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Review of Swan River Inn

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Swan River Inn
Ranked #7 of 9 Bigfork B&B and Inns
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 September 2013

We stumbled upon this quaint Inn in Bigfork, MT because I read good reviews. We stayed in the "Victorian" room which was tastefully decorated with antiques. The bathroom was gorgeous with a jetted tub and they generously supplied quality soaps etc. The only thing I didn't care for was the small table & chairs right outside of the room's window which were used by other renters and made for a noisy afternoon when we were exhausted and just wanted a break.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank COMuggles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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63 reviews from our community

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English first
Pensacola, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 September 2013

I made a reservation in April for the end of July and specifically asked for a certain cabin and was told on the phone that I definitely could reserve that cabin. I received a confirmation by email that I had reserved that cabin. Then one month later received an email as if I had not gotten the first email stating that they were booked and I could not have that cabin. When I called I spoke with the owner and she stated I could cancel if I was not happy and she seemed glad I did. Definitely not good business!! I was glad I did not stay there.

Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
Thank neverstaysahome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Bigfork hotels

Newbury, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 August 2013 via mobile

I have thought a while before writing this review because I found this place to be full of contradictions.  

We stayed 2 nights in the Orient Express suite in early August.

Contrary to the reviews I have read here we found the owner, her family and staff to be very friendly.  They also tried hard to make our stay a good one and have clearly spent a lot of money doing up the suites.

An example - our suite was 2km out of town and we had no car.  It was raining when we first arrived.  I was checking out the local area on foot when a member of the owner's family pulled up in a car, drove me to the local supermarket and waited outside whilst I did 5 minutes shopping!  What other hotel would do that for you?

On the other hand check in was chaotic because no one was around initially, we thought we would be in the town hotel (not 2km away) and we were given a suite with a king bed and pullout sofa bed instead of the 2 queen bed suite we had booked.

So the bed arrangement was a bit of a disappointment but the suite had a very useful kitchen area (which we had not booked) and was bigger than we expected.  It has also been lavishly decorated to look like the inside of the Orient Express and the bathroom was stunning.

The weather brightened up and we found an easy short walk into town so the location turned out to be great (and quieter than the town part of the hotel where our friends were staying).

I suggest if you go to this hotel expect a bit of an adventure, forget your expectations of a standard hotel, enjoy the eccentricity and positives and let the odd negative go by.  

It would have been 3 star but got an extra one for the supermarket trip!

Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
2 Thank SteveNewbury
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kuna, Idaho
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 August 2013

This was quite possibly the most awful place I have ever stayed, Let me begin by saying I am a Montana native. We have a family cabin in Bigfork and we love the town!! We were up there for a family wedding and the groom's family was staying at our cabin so we had to find another place to stay. Bigfork is a great town and most people are very hospitable and the hotels/inns are generally very nice. THIS place however, is a disgrace to Bigfork. I will try and keep this short but it will be a hard task being that there were so many things that were concerning about this establishment.
First of all, my mom called and reserved one of the Swan River Inn's "suites" for 3 couples. These "suites" are located a short distance from the Inn and are more expensive than the regular rooms. The Inn itself actually has a great location close to downtown so we were a little disappointed to be staying farther away but needed a room big enough for all of us, and these rooms were suppose to be nicer anyway. My mom spoke with Margarit the manager, and was told that this room- the oriental express- would easily accomodate 6 adults as long as we were able to bring an air mattress. We were fine with that and brought an air mattress for my husband and I to sleep on. We arrived at the Swan River Inn and found a note on the door that stated that check-in was not until 4pm however, if you arrive early you are to call Margarit directly on her cell phone. She was able to get us in a bit early which was nice.
When we arrived at the 'suites' they were anything but...well... sweet. It was an old building right next to the road with dried up grass surrounding the building and a mostly dried up pond in front of our room. The pond was infested with bees and had a dead snake lying in the middle of the disgusting water/algae. It was not appealing to say the least. When we walked in, the room was nicely decorated but upon close inspection you could tell there was not much attention to detail for such an expensive room. Enough said about that. Well, from here I will just list the problems with the accommodations to make it easier.
1. The room was absolutely not big enough for 6 people. My husband and I ended up sleeping on our air mattress in the hallway.
2. The air conditioning machine did not cool the room. Yes the air it was blowing was cold, but our room was not cold, nor did it ever even get to the point where it was even comfortable to sit and relax. Major issue!! None of us hardly slept a wink!
3. The TV did not work. And when we called to ask about it, we were told that the receiver was stolen. No apology, we were just expected to deal with it. Yes we were on vacation and should not have needed TV however, for how much we were paying per night, it should have been fixed.
4. The kitchen was not equipped with even the most simple amenities. Hardly any glasses, no paper towels, minimal silverware, nothing to clean dishes, etc etc etc. Just pretty much empty.
5. The towels in the bathroom did not feel washed at all. They were rough and appeared dirty. One even looked like it had dried boogers still on it! Yuck!
6. There was a dryer in a closet in the room however, it didn't work. It didn't even have a plug. And there was no iron available. Pretty much, if you had nice clothes and they were wrinkly, you would not have a way of fixing that. And for a "high end" room, that's unacceptable.
7. When you turned a few lights on, it would trip the breaker and you would have to go to the electrical panel and reset it. This happened SEVERAL times. It got pretty annoying, not to mention inconvenient.
8. There was no hot water after 1 shower... That. Sucked.
9. And to top it all off, we found hinges in the corner of the built in shelves in the room. Um, turns out if you wanted to sneak into the bedroom closet of the SUITE NEXTDOOR and scare the living crap out of someone by making scary ghost noises, or kill them and steal their body by dragging it into the next room before their lover came out of the bathroom like in some slasher movie, YOU COULD! Yea, scary! Not sure why it's there, and I'm not sure I want to.

