Girdwood has long been Alaska’s most idyllic resort town—and this VIP-worthy private lodge offers a plush home base just two blocks from its heart, the base of Mount Alyeska.
From Winter Wonderland to Hikers’ Bliss
Winthrop and Audrey Faulkner opened this home for rentals 12 years ago. Each had grown up in Anchorage—30 miles north, along the picturesque Turnagain Arm—and had skied and explored in these mountains around Girdwood and Alyeska Ski Resort since they were kids. They had both left Alaska for college, but met after they returned home, and decided to stay to raise their family.
Today, Winthrop is a pilot who runs a real estate business, and he and Audrey appreciate more than ever how Girdwood—surrounded by seven glaciers, the Chugach mountains and North America’s northern-most rain forest—makes a charming all-season getaway. Come summer, it attracts hikes and mountain bikers, and during winter, it’s a serious snow magnet for skiers (Some proof: the 2013 season brought 978 inches of snow to the slopes of Mt. Alyeska.)
Room to Relax for 14
This private, executive-style home easily accommodates whichever version of Girdwood you’ve come to experience. The open-concept lodge, with a floor-to-ceiling redwood interior, has soaring cathedral ceilings and a wall of windows that look out onto Mt. Alyeska. There are four spacious bedrooms (the house sleeps up to 14 guests) and three bathrooms, as well as a gourmet kitchen with Brazilian granite countertops, professional-caliber gas stove, Indian slate floor and stainless appliances.
The master bedroom has a king bed and private bath (featuring an 80-gallon Jacuzzi tub), offering some romantic-getaway privacy even if you’ve come with the whole family. The other three bedrooms are comprised of four twin bunk beds; a queen and one twin bed; and two fulls and one twin bed.
Outdoor Vibe, High-Tech Perks
The home’s focal point, though, is the formal living room, with its stand-alone, circular wood-burning fireplace that underscores the house’s outdoorsy charm and cozy ambiance. It’s hard to argue with the home’s other indoorsy perks, too: a professional size pool table, in its own alcove, and a separate entertainment room with a 50-inch flat screen television and surround sound system.
Steps from Town and the Slopes
When you walk outside the lodge, you can gather around the home’s outdoor fire pit and barbecue. If it’s winter, you can even walk to the slopes, two blocks away, and ski home along a bike path that parallels the main highway. Come summer, you can use that same bike path to walk to most any activity available in Girdwood. Or, you can just walk to the end of the house’s driveway and hop a local shuttle bus to access any of the resort activities offered in Girdwood—dog sledding, hiking, mountain biking, paragliding, flightseeing and glacier landings, along with plenty of great restaurants. The convenience is striking, but this spot’s prime feature is that blissful feeling of having a luxe mountain lodge all to yourself.