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“Wonderfully Comfortable”
Review of Kandahar Lodge

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Kandahar Lodge
Ranked #8 of 17 Hotels in Whitefish
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 February 2008

Just spent the weekend at the Whitefish Ski Resort Kandahar Lodge. Nice rooms, wonderful cafe, comfortable lobby with a huge fireplace, huge outdoor hot tub and easy access to the ski hill. Walked across the road to the "Home Again" ski run and skied down to the Base Lodge. Skiied back to the room on "Haleys" run. It takes you right to the front door. We stayed here 14 years ago so I thought they might be run down some, but the place was like new. Our room was just a standard hotel room type, but we had a small fridge, sink and coffee maker. The beds are very comfortatable and have nice bedding. The hotel has a shuttle van that will take you just about anywhere on the mountain you want to go. Food in the cafe is spendy but very good and different. We will be back again next year for sure, not waiting another 14 years.

  • Stayed: February 2008
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Thank Halfwhit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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309 - 315 of 325 reviews

Reviewed 4 February 2008

I led 23 people from our ski club to Whitefish January 26 - February 2, 2008, and we stayed at the Kandahar. It was an exceptionally good experience. Note that what follows is my own opinion and mine alone, although I know that many, perhaps even all, of the people on my trip share my enthusiasm. It's a warm, inviting, comfortable place, convenient to the slopes, and, above all run by a friendly, attentive, and helpful staff. What more could you ask for?

Other reviews refer to the hotel's "lobby." That's really not the right word. When I think of a hotel lobby, I think of a place where the hotel's business is transacted, and guests might meet each other, but not a place particularly designed for socializing. At the Kandahar, the check-in desk is right at the main entrance, but the "lobby" is off to your left, and it is much more of a lounge than a lobby. It's sunk three steps below the level of the check-in desk, and has a large wood-burning fireplace at the front, and the delightful Snug Bar behind. In between are multiple leather-covered sofas, love seats, and armchairs, and we found it an inviting place to meet for a drink before dinner, get together after dinner, or just curl up with a book on that day when you weren't skiing. The big-screen TV is off to the side, actually out of the lounge area entirely, for those of you who don't go to Montana to watch TV (and if you do, you seriously need to get a life).

There's a self-service ski storage room just off the lounge, and once you pick up your skis, it's about three minutes by foot to Home Again trail, and maybe another two to the bottom of chair 6. At the end of the ski day, you come down Home Again, which gets to the back of the hotel. You have to take your skis off once you get there, to walk to the front of the hotel and the ski storage room. In any case, getting on and off the slopes is so easy, I found no reason to get on the ever-ready hotel van to drive me to the lifts.

Our rooms were clean and well-maintained, and the heavy use of wood paneling on the walls gave them a more distinctive feel than you get at the large corporate hotels. I noted the lack of a safe in our room, but nobody from our group lost any property, even though many of us had brought laptops along.

The continental breakfast at the Cafe Kandahar was a step up from the usual fare; it included a waffle iron, pastries that you would expect to see on a dessert menu, and what my wife calls "scrambles," casseroles full of potatoes, eggs, onions, sausage, mushrooms, and the like. I spotted someone eating quiche one morning. One minor criticism: I grew up eating New York bagels, and the prepackaged ones they had fell far short of that standard. A bigger criticism: The staff running the show at breakfast sometimes seemed to have a little too much to do, what with pouring coffee for 20-30 people at a time, clearing tables, replenishing the serving table, and so forth. On the other hand, after the English-born couple in our group asked for tea at breakfast the first day, the waitress remembered to bring them tea every day afterwards.

And that last is just one example of the kind of service we got throughout our stay. Tom, the bartender at the Snug Bar, knew me by name after one day, and what I liked to drink (maybe because I was the trip leader?), and was as friendly and personable as you could want from the guy on the other side of the bar. The hotel management and front desk staff helped make my job as trip leader easier by handling every request I made for our group as if it were not only the most important thing they had to do, but also the most enjoyable.

We all had to leave at 3:45 Saturday morning (ugh...) to catch a 6:00 flight home. When we got to the check-in area, we found a table that usually had cider and cookies in the afternoon had been set up with coffee, tea, pastries, fruit, bagels, cream cheese, and bottles of orange juice, for us to put in supplied paper bags so we could have something to eat while waiting for our flight home. Just one of the many little touches that made us agree we'd happily stay at the Kandahar Lodge again.

  • Stayed: January 2008
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2  Thank BPSCG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 September 2007

