We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Daytrippers welcome!”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 4 more sites!
Chena Hot Springs Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Pleasant Valley
Reviewed 20 March 2014

Although we did not stay at the resort, my family was visiting Fairbanks and decided to also make the drive to Chena Hot Springs. It's about 1.5 hours from Fairbanks (in the winter, so driving is a little bit slower). In addition to the hot springs, the resort offers many other activities. We went on a dog sled ride and it was the best 15 minutes of excitement money can buy. The resort also has its own restaurant for both guests and day trippers.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Alliejay76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (831)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

428 - 434 of 831 reviews

Reviewed 19 March 2014

I had a bit mixed feelings, so instead of trying to summarize them in one grade, let me discuss them one by one.

1. Location. The location is perfect. It's a remote scenic river valley between the mountains, right by the hot springs. So that gives a lot of potential. Swimming in hot springs in winter is surely fun, as well as exploring the wilderness around.
2. Access. There is a really nice highway which actually ends at the resort, so if you have a car, a day trip is not a problem. Or you can get out to Fairbanks - takes about 1.5 hours to drive one way.
3. Geothermal and green technology. The place feels more like some kind of industrial lab dedicated to harnessing geothermal energy. They do a lot of cool stuff trying to stay off the grid and hit up the houses, greenhouses, supply electricity etc. It's cool, but not everyone likes it.
4. Cozy/romantic feel (or lack of it). As I said above, the place feels more like industrial proof of concept than a romantic getaway. Sorry.
5. Upsell. When I went for a day trip, I paid only for the pool and the towel service. The entrance/parking/trails/geothermal tour were free. So that part looked like a great value. Then I went to the ice museum and it didn't feel worth the price. Then I started looking over other prices and it did look like it could be easy to blow through the budget - a lot of things are quite pricey.

Obviously, one of the biggest attractions is the Aurora lights, they might not be happening every day, and there is not much to do in the darkness of long arctic nights, so I can see people going to Chena Hot Springs, spending days in the hot pools and nights catching Aurora. But it doesn't have that romantic cozy escape in the middle of the cold forest feel, so you may be better off considering a day trip instead.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank heckfy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 March 2014

Stayed in Moose Lodge and it was dirty and hot. We had to keep the window cracked which invited noise into our romantic weekend, Amenities like tv were non-existent.We like to watch local news but no channels worked. Changing rooms were horrid. I did not pay good money to have a stranger's butt in my face in the cramped space and I am certain she did not pay the same to have my butt in hers! Staff seemed to be demoralized and after a conversation with a couple different staff people it is not surprising that they have a high staff turn-over!!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank musherpeg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2014

I arrived with refrains of “Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful,” and “later on by the fire...” going through my head. We did lots of “walkin’ in a winter wonderland” because thank heavens the weather wasn’t frightful, but clear and crisp and lovely. But what fire? There was none. Nor a cozy place to sit and lounge and be with friends, enjoy the lovely view, or relax and read? This was not my dream lodge. There are no public rooms for people to gather that any of our group of four would want to be, only a large room with long tables and plastic chairs, no windows, and no people during our four day stay. The tacky looking coffee bar has no view. Large areas of the resort, insideand out, are strewn with junk.

Our guest room was very basic, bleak, with small windows, no view, a smelly bathroom with old linoleum, and one small chair. A phone in the room would have been great, given that there is no AT&T cell service and no wireless provided by the resort. I would suggest a room in the newer Moose Lodge, with rooms probably more 3 star than 2 star. We had reserved almost a year in advance, were put on a waiting list, but still couldn’t get a room there.

There are a few options for aurora viewing, Charley Dome offering the most unobstructed. The problem with that is you are dropped off by snow cats and have to spend almost five hours either in a yurt with a refugee camp atmosphere, no windows, the air murky with kerosene smoke and the smell from the heaters, on uncomfortable chairs. So we were in and out, but even with the minus 17 degree weather, warmer than the average, you couldn’t stay out for very long. Also, the strong smell from the outhouses made me glad I had limited my fluid intake earlier that evening. The evening did culminate in a spectacular aurora.

