Hotel Review: Sheraton Anchorage Hotel & Spa, With Suite Upgrade

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Location
Amenities
Room
Service

Quick Take

The location is convenient, and the suite we had was overall great (aside from the mediocre bathroom). We did have a weird experience with staff during our stay, which was resolved well in the end after lots of confusion. Overall, I would stay here again.
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Exterior image of Sheraton Anchorage hotel, taken for review purpose.

Hotel Review: Sheraton Anchorage Hotel & Spa, With Suite Upgrade

My wife and I recently visited Alaska, and I want to provide a review of the Sheraton Anchorage, since there aren’t a lot of reviews for points properties in Alaska. Before heading north and into the parks & wilderness, we arrived into Anchorage and spent 2 nights at this property. Along with a suite upgrade, we also had a weird experience with staff, so I will highlight all of these, in addition to the hotel overall.

RELATED: Alaska Trip Report Part 1: Glaciers, Whales, Boat Tour, Waterfalls & Much More

Booking Process

We decided to go to Alaska about 36 hours before the outbound flight departed. Last-minute pricing on hotels was expensive. We stayed at the Sheraton Anchorage using 2 free night awards from Marriott. The points pricing during our stay was 35k per night, which is the maximum my wife’s free night certificates allowed.

Cash prices per night were $195 for a standard room. That makes for a redemption value of 0.56¢ per point, which isn’t that great for Marriott points.

My wife had some Suite Night Awards in her account, and we added these to the booking. The confirmation for our upgrade to a junior suite came in about 2 hours later. Pricing for the suite is around $234 per night, increasing our redemption value to around 0.67¢.

Location

The Sheraton Anchorage on E 6th Ave. It’s located near the majority of the other hotels in the city, near the downtown and business area. It’s convenient to nearby restaurants and shopping but is definitely not near the main, international airport. You will need a shuttle, rental car, or transportation to get to the hotel

Check-In

Ironically, we went to the wrong hotel to check in first. I thought we were staying at the Marriott Anchorage Downtown and went there. When the front desk agent couldn’t find our reception, I pulled up the confirmation email and noticed the mix-up.

After getting ourselves to the correct hotel, the woman at the front desk was really friendly. Check-in was quite efficient but had a lot of information to cover, due to Covid restrictions and hotel policies. First, she explained that the restaurant and lounge are closed. While we had free breakfast each morning (thanks to my wife’s Platinum Elite status), we would need to order breakfast via room service.

Thus, we had “food & beverage credit” vouchers of $20 per person for the evening and for the morning, which she gave us. These were substitutes for the lounge visit and the breakfast service.

Image of 4 meal vouchers worth $20 each

The next day, we passed by the front desk to collect our vouchers for that evening and the last morning’s breakfast.

The front desk employee also told us that the spa was closed during our visit.

Image of cars parked outside in lot near Sheraton Anchorage hotel

Lastly, the woman explained where to park our rental car and how to not get a fine. There are several parking lots around the building, and you can use the spaces next to signs that indicate “Sheraton guest”. There is also a small garage, with about 20 spaces, located out the rear entrance of the hotel.

In order to get free parking, you need to scan a QR code on the “Sheraton guest parking” signs and fill out some information. This requires not only the hotel guest room number / name but also your check-in/check-out dates and the car’s license plate.

Image of QR code from Sheraton Hotel parking app, part of my review of the hotel.

Overall, the check-in process was friendly and as efficient as it could be, given everything she had to explain.

Multiple Public Areas Closed

I wish I could review additional parts of the Sheraton Anchorage, but I wasn’t able to visit them. In addition to the restaurant and club lounge closures during our visit, there’s typically a concierge/activities desk. It was not staffed during our visit.

Image of closed concierge desk

In addition to closures of the restaurant and lounge, the spa was closed. Looking at information on the hotel website just now, I also see that there’s a fitness center somewhere. We never saw it, and no one at the hotel mentioned its existence to us. Perhaps it was closed; I can only speculate.

Elevators and Access to Guest Floors

The elevators sit just off the lobby, in the hallway that leads to the concierge desk and rear exit in the photo above.

Image of elevator interior

The elevators are spacious. Both the walls and the floors are hardwood. You do not need to tap a keycard to enter the elevator or to use the buttons to visit any floor.

Image of hallway on 10th floor at the Sheraton Anchorage hotel

The elevator waiting area on our floor (10th) featured a small bench near the window. There are no decorations in the waiting area.

With 4 elevators, I will note that we never waited long for one to show up. Part of that I also attribute to low occupancy during our stay.

Image of guest floor hallway on 10th floor

The hallways are carpeted, and the carpet did a good job of absorbing noise from people in the hallway.

Image of door to room 1015

Junior Suite Review at Sheraton Anchorage

Our room was right by the elevators. We actually walked past it as we started looking for the room numbers on the 10th floor. We had room 1015. You’ll notice the bend in the hallway from the wall in the picture. This is incorporated well into the design of the room.

Image of room 1015, junior suite

When you enter the room, the closet and bathroom are to the left. You enter on a linoleum floor, which is great, since we often had snow stuck to our boots. In front of you, the living room area is carpeted. Around the bend (to the left) is the bedroom area.

