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“A nice place to have a great experience in Alaska” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Spenard Hostel International

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Spenard Hostel International
2845 W 42nd Ave, Anchorage, AK 99517   |  
Hotel amenities
Monterrey, Mexico
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“A nice place to have a great experience in Alaska”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2014

This hostel is very good, The location is excelent , near of the airport and easy ways to get downtown. The Hostel is clean, comfortable , safe. The prices is very good and the staff is very kind. I had a great experience in Anchorage and in this Hostel.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
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62 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    39
    17
    4
    1
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 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 (6)
Date | Rating
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  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
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English first
Clarens, South Africa
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2013

Great service and help with transport and accommodation elsewhere!
The guy on the photo walk more than the extra mile for his guests.
When you check in late you find welcome notes with exact directions to your room.
Great atmosphere.
Showers need maintenance!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 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
    • 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.
Houston, Texas
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2013

Good place up stay on a budget. Did not like there the office hours were only from 7-11 pm , which did create a problem when trying to confirm or ask questions like how to rent a bike at the moment. The young lady in charge was really great at getting back to be during the office hrs, but had to wait till those times to get a response which was the drag. Seems like there are a couple of locals who stay there on a longer basis which was kinda weird, but they were friendly and super helpful on the area. The bathroom and room seemed very clean, but they could def use new sofas and chairs in common areas. I didn't want to sit in them, they looked so old!

Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jen_from_spenard, Owner at Spenard Hostel International, responded to this review, March 19, 2014
I'm sorry to hear that your stay was just ok, and i thank you for your feedback. First, i'm sorry that you found our office hours inconvenient. During our peak season from May to September we have longer hours, but as things wind down in October, there generally just aren't enough people here to necessitate someone sitting at the front desk all day. For the past 15 years or so these office hours have worked fine, but it seems to be less so lately. I'm sorry that you found this inconvenient and i am trying to come up with ways to improve this.
Regarding long term locals, we actually don't allow this. I'm guessing that the friendly and helpful local people were our maintenance person and/or two houseparents, all of whom live on site at the hostel. And as they work here (even if you didn't run across them on their front desk shift days) i'm glad ou found them helpful!
Lastly, regarding the furniture, i'm sorry you weren't comfortable with it! The couches and chairs are professionally cleaned twice a year along with the carpets, though they are a little dated. We are in the process of replacing them one by one, but with three living rooms, we have a lot of furniture, so it is a process. In any case, i hope that you will consider staying with us should you ever find yourself in Anchorage again, and we promise you a better experience.
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Hamburg, Germany
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

I did not like the hostel. But let me explain.
First the good things.
The staff (just one guy?!) was really nice but totally confused. He tried to do his very best to help but I think his manager just left him alone and he couldnt handle it well.
The hostel itself is built not to bad. There is a garden for tents or outdoor relaxing and its nice that you have to ut off your shoes.
I feel bad, but there is nothing else good to tell.
What I didn't like:
Me and my friends stayed for 4 nights. We had to switch rooms 2 times. Noone knows why.
The first night the bed of my friend was rented out to someone else who came in the middle of the inght and started arguing.
The second night my bed (sheets and stuff) were removed and a girl was sleeping in my bed. I asked the guy from the stuff and he had no clue what happened.
The next day the housekeeping(?) removed my sleeping shirt, my socks and my towel from my bed and stored it at the front desk. Why?!
The thrid night it was really bad air in our dorm and I went in one of the living rooms to breathe freely and layed down on a sofa. But that smelled like cat p*****. Probably because of the cats running aorund the hostel.
The bathrooms were mouldy (thats the word?!) with black stains on the walls and lots of dark long hairs everywhere.
And thats just the things that annoyed me the most. I definetly will not go there again.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jen_from_spenard, Owner at Spenard Hostel International, responded to this review, March 21, 2014
I'm so sorry that you had a bad experience, and what you describe is completely unacceptable. We do strive to keep the hostel sparkling clean and it is cleaned thoroughly every morning, and we tidy up as much as we can throughout the day but also hope that people will clean up after themselves in a general way as well. In any case, i appreciate your feedback and we have stepped up our cleaning routine.

As far as the issue with the front desk, i'm sorry that you had a problem. The man who worked the front desk last summer was overall an excellent employee and must have been a bit off for some reason while you were here. The hostel has a staff of three--two front desk people, and a maintenance person, as well as myself (the owner) all of whom live on site. Usually if someone is struggling one or all of us will jump in to help, to make sure that all of our guests have a great experience. I'm sorry that i was unaware during your stay that there was a problem and that i was not able to make it right for you while you were still here. People do occasionally have to change beds once during their stay if we have a large group that has prebooked, but this is exceedingly rare and you certainly should not have had to change beds twice. I sincerely apologize for both the confusion on our part and the inconvenience.

