Alaska - 2007
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Where to stay is not always an easy decision for us. We usually have four requirements, that can not always all be met:
- A Sitting Area - preferably a couch. We are tired of sitting on lousy chairs or on the bed, even if we are there for only a few hours. Sometimes rooms have a lounge chair, but that only takes care of one of us.
- Internet Access - hopefully included in the price
- Breakfast - included in the price
- Reasonable Price - taking into consideration where we will be, of course
Where We Stay
In our travels we usually stay in four hotel chains: Hampton Inns (Hilton), Comfort Inns or Comfort Suites (Choice Hotels), Residence Inn (Marriott) and Homewood Suites (Hilton). They all have breakfast included in the price and free Internet access.
Hampton Inns and Comfort Inns have couches in some of their rooms in most locations. Their sites on the Internet will tell you where the couches are. In Hampton Inns the rooms are called "King Study". Choice Hotels (Comfort Inn) describe their rooms once you get to the reservation page for a particular hotel.
Comfort Suites have couches in all their rooms, although sometimes it's a love seat, which is really only for one person - not so good.
Residence Inns and Homewood Suites have sitting areas in all their rooms. They can be on the pricey side, but on many week-ends you can get excellent rates, since they are heavily used by business travelers.
For us 'seniors' Choice Hotels (Comfort Inns/Suites) have a "60+" rate which is usually very good. It's not easy to get since they don't have it on their website - you have to call the "800" number and ask for it. It's about 10% below the AAA/AARP rate.
Of course, there are other hotel chains which would meet our requirements, but we belong to the frequent traveler plans of the above chains.
What We Reserved
Going to Alaska I knew there are not a lot of chain hotels once we get out of the US and the large cities in Canada, so my work was cut out for me.
To find the hotels I used:
- The Milepost - the best reference for travel to Alaska
- Hotel Websites - for the chain hotels
- Internet - for private accommodations & non-chain hotels
- Comfort Inns/Comfort Suites - many nights, Canada & US
- Residence Inn (once, on a week-end - US)
- Hampton Inn (once, free with points - Canada)
- Ramada Limited (once - Canada)
- Princess Lodge (Alaska, Copper River - part of Princess Cruises)
- Many local hotels/motels in Alaska & Canada (British Columbia & Yukon)
Most hotels etc. have Internet access, even the non-chain hotels. Breakfast was a little harder to find, and I did not find it in some places. I was surprised that I was able to find couches in many hotels, even in Alaska and the Yukon. Sometimes it took a telephone call to locate them.
We reserved private (non-hotel) accommodations three times:
- Fairbanks (3 nights) - two-bedroom suite
- Denali (2 nights) - 3-bedroom apartment
- Jasper (3 nights) - 2-bedroom suite
The private accommodations were the most difficult to find, but it is a lot easier now with the Internet.
All the accommodations in our plan are listed at The Plan .
I'll make some comments on our hotels, etc. as we go along in the log.