Our family (six persons) was in Whitefish for a celebration this last June. We'd booked into the Garden Wall Inn largely on the basis of internet recommendations. We were not disappointed.
The inn is located in a cozy 1920's bungalow that's just two short blocks from the downtown Whitefish retail district. While the inn faces onto a main street, it is still very quiet inside. The interior reminded us of Berkeley craftsman style both in architecture and decor. Most of the furnishings are period-appropriate antiques. We were pleased to see that some of the Audobon prints on the wall are the same as ours at home. The neighborhood is quiet and tree-shaded. Access to Eureka in the north and Glacier National Park to the east is easy.
The best part of staying at the Garden Wall Inn are the hosts, Chris and Rhonda. Chris is an excellent host, and was a major part of our enjoying our stay in Whitefish. He even helped regularly in muscling a wheelchair up and down the entry steps. (Wheelchair bound guests should reserve the first floor bedroom, which is readily accessible to the living room and dining room. The bathroom for this bedroom is marginally accessible). If you are totally wheelchair bound this may make the Garden Wall Inn impractical for you.
Chris is a local who returned to Whitefish after living and working in other parts of the country, and enjoys sharing his local knowledge so as to make your stay more enjoyable. Rhonda is an excellent baker, and she and Chris make a very effective team.
Both Rhonda and Chris cook. Breakfasts at the Inn are a wonderful way to start the day. Fresh french press coffee (and a rose) are delivered to your room a half hour before breakfast. Breakfast for the four days we were in residence consisted of a mixed fresh fruit dish, home-baked fresh muffins, fresh juice, more coffee or tea and a savory breakfast dish.
One such dish was locally smoked trout and a coddled egg. Another was puff pastry stuffed with scrambled eggs, mushrooms and seafood. Yum! Hors d'oeuvres in the evening included a pleasant dry sherry, cheeses and other nibbles.
As with a number of other restaurants in the Whitefish area they use as much locally sourced meat, fruit and vegetables as possible. Herbs come from their own backyard garden. Their homemade breakfast bacon (local pork loin), huckleberries and smoked trout were all really delicious.
The Garden Wall Inn leaves a chocolate truffle in your room for each guest at night-time. Unlike many other places these were really good chocolates, made by a local chocolatier in downtown Whitefish. By the way, the local chocolate place also sells used books and home-made gelato, all under one small roof.
As one might expect Chris is willing to book dinner reservations for his guests and can get a good table on short notice at local restaurants. Local places can be crowded during the summer tourist season (we have no experience of the winter season.
We only had one day free that we could devote to Glacier National Park and the Highway to the Sun was still closed at Cedars Trail in early June. We'll definitely be back to spend more time at Glacier, and would like to visit during the Winter Carnival in February. In any event, we'll be staying at the Garden Wall Inn. It's an excellent value for your money - location, service, charm and food!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The award-winning Garden Wall Inn has been catering to discerning travelers since 1987. The impeccably restored 1920’s inn offers five luxurious guestrooms, each furnished with period antiques. Scrumptious three-course breakfasts are prepared by chef/owners Rhonda Fitzgerald and Chris Schustrom. The Inn is a convenient one-block walk from downtown Whitefish’s excellent restaurants, shops and nightspots. Only 25 minutes from Glacier National Park, the Inn is the perfect base for exploring the Park. The Inn is built in the "Colonial Revival" style with a gambrel roof and clapboard siding. The interior is accented by original solid maple flooring, arts-and-crafts fir moldings, and beveled-glass french doors. The guestrooms’ private baths boast huge claw-foot tubs, pedestal sinks, and black-and-white art-deco tile. Oriental carpets and fine antique furniture complement the lovely rooms. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Garden Wall Inn Whitefish, Montana