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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Birch Grove Sanctuary Studio In Central Mat. Valley, On Peaceful Garden Lot

Bedrooms 1
Space 300 sq. ft.
Property type studio


About the property

1 King size or 2 twin beds, 1 Bathroom, Sleeps 2

Enjoy the peace of the outdoors – listen to the birds and relish the tangible quiet of Alaska at its best. Sit around the fire ring and watch the local eagles soar into Alaska’s midnight sun evenings!

Our sanctuary studio has a lower level private entrance, full kitchen, full bathroom, and a King sized bed, or two twins depending on your needs.

If you are needing more space, we have a bed and breakfast that sleeps four additional people in two rooms. We have a queen in one room and a twin and fold down bed in the other room.

Our house is located near the end of a drive where it is peaceful and quiet. Our beautiful lot is surrounded by birch and spruce trees, sprinkled with vibrant flowers. We have a gorgeous, panoramic view of the Chugach and Talkeetna mountains. Occasionally we have moose wander into our yard.

Only one hour away from Anchorage Ted Stevens International Airport, you can rent a vehicle and easily find our quiet sanctuary. Free parking on site.


Hike the Butte – 30 minute drive - Relatively short hike to view the Knik Glacier and Mat Valley

Hike Lazy Mountain – 20 minute drive - 3,000 ft climb for a panoramic view of the Matanuska Valley. The only thing "lazy" about the mountain is it's name.

Hike and explore the Hatcher Pass area – About 25 minute drive - endless hiking and adventure above tree line. Explore the old Independence Mine…

Reindeer Farm – 30 minute drive

Fishing: We can help you find great fishing guides. Salmon are caught in several local rivers or you can drive the Parks Highway to Homer or Seward and book a ocean sea guide to catch salmon or halibut. If you want to eat your fresh-caught fish, we have a barbecue available!

Musk Ox Farm – 10 minute drive - Take time to see the local Musk Ox herd. What a unique, archaic and beautiful animal! Babies are born the beginning of May, so you can watch the family interaction.

Golf: Four golf courses in the area.

White Water Rafting within an hours drive

Glaciers: You can drive one hour up the Glenn Highway which is truly one of the most spectacular drives in the world and see the Matanuska Glacier. You can actually walk on the glacier.

Arrange flying tours to see Knik Glacier.

Denali National Park - Less than 5 hour drive

Seward - 3.5 hour drive, Resurrection bay and ocean tours offering spectacular scenery, marine wildlife, and glaciers


We are 15 minutes from excellent cross-country skiing at Government Peak Ski Area and 25 minutes away from several ski trails in Hatcher Pass.

More Details

Sondra Markwardt
Member since: 2015
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a few hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
June 25, 2017

About Sondra Markwardt

We are long time Alaskans. Philip worked with the Forest Service for many years and later became a pastor. He is an avid hiker, a back-packing enthusiast, an experienced cross-country skier and loves white-water kayaking.

Sondra’s family came to Alaska before it was a state of the U.S. She considers it a privilege to have grown up in the old, “real” Alaska in a small bush town on the Yukon River. She values the Alaskan native culture and feels that her growing up years, which included a family dog team, were very enriching.

Both of us have traveled the world extensively and value other cultures. We love meeting new people, and welcome others to the peace of our home. Our golden retriever dog is part of the enthusiastic welcome you will receive here.

We both love the untamed beauty of Alaska and the God who created it. Because of Philip’s experience in the grand Matanuska Valley area and beyond, he will be able to direct you to fabulous outdoor experiences and possibly join you as time allows.

Sondra Markwardt purchased this studio in 2003

Why Sondra Markwardt chose Alaska

Thirteen years ago, when we were looking for a lot to build our house, we kept coming back to this one because of its peaceful setting and the mountain views in several directions. Because of its proximity to the mountains as well as to the stores in the valley and the closeness to an international airport, we feel it is an ideal location.

What makes this studio unique

Our two and a half acre lot includes a 1/4 acre of lawn, a rock garden, and lots of flowers, surrounded by spruce and birch trees. We are close to lots of recreation including sightseeing, fishing, hiking, and cross-county skiing.


