We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Hot springs was great, not sure about resort”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 5 more sites!
Chena Hot Springs Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Pleasant Valley
Reviewed February 2, 2014

I didn't stay at the resort, having read the reviews it did not sound like a great place to stay. I only went for a day tour for the hot springs.

1) The hot springs itself is amazing, your hair turns to ice while your bottom half is nice and hot.. a great experience in winter.

2) Everything else was average. Only one main restaurant and a cafe with okayish snacks. Not a lot of options if you're staying here.

3) Staff was VERY rude in the restaurant. You cannot book a table, you must wait outside, but you cannot wait at the bar and then move to a table when it's free. They won't tell you this, I asked if this was okay but the waiter just made a face at me and didn't respond, so when a table was free we moved to the table, then got rudely asked by a waiter 'who allowed us to sit at this table?' He kicked us off the table back to the bar stool and said there are many people waiting outside for this table. There was NO ONE outside. We had to eat our main meal at the bar, and when we were finished and left the restaurant STILL NO ONE sitting at the table. It really ruined my experience eating. No reservations allowed so who is he saving the table for? I dont mind if he was nice about it but he did not apologise, just accused us that how dare we sit at the table without him letting us.

4) The main atmosphere in the activity center is very touristy and crowded. I am very happy I didn't stay here and stayed at Hampton Inn and Suites in Fairbanks, it was much more comfortable and the staff are a lot nicer.

So overall just come for the hot spring.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Kim N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (779)
There are newer reviews for Chena Hot Springs Resort
See the most recent reviews
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

400 - 406 of 779 reviews

Reviewed January 25, 2014

We are Alaskan residents, residing in a rural and remote area, and are no strangers to mediocre food, lodging, and customer service. We don't have high standards. We planned this trip exclusively to see the aurora borealis for his 30th birthday. There were no heightened expectations that this was a "romantic getaway." But our experience was shocking given how much everyone builds up this resort.

Room: Stayed in the Moose Lodge for 2 nights. The room was on the second floor. Despite having a sanitation strip on the toilet seat, the inside of the toilet was stained and dirty. The shower head was orange, stained from high iron in the water. There were holes in the dry wall in the bathroom that didn't look like any attempt had been made to patch them up. The room was kept at a scorching temperature. There was no way to individually adjust the temperature. The floor had several hot spots, which is concerning since the room did not have "heated" floors. It was in the 20s outside, so we had to crack the window. The room lost power multiple times, without warning. They do not tell you that there will be no phone or internet service, at all. Be prepared to bring a calling card or shell out for a collect call if you need to dial out. There is no cell phone service.

Restaurant: First, there is a large sign that says "Please wait to be seated." This would be efficient if there was a hostess or someone responsible for actually seating guests. There is not. Our first night we spent 20 minutes waiting, patiently, for someone to seat us. Eventually a waiter stopped and tell us that we could not be seated because they had just seated 8 tables and were too busy. There were still multiple tables open. We decided to take our chances by sitting at the bar instead. The bartender looked less than happy to be at work. We suspect she was understaffed for the night. It showed. We ordered salads. It took close to 40 minutes to be delivered. When it did arrive, it looked like they threw it together without any attention to the presentation listed on the menu. It was not long ago when we had worked in the food industry as a server and bartender. We understand the stress from the job, and we are usually 20% tippers all the time. I couldn't do it. Between the service and the food, it was hard for me to leave more than 10%. No wait to be seated for lunch the next day. We had sandwiches, one with french fries the other with a side salad. It was good. The service was okay. There was a small wait for dinner, same problem with finding a server to seat us since there was no hostess. We ordered the filet mignon and the rack of lamb. These were cooked to order, but came out a little undercooked. Otherwise, the meal was good. The server was okay. The bread that was supposed to come out as an appetizer came out after we had finished dinner. Breakfast the next morning we had the biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, home fries, bacon, and toast. The meal was good. Service was okay. To put it into perspective, the first night for dinner was a Sunday night on a holiday weekend. It was probably one of their busiest nights for the week. However, there were hardly any people for lunch or dinner the next day or for breakfast the following morning. Regardless, the service from the waitstaff did not really improve much. This leads me to believe they are really unhappy with their jobs, and it shows in their performance. Also, there is a huge health hazard in the main dining room. There are huge gaps between the logs where the pink, fiberglass insulation is pouring out. Fiberglass when inhaled can tear apart your lungs, and it will be tragic when a small child grabs a piece and tries to eat it.

