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“Chena Hot Springs is a unique experience in the winter.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Chena Hot Springs Resort

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Chena Hot Springs Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Pleasant Valley
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Chena Hot Springs is a unique experience in the winter.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 21, 2010

My Wife and I recently returned from a trip that included Alaska. In May, 2010 we made another trip to Chena Hot Springs. These springs are located approximately sixty miles NE of Fairbanks. What a treat this place is! The springs are hot and sooooooo soothing. Take bathing suits or rent, towels or rent. The price is right and the restaurant is excellent. Now, take it too another level. Go there in winter, we did also. In February the daytime temp. is around minus 20-25F. Nighttime temp. is around minus 30-40F. The springs are so nice and hot and the Northern Lights are so magnificent that you will all but be overwhelmed. We have not stayed at this resort. Rather, we stay in Fairbanks and drive out, roads are in great shape. Either way, do yourself a favor, if in the area take a dip. When the Northern Lights light up, you will have hit a grand slam with your honey. Just like Grand Canyon, you simply have to be there to experience it's grandeur.

Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank HadTimeDidTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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713 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
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Clarks Summit, PA
Level Contributor
42 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 18, 2010

I travel a lot and it takes something rather unusual to get me riled up. First I will say this, the Resort itself was fine. We had a room in the Moose Lodge...the room was large, clean and comfortable. We took a tour of the Ice Museum, which is completely amazing. The guide who took us was very nice and really interacted with the guest. Same goes for the girl working the Activities desk. We had no issues there.

We did however have a major issue going into the hot springs. Having never been there before, we had no idea where to go or what to do. When we entered the building that takes you to the pool and then out to the hot springs, the man working the desk told us that he could not give us towels because he was running low. He told us to come back in after we got out of the hot springs and he'd see if there were any available. Hmmm... He then told us that we would need a quarter to open the lockers in each locker room. He "generously" gave us each a quarter and walked away. Again, not knowing what to do we each headed to our locker room. Entering the women's I found it packed wall-to-wall people and not a locker available. I walked back out, found my husband and asked him to put my clothes in his locker. Since I could not even move through the women's locker room, we walked back to the entrance area to find a way to the hot springs. This same man screamed at us that we needed to go back through each of our locker rooms which would take us out to the hot springs. Why he didn't explain that when we first got there is beyond me. So we make our way out, enjoy the hot springs and then go back inside to see if any towels are available. We each get a towel which was almost thin enough to see through. Since the women's locker room was so incredibly packed, I didn't even have room to dry off and get dressed, so I wrapped the towel around me to head back to our room. As I walked out the door, this same man screams at me again, in front of about 30 people, that I am not allowed to take the towel out of the building. He tells me that I have to give the towel to him right then and there. I'm now dripping wet in my swimsuit, it's about 50 degrees and raining outside and I have to walk back to our room in just my swimsuit. People outside were staring at me wondering why I was walking around like that in the cold rain. I was so embarrassed and my huband was furious. Needless to say I got sick. We ran into a few other staff members that needed some retraining as well, but mostly our bad experience was with the man at the hot springs/pool building.

What he should have done when we walked in was say "Have you ever been here before? No? Ok, let me tell you how it works" instead of embarrassing us.

I wrote a letter to the owner and explained what happened. I don't want anything other than him to know that staff and make or break a business. He needs to keep better tabs on what's going on with his people. Hopefully things will turn around there...it is a nice place and a shame to not have the right people working there. I'm marking this review as a recommened place for a friend, but only if I made them aware of what happened first.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Cooper13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairbanks, Alaska
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 1, 2010

