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“Fantastic Family Reunion”

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Averill's Flathead Lake Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Santa Rosa, California
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Fantastic Family Reunion”
Reviewed 9 August 2010

A group of 28 people is difficult to please. The staff, setting and setup made Flathead Lake Lodge a fabulous choice for our family reunion, and everyone raved about what a good time they had. Lots of choices for everyone--from riding to helicopter rentals. Excellent water sports on a beautiful lake--from sailing and kayaking to a cocktail cruise. Staff was professional and went miles out of the way to make everyone happy. Beautiful vintage 40's lodge that was lovingly cared for. The dining setup worked well--kids eat first, then adults. But there was no hardliner age policy. It was just a nice way of getting younger ones in and out of the dining room faster--if they wanted. Food was plentiful, tasty and of good quality. Beverages and snacks were available all day. Good musical entertainment. Excellent massage. Our cabin was comfortable, but not fancy--new carpeting might be an idea--but in reality we spent little time inside. The view from the cabin's porch was the lovely: late night sunsets on the lake and stars at night. If there was one thing I would add to the property it would be a hot tub to soak in after really active days. Some of our group were riders, and some were not. It is impressive that the Ranch managed to make everybody feel welcome--not the case at all dude ranches. I have been to a few. A wonderful choice for a family reunion.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank InnJoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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67 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
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English first
Missoula, MT
Level 5 Contributor
92 reviews
88 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 October 2009

I stayed a couple of nights with my colleagues and thoroughly enjoyed the location of this resort - the view over the lake, the grounds, and the surrounding mountains are outstanding.

The lodge is very comfortable, very Montanan, and not at all flashy. The rooms are small, dimly lit, with rustic style appointments. The bathrooms were decidedly small and not at all world-class. While there is wifi in the lodge, there are no TVs available for guests.

The food is plentiful and wonderfully prepared. Some of the flavors are a bit odd, but adventurous and interesting. When the kitchen is busy and there are lots of guests, it seems as though the lines were long and meals were a bit 'dished up'.

The staff are very friendly (sometimes too much so), but as is typical for mountain resorts they appeared a little weary at the end of the season.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank wombat18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 28 June 2009

Reading some of the more negative reviews, I have no idea where they could be coming from. My family and I have been staying at The Lodge every summer for eleven years. I am currently sixteen years old and my trips to Flathead Lake Lodge have been the basis for almost every school project, speech or essay I have ever done. This is because my vacations have been the highlight of my childhood years. Every aspect of the lodge exceeds expectations. I have made lifelong friends and memories because of my experiences here. With activities such as bike riding, hiking, fishing, water skiing, wake boarding, swimming in both the pool and lake, jumping off the dock dubbed the "the Tower", sports such as basketball, soccer, and volleyball, and of course horseback riding, there is a never dull moment at the Lodge. The food is exceptional for the environment,catering to both the little kids and sophisticated adults. The staff and service make all guests feel like they are returning visitors. A charming small town is located right next to the ranch, providing restaurants, shopping, and more night time activities for adults. The lodging is always clean, well-kept and comfortable. For those concerned, horseback rides are available for riders of all levels. Weekly activities include a camp fire sing along, roping demostrations, barn dances and rodeos. Though expensive, I can not imagine a trip more worth the money.

  • Stayed July 2008, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank julesrules088
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Venturacounty
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 May 2009

This is Heaven on earth! Immaculate grounds set on the most beautiful lake I have ever seen. The speciality here is the service. The staff takes pride in each and every guest experience. The owner and his family are always present to assist and answer questions about this historic lodge. Young or old it doesn't mater. There is something to do for everyone. You can live the life of a Cowboy or fish, swim, hike, sail, ski, bike, play tennis wihout leaving the grounds or best of all, just relax. The accomadations are perfect. Always clean and authentic. When it comes to eating, you will be impressed. Chefs that are creative yet will help you out if you have special dietary needs. If you stay here and do not love it, I'm not sure you would be happy anywhere!

  • Stayed July 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Fiemanbill2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NYC
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2009

OK, let me admit the few negatives first:
- yes, the prior reviewer is right, they do cater to returning guests a bit
- the childrens program is a bit unstructured if your child is not independent (say 8 years old or else a very independent 6-7)
- the rooms are only so-so
- the bees overwhelm the outdoor eating area, and you really have to eat inside
- it is expensive like you wouldn't believe

So why do I still say it was the best vacation ever?
1) First and foremost, the people. I don't know how they hired such consistently nice people, but they are amazing. They make sure you are doing what you want all the time & having a blast doing it. Normally, we like to hike on your own, but here we took the guided hike and we instantly became friends with the hike leader & her dog. I just can't stress it enough - they go out of their way to make you happy.
2) The riding is fantastic. Great for all levels. From lessons in the corral to trotting the trails at night. Wildlife (we saw elk, bears, wild turkeys, deer).
3) The lake is a great second attraction. It is rare for a dude ranch to also have a lake. There is sailing, canoeing, kayaking, swimming (and diving off a tower), waveboarding, waterskiing, etc.
4) The heated pool is great for relaxing while the kids play.
5) There are a lot of kids. Your kids will have playmates and a great time. The wranglers are great with kids. There is a junior-wranglers program (where they have a blast mucking stalls for free - ha!). There are also arts & crafts several times per day, a kids fishing pond, bikes, tennis, etc.
6) The dogs. OK, if you don't like em you can avoid em, but if you do like them, they are a blast too. There are like 5 dogs of varying breeds and they are all super-friendly with kids.
7) The food - excellent for this type of vacation. You can sit in the adult area and have a somewhat more formal meal or sit in the kids/family area and be totally informal. There are always choices so we never had a problem even though we are picky. You can eat with your kids or they can eat on their own with other kids.
8) Proximity to Glacier National Park. Basically, you are not in the middle of nowhere. You can drive like 10 minutes to Big Fork, a nice touristy town, for an afternoon or drive like 40 minutes to GNP which is absolutely beautiful.