Front Desk: It appears there are two girls that rotate the job of working the front desk. Our experience was primarily with the daytime clerk, Leah. There's not a lot of customer service. She takes a matter of fact approach. I called before we arrived to confirm check in was at 3:00 p.m. We arrived at 3:00 p.m. We were advised we would have to wait for 20 minutes because (1) Leah was getting off work and (2) housekeeping was not answering their phone or walkie talkie. Don't put check in at 3:00 p.m. if you are also going to have your front desk staff switch out at the same time. If the rooms are not ready at 3:00 p.m., you should offer to hold bags and place them in the room when the room is ready. You should not tell the guest they have to wait in the lobby, where there is no seating, for 20 minutes. Check out went smoothly.

Tours: We did three tours. (1) Went on the free tour of the greenhouse and energy generators. This was informative and pleasant. The guide, John, knew a lot about the history of the resort, the owners' interest in becoming energy efficient and self sustaining. (2) Went on the tour of the ice museum. The guide knew a lot about the sculptors, the sculptures, and the history of the ice hotel and museum. This was a good tour. (3) Went twice on the aurora night tour. We left on time each night. The two tour guides, including John again, were pleasant. You have four hours each night to explore on your own, play in the snow, set up your camera, and try to catch a glimpse of the aurora. No guarantees it will happen. They do post the weather and forecast predictions for you at the activities center in advance and they do a good job of telling you the truth about the likelihood you'll see something. We got very lucky and saw a two hour show of the lights on the horizon on our first night. It was awesome. Got some great pictures and made some new friends. On the second night, it was overcast and never cleared up. We spent the majority of the time in the heated yurt, drinking warm tea, eating ramen noodles, and playing cards with a great group of people. The ride in the snow coach is something else. I do not get motion sickness, but did on the ride down on the first night. Pack motion sickness meds if you get even slightly nauseous, just in case.

Hot Springs: They advertise there are no children allowed in and that they will check IDs. They don't. So don't expect a quiet and relaxing experience. Parents ignore the rules. The hot springs is practically the size of an olympic size pool, with rocks surrounding and sand on the floor. The first night it was warm and toasty. We stayed in for maybe 30 minutes. The second night it was scorching. We were advised to warm up in a hot tub before getting into the springs. We lasted maybe 15 minutes in the hot springs before we got out. The temperature was in the teens, and we've been told its a much more extreme experience when it is negative 40 outside. It was still an awesome experience. The locker rooms are not kept up. There's a huge slip and fall accident waiting to happen. I had to roll up my pants so that when I put them on they weren't sopping wet from absorbing the pools of water on the floor.

Next time, we will probably drive in for a day trip only for the hot springs and the ice museum. You can get great shots of the aurora borealis by finding alternative arrangements in the other areas surrounding Fairbanks, without the disappointment associated with staying at this resort.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Rachel V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2014

This is our second trip to this resort in search of the Northern Lights. The hot springs, tour to the top of the mountain, the food, the Ice Museum with the Appletinis and the staff were excellent. With the exception of 1 housekeeper, the staff couldn't have been more gracious. We stayed in the Moose lodge and the room was clean and comfortable. The hotel shuttle is the way to go, unless you rent a 4-wheel drive and know how to drive in snow and ice conditions. We are planning a trip back during the summer months to enjoy some hiking and horseback riding. Most of the vegetables are grown on site using geo-thermal energy. I love that it is self sustainable. Kudos to the owners for seeing into the future and sharing their vision with us.

Room Tip: Ask for the Moose Lodge. It was quiet and if you use the back door you are closer to the hot springs...
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank golfnride208
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2014

