Alaska is one of those places on a lot of travelers’ bucket lists, but it’s not usually equated with “luxury.” Wilderness, outdoor living, hard-scrabble existence comes to mind, but “Luxury Alaska?” Really? Absolutely, as these truly luxurious destinations exhibit.
Located 97 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle in the Brooks Range, Iniakuk Lake Wilderness Lodge
is an exclusive fly-in destination. Built by hand in 1974, it remains the home of the proprietors, who offer individual attention to their clients from the moment they arrive. The Main Lodge is located at the end of a lake eight kilometres long, which provides the runway for float planes as they arrive. The Main Lodge is the base of operations for all of your activities, and includes the dining hall, kitchen and three
rooms on the second floor. An upstairs lounge features both a fireplace and a panoramic view of Iniakuk Lake and the Brooks Range. The Lodge also features two satellite facilities – the Arrigetch Peaks Cabin and the Gates of the Arctic Caribou Cabin – for the even-more adventurous. The Gates of the Arctic Caribou Cabin, for example, is a 50 minute flight north of the Main Lodge, yet still includes the amenities of homemade meals and shore dinners. Adventures from rafting to dogsledding, hiking and canoeing abound for every fitness level. Special packages include activities such as Arctic Char flight-fishing and the Tundra Comfort tour, including a float trip down the outlet of Iniakuk Lake. For more information, visit Go Far North
The Talon Lodge in the Sitka Sound straddles the line between ultimate sport-fishing destination and luxury spa. The main lodge area features a comfortable, well-appointed lounge and a spacious deck for relaxation. Guest bedrooms in the Seth House and Cloise House include several options for the number of bedrooms, depending on how large your party is. Regardless, the island is restricted to just 16 guests at a time, so individual attention is a part of the allure. The Spa at the Talon Lodge is renowned for its certified massage therapists, which provide a relaxing, therapeutic touch overlooking “the most spectacular view in the Pacific Northwest.” Wellness treatments such as traditional Swedish Massage, and hot stone therapy are part of a customizable wellness package for guests. The Talon Lodge also hosts a Visiting Chef Series during the summer fishing season, highlighting the flavours of some of the world’s greatest chefs. Special packages include accommodations, two exclusive dinners prepared by the visiting chefs, and some of Alaska’s best salmon and halibut fishing during the day. To contact the lodge, visit Talon Lodge.
Perhaps the most luxurious way to visit Alaska is to do it from the sea. Silversea is a cruise line owned and operated by the Lefebvres family of Rome, Italy. As such, the line places an emphasis on sophistication and luxury, rather than Mardi Gras beads and limbo contests. Silversea’s Alaska and Pacific Coast cruises are aboard its Silver Shadow
, featuring the amenities of a larger cruise, while being limited to just 382 guests. The ship features a crew of 302, dedicated to European-style hospitality. All of the Silver Shadow’s suites include butler service, champagne upon arrival and a host of luxury appointments. The cruise itself takes you along Alaska’s Inside Passage, where you’ll witness all the Alaskan land- and seascapes have to offer, including bald eagles, bears, and half of the world’s population of humpback whales. Cruises range anywhere from seven to 11 days, and depart from either Seward, Alaska, or Vancouver, BC. For more information, visit Silversea