As travelers finalize plans for trips to Alaska during the 2020 season, they'll find updated options at several of the state's hotels, resorts and remote lodges.
This year's new openings and remodeling projects come on the heels of 2019 renovations at properties in Anchorage, near Denali National Park and beyond. Here are seven of the newest announcements and updated facilities opening to guests.
Alaska Backcountry Cottages: Three new cabins from the owners of Alaska Backcountry Adventure Tours opened near Palmer in the fall of 2019. The one- and two-story Knik River cottages offer full kitchen and dining facilities, private bathrooms and washers and dryers for guest use.
Alaska Grizzly Lodge: Renovations at this Fairbanks-area property will update each of 14 guestrooms, add ramps and lifts, and expand aurora borealis viewing areas. New onsite activities and an outdoor hot tub are also in the works at the lodge, which was recently purchased by Gondwana Ecotours.
Alyeska Resort: This Girdwood mainstay plans to break ground this spring on a Nordic spa with hot and cold elements. The outdoor facility will be located between the property's tram and the hotel. Alyeska owners are also outlining renovations to rooms, restaurants, the lobby and common areas that are slated to start in 2021.
Aurora Villa: Situated 18 miles northeast of the Fairbanks International Airport, this new seven-room new bed and breakfast brings modern design to a forested setting. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer views of nature by day and the northern lights by night. Other amenities include flat-screen televisions, free Wi-Fi in public spaces and local art on display.
Gateway Hotel: Major Marine Tours will open this 74-room Seward property in June near the Kenai Fjords National Park Visitor Center and the community's small-boat harbor. The property's observation platform presents views of local mountains and a nearby salmon stream. Group travelers will find a special motorcoach drive-through and spacious dining room.
Hilda Dam Cabin: Introduced in September 2019, this year-round public-use cabin is located between the Upper Nordic Loop and Trickster Trail about one mile from the Eaglecrest Ski Area parking lot. The cabin opens to the public as a warming shelter during the day and is available for private rental from 5 p.m. to 10 a.m. the following day. Groups of up to eight can rent the venue for up to three nights at a time.
Meier Lake Resort: A four-year, multimillion-dollar renovation project recently wrapped up at this 12-room Hatcher Pass property. Set on 122 wooded acres 50 miles from Anchorage, the lakefront lodge and cabins offer private decks, a spa-like bathhouse, commercial kitchen access and activities ranging from canoeing to kayaking to 18 holes of disc golf.