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“Glacier National Park, not to be missed!”
Review of Belton Chalet

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Belton Chalet
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in West Glacier
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 July 2011

The room was clean, the bed comfortable, the en-suite bathroom was modern and clean, the towels plush. Although the room was small, it was more than adequate (we were only there for sleeping at night). No tv, no air conditioning (although there was a small table fan), no phone, no internet service, no ATT cell phone service (although I was able to get a signal at the gas station down the street). This was not a great problem since we were in the room only for sleeping at night. Others were using their cellphones, so I assume that there is Verizon or some other service provider. The biggest drawback was the lack of air-conditioning. Our room had two windows, but even opening them at night did not provide cooler air (even though it was cool outside). The restaurant food was great, the best in the area. DON'T MISS: Logan pass,going to the sun road, Many glacier area, St Mary waterfall, and the many hiking trails. They had a late winter this year and many of the trails were still closed because of the snow. WARNING: if the trail is closed, do not venture beyond. While we were there a 30 year old hiker fell some 600 feet to his death when he ventured onto the closed snow bound Grinnell glacier trail. Lots of flora and fauna (we saw black bear, elk, deer, long horn sheep, mountain goat). BE AWARE: we found out the hard way that they close the going to the sun road at 9 pm. We were in east glacier and had to make a two hour detour around the southern park exterior on small, winding, partially unpaved, dark, two lane roads to get back to west glacier and our hotel. Not at all pleasant. We did some ranger led hikes (OK, but not great) and scenic boat tours (St Mary Lake and the lake at Many glacier) that were ok (although overpriced for what you get) as far as the boat trip itself was concerned, but the commercial guides were less than average and not very personable. Unfortunately, the company (Glacier Park boat Co) is the only game in town

Room Tip: Ask for a room in back to minimize the noise from the train station across the street
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank nonamect
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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252 - 258 of 336 reviews

Reviewed 30 July 2011

Nicely restored property with an authentic and rustic feel. No A/C, t.v., radios, or phones - just like it used to be. Comfortable but small rooms. Shower but no tub in room. Quiet time is suggested every night and morning to keep any noise from other guests to a minimum. A little warm in July, but table fans in rooms and lobby made it bearable. No breakfast available on property but coffee and tea are provided in the morning and muffins/breads are available for purchase. Adjoining restaurant and tap room were wonderful in the afternoon and evening. Game room downstairs with ping-pong, shuffle board table, and a small library.

The constant trains were a little noisy at night with the windows open. The train station is across the street with regular freight and Amtrak service. The hotel was originally built along the railroad route in the early 1900's.

The grounds are well maintained with beautiful plants, flowers and trees. Limited parking until after the restaurant clears out. Desk staff were generally very helpful with info about activities available nearby.

Located just 1/2 mile from entrance to National Park.

Limited (slow) wi-fi available near lobby for an additional cost of $5 for two hours. No room service or fitness center. Spa services available with advance reservations.

Room Tip: Request a room with a balcony well in advance.
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank DennisFromTexas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2011

Kim_P340's review posted a couple of days before now has many complaints. Since we stayed in the Honeymoon Suite also, near the same time, and being somewhat disappointed, we can confirm some of the issues she raised:
1. Trains. Definitely can be heard; we think of them as lullabies.
2. Claw-foot Tub. We didn't even try it.
3. Hot water. We had plenty.
4. Private balcony -- we didn't experience people looking in, but perhaps we were just lucky. It was a concern, and not what we expected, either. It did result in our having to completely draw the curtains on one side of the room. A small, unobtrusive sign of "Private" on a small chain wouldn't be too offensive to other guests. As it is, it was an Unpleasant situation.
5. Other Noise. Wasn't a problem to us; we've stayed in enough older hotels that it was expected.
6. Parking lot. While we always found a space, the real problem is the restaurant (adjoining and owned by the same owners). The food, service and staff is simply outstanding, and we even saw the train station's parking lot full. What a problem to have! But, we agree, the hotel needs to do something about the issue.
7. The staff -- everyone was extremely accommodating to us and pleasant.
OVERALL: We're sorry Kim didn't have an enjoyable stay, particularly on her honeymoon. After some 40 years we found the Belton Chalet enjoyable, quaint, with some issues, but far superior to the over-crowded lodges inside Glacier Nat'l Park. We recommend it, with the caveat that "it isn't a Hilton." If we were to return to Glacier we'd probably stay there again -- just not in the Honeymoon Suite.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank QuietWalker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2011

STAY AWAY!!! (this is long but very true... we stayed here July 11-16, 2011) My husband and I chose to stay at the Belton Chalet for our honeymoon despite the warnings about the noise from trains. It turned out the trains were the least of our problems. To put this in perspective, we used to live in a one room 250sq ft. cottage with no TV and a semi-outdoor shower with limited hot water so we are not very picky.

1) The bed in our room was sagging in the middle so I rolled towards the middle. I asked Noreen, the manager, to change out our mattress the first morning we were there. After a day of hiking and exploring we came back and had yet another bad night of sleep. The next day, Noreen informed my husband that the bed was flipped as is their policy, even though I requested for it to be switched out and flipping a bed does not help with sagging. She also did not tell me at the time of my request that their policy was to flip the mattress.

2) We woke the first morning around 7:30am to incredible noise from within the hotel. People talking, hairdryers, doors opening and shutting, people walking through the halls. You can hear everything in this place. This was still the first morning we were there so I asked Noreen if there were morning quiet hours, just like the evening quiet hours. She immediately said yes, quiet hours are 10pm to 10am and that she would make it a point to remind guests of that (interesting that it was not mentioned to us when we checked in, only the evening quiet hours were discussed). Five minutes later (around 9am), we were in our room getting ready to head out for the day and who do we hear talking very loudly with guests in the lobby? Noreen! This was a continual issue throughout our stay. Since it seems impossible to maintain quiet until 10am they shouldn't even advertise that and we would have been much happier.