Palmer Studio Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • studio
  • floor 1
Building Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 300 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 2
  • not suitable for children ...
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Mountain View ...
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower
  • Bathroom has a full tub/shower, sink, and wardrobe. Shampoo, hairdryer available.
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 2
  • The studio apartment includes a king sized bed that can be made into two twins, depending on need. There are a couple of comfortable chairs, a small dining table, a TV, and a full kitchen with all dishes you will need.
  • Books
  • Television
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cross country skiing
  • fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • rafting
  • snowboarding
  • snowmobiling
  • whitewater rafting


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(18 traveler reviews)

Birch Grove Sanctuary Studio In Central Mat. Valley, On Peaceful Garden Lot
average rating of 4.888889 based on 18 reviews

Very comfortable and relaxing.

  • 5 of 5

Beautiful setting in a quiet residential area. Comfortable accommodations for two. We came to Palmer from the Kenai to organize a wedding reception for 160 friends and family of the bride. This studio was convenient to town and wonderful to relax in once the job was done.

  • Submitted: Jun 19, 2017
  • Stayed: Jun 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks for booking with us. Glad your wedding week-end worked out! Come again!
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0 0

Truly a life-changer

  • 5 of 5

Rightly named - a place of peace and refreshing! The Lord used this place to bring amazing connection and joy. The family is the greatest and the accommodations are clean, comfortable and inviting. A must for your Alaska trip!

  • Submitted: May 1, 2017
  • Stayed: Apr 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: If we could hand-pick guests, it would be this couple! What a joy to have them here!
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0 0
Kenai, Alaska

Very Cozy and Clean

  • 5 of 5

We really enjoyed our stay at the Birch Grove Studio. Very pleasant decor with birch tree theme. Comfortable bedding. And even though this room originally did not come with a TV, we were pleasantly surprised upon our arrival to find that a television had been provided.

Thank you, Sondra.

  • Submitted: Dec 10, 2016
  • Stayed: Nov 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: You are welcome here any time! We love meeting wonderful people like you. And you were the first guests here since we installed the TV Just in time for you!
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0 0

Quality quiet time

  • 5 of 5

It is a convenient location and close to areas of interest for us as well as grocery stores and "regular" stores, places to eat. We had little interaction with the hosts other than Woodruff - whom we loved. It was sweet to see his beautiful face in the mornings and as we were leaving for our day. Sondra was pleasant and gracious on our couple of interactions and we were aware she was there and available if we needed anything. I would suggest the possibility of a radio in the room as it was REALLY quiet sometimes. We did have a great time making our own meals and enjoying some quality time together without the interruptions of normal daily life.

Thank you for a lovely place to stay while visiting the magnificent state of Alaska!

  • Submitted: Sep 23, 2016
  • Stayed: Sep 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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0 0

Wonderful rental

  • 5 of 5

We rented this studio for two weeks. It had everything we needed for our stay. It was very cute and clean. Woodruff was such a friendly dog and greeted us everyday. We were also able to use their washer and dryer during our extended stay which was great. The grounds are beautful and Sondra and Phil were very helpful with anything we needed. You can hear people walking around above you but it wasn't bad. It was actually a very peaceful and quiet studio. We would definately stay there again!

  • Submitted: Sep 8, 2016
  • Stayed: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: So glad you were able to be here and that it worked out well for you. Hope to see you again!
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1 0

Beautiful, tranquil, safe

  • 4 of 5

Beautiful property and suite. Very relaxing atmosphere.

Woodruff was a welcome greeter whether we were leaving for or arriving from our adventures.

Phil and Sondra made themselves available when we had inquiries.

  • Submitted: Aug 25, 2016
  • Stayed: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
50 Miles
Nearest Barpub
6 Miles
Nearest Ferry
60 Miles
Nearest Golf
7 Miles
Nearest Train
9 Miles
Nearest Motorway
6 Miles
Glenn Highway
Nearest Restaurant
6 Miles
Nearest Ski
20 Miles
Hatcher Pass
Nearest Beach
20 Miles
Mirror Lake
Car: necessary


Rates & Availability

Palmer Studio Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
My Standard Rate
1 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $100
Tax Rate 5.0%

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 7 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
Contact Owner

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