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“Pleasant surprise ... highly recommend”

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Rainbow Ranch Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 13 September 2013

Staying at Rainbow Ranch was like going to sleep away camp as an adult, with excellent, though simple, accommodations, incredible grounds, and amazing Gallatin River access. We stayed at RRL after driving from Jackson Hole through Yellowstone, and it was the ideal place to spend two relatively quite days after many hikes / bikes. The staff was incredibly polite and helpful, but at no point smothered you. We enjoyed full access to the grounds, including the great hot tub with fire place, the trout pond, and many hours in the river, just 20 yds from our porch. We enjoyed a meal at the restaurant, which was as good or better than top restaurants in any of the major ski towns. The wild game selection was mostly locally sourced, with excellent variety and preparation.

We will certainly return to RRL in the coming years for more R&R, which it is ideal for. I would highly recommend for a couple looking to spend some quality down time together, and especially for the fishing enthusiast.

Room Tip: Pick a room close to the river. River access is incredible, world class fly fishing 20 yards from y...
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Nick I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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122 - 128 of 306 reviews

Reviewed 6 September 2013

This was a mixed experience. There was much to like, but it was not the luxurious Montana ranch experience the website led us to expect.
As the website uses words like lodge, ranch, paradise, etc, we were also surprised to find it on the US191, just yards from the fast road. 

Good things: the main building is good, with decent quality decor etc; dinner was excellent; staff all very helpful, especially the breakfast chefs who enhanced a decent continental breakfast with freshly cooked eggs; sitting on our little verandah overlooking a lovely stretch of the Gallatin river; free WiFi.

BUT, at $325+tax per night, the room needs a significant upgrade. The website uses words like "world class resort", so we were disappointed to find: only a queen size bed; lighting so poor that the room appeared gloomy even when sunny outside, making reading impossible; no room safe, no air con; two hangers each, no drawers or shelves to store clothes apart from shelves in the bathroom; fraying and threadbare bath mat one day, rather small bathroom with old style unenticing whirlpool bath and billowing shower curtain over; bed linen high quality but not ironed so crumpled looking; and perhaps worst of all, no refrigerator and no room service, when the restaurant and bar were closed for two nights of our three night stay.  We had been informed of the lack of dining, by email, and booked into a restaurant elsewhere, but on arrival, when we asked about a taxi, as we both like to drink wine with dinner, we were greeted with hesitation and a bus timetable which proved useless. Amazingly, no mention was made of a bar over the road, which we discovered for ourselves to be great hospitality with excellent food. This bar, the Corral Bar, saved our stay.

To end positively, the general manager, Mollie, was great when we explained our disappointment. She refunded one night, which made the price about fair value. She also suggested that it is best to phone and book, so that our needs can be discussed and she can then indicate other options (turned out they have a few rooms now with king size beds and higher quality).

So, given the lack of luxury hotels in the area, this may be one of the best places to stay, but do understand that the rooms are highly over priced at full rate.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Jacky P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rainbowranchlodge, General Manager at Rainbow Ranch Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 10 September 2013

Dear Guest,
I wanted to follow up and again thank you for your feedback!  Your comments are being discussed and our team is doing its best to prevent future issues as what you expressed, we have already purchased additional refrigerators for rooms! I know that does not change your experience and I hope that you can feel confident that we heard your concerns. 
I am glad that you did enjoy a few things Rainbow Ranch offered you.... Our friendly staff, a lovely breakfast, a sunny deck, free wifi, and our wonderful neighborhood bar across the street.
I apologize again for the problems, and thank you for taking the time to let me know about it. Without your guest feedback we cannot continue to improve our services.
I do hope you will give us a second chance and please CALL me personally to discuss options for your next stay. As explained on our website we do have rooms with king beds!
Thank you & safe travels! 
Mollie
406.995.4132

