Review of the Alaskan Hotel in Juneau

Last Updated on July 6, 2023

The Alaskan Hotel in Juneau is a charming and fun historic hotel in downtown Juneau that has operated since 1913! This is one of the few budget friendly options in Juneau and it is not at all fancy. Think about it like a hostel with private rooms and you’ll have the right expectations.

This historic building does NOT have elevators and all the rooms are on the upper floors (2nd floor up to the 4th) so you will be carrying your luggage up quite a few stairs. This hotel is not wheelchair accessible or good for anyone with limited mobility.

I’ve stayed at the Alaskan Hotel many times, both when I lived in nearby Skagway as well as more recently. My most recent stay here was in June 2023. I love this hotel, it’s my go to option in Juneau, but the nature of the historic building, noise and location of bathrooms is definitely not for everyone. Read on to find out if this is a good fit for you on your visit to Juneau!

The exterior of a historic Victorian building, the Alaskan Hotel in Juneau. It is gray and has a bar downstairs and windows upstairs

Alaskan Hotel Rooms

The rooms at the Alaskan Hotel are very basic. The beds are comfortable and clean and while all the rooms are slightly different and small, there’s room to walk around the bed and a spot to put your luggage.

The most important thing to know about the rooms is that there is not an elevator and there are no rooms on the first floor, so you will be carrying your luggage up at least one and possibly as many as three flights of stairs depending on the location of your room.

A steep carpeted stairway in a historic building, with Victorian wall paper on the sides of the stairwell
Not kidding about the stairs! They are no joke.

The hotel is above a bar, and it’s a historic building with thin walls, so if you’re a light sleeper you might want to bring earplugs.

Some rooms have a bathroom and some do not with super clean bathrooms and showers down the hall. Rooms with bathrooms have very small bathrooms, but if you want a private bathroom this is a good way to go.

Part of a hotel room with curtains and a small sink
The bathroom in my queen room with bath is to the right through the doorway (no door) with a small toilet and shower.

Rooms have either one queen bed or two twins, so pay attention to what type of beds you are getting when you book your room, in addition to whether or not it has a private bath.

Some rooms also have a very small kitchenette, which can be handy depending on how you like to travel.

A queen size bed with white sheets in a historic hotel room.
My queen room with kitchenette (you can see a bit of it on the right). Basic but clean and the bed was super comfortable!

If you’re thinking of the rooms like private rooms in a hostel, you’re on the right track. This is definitely a budget low frills hotel, but with lots of historic charm and it’s very clean.

Alaskan Hotel location

The location of the Alaskan Hotel is one of its biggest benefits. If you’re staying here, you do not need to rent a car unless you want to get out and explore Juneau’s limited road system.

You can walk to restaurants, bars and shops and to pick up points for all tours in Juneau. It’s an easy (though potentially slow, give yourself plenty of time) taxi ride from the airport or ferry dock. You can walk to trailheads from here and take the city bus to Douglas or the Mendenhall Valley.

Note: the city bus or a taxi is not the way to get to Mendenhall Glacier from downtown. You’ll want to do a tour or take the Mendenhall Glacier shuttle to get there.

Alaskan Hotel History

The Alaskan Hotel has a fascinating and long history. It is the oldest hotel currently operating in Alaskan, for over 110 years! Built before Alaska even became a territory and 45 years before Alaska became a state, it has seen a lot of Alaska history.

It has been a speakeasy, brothel, hotel and has hosted people from all over the world for over 100 years! The Alaskan Bar is a must visit even if you’re not staying here, it shares this same history as part of the building.

A sign hanging from an overhang that reads Alaskan Hotel est 1913. On the national register of historic places

Alaskan Hotel After Hours Access

Pay attention to what they tell you at reception on check in, as the front doors to the hotel are locked after 4pm and before 8am. In the afternoon and evening you can enter through the bar or through the back door (make sure you have the code!).

If you are heading out early in the morning just be aware that you can’t get back in (because the bar is closed) until the reception desk opens at 8. Make sure to get the door code to the back!

Alaskan Hotel Common Spaces

The Alaskan Hotel has a tiny lobby, and you’ll often see guests making the stairways an impromptu lobby, but there’s plenty of room to get around even if that’s happening. The Alaskan Bar on the first floor is the primary common space here, and plenty of locals will be there for drinks and live music that’s available most nights in the bar.

There is also guest laundry (coin op) in the hotel and showers and bathrooms for guests who do not have a bathroom in their room. They will provide the access code to the shower and bathrooms upon check in.

Interior of a bar with Victorian decor
The Alaskan Bar in the Alaskan Hotel

Getting around Juneau from the Alaskan Hotel

One of the best things about the Alaskan Hotel is it’s convenient location in downtown Juneau. It’s easy to navigate downtown Juneau on foot and a manageable taxi ride to the airport or ferry terminal. You might have to wait a bit for a taxi, but it’s an easy and known location to the taxis for pick up and drop off.

If you’re doing any tours, they will either pick you up at the hotel or have a convenient meeting point that’s walking distance away.

If you want to explore outside of downtown, you’ll need to rent a car for that, or take a tour that gets you where you need to go.

There are plenty of restaurants within a few blocks of the Alaskan Hotel.

Final Thoughts

I love the Alaskan Hotel for a convenient and budget friendly hotel in downtown Juneau. It is definitely my go to when I visit Juneau as a travel writer. However, it’s important to look at the tradeoffs for the price when deciding if this hotel is right for you.

Jennie Flaming on InstagramJennie Flaming on LinkedinJennie Flaming on PinterestJennie Flaming on Youtube
Jennie Flaming
Hi! I'm Jennie. I’m a fourth generation Seattleite. I lived in Alaska for many years and I still spend lots of time there every year visiting friends and working as a tour director. I've been a guide for many years in both Alaska and Washington, am a field editor for the Milepost and host the Alaska Uncovered Podcast about Alaska Travel as well as the Washington State Hiking Podcast. I love to share the places I love with visitors, newcomers and my fellow locals. I’m so glad to have you here!