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Exploring the History and Charm of Captain Cook Hotel in Alaska

Captain Cook Hotel is a luxurious and iconic landmark in downtown Anchorage, Alaska. This 20-story hotel offers stunning views of the Chugach Mountains, Cook Inlet, and the cityscape. If you’re planning a trip to Alaska, then Captain Cook Hotel should be on your list of places to visit. In this blog post, we’ll explore the history, amenities, and attractions of this magnificent hotel.Are you curious to know why Captain Cook Hotel is a popular choice for visitors to Anchorage? Let’s dive in and find out!

History Of Captain Cook Hotel

Origins Of The Name

Captain Cook Hotel is a well-known hotel located in Anchorage, Alaska. The hotel is named after the famous British explorer Captain James Cook who was the first European to set foot on Alaska’s shores in 1778.

The name of the hotel is significant as it pays homage to the history and culture of Alaska. Captain Cook played a vital role in exploring and mapping the Alaskan coastline during his third and final voyage. His expedition provided valuable information about the region’s geography, flora, and fauna.

It is interesting to note that the hotel was not always called the Captain Cook Hotel. The original name of the hotel was the Westward Hotel when it was built in 1965. However, in 1978, the hotel was renamed the Captain Cook Hotel to commemorate the bicentennial anniversary of Captain Cook’s arrival in Alaska.

The hotel has since become an iconic landmark in Anchorage, and its name has become synonymous with luxury and comfort. Visitors to the hotel can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding mountains and cityscape while experiencing the rich history and culture of Alaska.

Construction And Opening

The construction of Captain Cook Hotel began in 1963, and it took two years to complete the building. The hotel was built by the Westward Properties, a real estate development company based in Anchorage, Alaska. The architectural design of the hotel was done by the local architectural firm, John Graham & Company.

The opening of Captain Cook Hotel was a grand event that attracted many people from all over the state. The hotel officially opened its doors on August 18, 1965, with a lavish ceremony attended by various dignitaries and prominent personalities. The event was covered extensively by the media, and it received wide coverage in both local and national newspapers.

Since its opening, Captain Cook Hotel has been a landmark in downtown Anchorage and has played a significant role in the city’s social and economic life. The hotel has undergone several renovations and expansions over the years, but it has always maintained its original charm and elegance.

Renovations And Upgrades

The Captain Cook Hotel has undergone several renovations and upgrades since its opening in 1965. The first major renovation took place in 1982, when the hotel added a new tower with 200 rooms, bringing the total number of rooms to 546. In 1998, the hotel underwent another significant renovation, which included updating the lobby, restaurants, and guest rooms.

In recent years, the hotel has continued to make upgrades to ensure that it remains a top destination for visitors to Anchorage. In 2017, the hotel completed a $20 million renovation project that included updates to all guest rooms and suites, as well as improvements to the fitness center and meeting spaces. The renovation also included the addition of two new restaurants: Fletcher’s, which offers classic American cuisine, and Whale’s Tail, a seafood restaurant with stunning views of the city.

The Captain Cook Hotel is committed to sustainability and has made several eco-friendly upgrades in recent years. In 2019, the hotel installed a new energy-efficient heating and cooling system, which has reduced its carbon footprint by over 30%. The hotel also uses environmentally friendly cleaning products and has implemented a recycling program throughout the property.

Amenities And Services


The Captain Cook Hotel offers a range of accommodations to suit different needs and budgets. The hotel has 546 guest rooms, including 96 suites, each designed with comfort and style in mind. Guests can choose from standard rooms, deluxe rooms, executive suites, and presidential suites.

The standard rooms are spacious and well-appointed, featuring one king or two double beds, a work desk, an armchair, and a 42-inch flat-screen TV. The deluxe rooms offer more space and luxury, with upgraded amenities such as a mini-fridge, a Keurig coffee maker, and a marble bathroom with a separate shower and bathtub.

The executive suites are ideal for business travelers or families, with a separate living area, a dining table, a wet bar, and a bedroom with a king bed. The presidential suites are the epitome of luxury, with over 1,200 square feet of space, a grand living room, a formal dining room, a master bedroom with a king bed, and a marble bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub and a steam shower.

