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“Wow! Great place and wonderful people!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kandahar Lodge

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Kandahar Lodge
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   3824 Big Mountain Rd, P.O. Box 278, Whitefish, MT 59937   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 15 Hotels in Whitefish
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Wow! Great place and wonderful people!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 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, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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169 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (39)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2007

My wife and I spent six nights at the Kandahar in mid-January of 2007, for skiing. We have skied lots of different places--from Vail to Breckenridge to Lake Tahoe to Jackson Hole--and have stayed in lots of different places (condos, luxury hotels, etc.). So we are educated consumers when it comes to ski trips.

Of the dozen or so places we have stayed for ski trips, the Kandahar was one of our top two or three. Another reviewer is right that the photos really don't do it justice. The main lobby space is very large with a big roaring fireplace and overstuffed leather furniture, and right off of it is the wonderful Snug Bar, which is tiny, intimate, with millions of ski photos and the most personal service you could ask for. All you need is two feet of snow to make it perfect.

Our room was _huge_: queen bed with pull out sofa/sitting area and a nice size bath with nice tile accents. We also had a mini fridge, microwave, etc., which came in handy. Not deluxe, but also not generic. Comfortably in between, and everything worked just fine. Other notable aspects of the lodging: big outdoor hot tub that could hold about 25 people. Could have been hotter but was still very nice. Didn't do the steam room because it smelled a little funky. Didn't do the in house spa either, but there is one in the building.

Location: it is more ski in than ski out. You can ski right to the ski valet room (with separate heated boot room--nice!) from the slopes. To ski out, you have to walk across the parking lot about 100 yards, but we never bothered because the staff will run you over to wherever you want to go, on demand, in the hotel van. Also, you are right next door to the only on-mountain superette, which sells wine, beer, muffins for the a.m., and waveable frozens if you want to eat in room and on the cheap. Easy walking distance to the base village bars, ski outfitters, etc.

As for Whitefish, it is 20 minutes (not 15, but also not 30 in normal weather) via the free Snow Bus that you catch about 300 yards from the Lodge, next to the Bierstube, which is a truly classic ski bar. It stops running back up the mountain at 9:30. Great town--good bars and shops on the main drag, and dinner at Wasabi (if you like sushi) is a must. Nice wine list in addition to the food. We only got into town one night, though, and were happy to hang out on the mountain after skiing ourselves into the ground.

Speaking of food, Cafe Kandahar in the Lodge is not to be missed. We know from regulars who winter here that it is by far the best food on the mountain, but that really doesn't do it justice. Let's put it this way: we live in downtown Houston, within 10 minutes of many fabulous restaurants, and we thought the two meals we had at the Cafe were on a par with the best we have had. They may be a little fussy about recommending wines from their pretty pricey (but also outstanding--as in Spectator Award of Excellence outstanding) list, but the food is worth agonizing over the wine. I'd recommend they add a little ballast on the low end of the wine list, since there are plenty of great inexpensive wines out there these days. But the bottom line: Really fantastic fare (and we don't eat meat, and always found something excellent on the menu, in addition to the game and meat). In other words, bite the bullet, pay the fare, you have to eat there.

Last, the staff at the Lodge was fanstastic: attentive but not fussy, on top of everything (the van driver guy keeps the fire roaring for you), friendly, helpful, and seemingly very committed to keeping the Lodge's reputation intact.

Best of all, the price was about 20-25 percent less than comparable (or less than comparable) packages we explored at other resorts. I don't want to get into a review of the mountain per se, but it's fantastic terrain, uncrowded skiing, and for that you get 3.5-4 star lodging at 2.5-3 star prices. We loved it, and we will be back for another ski trip.

  • Liked — Location, quality, staff
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder Creek, California
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2006

We stayed in the Kandahar Lodge during the first week of September 2006. It was pretty easy to find from the airport at Kalispell. On arrival, they didn't realise that we should have had a loft room, but that was quickly resolved.

The lodge and rooms are decorated in the rustic style, which suits the setting. We tried the restaurant once for breakfast and once for dinner, and were very pleased on both occasions with both the food (definitely above average - even for breakfast) and service.

Given that it was near the end of the summer season the Big Mountain Resort was pretty dead, so staying there probably isn't your best bet at this time of year. Travelling up and down Big Mountain Road ends up becoming a bit of a pain after a while.

If you are travelling to this area in winter the Kandahar is a good bet. Otherwise I'd recommend staying a bit closer to Whitefish.

  • Stayed August 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2006

We stayed at the Kandahar Lodge for three days while we toured Glacier National Park. The lodge is very warm and inviting, and as previously mentioned, the rooms were decorated nicely and were very cozy.

The Kandahar Cafe was fantastic for breakfast. We ate there all three days, and everything we had was delicious. We intended to eat dinner there at least once but never made it due to the time we arrived back from touring the park.

