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The Hotel Captain Cook 4.0

Anchorage, Alaska, United States

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Large convention hotel with lots of upscale amenities
  • Excellent central location downtown and near the waterfront
  • Terrific views from spacious, well-equipped rooms
  • Some rooms include access to Club Lounge’s free breakfast and drinks
  • Five food options, including a fine-dining restaurant on the top floor
  • Separate men’s and women’s fitness centers with saunas and steam rooms
  • Lap-style pool and large whirlpool
  • 12 boutiques providing lots of shopping options
  • Valet dry cleaning and laundry are among the concierge services
  • 14 meeting rooms including a 9,000-square-foot ballroom
  • Valet parking, free Wi-Fi, and a 24/7 business center 
  • Pets are welcome with a surcharge (con for some)

Cons

  • Rooms are a bit bland and dated
  • Breakfast is not included in standard room rates
  • Captain Cook doesn’t operate airport shuttles
  • Valet-only parking and pet fees are expensive 
  • No guest laundry facilities are on site

Bottom Line

The four-pearl Hotel Captain Cook is a downtown Anchorage landmark that’s served as one of the city’s top corporate and social-event venues since it opened in 1965. This 547-room hotel, split into three towers, is chock full of amenities such as separate men’s and women’s fitness centers and five food options including a fine-dining, rooftop restaurant. It also houses a pool/whirlpool, spa treatment rooms, 12 boutique shops, and offers valet parking -- although it’s expensive. Rooms and suites are pulled-together, spacious, and well equipped, but their generic decor with dated details can dampen their appeal. Still, room service, free Wi-Fi, and Keurig coffeemakers come standard. Rates are competitive, but they don’t include breakfast. It's worth comparison shopping with The Voyager Inn across the street, which can have lower rates, free breakfast, and free access to Captain Cook’s fitness and pool facilities. 

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Scene

A busy business hotel with a dark and upscale lobby

Opened in 1965, this downtown Anchorage landmark has built a reputation as one of the city’s top hotels for corporate and social events. Guests are often attending on-site events, but cruisers are also well represented. During the summer cruise season, mornings can be quite hectic, as cruise passengers gather to depart on their journeys. Public spaces are dark and a bit somber, with ample wood and natural stone paneling and impressive nautical-themed art mounted on every other wall. Deep leather couches and floral-print armchairs provides lots of places to relax, but they can feel more old fashioned than Old World. Other atmospheric areas include Fletcher’s, a classic English pub that’s often full of post-meeting business travelers, and the Whale’s Tail, a lively nightclub on weekends when dancing keeps the place hopping into the wee hours. 

Location

In the heart of downtown Anchorage, a short walk from the convention center 

The Hotel Captain Cook occupies a prime spot on one of downtown Anchorage’s busiest streets. It’s surrounded by restaurants, and it's only a five-minute walk to the waterfront Elderberry Park that connects to the 11-mile Coastal Trail for cyclists and hikers. The Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center, Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, and Egan Civic and Convention Center are all about six minutes away on foot, and the Anchorage Museum is an 11-minute walk. It’s a five-minute drive (or 15 minutes walking) to the city’s train depot, and six minutes by car to Sullivan Arena. Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is 15 minutes away by car. 

Rooms

Spacious, well-equipped, and pulled-together, if a bit dated and drab

While guest rooms are tastefully, traditionally decorated, they can feel rather underwhelming for an upscale hotel. Their mix of earth-toned colors, from rust-colored bed runners to salmon wallpaper, feel muted and somewhat drab. Even the rooms' artwork lacks color and vitality. Light brown carpeting and matching wood furniture also contribute a heaviness to the rooms despite their high ceilings and generously sized windows that offer excellent views of the Cook Inlet or Chugach Mountains. That said, rooms are generally clean, quiet, and spacious, with even the Deluxe (standard) Doubles having enough space to include desks with chairs, armchairs, and small coffee tables with chairs. Ninety-six suites are part of the inventory as well, and they are large, with even Junior Suites having separate bedroom and living room areas. Two-bedroom suites on the top floors are available as well. Apart from roomy quartz vanities, bathrooms are on the small side and rather average, with shower/tub combos framed by light brown tile. Amenities are a big plus and include safes, Keurig coffeemakers, flat-screen TVs, robes, and mini-fridges. Free Wi-Fi is also standard. Captain’s Deck and Crow’s Nest Rooms and suites get access to the Captain’s Deck Lounge that includes a free hot breakfast and afternoon free drinks and appetizers. Some other rooms like the Executive Suites also get breakfast vouches at The Café as well as free valet parking. 

Features

Loaded with features including five restaurants, separate fitness centers, a pool, and event space

Features at The Hotel Captain Cook are extensive and for many, they give reason alone to book. Dining venues, for example, cover five different environments, including the rooftop Crow’s Nest, a fine-dining establishment that features French and New American cuisine along with a 10,000-bottle wine cellar. The Café serves breakfast (not included in standard rates), and The Cubby offers to-go coffee drinks and breakfast items. Whale’s Tail features small plates and has late-night dancing on weekends. 

Also extending beyond the norm, the fitness center is doubled and divided into separate men’s and women’s spaces including lockers, saunas, steam rooms, and a good selection of cardio and strength-training equipment. Co-ed exercise classes are available, as are various massage treatments. The indoor, lap-style pool has plenty space, and the adjacent whirlpool is large as well.

As a massive conference hotel, Captain Cook offers 14 meeting spaces including a 9,000-square-foot ballroom. There's also a 24/7 business center and free Wi-Fi. Twelve shops selling everything from gourmet food and souvenirs to clothing and art are on the premises, too. Valet dry cleaning and laundry are among the concierge services. Expensive valet parking is the only on-site option, but public parking is across the street. Pets are welcome, although the surcharge gets quite expensive. 

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Address

939 W 5th Ave, Anchorage 99501-2049, United States

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