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Lodge at Whitefish Lake
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Reviews (1,156)
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Reviewed 19 July 2014

We had never been to Montana before so we didn't know what to expect. However, we were delightfully surprised with our mountain lodge experience at Lake Whitefish. We stayed for a week and upon checking in, we were told that a lake-facing room was not available. If we wanted one, we could get one for a few days and then move back to another room. We didn't want to move around so we stayed in our parking lot facing room on the second floor.

The two queen beds were comfortable and the fireplace that turned on with a switch was nice. The room had a small refrigerator, microwave, and coffee maker along with a breakfast bar with two stools. We went down to the Safeway in town and bought food for those times we didn't want to go out to eat. (The Safeway also has a Starbucks in it.) The bathroom was big with two sinks and a separate shower and tub. Very "lodge" feel with dark tile and lots of wood trim. Balcony looked north to the mountains and the parking lot (and street) although noise wasn't a factor. The only constant noise in the room was the A/C system, I think. Sounded like a constant flow of water through pipes but we got used to it and it drowned out any surrounding noise. Not too much of a factor.

Seems like we made the right decision because others in our group that did get lake-facing rooms said they were noisy due to the bar and restaurant below them and the pool and bar area out front. For a quieter, more secluded stay, the new Viking Lodge across the street (connected by an enclosed bridge over the street from the main building) is recommended. The Viking Lodge also has the fitness center (with limited equipment) and the indoor pool which, at the time of our stay, was not quite yet open. (There is also the option of staying in the condos, which all looked like they faced the lake without anything noisy below or in front of them. Just the lake.)

What was really surprising is that the food at the Lodge's restaurants was really, really good! Much better than expected and the prices are reasonable too. Eating dinner while watching the sun set to the west over the lake is unforgettable. The little coffee shop in the lobby was good (Montana Coffee Trader coffee) but service was a bit slow.

The Lodge was our launching point for excursions to Glacier National Park. We went rafting one day and drove to Logan's Pass the same day and then back to the hotel. The rapids weren't as exciting as other rivers we've been on but still a "must-do." And for the $25 Park entry fee, you can enter the Park for a week. We went back and did the whole circuit, up to Logan's Pass to St. Mary's, then the East Glacier, and around 89 to Route 2 to West Glacier, back to the Lodge. The whole trip took 6 hours including stops at the Lake MacDonald Lodge (100 year old hotel on the Lake, definitely worth stopping and seeing).

Although West Glacier is 29 miles from the Lodge at Whitefish, we went back for the third time to take a half-hour helicopter tour with Glacier Helicopters. $365 for 3 people with three other people on board ($500 for three if the three are by themselves). Absolutely, completely worth doing! Most spectacular helicopter ride I've ever taken. The views of the glaciers are unforgettable. (The helicopter pilot/guide indicated that it's predicted that the glaciers will only last another 20 years so see them while the seeing is good.)

Back to the hotel. The Lake water is cold! Colder than the temperature that I drink soft drinks (or beer) I think. Our group rented a ski boat, some pontoon boats, and jet-skis. The first time I jumped in, my heart thought about it for a moment! (Just like rafting: the water is from glaciers! Lake Whitefish too.) The water in the pool (no adult pool, just one pool for everyone) was cool too. However, the hot tub adjoining the pool was nice and hot. The docks where you rent water craft, including paddle boats, is right out front.

We were at the Lodge during a time when the daytime temperatures reached the mid-nineties. At night, down to 50. So bring a sweater/light jacket if you are going to go out at night. Going to downtown Whitefish is a "must-do" also. (Only a mile and a half in to town. We walked it a couple of times.) Coffee at Montana Coffee Traders, Italian food at Ciao Mambo (some of the best Italian food I've had anywhere), and breakfast at Loula's is wonderful! One night, we went to Loula's and had pie for dinner! Really good! And the area is known for huckleberries. Huckleberry ice cream, sauces, candy, chocolate, etc. Good stuff.

An unusual phenomenon occurred the last couple of days we were at the Lodge. Wildfires in Idaho and Washington to the west brought smoke to the area. The air quality in Kalispell was actually "orange" (not good for sensitive groups to go outdoors) due to the smoke in the air. It looks like haze but it's smoke. Not a choking smoke but did make our eyes water a bit and there was some sneezing. First time I've seen "smoke" as the weather on my weather ap on my phone.

Other notes: Valet is free but it gets backed up. There is a self-park underneath the Lodge but it gets full fast. After around 4pm, you might as well just valet because the tiny parking garage will be full. Enjoy the fireplace out front while you're waiting for your car on those cool mornings or evenings. We rented a car at the airport. Very expensive for a week and most only include 150 miles per day (no unlimited miles). Budget, National/Alamo, Avis, and Hertz are at the airport. Not so sure about the others. Only about 12 miles from the Airport to the Lodge.