You could also view the aurora from the airfield next to the activity center, again waiting in a small dark room with uncomfortable chairs, although there is ambient light from the resort. Or, something I wish I had done and think is a good compromise, viewing from the aurorium, a small building with a panoramic window facing north which is short walk up a steep hill. Unfortunately, we had gone to bed early, then heard the next morning there was great aurora seen from there.

The dining room and bar are the only charming areas, and the food is average but uneven. Breakfasts are very good, lunch and dinner not so great except for the lettuce they grow in the greenhouse, and the very succulent scallops with Thai curry. The salmon was tasteless and way overcooked.

The ice museum, where you had to reserve for a 45 minutes visit and an appletini in an ice glass, were fun. The sled dogs were great to see and the sled ride was exhilarating, but only lasted about ten minutes. There were no options for longer rides. I loved soaking in the hot springs, surrounded by snowy boulders and a thick cloud of steam.

Best of all were the hikes we took each day on the great trails through the scenic and pristine valley. These were invigorating and serene, one of the most memorable parts of our visit. I wish the resort lived up to these surroundings, instead of the ill planned and bedraggled place it is. It need to be totally redone by someone with an aesthetic sense and knowledge of what hospitality is.

For other details one should read my fellow traveler’s (RoamerLosAngeles) review titled “So much potential, but...”

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank tawnbc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2014

The drive up to the resort is breath taking. That being said, ask yourself ..... do I want to drive an hour to an hour and a half (depending on weather) to a .... warm/hot swimming hole that smells like sulfur? We did not stay in this resort.... but we did get lost trying to find the entrance to the hot spring. This led us to the hallway of the hotel/resort. An old motel comes to mind. I did not see inside a room. They had several activities ... dog sledding ... ice museum.... tour of geothermal/greenhouse. We did not complete any of these as they seemed a bit pricey for the time allotted compared to other places we had seen, (we paid $90 for a full hour of dog sledding elsewhere) In all fairness the Ice Sculpture contest was in Fairbanks at the time. We were told the Ice museum was cool but it would pale in comparison to the contest so we didn't check this out. The contest was quite impressive. If you have several kids to entertain.... and need a one stop shop to do it.... then maybe okay.... but for me...... Ummmmmm no!!!

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Jennifer B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2014 via mobile

Very impressed with the commitment to geothermal energy and recycling efforts. Many leisure options for a three day stay. Though pricey it was good to know that the resort was on the cutting edge of geothermal technology. The hot springs, dog sled, aurorium, ice house museum, geothermal tour and greenhouse made Chena Hot Springs a memorable stay. And an aurora viewing as well!

  • Stayed: March 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Dorothy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 March 2014 via mobile

We just finished our stay at Chena Hot Springs in AK. Not impressed. We were excited to experience all the winter activities that Chena had to offer. However, we were highly let down. We signed up for a 20 minute, 2 mile dog sled ride for $60 per person. It turned out to be 5-10 minutes and hardly 2 miles. We felt ripped off. The Ice Museum was cool to see, but expensive. The Apple Martini at the end was something cool to do..but it was about the size of a shot for $15.
We wanted to experience the "rustic" feel..but our room had no heat and about 3 channels on the TV. The restaurant food was good but highly expensive. One pancake and 2 eggs for $9. Since there is nothing for miles..you have no choice but to pay the prices. This place is a tourist trap. I suggest not staying here. If you want to experience the activities or "rustic" feel..there are better places more worth your money. It is advertised for seeing the aurora right outside your cabin..but there are too many lights unless you pay for the Snow Coach Tour. Another way to get your money. Chena Hot Springs is a rip off. Not worth your money.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
2  Thank meggzdabi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Been to Chena Hot Springs Resort? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Chena Hot Springs Resort

Address: 56.5 mile Chena Hot Springs Rd., Pleasant Valley, Fairbanks, AK 99711
Region: United States > Alaska > Fairbanks > 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: £129 - £215 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Chena Hot Springs Resort 2.5*
Number of rooms: 80
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com and Ebookers so you can book your Chena Hot Springs Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Chena Hot Springs Hotel Pleasant Valley

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing