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Hotel Review: Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge

Alaska CruiseTour . 2012 . Sep 23

Day 2 of our cruise-tour brings us to Denali, home of the famed Denali National Park and Mount McKinley (previously known as Mt Denali).

Last look at the scenery around Mt McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodges taken from the motor coach.

We just love the superb logistics management of Princess Cruises.  Our check-in at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge was already pre-arranged and our room number and room keys together with luggage tags and lodge information were given to us in a package upon boarding of the motor coach.

Luggage tags for luggage travelling with us to Fairbanks, our final destination in Alaska.  Our travelling luggage was handed over to the Princess Crew who will ensure that they arrive at the Denali Lodge before we do. 

Arrival at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge.

The Main Lodge and Surroundings

Photo taken near the Main Lodge.

The check-in reception counter.  As with the McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, we were already pre-checked in and could proceed straight to our room!

The Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge is a lot more crowded as compared to the McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, perhaps due to the fame and lure of the nearby Denali National Park.  We found the Main Lodge to be always bustling with people at all times, many of whom are waiting for their day tour to begin.  Although the facility is large, there always seem to be insufficient chairs for its guests.

One feature that we especially liked was the LCD screen showing the tours and their starting time.

Escape to the lower floor of the Main Lodge where it is more peaceful.  We must say Princess Cruises takes great pains to create that cozy and homely feeling to the Lodge, and although some of its facilities are not new, it still has a rustic feel to it.

The River Run Espresso, a small cafeteria within the main building serving specialty coffee and snacks at the lower floor of the Main Lodge.  This is also the place where we got some disposable utensils for our cup noodles ;p

Other dining options within the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge include King Salmon Restaurant (similar to the Mountain View Dining Room we had at McKinley Lodge) and Lynx Creek Pizza & Pub.  There are more restaurants across the road, but they were already closed for the season when we were there.

See the building at the top of the hill? We were told that these are the lodges for Disney Cruiseline.  Looks good, but I don’t envy those who have to make their way up by foot.  

View of the Disney Lodge taken at the main road. The green roof houses at the bottom of the mountain are the restaurants that were closed as it was towards the end of the cruising season.

The Room

Lodge 7 where our room is located is a quiet respite from the buzz of activities in the Main Lodge.  We practically love this lodge for its location.  It is next to the Main Lodge, accessible through the back door of its lower floor.  Close enough for us to enjoy its facilities, but yet maintains its peace and quiet.

As with the McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, complimentary wi-fi access is limited only to the Main Lodge.  Fortunately, our lodge is near enough to tap on the wi-fi from our room!

There’s also a vending machine at each lodge – best for satisfying that thirst for a can of coke after a week of deprivation on the ship. 

Our luggage labelled with our luggage tags were found waiting for us outside our assigned room.  Kudos to Princess Cruises! Very thoughtful and impressive service.

The welcoming interior of the room.

The only thing was the lack of a scenery outside our window.  There are other lodges that overlook the river or mountains.  But I think we can live with what we have.

Bathroom is clean and spacious.

Shopping at Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge

There is a strip of shops across the road from the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, but because we were the last Princess Cruise to Alaska for the year, all of these shops were already closed for the season by the time we arrived.  This was a great pity, because we see ‘Sale’ signages all around.

We find the name of this road especially amusing.  Maybe the road before this is called Yeast Road and the next road is called Bread Road.

Fortunately, there are shops within the premises of the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge.  Other than the general souvenir store at the Main Lodge, there are other small houses scattered around the Princess Village.  Good to browse around because there is nothing else to do in this wilderness.

On our last morning at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, the weather turned frosty, and we woke up to light snow and a snow-capped mountain in our own backyard.

Overall, although we would very much prefer the peace and quiet of the McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, our experience at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge was still quite positive.  Join us in our next post as we bring you to the Denali National Park and Preserve.  

Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge
Mile 238 5 George Parks Hwy
Denali National Park, AK
Phone: 907-683-2282

Read all reviews about Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge at TripAdvisor!

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