Go Back   FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > America - USA > Alaska
Sign in using an external account

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 1, 07, 11:53 am   #1
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: ORD
Programs: AA; Marriott; SPG; HH
Posts: 3,415
Hilton Anchorage or Sheraton Anchorage

Hi All,
Leaving for Alaska in a couple weeks and wanted to know which hotel I should pick. I'm platinum with starwood and hope to get an upgrade - only silver with hilton though. The part that throws me off is the hilton in anchorage claims to be a cat 5 property - not sure if it's deserved or if it's because it's the only one in town.

Please advise. Thanks.
badjuju is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2, 07, 3:31 pm   #2
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Programs: I am an AS employee, but my comments do not represent the company in any official capacity.
Posts: 4,345
The Sheraton...hands down. The Hilton Anchorage is nothing special.
__________________
Thank you for flying the Eskimo Tail! I like my job and I have it because people like you choose AS.
eastwest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2, 07, 3:42 pm   #3
Moderator: Information Desk, Alaska Mileage Plan; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: MDT (but usually ZFV or PHL) / Amtrak: MJY
Programs: UA 1K, AS, AA, AGR S, HZ PC, Nat'l Exec, Costco Exec, NPS Passport
Posts: 20,119
The Hilton is probably a Cat 5 property because in the summer, competition for availability is insanely fierce. In fact, I just did a search, and the Hilton is sold out (and I mean for paid rooms, not just award availability) on June 20, which is around the beginning of peak season, although when rooms are available, rates appear to start at $279, which isn't that bad compared to, say, DC on a weeknight. (But for a baseline comparison in Anchorage, you'd be paying Motel 6 $139 per night for a room--and that's the extreme low end of the spectrum...). I've only stayed at the Hilton twice (both were a long time ago) and only been to one conference there, and I haven't stayed at a lot of other Hiltons, but I wouldn't categorize this as a super-nice one. The location is great, though--right in the absolute middle of downtown, directly across the street from the Saturday Market, and within a five-minute walk of the train station. The tower is 22 stories high, though, giving you great inlet views to the north/west and great Chugach Mountain views to the east.

I've never stayed at the Sheraton and I've only been to a couple of conferences there, but it seems like a slightly nicer property than the Hilton, which is a bit older. The downside is the location: it's several blocks east of the touristy part of downtown and, while you should be safe especially during the day (and remember, it's day from 4am to midnight), you have to walk four or five blocks past some older, ramshackle-looking buildings. (The Sheraton may have a downtown shuttle van--I've seen one outside of its 6th Ave. entrance, which would make things much easier.)

These are just my offhand observations, but I'm not really qualified to answer your questions as my simple budget would be stretched with the Motel 6--in other words, I'm not a connoisseur of hotels, although I do like Embassy Suites breakfasts...
jackal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2, 07, 6:49 pm   #4
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Portland OR Double Emerald (QF and AA), DL PM/MM, Starwood Plat
Posts: 17,618
All the "luxury" hotels in ANC are at the 2-star level. Comfortable at best, but nothing more, and some of their rooms get hard use (up to dog sled teams staying in them). I've only stayed at the Sheraton, it is pretty well run but don't expect anything lavish. The best hotel in town is probably the Captain Cook, fwiw.
number_6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2, 07, 7:15 pm   #5
Moderator: Information Desk, Alaska Mileage Plan; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: MDT (but usually ZFV or PHL) / Amtrak: MJY
Programs: UA 1K, AS, AA, AGR S, HZ PC, Nat'l Exec, Costco Exec, NPS Passport
Posts: 20,119
Quote:
Originally Posted by number_6 View Post
All the "luxury" hotels in ANC are at the 2-star level. Comfortable at best, but nothing more, and some of their rooms get hard use (up to dog sled teams staying in them). I've only stayed at the Sheraton, it is pretty well run but don't expect anything lavish. The best hotel in town is probably the Captain Cook, fwiw.
I hadn't thought about this, but you're right, and even that's not saying much. Fortunately, the Cook hasn't had a cockroach infestation in several years...

