My wife and two children (18 and 16) stayed at the Holiday Inn Express, Anchorage, on two separate occasions in late June 2009. Why there? Convenience to the airport, free shuttle service, and free hot breakfast.
The decor was very nice, if modest. Yes, it's on the budget side of the scale for a hotel, but in Anchorage during the summer tourist season, that means over $200 per night. Good luck finding something for less! Still, it exceeded our expectations.
The shuttle service was generally prompt. We waited a short while for our initial pickup at the airport, but nothing out of the ordinary. The next morning, my wife and I took the shuttle back to the airport to get our rental car; the service was good. On our return to Anchorage eight days later, we checked in, deposited our luggage in the room, and then returned the car to the airport. I had checked with the front desk before leaving, and the clerk said she would alert the driver. I waited only a few minutes before pickup.
By the way, this strategy saved us a LOT on the car rental. If you arrive in Anchorage in the evening, why rent a car when just to get to the hotel when there's a free shuttle? Ditto, the return; our departure flight was at 8:00 in the morning.
The only trick with the morning shuttle is catching the right time; it runs at pre-scheduled times in the morning, until late morning, at which point it is an on-demand service.
The hotel itself seemed rather quiet. While this might have been simply coincidental to our stays, we had the same quiet atmosphere both nights.
The rooms were fine. Our double was not large, but what do you need in a hotel for a simple overnight? Just a bed and a bathroom. There you go!
Bathrooms were nicely appointed, and looked as though they had been renovated fairly recently. Towels and toiletries were nice, as were the offers to supply anything you had forgotten or run out of -- toothpaste, deodorant, etc. Beds were comfortable. Pillows were labeled "soft" or "firm" on the pillowcases, although there didn't seem to be that much of a difference. And, the pillows didn't seem new; they weren't old or anything, just didn't seem new.
I'll say it again: free high-speed internet access is nice. My daughter used the wireless access to check things like weather back home (how do we dress for the flight home?), and to send a few e-mails. Why resort hotels have to charge when this service is available free is beyond me. But the service here was free, and easy to use -- no problems whatsoever in getting an iPod touch to connect. Thanks!
But perhaps the most pleasantly surprising thing was the breakfast. First, there were the by-now usual staples for hotel breakfasts -- three or four cereals, some fruit, milk, juice, coffee, some pastries, English muffins, bagels, etc. Then, there were hot things: there ample sausage patties, cheese omelets, biscuits and gravy, and cinnamon rolls. We all had a nice, full breakfast. The room was clean, large, well lit, and not overpowered by TVs everywhere blaring a morning new show -- just one TV with CNN, which could be ignored if you wanted to maintain a sense of "getting away." The room also was serviced regularly, and attentively. For us, the breakfast was a real plus.
All in all, this was a very positive experience, twice.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Holiday Inn Express-Anchorage Airport is conveniently located just 1 mile from the Ted Steven s Anchorage International Airport and 10 minutes from Anchorage s historic downtown district, with all the major shopping and fine dinning restaurants. Take a ride on the Alaska Railroad, see the starting line of the world famous Iditarod trail, kids can play at the Imaginarium or H2Oais Indoor Water Park. Attend events at the Egan Center, the Sullivan Arena,the new Dena ina Civic & Convention Center or Anchorage s Performing Arts Center. Alyeska Ski Resort and the town of Girdwood are a short drive south on the New Seward Highway, along the Turnagain Arm where you can look out for wildlife such as moose, Dall sheep and the bald eagle. But if you don t see them on the road, you can visit the Alaska Zoo or Big Game Alaska Wildlife Center. Surrounding companies include, BP Exploration, Conoco Phillips, North Slope Telecom, Inc., and Arctic Slope Regional Corp. The Holiday Inn Express-Anchorage Airport has 129 smartly appointed guestrooms, with microwaves and refrigerators in all rooms, Free wireless Internet access throughout the hotel, 24 hour airport shuttle, and our Express Start Breakfast Bar featuring our world famous cinnamon rolls. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Express Anchorage Hotel Anchorage
- Anchorage Holiday Inn Express
- Holiday Inn Anchorage