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“Rustic Bunkhouse offers a Good Time”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Mount Aurora Lodge

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Mount Aurora Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Groveland, California
Level Contributor
247 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 213 helpful votes
“Rustic Bunkhouse offers a Good Time”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 2, 2012

I enjoyed my 3 nights at the Fairbanks Creek Lodge, because it offered a different type of lodging environment with lots of interaction and comradery between guests than other places I stayed in the Fairbanks area, and since I was traveling alone this setting suited me.

The building is rustic, not much to look at from the outside, but inside it is cozy and warm. It is historic, an old bunkhouse from gold rush days that was moved to the current location. The rooms are all upstairs, and some might consider them small, but that meant they were snug and warm. Each room had as many beds as possible, and some of them shared a bathroom/shower room in between the rooms with doors on each side. It was like a cross between a hostel and a hotel, the "bunkhouse" label is a good descriptor.

Downstairs is a large open common room with windows on all sides, you can watch the birds feeding, play board games or work on jigsaw puzzles, watch TV and read, and talk with other guests. Breakfast is included in your room rate, and changes from day to day, including something hot as well as cereals, breads, and fruit. Dinner is available, either as part of a meal plan or you can just ask to book for dinner from day to day. Meal times are set, not flexible, again the bunkhouse flavor. I found the cost of dinner to be high, considering the fare, except for the one night they offered salmon, the price seemed fair for that entree. But portions were ample, its family style help yourself and table seating.

There are snow shoes to use at no charge, and the resident dog will be glad to go for walks with you. Brenda, the owner/operator was very nice, helpful and friendly. I enjoyed having other people to interact with, the mix of young professionals from the East Coast and retirees from the Midwest added some interesting spice to meal time discussions.

I skiied at SkiLand for 2 days, the ski resort is run by the same people as the lodge, it is a short drive away but you must use your car there is no shuttle provided. Skiing seemed a bit high cost to me, $60 for equipment rental and lift tickets, considering the limited number of runs. The staff there was very friendly, talkative and helpful.

The location is good, about 30 minutes out of Fairbanks, on the Steese Highway. It is a great location for viewing the Northern Lights. You can go up to SkiLand where the sky view is less obstructed than at the lodge, at no added charge. They book large tour groups in for the viewing buildings each night, so if crowds aren't your thing you can watch the lights from the lodge driveway area.

You don't have to worry about getting a wake up call if the Aurora is active, you can hear if people are moving around the lodge, up and down the hallways, and even between upstairs and downstairs. If you sneeze at night, someone may say Bless You, sound carries in this older building.

Again, I like it, there were trails for walking and snow shoeing, but it may not be for everyone. I sometimes stay in hostels, and do not require 5 star lodging, so it was a good fit for me.

Room Tip: I think the rooms are all about the same, maybe further down the hall from the stairs would be quiet...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank CTBCalifornia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lori K, Owner at Mount Aurora Lodge, responded to this review, August 23, 2013
Just as an FYI we are under new management as of January 2013. For a recent review please go to YELP and type in mount aurora lodge. Thank You to all who have stayed with us this year, it's been great to have you! We're looking forward to this seasons aurora viewing.
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92 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 5, 2011

I stayed here in March and it was ok. Upon arrival we were surprised that there was no talk about how the aurora would be viewed, how we would be informed it was active or where the viewing place was. We had to ask all of the questions later. We were also eventually informed that the truck that was promised to take us to Skiland wasn't being offered and we would have to walk or drive ourselves. Not a problem, but it wasn't as described.

The place itself was basic, but could not be faulted for it's cleanliness and friendliness of the staff especially the lady who cooked breakfast for us, unfortunately I can't remember her name.

The viewing of the Aurora at ski land was a great disappointment. Despite a great show of lights that was put on it was spoilt by the busloads of viewers that are at Skiland every night and never shut up or have any respect for the people around them.

The Skiland cabin was again basic and was disappointing that it didn't have a view of the lights at all and was basically a place to serve coffee and sell food.

There is so much potential with both the lodge and the Skiland viewing that the owners need to look at it in a different way rather than what it is now. The cost if the lodge isn't cheap and if they invested some of that cost back into experience it could improve. Skiland itself needs to have the numbers that are there each night reduced significantly. Viewing the aurora is a great experience, and one I personally would like to experience in relative peace and quiet, this isn't possible as it is. We ended up driving to other locations to avoid the crowds.

  • Stayed March 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank LocalBrit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lori K, Owner at Mount Aurora Lodge, responded to this review, January 16, 2014
We are under new ownership!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Dimas, CA, USA
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 3, 2010

We came to Fairbanks for a 8 night stay to try to see the northern lights. We spent the first 5 nights in Fairbanks, driving out of town at night to see the lights. On the nights it snowed, we stayed in town, only to find out that it was clear up at Cleary Summit and we missed seeing the aurora on those nights. Mt. Aurora Fairbanks Creek Lodge is on a mountain top 20 miles from Fairbanks on Cleary Summit. On a clear day, you can see Denali on the horizon to the south. The lodge is a refurbished miner's bunkhouse/mess hall built in 1928. It is rustic and genuine, operated by a family who are warm and inviting. I was a little dubious about the bed but it was comfortable, the rooms quiet and the room temperature acceptable. The bathrooms were added in 1997 and have what you need. Breakfast is supplied and was served to us on our schedule (some days we slept in as we'd been up late that night.) Efforts were made to serve you what you'd like for breakfast. Dinner is also offered for an additional price and was tasty and filling and was served family style with the other guests. The owners also operate Skiland on the northern side of the peak which offers a fantastic view to the north. They open the ski lodge to aurora watchers from 10pm to 2am (longer if the aurora is still going on.) There is a camera hooked up to a tv screen inside the lodge so one can be warm and comfortable until the aurora starts. When we were there, it was -10 to 10 F sometimes with a slight breeze. Having a warm place to retreat to made our aurora viewing much more enjoyable and we were able to watch longer since we weren't freezing.

To sum up, this was the perfect place to watch the aurora from. Out of 8 nights, we saw it 3 times and missed it another 3 times because we were staying in town instead of staying in a place where you could just walk outside and look up. The place is very rustic, but it's well run and you have everything you need to be comfortable. And there is free wifi for those addicted to the net. The lodge is also a great place for group retreats and events.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank kelpster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lori K, Owner at Mount Aurora Lodge, responded to this review, January 16, 2014
We are under new ownership!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mount Aurora Lodge

Property: Mount Aurora Lodge
Address: 2320 Fairbanks Creek Rd, Fairbanks, AK 99712-1753
Location: United States > Alaska > Fairbanks
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 24 Specialty Lodging in Fairbanks
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Mount Aurora Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rustic Bed and Breakfast in an old Gold Miner's Bunkhouse. 30 miles north of Fairbanks. Beautiful Aurora viewing, hiking, snowshoeing, skiing. Welcome to Mount Aurora Lodge stay where the ambiance is real historic Fairbanks. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mount Aurora Lodge Fairbanks, Alaska

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