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“Chena Hot Springs, Alaska” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Chena Hot Springs Resort

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Chena Hot Springs Resort
2.5 of 5 Resort   |   56.5 mile Chena Hot Springs Rd., Pleasant Valley, AK 99711   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Pleasant Valley
Nelson, Canada
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Chena Hot Springs, Alaska”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

After reading some reviews of Chena Hot Springs we had some concerns, and thought we might duck out of the place even tho we had paid. Well we could not have been more pleased. We chose the newer building, a slight upgrade and it was a lovely room, and the reception desk could not have been more helpful. The grounds were pleasant, and we did the tour in the evening of the Igloo Ice palace.
We ate several meals at the very pleasant restaurant, and again just great staff. Some in our party went in the hotsprings and we toured it, and it was a terrific setting. We ended up in Fairbanks the next two nights and wished we could have stayed longer at Chena Hot Springs instead. The drive in was full of muskeg and we saw several moose and enjoyed the vistas around the place a great deal. I would recommend this place highly.

Room Tip: I did not see the older building but I highly recommend the minimal charge for upgrading to the newe...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (69)
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Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

We came to Chena Hot Springs just for the ice hotel and the power plant/hydroponic tour. Otherwise, the resort is not all that to look at besides the springs (basically a big swimming pool with a waterfall). For us, it was a good opportunity to show the kids that you can be in the middle of nowhere and with a little bit of ingenuity you can make electricity from water, power the entire area and even grow vegetables when it is -40 outside. At first, we had planned on staying there for a night, I am kind of glad we did not.

The 60 mile drive was not bad at all, very scenic actually. The common areas of the resort are rustic yet nicely taken care of, with beautiful flowers everywhere. Inside the buildings, it quickly gets very dated and sad looking. I understand weather conditions are very harsh in that area, but inside amenities would benefit from a little face lift! I am pretty sure it is the same for the hotel rooms. The building hosting them sadly has a dormitory feel. So if you are looking for a nice fluffy bed, I don't think you will find it there. If you don't mind roughing it a little, then you will probably be fine. It is nice to be near the hot springs though. Only adults are allowed. There is a small inside pool for the kids (very chlorinated). Honestly, the main reason we didn't stay was that the kids would not have been able to swim in the main pool anyway. Talking about the water, it does have a very strong sulfurous taste. If you come with kids and they have never tasted "smelly" water, you may want to bring your own. We were prepared and had taken enough water bottles for our baby... but even adults may be a little turned off by the taste. If I was to stay there, I would definitely want to bring water. We ate at the restaurant and had a few glasses... it was just enough for me! We had a nice meal there, nothing fancy but better than expected. The server we had was very good. The power plant and greenhouse tour guide was great too. Otherwise the rest of the staff seemed either bored or not really enjoying what they were doing. Maybe it is that all sad and dated atmosphere that got to them? Or maybe they are just reserved in nature... Who know! It was kind of bizarre. But at the same time, they leave you alone and free to look around.

Overall the resort is a nice place to stroll around. We even saw a few moose coming down the mountain to drink at the ponds. The barbeque shaped like a dragon is fun to see, they have a nice playground for the kids, but overall the entire resort look and feel a little tired. It was a great day trip but I would not want to stay unless I had a very good chance of seeing the aurora borealis. This resort has potential but it needs some life put into it!!!

Room Tip: Good day trip but don't expect "resort" accommodation there. The area where the hotel...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Neenah, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

We snagged a great room rate at the resort and we quickly found out why. The building we were in was old and in urgent need of updating. The stairwell was poorly lit, the screen entry door did not shut tight allowing the hungry mosquitoes inside. The room itself was very dated with stained carpet and top bedcovers....looked like a room after a party where they couldn't scrub all the stains out. Or didnt try.
The resort itself had beautiful grounds with abundant flowers. The hot springs were fun. If you like resorts, Chena has a lot to offer for activities.

