These Are The 10 Best Hotels in Alaska

Whether you’re looking to chase the Northern Lights, try your hand at fly fishing, or unwind in a spa surrounded by nature, these are the best places to stay in Alaska for an adventure in the great outdoors.

Orca Island Cabins is composed of eight waterfront tents.

Orca Island Cabins is composed of eight waterfront tents.

Courtesy of Orca Island Cabins

With its snow-capped peaks, shimmering glaciers, abundant wildlife, and rich cultural heritage, Alaska beckons millions of adventurers from around the globe each year. Enabling travelers to explore the state’s untamed terrain are enchanting accommodations where modern comforts harmonize with awe-inspiring surroundings.

Many of these establishments are more than just places to rest one’s head; they are gateways to unparalleled adventures. Whether you’re staying in the cities or shooting off to experience Alaska’s vast backcountry, the latest installment of Afar’s Hotels We Love series delivers the 10 best hotels and resorts in the 49th state.

Alyeska Resort

Visitors enjoy the grounds around the Alyeska Prince Hotel at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood, Alaska 27-miles south of Anchorage.

Model Releases:
Patrick Ronan, Carol Makar, Paige Mohl and Maddie Moser

Visitors enjoy the grounds around the Alyeska Prince Hotel at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood, Alaska 27-miles south of Anchorage. Model Releases: Patrick Ronan, Carol Makar, Paige Mohl and Maddie Moser

Matt Hage

  • Location: Girdwood
  • Why we love it: A ski-in, ski-out resort beloved by locals
  • Book now

Situated just 40 miles from downtown Anchorage and the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, the year-round Alyeska Resort feels worlds away, set deep in a glacier-carved valley off scenic Seward Highway. With 304 guest rooms and a dizzying number of amenities, it also feels like a world unto itself.

There are seven dining and drinking options, a fitness center, and a heated saltwater lap pool with mountain views. But guests come to Alaska to commune with the great outdoors, and Alyeska offers its fair share of world-class experiences, including the longest continuous double-black-diamond ski run in North America and more than 1,600 acres of skiable terrain (and, as of last year, it’s on the IKON pass).

Alyeska Resort also recently opened a Nordic Spa, with a series of outdoor hot and cold Hydrotherapy pools, massage treatments, and wellness offerings, and the Veilbreaker Skybridges, which sees daring guests cross an aerial, 600-foot bridge hanging 2,500 feet above the valley floor. Though for something tamer, consider taking the 60-passenger tram 2,300 feet up Mount Alyeska. There, guests can also dine at Seven Glaciers, a AAA Four Diamond restaurant with an incredible seafood program. From $230

Borealis Basecamp

Dining at Borealis Basecamp comes with panoramic views of the landscape.

Dining at Borealis Basecamp comes with panoramic views of the landscape.

Courtesy of Borealis Basecamp

  • Location: Fairbanks
  • Why we love it: Accommodations that are tailor-made for watching the northern lights
  • Book now

Tucked away in a boreal forest in Interior Alaska, north of Fairbanks (Alaska’s second largest city, population 30,000) and far from urban light pollution, Borealis Basecamp feels off the grid while offering all the comforts of an upscale lodge. When it opened in 2017, the retreat quickly became a coveted spot for northern lights chasers.

The collection of 28 geodesic igloos was built in the same way as the accommodations of scientists in Arctic environments, but with extra creature comforts. Each igloo has a ceiling made with repurposed 16-foot-wide helicopter windows offering views of chartreuse- and magenta-hued northern lights from bed. In winter 2022, Borealis Basecamp added a collection of modern cube-shaped cabins with floor-to-ceiling windows that make for easy sky scanning. Read Afar’s full review of Borealis Basecamp. Contact hotel for rates

Camp Denali

Camp Denali has unobstructed views of its namesake peak.

Camp Denali has unobstructed views of its namesake peak.

Courtesy of Camp Denali

  • Location: Kantishna
  • Why we love it: An opportunity to explore Denali National Park in its purest form
  • Book now

One of only a handful of accommodations inside Denali National Park and Preserve, Camp Denali offers unique access to some of the most breathtaking landscapes in North America.

Located in Kantishna, an old mining settlement 90 miles into the protected land, each of Camp Denali’s 19 cabins offers a close-to-the-land experience. Propane lamps provide light, a wooden stove gives off heat, drinking water comes from an outdoor spigot, and a short path leads to an outhouse. They all feature picture windows with views of Mount Denali, North America’s highest peak. Guests can participate in guided hikes through alpine meadows dotted with wildflowers, across rushing streams, and up to panoramic viewpoints where they can gaze upon the vast expanse of the park. Wildlife sightings are common, with opportunities to spot grizzly bears, moose, caribou, wolves, and other iconic Alaskan animals in their natural habitat.