The only complaint I had was the cleaning service. The room was very clean when we first arrived, but on subsequent days, they did not refresh the coffee, clean the coffee pot, replace all of the towels, etc.

On a side note, they do not provide in-room ironing boards. You have to ask for one, and then they only have the small tabletop type. This was not a big deal for us.

  • Stayed August 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2006

We couldn't have been more pleased with our accomodations!! We arrived on an unseasonably warm day, with temperatures in the 90's. Although our room did not have an air conditioner, it was immaculate and tastefully decorated. In the evenings it does cool down quite a bit, but my husband suffers with asthma and has a sensitivity to heat. I didn't want it to ruin his vacation, so I contacted the front desk. They kindly gave us a room with an air conditioner. (MOST HOTELS IN OR NEAR GLACIER PARK ARE NOT AIR CONDITIONED) The food at Cafe Kandahar is exceptional! My husband is a Chef and we frequently dine at upscale restaurants. It was one of the best dining experiences I have ever had!!! The menu provides a wonderful selection. The mushroom appetizer was fabulous!!!! (AND I DON"T LIKE MUSHROOMS!!) The elk was also exceptionally good. The dishes were prepared to perfection. Kudos to Chef Andy!!!

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Carolina
2 reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2005

My husband and I, and our 14 year old son booked our summer vacation at the Kandahar Lodge and LOVED it! The Kandahar is a beautiful ski lodge situated on the mountainside of Big Mountain, a few hundred yards from the base of the ski slopes. The lobby is beautifully decorated with fabulous oversized sofas and chairs gathered around a big stone fireplace.

We reserved two adjoining queen suite rooms. The rooms are beautiful as well, tastefully appointed with light pine cabinetry. I believe the rooms were remodeled in or around 2001, so the rooms were very fresh, clean and up-to-date. And the bathrooms have beautiful natural tile and a great shower (I'm very picky about bathrooms). Our room did not have air conditioining, and we were there during some of the hottest days in July, but we were never uncomfortable. We kept our windows open when we were in the room and enjoyed a delightful breeze. A few nights it got cool enough for us to crawl under the big down comforter! What a treat!

The dining room, Kandahar Cafe, is AWESOME! We had breakfast there every morning, using vouchers they gave us as guests of the lodge. The dining room was often full, but the waitstaff did a very efficient job of handling the patrons. The food was delicious.

Dinner at the Kandahar was as fine a meal as any I've had. We dined there 3 nights. The attention to detail, freshness and presentaion was unmatched. Upon seating and ordering drinks, we were presented with an "amuse-bouche", a delightful bite to start the evening. The menu offered wild game, seafood, steaks and one vegetarian selection. We enjoyed everything we ordered. The decor in the Cafe is also enjoyable as framed vintage black and white photographs illustrate the development of Big Mountain and its early years.

We frequently used the outdoor hot tub (they have 2; one inside and one outside) after our day hikes, which was just the ticket. Then sometimes we would enjoy a nice cocktail before dinner in the small cozy bar called "The Snug" and enjoyed getting to know our server Mimi. (All the waitstaff was very personable and friendly)

The Kandahar is about a 5-7 mile drive from Whitefish, a neat little town of coffee shops, galleries, great restaurants, and spas. We spent our days hiking in Glacier National Park (spectacular scenery) and shopping in Whitefish and Kallispell. Our trip to this beautiful state and particularly this area and this lodge was one of our best. (Even our tennager had fun!) The days went too fast. But we'll definitely be back...and maybe in the winter to ski!

  • Stayed July 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kandaharlodge, Front Office Manager at Kandahar Lodge, responded to this review, August 18, 2007
Summer travelers...All our rooms have air conditioning now!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2004

My husband and I finally took our honeymoon a year after we got married. We decided to kind of wing it as for picking out a place to stay on our trip to Whitefish. I checked out the Kandahar online and sent email messages which were promptly answered. The pictures on-line do not do it justice. We stayed at the Kandahar the beginning of June for one night before our trip through Logans Pass and on to St. Mary's where we stayed one night. When we returned to Whitefish the next day we stayed at the Kandahar again.

Since we've been home I've been trying to redecorate my bedroom to match that of the Kandahar rooms. The rooms were excellent and well priced. Stayed in the standard "hotel" style room one night and it was great, the next night stayed in the Queen Suite and both were excellent. I plan on coming back in the winter and we will stay at the Kandahar. The front desk was helpful, accomodating and friendly and the rooms were beautiful and the view from Kandahar was breathtaking. This is the cozy, log, ski lodge your looking for.

Was this review helpful? Yes 7
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
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Montana > Whitefish
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Ski-In / Ski-Out Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 15 Hotels in Whitefish
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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