All rooms and suites at the Captain Cook Hotel come with complimentary Wi-Fi, plush bedding, bathrobes, slippers, and upscale toiletries. Guests can also enjoy 24-hour room service, daily housekeeping, and turndown service upon request.

Dining Options

The Captain Cook Hotel offers a variety of dining options for its guests. Whether you are looking for a quick bite or a fine dining experience, there is something for everyone.

Fletchers is the hotel’s signature restaurant, offering an upscale dining experience with stunning views of downtown Anchorage. The menu features fresh Alaskan seafood, steaks, and other local favorites. The restaurant also has an extensive wine list, perfect for pairing with your meal.

If you’re in the mood for something more casual, head to Whale’s Tail Bistro & Wine Bar. This cozy spot serves up comfort food classics like burgers, sandwiches, and salads. They also have a great selection of wines by the glass or bottle.

Crow’s Nest is another popular dining option at the Captain Cook Hotel. Located on the top floor of the hotel, this restaurant offers panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountains. The menu features contemporary American cuisine with an emphasis on fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

For a quick breakfast or lunch, stop by Cafe Promenade. This cafe serves up coffee, pastries, sandwiches, and soups.

Restaurant Cuisine Price Range
Fletchers Seafood, Steakhouse $$$-$$$$
Whale’s Tail Bistro & Wine Bar American, Comfort Food $$-$$$
Crow’s Nest Contemporary American $$$-$$$$
Cafe Promenade Coffee, Pastries, Sandwiches, Soups $-$$

The hotel also offers room service for those who prefer to dine in the comfort of their own room. Room service is available 24 hours a day and features a selection of items from Fletchers and Whale’s Tail Bistro & Wine Bar.

Meeting And Event Spaces

The Captain Cook Hotel offers a variety of meeting and event spaces, making it an ideal location for business meetings, conferences, weddings, and other special events. The hotel has over 14,000 square feet of flexible meeting space that can accommodate up to 600 guests, with both indoor and outdoor options available.

One of the most popular event spaces is the Top of the World, located on the 20th floor of the hotel. This stunning venue offers panoramic views of Anchorage and the surrounding mountains, making it an unforgettable setting for any event. It can accommodate up to 200 guests for a reception or 150 for a seated dinner.

The hotel also has several smaller meeting rooms, including the Chugach Boardroom and the Denali Suite, which are perfect for more intimate gatherings or business meetings. These spaces can accommodate up to 50 guests and feature state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment and high-speed internet access.

In addition to the meeting and event spaces, the hotel offers a range of services to ensure that every event is a success. The experienced event planning team can assist with everything from menu planning to audiovisual equipment rentals. The hotel also offers catering services, with menus that can be customized to suit any taste and budget.

Meeting Space Capacity Features
Top of the World Up to 200 guests for reception, 150 for seated dinner Panoramic views of Anchorage, state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment
Chugach Boardroom Up to 50 guests State-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, high-speed internet access
Denali Suite Up to 50 guests State-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, high-speed internet access

For those looking for a truly unique event space, the hotel also offers the opportunity to rent out the entire 20th floor, which includes the Top of the World venue and several smaller meeting rooms. This exclusive option is perfect for large corporate events or weddings.

Fitness Center And Spa

The Captain Cook Hotel offers a state-of-the-art fitness center and spa for its guests. The fitness center is equipped with modern cardio and weightlifting machines, free weights, and exercise balls to cater to all kinds of workout needs. The fitness center is open 24/7, so guests can work out at their convenience.

The hotel spa offers a range of treatments, including massages, facials, body wraps, and scrubs. Guests can relax and rejuvenate in the tranquil spa environment, which includes a sauna and steam room. The spa also has a hot tub and a cold plunge pool to help soothe sore muscles after a workout.

The fitness center and spa are available for both hotel guests and local residents. The hotel offers day passes for non-guests who wish to use the facilities. The fitness center and spa staff are highly trained professionals who provide personalized attention to each guest.

For more information on the fitness center and spa services offered at the Captain Cook Hotel, visit their website at

Attractions Near Captain Cook Hotel

Tony Knowles Coastal Trail

The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is a 11-mile trail that offers breathtaking views of the Cook Inlet and the Chugach Mountains. The trail was named after Tony Knowles, a former Governor of Alaska who championed environmental conservation during his tenure.

