Four Big Alaska Hotel Developments

The Residence at Steamboat Bay has artisan handcrafted construction using island timbers, local stones and antique materials.
The Residence at Steamboat Bay has artisan handcrafted construction using island timbers, local stones and antique materials.

While the majority of visitors to Alaska last summer were cruise ship passengers, nearly 40 percent entered and exited the state via air, and others visited via highway or ferry. For clients seeking land adventures in Alaska this summer, here are some new and upgraded lodging options to consider.

For the 2015 summer season, the Steamboat Bay Fishing Club (SBFC) in Southeast Alaska is adding a new accommodation offering: The Residence at Steamboat Bay. Near Ketchikan, a 90-minute flight from Seattle, the new property will join The Lodge at Steamboat Bay, adding space for an additional eight guests and increasing the group guest count from 16 to 24.

The 2015 season, which runs from mid-June to mid-August, also brings to the club a new fishing fleet of custom-built 27-foot heated cabin cruisers, each equipped with a livewell and dual outboard engines. The new fleet provides guests with more deck space, an onboard head and satellite radio.

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The Residence at Steamboat Bay is adjacent to the original Lodge. Like the Lodge, the Residence has Native American artwork and artisan handcrafted construction using island timbers, local stones and antique materials reclaimed from the island’s original seafood cannery. The new Residence also has a transparent floor, showcasing views of the salmon stream that runs beneath the house, residential-style oceanfront and forest-view accommodations with en-suite bathrooms, a Great Room with a large wood-burning fireplace, and its own hot tub on the deck overlooking the bay.

Guests have complete access to the services and amenities at the nearby Lodge, including a made-to-order cocktail reception at the hosted open bar, Alaskan cuisine, bay kayaks, therapeutic massage and a sauna styled after a traditional Slavic banya. Opened in 2013, Steamboat Bay Fishing Club hosts novice and experienced anglers in salt-water Alaskan sport fishing. It is near fishing spots for wild Alaska king salmon (chinook), silver salmon (coho), halibut, lingcod, yelloweye rockfish and more than 20 other species. To ensure an exclusive experience for guests, Steamboat Bay Fishing Club will reserve the Residence for travelers who bring up to eight guests in addition to accommodating 16 at the Lodge.

The renovation at the Millennium Alaskan Hotel Anchorage is giving all 248 guest rooms a makeover with natural earth tones and a warm color scheme.
The renovation at the Millennium Alaskan Hotel Anchorage is giving all 248 guest rooms a makeover with natural earth tones and a warm color scheme.

The Millennium Alaskan Hotel Anchorage is preparing for the summer with an $8.3 million renovation. As part of the changes, all 248 guest rooms will undergo a transformation designed to evoke a high-end Alaskan lodge feel with natural earth tones and warm colors. These refurbishments, which will be unveiled this spring, follow recent upgrades to public spaces, including the outdoor deck at Lake Hood, which overlooks Lake Spenard, the world’s busiest floatplane lake.

Just a mile from Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and a 10-minute drive from the city’s downtown area, the Millennium is well situated for guests wishing to enjoy such nearby activities as fishing, hunting and hiking. Sunsets and natural Alaskan beauty are on view from the tables at the hotel’s Flying Machine Restaurant and Fancy Moose Lounge.

Of interest to ardent “green” travelers among your clientele, the 114-suite TownePlace Suites Anchorage Midtown opened this winter as Alaska’s first hotel to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. The property is being operated as a Marriott franchise, owned by Denali Land, LLC and managed by Stonebridge Companies of Denver.

Five miles from the airport, the hotel offers guests convenient access to the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, the Alaska Railroad Train to Denali National Park and the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Guests and staff interact using a floor-to-ceiling TowneMap that helps guests find restaurants, popular night spots, recreation areas and shopping locales. Guests can enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast served every morning in the lobby area.

Suitable for families and extended-stay travelers, TownePlace Suites Anchorage Midtown offers studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom suites with fully equipped kitchens, as well as separate living/working and sleeping areas. Most rooms also contain a Home Office Suite. Other hotel amenities include an indoor pool and hot tub, 24-hour exercise room, free Wi-Fi and onsite business services. The hotel is also pet-friendly; fees may apply.

For clients who perhaps didn’t get enough winter these last few months, the Chena Hot Springs Resort, 60 miles outside of Fairbanks, is touting its onsite Aurora Ice Museum, the largest such year-round environment in the world. Tours of the perpetually 25-degree (Fahrenheit) museum are offered five times daily. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for children ages six to 17; those five and under get in free with a paying adult. Parkas are provide free of charge. The Aurora Ice Bar, with caribou-fur-covered stools, is open to guests 21 and older.

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