We booked two nights at the Laughing Horse as the centerpiece of our honeymoon, especially looking forward to the Montana Feast four-course tasting menu. The feast turned out great, but here's what happened first:
We were cutting it close getting to the lodge on time for dinner, so we called ahead. Turns out that when my wife called in the reservation several months earlier and spoke with the owner at length, making it clear it was our honeymoon, the reservation was apparently not made or somehow lost. Rather than being apologetic, my wife felt she was treated as an inconvenience. We did, in fact, make it on time for dinner, and the owner found a room for us. Not as nice as the one we booked, but if nothing else was left, fine. We were just happy to be there.
The dinner and wine were spectacular, and the atmosphere was nice. Each course was accompanied by an excellent wine, and the staff was happy to top off glasses. Overall, we thought it was worth the $100 a head price for the feast and it was a wonderful end to our long trip from Colorado to Montana. The two breakfasts we had after that were also delicious.
Our room was cozy and a bit rustic, which we expected. The sink was minuscule, yet still managed to crowd the small room, and the bathroom was a bit underdone. The walls are paper thin (we could hear the man in the room next to us snoring). On our second day, our doorknob malfunctioned, the owner couldn't get it to work, and I had to crawl through the window. (She said she had installed it new earlier in the summer and that was the second time it had jammed--maybe don't buy the cheapest doorknob at the hardware store?) Again, we're fine with rustic, and under normal circumstances this wouldn't be bothersome. But knowing it's our honeymoon and after losing our reservation, the hospitable thing to do would have been to move us to a better room on the second night when it was clear that the place wasn't full. This was only more obvious to us after the doorknob malfunction. Further, the website advertises a library and TV room, but when we tried to visit the library/TV room in the main lodge just before 9:00 we found the door locked - written policy notes that it's available until 10:00.
The owner noted in response to another negative review that guests should be comfortable in identifying problems so they can be fixed. We didn't raise a stink, but I don't feel that we should have to request an upgrade or ask for something to make the stay more special when there were problems that were already apparent. Good customer service means fixing problems and making up for them adequately without being asked, especially when it's a special occasion such as ours.
One more caveat. The lodge is explicit about this, and we're pet people, so it's fine with us. But be aware that the resident dogs and bird pretty much reside in the dining area, in case that's something you're not comfortable with.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- European-style road house featuring gourmet dining and comfortable, quiet rooms - no TVs, Phones, or Alarm clocks in rooms, no cell service on property. Non-smoking dogs welcome. Complimentary WiFi. Near Glacier National Park and Bob Marshall Wilderness. Perfect for weekend getaways, intimate weddings, family reunions and retreats. Open May through October. Dining room known for presenting mostly organic, always fresh and totally delicious meals - gluten and dairy free, as well as vegan meals available. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Laughing Horse Hotel Swan Lake