In normal years, busloads of tourists would travel the park road each day. However, due to a rockslide that closed the road at the halfway point until at least 2027, only those who fly into Kantishna have access to the furthest reaches of the park, including the famed Wonder Lake, where on a clear day, the mountain reflects perfectly in its still waters. From $1,325

Hotel Captain Cook

A guest room at Captain Cook Lodge with views of Anchorage

A guest room at Captain Cook Lodge

Courtesy of Captain Cook Lodge

  • Location: Anchorage
  • Why we love it: It’s an Anchorage institution
  • Loyalty program: I Prefer (Preferred Hotel & Resorts)
  • Book now

In 1964, a 9.2-magnitude earthquake—the second most powerful ever recorded—ripped through the south coast of Alaska, devastating much of downtown Anchorage. After surveying the damage, real-estate developer Walter J. Hickel, who would later go on to serve two terms as the state’s governor, vowed to build Alaska’s biggest and best hotel. The result was Hotel Captain Cook, a massive 546-room hotel complex spread out over three towers. It’s still the city’s most luxurious lodgings, known for its attentive concierge, excellent athletic club, and wealth of dining options.

The elegant Crow’s Nest restaurant offers dishes that incorporate French technique with regional ingredients, like king crab–studded bouillabaisse, along with a 10,000-bottle wine collection; on a clear day, 360-degree views include the iconic peaks of Denali. One more reason to visit: The property was inducted as a member of the Historic Hotels of America in 2016. From $195

Orca Island Cabins

This covered veranda at Orca Island Cabins in Alaska has waterfront views

A covered veranda at Orca Island Cabins

Courtesy of Orca Island Cabins

  • Location: Orca Island (near Seward)
  • Why we love it: Yurt-style lodgings that put the wildlife-filled Resurrection Bay within reach
  • Book now

If you’re craving an active immersion into some of Alaska’s most far-flung lands, Orca Island Cabins is a good option. Here, the only accommodations are yurts—but don’t think you’ll be roughing it. Each of the eight waterfront tents on this private island includes a queen bed, a futon, a fully equipped kitchen, private bathroom facilities with running water, and a spacious deck extending over the water, perfect for enjoying the midnight sun.

It’s a lovely base for exploring the greater Resurrection Bay—guests have access to sea kayaks, rowboats, stand-up paddleboards, and fishing gear, which they can take to explore quiet coves, salmon-spawning streams, or seek out seals, otters, and whales. There’s also immediate access to forested hiking trails, an island art gallery showcasing oil paintings created in the plein-air tradition, and a communal fire pit area for meeting other travelers. From $425, inclusive of round-trip transport to the island from Seward

Salted Roots and Rustic Roots

A-frame accommodations at Salted Roots with a tufted sofa and wooden walls

A-frame accommodations at Salted Roots

Courtesy of Salted Roots

  • Location: Seward
  • Why we love it: Quirky, hip, and eco-conscious lodgings with easy access to nature
  • Book now

Nestled in an old-growth spruce forest and surrounded by fiddleheads and fireweed, Salted Roots is an eclectic collection of 12 boutique luxury rentals. Salted Roots originally opened in 2019 with just two glass-front A-frame cabins, each with two bedrooms, a full kitchen, a bathroom with a shower and freestanding soaking tub, and a private deck. Soon after, they added two cottages with a similar layout and a converted 1970s bus. Then, in 2023, the husband and wife duo took over a neighboring property that had three seaside craftsman cabins and a lodge with four private rooms, rebranding it as Rustic Roots. Together, these lodgings make up some of the most innovative and modern accommodations in the state.

Sustainable practices include on-site composting, solar-powered energy, recycling programs, and an herb and vegetable garden guests can harvest from for their meals. Guest amenities include a sauna, yoga studio, and multiple fire pits. Though the biggest perk is the quick access to the Lowell Point beachfront and Kenai Fjords National Park. From $180

Sheldon Chalet

This gust room at Sheldon Chalet features a bed with a faux fur throw and windows facing the surrounding landscape.

A guest room at Sheldon Chalet

Courtesy of Sheldon Chalet

  • Location: Denali National Park
  • Why we love it: Unparalleled access to the tallest peak in North America
  • Book now

Few hotels are more remote than Sheldon Chalet—it is located ten miles from the summit of Denali, the tallest mountain in North America. Roughly 80 years ago, Don Sheldon, a legendary Alaska bush pilot who pioneered the technique used for glacier landings, claimed a five-acre plot overlooking Ruth Glacier under the Homestead Act. For decades, his property included just a bare-bones structure used by climbers. It wasn’t until 2018 that his children opened the luxury lodge.

