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Kelly Inn West Yellowstone
Ranked #3 of 39 Hotels in West Yellowstone
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 August 2013

It may have been a computer glitch, but I wrote a "2-star" review awhile ago and have not seen it post yet, while other, newer reviews have posted since. Also, I've noticed that almost every single review posted on here is at least a "4-star" review or higher- with just an occasional review here and there with less than that. I've never seen such a highly reviewed hotel in all the hundreds of hotel reviews I've researched, and most of those are AMAZING hotels. So, how does this one rate so high with so many people? The reason I am suspicious is because out of ANY place we have EVER stayed (and we've traveled all over the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Iceland, Puerto Rico with my better half having stayed in Europe and more) this one ranks as one of the worst values. We paid around $550 for a two night stay here. This hotel was nowhere near the caliber of what we should have received within that dollar amount spent. I realize the Kelly Inn is in a "remote" location with less clientele in the winters. I know remote because I live in a place only accessible by boat or plane, with climates and mountains as fierce as Yellowstone. Every single thing must be delivered here by boat or plane, making the cost of living very expensive. Even here, where I live, the accommodations are more reasonably priced, offer amazing breakfast, with rooms more quaint and spacious. Per reading other reviews, one would know that the breakfast at Kelly Inn is not a perk. I realize it's quite a task to offer it as explained by the replies of the manager/owner on these reviews. It is unfortunate that that area does not seem to offer many places for folks to eat a good breakfast. If I owned the Inn I would cut out the hot food offerings and offer more simple items along with a "to go" bagged breakfast to cut down on the overcrowding at breakfast time. If anyone wants to start a restaurant business in that area, breakfast might be the thing to offer. The fact that the breakfast attendant was overwhelmed by the 100+/- hotel residents who would come down to eat at once, and that about half of the breakfast bar needed re-filling during most of the morning, deeming it more of a waste of our time than any other complimentary breakfast we've encountered in our 20 years of traveling (like waiting 20 minutes for the pancake batter to be re-filled then giving up because the line was long, making it another 15 minutes until our turn would come- and then the condiment or milk you needed would be out after that) was not what disappointed us. We just learned that we would skip the fiasco the next morning and use that hour of our vacation to spend eating a nice breakfast sandwich, leisurely, at the local cafe down the road. This hotel is best suited for the masses. The crowds that attend the hotel on bus tours probably love this hotel because it really fits their needs best. If the Kelly Inn would consider down-sizing a bit and improving upon that, I can envision a place where a family like ours might return one day. Allowing pets about the only perk. The nightly rate is outrageous considering the outdated bathrooms, carpets, and drab look to the room. There were Best Westerns and Holiday Inns nearer by which we took a peak at, where one might want to consider if they have discerning taste. They are much cheaper also. I'm grading low points for service because there was not a lot of 'service after the sale'. It took us 3 days to connect with a manager to discuss a billing issue.

Room Tip: It may be too noisy near the front reception area- especially during breakfast!
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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Thank USCGWIFEY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Don and Sally H, General Manager at Kelly Inn West Yellowstone, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write such an extensive review. We can assure you that there is no conspiracy to manage which of our reviews get posted. We have absolutely nothing to do with TripAdvisor's policies. If they refused to post your earlier negative review in July we can only assume that it did not meet their guidelines on your first attempt. As we have mentioned previously, by TripAdvisor policy, we are not permitted to pay for a positive review or to offer any compensation to prevent a threatened negative review. We apologize if your billing issue could not be resolved to your satisfaction which you stated is the primary reason for your low score.

We are sorry to hear that you feel that we have more positive reviews than you feel is justified. That is not something that we have any control over. We do encourage all of our guests to submit an unbiased review of their stay and we do have a lot of guests. We are proud to have more TripAdvisor reviews than any other hotel in the Yellowstone area. As you pointed out, the majority of our 400+ reviews over the last few years have not been in agreement with your personal ranking or suggestions but we do support your right to share your personal opinions with other TripAdvisor readers whether good or bad. Our ranking is purely a mathematical compilation of the total number of reviews of all hotels in the area- not a comparison of our rates or value to other amazing hotels around the world. Our guests determine our scores with their reviews. All we are allowed to do is respond- which we do to every person who takes the time to submit a review.

While we strive to add more value by making improvements every year, we would never claim that any lodging choice in the Yellowstone area in peak season could be considered a value. The only real lodging values in Yellowstone are when these same amenities are available for as little as one third as much the winter half of the year. We can certainly appreciate your comparison of the Yellowstone area to your own remote local area where you said everything must be brought in by plane or boat. If you could imagine 3.5 million visitors coming to that town every summer you might have a slightly better comparison for what amenities and rates are considered reasonable. Of course without any roads that situation would be impossible so hotels there surely must compete to serve a very limited populace to survive- much like winter here.

