July 2012, I won an employee award which sent me from Sydney to Hotel Alyeska. Long flight via Vancouver. I had my misgivings before I arrived, stupid things like where do i eat and do laundry, what do they eat, it is summer, what do you do, they shoort bears etc. I booked a limo to pick us up from the airport and a Ford van came. So tip to you guys, when you book transfer, make sure you confirm and re-confirm. If they show up in a vehicle less than what you ordered, make a fuss. I did and i got my money back. That aside, that 40 minute ride is absolutely beautiful as you skirt the sounds and forest on the way to Alyeska. The lobby is eccentric to say the least with a stuffed polar bear overlooking the foyer. I was part of a 300 strong corporate group so, the check in was quite efficient. I asked for a high room and we got 8th floor overlooking the carpark. Misgiving #2, oh no, carpark, that means i will hear tour buses, cars and what-nots throughout the day. Wrong. It was quiet. Misgiving #3: there is nothing to do. There is plenty to do. Went to the conservation centre (more of that in another review), took long walks around the resort and off the resort. Walked to Girdwood, walked to Bakehouse, went up the mountain on the cable car, soaked at the most gorgeous hot tub. I had a lunch at the Aurora Bar & Grill which is nothing to write home too. Take the shuttle into town and try the myriad of cafes+restaurants there. Really really good food.
Also ate at Seven Glaciers (as part of the award). Apparently, it is very expensive to eat up there. The journey up there is quite spectacular. The food is, well, ok. Again, go into town.
There is a complimentary shuttle which runs in a circuit, I think from memory, it goes around every 40 minutes. Make sure you get the time right, and if you happen the only person in the bus, tell the driver that you intend to come back at a specific time. My first time in town, the driver, kid you not, drove past me and when he came around 1 hour later, he thought i was "standing around". Right.
To the rooms: we had a HUGE room with 2 x queen beds. The bathroom is split: one toilet closet and one shower+bath. I can imagine this place can be so cozy during ski season. If you are tired from all the walking, just chill in your room. All rooms have views of the mountains.
So, have i changed my mind about "The Shining" ? No, it is a scary/weird film. Have I changed my mind about Girdwood? Oh yes indeed.