As anyone in real estate knows, one major factor for setting up a successful storefront business model is location, location, location. With respect to hotel properties, this may be even more important, as rooms with scenic vistas or interesting sights go a long way toward guest satisfaction.
Such is the case with The Lakefront Anchorage, a 248-room hotel with a location so uniquely Alaskan, it's no wonder the property never has to worry about which room has a better view; they're all good.
Opened in 1986 under the name Regal Alaskan, the Lakefront also underwent a name change in 2001 with a purchase by Millennium Hotels and Resorts. Then known as the Millennium Alaskan Hotel, it became a popular place for Alaska's visitors and business travelers to rest their heads after a busy day of work or play.
Located one mile from Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, four miles from downtown Anchorage, and steps from the shores of Lake Spenard and adjoining Lake Hood, The Lakefront lives up to its most recent name. Renovated top to bottom in 2015, the property's new presence shines as bright as snow atop the Chugach Mountains, which, by the way, you can see vividly to the east. See what I mean about views?
The Lakefront's signature characteristic is its access to flying. Whether arriving or departing from the international airport or heading out on a daylong adventure via float or bush plane, The Lakefront can help you get where you're going. A private floatplane dock sits at the edge of the property, and rare is the summer morning when some lucky guest is not climbing aboard, fishing pole or camera in hand, ready for a few hours of remote, rugged Alaska wilderness minutes from the city. Ask at the front desk for a list of recommended float plane companies.
Also in the heart of Spenard, one of Anchorage's oldest neighborhoods, the Lakefront doesn't put on airs. Maintaining a welcoming and friendly atmosphere that appeals to residents and visitors alike, staff know their job is customer service, and from the three dining establishments to the front desk staff, everyone is treated like family.
The Appeals of Luxury
Choose a deluxe-style room with Alaska touches in artwork and decor and find affordable, comfortable luxury for the duration of your stay, or choose a larger suite, perfect for families or groups needing a bit of extra space. Dine in-house at the Flying Machine Restaurant, a nod to neighboring airfields and Lake Hood, the busiest seaplane port in the world; have a cool drink and appetizer at the Fancy Moose Lounge while watching baseball or football game on one of their large-screen televisions; or simply relax in the grandeur of Alaska outdoors on the new Deck at Lake Hood, where you can clink a glass with a friend or relative in appreciation of your accommodation choice.
Families traveling with children will certainly appreciate the kids' menus available at each restaurant, including the Fancy Moose lounge, where youngsters are welcome. GoTip: Children under 12 can also choose to participate in the Ask Alfred program for a nominal fee, whereby receiving a backpack stuffed with Alaska-themed goodies and a stuffed teddy bear. Ask upon making reservations for details.
If you'd like to wander the neighborhood a bit, searching for local cuisine, Spenard offers a collection of old and new favorites, but without a metropolitan ambiance of nearby downtown. The Lakefront staff are also available to provide highlights of downtown and neighborhood dining and call a taxi for those needing transportation to the heart of Alaska's largest city.
Outdoor recreation from the hotel is simple for those itching to explore this historic and fascinating segment of Anchorage's industry. From the back deck of The Lakefront curves a four-mile trail looping around Lakes Hood and Spenard, and continuing into the heart of small-plane territory. If you've got the gumption, take the level, paved trail all the way around, stopping to notice the personal style of local pilots as they baby their flying machines. Pay attention for moose along the north side of the trail, as a local park often attracts these ungulates to the brushy leaves and green grasses of summer.
On the south side of Lake Hood, swing into the Alaska Aviation Museum, where a complete history of the state's appetite for flight is explained and three hangars of aircraft are available for inspection.
Considering a wintertime visit? The Lakefront has been the official headquarters for the Iditarod Sled Dog Race since 1986, and come early March, the hotel swells with mushers, dog teams, race volunteers, and a host of race enthusiasts. Bustling the entire first week of March, reservations are a must well in advance of the event, as far out as one year prior, since the property's access to the race is well-known and always appreciated.
Other Services Provided at The Lakefront Anchorage
- Airport shuttle service
- Business center
- A small fitness center
- Laundry service
- Private floatplane dock and access
- Children's program
Location: 4800 Spenard Road, Anchorage, Alaska 99517
Cost: $$-$$, ranging from $90/night to $300/night, depending upon season and number of guests.