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“Clean, quiet hotel with inconsistent staff” 4 of 5 stars
Review of BEST WESTERN PLUS Chena River Lodge

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BEST WESTERN PLUS Chena River Lodge
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   1255 TVSA Way, Fairbanks, AK 99706   |  
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Ranked #3 of 24 Hotels in Fairbanks
Certificate of Excellence 2014
GreenLeadersBronze level
Saint Louis Park, Minnesota
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
“Clean, quiet hotel with inconsistent staff”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2011

We spent two nights at this hotel at the end of our Alaskan vacation.

Our room was immaculately clean - the bathroom was spotless!

Although the hotel is located near the airport, and close to two major highways, aircraft and road noise were not a problem. The location was excellent - within five minutes of the airport, and ten minutes of most of Fairbanks' attractions.

Even though it's daylight almost 24 hours a day in the summer, the curtains on our room were heavy enough that we could make our room completely dark when we wanted to sleep.

Breakfast was adequate - several choices, but definitely not as nice as the breakfast at a Hampton Inn.

This hotel does not have a shuttle bus for guests. If you need transportation to / from the airport or the train station, the hotel gives you a voucher for cab fare, that you give to your driver. The hotel pays for cab fare, but not the tip.

Several taxi companies serve Fairbanks. When we made our reservation, we were not told that the hotel only has contracts with two of these companies. Fortunately, I called the hotel to verify arrangements when our train arrived, and the night manager told me which cabs I could use. It would have been very frustrating to have taken a cab from the wrong company, and not be reimbursed for it.

I also felt that some of the front desk staff were less helpful than others.

Despite these concerns, I still recommend this property, It is a clean hotel, in a good location, and also was a good value.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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471 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (95)
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English first
Fairbanks, Alaska
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2011

Very convenient to the airport and they will come and pick you up or pay for your cab ride. Attentive staff. On a quiet corner but right across the street from Fred Meyer (Wal Mart type store). Back side rooms face the forest and 3rd floor is very quiet. Plenty of parking if your drive. Rooms are spacious with fridge and coffee maker. Pleasant breakfast area with hot entrées . Relatively new property.

Room Tip: As for room on 3rd floor away from elevator.
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2011

We arrived in Fairbanks on the first leg of our Alaska holiday having rented a car at the airport. This hotel is on the way into town and easy to find. Even better it is directly across the road from two huge stores that sell everything from food to clothes to anything else you need which was good as it was 30 deg C when we got there and we needed cooler clothes. Easy parking, good value rooms. We ate at a diner about a kilometer away in University Drive called Oasis which was a bit of fun, no chefs hats but great food cheap and a bit of Fairbanks atmosphere

  • Stayed May 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2011

We enjoyed a 4 day stay at the Best Western Chena River Lodge to attend my niece's Univ. of Alaska graduation in May 2011. We had been looking forward to our first visit to Fairbanks.

We used TripAdvisor to help select our hotel and trust me, this website is the best. All pictures and information were 100% accurate and we appreciate all past guests that have posted pictures to help make our selection. It really looked exactly as it has been reviewed.

Overall - we were OK with our stay at the hotel and would stay here again.

The Positive: The hotel is a VERY easy drive from the airport and quite close. We were thankful for this when we arrived from 18 hours of travel from Washington DC. It is also near shopping at Fred Meyer (a Target/Walmart/Carrefour/Tesco type store from the US West Coast), a major grocery store (Safeway) and a restaurants. Overall - a great spot outside the city and convenient to everything we needed.

The room was exactly as pictured and the quality of the TV and bed were fantastic. The beds are pretty soft and I loved it! My sister was traveling with me and was not as big of fan of the comfy bed - so if you are in need of a firm hard bed, you might want to ask for that at check in. Otherwise, the beds are fantastic with soft fluffy comfort.

Our bathroom was a little odd shaped, with no bathtub. BUT - we both enjoyed the large comfortable shower. The sink was outside the toilet/shower area and right next to the door to the hotel hallway. Basically, if you were brushing your teeth and your partner was going to leave - you are standing right there for all to see. Since we were by the elevator - a whole family got to see my foaming mouth and me in my boxer shorts brushing my teeth when my sister went to the breakfast.

The check in service was great at 1AM - we were so tired that we may have slept through the process, but it was fine. The included breakfast was good too. Most hotels in this market of hotels are now offering "breakfast" and it can be hit or miss. For us - the breakfast was great with both cold and hot choices. My only suggestion is to get there before the "rush" of 8AM because you may not get a seat. The employees at the breakfast were great too - each day we had somebody different and each were helpful and friendly.

The Negative - The Housekeeping staff appear to be on a quota and time metric. Meaning - it is quite obvious that they will get some type of incentive of a bonus of either money or time off if they finish all cleaning by a certain time. Additionally - we had arrived from Washington DC at 1AM in the morning. Not only did we just experience 18 hours of travel, but we were dealing with jet lag too. We were not ready for the room to be cleaned when the housekeeping staff caught us in the hall going to get a vending machine soda. We let them know that we may not leave the room until 2PM. They told us that they had to "get in there to make sure we did not smoke in the room".

WHAT??? I have never heard anything like this before and figured out immediately that they must be getting a commission on locating and reporting to Hotel Management any guest who smoked in the room. When you check in they make you sign a document that they will fine you $250 if you smoke in the room. Neither of us smoke so the "jackpot fine" for housekeeping was not imposed. Housekeeping must think they are in Vegas during the minus 40 below winters when smokers smoke in the room and getting HUGE bonus for turning in smokers. OH - I forgot too that after we left at 2PM and came back at 8PM - they had not cleaned the room. We had to call for clean towels.

