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“Relaxing & enjoyable”

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Chena Hot Springs Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Pleasant Valley
Reviewed 23 November 2013

I spent 4 nights here with a Road Scholar program after being in Fairbanks for 4 nights. We loved our stay there & didn't mind not having cell phone or internet service. It was a wonderful place to relax & enjoy the snow. Unfortunately it was cloudy every night, so we didn't get to see the aurora, but soaking in the hot spring lake surrounded by snow was wonderful. We stayed in the older lodges where the rooms were small but adequate. The restaurant is a charming log building divided into several small dining rooms that seemed uniquely Alaskan. The food was delicious, although pricey being a captive audience. When we returned to Fairbanks we missed our "Chena salads" with the fresh tomatoes & lettuce. The staff, mostly young college grads, were all friendly & enjoyed talking with the guests. I would love to return sometime in the summer to see what it's like without snow, but we thoroughly enjoyed our snowy experience.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank Kanilea361
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 November 2013

Value for money - 50% discount till mid-December
Location - at end of Chena Hot Spring Road, approx 1.5 hours from Fairbanks Airport
Hot Spring - very nice
Room - small and not very clean
Restaurant - only one restaurant and no choice at all

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Chris A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 November 2013 via mobile

Totally enjoyed our stay in Chena. There was a little bit of everything available, after 2 weeks of roughing it, it was nice to get my hair done and my husband received a 2 hour massage(Which was well deserved after doing all the driving!). We didn't see the northern lights while there , but the hot pool made up for it. I think I could have stayed in there for the full 2 days! Food was great. Drinks were good. Loved the ice museum and the martini at the end. Overall, i would say that chena was a great place to wrap up our trip before heading back to anchorage to go home.

Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Sharlie9776
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 November 2013

I visited Fairbanks Alaska recently in an attempt to see the Northern Lights. Based on the recommendation of photographer for Alaska Airlines, we stayed at Chena Hot Springs. The people were very nice, and helpful. The Hot Springs are sublime, and the restaurant pretty good and the Bar pours a good drink.

This is a very good spot, to see the Northern Lights if you are lucky enough to have a clear evening. There are no city lights for 50 miles, to mess up the view. Which is something everyone should take into account. You go to Chena to relax, and STAY. It is 50 miles down a road that is somewhat testy to drive on. In the Winter, make sure and rent the 4 WHEEL DRIVE vehicle if you drive. Otherwise you may find yourself enjoying the night view from one of the many ditches along the 50 mile stretch.

If you are an Internet Junky, this is not the place for you. There is no internet service which I think Chena Hot Springs should reconsider one of these days. When it is just too cold to go hike, and the aurora is not out or its cloudy, its either read, go to the bar, or watch TV which has minimal channels. I think providing a good internet connection, would let guests stream media to keep them busy, or guests who need to work during the day, could work, and stay longer since they can keep up.

Of course if the whole idea is to relax, then maybe the owners of the resort have a good concept by leaving out the internet and making us all relax.

One such diversion we both enjoyed was the tour of the ice museum, WITH the Apple-Tini
It is served in a martini glass made from ice, and the contents will surely warm you right up.

For those of you that are brave enough to make the 50 mile run back to civilization during the day, there are a lot of sights to see in Fairbanks and vicinity. I highly recommend the Museum at the University in Fairbanks, not only is it interesting, it is on a hill with one of the best views of the valley where Fairbanks sits.

My Fiance' especially enjoyed our visit to North Pole Alaska which about 20 minutes driving from the University. If its Christmas things you need, or great fudge, Santa Claus House in North Pole is the place to stop. You can also mail your relatives cards which are all postmarked "North Pole."

Our trip ended with a 2am departure on Alaska Airlines back to the lower 48. I did not notice it said 2am when I purchased the ticket, and thought it was 2pm. So we lost a night of potential Auora viewing. Don't make my mistake. Make sure and take the daylight flight.

Room Tip: If you are in the Moose Lodge, get an upstairs room.....being on the bottom floor with a herd of kid...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank PatentShark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 November 2013

great resort to stay for aurora experience. on site nature hot-spring pool. many activities could register pay and go! lamb rack at the only restaurant is very delicious. i went at xmas, one of the most special xmas holiday i have ever had! me and my friends were truly lucky to witness beautiful aurora light~its something you must do and go once a life! worthy!

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank fannie203
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 November 2013

I stayed at the Chena Hot Springs Resort the first weekend in November, hoping to take advantage of the new moon for some night-time aurora and star trail photography. The geothermal tour and the Ice Museum tour were okay, and when combined with an afternoon hike on one of the resorts 6 or 8 hiking trails filled an afternoon in their off season. The resort heats and generates electricity with geothermal power. As the water is 165 degrees, it is the lowest temperature geothermal electric production facility in the world, and offers a pretty interesting tour of the generating facility and greenhouse powered and heated by the hot water where they grow the produce used onsite. The Ice museum is a year round geothermally cooled building filled with ice sculpture and serving appletinis in ice "glasses" for $15 for the tour and another $15 for the appletini (you can keep the ice "glass", but why?). Of the three, the hike was the best, stunning views, unspoiled snow, beaver dam in the stream, and more. A soak in the geothermal rock pool was good on the muscles after the hike. The on-site restaurant was okay (it is the only choice for miles), but I had to send the crab cakes back to get them cooked through, and even then it seemed they were more salmon than crab. The room was spartan, two double beds, a shower and small tv, but staying in the room isnt what this place is about.
I headed out at 10:00 for a short but steep hike to the "Aurorium" a heated lodge overlooking the resort and high enough up the south slope to get a pretty good view to the north over the next mountain. It was a clear night and the stars were plentiful, with the aurora a soft glow on the northern ridge-line. After midnight the aurora came out in earnest, with a display higher in the sky and more varied. The "Aurorium" provided a needed warming lodge function was the hours in the sub-20's air left a chill. One drawback is that the steam from the geothermal rock pool floats up to the north of the "Aurorium", reflecting the lights of the resort and providing some local light pollution to make it harder to see the stars and aurora. I understand that in the on-season for aurora chasing (beginning December 1) the resort offers a trip out to another spot which has a clearer view without the steam and light pollution from the rock pool.
Overall, this was well worth the 90 minute drive from The Fairbanks Airport (they will pick you up for a fee). Not luxurious, but an energy conscious piece of cold weather, hot water nature, and sky show.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank Silverspringer1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 October 2013

I visited during daytime for an afternoon only, mainly for the outdoor hot springs. Re-energized after the dip. Ice museum is interesting too, though a bit small. Apart from these, I did not find other amenities or activities particularly interesting. It's October when I went there and no sled dogs. I believe this is not a good place for watching aurora as there is a hill quite near that block the view. The price for staying overnight is too high, not worthy.

Front desk staff are all Japanese youngsters. I was told that in winter time, huge groups of Japanese tourists came here, so no wonder.

Overall, while there are not much to do in Fairbanks in October, having a day visit here is a good idea.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled solo
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Thank MissHK2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Chena Hot Springs Resort

Address: 56.5 mile Chena Hot Springs Rd., Pleasant Valley, AK 99711
Region: United States > Alaska > Pleasant Valley
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Pleasant Valley
Price Range: £114 - £228 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Chena Hot Springs Resort 2.5*
Number of rooms: 80
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Also Known As:
Chena Hot Springs Hotel Pleasant Valley

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