The Kandahar Lodge is much nicer than the photos on their own website. The "rooms" are actually condo units. Some are just a hotel room, others are studio apartments with small but fully equipped kitchens. (We fixed a dinner and several breakfasts with no problem.). Some of the units have sleeping lofts and can accommodate up to 8 people (but the lofts are a tight squeeze). There is an executive suite that is 1800+ square feet, very expensive, but worth it if you have a group because there are 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a full kitchen, sunken livingroom, dining room, etc. -- a complete "house" within the Kandahar Lodge. That unit is for sale and we took a look. If we win the lottery, it is the first purchase we will make. The decor of the Kandahar Lodge is western/ski lodge but more upscale than you would think from their website. The bed and bedding are top quality. The entire property has been totally renovated in the past 5 years. There is a fitness room that is equivalent to most hotel fitness rooms. There is an outdoor hot tub that we didn't use but it looked nice. Also sauna and steam rooms. A Whitefish spa has a satellite location at Kandahar but apparently it is just a small room for massages, etc. If you want a spa vacation, this probably isn't the place. However, the lobby is fabulous, with a (real) fire in the huge fireplace every night. The Snug Bar overlooks the lobby and is very cozy. The Kandahar Cafe (which is really a high-end dinner house restaurant) is superb. Make reservations for dinner as soon as you make your room reservations because they only accommodate a small number of diners (fewer even than they have table space for). The owner/chef, Andrew, does much of the cooking himself and the quality is comparable to any restaurant we have been to in our hometown of Washington, DC. Be sure to try the elk (both the appetizer and the entree). The other highlight of the Kandahar is the staff, every one of whom goes out of his/her way to make your stay enjoyable. Even the maid left us a thank you note for our (small) tip! During our visit, the road from Whitefish to the Big Mountain was under construction. Yes, it was very dusty and slowed us down. But the Kandahar was worth it!

Stayed: September 2007
2  Thank Moveup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2007

Tough one to write, this. My wife and I stayed here just after the Labor Day weekend. The Lodge is really quite nice. Well appointed lobby, rooms, fitness center, the works. The people there were always warm, friendly, helpful folks. You genuinely couldn't ask for more. Snug bar is good for a hearty drink while Tom shares his photo album (he's lived more than most towns of people. Amazing fella). The Cafe offers among some of the best food I've eaten anywhere in the world in an unpretentious setting. If nothing else, get the breakfast for the amazing creations of their pastry chef. So The Lodge at Kandahar is a wonderful place but nothing is perfect:

Getting there is a true ordeal. The only road to service the mountain is being re-built. It's open but took us about 45min each way on average. That's an extra 1.5 or 2 hours of your vacation every time you need to go down the mountain. Further, the road is just barely passable, costing our a car a tire despite carefully and slowly picking our route behind the pilot car. WE WOULD NOT HAVE BOOKED HAD WE KNOWN THIS.

Second, the Remedies Day Spa offers services there and at their offices in Whitefish. Unfortunately, getting them to even answer the telephone during normal (posted) business hours doesn't appear to be part of their business plan. So book early or don't count on it, even in the off season, while stuck on the mountain.

Lastly in the gripes: Our room upon arrival hadn't had a lick of ventilation in days. Really, hot and stuffy is no way to sleep under the supplied down comforter.

Bottom line: Would we stay there again? NO. Despite e-mail contact before visiting they didn't mention circumstances that would've been cause for cancellation. What wouldn't they mention next time?

  • Stayed: September 2007, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank castiron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 September 2007

My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Kandahar Lodge. Christina, Heidi and Russ were very helpful.

The best part was our amazing dinner at the Kandahar Cafe. Executive Chef and Owner, Andy Blanton, prepared a private, seven course 'Chef's Table' for us. The food and wines were incredible - everyone who visits the Kandahar Lodge should at a minimum eat in the restaurant, if not splurge and arrange for a private dining experience.

The restaurant staff was really great - Dennis (the wine expert and manager), Jen, Tom, Jenna and Terri are true professionals. Another Tom (the bartender) was one of the nicest guys in the town.

Thanks for a memorable trip.

Stayed: August 2007
1  Thank bbsau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2007

This place is amazing!! The staff was soooo helpful.
They practically planned our vacation for us. They told us what was fun,what food was good, how to get there and more.Even made calls to book things for us. A BIG thanks to Heidi, who put
champayne in our room on our anniversary and who even offered to bring a cooler from her own house for us to use! We loved staying there. We will be back very soon.Our vacation was wonderful because of you! This place really cares about making your vacation awesome! It was our favorite anniversary ever,even better than our honeymoon. The lodge was just beautiful and our bed was sooo comfortable and clean.We will never forget
this as long as we live!Thanks again for the best time of our lives!
> Justin and Lori
> Lawrenceville,GA

Stayed: July 2007
1  Thank m0untainl0ver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2007

Wow! What a great place! Wonderful establishment in a beautiful area with the most courteous, helpful staff. Thanks especially to Christina for your patience with our lodging date changes and to Heidi who immediately put the jacket I left behind in the mail. Thanks again! C.E. and Cindy
from Pensacola, Florida

  • Stayed: June 2007, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank FloridaWhitesands
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kandahar Lodge

Address: 3824 Big Mountain Rd, P.O. Box 278, Whitefish, MT 59937-8624
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Montana > Whitefish
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Ski-In / Ski-Out Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 17 Hotels in Whitefish
Price Range: £105 - £215 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Kandahar Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kandahar Lodge is a rustic, yet elegant lodge located at Whitefish Mountain Resort, 7 miles north of Whitefish and 32 miles from the west entrance of Glacier National Park. The Lodge has 50 rooms, a fully licensed bar and a gourmet restaurant that serves dinner only. A continental breakfast is included in the rates. The lovely lobby has a wood burning fireplace, free WIFI and comfortable couches and chairs. Other amenities include a large outdoor hot tub, steam room, exercise room and massage treatment room. The rooms all have queen beds, down comforters, microwaves, small refrigerators and a/c. Kandahar is open from the first week of December to the first week of April (ski season) and June 1 through September 30. The Lodge opens to prearranged groups of 20 or more in the spring and fall ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kandahar Hotel Whitefish
Kandahar Lodge Whitefish, Montana

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