The trail begins at the Second Avenue in downtown Anchorage and ends at Kincaid Park. It passes through some of the most scenic spots in Anchorage, including Westchester Lagoon, Earthquake Park, Point Woronzof, and Lyn Ary Park. Visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, walking, or rollerblading along the trail while taking in the stunning views of the surrounding nature.

Along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, visitors can spot a variety of wildlife such as moose, eagles, beluga whales, and even bears. The trail also has several rest areas where visitors can take a break and enjoy the scenery.

The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail is open year-round, but the best time to visit is during the summer months when the weather is mild and the days are longer. Visitors should come prepared with comfortable shoes, water, and snacks as there are limited facilities along the trail.

For more information on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, visitors can check out the official website of the Anchorage Parks and Recreation Department

Alaska Native Heritage Center

The Alaska Native Heritage Center is a cultural center in Anchorage, Alaska that celebrates the rich heritage of Alaska’s indigenous people. The center provides visitors with an opportunity to learn about the diverse cultures and traditions of Alaska’s native communities through exhibits, demonstrations, and performances.

Visitors can explore six authentic life-sized village sites representing the major cultural groups of Alaska: Athabascan, Inupiaq/St. Lawrence Island Yupik, Yup’ik/Cup’ik, Aleut/Alutiiq/Sugpiaq, Eyak/Tlingit/Haida, and Tsimshian. Each site features traditional dwellings, artifacts, and interactive exhibits that showcase the unique customs and history of each group.

In addition to the village sites, the center also offers a variety of programs and activities, including traditional dance performances, craft demonstrations, storytelling, and educational workshops. Visitors can also browse the on-site gift shop, which features handmade crafts and artwork created by Alaska Native artists.

The Alaska Native Heritage Center is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in learning about Alaska’s rich cultural heritage. For more information on admission prices and hours of operation, visit

Anchorage Museum

The Anchorage Museum is a popular attraction located near the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska. It is one of the largest museums in the state and is known for its extensive collection of Alaskan art, history, and science exhibits.

The museum was founded in 1968 and has since expanded to include over 25,000 objects and artifacts. Visitors can explore exhibits that showcase the history of Alaska’s native peoples, the state’s natural resources, and the impact of the oil industry on the region.

One of the most popular exhibits at the Anchorage Museum is the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center. This exhibit features over 600 Alaska Native artifacts that were collected by anthropologists in the early 20th century. Visitors can learn about the traditional practices and beliefs of Alaska’s indigenous cultures through interactive displays and educational programs.

The Anchorage Museum also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including lectures, workshops, and film screenings. In addition, the museum has a gift shop where visitors can purchase unique Alaskan souvenirs and gifts.

If you are staying at the Captain Cook Hotel, the Anchorage Museum is just a short walk away. It is open daily from 10am-6pm and admission fees vary depending on age and residency status. For more information about the museum and its exhibits, visit their website at

Flattop Mountain Trail

Flattop Mountain Trail is a popular hiking spot located near Captain Cook Hotel. The trail is approximately 3 miles long, with an elevation gain of 1,350 feet. It is considered to be a moderate hike, and it typically takes about 2-3 hours to complete.

The trail offers stunning views of Anchorage, the Chugach Mountains, and the surrounding wilderness. Hikers can also spot wildlife such as moose, bears, and eagles. It is recommended that hikers bring bear spray and make noise while on the trail to avoid surprising any animals.

Flattop Mountain Trail is open year-round, but it is most popular during the summer months when the weather is warmer. During the winter, the trail can be icy and slippery, so hikers should use caution and wear appropriate footwear.

To access the trailhead, hikers can drive or take a taxi from Captain Cook Hotel to Glen Alps Trailhead. From there, they can follow signs to Flattop Mountain Trail.

For more information on Flattop Mountain Trail and other hiking trails in the area, visitors can check out the website.


Captain Cook Hotel is more than just a place to stay in Anchorage. It’s a destination that offers a unique blend of luxury, history, and adventure. Whether you’re a business traveler, a family on vacation, or a couple looking for a romantic getaway, Captain Cook Hotel has something for everyone. Book your stay today and discover the magic of this Alaskan gem!

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