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“If you're going that far, stay with Mok!”

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Aurora Borealis Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 15, 2013

It's worth the wait to stay at this lodge if you want the best chance to see the greatest number of auroras. Mok and family have it wired--or wireless, to be accurate. The group gatherings on the big deck for hot cocoa, and photos by Mok, are great, of course. But the BEST part is they also ding the walkie talkie in the wee hours when there is a good aurora, and we didn't even have to leave our room to see it, thanks to the big windows. I have no idea when Mok and his family sleep, as someone seems to be "on watch" the entire night. Our room had a little kitchen so we could cook our own meals and never had to leave. And we really didn't want to leave! (We didn't get there this year, but we were there last March and Mok and family are constantly improving the place so I'm sure it's just getting better every year.)

Room Tip: Ask for the room with the best windows for viewing the auroras
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank BWords
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 23, 2013

My boyfriend & I stayed at the ABL specifically to see the Aurora. We saw the Aurora except for the night that it snowed heavily & the cloud cover just wouldn't budge! It was freak weather in April, even for Alaska - one clear night the temperature dropped to -10F. All of it made for a truly exciting experience. Mok and Akiko were gracious hosts. When we arrived in a tiny economy rental car, Mok came out and drove that little car up the hill in the snow because it was sliding backwards. Note that we didn't go looking for him. He came out of his warm house and found us at midnight. (We traded that car for an SUV the next mornign). The accommodations are everything you could need or want. We were in room 3 on the first floor and couldn't be happier. The kitchen is fully equipped with even a rice pot, oven, cooktop and all the pots, pans & utensils and kitchen towels. The bathroom has a heated toilet and bidet... who would think? And, there is a dehumidifier in the room so the windows don't fog up. Even with sub zero temps outside, we were warm and comfortable. Mok he even helped me set my camera for the Aurora! I kept it at the setting almost the entire time, with great results. On a side note, I went camping last summer to take pictures of stars just to find the right setting... it took hours. It took Mok about 2 minutes. I can't thank him enough for that. I have no idea when Mok sleeps because he will let you know by walkie talkie at 1:00am if the Aurora is active. I could open up the door of our room and set up my tripod right there. Also, all the rooms have entrances on different side of the building. You truly feel like you're the only ones there. I just managed to hear footsteps of other guests. We left after 4 days because ABL closed for the season on 4/10. By the way, when we got the next lodge our upstairs neighbor happened to be the same upstairs neighbors we had at the ABL. We all raved about how wonderful that place was. I'd stay there again in a heartbeat! Thank you so much!

Room Tip: If you think it might snow, rent an SUV! And, the 1st floor was great.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank SifusWoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2013

We stayed at ABL as part of a Make-A-Wish trip. Our son wished to see the aurora borealis and his dream came true! We saw the aurora every night, 4 nights in a row! The accommodations were really one of the only ways we could manage seeing the aurora borealis for someone with a medical condition.

The rooms are cozy, nice and WARM. There are beautiful windows that face North. Mok (the owner) will wake you using a walkie-talkie to alert you when the aurora is out. Then you can go to the window or go right outside on the nice decks to view it.

Mok is very nice, patient and is GREAT with taking photos with his special camera.

The daytime view from the room is beautiful! It also has a full kitchen with a small refridgerator. We did some cooking and baked cookies while we were there. The bathroom has a heated toilet.

We bought groceries at the Fred Myer on airport road. We also went dog sledding with Sled Dog Adventures. The Museum of the North and the Cultural Center were also amazing.

We are so greatful to Mok and the Aurora Borealis Lodge for helping a dream some true!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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9  Thank patsarah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2013

We stayed at the Aurora Borealis Lodge for four nights and saw the Aurora 4 times! What could be better? Our room was extremely comfortable, with a small kitchen area, a large comfy bed, and a huge picture window with a lovely sofa to view the aurora from the warmth of our room. Stopped at Fred Meyers in Fairbanks on the way up to get groceries for breakfast. Mok was a great host, and suggested several good restaurants close by for dinner. He also takes great pictures of you with the Aurora in the background! He does host quite large groups of Japanese tourists every night from 10 PM to 2 AM, so his viewing decks get a little crowded and noisy. This sometimes interferes with peaceful viewing of the northern lights, but it keeps him in business. Altogether an outstanding place to stay.

