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“What a Hoot - Worth searching Out!”
Review of The Aurora Express

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The Aurora Express
Ranked #5 of 40 Fairbanks B&B and Inns
Reviewed September 1, 2011

I won't go into details about the train cars. You know from the web and other reviews that it is a unique B&B in a train, not a house. But it is more than just a novelty, although it is surely that. The setting, although a bit off the beaten track, is beautiful. The cars are located on a hillside overlooking the river and Fairbanks below. Everything is colorful and very well kept. The host gave us a tour of all the cars and related the history when we "checked in." He is obviously very proud of the place as well he should be. The story and photos of how they got the train cars from Denali to Fairbanks and down their steeply curved hill is amazing. The individually decorated sleeping cars are fanciful, but clean, comfortable and modernized. We had a surprisingly quiet night's sleep. Breakfast in the dining car was so much fun. The hostess loves to "hold court" and regale visitors with stories about the cars and past patrons. We ended a month-long vacation in Alaska at the Aurora Express (not sure what Forget-Me-Not Lodge is) and loved every minute of it. I probably took more pictures there than at any B&B where we have ever stayed.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank laborman1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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49 - 55 of 80 reviews

Reviewed July 25, 2011

This was truly one of a kind experience for us.

We stayed here for one night bbut wish it was longer.

The concept of calling a train cabin our room was unique and surprisingly everything inside was neat and clean. Bed was comfortable too.

The best part was the history that our hosts shared with us and of course the delicious breakfast.

Can't wait to visit again if given a chance

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank IamVagabondDotCom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2011

In Alaska, you never know what sort of lodging you are going to get. We were pleasantly surprised by this B&B. It was quirky, the owners were very friendly, the rooms were clean, and the breakfast was delicious! It was far enough from town that it was Alaska-like but close enough to get into town to enjoy sights and activities. The only reason I didn't give it a 5 star is because the mattress was a bit too firm for my liking.

Room Tip: We booked one night, and got what was available.
  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank may1787
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2011

Here's a quick bio on myself. Owned, managed & supervised rentals since 1971 and have 5 years of resort restaurant management. Presently in sales dealing with people nationwide and staying in hotels 5 to 30 days almost every month. SOOO....I feel that I'm qualified to give you all a great tip on the most unique and charming place to stay in Fairbanks.

You can stay in an original sleeper railroad car, or a honeymoon suite, or a two bedroom with a full kitchen. Each room is uniquely decorated from charming to funny. Stay a day, a week, or a month and Mike and Susan will make your stay very pleasant.

They start your day with a healthy, delicious breakfast all freshly prepared in the dining car. The dining car is open for guests to converse with each other, play games or watch TV. The only one on property....Yeah! There's also a smoking car in which you can enjoy a smoke and bring your own drinks to enjoy a little music and the other guests. The views are spectacular and the hiking trails enjoyable.

SOOO....If you enjoy going back in time to sleeper cars with shared bathrooms or the original charm of professionally decorated rooms of yesteryear with private baths, visit Mike and Susan at the Aurora Express.

Remember, nothing is new, but the scratches and dents are part of the charm of yesteryear. The place is clean and the beds and furniture say 'Welcome Home'.

I was there a week in May and plan on going back. Maybe I'll see you there.

Mary
Tempe, Arizona

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank MoverArizona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2010

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Aurora Express B&B in Fairbanks - our only regret was that we stayed there just one night and not longer. The train cars are so unique - we were lucky enough to be able to see each of them up close to appreciate the detailed love and care that went into each room. We stayed in the Bordello room, which was great and provided the best night's sleep we've had in who knows how long. The breakfast the next morning was terrific and plentiful and Susan was very attentive to all of our requests and questions, including giving good advice on where to eat, etc. If you are looking for a place to stay in Fairbanks that isn't a standard run-of-the-mill motel in town, this is it!

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank AnneAKAdvice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2010

The stories are so fascinating that it is difficult to know where to start. From how a complete train (diesel to caboose) got to the side of the mountain, the decorating of the rooms, the hosts’ lives, life in the winter, to Fairbanks itself, the stories are endless!

Susan has decorated four of the cars. Note worthy were the painting of the ceiling in the Gold Rush room that blended perfectly with the wall paper and the painting of the eagle in the dining car. The eagle was always looking straight at you no matter what angle you were looking at the painting.

Mike was the cook and each night he did the preparation work for the next morning’s breakfast. As he was preparing the breakfast, he told us stories about the train, the pipeline and life in Alaska. Every breakfast was different and special. Susan was one of the few females that actually worked on the construction of the pipeline. Her stories also included life in the 1964 earthquake, a polar bear attack, acquiring items to decorate the train cars and many more.

1st day – Tok Banana toast (French toast baked in syrup with strawberries and bananas), baked egg dish
2nd day – pancakes with construction workers plus croissants baked in a custard with peach jam, baked egg dish w/ cheese, home-fried potatoes, and baked stuffed mushrooms
3rd day – Apple Tundra toast (French toast baked with an apple mixture), eggs, bacon, potatoes, and grapes

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Doug63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2010

We fell in love with the Aurora Express - the views, the train carriages, the comfort, breakfast and most especially with the hosts - Mike and Susan. Both of them are one of a kind - we could have spent hours talking to them - this is why we wanted to come to Alaska - to meet people like them.
The setting is stunning - up on a hill overlooking the river, the views are gorgeous. We stayed in the Golden Nellie Caboose and can totally recommend it. The bed is extremely comfy and the carriage such fun.
Thank you both for a memorable stay - we loved it :o)

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank 1LR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Aurora Express

Address: 1550 Chena Ridge Rd, P.O. Box 80128, Fairbanks, AK 99709-2609 (Formerly Forget-Me-Not Lodge)
Location: United States > Alaska > Fairbanks
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 40 B&Bs / Inns in Fairbanks
Price Range: $145 - $225 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Aurora Express is a bed and breakfast nestled amongst towering spruce in the western hills of Fairbanks, Alaska. Overlooking the mighty Tanana River and the Alaska Range, this unique property has a panoramic view of the city and its surroundings. Sleep in authenic Alaska Railroad trains that have been renovated to reflect the gold rush era of the north. Join hosts Susan and Michael Wilson for Copper River smoked salmon, wild alaskan blueberry jam, fresh fruit, hot coffee and eggs every morning while you hear their stories about life in territorial Alaska and working the pipeline. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Forget-Me-Not Lodge And The Aurora Express Hotel Fairbanks
The Aurora Express Fairbanks, Alaska

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