When my friends Brandon and Jill visited from Washington State, a primary purpose of their trip was to “get good pictures.” Ah, photographers, can’t take a break for anything. Anyway, I figured the best shot they’d get at nonstop picture taking was naturally at Alyeska Resort, so I set them up with a room and a few excursions. Because I wasn’t staying for the night (sometimes you gotta take one for the team), I headed home hoping that their visit would go well. It wasn’t long before I got a few texts from Jill: “Everything here is amazing! The dry sauna is our favorite so far, but the king size bed is a close second!” She told me that Brandon was already out wandering around to get some pictures and that she’d opted to hang in the room and relax.
We had planned to reconnect the next day in mid-afternoon for our next activity, but Brandon and Jill got too wrapped up in all the stuff there is to do in Girdwood and ended up spending most of the day there, having a great time. I’ll let Brandon tell you more about their day: -Jill
We had already enjoyed a great hike on the Winner Creek trail and dinner at a local restaurant, but I was excited to check out the hotel. Upon our arrival I was very impressed with the exterior upkeep of the grounds and building. The gardens were flourishing and well taken care of. There were concrete statues, a large pond and maintained gravel walkways around the building. I loved the nice globe style fire pit outside the main entrance, which kept us warm as we socialized while waiting for our ride.
Checking into the hotel was a breeze. We were greeted by hotel staff upon entering the front doors and guided to the front desk. The entry was spacious with several couches and chairs, of which several guests were taking advantage of in order to enjoy the view of the incredible diorama on the ceiling. A polar bear scene depicted amongst shimmering stars and simulated aurora! So cool!
We tore ourselves away from the mesmerizing light show and checked in at the desk. After signing a few papers, we recieved our keys and were off to our room. The rooms were very spacious and on the 7th floor we had a great view of the mountains and valley. There was a nice flatscreen TV, comfortable chairs, large closets and plenty of floor space for any extra gear. The bathrooms were cleaned and stocked with all necessary items. The beds were very soft and we enjoyed a great night’s sleep.
After a few days of hiking we decided it was time for some relaxation in the hot tub. The pool area was very clean. Hotel staff greeted us and we checked in. The hot tub was hot and very relaxing. The dry sauna was amazing.
Outside the hotel was very quiet and comfortable. The trails were gravel and well maintained. There were so many options for outdoor activities; we really needed more than one day. Summer activites of hiking, biking, running, walking, helicpoter rides, para gliding and so much more. It was really hard to decide!
We took the tram to the top of the mountain. The air was clean and the views were great. There was a nice gift shop and lots of well maintained hiking trails. We had actually come up the day before for some hiking with Jill, but it was so beautiful up there that we decided to take another trip up top. We could see the huge network of mountain biking trails spreading out across the bowl – next time we’ll have to try that!
The resort has a backwoods setting with many other activites, gift shops and restaurants within a mile or two; an easy walk or bike ride. One of our favorite perks as guests of the Resort were the town bikes, free for guests. Our host Jill (not my wife Jill, I know, confusing) was envious of the Kona Africa bikes we were given for the day. It’s not like Host Jill needs more bikes though (just saying). Anyway, as we left the hotel on our Africa bikes, we immediately encountered a young black bear just munching peacefully on some dandelions. We loved the sight of this relaxed young bear—evidently a common sight in Girdwood.
The bikes were fun and we enjoyed a nice ride into town before heading up to Crow Creek Mine for the rest of the day, where we panned for gold and enjoyed even more amazing scenery.
I was very impressed with my stay at Alyeska Resort. The resort has respectful courteous staff, a nice location, and is extremly clean. The resort was quiet, peacful and there was an array of outdoor activites for all ages.