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Nestled within the Chugach Mountain Range, Girdwood, Alaska, is a picturesque gem that exudes natural splendor and offers boundless opportunities for adventure. As a gateway to the vast wilderness in Southcentral Alaska, this enchanting town boasts an unparalleled landscape that captures the very essence of the Last Frontier.
I’ve been to Girdwood many times in the course of growing up in Alaska and visiting since; it’s a great spot to stop between Anchorage and Seward, but also worthy of more time – a night or two – in your Alaskan itinerary. But if you’re planning to stay the night in Girdwood, you might wonder about your accommodation options and where to stay in Girdwood.
Whether you’re seeking the adrenaline rush of outdoor activities, the serenity of breathtaking vistas, or simply looking to immerse yourself in a welcoming community, Girdwood is the quintessential destination for those who yearn for a truly authentic Alaskan experience – and here are the best places to stay in Girdwood after each day of adventure in the area.
In this post, I promote travel to a destination that is the traditional lands of the Dena’ina Ełnena 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.
Ski Inn is one of the most budget-friendly Girdwood hotels. And the best thing is that you won’t compromise having a wonderful stay for saving some money. Mr. V and I stayed at the Ski Inn during his first trip to Alaska way back in 2017, and it’s been one of my top recommendations for where to stay in Girdwood ever since.
The Ski Inn is right in “downtown” Girdwood, meaning you’ll have everything at hand: a local pub, coffee shop, grocery store, and anything else in the historic downtown. (This also means it’s not right up on the slopes, so it’s a less convenient option if you’re in town to ski.)
It has a shared area, where they offer breakfast (bagels, yogurt, and different kinds of coffee) and there are board games, comfortable seating, and a water station. Basically, it makes a great base for exploring the Girdwood Valley, from the slopes and/or trails to Turnagain Arm.
Moose Meadow Chalet
If a luxurious experience is what you’re after, Moose Meadow Chalet is a gorgeous place for where to stay in Girdwood (especially if you have a larger group since it can sleep up to six people). The vacation rental chalet is nestled in the middle of the woods and has beautiful mountain views. You’ll enjoy the views every single morning, thanks to the large windows in the living room and expansive balconies and decks.
As for the amenities, it has a fully-equipped kitchen where foodies can show off their culinary skills, three bedrooms, and one bathroom. Oh, and it’s one of the best Girdwood accommodations if you have kids! Downstairs there’s a recreation area, complete with a dartboard and game table to keep the young ones entertained.
Rooms from $290/night; book on Booking.com.
Alpine Meadows Log Cabin
Alpine Meadows Log Cabin is yet another option if you’re looking for a luxurious Alaskan experience. This log cabin is one of the best Girdwood vacation rentals for families or big groups who want a peaceful retreat.
It also sleeps six people and features one bedroom, a living room, a fully-equipped kitchen, and two bathrooms. There’s a stunning wood stove where you can snuggle with your loved ones in the winter, and a huge deck to take in the Alaskan sun in the summer months.
While you’ll feel you’re in the middle of nowhere, you’re just two miles away from the center of Girdwood. (It therefore needs to be said that you’ll have to have a car to get there and get around.)
Rooms from $129/night; book on Booking.com.
Let’s say you’re organizing a family reunion in Alaska (great idea!) and Girdwood is your meeting point: Cervin Chalet is the perfect place to book for this occasion, as it can sleep up to 17 people! (This obviously makes it less fitting for solo travelers, couples, or small families, but I wanted to have a variety.)
The property is stunning – just take a look at the photo of the house nestled between the trees and the snow falling… It’s magical, to say the least. It features five bedrooms, three bathrooms, a fully-equipped kitchen for the chef in the family, a dining area, and a patio with outstanding mountain views. It’s also close to Alyeska, so you can enjoy some fine skiing during your stay.
Rooms from $276/night; book on Booking.com.
This Mountain Chalet is the perfect place for where to stay in Girdwood if you want to take advantage of all that Alyeska Resort has to offer without staying in Alyeska Resort; the property is right across the street from the resort. After you’ve enjoyed the spa and ski slopes, you can come back to a cozy three-level townhome.
It features three bedrooms, four bathrooms, a fully-equipped kitchen, and a balcony with mountain views. The property also has a private hot tub where you can relax after a long day of hiking. You’ll be right in the heart of the ski village so all the fun is literally right at your doorstep.
Rooms from $276/night; book on Booking.com.
What About the Alyeska Resort?
You might have noticed a major omission from my list: the Alyeska Resort. This is, hands down, the most popular place to stay in Girdwood (and in Alaska, based on my reader’s choices) but it’s actually not one that I recommend.
Why not? Well, without getting too deep into details, I’ve had some poor experiences with the property during past trips, and have heard the same from readers – and they especially point this out with regard to the experience-versus-price comparison. Let’s face it: the Alyeska Resort has a bit of a monopoly on the accommodation market in Girdwood (representing 301 rooms of… maybe generously 350, considering the other properties and vacation rentals in the valley); this means they can charge what they want (similar to Denali hotels).
So while I don’t recommend staying at the Alyeska Resort, I do recommend taking advantage of some of the other amenities on the property: the new Nordic Spa is absolutely awesome and worth a half-day at minimum. The Alyeska Tram is also a quintessential Alaska experience, whether you dine at the top of the mountain or just admire the view.
Have any (other) questions about where to stay in Girdwood? Let me know in the comments below.