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.
- 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