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“Truly dog friendly”
Review of Northern Sky Lodge

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Northern Sky Lodge
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Ester
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Truly dog friendly”
Reviewed April 23, 2014

One of the very few accommodations truly welcoming to both people and dogs. Pascale, Duncan and their golden Sid will always hold a special place in our memories. Way too late writing this review (visited in 2012)but we've been traveling.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Eve_72412
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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47 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    38
    9
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Portland, Oregon, United States
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 31, 2014

The Northern Sky Lodge is the perfect B&B for Alaska. The main purpose for my visit was a desire to see the Northern Lights. The Lodge is located just far enough away from Fairbanks to avoid city lights and noise but still convenient if you want to go into town.

My room was very nice. The bed was comfortable and the room had an individual temperature control. I was in room 5 which faces north and great for aurora sighting. You'll want to go outside once the activity starts. Pascale, who owns the Lodge, will loan heavy jackets, gloves, and boots if you need them. I'd suggest buying hand warders (they can be purchased at REI and are cheap).

A dog sled tour is a must. Austin and his Landcruiser dog sled tour was beyond fun. Go a few minutes early so you get the whole experience of him selecting the dogs and their delighted reactions. It's a show in itself. Go for at least an hour (it will fly by). You'll see backwoods, go over a frozen pond, and see wild animal tracks, have photo ops - it seems like he somewhat tailors the ride to the client. The pups are on-site which is great fun as they're very friendly.

Pascale is responsive and accommodating. I had specific dietary needs and she made sure the meals were okay. I had an early morning flight and she offered to provide breakfast. She gave me a shelf in her fridge for personal items I had for lunch and snacks.

The other people that stayed at the Lodge were wonderful. They were from Japan, Florida, and Seattle. We set up a strategy to knock on each other's doors if aurora activity started so no one would miss the show.

Transportation to/from the airport and to a grocery store can be arranged for a very reasonable fee. I didn't rent a car as I was concerned about icy roads.

You will no be disappointed. This was one of the best experiences of my life. I thought I'd be checking something off my bucket list (aurora) but ended up adding to it!

Room Tip: If you're going to see the Northern Lights, rooms 5 and 6 are perfect as they face north.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Barbara K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sharon, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
254 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2014 via mobile

Trip Advisor has definitely got this one right and glad it brought me to the Northern Sky Lodge. My son and I just got back from a quick Alaskan trip and stayed here 2 nights when in the Fairbanks area. My goal was to see the aurora and try dog sledding and this allowed us to do both. Pascale was very responsive during the booking process and she greeted us upon arrival. After settling in we went in a short hike with Syd as our guide, what an awesome dog. Not wanting to go back to town we elected to have dinner at the lodge for a very reasonable $17.

That evening I was able to observe the aurora with another gentlemen who apparently comes each year to come photograph the lights. The view was worth going outside in 15 below at 11pm.

The next morning we went on a one hour sled ride with Austin and his team. What a great time. Austin was great with my son and let him help with the commands. He told us all about his different dogs and the lifestyle. It is definitely one of those careers where you have to love the sport and the dogs; and his enthusiasm shows.

I decided to end the stay with a quick visit to Denali. The lodges location puts it less than 2 hours from the northern visitors center. (Allowed for a bonus photo of Mt McKinley)

The next morning we had an early flight out but Pascale had a breakfast to go waiting for us.

If your travels bring you to Fairbanks this is definitely worth a stay.

Stayed February 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank Ghiatrain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2014

My best memories of Alaska is here in this lodge. The owner made sure that I was cared for and she lent me an extra parka and winter boots so I can stay warm. She even gave me great tips on photography and maintenance of my DSLR camera during the freezing cold. And the location is PERFECT to wait out on the northern lights. You can also go dog sledding and snow hiking around the property. If you're not a great cook like me, she can cook you dinner for a fee. I would have stayed longer if the place wasn't booked.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank Grace Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beijing, China
Level 4 Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2013

Beautiful environment! Nice house! Clean and comfortable room! We love here. One of the best we had ever lived in Alaska!
Just the first night we shot aurora, 11th Sept., 2013! And on the last night, we shot Aurora, too!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Bingoye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Encino, ca
2 reviews
Reviewed May 2, 2013

What a great place to stay for your Alaskan adventure and Aurora viewing. We stayed at Northern Sky Lodge for 7 nights in March 2013. We wanted to see the Aurora and we wanted to be away from the city lights. What a perfect place. The lodge is located in a beautiful woodsy area that is only 30 min. away from Fairbanks. Pascale is a great hostess and chef. Breakfasts were great and you could get dinner too (for only $17 pp) which was always delicious. The rooms are clean and comfortable. Pascale has snow boots and warm jackets for those cold aurora nights, and we had quite a few. We were lucky to be there on March 17th to see the effects of a solar flare and what an aurora show we got.

During our stay we did the dog sledding with Austin. What a treat to go sledding through the woods and to see how much the dogs enjoy running. He has his own sled dogs that are on the property and you can see how he takes care of the dogs and how much he loves them. He provides warm gloves and a jacket too. Here is a link to Austin's site http://www.cruiserdogtours.com/Home_Page.html. He is a great guy! Make sure to check out the dog sledding.

Don't forget to take a walk in the woods. It is so peaceful and quiet...a beautiful location. Syd may go with you too (Pascale's sweet, sweet dog) We will definitely be back on our next trip whenever that may be.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank kudsidahl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level 5 Contributor
44 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed April 23, 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed for four nights at Northern Sky Lodge. Pascale is wonderful hostess. Our room was warm and cozy even though the temperature outside was around zero at night. We had room 3, with Northern views of the Aurora (saw them & photographed them each night!) and a view of the mush dogs from the west window. I got a chance to get to know Pascale’s story and how she came to Alaska. What an inspiring woman! Her breakfasts and dinners (great deal at $17) were delicious, her rooms are beautifully done. It’s a real log lodge that she maintains herself. I think that she does everything superbly. We also got a chance to talk to Austin who has his dogs on the property. I did the mushing tour with Austin and that was great experience! We are dog lovers and Austin loves and respects each of his dogs. Even with snow on the ground, it’s a great place to go out for a hike, and Syd, the dog, loves to come along. The road between the lodge and anywhere else is very well maintained as it’s the highway between Anchorage and Fairbanks. I really enjoyed the meals, not just because of the quality of the food, but also because we got to meet other travelers from all over the world – we have all emailed pictures to each other. I stood outside most nights to take pictures of the Aurora which was very active during our stay. Pascale was good enough to lend me some real snow boots (unlike the cute, but totally wimpy boots I brought from California. I might as well have worn paper shoes). So, I didn’t get frost bite out in there in the sub zero nights. My best rating to this unique and welcoming B & B.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank SifusWoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Northern Sky Lodge

Property: Northern Sky Lodge
Address: Mile 329 Parks Hwy, P.O. Box 458, Ester, AK 99725
Location: United States > Alaska > Ester
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Ester
Number of rooms: 43
Also Known As:
Northern Sky Lodge Ester, Alaska

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