The Lakefront Anchorage – 248 rooms $$-$$$ (moderate to more expensive)
4800 Spenard Road, Anchorage, AK 99517
Perhaps more familiar to some as the official home of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race HQ than as a place to overnight, The Lakefront Anchorage hotel deserves kudos for its stellar upgrades and efforts to entice traveling families to its lakeshore location. As parents become even more savvy with respect to finding accommodations to serve their needs, properties worldwide are (thankfully) responding to the call.
The Lakefront Anchorage is one such place. Definitely bolstered by its location, this is a property that has come far in the past few years, beyond the annual stampede of Iditarod volunteers, mushers, and eager tourists who flock here each March for the start of the race. Formerly known as the Millennium Alaskan Hotel Anchorage, the newly-branded Lakefront Anchorage is part of the Millennium Hotels and Resorts group, a worldwide conglomeration of fine properties, and the attention to detail and guest comfort shows.
Featuring a more modern, sleek style than before, the hotel just feels better, with a definite uptick in attention to detail, right down to making sure lake front views are, truly, spectacular. Why all the focus on this lake? It’s two lakes, actually, Lake Hood and Lake Spenard, the latter of which spreads nearly to the back door of the hotel and affords sights and sounds of near-constant float plane traffic in the summer, and a good number of ski-clad aircraft in the winter. Flighseeing or fishing guests can get a royal treatment of pick-up and drop-off at the dock nearby, and summertime deck seating is quite entertaining as planes roar overhead while one is enjoying a root beer or glass of wine (kid and adult, respectively).
A mere mile from the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, and four miles from downtown Anchorage, The Lakefront is a solid choice for families wanting a bit of wiggle room for kids, but still retaining easy access to all of Anchorage’s many activities.
What we like:
A four-mile loop of paved trail all the way around Lakes Spenard and Hood, with a playground, picnic area, and tons of small aircraft along the way.
A free shuttle is available 24/7 from the Anchorage airport, all year
A free downtown shuttle is available during the summer months
The Lakefront offers both a AAA and military discount (check the website for details)
Wi-fi is FREE
Each room comes with a coffee maker and mini-fridge
Pets are welcome
Dining options abound, with three choices:
Flying Machine Restaurant serves breakfast and dinner, with a children’s menu available and substitutions not a problem. Whew.
The Fancy Moose Lounge is a casual place to get lunch or dinner, or a late-night snack (open until 11 p.m.) while enjoying the amazing views outside. Kids- the control tower is pretty cool to see all lit up at night.
The Deck at Lake Hood is a summer-only dining choice, but oh, what a choice! Sit in the sun and enjoy the sights and sounds of Anchorage, along with some very Alaskan menu options that are also available indoors.
HINT: Not staying overnight? Come here for a meal and enjoy a little getaway that will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle your day, or the next one…
Kids receive special attention at The Lakefront, with a special pack of fun available for an additional $15 per child. Called “Ask Alfred Children’s Concierge,” this little backpack is stuffed with an Alfred look-alike, crayons, coloring materials, stickers, and some cool snacks that will entertain kids from about preschool on up to age seven or so. Kudos, Lakefront. This is a good idea (especially the snacks).
Our take: The Lakefront Anchorage rates high for family-friendliness and access to the outdoors. Kids and parents alike will be able to relax, refresh, and truly take in all that is Alaska, without venturing too far. We give it a thumbs-up.
**Want to win your own Ask Alfred kids pack? Comment below about your memories or impressions of the Lakefront Anchorage and we’ll draw a name on Friday! (Enter only once, please)