I’ve spent a lot of time in hotels. In fact, considering how much traveling I’ve done in the past 15 months, I’ve become a bit of a nitpicky guest. Few things standout. Outlet and TV placements become big deals. And lobbies are usually forgotten, sterile areas (which sometimes include parrots, but that’s another story). However, few lobbies have impressed me quite as much as the one at Anchorage’s Hilton Garden Inn did.
Bright and airy were my first impressions when I walked through the front door of the Hilton Garden Inn, which was kind enough to host my stay in Anchorage. “Welcome!” a beaming voice said from the registration desk. As I approached, I walked past a large, central fireplace. To my left, stood a life-size taxidermy bear. “That’s Reggie,” the man at the desk said, gesturing to the bear.
Reggie, while somewhat imposing, was not the only thing around to see. “That used to be a whale vertebrae,” said the main, pointing at the painted work of art floating above my head.
As the friendly guy at the desk checked me in, I wandered around checking out the lobby, which was surprisingly filled with quite a lot of interesting works of art. Including more taxidermy animals…
And just in case you forgot what the natural order of the food chain was….
The vertebra wasn’t the only repurposed animal part to be found either. Above the fireplace hung what appeared to be an antler. An antler turned into a bird with an image painted on the “wing” of moose grazing. It’s something you see a lot of in Alaska…even on a bike trail in Anchorage…
Native Alaskan art also had a place in this lobby, which quickly impressed me with its display. Static, this place was not. Masks hung on the walls and a traditional pattern was etched in glass panels on some columns.
Even light fixtures got into the act! I loved this lamp, which seems to have taken its inspiration from snowshoeing.
And I couldn’t resist taking a picture of the light lamp hanging in the entryway, with its pattern suggesting wildlife and massive trees. Does that say Alaska or what?
“We’ve got you in a ‘Mountain View’ room, the man at the desk said. And as I made my way into that room, I knew this would be the start of a great long weekend!
Mountains off in the distance. A free shuttle that ran downtown on demand (though it doesn’t got anywhere you want in a 3 mile radius like the hotel’s website would lead you to believe). And some real tasty (yet expensive) breakfast (can you say Reindeer Sausage?). Yep, it was definitely a great stay!
Though Hilton Garden Inn graciously hosted my stay in Alaska, all opinions expressed here are my own.