Closet

Photo of half-open closet showing robes and bedding supplies

Closest to the door is the closet. it contained a luggage rack, one bath robe, and bedding supplies for the fold-out bed (see below).

The other side of the closet contained an iron and ironing board. There is also a price sheet for laundry services. I found the prices exorbitant. At those per-item rates, your laundry costs would add up quickly.

Bathroom

The bathroom was definitely unimpressive. It reminds me of a standard room at a Holiday Inn.

View of entrance to bathroom in junior suite

The bathroom was small and not convenient for 2 people to be in there at once.

image of sink and counter space, including supplies under the sink

On the right, there is a sink plus ample counter space. It contained all of the standard toiletries from Sheraton, towels and washcloths on a shelf under the sink, and also a hair dryer–a necessity for anyone with long hair during Alaska’s winters.

Image of shower-tub combo in the bathroom, used to review bathroom in suite at Sheraton Anchorage

The shower-tub combo is something I consider totally standard in mid-range hotels, older hotels, and standard rooms. I was a bit surprised to see this in a suite.

The shower head did have 3 different settings, which was nice. Pressure was good, but it took a long time for water to heat up in the mornings. The curtain was also the type that likes to float around and let water out on the floor.

Overall, though, the bathroom worked well. It’s not something you expect with a suite, but everything worked, and we had the necessities.

Living Room

Image of items in living room area

The living room was spacious. Along the right-hand wall, there is a mirror, dresser, and a TV on top, plus a lamp in the corner.

Image of dresser with TV on top.

Inside the dresser, there is a safe and a mini fridge (empty).

Photo shows drawers, safe, and mini fridge inside the dresser

Along the left-hand wall, there is a desk with a chair. The desk has a lamp, as well as multiple ethernet ports and power outlets.

On top of the desk, there’s also a coffee maker with supplies.

Coffee supplies and a coffee maker sit on the desk

The living room also features a sofa, which contains a fold-out bed.

Image of cushion lifted up to show fold-out bed inside sofa, featured in suite review of Sheraton Anchorage

Bedroom

Around the bend, you enter the bedroom area. Even though this is a suite, there is no door to a separated bedroom.

Image showing bedroom area, with lamps, curtains, and tables, plus bench at the foot of the bed

The king-sized bed sits in the middle and has ample space to get around it. There are also numerous lamps in the room. I will point out that the room had NO overhead lights or anything connected to switches. Each lamp was individually controlled. You could not turn off or on more than 1 lamp at a time and needed to go to each one individually to operate the switch.

Image of our bed in room 1015

The bed was large and comfortable. While the pillows were a bit mushy, we liked the bed overall and slept quite well both nights.

There is also a bench at the foot of the bed. It’s quite firm, so not very comfortable for sitting but good for putting your socks on or keeping items there as an easy-access spot.

Close-up image of power outlets on the lamps

Each side of the bed had a nightstand with a lamp. The lamps have a power outlet and a USB port built into the base. This was a great feature.

Views

From our windows (which covered the entire outer wall), we could see out over the city and to the mountains in the distance.

Overall Thoughts on the Room

The junior suite is spacious and nice. It had some great features, like a fold-out bed and lots of outlets for charging your devices. I would consider the bathroom a low point, since it doesn’t match the rest of the suite. The “turn on lamps one by one” thing could also be improved by simply connecting them to a light switch.

Meals

Since we had vouchers and the restaurants were closed, we didn’t visit the restaurants at all. Instead, we had lunch and dinner in the room via room service. Even though our benefit would technically include breakfast, we didn’t see anything on the breakfast menu that interested us. Hotel breakfasts for vegans in the U.S. are embarrassing when you see what is possible elsewhere, like this.

Thus, we used the flexibility of our vouchers to cover lunch and dinner and dined elsewhere for breakfast.

Here is the double-sided menu for room service options.

Our vouchers did not include gratuity, and an 18% tip is automatically added to room service. If you are being nit-picky, you’ll notice that means your free visit to the Club Lounge turned into a room delivery that you’ll have to pay for, since the lounge is closed and room service is the only option.

Each person gets a $20 voucher twice a day if you have lounge and breakfast benefits. You’ll notice no entrees on the menu are under $20, so you may opt to use 2 vouchers for one meal if you want to cover the whole price (minus tip).

The food we ordered throughout our stay was good–nothing outstanding.

When we called room service, half of the time the call went to voicemail. Leave your name, room number, and what you want. They always called back within 2 minutes, confirming our order. Delivery to the room came in about 20-25 minutes.

Image showing bedroom area, with lamps, curtains, and tables, plus bench at the foot of the bed

Weird Experience On Final Night

We had a really weird experience in our room on the final night. It happened about 15 minutes after room service dropped off our late dinner, so it was around 8:45pm at this point.

We were sitting on the bed eating and watching Encanto on Disney Plus on my laptop (great movie, by the way!) when I heard something by the door. It was a soft sound, but definitely at our door. I thought maybe the hotel was putting a bill under the door to prepare for checkout in the morning. I jumped up to go grab it.

