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I’ll be completely honest though: I didn’t visit Fairbanks often while growing up in Alaska, perhaps because it’s about 350 miles and almost six hours of driving from my hometown. Now that I’m all grown up and travel in Alaska more frequently, I’ve been fortunate to visit Fairbanks a few times in the last couple of years – including right before it began in February 2020 and again in August 2021. I’ve seen Fairbanks in summer and winter, and it holds a place in my heart from both.
If your Alaska itinerary will take you into the Interior, you might wonder where to stay in Fairbanks. After all, Fairbanks is one of the three largest cities in Alaska, which means you have far more choices for accommodation here than in other places. How do you choose between family-run spots and rustic or quirky stays? While I can’t give you a single recommendation, I do have a list of the best hotels in Fairbanks that I’ve found through my travels and research.
Below you’ll find seven great places to stay in Fairbanks, covering the range of accommodation styles and budgets. From family-run to family-friendly, eco-conscious bubble domes to fully-equipped suites, this is where to stay in Fairbanks, according to an Alaskan (me!).
In this post, I promote travel to a destination that is the traditional lands of the Tanana peoples. With respect, I make a formal land acknowledgment, extending my appreciation and respect to the past and present people of these lands. To learn more about the peoples who call these lands home, I invite you to explore Native Land.
A Taste of Alaska Lodge
The epitome of beauty, nature, and hospitality, A Taste of Alaska Lodge is one of my favorite hotels in Fairbanks and is my top recommendation when people ask me where to stay in Fairbanks.
The Lodge sits on a vast homestead piece of land at the end of a road. One of the things I love about A Taste of Alaska is how its owners represent the Alaskan people, as rugged and generous frontier families and thriving entrepreneurism at its best.
Hosts Kory, Debbie, and Dave are delightful. You’ll enjoy chatting with Debbie at breakfast each morning about the lodge, Fairbanks, and tips to see the Northern Lights.
The entire property is inviting and cozy, making you feel like you’re staying at a friend/relative’s country house. There are six accommodation options which were all designed and built by a member of the family: The Cottage, The Log House (built with logs from the property), The Spruce House, Main Lodge Room, East Lodge Suite, and the West Lodge Suite.
A Taste of Alaska is also a popular place for travelers who’re on a hunt for the Northern Lights. The property has an aurora alert system that is triggered by the owners or the guests if the lights are out dancing in the sky. They also run Aurora Pointe, a public aurora-viewing site that even non-guests can visit.
If you can afford one big splurge when visiting Alaska, Aurora Villa should be on your radar when looking for hotels in Fairbanks.
Perched on a hill, Aurora Villa boasts a luxurious nordic-style and features only seven rooms, so it truly feels like a very exclusive place. Rooms start at $580 and that price is reflected in the view you get. Thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows, you’ll seldom have to abandon your room to appreciate the valley and Northern Lights. The best selling point of Aurora Villa is the communal room, though. This area is probably the best vantage point to take in the dancing Aurora Borealis.
Alaska has also adopted the concept of glamping, opening luxurious tents, igloos, and yurts that blur the line between nature and humans all over the place. I mean, with all that natural beauty around it only makes sense, right?
Borealis Basecamp is the perfect option for where to stay in Fairbanks if you’re looking to get close and personal with Alaska’s wilderness. The property offers igloos and recently added cubes in the camp’s East Village to its accommodation portfolio.
Staying in one of their igloos is a magical experience. The igloos are located on arctic slopes and have wide open plexiglass viewing to the North so you can see the lights from the comfort of your bed. Borealis Basecamp offers two-, three-, and four-day packages which include different excursions to fill your days.
Chena Hot Springs Resort
Chena Hot Springs Resort is one of the most popular places to stay in Fairbanks, though you’ll definitely hear mixed reviews. I stayed here during my February 2020 visit to Fairbanks, and still recommend it – as long as your expectations are managed. The rooms are a bit rustic and old-fashioned, but the wellness facilities and hot springs you find there are worth it.
This is an awesome place to stay during the winter months. The hot springs are right in the middle of the mountains. There are rocks all along the edges with frost-covered trees and mountains, which make for beautiful scenery. Not all springs have the same depth and some are hotter than others. The resort also has an Aurora Ice Museum and bar.
Chena Hot Springs Resort offers a variety of accommodation options: the Moose Lodge, Fox Rooms, Bear Family Suites, cabins, yurts, and spots for camping & RVs.
River’s Edge Resort
Spread over 13 acres of pristine Alaskan landscape, River’s Edge Resort stands out for offering a bit more privacy than many other places.
The resort is open from mid-May through mid-September each year and each room is actually a cottage. Some are located along the banks of the Chena River, while others overlook the beautiful garden. There’s also the Lodge Junior Suites and an RV park with spots along the Chena River.
The property has a restaurant on site, Chena’s Alaskan Grill, for dinner, and Miner’s Hall Café, which offers a sumptuous breakfast. You’ll also find washer/dryer facilities so you don’t have to find another laundromat in town.
Sophie Station Suites
Sophie Station Suites is one of the best hotels in Fairbanks if you’re visiting as a family; I stayed here as a solo traveler in February 2020 and felt like I had way too much space in my suite. The suites are all at least 400 square feet in space and have an amazing distribution of spaces, guaranteeing each member of the family has their own space. Each room comes with a small kitchenette, separate sitting area, balcony, large bedroom, and a bathroom with a big closet.
In terms of facilities, the hotel’s restaurant, Zach’s Restaurant, offers delicious dining options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There’s also a complimentary shuttle service to Fairbanks International Airport and Alaska Railroad Depot for arriving and departing guests.
If seclusion is what you’re looking for in a hotel, Wedgewood Resort won’t disappoint you.
This stunning hotel is nestled between a 75-acre wildlife sanctuary and a 2,000-acre migratory waterfowl refuge. Yet the isolation is nothing but an illusion as Wedgewood is actually minutes away from downtown! So, in a way, this hotel is endowed with two virtues: seclusion and convenience.
Their accommodations are comfortable and functional. You can stay in their residential-style one or two-bedroom suites which are fully equipped with a kitchen, or book a spacious guest room at neighboring Bear Lodge (I stayed here in August 2021; it’s also nice), which is part of the same family along with Sophie Station Suites. Bear Lodge has an onsite restaurant, bar, and café during the Summertime – there’s no food on-site during the winter.
As a heads up, if you are looking for fancy, modern and new, that’s not the Wedgewood. But if you are looking for clean, functional accommodation in a good location at a good value I highly recommend Wedgewood or Bear Lodge.
Have any questions about where to stay in Fairbanks, or are there other accommodations you’ve stayed at and recommend that I should add to my list? Let me know in the comments below!
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