3) The "honeymoon suite" is advertised as having a clawfoot tub, one of the two things that makes it unique from the rest of the rooms. It has a tub but the pipes don't work. We tried turning the faucet knobs in every direction possible but could not get water to run for more than a minute or two. And, the water wasn't even hot. We were told that there was nothing they could do, the pipes were old and we should try turning the faucet knobs in the other direction (already tried that).

4) The other distinguishing feature of the "honeymoon suite" is a private balcony. Twice while making our reservation I asked the woman if the balcony was accessible from our room. And twice, she said yes. It is not. Our room was on the end of the hallway and the door to the shared balcony was also at the end of the hallway, outside of our room. It was not marked as private so we actually had other guests looking through our windows into our room while I was undressing to take a shower.

5) The parking lot is not large enough to accommodate all guests. Several nights we came back and there was no parking available. They informed us that we could leave our car along the side of the hotel and it would be valet parked and the key would be left behind the front desk in the mailboxes (basically little cubbies). This was not an option for us since the night attendant would routinely leave the front desk and the keys unattended to walk around the property looking for bears.

6) My husband was forced to take two cold showers during our five night stay because there was no hot water.

7) One of the amenities that is listed for this hotel is the Terrace Room with ice machines, a lounge area, a balcony, table tennis and shuffleboard. Two nights in a row the Terrace Room was closed to guests because of private events. I don't think that should be listed as an amenity if private events take priority over guest access.

I only spoke to Noreen the first morning. My husband had several conversations with her. She tried to offer free apps and drinks at the restaurant as compensation but he declined. After she spoke with her boss (not sure who that was), we received a letter in our room making excuses for the issues we had discussed. Noreen made no effort to follow up with us to make sure things were okay. In fact, she ignored us every time we walked through the lobby. When we arrived home, we emailed Christie, the general manager, requesting a partial refund in compensation for the disappointing stay and after a long list of excuses, she basically said that "perhaps we chose the wrong hotel for us". It definitely was wrong since we expected to have hot showers, a comfortable mattress, the amenities they advertised and good service!!

P.S. The general manager also said that the parking has been an issue for over a year and they now have a sign up to designate guest parking. Why did it take them a year to do that??? They also now have a sign up indicating that the balcony is private. Obviously something was wrong long before we showed up.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank Kim_P340
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2011

Our trip to Glacier was supposed to be aboard Amtrak's Empire Builder, but due to the floods, the train was cancelled. Instead, we flew in to Boise (only because of SWA reward ticket) and drove to Glacier. We enjoyed the ambiance of the Belton.

We booked a balcony room and had no problems with the train noise. When I booked the hotel in March, they assured me that they would have internet service which is important since I had to do some work during our trip. We were surprised when checking in that the internet I needed wasn't available. When I spoke with the manager about changing properties, she wanted to keep my deposit. After some discussion, she agreed to refund my deposit (if we left), but offered that I try the internet tool they had as long as I wasn't using it during their business hours. This arrangement was fine with me, and I was able to connect and get my reports completed. There is a charge for the internet, and service is limited. Since I was the first user of the new system, I helped debug some of the issues. Hopefully, others will find the process more user friendly.

The hotel staff were very friendly and helpful with the exception of the WIFI fiasco. I would have booked another property that had internet and breakfast, but liked the idea of the old railroad lodge, and its proximity to the park. Since we were there in June when the weather was still cool in the evenings, we did not have the balcony door or windows open which might explain why train traffic was not an issue. The shower in our room was very up to date, while the room furnishings were more like the chalet's age. The bed was fine, and we slept well both nights we were there.

There is a game room below the hotel lobby (old school shuffleboard and ping pong) as well as some display cases of railroad memorabilia. There is a large ice machine, a microwave, and several tables and chairs in the game room. We enjoyed our stay at the Belton, but warn that we could hear more of goings on in other rooms and the lobby than the train movement.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank TB_Paul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2011

When looking for a place to stay when visiting Glacier National Park, we looked on Trip Advisor for recommendations. When I look at the reviews, I always look at the best and the worst reviews. Based on the reviews, we knew what to expect - a renovated historical place of lodging. It was perfect and just where we wanted to stay. This place has been renovated to it's original specs. We were able to experience a place that w experienced by the first travelers to Glacier. The staff was very friendly. We decided to eat at their restaurant. We had a great meal. We highly recommend this place. On another note, one never knows what to expect as a gay couple traveling. We felt at home the entire time.

  • Stayed: May 2011
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2  Thank MiamiBeachExplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2011

Can't say enough about BELTON, great bar and the food is some of the best near the park. Have been back year after year, and plan on having dinner there this fall. The staff is great and very helpful!

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank SANDAHOLIC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Belton Chalet

Address: 12575 Hwy 2 East, PO Box 206, West Glacier, MT 59936
Region: United States > Montana > West Glacier
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in West Glacier
Price Range: £118 - £269 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Belton Chalet 3*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are a 1910 National Historic Landmark hotel built by James J. and Louis Hill of the Great Northern Railway. After being closed for fifty years, the property underwent a three-year restoration completed in 1999 and is now a National Historic Landmark. The Belton Chalet was the first chalet built for Glacier Park and the park’s first winter headquarters. Belton Chalet, family owned, once again welcomes guest from across the world. Thank you for being our guest and a part of our history. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Belton Chalet West Glacier, Montana
Belton Chalet Hotel West Glacier

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