By the end of our first night there, we knew we could not stay there again. We called and were able to book another room at the Marina Cay for less money and got a MUCH better room!! ... with air conditioning! What a concept!
We called the manager that day and asked her to call us back when she had a moment so that we could discuss a refund for our second night and discuss a discount for unsatisfactory accommodations for the first night. She never called us back the first day despite several calls. Oh wait, she DID answer her phone once but claimed she was making omelets so she did not have time to talk to us. Um, why would you answer your phone if you didn't have time to talk? And besides that,you would think she would want to address someones concerns as soon as possible, nope. By the time we were ready to leave, I called her one more time to see if we could talk to her before we left. She actually answered! However......The manager Margarit was absolutely the rudest person I have ever had the displeasure of dealing with. Her customer service skills are non-existent and when I called to calmly and nicely speak with her about our concerns and get a refund for our second night she immediately began to yell at me and tell me that my concerns did not matter because "this hotel has been written about in numerous magazines and other people have said amazing things about it, and that my 'opinion' was not valid." I tried to calm her down and tell her that I just wanted to talk about a few things but she just kept spewing out nonsense and telling me that I was wrong. Now, I have a little bit of customer service experience and I can tell you that (correct me if I'm wrong) you have to go about things with the attitude of "the customer is always right." I'm not saying I solely wanted to be right but if I was the manager of this establishment, I would want to make sure that I listened to my customers, apologized for any inconvenience, and tried address all issues with the room. This was not the case with Margarit. She basically, wanted to get rid of me. She did refund us for the second night but refused to give us a discount on the first night. She stated that the accommodations were just fine and that I just needed to basically get over it. And she also informed me that "it's not that hard to flip a breaker a few times." yea... classy.
Anyway, by the end of the conversation I was so appalled by her inability to listen to anything I had to say or even hold an adult conversation that I proceeded to tell her that her behavior was inappropriate and that I was no longer going to discuss the matter with her because obviously she was not listening and clearly did not care to discuss anything, and she was not going to stop repeating the fact that her establishment was raved about in several magazines, which I find highly unlikely considering the horrible reviews others have posted. Needless to say, she refunded us for the second night but we still had to pay $200 for the first night. I would have rather stayed in a motel 6.

Room Tip: Don't rent a room at the Swan River Inn!!!!
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3 Thank Miranda E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kirkland, Washington
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2013

This is a funky place. The owners have tried to update it and do the best they can with what they have but...

Check in time is after 3:00. We arrived at 4:30. It was pouring down rain and we wanted to get to our room. It takes a bit to figure out how to check in but basically you have to go upstairs to the restaurant and check in at the Hostess stand in the restaurant. Of course at 4:30 no one is there and the place is basically deserted. We asked for our room and were told by a young man cleaning that "the owner is not here right now. You have to come back later".

I, in my wet, clothes with no where to go: "When".

Employee: "I don't know. Later"

What the heck? It says check in after 3:00. You have to go to a restaurant to check in and there is no one there to check us in.

Finally, after half an hour, the youth comes outside and says he has a key for our room. Okay. Go around back to the room. It's a double suite but we were promised a king suite. We go back to the restaurant and he pulls out a slip of paper with our name and the words written "Double Suite". Whatever. Let's just get out room.

The rooms are dated. it's an old building and the owners have tried to update it. It's okay. Just okay.

Check out in the morning is - you drop your key in a box. Very weird. We never talked to a grown up the entire time.

Net-net: if this is your only choice it will work. It's convenient to the center of Bigfork but there are better choices. It's way overpriced. We would probably rate it higher if customer service were any kind of a priority at all but it is definitely not!

Room Tip: They should call it "The Last Resort" Since I would only stay there if it was.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1 Thank Brett H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Great Falls, Montana
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 June 2013

How many negatives can one person write down. This was just an awful place to stay and so extremely overpriced and outdated. The owner is very unaccomodating!
The bed was comfortable however, but the shower had no curtain or enclosure and water sprays everywhere. The shower head STUNG so badly that we bathed with a cloth and the sink! The "view" was a joke.

Truly the worst experience ever. The only thing that saved our weekend was the wonderful town of BigFork!

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3 Thank DJT59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Memphis TN
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 May 2013

Title says it all. We understand you are looking to make a dollar from a wedding party, but that is why you take a deposit not just realize 8 weeks out that you have another wedding. Plans are made, plane tickets are purchased and $&!T is ordered. I guess they are either too concerned with making a dollar or just plain unorganized.

I'm sure the rooms are great; we are not able to go now because there is a scramble to find another location. For future love birds, if your wanting to schedule a wedding party here please have a backup plan.

Sorry Jamie.

common courtesy would suggest

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Service
2 Thank Joe D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SwanRiverInn, Public Relations Manager at Swan River Inn, responded to this review, 22 May 2013
Thank you for your comment, we are sincerely apologetic for any inconvenience. We will be revamping our reservations system to make sure that this does not happen again!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Swan River Inn

Property: Swan River Inn
Address: 360 Grand Dr, Bigfork, MT 59911-3611
Region: United States > Montana > Bigfork
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 9 B&Bs / Inns in Bigfork
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Swan River Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 15
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Also Known As:
Swan River Inn Montana/Bigfork

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