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“Wonderful Place - Need to work on Details”

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Aurora Borealis Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 April 2017

If you want a great place to take your Aurora photos, this is the place. It is well thought out, and not a bad drive from Fairbanks. The room was as promised, beds comfortable, perfect sized kitchen and bathroom, red headlamps provided if you didn't bring yours, wifi worked great, and the picture windows....perfect for our tripods.

However, we did run into a few problems that could have been avoided (and yes we did try to get these fixed while there):
* our blinds did not work, so at night we had to sit in the dark so that our lights would not bother the other guests taking photos
* not all guests followed the lodges rule of either keeping their lights off or blinds drawn at night

We are planning to go back again, but since we choose this lodge especially for the chance to take wonderful night photos.....we were a little disappointed.

Room Tip: The best views are from the 2nd floor, but your views and photos from the 1st floor will be wonderfu...
  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank clover1613
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 31 March 2017 via mobile

We spent 6 nights there and I was sad to leave. The view and the Aurora watching were top notch. The rooms have big windows with a couch in front for watching from inside and a wonderful deck for outside viewing. The owner Mok was great. He answered texts immediately and was very helpful. So peaceful and quiet way up there, an amazing place to unwind. A nice kitchen so we cooked there quite a bit but check for things like pots before buying food. We got stuck when we bought spaghetti and had no pot to cook it in but our kind neighbors gave us their pot so no big deal. For weather fanatics Poker Flats is just down the road and while you can't go beyond the gates I was thrilled just to see it from the road. Easy drive to Fairbanks for day trips. Highly recommend but only 4 rooms so book way in advance. We were lucky and one of the nights there was a spectacular display of northern lights. These photos are as we saw them, no editing or filters.

Stayed: March 2017, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Martha Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2017

Cleary Ridge, where the Aurora Borealis Lodge is located, is considered one of the best places in the world to see the Aurora. It sits on top of the ridge, with a panoramic view of the sky and the spectacular Alaskan wilderness.

But even though it's about a 45 minute drive from civilization in Fairbanks, the accommodations could not be more comfortable. Four studio apartments and one large home have every convenience you need for a comfortable stay. That includes excellent beds, full kitchens and dishes, a comfortable sofa next to plate glass windows for night time viewing and a toilet with a warm water bidet!

The owner, Mok, is extremely helpful and knowledgable. There's a walkie-talkie in your room and he notifies you when the Aurora is out. This meant my husband and I could take a snooze while waiting for the Aurora, which appeared about 11:45 p.m. We quickly dressed and walked through the -30 degree night to Mok's viewing platform, where about 15 people who drove up for Mok's nighttime tour were already out taking pictures. Mok took our photo, thank goodness, because we did not bring the kind of camera and lens needed to capture the Aurora. Otherwise, we'd have no record of our sighting.

Here's a tip. Borrow or invest in a good camera and lens and a tripod. The Aurora appeared somewhat like a beautiful, narrow white cloud when viewed with the naked eye. But with a good camera, it turns brilliant green, due to the fact that you can set the lens to stay open for 5 to 10 seconds.

Make reservations as soon as you can, because the lodge books quickly. We were only able to get one night, but planned our whole Alaska trip around our reservation. It was a good decision!

Room Tip: We were on the second floor with great views. No matter what the room, you'll want to go outside...
  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank oneyearoff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 March 2017

Aurora watching is a hit or miss. We decided we did not want to sit in our car (or a tour van) for hours waiting to see the lights. We stayed at the Aurora Borealis Lodge - comfortable and warm, watching from our large picture windows, sitting on the couch. We went outside to the platform, walked around the lodge, and visited the main lodge. We saw auroras every night we were there.
Getting there - I was worried about the remoteness, getting lost, etc. but google maps took us right to the door. I would suggest getting there before it gets dark.
We brought food and cooked, relaxed, and had the best 4 nights. Mok was there when we had questions or needed help with anything. He took pictures of us with the aurora (so worth it). Plan ahead, enjoy this wonderful lodge.

Room Tip: upper rooms would be better so you don't hear people walking around above you, but it's not...
  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank noncorteccia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 March 2017

Four visits weren't enough, so while it took three years to get back here I finally made it to Fairbanks for a fifth stay at this lovely lodge.

I stayed in "my" room on the second floor, Room 1, where I enjoyed wonderful views of the Aurora throughout my stay (first floor rooms also have great views). In addition, I enjoyed watching the moon set during the night and a stunning view of the full moon rising, along with catching a few meteors during my two-week stay.

This time during a very active Aurora I also saw the launching of three probes from the research station located 10 miles north of the lodge.

The view during the day is also a treat, and I enjoyed looking over rolling hills to the north off to the White Mountains on the horizon. The daytime view changes constantly due to the shifting light and shadows from dawn to dusk. Changing weather made for additional interesting views; the day could start clear, turn cloudy, then snowy, then clear again all in the space of a few hours.

As always Mok and family were wonderful hosts, making sure their guests have what they need in addition to alerting everyone by radio when the lights were out. Mok also takes great photos of his guests with the Aurora in the background, a unique memento of your Aurora experience. It is very pleasant to visit the main lodge during a tour for sky-watching, visiting and coffee/hot chocolate.

The room offered the same amenities as in the past; two comfortable double beds and couch, a well-equipped kitchen, a dining table, a bathroom with soap/shampoo/conditioner dispensers in the shower and plenty of cabinet space to store toiletries (hair dryer provided), and a toilet with a heated seat and bidet.

I am very glad there are *not* televisions in the rooms. There is a very good Wi-Fi connection.

As always it was hard to leave, but I feel fortunate to have been able to visit this beautiful place even once.

If you are thinking about going, plan early--rooms book up fast!

Room Tip: I prefer upstairs Room 1 but I have also stayed downstairs in Room 4, and I can tell you the views a...
Stayed: March 2017, travelled solo
Thank cjs123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Aurora Borealis Lodge

Address: Cleary Summit Rd., 1906 Ridge Run Rd, Fairbanks, AK 99707
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Alaska > Fairbanks
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 24 Speciality Lodging in Fairbanks
Price Range: RM834 - RM939 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
Also Known As:
Aurora Borealis Hotel Fairbanks

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