Alaska’s largest city is Anchorage and thousands of visitors arrive here every year. The Clarion Suites Downtown is a perfect hotel for many reasons. Recent renovations, free airport shuttle, free breakfast, indoor pool, and good location to attractions make the Clarion a smart choice.
What you get
Choosing a room is easy as they only have two types. Both the king and queen rooms offer a suite and bedroom. For those seeking an accessible option, the king room provides an accessible room. The living rooms have a love seat, work desk, TV, refrigerator, microwave, and sink. The bedroom has a heating/AC unit for maximum comfort, black out curtains to hide the midnight sun, dresser, and TV. The beds have high-quality sheets, pillows, and bed spreads unlike some of the other local hotels I’ve stayed in over the years of visiting Anchorage. The firmness of the mattress will appeal to most travelers and the pillows are soft and new.
The bathroom has a tub/shower combination and eco-friendly soap, conditioner, and body wash dispenser in the shower. Water pressure in the shower is strong and hot water arrives soon after turning it on. The hair dryer has a night light that can be adjusted to high or low intensity. This thoughtful night light makes it easy to locate the bathroom late at night when you wake up unfamiliar with your surroundings.
Hotel amenities that make a visit appealing include washer and dryers, indoor pool and spa, two computers in the lobby free for guests, free Wi-Fi, and lots of parking. There’s a coffee and tea set up in the lobby for self-serve. The location is fairly quiet as it’s far enough away from the airport and Lake Hood to minimize airplane noise. For close by dining, find Japanese favorite Benihana right in front of the restaurant sharing the same parking lot.
Nearby things to do
The Clarion Suites is near most everything in Anchorage you would want to be close to. The Sullivan Arena, log cabin visitors center, Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, Delaney Park, and restaurants are within easy walking distance. On midnight sun good weather days, ask the front desk how to access the famous Tony Knowles Trail. A short walk through a well-kept residential neighborhood will take you to this popular trail to get a good view of the mountains across the Cook Inlet from the hotel. Bike rental shops are just a few blocks from the hotel if you want to bike the 11 mile/17.7 km trail that some say is the best urban trail in North America.
Restaurants in the area near the hotel are the 49th State Brewing Company or Rustic Goat. As the name suggests, 49th State Brewing Company is a micro-brewery-type restaurant. Open for lunch and dinner, their rooftop deck provides views of the massive Mt. McKinley/Denali on clear days. The food and drink are quite good and the menu features several Alaskan specialties like king salmon Caesar salad, a fresh catch of the day special, yak burger, halibut and chips, and halibut tacos. They also serve pizza, burgers, and sandwiches to go with their homebrewed beers.
Rustic Goat is a trendy bistro-like restaurant just four blocks away. They serve an eclectic menu of delicious starters like fried cauliflower bites, baked mac & cheese, and pan seared calamari to name a few. Entrees like Copper River salmon or raspberry jerk chicken will pair well with their reasonably priced wines-by-the-glass list. The desserts are enticing with the Rustic Goat S’more, a favorite of kids and adults alike.
World's largest floatplane base
For a look at Alaska’s aviation history, have the hotel’s shuttle take you to the Alaska Aviation Museum where bush plane history comes alive. See several vintage aircrafts and climb the stairs to the original Lake Hood floatplane base flight tower. From this tower, watch dozens of flights taking off and landing on the world’s busiest floatplane base. Also at the museum, try out the VR (virtual reality) flight simulator included with the price of admission.
Why stay here
All of these attractions, restaurants, and comfort are part of staying at Clarion Suites Downtown. Prices are reasonable and the staff are friendly at this hotel in the middle of Anchorage’s vibrant downtown.