We are sorry that we did not live up to your expectations for the price that you paid. We understand that we can not be the best fit for every family to visit Yellowstone but are always sad when a guest leaves unhappy with their lodging choice. If you should return to visit Yellowstone in the future we would gladly suggest some more affordable options or times of the year when you can obtain a better value than peak season when nearly everyone is sold out. Although the places you mentioned actually have higher rates than us most of the summer, we do recommend all guests planning their first trip to Yellowstone read the TripAdvisor reviews, and go to each hotel web site to compare actual rates and amenities for several dates before making a lodging choice.

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Reviewed 21 August 2013

West Yellowstone is a town that exists as a base for people visiting Yellowstone and as such is a bit of a tourist trap. Kelly Inn had good staff, relatively spacious rooms, reasonable breakfast. Like all of these timber hotels, it can be noisy so I'd suggest requesting the top floor (3). Pros: clean, spacious rooms, ours had 2 queens and a sofa bed which was nice for our children to be able to sleep separately, lovely pool area, close to Main Street and grizzly/wolf sanctuary, visitor's centre and museum, staff all very pleasant. Cons: more to do with West Yellowstone itself - being expensive and not much to recommend it as a destination. No lighting on intersection from the park to Main Street, so watch out as you cross!

Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
Thank Miner_Adventures
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Don and Sally H, General Manager at Kelly Inn West Yellowstone, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2013

Thank you for choosing to stay with us on your recent visit. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed staying at our hotel. While West Yellowstone doesn't offer a lot of the amenities of larger destination cities, the alternative is a very long drive through the mountains from the nearest large city. That is why the largest percentage of visitors choose the West Yellowstone, Montana entrance to Yellowstone National Park even though most of the park is in Wyoming. Those who live and work here year round have learned to adapt their needs and lifestyles to the unique environment. If you should make a return visit we would be glad to recommend some unique area attractions outside of the park that are not well known to most first time visitors.

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Reviewed 18 August 2013

We stayed here with our teenage son for 2 nights this week and were quite pleased with our choice. I would compare this with a Hilton Hampton Inn. We stayed 2 nights inside Yellowstone (Canyon Village), then 2 more nights in West Yellowstone. Staying here was more expensive than our Western cabin, but the room was so much nicer, and when we factored in the full continental breakfast that was included each morning, I think the price came out about the same. Plus we had Internet access, a nice warm indoor pool and jacuzzi (open 9 am - 10 or 11 pm), laundry facilities if needed, and access to dining options in town, all within 4-8 blocks (easily walkable). It's a five minute drive to the west entrance to Yellowstone.

Our first night we had a very noisy child in the room next door, but when we called the front desk, they immediately called the room and the noise stopped immediately. Very much appreciated. We also appreciated the refrigerator, couch and table in our standard 3rd floor (pet free) room. Our beds were comfortable, we had air conditioning as needed (our teenager likes a cold room at night), and the front desk staff were very accommodating. We would definitely recommend and would go back.

Room Tip: We liked the pet-free 3rd floor, which is accessible by elevator. We asked for a room away from the...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank marvi62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Don and Sally H, General Manager at Kelly Inn West Yellowstone, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2013

Thank you for sharing your experience during your recent visit. The issues you mentioned are all reasonable considerations from an experienced evaluation of the different lodging choices available. Our goal is that all of our TripAdvisor reviews may help others plan their Yellowstone vacation. There are many fine lodging choices available and we realize that our hotel may not be the best choice for everyone's total needs. We appreciate that you chose to give us a try and that you would choose to visit us again in the future..

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Reviewed 18 August 2013

Typically we make it a point to stay at the Hampton Inn chain which we can always depend on. So when we had to go with another choice, we tried to find a place with similar amenities.

We were confused by the reviews and hotel description on what the continental breakfast consisted of. We called the hotel to get clarification. This helped make our choice to stay here. The breakfast included cooked as well as hard boiled eggs, breads, pancakes, cereal, many drink choices, etc. Overall, a great selection. The hotel seems to be a popular hit with the Chinese tour bus crowd, so when I went down for breakfast I was caught up in the madness one day and the rest of the days I came after they ate, so many things were picked over. I was never without, so no complaints there.

Our family had 6 people and we got 3 rooms total. The 3rd floor had no pets allowed so that was good since allergies are an issue. My room was next to the elevator so there were people talking while waiting late at night or in the morning. We also had an adjoining room and we could hear everything our neighbor was saying and yelling. That was not good. During the night it seemed quiet.

Very friendly staff and welcoming when we arrived.

The room was good. Nothing special. The bathroom sink was not in the bathroom, rather in the room which we are not a fan of. The beds were comfortable but the pillows were unsupportive. The heating and cooling was not controlled by a thermostat, rather a dial on the system. Hard to get a comfort zone, so we left the window open at night.

Great location. A short walk to downtown.

I would probably see what other places to stay at if I were to come back to W. Yellowstone. We did plan this trip at the very last minute so our choices were limited. If I had to stay here again, I would. Not a bad place at all.