The nicest hotel in Alaska is probably the Alyeska Prince Hotel in Girdwood (although having never actually stayed there, I'm not saying this definitively), but that's not terribly convenient for sightseeing in Anchorage (although as we've discussed on several other threads in this forum, Anchorage is only worth one full day at the most...). Some of the Princess lodges are nice "wilderness" retreats (I enjoyed two nights at the Denali Princess and found it a pleasant stay).
jackal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 07, 11:39 pm   #6
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: ORD
Programs: AA; Marriott; SPG; HH
Posts: 3,415
Since I'm going to be in Anchorage next weekend, May 11-13, the hotels are fairly inexpensive. I checked out several sites for the hotels mentioned like the Alyeska, but the reviews are touch and go. Based on feedback here, it appears if it's between the Hilton and Sheraton, I should skip the Hilton.
badjuju is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 4, 07, 3:01 am   #7
Moderator: Information Desk, Alaska Mileage Plan; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: MDT (but usually ZFV or PHL) / Amtrak: MJY
Programs: UA 1K, AS, AA, AGR S, HZ PC, Nat'l Exec, Costco Exec, NPS Passport
Posts: 20,119
Quote:
Originally Posted by badjuju View Post
Since I'm going to be in Anchorage next weekend, May 11-13, the hotels are fairly inexpensive. I checked out several sites for the hotels mentioned like the Alyeska, but the reviews are touch and go. Based on feedback here, it appears if it's between the Hilton and Sheraton, I should skip the Hilton.
Probably not a bad conclusion. Note that my saying the Alyeska Prince might be the nicest in the state really isn't saying much, although the location is quite stunning. The concept of living in luxury at a five-star hotel is just not known up here (remember, we're the type of people who go to the symphony or opera in jeans and flannel shirts).

I never quite got the whole star class of hotels--who decides whether a hotel's amenities are worth four or five stars?--but if I were deciding it, I'd probably put the Hilton at something like 2.5 stars, the Sheraton at 2.75, the Captain Cook at (maybe--it's pushing it) 3, and the Prince teetering on the edge of four stars. I do think that the Prince is the property with the most AAA diamonds in the state (not sure if it's 4 or 5), which is slightly more quantifiable than the nebulous and unsourced star ratings.

Now that you mention it, I too have heard people say mediocre things about the Prince (although I seem to remember the news a few years ago mentioning some change in ownership or a new partnership of sorts--things may improve, although not before you get here). Based on guest satisfaction, I have no doubt that the Sheraton ranks higher than the Prince, so you'll probably be plenty happy there.

I always take hotel ratings online with a grain of salt: aloof types with impeccable tastes will rate Marriott Courtyards low, while low-budget, easily-impressed types like me would rate the same property with twice as many Epinions smiley faces. Somehow, you have to read guest satisfaction while factoring in what amenities that person is used to and the price range (for the price range and amenities offered, I'd give the Courtyard high praise--I may be getting a relatively basic room, but that's all I'm paying for and all I'm expecting; it wouldn't be fair to rate them as poor because they didn't have a concierge or five-star restaurant). I wouldn't find it surprising if the people giving the Prince low ratings were expecting the Crowne Plaza and were disappointed with the caviar here or something (personally, I think those types of unpleasable, unappeasable people should stay away from Alaska). Still, I've heard there are ways in which the Prince needs to clean up his act...

Sorry for really not being helpful at all!

Last edited by jackal; May 4, 07 at 3:18 am. Reason: Rewording, adding, and the inevitable copyediting
jackal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 4, 07, 2:19 pm   #8
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 1,419
Quote:
Originally Posted by badjuju View Post
Since I'm going to be in Anchorage next weekend, May 11-13, the hotels are fairly inexpensive. I checked out several sites for the hotels mentioned like the Alyeska, but the reviews are touch and go. Based on feedback here, it appears if it's between the Hilton and Sheraton, I should skip the Hilton.
Over the last few years I've spent heaps of hotel nights in ANC spread between the Sheraton, Hilton, Capt Cook, Millenium, Aspen and several others. All of the aforementioned are "comfortable" but none of them are anything special. The nicest rooms in ANC these days in fact are in the moderate class all suite properties primarily because several of these properties are newish, at least compared to the Cook/Hilton/Sheraton. The suite type properties of course don't have the view or some of the services of the tower hotels (if either is important to you).

