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“One of the best things we've ever done”

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Aurora Borealis Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 January 2014

The aurora are elusive and while we were there during a quiet aurora we still got to see the lights and we got our picture taken by Mok with the Aurora in the background. We could only get two nights booked, but it was so great we drove back for the evening viewing with the hope of seeing the lights again. Mok took good care of us and is very focused on the viewing experience and ensuring everyone has a great chance to take photos of the lights. There are even walkie talkies in the rooms so you can get an alarm to wake up if the lights show up in the middle of the night after a snow storm (which happend to us; we saw the lights at 7am the first time)

We also stayed a couple of nights and Dale and Jo's view B&B, and while it is very nice, if you are desparate to see the lights, you have to stay here with Mok. This is the best chance you have to see them.

As other reviewers have said, there is no TV, just the lights of the night sky and I think it should stay that way. Enjoy, and check out the nearby Silver Gulch brewery during the day. Good food and good beer.

Room Tip: A 2nd story room is the way to go, but any room is better than staying in Fairbanks. You are mere s...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank sghanna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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128 - 134 of 216 reviews

Reviewed 9 January 2014

We've done a lot of research before picking up the place to stay. We knew that northern lights are elusive, and we wanted to maximise our chances by staying in a place outside of Fairbanks, elevated, and with better chances of clear weather.

It was not easy to make a reservation; the place books far in advance. Took few calls and emails to book. We stayed in Logan chalet - what a great place, clean, modern (even a high-tech Japanese toiled with heated seat and bidet), warm and cosy, with comfy beds, and equipped with everything we needed. A bottle of local wine(!) and a pack of smoked salmon were our welcome gift. Greatly appreciated!

The hospitality is fantastic. Mok, his wife and children are wonderful family and made us feel welcome and relaxed. We went snowshoeing and tobogganing - the equipment is free - and we made great trips in the area.

The chalet has its own viewing platform and we could watch aurora in solitude. Although the chalet does not have big windows like other rooms, we didn't mind going outside - despite frigid cold, it was worth it. We were lucky; out of 4 nights, we saw aurora 3 nights. The first night was clear and stars were beautiful, but no lights. Aurora activity was low, but we still hoped. The next night, we were alerted on walkie-talkie by another guests around 9 pm. We are very grateful to whoever alerted us, because this was a great show. Although aurora was on the horizon, not above us, yet the lights were dancing around. Later on we got another alert from Mok, but the first display was the best. The next night, aurora was not very strong, but still pretty well visible, and we took several pictures. The last nigh was New Year's eve, and there were fireworks over Skiland. Aurora was on, and we took pictures of fireworks with aurora! But the skies clouded over, and that was it for the night.

My daughter forgot her earrings in the chalet and Mok was very kind to ship them for her to UK. Overall, it was great experience to stay in Aurora Borealis Lodge. Thank you Mok!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank AnnaMZB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2013

I agree with Terry D. that a TV would be a great addition to the rooms. Guest must comply that once the aurora borealis appears no lights and TV. I am sure all guest will comply with this policy since everybodys main purpose of being here is to see the aurora. I agree that at times it became boring to just sit there esp. for people who don't have a rental car and wait for the lights.

Don't ge me wrong the place is very nice and Mok and Family were a great host. We would go back there again. Hopefully by that time they have added TV's in the rooms. Please.

Mok and family thank you for the warm welcome.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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5  Thank s f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2013

Mok-san greeted us at his door and led us to his main building. It is a common area for the guests of the lodge, a place he hosts the aurora viewing tour at night, and also the place where his family & partner live at. Hot drinks & cookies are always available.

Mok-san is a very nice guy and helpful. He brought us to our room. Slowly walked us thru the facilities of our room, and amazed us even more is he actually already wrote it clearly on the document folder he left on the table. He also gave us a brief explanation and tips of how to take pictures of aurora. WE like how he has the walkie-talkie to alert us if there is any aurora and also guests can ring thru walkie-talkie to inform others when they see aurora too (helping each other out). The other walkie-talkie is for emergency communication.

Only one thing is there is no closet since WE don't want to mess up the nice room by hanging things all around the room.

WE were staying 6 nights, and there were sufficient toilet paper, 6 towels and Kleenex in the rooms. WE can tell that Mok-san is an extremely detail minded keeper. We can easily live there 6 days without bugging each others. He even suggested us to send him email if WE want something but not in urgent. For case like this, WE totally don't mind since he already has everything think through.