Before I could even get to the door, the door opened. It scared the **** out of me. Standing there was a huge guy, and I yelled at him as I rushed toward the door, thinking I needed to push it closed.

He asked if he we needed room service. Say what?

First, why didn’t he knock? Second, why didn’t he announce himself as he came in? He just opened the door. I told him we didn’t need room service and kicked myself for not remembering to put the ‘do not disturb sign’ back on the door after room service left (we had taken it down after placing our order).

Call to Front Desk

I called the front desk to ask why room service had barged in, unannounced, around 8:4pm. They assured me this wasn’t normal and apologized.

I poked my head out into the hallway and noticed this guy was going down the hallway to each room, entering without knocking or announcing himself. I also hadn’t seen a name tag, so I simply gave them a description of him and pointed out he had really freaked us out.

Given that he was entering multiple rooms without knocking or announcing himself, to me it really looked like he could be up to something. Looking for rooms where people left cash laying around? Who knows. I didn’t mention this during the phone call, but it felt really strange.

RELATED: Alaska Trip Report Part 2: Gold Panning, Mountain Trams, Glacier Trails & A Swanky Resort

Check -Out

At check-out, we dropped our keys and casually mentioned that everything was great, other than the housekeeping guy. The same woman who had checked us in checked us out, and her ears perked up.

According to her, there’s absolutely no reason housekeeping should be coming to our room at that time. When I described the guy to her, she said that absolutely doesn’t match anyone who works there. I described his uniform (all black), and she said that’s not any uniform they have.

The employee called housekeeping, and someone came out to show me their uniform. Not at all what the guy was wearing when he entered our room.

After a few phone calls and a front desk manager thinking someone had a master key and was robbing the hotel, we finally got an answer: it was that guy’s first day. He started last night and was supposed to clean the room next to ours after a guest had a late checkout.

From the start of the conversation until someone found that detail, multiple employees started saying “we have no one here who matches that description” and thickening the plot. I’m really glad the solution was what it was–despite the fact it still scared us when someone just entered the room unannounced.

Until that solution, the employees had me thinking a rogue employee tried to rob us or a stranger off the street had a master key.

Final Review: Sheraton Anchorage

That experience with the housekeeping guy was strange, for sure. Everyone has a “first day on the job”, though. I can get past that. However, I did factor that into the “service” category of my review at the Sheraton Anchorage.

The location of the hotel, the suite, and the front desk staff were all quite good. The bathroom isn’t really up to snuff, and the restaurant situation wasn’t the best. Would we stay here again, though? Yes. If we pass through Anchorage, we would stay here again. I think the next visit would be even better, since all of the services would likely be working. Plus, the chances of the housekeeping barge-in happening again are super minimal, right?

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Ryan Smith
Travel hacker in 2-player mode, intent on visiting every country in the world, and can say "hello" or "how much does this cost?" in a bunch of different languages.

7 COMMENTS

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7 COMMENTS

  1. For viewing the northern lights, go to Fairbanks. You are virtually guaranteed to see the lights if there is not a cloud cover. We went in December and had two night of perfectly clear weather and had beautiful viewings. It was incredibly cold but worth it. We stayed at the Hyatt which was a perfect location. Its located next to a large shopping area, so walking distance from a few different restaurants, shorting goods store, etc. Its nice not to go far when its -30F

  2. Our of curiosity, why are you visiting so many northern destinations in the middle of winter? Seems like a pretty brutal time of year to be a tourist in these places.

    • Bob – we were trying to see the Northern Lights for my wife. Didn’t work out in northern Sweden or northern Alaska, unfortunately. I’ve seen them twice, but she still hasn’t seen the lights yet.

  3. Good review – I love Anchorage.

    Nit picky but value of points (assuming using 35,000) is .56 cent and .67 cent instead of 5.6 cent and 6.7 cent which is in the article. If you get 5.6 cent or 6.7 cent of value that is great (as you well know) but actual value is a little low (I use .7 cent as my Marriott value). However good use of a free night certificate and suite upgrade.

  4. Stayed at this exact hotel a few weeks back in early January throughout my journey around Alaska. At that time, breakfast at the restaurant was open and as a Titanium I also got those $20 vouchers — the only food worth anything was the poached eggs with Alaskan king crab. The room service food was pretty awful in my opinion if I wanted to use those vouchers for lunch/dinner, and the boring bathrooms at this hotel matches pretty much every other hotel I visited throughout Alaska. I also stayed a night at the Courtyard Anchorage Airport which was solid and convenient for a one night layover on a connection and the Four Points in downtown Anchorage which was a terrible hotel, so while not apples to apples in terms of expectations, the Sheraton definitely was the best of the three hotels I stayed at in Anchorage.

    • While breakfasts at Hyatt Place locations in the US tend to be quite dull, the Hyatt Place Fairbanks was the best of 3 hotels in our recent trip. Expectations and reality matched up, which is often what makes for a good or bad experience. When you expect more but don’t get it, it’s easy to be let down. When you have “average” expectations and get them, you’re satisfied!

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