I'm not a big fan of the Capt Cook. And between the Hilton and the Sheraton, I find either to be ok with a slight personal preference for the Sheraton (more comfortable beds for me and better blackout curtains).
Quokka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 4, 07, 2:32 pm   #9
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: west of DFW airport
Programs: AA LT Gold 1.8 MM flying my way to LT PLAT
Posts: 10,974
The problem with the Captain Cook is the variation in rooms even within the same price range. Gads! By mid-season (tourist that is) all of the hotels in ANC get worn out and weary.

The prices, however, don't go down.

Mobs of cruise ship passengers just stay where they are booked so the parade carries on.

Both the Hilton and the Sheraton go back to the pipeline days. Well, I guess the CC does as well.

If you don't expect much, you won't be disappointed.
oldpenny16 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 4, 07, 2:39 pm   #10
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Canada - AC Elite
Posts: 2,104
Rooms at the Sheraton are bigger, the Hilton is right downtown, although the walk from the Sheraton might add a maximum of 5 mins to a walk to the mall. If you get a room facing the right way at the Sheraton, you can watch planes take off and land at a small general aviation airport. Captain Cook is the nicest of the lot. I seem to recall that breakfast at the Sheraton was priced pretty well below normal hotel prices (but don't hold me to that). Parking for the Hilton was a block or two away last time I stayed there

Off topic, but for the carnivore out there, you have a choice of a couple of really good steak houses downtown (Club Paris and Sullivan's). Here is where that extra five minute walk might do you good.
Cloud Lounger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 4, 07, 2:41 pm   #11
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Portland OR Double Emerald (QF and AA), DL PM/MM, Starwood Plat
Posts: 17,618
ANC is still a beautiful city to visit (though it is a lot more beautiful 5 miles out of town!). And while the hotels aren't great shakes, there are some superb restaurants in ANC. Partly due to the natural ingredients available (stay away from food that must be imported) and partly due to the sometimes lavish spending that can still occur in Alaska. The restaurant on top of the Captain Cook (Crows Nest?) has a great wine cellar, with some wines you'd be hard pressed to find in NYC. Quite easy to spend thousands there (and some do!).
number_6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 4, 07, 11:39 pm   #12
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: ORD
Programs: AA; Marriott; SPG; HH
Posts: 3,415
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackal View Post

Sorry for really not being helpful at all!
You were actually very helpful. I'm casual by nature but still love nice, luxury hotels. At least, I now know what to expect. Thanks a lot!
badjuju is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 7, 07, 11:13 pm   #13
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Programs: AS MVP, Elevate, AAdvantage, Mileage Plus
Posts: 1,957
There is also a downtown Marriott which no one seems to have mentioned. The location is a bit south of center, but certainly still within walking distance of most stuff. It's not a bad property and the newest of any of them (opened around 1999 or 2000). The Sheraton is probably a little nicer than the Hilton, but the location isn't too great.
EIPremier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 14, 07, 3:02 pm   #14
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: ORD
Programs: AA; Marriott; SPG; HH
Posts: 3,415
Back from Alaska and it was great. I was only there for a couple days, and enjoyed my time there. The drive to Seward was great - the small town on Talkeetna (the inspiration for the TV show Northern Exposure) was interesting. The cutest part about the town is downtown is about 1 block and had maybe 10 stores. Let's just say the place had character.

The Sheraton hotel was cool - I got upgraded to the Neo-Classic suite on the 16th floor - great decor if we were in 1986. Since I arrived on a weekend, I received 2 vouchers for breakfast. It was the standard All American breakfast. I decided to try reindeer sausage, only to realize it was a little too gamey for my taste.

Anchorage was a bit chilly - 50 degrees and that was expected. It was cool to experience day/sunlight even at 10pm. By the way, the city is very clean.

ANC airport impressed me - small and easily maneuverable. A plus was free wi-fi in the terminal.

All in all, I enjoyed my trip to anchorage and can't wait to go back in September - if AA has another $400 fare.
badjuju is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 15, 07, 1:43 am   #15
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: San Diego
Programs: Hyatt Diamond, UAL 1K MM, SPG Platinum, DL MM
Posts: 122
I go to ANC several times a year and I usually stay at the Sheraton. It is the lesser of the 2 evils. I don't get excited about either property except when it is time to check out.
uscsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Bookmarks


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 7:00 pm.