I am sure I am forgetting something, but you get the idea. We left there with a new glow and an obsession (especially our 6-year-old daughter, who trotted for the first time - with helmet) to return. It seriously was our best family vacation ever - better than Disney at the high-end resort, better than Atlantis, etc.

  • Liked — The staff & the location
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank krakor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 May 2008

We love ranches and have travelled to many. Our basic problem here was....we were not returning visitors...there appears to be a pecking order...first time visitors get teeny little rooms, whereas as you work your way up, you get individual cabins.

We couldn't even have our kids in the room with us...they had to have a separate little room. I wonder how I would have viewed the ranch had I had a reasonable room.

There are some Wonderful aspects of the ranch...the absolute highlight is the week's-end family rodeo where all the family members participate. There is free water-skiiing with instruction, and it was absolutely a delight to see our daughter finally manage to ski for the first time in her life. Our daughter loved the ranch.

We were a bit surprised, sort of expected the Glacier Lake experience, but this is a very flat piece of property on a generic Lake.

There were a number of negatives. I found the food very very boring. The days were ate outside were generic K-mart picnics. I don't remember one memorable meal, though the ranch was obviously proud of their food.

I was stunned that in a beautiful state like this, the horse riding was done on flat, DUSTY trails, sort of like riding in circles on the flatlands. I was hoping for the clean Mountain air experience, but got the dusty hot flatland experience.

There is a town in walking distance, where we snuck to get some nice meals.

I can see how returning visitors DO like the ranch....once you learn the particular ropes here, and make SURE you have a cabin reserved, and are prepared for the differences in riding...it is possible to have fun here....more as a lake vacation than a ranch vacation. The rodeo was awesome however, and fun to see you kid in absolute delight. They have professional photographers who take some of the most awesome photos during the rodeo....the one of my daughter became her high school yearbook photo.

This is the sort of place you can take teens and their friends, and relax and not see them for a week in comfort.....if only we had a nice room for the old folks to stay in.

If I go back....I'll remember......make SURE to have a cabin or don't go.

  • Liked — Family rodeo
  • Disliked — postage stamp room, food
  • Stayed June 2003, travelled with family
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
16 Thank LTownsendMD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lexington, Kentucky
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 November 2007

Flathead Lake Lodge holds a very special place in my life. My family has been going there ever since i was a little kid, three to be exact. Last year was my 12th year to go. When you stay at the lodge, you make friends that you will keep for a lifetime. The overall quality of the stay is phenomenal. The workers run a shuttle back and forth from the airport on sundays to pick up and drop off guests from the airport, bringing convenience in the aspect of transportation, eliminating the need for a rental car. The beauty about this place is that it is family friendly. As one will notice upon their stay here, people of all ages continue to come every year. The activities guaged for younger kids include kids trail rides on calm horses with experienced "wranglers," arts and crafts, playing down by the waterfront under the careful watch of lifeguards, playing in the sand box, swimming in the heated pool, ice cream runs aboard one of the lodge's 3 antique fire engines, the kids rodeo, and various other activities. Some activities aimed more for teens or even adults include wakeboarding either at the lodge or lessons with wakeboarding professionals at Echo Lake, a short 10 minute drive from the lodge, kayaking, horseback rides, breakfast rides up to the side of the mountain, mountain biking, swimming in the heated pool, fishing in the pond, flyfishing in one of the nearby rivers, inflatable tube float trips arranged by the lodge, massages, and simply relaxing. There is an obvious theme when you arrive at the lodge, simplicity. Be ready to drop all of your troubles and worries at the gate when you enter, because one can relax under the open Montana sky to relieve stress, or keep yourself busy partaking in all of the activities the lodge has to offer, ensuring that everyone has a good time. Consider this amazing place for your next summer vacation. I promise, you won't regret it.

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank JimOswalt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Averill's Flathead Lake Lodge

Property: Averill's Flathead Lake Lodge
Address: 150 Flathead Lodge Road, Bigfork, MT 59911-0248
Region: United States > Montana > Bigfork
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Speciality Lodging in Bigfork
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Number of rooms: 46
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Flathead Lake Lodge is a third generation Dude Ranch located in Montana on Flathead Lake. The Lodge offers unlimited horse & water activities and is only 35 miles from Glacier National Park. Your family will enjoy a rustic ranch atmosphere, endless activities, and unmatched hospitality by the Averill family and staff. Recreation includes a complete horse program, sailing, fly fishing, water sports, hiking, cookouts, camp fires, and a family barn dance to name a few. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Averill`s Flathead Lake Hotel Bigfork
Averill's Flathead Lake Lodge Montana/Bigfork

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