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“"View with a room" is a euphemism for a terrible room” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Lake McDonald Lodge

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Lake McDonald Lodge
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100 Going to the Sun Road, West Glacier, MT 59921   |  
Hotel amenities
Denver, Colorado
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“"View with a room" is a euphemism for a terrible room”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2014

The room, a double, was ~150 sq. feet. The bathroom sink is what you would find in an old service station. The shower is smaller than a phone booth. The sheets are seriously pilled. The room did have a view of the lake, but no matter how good that view is, it does not make up for the serious deficiencies in the room, and the hotel. The Park Service needs to think and act like a profit-making entity, and rehab this hotel.

  • Stayed June 2014
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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365 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (99)
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Doncaster, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2014

What a marvellous place. It was 100yrs old the week we were booked in for 3 nights in the main lodge. We asked for a room with a view of the lake which was granted, although the trees did block part of the view. The room was small, we would say 'cosy' but it was not a problem. The shower room looked like it still had the original shower and handbasin but the WC was new. All the fixtures and fitting were appropriate for the period and worked well. The bed was an old iron bed but was warm and comfortable. Overall we loved the period feel.
The main hall was huge and was constructed of huge cedar tree trunks, complete with their bark, supporting more huge tree trunks forming the roof and the rest of the building. Stuffed heads of various local creatures adorned the walls and a huge stone fireplace completed the welcoming feel. There was a similar fireplace in Russells Fireside Dining room and both were lit every morning at about 6am and kept going all day with huge 4ft long logs.
We ate breakfast in Russells which was good with enough choice.
We ate dinner in Russells or in Luckes Lounge (both use the same kitchen) and both were very good. The staff were helpful and nothing was too much trouble. It was also nice to be able to take a drink outside onto the covered terrace to watch the sun set over the lake and the mountains beyond.
Some reviewers on Trip Advisor complained that there was nowhere else to eat and the lodge had a captive audience. This was true but we didn't find that they took advantage of this and the food and drink was good quality and reasonable value for money.

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking the lake were good
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Orlando, Florida
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2014 via mobile

Very small and really basic two-room suite for over $300 per night is overpriced. Room was more old than rustic. Please bring your own type of entertainment for the evening. Had to carry our luggage up the small squeaky stairs. View was nice though. Wouldn't stay here again for that price. Better off staying in a motel right outside the park.

  • Stayed June 2014
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte
Top Contributor
221 reviews 221 reviews
198 hotel reviews
Reviews in 191 cities Reviews in 191 cities
204 helpful votes 204 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2014

We've stayed at many national park lodges, and most of them are rustic, with simple rooms, no TV, no pool, no fitness center, etc., etc. So you will have to "rough it" if you're use to luxury lodging. But the value of staying in a beautiful national park location more than offsets the inconveniences involved, even with the high price of these lodges. This lodge is right on Lake McDonald, with lovely views of the lake and snow-covered mountains. You can only get these beautiful views by staying inside the park. We were here in May, and this lodge is the only choice in the park at that time of the year. The rustic lobby had a large fireplace which was burning the whole time we were there. Our room was fairly large, but with a tiny bathroom. As usual for a national park lodge, the room had spare furnishings, but was clean and the double beds were comfortable. It had good lighting (we've often found this to be an issue in these lodges).

We've noted that Xanterra is doing a better job with dining facilities it manages---more emphasis on fine dining choices, good wine and beer list, etc. This lodge's restaurant seemed above average and there was a nice bar area. You can sit in large chairs out on the back porch (right off the bar) with your drink and admire the beautiful lake. Overall, if given the choice of a luxury hotel outside of the park or Lake McDonald Lodge, there's no doubt we would always stay in the park. The experience of being in the park can't be topped.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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UK
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2014

We stayed here for one night as we did a road trip, and thank god it was only one night. The room was tiny, the front door only just open without hitting the bottom of the bed. The sink was next to the bed as there is no room in the bathroom for it. The room was stuffy and the window would not stay open. We ended up propping the fan in the windows to keep it open and try to get air in the room. The bed wasn't quite a double and was ridiculously squeaky, if your partner moves in the night, you'll be sure to know about it!

The location however was lovely and lake looked amazing. Its just a shame the accommodation was so poor.

Room Tip: Don't stay in a Small Cabin.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Spokane, Washington
Top Contributor
207 reviews 207 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 68 cities Reviews in 68 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2014

We stayed in one of the large cabins at Lake McDonald Lodge. This is a great area to visit. The cabin was just the basics. Two beds. Couple of chairs and a small closet. Bathroom is small, but had a shower. But we did not spend much time in the room. The place to be is outside enjoying the view or inside the main lodge enjoying the beauty of this 100 year old building. The food and service in the lounge and dining room were very good, especially the dining room. Check the schedule - there might be a lecture by a local expert. We got to learn about the history of the lodge and the area around Lake McDonaly.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Central Florida
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2014

I have to admit that I don't know if I believe any of these 4 and 5 star reviews. I understand the 'charm' and nostalgia of a 100 year old lodge set in a very picturesque Alpine type setting. There is no doubt that the view is exceptional. But, at the end of the day, you need somewhere to sleep and be comfortable.

Using words like "upscale" and "large" in the descriptions of the accommodations is misleading. Maybe not misleading 100 years ago but inaccurate by today's definitions.

Here are the facts:

Me and my 2 boys were in the "large cabin" which had 2 single size beds for 3 people. We are not enormous people but anyone over 5'0 tall would be very uncomfortable. We stayed in "large cabin" 13-1. Cabin 13 is a standard, freestanding cabin next to the lake (no view) divided into 3 rooms that the lodge charges for individually. 1 room in the front and 2 in the back. So, cabin 13-1 is a small room of the cabin 'building'. Maybe 200 sq feet? That "large cabin" room was $250 per night. We could hear and smell everything everyone else was doing in the other rooms.

Not complaining but here are the other facts:
no AC, no TV, no cell service, no wifi (service in main bldg has about a 10 ft range)

If you want to escape from the everyday then you don't need to spend $250 per night at LML. Just go camp for free somewhere in Glacier.

Yes, we spent $250 per night for a room and services that you would not encounter at most $30 per night motels that you could stay at for the last 40 years.

Like I said, I get it, it's 100 years old and maybe you go here to get away from the modern world. The view down by the lake is beautiful. But, $250 per night? No need for that.

Room Tip: Find a motel or regular lodging outside of the park
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lake McDonald Lodge

Address: 100 Going to the Sun Road, West Glacier, MT 59921
Location: United States > Montana > West Glacier
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 15 Specialty Lodging in West Glacier
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 100
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Built in 1914, Lake McDonald Lodge is nestled on the shores of the largest lake inside Glacier National Park. Lake McDonald offers a unique gift shop, campstore, lounge, restaurant, and pizzeria. Red Bus tours, boat cruises, and numerous other activities are available. This picturesque location on the northern shore of beautiful Lake McDonald has 100 guest rooms split between a main lodge and a row of duplex-style cabins. All guestrooms at Lake McDonald are rustic, yet comfortable. In keeping in the era in which all the rooms were built, they offer guests modest amenities and old-world style accommodations resulting in a one-of-a kind, National Park lodging experience. A limited number of ADA- accessible rooms are available and are booked based on a space available basis. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Lake Mcdonald Hotel West Glacier
Lake McDonald Lodge West Glacier, Montana

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