Room Tip: Either the first or second floors are fine.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank ZiggyWStardust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2013

Torrents of words have already been written about Aurora Borealis Lodge. Most of them are indicative of a full satisfaction and enthusiastic appreciation, and I do quote and agree with many reviews I’ve read here on T.A. On the other hand, if I’ve come here from Italy for the 3rd time in one year, certainly there are some good reasons why. And I never kept disappointed.
Also this time I’ve got the proof that, under a strictly geo-climatic point of view, the location of ABL is one of the best in Alaska: far from the city light pollution (20 miles North of Fairbanks), and high enough (more that 2,000 ft) to avoid the (icy) fogs of the plains, that could often affect a good view of the northern lights. The last day of my stay (March, 31st) it was heavily snowing from the afternoon till to the evening. But late in the night, at around 1 a.m., Mok’s voice was waking us up by the walky-talky because the lights were visible far westward, and above our head, a widespread break in the clouds of a blue starry sky, was promising great views. Maybe Mok took some mysterious agreements with the “gods of the skies” above his lodge!?!
Meeting Mok, Akiko – his nice and so discreet wife – and their 2 kids, or joking with Logan, the co-owner of ABL, or running in the snow with their black, docile Labrador dog, is always a nice way to spend some good moments, to feel like at home, in the total respect of each other’s privacy. I stayed for a while in the new Logan’s lodge, too. Excellent! And here are some pictures of that new construction, next to the main lodge.
Just a couple of final observations: doesn’t matter if there is no television set; sometimes it’s so useful to keep strictly in touch with the nature and with himself (maybe it will be a bit harder to keep so close with our mother-in-law…) and, anyway, the free wi-fi is perfectly working. Last, but not least, a part the kindness of our hosts, it’s a great thing to share our stay with good neighbors (there are 4 apartments in the same lodge) and I do thank them, because they were respectful of the rules in terms of noise and of lights from the windows (so crucial when taking pictures in the dark of the night). And referring to the pictures, it’s as pathetic as useless to try to capture the lights with iPhones, iPads, tablets and so on. As others have correctly mentioned here, a tripod is required and a camera which can be manually set at high ISO speed, long time exposures (some 15 seconds or even more, depending on the type of lenses) etc. In any case, when Aurora is active, Mok is always available to take pictures to us and for us with his own cameras.
Thanks everybody, Graziano

Room Tip: Best views from upstairs, but the 1st floor rooms are closer to the outside wooden terrace, perfect...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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6  Thank OscarItaly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2013

We recently stayed at this lodge for a couple of days and it was great. Mok was very welcoming and patient. We stayed on the first floor with two huge windows making it easy to view the northern lights from indoors. There are walkie-talkies in the room are for Aurora alerts from the Main Lodge, which made sure we didn't miss out on any shows. We were able to see the Northern Lights 2/3 nights we were there. On the third night, it was cloudy, however, the lights could still be seen vaguely. The room had a great heater that warmed up the place in a matter of minutes. Our room also had a kitchen with all the necessary equipment to make meals.
Although the lodge does have equipment for you to go snow-shoeing and a beautiful fun black labrador to keep you company, I would highly recommend renting a car (All-wheel drive) to allow you to do other activities. We went to Chena Hot Springs (1.5 hrs away from the lodge and has tons of activites), Santa's house in the North Pole (30 mins from lodge), an Ice Park, Pioneer Park, an antique auto museum (only open on sundays during winter season), and 2 great restaurants (Turtle Club known for its prime rib and Silver Glutch Brewing and Bottling). We managed to fit all that in a long weekend trip.

Bringing a professional camera and tripod is a must to be able to capture pictures of the Northern Lights. Mok does offer to take your pictures and sell them to you at a reasonable price.

Overall, great experience for all ages.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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4  Thank karinaj806
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2013

We stayed here in Feb and we had a great stay. Mok and family were so accommodating.
We stayed on the 2nd floor of the lodge but I think it doesn't matter if you stay on the 1st or 2nd floor of the lodge. Make sure before you get to the lodge to stop by at Fred Myers to get grocery.

We saw the amazing Northern Lights during our stay. It was a once in a lifetime experience. I would definitely go back again to see the aurora borealis.

My husband though was bored during the day because there was NO TV at the lodge. I do agree since not a lot of people would like to do anything outdoors because it is too cold. FOR THE PRICE THEY CHARGE, IT WOULD BE WONDERFUL TO ADD A TV ON EACH LODGE SO GUEST CAN REALLY FEEL AT HOME. This is the only thing missing but they still deserve a 5 star.

Please consider adding a TV maybe will stay 10 or more days next time.

Room Tip: First or second floor have great rooms. We saw our neighbors 1st floor unit - it was also nice. Aga...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank dancewithme4102
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aurora Borealis Lodge

Address: Cleary Summit Rd., 1906 Ridge Run Rd, Fairbanks, AK 99707
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Alaska > Fairbanks
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 24 Specialty Lodging in Fairbanks
Price Range: $199 - $224 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
Also Known As:
Aurora Borealis Hotel Fairbanks
Aurora Borealis Lodge Fairbanks, Alaska

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