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“A great experience”
Review of The Aurora Express

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The Aurora Express
Ranked #5 of 41 Fairbanks B&B and Inns
Reviewed July 9, 2009

I have yet to take a vacation on a moving train (that's to come), so this was the next best thing. Our room was the most basic of the train cars, but I liked that fact. I have always had an interest in trains and getting to see and sleep in a real car was a great experience. It was also nice to have an entire railroad car to ourselves! We got a chance to see some of the other cars and they are very nice, especially the caboose!! What also amazes me is thinking about everything that went into hauling these cars along icey roads, up the Chena Ridge and down the curvey driveway. That alone is incredible!! There is a very nice view of Fairbanks and the valley below. Using a real water car for water purposes was a nice touch as well...it kept with the railroad theme!

Since our stay was at the end of our trip, that extra room was needed for the many purchases we made. Breakfast is very filling, so no one can stay there isn't enough! (The eagle on the ceiling of the dining car just can not be missed!) For our last morning, we skipped breakfast to sleep in (since we were going to have a very long day of flights to come). We still wanted to have breakfast, but since it was already 11AM, we knew breakfast service was over for most restaurants. We asked about any restaurants that might still be serving breakfast and were told that Denny's was our only option (which we did not want to go to). So as we drove on Airport Way, we found a place that does serve breakfast all day long! I can not find information on it online, but it is called the AW Cafe (not A&W like the root beer chain). So Mike & Susan, there is now an option out there to Denny's, and they are good!

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Maketrax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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60 - 66 of 80 reviews

Reviewed July 5, 2009

My 16 year old son and I stayed at the Aurora Express for 2 nights. Our perfectly restored Alaska RR car was clean, spacious, comfortable, and decorated to perfection. Of course the summers in Alaska are wonderful....we had 24 hours of daylight, so it was easy to lose track of time.

Breakfast overlooking the Chena River was delicious; baked egg dish, fruit with french toast, reindeer sausage, etc...We spent one afternoon in a cool, shaded, screened car overlooking the river and valley below. We enjoyed a tour of the other train cars, each unique in color scheme and artwork.

Sue & Mike, the hosts, are interesting, fun, and kind people. They have slowly created this unique bed & breakfast, full of art and history. I felt like I stepped back in time to visit the real Alaska. This is way better than a boring hotel.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled with family
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4  Thank Kirkland1KirklandWA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2008

The Train Cars offer a truly unique lodging experience; each room has its own individual style. Perched high on a bluff, you have an amazing view of the river. Wish our plans would have allowed us to stay longer. Mike and Susan are wonderful hosts and provide you with some of the best breakfasts you will find anywhere. If you go to Fairbanks and do not stay at the Aurora Express, you will have missed a golden opportunity to make a lifelong memory. Many Thanks, The Smiths in Tallahassee FL

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank SOAC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2007

This is one of the nicest and most fascinating accommodations I have ever stayed at (me and my Mom stayed two nights in the Arlene railcar and one in the Can-Can room). Alaska is a land that is extraordinary beyond one's imagination and Mike and Susan's Aurora Express B&B truly does justice to this great state. First of all their idea of getting a bunch of vintage railcars beautifully restored and lined up along a green hillside with a magnificent view of the beautiful Tanana Valley is just so special. I cannot even imagine how much hard work and ingenuity it must have taken to get all these cars up to their current location and then restore them so beautifully. Add to it the wonderful atmosphere created by the two hosts with their easy-going, unpretentious, charming hospitality and their gourmet breakfasts and you have something pretty much one of a kind. I have traveled all over the world and stayed at all kinds of name-brand deluxe hotels and none of them comes close to this kind of experience. In my view Alaska is one of the world's greatest places, and this is one great B&B. To me it perfectly captures the spirit of Fairbanks - the right mix of friendliness, charm, unpretentiousness, and just a little quirkiness - that makes me want to return to this part of the world again and again. And when I do, I will be happy to stay at the Aurora Express once again. My highest recommendations for this one!

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled with family
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8  Thank utqiagvik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2007

We had a great time and Sue and Mike are super nice folks. Staying in an old rail car is kind of neat and the view overlooking the city is unbeatable.
Its a bit hard to find but once your there you get a feel for the area pretty quickly.
They serve a ton of food for breakfast and it kept us going all day.

I would recommend staying here vs a traditional hotel as it is a lot friendlier. Not having internet access was nice for a change and we would go back in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank AmberLantern
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2007

Spent one week at this Fantastic! bed and breakfast. Private rooms designed from beautifully restored antique Railroad cars. The owners Mike and Susan were some of the best hosts we have ever had. The food was out of this world. 5 Star luxury at resonable prices. We left feeling like part of the family. Thanks for everything! Will definately return with our friends next year.

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled with family
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7  Thank justgc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2006

If you are looking for a great place with character and a little fun, this is your place. From the funky train car rooms to the excellent Breakfast, you won't be disappointed. I'm only sorry we couldn't have stayed longer!

  • Stayed: August 2006, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank K_English
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 41 B&Bs / Inns in Fairbanks
Price Range: $166 - $194 (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 
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Also Known As:
Forget-Me-Not Lodge And The Aurora Express Hotel Fairbanks
The Aurora Express Fairbanks, Alaska

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