We took a trip to Chena Hot Springs Resort for Memorial Weekend. We stayed on the 1st floor of the Moose Lodge. As Alaska residents and/or military members, you can receive a discount on your room if you call and book within 7 days of your trip. Our room was fantastic, well decorated and very clean. We also booked 2 excursions and were not disappointed. We had a tour of the Dog Kennels with Laura. A very nice young lady who was very knowledgeable. We were able to learn more about Dog sledding and the animals. We are looking forward to going back in the winter for a ride on the Dogsled. In the summer, Dog Cart rides are offered. We also booked the Horseback Riding Tour. Once again, Laura was our tour guide. We took a nice tour of the outlying area near the Resort. Rio and Yukon were the horses we rode on. They were very gentle horses. There are also lots of trails with plenty of wildlife to see. The Hot Springs are absolutely amazing. The restaurant features some great food. We had the Grilled Salmon Burger and Chicken BLT for dinner. Breakfast was delicious as well. After seeing some of the negative reviews about the resort, I wanted to be sure to put an honest review from our experience there. We will definitely go back to CHS Resort this winter to enjoy more activities. We also plan to take a few more trips there this summer.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank angnjames
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palmer, AK
Level Contributor
26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 27, 2010

This is our fourth time to Chena and here's my take on the bad reviews: the word "Resort" gives the impression that it will be posh and it just isn't. Call it a "Hot Springs Lodge" and maybe people will understand the place is an adventure, not the Hilton.
That said, I'll admit the room prices are steep and we actually spend our nights there at a nearby cabin. However we keep going back--because it is so unique and interesting. The indoor pool has actually been improved (new ceilings & some other work) The outdoor pool is always quiet & relaxing. Negative thing: ladies locker room is tiny and crowded & yes, it would be nice to see better/cleaner showers/toilets/sinks in there as well. The facilities could use a touch of TLC--but there is so much going on all year, don't know what the priorities are (they aren't lazy--that's for sure). I have heard old-timers comment on how much the place has been improved since when the state owned it....
We have never had a problem with staff & always have a nice dinner there at the restaurant. The fresh local lettuce in the salads (I think from his own greenhouse) was great!
Enjoy the hot springs and you have to admire all the interesting projects the owner has going on--just make sure you come with an open mind!!!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Arcticstar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anchorage
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 15, 2010

After reading some of the recent negative reviews posted here we decided to stay in Fairbanks and day trip it. We had a more positive experience than the other people. The showers were clean but the fixtures were faded from the exposure to all the minerals. I spoke to many of the staff members who were friendly and helpful. We did not see the sleeping accommodations. We ate lunch there and had the clam chowder and the pear salad both of which were very very good. We did get to see both the ice museum and the power plant. Which were worth the wait. I think that I would get there before 10 and stay until dinner if we went again.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Alaska_colombo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anchorage
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 9, 2010

I visited over the weekend for a graduation party! We had a great time and it was special because I got married here 16 years ago! My husband was not with me for this trip but I had fun with many old friends and really enjoyed seeing what upgrades have been completed. There are old rooms and new. The new section of rooms were very nice, comfy bed and quiet space. I would have stayed in the old rooms. You don't stay here for the rooms really, but for the experience of the springs and the surroundings. The outdoor pool was so relaxing. Don't miss the ice museum! You won't see anything like it anywhere else! If you're expecting the Ritz, don't go. If you want an experience, do it.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cleopat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anchorage, Alaska
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 25, 2010

My husband and i went to Chena hot spring for our anniversary with family friends. And we will never ever go back! Customer service (front desk) was just a joke. when we got there we waited for at least 20 min before the girl at the front desk even assisted us. She said she was Japanese. I can't believed she was hired? She was no help at all. During my stay as i was trying to enjoy my self in the hot spring my friends and i got out to cool down. I still don't understand what it was that triggered her unpleasant attitude toward my friends and i? but she came over to us and immediately started to get loud and raise her voice saying, "who said you guys can be in this area?" if it was a closed off area there was no sign posted up saying it was closed off due to whatever reason. i heard her calling me a dumb [--] as she walked away. im a business owner my self...and let me tell you...A PAYING CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT!!! NO MATTER WHAT! Unfortunately, that wasn't the worst part of our trip. The place was just disgusting! i mean gross! The hot spring it self looked like it hasn't been clean in a couple weeks. Not to mention the ladies locker room smell so bad that i actually vomit. Would i recommend this place to others? NO. It was a waist of my money and time. Service, cleanliness, and even the food sucked. Just a word of advice the ignorance at the front desk is going to make you mad. so stay calm as possible when dealing with her.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank sayno
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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