As part of our recent family trip to Alaska, we decided to try something different and take a water ferry from Whittier to Valdez. I must say that the ferry ride was outstanding and the whole family enjoyed the views and wildlife - but it takes 6 hours! So, we booked the Best Western in Valdez for the night before continuing on to McCarthy, AK the next day. Thank GOD we did not plan on staying in Valdez for anything other than a quick night stay because the hotel, and in fact the town of Valdez has little to offer a family.
The Bad: We had to wait in a long line to check in as there was only one person at the front desk. When it was finally my time to checkin, it seemed to me that the girl at the front desk couldn't care less that I existed (I don't think she ever looked at me while we were checking in). The room was a non-smoking room, as reserved, but still smelled of something (not exactly sure of what). The room was small and cramped. The bathroom was small, outdated and the lighting seemed dark. The rooms are not air-conditioned and the night we stayed there, it was warm. We had to leave the window open but the screen was almost falling out. I was a little afraid to sleep too soundly as we were on the ground floor and anyone passing by could have easily reached into the window and stolen anything within reach (or worse!). To top it off, the "free breakfast" was pathetic compared to other hotels we stayed at in Alaska.
The Good: Well, uh, ummm, let me think - think real hard! Well, the .... the rabbits! Yes, the rabbits! Valdez has lots of rabbits running around the town for some unknown reason so my two kids kept busy chasing after them for an hour or so before bed (see the attached pictures from my 8 year old's camera). Now the ferry ride from Whittier to Valdez was outstanding and a must do! Also, the drive north OUT of town was absolutely beautiful - including the drive through Thompson Pass. It ALMOST made up for the disappointment of Valdez and our "uncomfortable" stay at the Best Western Valdez, but not quite.
After breakfast we immediately packed up and left Valdez - hopefully never to return! If you have to be in Valdez because of business, I would suggest that you try another hotel - but there just doesn't seem to be much of anything in Valdez worth staying at that I could see. The Best Western might be the best that Valdez has to offer - that is sad! If you are traveling with a family for fun and adventure, I would advise you stay away from Valdez entirely. It really is so sad that a town that has the potential to be something - with all the oil money there - is really nothing much at all.
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- Also Known As:
- Best Western Valdez Harbor Hotel Valdez
- Valdez Best Western