Anchorage's sprawling development has its detractors but the town's natural setting is unquestionably beautiful with the Alaska and Chugach Ranges rising in the distance. The compact downtown area abuts the blue waters of the Cook Inlet. The luxurious Captain Cook Hotel located downtown during Alaska's early days of oil prosperity, and many hotels followed. Today, visitors to downtown Anchorage can choose among posh, standard and less expensive accommodations--or opt for something with a little charm.
The Anchorage Grand enjoys a central, downtown location, near the coastal trail, museums and the Captain Cook Hotel. It is a hop, skip and a jump from the train station, a major advantage for travelers, but potentially disruptive to light sleepers. The rooms are older, but very large, with separate living rooms and well-equipped kitchens. Amenities include multiple televisions per suite, high-speed internet access, a business center with copy machine and fax, plus complimentary breakfast and newspaper.
Big Chain Hotels
The Anchorage Marriott Downtown offers typically anonymous well-appointed accommodations accompanied by a spectacular view of Cook Inlet and the mountains. A block from the Captain Cook, it shares the safety and convenience of the central location. The spacious, comfortable rooms offer no hint of local charm or Alaska ambiance. The Sheraton Anchorage Hotel is on the other side of downtown. Its $20 million remodel in 2008 gave the big, comfortable rooms more spin, but the in-room fan system -- an active air flow above the door -- is noisy and cannot be turned off.
The Extended Stay Deluxe Hotel is on the very border of downtown, necessitating a short walk to restaurants and museums, but it offers basic accommodations at low prices. The hotel pays your taxi from the airport, allows pets, offers a free continental breakfast and provides spacious rooms with full kitchens. But no charm or luxury is included, and you will pay for WiFi and parking.
The original Anchorage Hotel was built decades before Alaska became a state, and for many years it was the only fancy place in town. The 1989 renovation upgraded accommodations but retained old-world charm. Friendly, clean and comfortable, the Historic Anchorage Hotel shares the street with bars that get noisy at night. Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, it is the only hotel in Anchorage that contains a continuing log of ghost sightings by guests.
- Chugach Mountains image by Robert Ulph from Fotolia.com