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“Clean, comfortable hostel”

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Spenard Hostel International
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed September 2, 2013

I stayed at this hostel in July. Front desk isn't manned all day (morning and evening), but after another guest had pointed me in the right direction I found the check in information left for me pinned to the stairs by the front door. I was in a comfortable, clean female dorm. There are two friendly cats who are free roaming, although you are welcoming to put them out of the rooms. It is worth noting this in case you have a cat allergy. The bathrooms were always clean as were the well equipped kitchens. There were comfortable seating areas, where it was easy to get chatting to people.
This hostel is quite convenient for the airport, but less so for downtown or the railway station. There are local bus stops.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled solo
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Thank NorthWestLondoner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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80 - 86 of 114 reviews

Reviewed August 25, 2013

The staff here is incredibly friendly and welcoming. They go out of their way to orient you to Anchorage and have ample resources regarding the city, public transit, etc. They even coordinate a bear spray exchange. The hostel is very well run. The only downside to Spenard Hostel is that it is aging. The room that I stayed in had a musty smell to it and the bathrooms also showed signs of age/not as great upkeep compared to some of the other hostels I've stayed at recently. With all of this said, the nightly price is very reasonable and if you're tired and need a safe and friendly place to sleep, I'd recommend Spendard.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled solo
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Thank ectothegecko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jen_from_spenard, Owner at Spenard Hostel International, responded to this reviewResponded March 21, 2014

Thank you very much for your feedback, and i am looking around my hostel with a new eye to the fact that what some see as "comofortable and lived in" will definitely appear worn to others. I'm so glad you found the people at Spenard to be friendly, as we work very hard to create a welcoming environment.
Our busy hostel does see a lot of use, and i think that most people would be surprised at how quickly wear and tear occurs. As a smaller hostel, we are focused on providing our guests with a place that feels like a home away from home, and this is something we hear frequently. We truly strive to keep things as clean and as updated as possible.
We replace pillows and mattresses each year (not all of them, of course!) in a rotating scheudule. We replace one of our seven couches each year. This year we are hoping to replace the flooring on the entire ground level, with the upstairs to follow next year. These projects will be followed by bathroom remodels, kitchen remodels, and the replacement of bunks, and by the time we get through all of that it will be time to start at the beginning of the list again. ;) We spent all of our maintenance money in 2013 on a new roof. It is red, and lovely, and keeps everyone warm and dry, and unfortuntely doesn't get to be appreciated by guests nearly as much as it should. We hope you might take a moment to admire it should you find yourself at Spenard again.

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Reviewed August 12, 2013 via mobile

All the cute emails from Hostelworld & Spenard didn't help make the stay any better. Arrived at 1am to no notes about which bed, no layout map & no staff onsite. Slept on the grubby sofa with the cat & my shirt for a cover. Left at sunrise & headed out for Fairbanks asap. Still got charged with no contact from staff. Just cause it's close to the airport doesn't mean it's a good choice.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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Thank MrSmitcher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jen_from_spenard, Owner at Spenard Hostel International, responded to this reviewResponded March 21, 2014

I apologize that our late check-in procedure didn't work out for you. We try to make everything as failproof as possible, but in your case it clearly didn't work out. I cannot say what might have happened to your check-in notice, but all hostel staff including myself (the owner) live on site. We have signs posted on the doors both upstairs and downstairs saying which rooms belong to houseparents if you need one, and in response to your feedback we have added a few more of these to try to make them more visible. Regarding the charge to your credit card, each late check in notice details how to make make a cash payment, followed by the fact that we can charge your card on file if you prefer. Thus, we do not contact guests when charging their cards as the policy has already been stated. However, in this case with the missing note you unfortunately would not have known that, and i apologize. I'm sorry you had to spend the night on the couch, but i did want to let you know that said couch has been replaced. Should you find yourself in Anchorage again i hope you will give us another try, and please free to contact me directly at jen*at*alaskahostel.org if you do. Thank you again for your feedback and even with a rough start i hope you enjoyed the rest of your trip in Alaska.

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Reviewed August 9, 2013

I really enjoyed my stay there. Don't get fooled by the distance to downtown. You can get there by public transportation (cheap, only $1.75) in around 10 to 15 minutes
The staff is very friendly and nice and the owner was very helpful and kind.
Rooms are big enough, common areas are clean but I guess that depends on the people that stay there at the time, since you get the option to stay for free if you clean (I don't know exactly how this works, since I haven't done it)
If you bring your own lock you can use the lockers for free. Otherwise you have to pay a small renting fee.
All in all, great hostel experience!!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Hormiguita-viajera1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2013

Useful and caring staff, good location (using public transport you can easily get to both the downtown and the airport( 10 minutes) , clean rooms, cosy kitchens and the sitting room make you feel very comfortable there.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank 98Tatiana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 23, 2013

When I arrived at Spenard Hostel in the middle of the night, I found a handwritten welcome note with my bed assignment and I was greeted by a small black cat (Esmerelda). I've stayed in hostels all over the world, and this is one of the friendliest and best run. Good things happen in a small establishment when there is a good owner (Jen) who lives on site and runs the business. The location is close enough to the airport that I walked to the hostel with two bags in just over 30 minutes. Some of the things I appreciated: comfortable bunks, clean sheets, multiple kitchens and bathrooms, food storage space, bike rentals, free locked storage space for guests, free bear spray exchange, friendly staff, 2 friendly cats, option to work for your stay (just 3 hours earns 1 night), and an array of friendly and interesting guests.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank DanREvans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2012

For budget travellers this is a wonderful find. Clean, comfortable, and friendly it has 3 kitchens and several dorm rooms.Only negative I found was the occasional wait for a bathroom when all were in use. A wide range of ages here so anyone will feel welcome. The bike rentals make for an easy trip by the Tony Knowles Trail to downtown. It worked great for me for 3 nights at the beginning of my trip and the last night before I flew out.

Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
Thank kadala
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Spenard Hostel International

Address: 2845 W 42nd Ave, Anchorage, AK 99517-2830
Location: United States > Alaska > Anchorage
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 29 Specialty Lodging in Anchorage
Price Range: $42 - $66 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 43
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Spenard Hostel International is conveniently located one mile from the Ted Stevens International Airport and on the bus line to historic downtown and the universities in Anchorge, Alaska. We offer dorm style lodging in a clean, friendly, and helpful environment with plenty of amenties. Guests have access to 3 kitchens, 4 bathrooms, short and long term secure storage, free wifi, coin operated laundry, vending machines, book exchange library, and free coffee, tea, and hot cocoa, oatmeal, & pancakes. During the summer season, we have tent space available, bike rentals, bbq grill in our spacious yard, and plenty of lawn games. We are happy to help you plan the details of your trip to Anchorage or throughout the state, and we're the perfect place to launch your Alaskan adventure. We are open year round, have no lock out, and late check in is available with advance notice. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Spenard Hostel International Hotel Anchorage

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