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The Lakefront Anchorage 3.5

Anchorage, Alaska, United States

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Scenic location on Lake Spenard, a short drive from the international airport
  • Appealing, rustic lodge decor with numerous wildlife trophies
  • Spacious and well-equipped rooms with room service and free Wi-Fi
  • Free 24/7 airport shuttles and summer downtown shuttles
  • Multiple dining options overlooking the lake
  • An espresso bar is located in the lobby
  • Good fitness center with an excellent selection of modern equipment
  • Event space for up to 260 people
  • Guest laundry room and valet dry-cleaning and laundry services
  • Free on-site parking in the hotel’s lot
  • Pets are welcome with a surcharge (con for some)

Cons

  • Airplane traffic noise is unavoidable at times
  • Standard rates don’t include breakfast
  • The hotel doesn’t have a pool

Bottom Line

The 248-room Lakefront Anchorage is an upper-middle-range property whose biggest claim to fame is serving as host hotel for the world-famous Iditarod race each March. But it stays busy all year, given its location near the airport and on the shores of Lake Spenard/Lake Hood, where float planes transport adventure seekers into Alaska’s back country. The property has a rustic hunting lodge theme and offers numerous amenities including free airport and downtown shuttles, two restaurants, fitness center, event space, guest laundry, and free parking and Wi-Fi. The spacious rooms were renovated in 2015. They’re nicely equipped with coffeemakers, mini-fridges, and safes, but air traffic noise can be heard. Rates are competitive but don’t include breakfast. A more stylish option to consider could be the Embassy Suites by Hilton Anchorage, although rates here can be significantly higher.

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Scene

A busy hotel with a hunting lodge theme and Iditarod ties

Thanks to a proximity with the airport, The Lakefront Anchorage stays busy year round. But it’s especially lively in the summer, when up to 200 float planes land daily on the adjacent lake, and the hotel is brimming with adventure-seekers flying in and out of remote areas of the state. It becomes an even more hectic scene when the world-famous Iditarod sled dog race is headquartered here each March; many racers and their teams stay here before and after the race. Appropriately, the hotel’s spacious lobby has a rustic hunting lodge ambiance, with lots of natural stone, dark wood paneling, and brown leather furniture. Stuffed wildlife is displayed throughout the hotel, as are photos from the Iditarod. There’s even a glass case full of hunting rifles along one wall, and a huge bronze eagle greets arriving guests at the front entrance. 

Location

On the shores of Lake Spenard, a short drive to the airport

Located on the shores of Lake Spenard, which is connected to Lake Hood, the Lakefront is one of the nearest hotels to the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport—a six-minute drive or hotel shuttle ride. It’s somewhat isolated from a walking standpoint, with the closest restaurant six minutes away on foot. Private residences are behind the hotel, and other than air traffic noise it’s a peaceful and scenic setting. Downtown Anchorage attractions like the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center are approximately 10 minutes away by car. The city’s train depot on the north edge of downtown is about a 15-minute drive. 

Rooms

Clean, spacious, and well equipped, with room service, free Wi-Fi, and a minimalist decor

Guest rooms at The Lakefront were renovated in 2015, although the result isn't especially fashion-forward. Instead, muted earth tones set the backdrop for simple, modern furnishings. Cream walls in white trim and white bedding are paired with streamlined veneer furniture in a dark tone. It's a touch generic and could use more color, although red-and-blue bolster pillows and landscape artwork add a little brightness. But rooms throughout are comfortable and spacious: Even the Standard Double Queens offer more than enough room to include desks with office chairs and oversized leather armchairs. Larger, studio-style Suites are available with huge leather sectional sofas and dining tables big enough to accommodate six chairs. High ceilings throughout also add to the rooms' spacious feel, but soft lighting makes them feel rather dark, too.

Another plus for rooms is they're all well equipped: Standard amenities include mini-fridges, coffeemakers, safes, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi. Straight-forward bathrooms are also decked out with hardwood floors and beige tiling framing the shower/tub combos. White acrylic vanities are placed just outside the bathrooms stocked with a few toiletries. In terms of views, many rooms offer at least partial lake views, while others overlook surrounding residential areas. As a float plane hub so close to international airport, noise from air traffic is inescapable but not intolerable. 

Features

Multiple restaurants, shuttle service to the airport and downtown, and event space

As a full-service hotel catering to airport-bound travelers, The Lakefront provides free 24/7 airport shuttle service. Guests can also use the shuttles to hitch a free ride to downtown during summer months. For dining, there's a surprising amount of choice: The Flying Machine restaurant features fresh seafood, steaks, and other American classics for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. (Breakfast is an extra fee.) And the Flying Moose Lounge serves much of the same fare for lunch and dinner, with an excellent selection of Alaskan microbrews. Making the most of the spectacular lake views is The Deck at Lake Hood (open during summer months). For quick pick-me-ups, the Coffee Cove in the lobby is an espresso bar that offers to-go treats. 

Active guests can use the property's fitness center, which offers an excellent selection of modern Precor equipment, including four treadmills, free weights, and a universal strength-training machine. Another helpful amenity is the lobby's public computer and printer, and those with meetings or events can book the hotels' ballroom with capacity for 260 people. Freebies include parking and Wi-Fi. Other services include valet dry cleaning, laundry services, and a guest laundry room. The hotel caters to pilots with its own float plane dock on the lake. Given its standing as the host hotel for the Iditarod race, pets are naturally welcome at this hotel (with a surcharge). 

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Address

4800 Spenard Rd, Anchorage 99517-3236, United States

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