In conclusion, if you're coming to the area and want a luxury experience (or as luxurious as it gets for the area), the Lodge is definitely the place to stay.

Room Tip: Lake view in main lodge is nice, but if above the restaurant, be prepared for noise late into the night. In the summer, the sun sets at 9:30pm.
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled on business
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank CirruslyAloft
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MSkoczek, Executive Assistant at Lodge at Whitefish Lake, responded to this reviewResponded 21 July 2014

Thank you for taking the time to share your wonderful experience with us! It sounds like you made the most out of your time in Whitefish, exploring Glacier National Park, downtown Whitefish, and Whitefish Lake as well! We definitely agree that there is nothing prettier than watching the sun go down over the lake in the evening. Happy travels to you and your family!

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Reviewed 17 July 2014 via mobile

The area is absolutely beautiful - on the lake. If you're staying in the Whitefish area I'd imagine that this is THE primo spot. With that said, there is nothing 'luxury' about it. I will say the food was pretty good at the restaurant their too.

Stayed: July 2014
1  Thank Rob S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2014

Stayed at the Lodge for three nights as part of an extensive road trip with another couple. Our partial lakefront view studio was spacious, comfortable and had high-end amenities. Our dinner at the Boat Club restaurant was first-rate. From the front desk, to the concierge, to the restaurants, to the parking valets, every member of the staff provided exceptional service with a smile. We will definitely return.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank danlaurak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MSkoczek, Executive Assistant at Lodge at Whitefish Lake, responded to this reviewResponded 21 July 2014

We are elated to hear that you and your group enjoyed the Lodge at Whitefish Lake and all of the amenities as well! We can't wait to have you as our guests again and hope your Montana vacation memories will always bring a smile to your face.

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Reviewed 12 July 2014

We booked this hotel as the final splurge of our adventure vacation and were disappointed by the reception when checking in. It was clear our room was ready but, "unavailable" for us and we would have to wait. Decided to get a drink but, coffee shop wasn't open yet and when it did open the staff member had difficulty making the drinks and ringing them up. Went back to the front desk and the young man (Brandon?) had forgotten about us despite telling us he could call when our room was available. The check in experience brought us back to reality that we had not experienced in Whitefish or Glacier Park for a week.
The rooms in the new Viking wing are beautiful and we were very happy with the accommodations until we were locked out after getting breakfast in the dining room on the next day as our key cards were inactivated.
Brandon, our waiter at the Boat Club was fantastic and so was our meal of two kinds of fish, vegetable and pasta side dish. The chocolate huckleberry pie was amazing.
Customer service needs some work at the front desk but, the hotel room and restaurant were worth the aggrevation. The airport shuttle is a nice perk on your way to/from Whitefish.

Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank wharfsuggestion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MSkoczek, Executive Assistant at Lodge at Whitefish Lake, responded to this reviewResponded 14 July 2014

While I am glad to hear that you enjoyed your guestroom and the Boat Club Restaurant I'm am sorry to hear of you check in experience. Thank you for sharing your comments with us so we are able to follow up on them. I am glad that you enjoyed your Lodge experience overall and hope you will give us another chance to 'wow' you!

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Reviewed 12 July 2014

We just stayed 3 nites at this lodge and while it has a great location with a pool that is lakeside we could not find any open lounge chairs poolside !! It was very crowded with "out of control" children and my husband and I wondered " where are the parents of these children" ? Well we finally did find chairs by 5 sweet little girls and after talking to them they confided their secret with us that they were not staying at the hotel but had waited for someone to open the gate and they walked in to the pool area. In fact she explained everyone does it !! So no wonder there are no chairs for guests paying 350 to 450 a nite as all the neighborhood children are considering the lodge pool as theirs !!! How difficult is it for staff to notice this as the same kids were there 2 days in a row while we were there !! The 3rd day it was finally "normal" and the children that were there were under their parents supervision so it was enjoyable and there were plenty of deck chairs and pool towels !!! Imagine that !!

Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank awcjaj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MSkoczek, Executive Assistant at Lodge at Whitefish Lake, responded to this reviewResponded 14 July 2014

Thank you for taking the time to let us know about this situation - I have already forwarded your comment to the proper management to review our policies with our pool attendants. We strive to keep the pool and hot tub area to guests only as you are who the amenity is intended for and I'm sorry to hear that this wasn't the case while you were with us. Thank you again for the constructive feedback!

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