No, it's not Tahoe, Breckenridge, Wolf Creek, Cooper, Big Bear, or even Boone, N.C; it's...
Alyeska in Girdwood Alaska and it stands on its own merit. Alyeska is a "bucket list" check box all on its own, and my wife and I have checked that box five times in two seasons and plan on checking it some more.
On a clear sunny day, the views from the top are breathtaking. One can see Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet, and this scene makes for a great backdrop to any ski photo. As you're skiing down, make sure to stop here and there and take pictures of the scenery.
When shy of snow, the runs can be a bit precarious, but there's plenty of room to spread out and run. The bottom half offers plenty of room for those who like to take things easy, or for hanging out. When the snow is at its full bloom, the runs are some of the best in the world. I found myself skiing the top areas almost the entire day.
As mentioned by other reviewers, the Sitzmark bar and grill sits at the base, within a short run from the main lodge. Like most ski style lodges, the Sitzmark offers food and beverages, a fire pit and a small game area; it's the main hangout at lunchtime. The atmosphere is like many ski lodge bar and grill hangouts, FUN!
If breakfast is still on your mind and grabbing at your empty stomach, don't worry. Just down the stairs and to the rear of the Sitzmark, almost like it’s in the basement, you'll find a great bakery. This place is a must do! They not only serve bakery goods, but they also serve a full compliment of breakfast items and even sandwiches for lunch.
If you've had lunch and want something different for dinner, look across the parking lot from the bakery. Tucked on the edge of the road, perhaps buried by snow and parked cars, you'll see a small restaurant; Its the Jack Sprat restaurant, a great dinner experience!
The Alyeska hotel, is a great place to stay. Don't be intimidated by it's grandeur, and it is so beautiful and rich. It’s a very relaxing and fun place to stay. My wife and I stayed here and found the staff, the room and the dinning to be absolutely relaxing, comfortable and enjoyable! We had a very pleasant experience. The fitness center offers an awesome salt-water swimming pool and huge hot tub; great open inside space, soothing views, and even a full service spa. There are several places to dine, a ski shop and ski equipment rental store, a changing locker room, a deli with lots of options for eating and serving Star Bucks coffee, a sundry shop with a nice selection of wines, and a boutique with many name brand clothing items and gifts.
To the rear of the hotel, you'll find the tram that takes people to the top of Alyeska. At the drop off, you’ll find a cafeteria-style eatery and the Seven Glaciers, a fine dinning restaurant serving both lunch and dinner. If you make reservations for Seven Glaciers, your ride on the tram is complimentary.
If you want to keep your feet planted at the base, the Aurora bar and grill is a fantastic place to unwind. Try the Greek pizza, and of course the Alaskan amber, you won't be disappointed!
As a military couple, my wife and I would fail in our review if we didn’t mention this:
For all you wonderful military personnel and your families. First, our world is a better place because of your sacrifices, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you ALL so very much.
The Alyeska ski resort and hotel offers to all military personnel and their families free lift tickets on the first Monday of each month during ski season. On other days, the lift tickets are discounted. The hotel also offers great discounted rates for lodging.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity folks.
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