Room Tip: Pay the premium rate for a room in one of their newer buildings.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Latham, New York
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

While visiting Fairbanks, we decided to take a trip to Chena Hot Springs. We really enjoyed his site. The road to the springs actually ends there, and the area is very remote. This is a resort, but we only visited to check out the springs. However, the resort itself is very nice. There are flowers everywhere, and the landscaping is beautiful. The springs themselves are wonderfully relaxing - and hot! We also had a nice lunch at the restaurant. I would recommend this as a day trip if visiting the Fairbanks area.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Los Angeles, CA.
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

Along with a trip to the Arctic Circle, this made including Fairbanks on our itinerary that much more worthwhile....but then, we love hot springs!

This place reminded us a lot of Furnace Creek Ranch in Death Valley, CA. in terms of its remoteness, self-contained ambiance, relaxed vibe, and of course, the excellent mineral water to soak in. The trip from Fairbanks is beautiful (but what isn't in Alaska??), easily doable on a well maintained road. The grounds are beautifully maintained, routinely visited by moose at dusk who come to drink at the pond (elsewhere in Alaska, we got only distant views of them), overflowing with lush flowers during our July visit (raised in their own on-premises, geothermal greenhouses, along with vegetables used in their restaurant---highly recommended, by the way, for one of the most flavorful salads I've ever had, as well as a good selection of Alaska's excellent beers, and an interesting and friendly bartending staff). There is also a reindeer pen on the extensive grounds, and other attractions.

The outdoor hot springs pool is lovely (one of the best I've seen, and I've seen a lot of them), with outstanding water quality and plenty hot enough, with a nice water spout to pound your back with, and well maintained changing rooms. Could use a few more places to sit in when it's crowded, and not everyone follows the request to keep the pool a quiet place of relaxation, but these are nits. The indoor pool pales in comparison, but then, why wouldn't it when you can sit outside basking in the beauty? It must be quite amazing in the winter (or eating fresh veggies from the geothermal greenhouses!).

The room are what you would expect for a remote, self contained place like this (read: pricey for what you get, but check for frequent online deals): Perfectly adequate and comfortable enough, but if you're looking for luxury, why are you here? The buildings are well maintained and clean, and the front desk staff are quirky and informative. The history and geothermal energy aspects of the operation are well worth checking out also. Overall, well worth the extra time and expense to visit!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

The lodge wasn't all that remarkable but it was clean. The resort was great! During the Ice Museum Tour we took a lot of photos and enjoyed a couple of Martinis at the ice bar. The soak in the springs was lovely. There are a lot of activities available which my boyfriend says reminded him of the resort in Dirty Dancing.

Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Honolulu, Hawaii
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013

We had the fortunate experience of living in Alaska for 2 years. (in Anchorage) Before we moved away we took a trip to Fairbanks & the surrounding areas. We stayed one night at Chena Hot Springs Resort & we are so thankful that we chose to do so!

While the rooms themselves aren't top-notch by any means they were still clean and comfortable. Besides, you're not really paying for the room... You're paying for the experience of the Springs and gorgeous views.

Swimming/relaxing in the Hot Springs was surreal. This was our first time ever being in a natural hot spring & the experience was unbeatable. The water was crystal clear and it just took our breath away to look around at the mountains surrounding us. The pool inside the facility (which is also fed by the spring) was also a plus. Our children were able to swim in that part, so they were able to have fun too.

We took a tour of the Ice Museum which was probably one of the best experiences I've ever had in my life, hands down. It was beautiful, fascinating, magical, & every other fluffy adjective in the dictionary. If I ever have the chance to go back to this wonderful place I will most definitely pay to spend the night inside the Ice Museum. I think that would be really neat!

Overall, just a great place. Made me love and appreciate Alaska even more.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Chena Hot Springs Resort

Address: 56.5 mile Chena Hot Springs Rd., Pleasant Valley, AK 99711
Location: United States > Alaska > Pleasant Valley
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Pleasant Valley
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Chena Hot Springs Resort 2.5*
Also Known As:
Chena Hot Springs Hotel Pleasant Valley
Chena Hot Springs Resort Alaska/Pleasant Valley

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