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Reviewed 29 August 2013

Our check in experience was tops in every way, the very pretty young lady was pleasant and so welcoming, could not have asked for better. A welcoming glass of wine was brought to our room, very nice touch and really nice to sit on our balcony and relax as we sipped our wine. There had been a wedding so we had the neat experience of watching the photo taking. What a serene setting for a wedding. Our room had two bedrooms, nicely appointed with oh so comfortable beds. Bath room was clean with very nice toiletries. Classical music was softly playing in the room on our arrival, I always enjoy being greeted in that manner, very soothing after a long day of driving.
Unfortunately their restaurant was closed that night, it has wonderful reviews. The receptionist recommended a place just up the road and made reservations for us.
Breakfast was good.
We had reserved three nights but on the day of our arrival our West Highland White Terrier had to be moved from our vet hospital where she was being treated to the vet school for more testing. We learned late that afternoon that she was terribly sick. The next morning I called the vet school, they had tried to call during the night but I didn't have cell service but did that morning. I was told that she was not making red blood cells and was not doing well at all so we had her put to sleep. I went to the office and told the receptionist our situation and that we were driving to Bozeman so my husband could fly back home to take care of things. this was July 31 and I to remain in Bozeman for a program at MSU until August 10. I could not have asked for better treatment by the receptionist, I am so sorry I can't remember her name but I was so upset. She was wonderful, and her hugs were most welcomed. They did not charge us for the remaining nights of our stay due to our circumstances. I really can't say enough about how graciously we were treated. Thank you for caring!
Great property and wonderful staff in a serene setting. Highly recommend Rainbow Ranch Lodge, you will so enjoy the experience. I hope to revisit during a happier time and also have the opportunity to experience their restaurant.

Room Tip: The two bedroom was very comfortable with good space.
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Alabamatripcreator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rainbowranchlodge, General Manager at Rainbow Ranch Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 26 September 2013

Dear Guest,
Thank you for the review and for your kind words. We are happy that while at Rainbow Ranch you enjoyed our hospitality and the scenery! We were sorry to hear about the loss of your dear Terrier and feel confident in saying that she lived a rich and joyful life in your care!
Please be in touch as you have plans to head our way and we will make sure you have our BEST! We are looking forward to it!
Until then take good care and enjoy the beautiful fall!
Mollie

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Reviewed 27 August 2013

This place was just amazing. Little cottage on the river - private and very relaxing. The food was outstanding as was the service- but I didn't feel imposed on like when your at the Ritz. Very private_ loved it!

  • Stayed: August 2013
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Thank Kentucked
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rainbowranchlodge, General Manager at Rainbow Ranch Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 10 September 2013

Dear Friend of Rainbow Ranch,
Thank you for coming to visit!!! It was lovely to have you stay with us and we are happy to hear you enjoyed the time on the Gallatin as well as the food and service!
We will look forward to your return!
All my best!
Thank you,
Mollie

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Reviewed 20 August 2013

We arrived at Rainbow Ranch Lodge after a few nights of staying in permanent tents near West Yellowstone. We booked Rainbow Ranch in the hopes of having a more "luxury" experience, particularly given the prices of the rooms ($325 and $350 for our Riverside Room). Overall our experience was just "meh." I don't think we'd return there unless we had some sort of steep discount. If they charged, say $225 for the rooms, I wouldn't really have any quibbles. If you're considering staying there and want more details (and I know that Rainbow Ranch will also find this info valuable), here's what we experienced during our 3 nights there:

1.) Upon our arrival we were greeted at the front desk and the check in process took less than 3 minutes. Nice if you're dying to get to your room and skip the small talk, but it felt hurried and a bit unfriendly. None of the usual "how was your trip here? please let us know if you need anything during your stay, let me show you to your room, do you need help with bags, etc." The phone at the small desk was ringing loudly and it seemed like the staff member was, understandably, a bit torn between answering the phone and checking us in.

2.)Unfortunately our first night I came down with a fever. My husband went to the front desk to see if they had any Tylenol and they didn't. They suggested driving to the gas station (about 10 mins away) which was ok but not ideal. I was surprised they didn't have a stash of Tylenol behind the desk or anywhere, really. Those are the little touches that really make a difference.