Room Tip: Get a room away from the elevators, go early for breakfast (by 7am) to avoid the tour bus crowd.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank MayaJinCA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Don and Sally H, General Manager at Kelly Inn West Yellowstone, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2013

Thank you for choosing our hotel on your recent visit. We appreciate that you took the time to add your specific comments to our growing list of reviews. Your detailed descriptions may be helpful to others making their lodging choices in the future. As you noted breakfast can be a bit crowded early in the mornings when the bus tour folks are having breakfast at the same time.

Most people are not aware that Yellowstone is now a favorite destination for many folks from China who frequently travel our country in those large tour groups. This is a relatively new but quickly increasing trend. According to most reports US tourism from China is going to grow at an exponential rate over the next decade. Lodging, food service and transportation in the Yellowstone area will need to adjust to this new explosive trend just as is has adjusted to the changes in tourism over the last hundred years. Yellowstone currently accommodates over 3.5 million visitors a year which is already a strain on the lodging and food service resources currently available. That is less than one third of one percent of China's current population. We would encourage anyone who plans to visit Yellowstone in their lifetime to do so in the near future while it is still relatively affordable and convenient for the average American family.

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Reviewed 15 August 2013 via mobile

I had to write a review because I saw so many bad things from people. I love this hotel! I have stayed her for many years. They have just remodeled and Iove the decor they have chosen. The beds are very comfortable . I saw people complain about the snow but this IS yellowstone country!! I always stay here . I know it's clean and updated!! Love it!!

  • Stayed: April 2013
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Thank Claudia119
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Don and Sally H, General Manager at Kelly Inn West Yellowstone, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2013

Thank you for taking the time to submit your review. We appreciate that you don't agree with some of the negative comments you might have read in a handful of poor reviews. We do occasionally get a poor review during peak season from new visitors who don't understand why the summer rates in the Yellowstone area are so high. They understandably compare their expectations to hotels in other parts of the country and often voice concerns about value for the dollar paid at this time of year. Their reviews are just as important to the total mix as the positive reviews so that all potential guests have the opportunity to review all opinions before making their lodging choice. That is the great thing about user TripAdvisor to do research before planning a trip. We are proud to have more reviews than any other hotel in the Yellowstone area and are rated higher than any other hotel of our size in the area. Many new guests tell us that the reason that they chose us is because of our reviews and our responses. That is why we encourage every guest to write a review and we still personally respond to every review. We generally suggest that new visitors choose a time outside of peak season for their first visit if value is a priority so they won't be disappointed. Unfortunately many people simply don't read the reviews until after they have made their trip and discovered how overly crowded and expensive everything in the Yellowstone area is during peak season. We certainly appreciate comments from our returning guests like you who have stayed at other hotels in the area or in other seasons and have made us their lodging choice for their future visits.

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Reviewed 5 August 2013

We very much enjoyed our stay at Kelly Inn. The room was very nice and comfortable and the breakfast was good. My wife loved the wooden bears climbing around the outside.

Traveling with our little dog we needed a pet friendly room. We have previously stayed in some really run down pet friendly rooms in West Yellowstone. So we paid a bit more to stay at the Kelly Inn and were well rewarded. The room was very clean and nicely furnished.

We will certainly stay there on our next trip to YNP.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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Thank alinaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Don and Sally H, General Manager at Kelly Inn West Yellowstone, responded to this reviewResponded 12 August 2013

Thank you for sharing your experience on TripAdvisor. It does take a bit of extra care to maintain a pet friendly hotel but as pet owners ourselves, it is a niche that we love to serve. Our family of returning pet owners continues to grow every year. Since we must maintain our third floor no pet rooms for those who have allergies to lovable furry creatures, we recommend that pet owners reserve early and direct with our front desk staff so we can assure a first or second floor room for them. Most online travel agencies do not have the ability to indicate that a guest is traveling with a pet so we have added that feature to our web site for those who prefer to make their reservations online. We look forward to seeing you again on your next trip to Yellowstone.

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Reviewed 3 August 2013

We spent 3 nights at the Kelly Inn. The front desk staff was very friendly and helpful. We got some great restaurants suggestions from them. The room is very spacious and nicely decorated. Very convenient to IMAX, Grizzly Wolf Center, Playhouse and restaurants.

Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
Thank Alison K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Don and Sally H, General Manager at Kelly Inn West Yellowstone, responded to this reviewResponded 12 August 2013

Thank you for the great review. Of course we also feel that we are the nicest place to stay but it is so much nicer to hear it from our guests. We hope that we can always continue to make improvements and add more value every year so that our returning guests will always choose to stay with us.

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Additional Information about Kelly Inn West Yellowstone

Address: 104 S Canyon St, West Yellowstone, MT 59758-9556
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Montana > West Yellowstone
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in West Yellowstone
#6 Family Hotel in West Yellowstone
Price Range: £69 - £273 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Kelly Inn West Yellowstone 2.5*
Number of rooms: 78
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Also Known As:
Kelly Inn West Yellowstone Hotel West Yellowstone
Kelly Hotel West Yellowstone
Kelly West Yellowstone
Kelly Inn West Yellowstone Montana

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