Archive for the ‘hot springs’ Category

BOGO Lodging to Celebrate National Parks Week

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Let’s go BOGO. Who doesn’t love a buy one get one free lodging bargain? When it’s combined with free entrance to a U.S. National Park during the week of April 17- 25, your spring vacation is a budgetary winner. Sure, you could camp at Shenandoah or Yellowstone, but look at these bargains:


Far View Lodge

At Mesa Verde National Park in southwestern Colorado, explore the ancient cliff dwellings of a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visits to Cliff Palace, Balcony House and Long House require a ticket on a ranger-led tour. Be sure to save some time for hiking one of the many trails or visiting the Chapin Mesa Archaeological Museum. From your room at Far View Lodge, high on the mesa’s shoulder, the view encompasses three states and all the stars you can count in the dark, night sky. Rooms are priced at $99 with a consecutive night free. This offer is valid from April 22 – 30, 2010. And, entrance to Mesa Verde National Park is free through the end of April.

Experience Virginia’s beautiful spring with a stay at Skyland Resort in Shenandoah National Park. The historic resort, built in 1886, offers inspiring views of the Shenandoah Valley. But don’t spend all of your time looking out the window from the highest point on Skyline Drive — take a hike, go biking or visit one of the local wineries. Book one night for $125 and receive the second consecutive night free. Offer valid from April 18 – 29, 2010.


Kalaloch Lodge

Olympic National Park in Washington encompasses rain forests, rugged beaches and mountain splendor. Confused about what to see first? Why not split your visit into two Olympic experiences? First take in the rugged Pacific coastline from your accommodations at Kalaloch Lodge. The bird-watching paradise includes hiking, biking and beach-combing opportunities. Next, head 12 miles into the heart of Olympic National Forest for a stay at Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort. Soak away tired muscles after an invigorating hike through an old growth rainforest. Both Kalaloch Lodge and Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort are offering accommodations priced at $157 with a second consecutive night free. This offer is valid from April 17 – 25, 2010.

Shenandoah, Mesa Verde, Olympic — I’m having a hard time deciding which National Park BOGO lodging adventure to choose. How about you?

Photos courtesy ARAMARK Parks and Destinations.

Review by Donna L. Hull, My Itchy Travel Feet.

Chena Hot Springs Resort, Fairbanks, Alaska

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

From Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip

Chena Hot Springs Resort

Chena Hot Springs Resort

As this was my first trip to Fairbanks, Alaska in the winter, I had high hopes of viewing the Aurora Borealis. The Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau  pointed me to Chena Hot Springs Resort, 60 minutes outside of Fairbanks.

On our way to Chena Hot Springs, the driver spotted a moose in the snow and stopped the resort van for a brief photo opportunity. Upon arrival we checked into the 1914 lodge and had our bags delivered to the room. My room, #404, was located in the Moose Lodge and had two queen beds and a full bath for $249 + tax = $270.

Chena Hot Springs Moose Lodge

Chena Hot Springs Moose Lodge

There were plenty of activities at Chena Hot Springs. In fact, I shared a shuttle ($75 per person round trip) back to Fairbanks with a family reunion group who gave the resort a big thumbs up rating. Having viewed the World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks the night prior, I was not blown away by the Aurora Ice Museum, however, it was pretty cool. Pardon the pun.

Steve Brice, a 13-time world ice sculpting champion, along with his wife, Heather, a four-time world ice sculpting champion, operate the Aurora Ice Museum. In fact, Heather and Steve Brice, along with Aaron Costic and Jeffrey Meyers took first place in the realistic multi-block category with their “Saltwater Safari” entry.

The 30 minute Ice Museum tour ($15 + $15 in addition to the tour if you purchase the Appletini) is housed in a building maintaining 20 degree temperatures year-round. Guests can spend as long as they like in the ice bedroom if they dare!

My evening visit at the resort offered clear skies, so I signed up for the snow coach tour, ($75.) It is essential that you dress appropriately for this five hour adventure or you might end up spending your time in front of the heaters in the warming yurts instead of under the stars and Northern Lights. Personally, I don’t think you should bother with the tour if it is snowing, as your chances of viewing the Aurora are minimal.

Chena Hot Springs Dog Sled Ride

Chena Hot Springs Dog Sled Ride

The highlight of my stay was the dog sled ride ($60 for twenty minutes.) Four people board the sled and are whisked along a scenic nature trail, with nine dogs pulling the sled, as a musher explains the commands she uses.

No visit to Chena Hot Springs would be complete without a soak in the adult-only Rock Lake natural outdoor hot springs. There is also an indoor family-friendly pool and hot tub. Don’t forget to pack your swim suit!

Proprietors Bernie and Connie Karl hosted my visit to the resort.

Photos by Nancy D. Brown


Chena Hot Springs Resort (907) 451-8104