3.)The room was uninspired, empty-feeling and a bit run-down. And it was dark. The bed was incredibly comfortable, which was great, but there was no mattress cover on the bottom mattress so it was always bare and showing. There was no dresser or surface to put your clothes on (besides a folding suitcase rack) and the couch in the room was comfy but a bit shabby around the edges. The walls seemed bare. The fireplace was fantastic, and they had everything set up so you just had to light it. The bathroom was ok but slightly on the grungy side for a place that charges over $300 a night. There was mold in the shower and one of the sink handles was cracked in half. The porch overlooking the river was the best part of the room. It was a fantastic view and the sound of the river was really soothing. The little table on our porch was literally on it's last leg - it was very close to breaking.

3.) The breakfast was so-so. I agree with one other reviewer that it was one or two steps nicer than a Holiday Inn buffet. There was granola, yogurt, rice krispies (kind of strange), eggs, bacon, fresh fruit, and pancakes at the buffet. The fruit was terrific, as was the granola. The coffee not so great, and they didn't have skim milk or any low-fat milk for cereal or coffee (not a crisis, obviously but something we noted). There wasn't really any "host" or staff member who had a presence at breakfast. It's set up so that you get your own water, utensils, etc at the buffet so no table service required. Because the tables weren't set and there were no staff members around the dining room felt a bit empty and uninviting. We weren't sure if we were supposed to leave our dirty dishes on the tables, bring them back to the buffet, etc.

4.) The staff was really friendly but not in the same way we've experienced at other luxury hotels. Two people really stand out as terrific - Tyler (I think that was his name) and Kelli. We ordered dessert and drinks from Tyler each night and he was remarkably friendly and professional. Kelli did a fantastic job prior to our visit getting us set up with activities in the area. However, we really didn't experience much from anyone else who worked there. Sometimes I got the feeling that they were short-staffed. Maybe during the ski season they have more employees there.

5.) There was always lounge/elevator music playing in the lodge and restaurant. It was kind of strange, particularly during breakfast. Maybe no music or different music? We only noticed it because it felt really odd and a little intrusive. When we arrived in our room the TV was set to some classical music station. I'm not sure I understand the intent behind that (we've had that at a few other hotels).

6.) The hotel is right on highway 191. You hear all the cars and trucks go by. We got used to it after a while (and if you're sitting near the river the noise is drowned out), but we didn't expect it.

So there you have it. Expensive and average. I do get the feeling that they're interested in feedback, which is great. So hopefully they'll keep working on improving.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Churros81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rainbowranchlodge, General Manager at Rainbow Ranch Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 23 August 2013

Dear Guest,
Hope your day is well!
I do appreciate you writing this review and pointing out some areas where we need to focus attention. I am very sorry that we didn't meet your expectations and there were shortcomings that marred your stay. We have already addressed many of your points and want to assure you that our entire focus is on ensuring the comfort and enjoyment of our guests.

We strive to create exceptional experiences and your feedback is very helpful in making sure that we are training our team members accordingly and upholding the property to a high standard. I know that does not change your experience but I hope that you can feel confident that we have heard your concerns.

Thank you for coming to visit and if you are open to giving us a second chance I would love to personally take care of you and offer an upgrade to a pondside luxury room! Please be in touch with me if you would like to take me up on this offer: mollie@rainbowranchbigsky.com, 406.995.4132.
Again, my apologies. We wish you the best!
Thank you,
Mollie

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Reviewed 18 August 2013

My daughter & I traveled back to Big Sky, MT & the Rainbow Ranch for the second summer in a row. This is a special small property where the staff & owner go out of their way to make you feel welcome. This being our second year everyone went out of their way to show how happy they were to have us back.

The Gallatin River just outside your door, the comfortable room, fireplace (set up every night just waiting for you to light), fresh cookies every afternoon/evening & now the renovated hot tub with fireplace are PERFECT.

The restaurant is pricey but worth it - dinner here one night during your stay is highly recommended. The food is always excellent. Very nice breakfast included every morning.

If I had to suggest improvements I would say the rooms are plenty big enough to add a small fridge & dresser in each room. Climate is dry & it would be nice to come back to the room to cold drinks & there really isn't adequate space to put your clothes when you unpack your back if you are staying for a week. The cleaning crew needs a bit of training & reminders daily on replacing shampoo, leaving extra towels & remembering to take dirty glasses. But, they definitely respond when asked.

