Heading toward the resort on the access road, go right on Timberline, pass gorgeous ski chalets, then turn right again on Alpina. Around a couple of curves is the Alyeska Hostel (907/783-2222, www.alyeskahostel.com ). This is a great place with a coed dorm ($20 pp in bunks; $10 ages 7–12), a private room ($50 d), a family room ($50 d), and a summer-only cabin ($65 d or $85 for 4), plus a full kitchen and two baths, free Wi-Fi, and a wood-burning sauna out back. Reservations are recommended in the summer and mid-winter, especially for the private room and cabin. There is no lockout and no curfew.
A second hostel opened in 2009—Girdwood Alaska Backpackers Inn (907/727-4678, www.hostelgirdwood.com )—located just off the highway behind the Tesoro station (and three miles from “downtown” Girdwood ). Dorm rooms cost $25 per person, and the five private rooms are $50 s or $60 d. There’s a common room, a kitchen, shared bathrooms, and decks.
Alyeska Accommodations (907/783-2000 or 888/783-2001, www.alyeskaaccommodations.com ) is the best source for condo, chalet, and home rentals, representing dozens of places around Girdwood. Two organizations provide descriptions and helpful links to websites for most local B&Bs and guesthouses: Girdwood Bed-and-Breakfast Association (907/222-4858, www.gbba.org ) and the Alyeska/Girdwood Accommodations Association (907/222-3226, www.agaa.biz ).
The luxurious 307-room Hotel Alyeska (907/754-1111 or 800/880-3880, www.alyeskaresort.com ) is an eight-story 304-room hotel where nicely appointed rooms include heated towel racks, fridges, ski-boot storage boxes, Wi-Fi, and safes. Other in-hotel amenities include three restaurants, a fitness center, a large indoor swimming pool, a sauna, and a hot tub. The tram to the top of Mt. Alyeska is right out the back door. Lodging rates vary, with the lowest prices ($299 d) for small rooms on levels 2 and 3, up to $339 d for an eighth-floor room. Suites start at $399 and ride the tram all the way to $2,200 per night. Be sure to ask if they have any discounted rates and packages; your savings can be substantial.