Regarding the couch issue. Unfortunately one of our cats did get sick last summer and she had a couple accidents. We have removed carpets and replaced furniture as necessary, but i am so sorry for the smell. It was something that happened rather suddenly, we took care of it as quickly as possible, and it is thankfully no longer an issue. If you find yourself in Anchorage again please give us another try so that we can make sure that you recieve the level of service that all of our guests deserve during your time in Anchorage. Thank you again for your feedback.
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London
Top Contributor
104 reviews 104 reviews
89 hotel reviews
Reviews in 92 cities Reviews in 92 cities
264 helpful votes 264 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2013

I stayed at this hostel in July. Front desk isn't manned all day (morning and evening), but after another guest had pointed me in the right direction I found the check in information left for me pinned to the stairs by the front door. I was in a comfortable, clean female dorm. There are two friendly cats who are free roaming, although you are welcoming to put them out of the rooms. It is worth noting this in case you have a cat allergy. The bathrooms were always clean as were the well equipped kitchens. There were comfortable seating areas, where it was easy to get chatting to people.
This hostel is quite convenient for the airport, but less so for downtown or the railway station. There are local bus stops.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2013

The staff here is incredibly friendly and welcoming. They go out of their way to orient you to Anchorage and have ample resources regarding the city, public transit, etc. They even coordinate a bear spray exchange. The hostel is very well run. The only downside to Spenard Hostel is that it is aging. The room that I stayed in had a musty smell to it and the bathrooms also showed signs of age/not as great upkeep compared to some of the other hostels I've stayed at recently. With all of this said, the nightly price is very reasonable and if you're tired and need a safe and friendly place to sleep, I'd recommend Spendard.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jen_from_spenard, Owner at Spenard Hostel International, responded to this review, March 22, 2014
Thank you very much for your feedback, and i am looking around my hostel with a new eye to the fact that what some see as "comofortable and lived in" will definitely appear worn to others. I'm so glad you found the people at Spenard to be friendly, as we work very hard to create a welcoming environment.
Our busy hostel does see a lot of use, and i think that most people would be surprised at how quickly wear and tear occurs. As a smaller hostel, we are focused on providing our guests with a place that feels like a home away from home, and this is something we hear frequently. We truly strive to keep things as clean and as updated as possible.
We replace pillows and mattresses each year (not all of them, of course!) in a rotating scheudule. We replace one of our seven couches each year. This year we are hoping to replace the flooring on the entire ground level, with the upstairs to follow next year. These projects will be followed by bathroom remodels, kitchen remodels, and the replacement of bunks, and by the time we get through all of that it will be time to start at the beginning of the list again. ;) We spent all of our maintenance money in 2013 on a new roof. It is red, and lovely, and keeps everyone warm and dry, and unfortuntely doesn't get to be appreciated by guests nearly as much as it should. We hope you might take a moment to admire it should you find yourself at Spenard again.
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Tacoma, Washington
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013 via mobile

All the cute emails from Hostelworld & Spenard didn't help make the stay any better. Arrived at 1am to no notes about which bed, no layout map & no staff onsite. Slept on the grubby sofa with the cat & my shirt for a cover. Left at sunrise & headed out for Fairbanks asap. Still got charged with no contact from staff. Just cause it's close to the airport doesn't mean it's a good choice.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jen_from_spenard, Owner at Spenard Hostel International, responded to this review, March 21, 2014
I apologize that our late check-in procedure didn't work out for you. We try to make everything as failproof as possible, but in your case it clearly didn't work out. I cannot say what might have happened to your check-in notice, but all hostel staff including myself (the owner) live on site. We have signs posted on the doors both upstairs and downstairs saying which rooms belong to houseparents if you need one, and in response to your feedback we have added a few more of these to try to make them more visible. Regarding the charge to your credit card, each late check in notice details how to make make a cash payment, followed by the fact that we can charge your card on file if you prefer. Thus, we do not contact guests when charging their cards as the policy has already been stated. However, in this case with the missing note you unfortunately would not have known that, and i apologize. I'm sorry you had to spend the night on the couch, but i did want to let you know that said couch has been replaced. Should you find yourself in Anchorage again i hope you will give us another try, and please free to contact me directly at jen*at*alaskahostel.org if you do. Thank you again for your feedback and even with a rough start i hope you enjoyed the rest of your trip in Alaska.
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Additional Information about Spenard Hostel International

Address: 2845 W 42nd Ave, Anchorage, AK 99517
Location: United States > Alaska > Anchorage
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 17 Specialty Lodging in Anchorage
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 43
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Spenard Hostel is a comfortable, clean and fun spot to stay while visiting Alaska! We offer free coffee, tea, cocoa, wifi, fresh linens, friendly staff, no curfew, no lock-out, located 1.5 miles from the airport, bike rentals, kitchens, laundry facility. Bus stops just around the corner, REI, grocery, movies, shopping and restaurants all just minutes away. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Spenard Hostel International Hotel Anchorage

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