We love this property & will return again. They also have excellent facilities for events, weddings & the like. Its a special place!

Room Tip: We prefer the riverside rooms - they are private, the river is right out the back door & you hav...
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Jami R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rainbowranchlodge, General Manager at Rainbow Ranch Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 23 August 2013

J - You are family!!! We were so excited to welcome you back to Rainbow Ranch for the second summer in a row! I feel like we are watching your little one grow up and LOVE being a part of the journey - she is beautiful inside & out!

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave us a review! We are happy to hear that you enjoyed the new infinity hot tub and outdoor fireplace... We agree, pretty PERFECT! And a glass of wine on your private deck overlooking the Gallatin River... The West may be Wild, but it’s not uncivilized!

Good news, room improvements are in our future plans! Please be in touch as you are planning your next trip, I would love to personally take care of you and make sure you have our best!

Until then, take good care & have a fabulous school year!
Mollie & -RR Family

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Reviewed 8 August 2013

We had an amazing stay at the Rainbow Ranch Lodge. We arrived after a long day of travel followed by an afternoon of guided fishing on a few local rivers. We arrived at the lodge in the evening very hungry and tired. Holly greeted us with a smile and welcomed us to the lodge by offering us a complimentary glass of wine. Check in was a breeze and she directed us across the street for a great dinner. We had reserved the River Front rooms and the moment we walked in we were happy with our room selection. The room was Montana cozy with a lovely rock fireplace in the corner near the doors that opened up to our own small deck. The sound of the river floated into the room which itself gave a calming, relaxing feel. Our room which was the "Beaver" room was an end unit not far from the main lodge. There were fresh cookies to welcome us along with a Keurig coffee maker in the room. Wifi worked great which is a good thing since cell service is not so hot in Big Sky. Breakfast each morning was terrific with a wonderful selection of juices, fresh hot coffee, fresh fruit, hot eggs, sausage or bacon and fresh scones, croissants and breakfast breads. The entire staff along with such a beautiful setting made this a memorable stay. Can't wait to return.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Rauna C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rainbowranchlodge, General Manager at Rainbow Ranch Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 10 August 2013

Dear Guest,
We are happy you enjoyed your time at Rainbow Ranch, it was wonderful to have you visit! The Rainbow Ranch Team is proud to hear that you found your stay to be relaxing and pleasurable. Please come again so that you can experience more of the Big Sky area and all we have to offer. Our team is always happy to assist with concierge services and welcoming you with a beautiful glass of wine!
Until we meet again, take good care!
Mollie

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Additional Information about Rainbow Ranch Lodge

Address: 42950 Gallatin Road, Gallatin Gateway, MT 59730
Region: United States > Montana > Gallatin Gateway
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Gallatin Gateway
Price Range: £140 - £240 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Rainbow Ranch Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rainbow Ranch Lodge is an intimate twenty-one room hotel and gourmet restaurant located on the banks of the Gallatin River in Big Sky, Montana. Whether riverside or pondside, accommodations at Rainbow Ranch Lodge provide a sanctuary for post-adventure relaxing or a romantic getaway for two. Located in a sweeping valley in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the Rainbow Ranch Lodge's location is ideal for both summer and winter activities. Our proximity to Yellowstone National Park affords our guests endless opportunities for outdoor adventure and exploration, including world-class fly fishing, horseback riding, hiking, whitewater rafting, and kayaking. Whether you choose an experienced local guide service or venture out on your own, the breathtakingly rugged, natural beauty of southwest Montana will restore and rejuvenate your senses. One of the top 10 winter destinations in North America, the Big Sky area offers a variety of winters activities including downhill skiing at Big Sky Resort, Moonlight Basin and Lone Mountain Ranch, as well as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, dog sledding, and winter fly fishing. If your winter preferences lean more towards comfort and warmth, the Rainbow Ranch Lodge's spa services and luxurious guest rooms provide the perfect alternative to a day spent outdoors. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rainbow Ranch Hotel Gallatin Gateway
Rainbow Hotel Gallatin Gateway
Rainbow Ranch Montana
Rainbow Ranch Lodge Montana/Gallatin Gateway

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