Here is another installment of the posts covering our trip to Alaska in May 2021. This post reviews our hotel stay on the layover before continuing to Utqiaġvik, AK. Our flight from Phoenix, AZ (PHX) on American Airlines arrived at Anchorage, AK (ANC) shortly after 22:00 on May 12. Our Alaska Airlines flight to Utqiaġvik departed the next day around noon.
Other posts from our Alaska trip in May 2021.
For this short layover I wanted hotel that was close to the airport, had a free airport shuttle and was inexpensive. The Alex Hotel satisfied two of the three requirements. There was nothing near the airport that qualified as what I’d call inexpensive. Plus, my son’s name is Alex.
After collecting our bags, I called the hotel to confirm the time and place of the shuttle pickup. At ANC, hotel shuttles pick up on the arrivals level on the far left side as you face the terminal. The shuttle arrived in 20 minutes. The hotel was less than five minutes away.
There were three others on the shuttle going to the same hotel which was a little surprising. I had the driver load our bags last. Shuttles frequently use the LIFO method of unloading — last in, first out. Getting our bags first at the hotel meant we should be first in line to check in. Waiting in line to check in to a hotel is one of my least favorite travel activities especially at the end of a long day with two flights covering over 4,200 miles. The trick worked this time and we were able to check in right away.
Alex Hotel is a 3-3.5 star property. I booked the cheapest double room for just under $200. That was the going rate for hotels around the airport sorry to say.
Although not absolute requirements, a refrigerator and microwave always come in handy and even more so during Covid when restaurants may be limited to takeout and delivery.
The bath was small but adequate for an overnight stay.
A nice feature was the vanity that was located outside the bathroom. Someone can shave or brush teeth while another person bathes or uses the toilet.
Like most similar hotels, the room rate includes breakfast. We stopped for a bight before going to the airport. I planned to grab something in the Alaska Airlines lounge and just had coffee. Alex enjoyed a quick repast.
The buffet included a selection of cereal, fruit, scrambled eggs, sausage, toast, muffins and waffles.
There is no set schedule for the airport shuttle. After breakfast we notified the front desk we were ready and the shuttle driver showed up after about five minutes. Checkout was just a matter of handing in the keys.
I was completely satisfied with everything at the Alex Hotel & Suites, with the exception of price. The hotel served its purpose well. The room was clean. The free wifi worked well. The beds were comfortable, and the fridge and microwave were plusses. We had a decent night’s sleep thanks to the blackout curtains and a lack of airport noise. ANC handles a huge volume of international cargo, but flights are spread throughout the day and not concentrated in the wee hours of the morning like at hubs for FedEx, DHL, et al.. In short, I’d be happy to stay here again on a layover.