WE think there were some fortunate misunderstanding. WE requested for the rooms upstairs since it charged slightly more and said in the website that there is a window for the south. So WE assumed that must be the best. Mok-san said it's unfortunate that they are black out for all the nights that we stayed there, but he could put us in the waiting list. However, WE later out find out that one of the guests were able to book that room in the very last minute. Not sure why at the end we didn't get switched, there must be a mistake. But ended up WE think that Room #3 that Mok-san assigned to us is the best room out of the lodge, since there is window facing the east, and usually the aurora is from east to north (all 4 rooms have two big windows facing north). Existence of South window is actually insignificant. WE were so glad that there were such a mistake :P

Room Tip: Room no. 3 is the best!
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Chris A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 October 2013

We booked three nights here in a second floor room. The location near the top of Cleary Summit affords nearly perfect unobstructed north views. From everything we researched prior to our arrival, this was one of the premier spots in the world for viewing the northern lights. We had planned our entire trip (9 nights) around the 3 nights here hoping to see the Aurora, but unfortunately the lights did not cooperate on any of the nights we were in Alaska. Otherwise,everything was exactly as advertised. Room was very clean & comfortable. Heated toilet seat & bidet was very nice touch. Kitchen was fully equipped & even had a few staple items in the cupboards. Wife enjoyed the company of Sitka, the owners black Lab that joined us for dinner one evening. We didn't spend any time down in the lodge, so can't really advise on that. Mok was very helpful with directions etc to get us there, as well as a mini photography lesson when we arrived. The only thing I would prefer different would be TV in the rooms, the afternoon/evenings prior to dark can get pretty long & boring. I understand that they are trying to keep light pollution down as to not interfere with aurora viewing, but considering that pretty much the only reason anyone would stay here would be for the chance to view the aurora, I can't imagine that 99.9% of people would not cooperate with a no TV after dark rule. When we departed, I forgot my camera charger in a nightstand drawer. I called Mok a couple hours later & again he was very helpful & mailed it home to me. If we get the opportunity, we would definately return here & absolutely recommend it.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Terry D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 2013

This property is as promoted. A comfortable place for viewing the auroras inside or out--it gets chilly watching the 45 minute light shows! Mok is a great host-very helpful and great communication by email/voicemail. The walkie talkie system is what elevates this lodge from other ways of trying to view the auroras on your own. Mok is on top of it--once we were outside stargazing and saw the lights appearing...seconds later we heard Mok announcing "it is happening". We were in the nicely appointed chalet which was perfect for us. Had our own tower lookout just steps from the chalet. The star gazing alone is worth going to see owing to the great position of this lodge on Cleary Summit. Lots going on in outer space that we got to benefit from! I did my research as to when a good time would be to see the lights and it worked out for us. Out of 4 nights, we saw 3 nights of lights. Even the full moon did not totally spoil the viewing! In town, we thought the visitor center offered a nice array of exhibits and information. Nice setting on the river. We loved the museum on campus called the Museum of the North--spent 3 hours there and could have stayed all day. Superb exhibits, art gallery and beautiful building. Disappointed with Chena Hot Springs. Ick. Drove to Denali National Park and had it all to ourselves--fabulous. We enjoyed walking the cross country ski trail at the Birch Recreation Area just off Steese on way to lodge--had it all to ourselves and the carpet of fallen leaves with the very white bark of birch trees was beautiful. Highly recommend for convenience and comfort if you are going to Fairbanks for aurora viewing.

Room Tip: chalet is across road from main lodge
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank boxerfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2013

Our main reason for visiting Alaska (mid-September 2013) was to see the northern lights. We planned to do a "self-guided" tour at the Aurora Borealis Lodge. I'd been in touch with Mok for several months prior to our visit. He was very helpful in providing detailed driving directions and always available to answer any questions. On the day we were scheduled to visit the lodge, the clouds decided to cover the sky. We drove to the lodge anyway hoping the skies would clear. Mok greeted us as we arrived and even though it was obvious we would not be able to see any lights that evening, he invited us inside so we could see the lodge. The set up is very nice. A kind of "log cabin feel" with a sitting area facing the large windows, for northern light viewing. There is also a deck for outside viewing as well. We hope to return to visit Mok and his lodge one day but as far as going to see the lights, it's hit or miss.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Yvonnes_Travel_Tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Aurora Borealis Lodge

Address: Cleary Summit Rd., 1906 Ridge Run Rd, Fairbanks, AK 99707
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Alaska > Fairbanks
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 24 Speciality Lodging in Fairbanks
Price Range: £151 - £170 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
Also Known As:
Aurora Borealis Hotel Fairbanks
Aurora Borealis Lodge Fairbanks, Alaska

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