Accessible only by helicopter, bush plane, or a very long hike, Sheldon Chalet stands as a beacon of exclusivity—not even birds or moose can get here. The hexagonal-shaped lodge has five opulent bedrooms, each with king-size beds adorned with faux furs, ensuite bathrooms, and close-up views of the granite peak. Guests can spend their days going on a snowshoe glacier trek, learning how to spelunk in a snow cavern, or trying their hand at ice climbing before retiring to the lodge for a meal crafted from locally sourced ingredients and inspired by the flavors of the region. Bonus: In the winter, guests have a good chance of seeing the riotous ribbons of light that is the aurora borealis. Contact the hotel for rates

Tordrillo Mountain Lodge

A guest room at Todrillo Mountain Lodge with a wood burning stove and large windows facing a veranda

A guest room at Todrillo Mountain Lodge

Brandon Cole for Tordrillo Mountain Lodge

  • Location: Skwentna
  • Why we love it: Adventure meets luxury in Alaska’s backcountry
  • Book now

Just a 45-minute float plane ride from Anchorage along the banks of the Talachulitna River and Judd Lake, Tordrillo Mountain Lodge is a multi-structure resort that combines a six-room main lodge, a private four-room lodge, and two smaller individual cabins, all with views of either the Alaska or Tordrillo ranges. But guests don’t come here to just ogle the mountains—they take them on. Visitors have access to the resort’s helicopter, which can whisk them to find untouched powder for world-class backcountry skiing in the winter (some of the runs hover at 7,500 feet).

In the summer, flight-supported adventures run the gamut, including hiking on glaciers, tackling the resort’s private via ferrata, and finding fly-fishing holes deep in the wilderness. After a day of adventures, guests can retreat to the lakeside hot tub or cedar sauna, make use of the bikes, SUPs, kayaks, eFoils, and snowshoes, or choose a vintage from the 500-bottle wine cellar to sip on before a multi-course dinner made with locally-sourced ingredients in the main lodge. From $8,950 per person for three nights with two complimentary helicopter excursions

Tutka Bay Lodge

Tutka Bay Lodge is all about the outdoors, and it has a strong culinary focus too.

Tutka Bay Lodge

Courtesy of Tutka Bay Lodge

  • Location: Homer
  • Why we love it: Outdoor adventures paired with gourmet dining experiences featuring fresh, locally sourced ingredients
  • Book now

Outdoor and culinary adventurers alike are drawn to Tutka Bay Lodge, a 35-acre property situated at the entrance of a stunning seven-mile fjord in Kachemak Bay. Each of the six oceanfront cabins is distinct, sleeping anywhere from two to five guests, and some include lofts or private patios.

Rooms are decorated seasonally with fresh-cut peonies from the owner’s farm, lamps made with sea glass, and paintings from regional artists, and are stocked with a complimentary mini-bar full of locally-made beers, sodas, and s’mores fixings. Guests can kayak through impossibly clear water to hidden coves in search of otters and porpoises, hike past alpine meadows, take a float plane to Lake Clark National Park to see grizzly bears, or deep-sea fish for salmon.

Where Tutka Bay sets itself apart from other Alaskan lodgings is in its culinary offerings—it is helmed by two of Alaska’s most renowned chefs, Kirsten and Mandy Dixon. Visitors dig for steamer clams or stop by a local oyster farm for their evening feast and continue the hands-on approach to food with daily lessons in the resort’s onsite cooking school. The culinary focus blends regional ingredients such as seafood and vegetables with global influences. Before they leave, guests can visit the salt distilling station to have a taste of Alaska at home. From $173

Ultima Thule Lodge

This guest room at Ultima Thule Lodge has wooden floors covered by plush white carpets, and an antler hangs on the wall.

A guest room at Ultima Thule lodge

Arturo Polo Ena/Ultima Thule Lodge

  • Location: Wrangell-St. Elias National Park
  • Why we love it: Near-private access to the largest national park in the United States
  • Book now

Guests at Ultima Thule can rest assured they’re in good hands: The lodge is run by the intrepid Claus family, particularly Paul Claus, the legendary bush pilot and adventurer who is known as much for his skilled glacier landings as his mountaineering exploits (he’s gone as far as Everest and as close to home as nearby Mount St. Elias).

Hand-hewn logs from the original cabin built by Paul’s father, John Claus, still form a wing of the main lodge, though much has been added to create the world-class resort. There are now five private cabins outfitted with Craftsman furniture, plush featherbeds, and bearskin rugs; a wood-fired sauna; and a large vegetable garden whose harvest—along with local game and fish—forms the foundation of many of the meals. But the real appeal here lies in the unscripted adventure excursions, some led by Paul himself in a two-seater Super Cub light aircraft, which may take guests from exploring an abandoned gold mine one moment to viewing herds of Dall sheep roaming across vast Wrangell–St. Elias National Park the next. From $12,500 per person for four nights

Bailey Berg is a freelance travel writer and editor, who covers breaking news, trends, tips, transportation, sustainability, the outdoors, and more. She was formerly the associate travel news editor at Afar. Her work can also be found in the New York Times, the Washington Post, National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, the Points Guy, Atlas Obscura, Vice, Thrillist, Men’s Journal, Architectural Digest, Forbes, Lonely Planet, and beyond.
From Our Partners
Sign up for our newsletter
Join more than a million of the world’s best travelers. Subscribe to the Daily Wander newsletter.
More From AFAR