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Spenard Hostel International

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Description & Photos

Hostelz.com's Review
Spenard Hostel International is a typical hostel, with all the same accommodations that you find in any other hostel around the world. They have friendly and helpful staff, comfortable rooms, and nice common areas. This place is a great introduction to those who have never stayed in a hostel before.

The Location

This place is located in a quiet residential area of Anchorage, about a ten-minute bus ride from the downtown area -- it's also not far from the airport. The bus stop itself is only a block away from the hostel. There is some parking in front available but it's not large. Next to the bus stop is a great restaurant called Gwennies that's open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner -- the food is fair and average-priced for Alaska. Within a block of there is a McDonald's.

Here at the hostel you can rent bikes and ride some nearby trails. The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, the main one, is a mere fifteen-minute bike ride away from the hostel. Take it west and you will end up on the outskirts of the airport, where you can see the aircraft coming in at two hundred feet above you. Take it far enough east and you will ride over a bridge going toward the Westchester lagoon, where you can get a good look at some aquatic birds and idyllic scenery.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The dorm rooms are basically standard for a hostel (no single or private rooms available). There's plenty of space and no problems with security or theft. We did not see any lockers or storage space in the dorm that we were staying in. The bathrooms are ok -- they are small, and again, just basic but clean and well kept.

Common Spaces

There is a large common area on the upper floor and one on the bottom, complete with plenty of reading materials or literature for perusing. Internet and Wi-Fi are available. Also there is a large, clean, well kept kitchen on the upper floor with a telephone for local calls. There is a vending machine and a machine for making change next to the kitchen area. Outside there is barbecue grill for those who want to use it.

The place is pretty packed with guests, who seem to be open and very sociable. However the place is not noisy like a partying crowd. The guests -- who range in age from their twenties to sixties -- for the most part abide by the rules for not disturbing the peace. To help keep the place clean, this hostel does not allow guests to wear their shoes inside -- footwear must be left outside near the entrance and there is also a wooden rack to place your shoes.

Summary

While not exceptional, this hostel is overall a good place to stay for what they charge. The only downside to this place is that they only allow you to stay here for a maximum of six days. For some hostelers who like to stay in a hostel for weeks, this might be an inconvenience. However there is one plus here for those who really want to save or stretch their money as far as they can. They have a work program where in exchange for several hours of volunteer cleanup work they will give you a free night stay.

Note from the hostel: "We actually have three kitchens and three common areas, two of each on the upper floor and one downstairs."

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
August 2011

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Map
Location/Contact
How is Spenard Hostel International rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
87%
87%
88%
81%
93%
88%
Hostels.com  
80%
80%
86%
80%
80%
80%
HostelBookers  
Not listed on HostelBookers.
HostelsClub  
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Average  
84%
84%
87%
81%
87%
84%
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
5   The best place in town! Cozy, friendly, clean, and quiet. The staff are helpful and pleasant, the guests are adventurous, fun, and friendly. Full of art, good vibes, and sincere smiles. You'll sleep well and have fun! Plenty of common areas, a stellar library, 3 kitchens, a bunch of bathrooms ... it has everything you need. Was able to walk to the grocery store in 20 minutes and keep my groceries right in the kitchen at the hostel. I recommend this place to anyone who is traveling through Anchorage!  , age 26, USA ()
5   Cozy and Friendly! I've stayed at Spenard Hostel multiple times over the past few year, as I pass through Anchorage every spring and summer. I always choose Spenard because it has such a homey feel. It's clean and comfortable. Staff are friendly, competent, and helpful. It's a short walk from the hostel to cool bars and restaurants and it's also close to the bike path which gives you easy access to downtown. Super close and convenient access to the airport as well! Highly recommended.  ()
5   Great Hostel to visit Alaska!! Is a very good hostel, clean, safe, comfortable. The staff is very kind. The location is excellent and the rate is good. I had a great experience in Alaska and in this hostel.  , age 27, Mexico ()
2   BedBugs On first glance it looks like a decent, normal hostel. But like most hostels in Anchorage, it has a bedbug problem. Management is trying to fix it but anyone who knows anything about bedbugs knows they're impossible to eradicate.
Response from the accommodation: Thank you for your feedback. Like hostels everywhere, we do occasionally have problems with bedbugs, and as long as guests let us know there's an issue in their room, we're able to deal with it right away. We take this problem very seriously, and we are proud to be one of only two lodging businesses in the entire state of Alaska to own professional heat treating equipment. This means that we are able to deal with eradicating any critters immediately and without the use of chemicals. The treatment is highly effective and is also in line with our standard of having the smallest environmental impact possible. So, while we do occasionally have bedbugs in a single room, we never have them for very long.  , age 24, USA ()
5   A wonderful place to stay I've stayed in hostels all over the world, and this is one of the friendliest and best run. Good things happen in a small establishment when there is a customer-service oriented owner (Jen) who lives on site and runs the business. Some of the things I appreciated -- comfortable bunks, clean sheets, defined quiet hours were respected, multiple kitchens, food storage space, bike rentals, free locked storage space for guests, locked storage rental while away, free bear spray exchange, friendly staff, 2 friendly cats, option to work for your stay (just 3 hours earns 1 night), and an array of friendly and interesting guests.
Response from the accommodation: We're so glad that you enjoyed your stay and we hope to see you here again should you find yourself back in Anchorage!  , age 66, USA ()
3   If you want to sleep ... ... Stay anywhere else. plastic bag idiots abound nowadays in hostels. Plastic bags should be banned in hostels. Sure enough at 4 or 5 am some a&%hole starts packing his shi% in his plastic bags! Jesus! why cant they pack the night before? Never again. Came away with red marks not sure if bugs? Peace and quiet at a local hotel. (It is close to the airport and they do rent bikes).
Response from the accommodation: We're sorry that someone was packing and woke you up. While we find that in general hostellers are lovely and respectful people (it's why we love what we do!) occasionally someone is louder than others would like at an early hour. :( Hopefully your next hostel experience will be better!  , usa ()
5   A very good experience for female traveling alone This was my first hostel experience, and my first Alaska experience, and it was 100% positive. I didn't notice any bugs or other vermin, I'm certain that it gets cleaned every day as I did a few days of cleaning on the work exchange program myself, and it has plenty of comfortable and functional living room and kitchen space as well as free internet and private bathrooms. It also has lockers, bike rentals, maps, and lots of really nice people. I didn't notice any drug or drinking problems and this hostel does not seem to attract that crowd at all. As a single female traveling alone, I felt completely safe here and made a lot of good fun friends.
Response from the accommodation: We're so happy to hear that your first hostel experience was a good one, and we hope it will lead to many more hostel adventures. As the hostel is both business and home for the owner and staff, we work hard to keep things clean, bug free, and of course safe. We certainly love staying here and we're glad you did as well.  , USA ()
1   BUG Infested I stayed there a few nights recently, the place has lots of problems since new owners took over, bedbugs are one!! It's not the same hostel that it once was. I wont stay there again.
Response from the accommodation: We're very sorry to hear that you had a bad experience. We have worked very hard to make the hostel a great environment that people will enjoy staying in. While we've never had a problem that we've considered an infestation (issues are generally isolated to one room and occasional spread to two) like any lodging business we do occasionally get bedbugs. We are happy to say that we have professional heat treating equipment on site at the hostel and so as soon as guest lets us know there's a problem we're able to take care of it. We hope that you might give us another try!  , USA ()

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