The other "tacky" housekeeping shenanigans was the fact that when they cleaned our room on the second day - they left a gratuity envelope in the room to make sure we knew to leave a "tip" for the housekeeping staff - with instructions on how to leave a tip. Maybe I have not stayed at enough Best Westerns in my past - but that just reeks of desperation and whereas, I normally leave a gratuity for housekeeping - I did not after this.

Finally - We recognize that the hotel must have a great deal of guests who come, stay and then don't pay their bills. We figured this out very quickly since at check in the hotel states they are putting holds on your credit/debit cards for their fees right at check in. I have never seen that before too and I travel extensively for my work. That should have been a red flag for the types of guests they attract.

I think the hotel needs to find a different way to address their issue of guests not paying, without treating EVERY guest as if they are a criminal or unethical by going to "sleep and dash" away from the hotel. I really disliked this point with the hotel. At check out - I had used a normal AMEX for the reservation and wanted to use a different reward card at check out. Well - that was impossible to change since the hotel had already ran and charged my AMEX card before I even got to the check out desk. They informed me it would be very difficult to call and cancel the charges so I was stuck. No problem - just odd.

So - as others have stated - they have a real issue with charging and managing the billing system at the hotel. I don't know if that is a management issue or they have many "stay and dash" thefts at the hotel and this is the only way to combat them getting ripped off.

As I stated - I have NEVER been to a hotel so worried about the guests ripping off and/or not paying their bills.

Even with all of that - the rooms themselves are great, the location is convenient and we would even stay there again.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nampa, Idaho
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2011

I checked in on Easter Sunday and because I was staying for three weeks the cherk authorized my gov credit card for the stay. Then she ran card again and said it was declined. The next day I told the clerk that my card had been authorized once and the ran again for over two thousand dollars. the second time it was declined. Then my own personal checking account was charge for over eighteen hundred dollars. I cgot the manager and she ran my gov card again and authorized another two thousand dollars on it. I had over six thousand dollars in athorizationsand could not use any of my accounts. I checked out after two days stay. The authorization to my persal checking account was removed, and one of the authorizations to my gov. credit card was removed but the first authorization was not removed. It has been three days since I checked out.
The manger will not return my calls or help me with this problem that they have caused with the availability of funds on my card. Best Western shame on you!!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChenaRivergm, General Manager at BEST WESTERN PLUS Chena River Lodge, responded to this review, June 2, 2011
I apologize for the inconvenience that this may have caused you. Upon check in our system was unable to authorize the card due to a communication error. A personal credit card was give to our night auditor to hold the room and that was processed, the room amount is placed on hold. There is a time period when the credit is reversed set by each individual bank. Upon hearing of the problem I call both banks personally to expedite the credit bank so that the funds could be accessible. I understand your frustration and I deeply apologize. Hopefully your stay in Fairbanks was great despite the frustration. If I can be of any assistant in the future please let me know.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2011

This hotel is wonderfully close to the airport, across the street from a Fred Meyer store and a Carl's Jr. Great location with easy access to everything. Staff was friendly and helpful!! No problem with a late check in and a late check out. Breakfast included scrambled eggs, sausage and biscuits as well as the usual delightful cold buffet items. Only small item, this is close to the airport and we occasionally heard an airplane, but that didn't bother us at all. Also has plug ins for your vehicles in the winter. Their free Internet connection was fast too.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2011

We traveled from Anchorage to Fairbanks and back for our honeymoon. When we reached Fairbanks, we could not find a hotel with any vacancy. We found this hotel with one room left. The lady at the front desk was absolutely AWESOME and extremely helpful. She was so great that we stayed an extra night. The room was clean, the beds were so comfy, and the breakfast was wonderful. They had a guest laundry available. The hotel was easy to access. I would recommend this hotel to anyone.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about BEST WESTERN PLUS Chena River Lodge

Address: 1255 TVSA Way, Fairbanks, AK 99706
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Alaska > Fairbanks
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Fairbanks
#2 Family Hotel in Fairbanks
#2 Business Hotel in Fairbanks
#4 Romantic Hotel in Fairbanks
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — BEST WESTERN PLUS Chena River Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 67
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This Alaska hotel offers friendly service and modern accommodations all within minutes of the airport and bustling downtown Fairbanks. Feel right at home at this recently opened Fairbanks, Alaska hotel with modern furnishings and generous amenities. The sizeable, tidy and smoke-free rooms at the BEST WESTERN PLUS Chena River Lodge offer high-speed Internet access, a refrigerator, a desk, cable satellite television and a coffeemaker. Each morning, hotel guests can get a start to their day with a complimentary full continental breakfast.This Fairbanks hotel's business center allows business travelers to stay productive. This Alaska lodge also offers meeting spaces accommodating up to 15 people. Unwind after a long day of sightseeing or out-of-town work in the fitness center at this Fairbanks hotel.Vacationers can enjoy convenient freeway access, allowing for quick and easy visits to nearby local attractions - such as the Museum of the North, Alaska at 40 below, the El Dorado Gold Mine and the Ice Museum - most of which are only five minutes away. Families vacationing at this Fairbanks, AK hotel will be delighted to spend the day taking a cruise on the Riverboat Discovery or playing at Pioneer Park, Alaska's largest amusement park. This Fairbanks, AK hotel is the closest hotel to the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, making this the perfect location for visiting parents, students and staff to stay. Guests can rest assured, as a hospital is only five minutes away. The Fairbanks International Airport is also only a couple miles away from this Alaska hotel.For an affordable stay at an exceptional hotel in Fairbanks, Alaska, reserve a stay online at the BEST WESTERN PLUS Chena River Lodge! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Best Western Plus Chena River Hotel Fairbanks
BEST WESTERN PLUS Chena River Lodge Fairbanks, Alaska

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