Right!
It has taken me long to write this review as I left Chena Hot Springs with mixed feelings. Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed the natural hot springs, the arctic circle tour with our amazingly talented and friendly aeroplane pilot, the aurora viewing, walking on the snow covered grounds which looked straight out of some winter wonderland, the good food at the restaurant, some good restaurant staff, some great pool staff I was extremely disappointed with the rooms.
We were booked into a family suite for our anniversary due to lack of availability any other rooms. To begin with we were marked to be checking out the same day we were checking in. (Call me dumb but this for some reason would not add up not in any part of the world)!!!Our rooms were very dated and badly maintained (If maintained at all). I understand we were in the left over rooms but the price we paid was not leftover at all. We paid premium rates for this shabby excuse of a room. There were drinks (Frozen) to the patio outside no doubt left by the previous occupants. The blinds were broken, the heating did not work well and this on the night when the temperatures plummeted to -40 was not good. There was a tiny little fan heater in the room which did little to keep me warm. I was cold all night and didn’t sleep. We did inform front of house the next morning (As the rooms don’t have phones and I didn’t quite fancy getting into my 7 layers to go out to reception). The team did not look bothered and did NOTHING!!! to address the situation.
The staff at this place in general looked very fed up and unhappy. No doubt it was their busiest time Dec 27th and 28th but I was made to understand that some of them were working 15 hour shifts 6 days a week. Their displeasure was clearly evident in the shabby “service” they were providing especially a member of staff who goes by the name Stephanie in the restaurant who we found extremely rude to us.
At one point someone (It turned out to be a minor) must have got hurt in the hot springs, there was blood all over the floor from the ladies changing room leading to the springs. This was disgusting and nothing was done about it for ages. The changing rooms were also very wet and the floors were left unwiped for ages. I had to finish changing outside in order not to get my trousers wet.
In general I feel the place has a lot of potential but someone somewhere is making the money but does not believe in putting some of it back into the business. I felt sorry for this beautiful piece of unloved land. I also cannot get over the fact that we flew all the way from the UK to be treated so badly on what was supposed to be a great getaway for our anniversary.

Room Tip: Only visit the resort for activities. Try not to stay here
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
12  Thank Leylahni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2014

We stayed in Moose Lodge at Chena Hot Springs Resort, the room was clean and nicely heated (very important).
We paid for the hotel shuttle that we felt was a little expensive though the airport to the hotel was quite far away.
We enjoyed the snow coaching for Aurora Viewing(depart from Chena Hot Springs Resort)
and the Ice museum (Located on site).
Both were unique experiences, thus recommend to anyone that has never tried or seen it.
Given the fact that the resort was far away from the town, the food available was great!
Overall, the stay was very good.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank leeyslee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2014

This was our 3rd. trip to Chena. Having been there in the 80's when the State owned it I can tell you what nasty is. EVERYTHING was filthy and broken down. Little to do except the Hot Springs. We returned in '05 and was pleasantly surprised at the improvements. Things were clean, Hot Springs wonderful, and many activities. This year we went up for 3 nights bordering New Years Eve. We had a wonderful time. Improvements have continually been made. The original (Signature) rooms do need an upgrade. The price is a bit high but considering that they have to provide for everything (yes everything including generating their own electricity) it is understandable. The Aurora put on a good show for us, the New Year's Eve Party (included) was fun, the Hot Springs were great, the tours of the Ice Museum as well as the Green Hoses and Power Plants were well worthit, and last but not least the Restaurant was top notch. If you are used to 5 star luxury though thsi is probably not the place (or any other place in Rural Alaska) for you.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank DCody
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2014

Just returned from a great aurora viewing experience in Alaska. First we stayed at Bettles Lodge and then moved on to Chena Hot Springs Resort. The resort was completely booked up over Christmas but had a good time there ! The hot springs are great in this cold weather and the aurora museum is worth the drive alone. That was a lot of fun and really cool to see all of the various sculptures. The drinks are sTRONGGG at the end. Thanks to Chena and www.goalaskatours.com for making our Christmas a special one.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Service
3  Thank Greencity4u
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Pleasant Valley
26.6 mi away
Arctic Lights Bed & Breakfast
Arctic Lights Bed & Breakfast
#1 of 1 in Pleasant Valley
6 reviews
71.0 mi away
No photo provided
Trophy Lodge
#6 of 7 in Delta Junction
2 reviews
207.7 mi away
Alaska Copper River B&B
Alaska Copper River B&B
#1 of 5 in Glennallen
62 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Chena Hot Springs Resort? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about 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: $150 - $299 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Chena Hot Springs Resort 2.5*
Number of rooms: 80
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz, Hotwire and Cheap Tickets so you can book your Chena Hot Springs Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Chena Hot Springs Hotel Pleasant Valley
Chena Hot Springs Resort Alaska/Pleasant Valley

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing