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“A nice day trip.”

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Chena Hot Springs Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Pleasant Valley
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“A nice day trip.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 7, 2013

My son (17) and I had one day to tour the Chena Hot Springs Resort. We did not stay over night, but did partake in several activities. We visited the Ice Museum--nice to see, went snow machining--our guide was great (a little expensive for a 45 minute ride though), and went in the Hot Springs--an experience in itself. If you a bit adventurous this may not be the place for you to stay overnight (esp. with a teenager).

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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Thank abcMaine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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726 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (136)
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Jackson Heights, NY
Level Contributor
127 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 31, 2013

I stayed at Chena for four nights to give myself a chance to realize a lifelong wish to see the Aurora Borealis. They have a snow bus that takes you to the top of an elevation and I was fortunate to see it twice. The hot springs were a wonderful refuge during the day. There is also a breathtaking Ice Museum, dog sleds, an indoor swimming pool and snowmobiles. They are actively green and environment conscious. They grow their own greens and tomatoes in a greenhouse. The food is fresh and well prepared in the restaurant. I had only good experiences with the employees at this resort. Everyone I had contact with was friendly and helpful. It was wonderful!

Room Tip: Since I am challenged, room 145 in Moose Lodge was very comfortable and set for my needs.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank LauraBarrett66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 31, 2013

Don't pay any more than you need to. If you do you'll be met with a horribly shabby out-dated room and you'll soon discover you're better of showering down at the Hot Springs than using the aeroplane-sized bathroom they trap you with. The rooms wouldn't take a great deal to spruce up but I suppose the owners want to put their fortune in other places.

I honestly wish I only went for the day and I was so glad to leave after a three night stay. The tours were quite good but overpriced and went for a much shorter time than advertised.

We saw the aurora during two of the nights we were there but that was really the best part, and that was free...

Hot Springs were pleasant if you could ignore the drunk couples in every corner and the awfully slippery slope as you tried to get in.

Glad to be back in Anchorage at accommodation that is much higher classed.

  • Stayed April 2012
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Felix-Gar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Pleasant Valley hotels

Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
29 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 24, 2013

We just returned from a wonderful 3-night Aurora tour and I posted a general review about our overall experience. However, in retrospect I think it would be helpful if I elaborated on the accommodations and restaurant.

Chena is a rustic and comfortable destination with some unique attributes - the hot springs, the geothermal system, hydroponic greenhouses, ice museum. However, if you demand five-star service, amenities and accommodations this probably isn't the place for you. Our room in the lodge was simple - clean and very comfortable with two queen beds, small closet, dresser with six drawers, writing table/chairs, game table and TV. The bathroom was ok - tub/shower /toilet in one room, single sink, vanity, hair dryer, mirror in alcove just outside shower room. The towels were adequate. I did notice that the linoleum was peeling in places.

Because the water is heavily laden with minerals, there was discoloration around the drains in the tub and sink. You might want to purchase several bottles of water in the activity center to keep in your room so you won't be tempted to drink the tap water, which can be off-putting. (Fortunately, there wasn't an offensive sulfurous odor but it does have a distinctive flavor.)

We had three dinners and three breakfasts in the restaurant and overall the food was good - steaks and seafood were really delicious but avoid anything fried ... the chicken tenders and fried clams seemed to be prefrozen and much the worse for wear! Chena grows their own lettuce and tomatoes in their hydroponic greenhouses so the salads were crisp, fresh and tasty.

The dining room always seemed to be understaffed which frequently resulted in some grumpy service. If you have a large party (there were 8 of us) I suggest you make reservations in advance for dinner otherwise you'll end up standing in line in the small and crowded waiting area. And word to the wise: if you enter through the bar, do not seat yourself! Instead, walk to the hostess stand and announce your presence or you will be scolded. The bar is welcoming, and a good place to order a drink and a burger...and you can seat yourself on one of the barstools without stopping at the hostess stand first!

Transportation to/from the Fairbanks airport was seamless. On arrival, we stayed overnight in Fairbanks and explored the Fairbanks World Ice Art Contest the next morning before the Chena van picked us up at 1:30. The road to Chena was quite icy so we were thankful to have an experienced driver behind the wheel. The morning of our departure, the driver (an Alaskan native, full of information, and great at navigating the icy road) loaded us and our luggage into the van at 6 for the hour or so drive back to the airport.

Again, Chena Hot Springs isn't the Ritz Carlton, but if you go with an open mind, expecting to see some amazing sights in a beautiful land, then you won't be disappointed. And if you're lucky - as we were - you might even see the Aurora!

Room Tip: Be sure to stay in the lodge. Room 218/219 are in the back corners and good choices.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank mangiam0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Dimas, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 21, 2013

First I must say the 2 nights we spent in sub freezing temps this week were WONDERFUL. This is the Last American Frontier and Chena Hot Springs Resort has done a top notch job in making this the most comfortable stay for the conditions. America needs to put down their I Pads, Cell phones, and Dinner forks if they want experiance REALITY. We spent 2 nights on the Snow Cat's in sub zero temps to witness the Northern Lights and I loved every minute of it. People will complain, but you need to get up of your big butt walk outside and LOOK UP from your I Pad to see the Aurora. If you are a sissy or just want to wine then you need to stay in the big citys and just Google the trip. I would jump at the chance to do this again next year. Thanks again for the chance to LIVE anouther chapter of my reality dreams.

Room Tip: If you spend your time in the room you need to stay home, just say in. The rooms are just comfortabl...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Louis M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PORTAGE
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 21, 2013

We went to the hot springs as a day trip (didn't stay at the resort), and we weren't disappointed with that part. We do wish we had brought our own towels from our Fairbanks hotel though -- $5 for each towel was steep. After we enjoyed the hot springs, we went to lunch at the resort's restaurant. My husband got the salmon burger, which was exactly like the frozen patties we get at our grocery store. Hardly worth the price they charged! I had the Alaskan crab cakes, but I couldn't taste, see, or feel any crab meat in the mush that I was served. I realize the resort has people captive out there, but their restaurant quality and prices were horrible.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank LYNN S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hidden Hills, California
Level Contributor
147 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 16, 2013

We stayed here for two nights--only because the activities we wanted to do took more than one day. The "signature" room was dreadful. Just big enough for two double beds and two suitcases. The closet was a clothes rack. The sink was by the front door. The shower was so small you couldn't bend over to pick up anything you drop. The carpet needed vacuuming. We had to call housekeeping to clean the shower. The plus side is that it was convenient to the hot springs and pool, and the activity center. The Lodge has bigger rooms for $70 more a night. Everything you want to do costs money. The only free activity is the tour of the geothermal plant. We toured the Ice Museum (highly recommend), went in the hot springs and the pool and hot tub (included in the room rate), did the dog sled ride, and went to the yert for aurora sighting. We saw the aurora from the grounds of the resort--no need to go to the yert for $75. We paid for the round trip shuttle to and from Fairbanks. It was worth it due to icy roads. The shuttle drivers were experienced and informative. We learned a lot about the area from them. Front desk staff is largely clueless. They watched while the shuttle driver loaded the wrong bags for our return to Fairbanks. There is no fitness center or room service.

Room Tip: Stay in the Lodge.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank kathleene_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Chena Hot Springs Resort

Property: 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 Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
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*
Number of rooms: 80
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Chena Hot Springs Hotel Pleasant Valley
Chena Hot Springs Resort Alaska/Pleasant Valley

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