Just after visiting the beautiful Nita Lake Lodge, our personal favorite in Vancouver, we were craving another resort stay. Being that I have temporarily relocated to Alaska, we decided that we would welcome the fearsome Alaskan winter at another Ski Resort, Alyeska. First off, the name sounds cool. Secondly, the scenic drive along Seward Highway is breathtaking and as a photographer, it presented ample opportunities for beautiful shots. In fact, it’s similar to the drive from Vancouver to Whistler. However, the drive is only 45 minutes (to an hour depending if you stop for photos or food) from Anchorage which would make it about an hour drive directly from the Airport (ANC).
Alyeska Resort is located in the town of Girdwood and is open year round for both summer and winter season. The lifts, however, close a certain time of year in preparation for each season. If you aren’t a skier or biker, there are three national parks within driving distance from Alyeska: Kenai Fjords National Park, Katmailand National Park, and Portage Glacier. Okay, that last one wasn’t a national park but it sure is beautiful! But there is the Chugach National Forest just south of the Glacier if you really want to see another national park.
Spa: Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to the spa for recover after all day on the slopes. The Spa at Alyeska offers facials, massages, Vichy, body treatments, salon services, and private parties. We will be sure to add this to our to-do list! More info here.
Pool & Whirlpool: Mountain view saltwater pools and jacuzzi’s, what a wonderful place to be. More info about their pool here.
The Aerial Tram: A quick three-to-seven minute ride, depending on load-capacity, to Alyeska’s peak where you can see what seems to be endless, weather permitting. More info and schedule here.
Lastly, there is also Fitness Center that offers all your wants and needs when it comes to staying in shape while on trips!
Summer Activities – Alyeska offers a load of summer activities along the slopes or around the surrounding area. BIKE OR HIKE up Alyeska’s North Face Trail, or just roam around Girdwood; it’s Alaska after all, nature is quite literally, everywhere! Be careful of wildlife, like bears or moose. As stated before, THE TRAM offers bright and beautiful views for both winter and summer (perfect for the photographer, excellent for family photos). If you prefer to brave the chilly waters (yes, it’s still cold in summer) there is KAYAKING AND WILDLIFE VIEWING BOAT CRUISES. Last but not least, ALASKAN HELICOPTER & FLIGHTSEEING TOURS – something we will be jumping on the next chance we get! For more info on summer activities click here.
Winter Activities – Although Alyeska is the premier ski resort in Alaska, you don’t have to be a snowboarder or skier to enjoy all the activities it offers! In fact, there are more things to do in the winter than summer: Take your SNOWBOARD/SKI experience to the next level via helicopter or just take a scenic HELICOPTER RIDE. If you prefer to be on the ground, safe and sound but still love to adventure into nature, SNOWSHOES and CROSS COUNTRY SKI’S are available to rent where you can choose to have a tour guide or to simply wander on your own. Lastly, they also offer SNOWMOBILE tours – awesome! For a more comprehensive look at all the winter activities click here.
After all those activities, your body will be screaming at you for nutrients. Alyeska offers a variety of eateries ranging from decadent restaurants to bars or cafes. Our personal favorite was a sushi spot called Sakura Restaurant. We loved it so much we ate there twice! For higher-end dining, there is Pond Steakhouse. If you feel more inclined to the best, head to the peak of Alyeska to dine at Seven Glaciers, AAA Four Diamond award-winning mountain-top restaurant.
And of course, there is always the option of in-room dining. For more info on food choices, click here.
We booked the deluxe rooms. Alyeska offers a standard room, deluxe room, summit room, junior suites, townhouse suites, and a royal suite. Check out the floor plans, here. For a standard room, it’s either one king bed or two double beds. Every room also has its room amenities:
Bathrobes, slippers and heated towel rack
Lighted makeup mirror, hairdryer, iron and ironing board
Bedside Do-Not-Disturb control
Complimentary bottled water
In-room free wireless internet
Mini refrigerator and in-room coffee maker featuring
MP3 clock radio
Our stay at Alyeska Resort was one for the books. We had an amazing time with the entire family! We will definitely be back soon.
For more information on Alyeska Resort, visit here.