accommodation: Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge
Located south of Denali National Park, near the Chulitna River, Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge is a wonderful back-to-nature retreat. The lodge features accommodation in rooms with either double queen beds or a king bed, as well as high ceilings and sitting areas in buildings nestled into the hillside.
On-site amenities include the stunning Great Room, which is home to floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto Denali and the Alaska Range, as well as cozy seating and tables for board games. There are also multiple restaurants on-site.
9. The Lakefront Anchorage
Accommodation: The Lakefront Anchorage
The Lakefront Anchorage is on the east shore of Lake Hood and features an elegant look, with clean and modern rooms boasting views and comfortable pillow-top mattresses; mini-fridges; coffee makers; and, in the best rooms, jetted tubs and fireplaces.
Away from the rooms, you'll find on-site amenities like a fine-dining restaurant fronting the water and a more casual grill on the lake, as well as a private floatplane dock, gym, and a business center. The hotel also serves as the official headquarters for Alaska's famed 1,000-mile dogsled race, the Iditarod.
10. River's Edge Resort
Accommodation: River's Edge Resort
This property in Fairbanks sits right on the river and is seasonal. It offers a range of sleeping options, from traditional hotel rooms that are clean and comfortable and mostly come with some kind of view to the charming cottages with private patios, the best of which have direct river views.
Chena's Alaskan Grill is the on-site restaurant. It is open for lunch and dinner and does American fare with a focus on locally sourced fish. It also offers a kids' menu and has a terrace facing the river.
11. Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
Accommodation: Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
Perched atop a bluff, the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge looks directly out to Denali (Mt. McKinley) and the entire Alaska Range. If it's clear out, you can expect extraordinary panoramic views from the viewing deck, restaurants, and mountain-facing rooms.
The design is elegant Alaskan, with plenty of local materials incorporated into the design. The property is spread across five buildings and 35 acres, giving it a true wilderness vibe. On-site amenities include a few restaurants, a fitness facility, gift shop, and free shuttle into the town of Talkeetna just a few minutes away.
12. Sheep Mountain Lodge
Accommodation: Sheep Mountain Lodge
Sheep Mountain Lodge is open year-round for sleeping, although the excellent restaurant, known for its delicious home-cooked and often locally sourced meals, is only open in the summer. The small property features just 11 contemporary, handcrafted wood cabins in a few different sizes that overlook the beautiful Matanuska River Valley.
They also have a separate guesthouse, which has three budget rooms with a shared bath. A number of tours can be arranged from the property that vary by season but include everything from guided snowmobiling in winter to berry picking in summer.
13. Land's End Resort
Accommodation: Land's End Resort
Like its name implies, Land's End Resort feels like staying at the ends of the Earth. Located at the top of the Homer Spit, outside the town of Homer, it features phenomenal views from the rooms, outdoor viewing deck, and on-site restaurant.
The restaurant here, The Chart Room, is well-known even if you aren't staying at the property. It offers an innovative seasonal menu with local produce paired with stunning Kachemak Bay views.
Land's End has 84 rooms and suites that almost all come with water views from private balconies. The property also offers luxe two- to four-bedroom beachfront homes that work well for families. Other on-site amenities include an indoor lap pool, hot tub, sauna, and workout room.
14. Inn at Creek Street
Accommodation: Inn at Creek Street
In the southeastern Alaska gateway town of Ketchikan, the Inn at Creek Street is inside a 1924 clapboard building on a waterfront street that looks out at the Thomas Basin Harbor. The location is great, within walking distance of museums, shops, and restaurants, and is also only a few miles from the airport.
The hotel features rooms done up in Alaska country decor that all have a homey vibe to them. The best come with lovely views across the harbor. On-site amenities include a casual restaurant, local shuttle service, and options to arrange tours and activities.
15. Driftwood Inn & Homer Seaside Lodges
Accommodation: Driftwood Inn & Homer Seaside Lodges
The Driftwood Inn & Homer Seaside Lodges is an economical choice in Old Town Homer. It offers accommodations in a variety of budgets and sizes. For the most inexpensive rooms, book the Driftwood Inn section, which offers basic rooms with shared bathrooms.
The Homer Season Lodges are more upmarket and modern, with classy decor and private bathrooms. Some also have full kitchens. There is a communal kitchen for self-catering but no restaurant on-site. The resort also offers barbecue grills and a playground, and fishing charters or guided hikes can be arranged.