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“Quiet and Beautiful” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Belton Chalet

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Belton Chalet
12575 Hwy 2 East, PO Box 206, West Glacier, MT 59936   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 7 Hotels in West Glacier
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Quiet and Beautiful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2014

We stayed in the Clark Cabin in late December/Early January. Built in 1911, the cabins are Arts & Crafts style, very clean and spacious. There are three bedrooms with plenty of light. We appreciated the lack of modern accouterments like a TV or a phone, though there is a fridge and a microwave. There isn't a lot to do in West Glacier in the winter, but it is beautiful. The trains didn't bother us at all. Make sure to head to the tap room for dinner- delicious and a great value.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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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206 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    93
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    19
    10
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (47)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Tennessee
Top Contributor
165 reviews 165 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 70 cities Reviews in 70 cities
215 helpful votes 215 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2014

I arrived at the Belton around 6:15 p.m. on a Saturday. It did not start out well as they were having a wedding reception and it was crowded. So much so there was no parking. I drove down the hill and there was none at the restaurant so I went across the street and though it is a large area, there was no parking available there either. I wanted to pull in so I could at least unload but there is no zone for that. They have a red bus zone but no unloading zone. I had to drive around for a while but when nothing came available I decided to leave and go back down the road to get gas and stop at the Glacier Heli tours. When I got back, one spot had come open down the hill for restaurant parking so I took it. The walk to the Chalet is uphill which is fine for those able to do it, but if you can’t, it would be something to consider. The staff is pleasant and accommodating. The rooms are wonderful with a nice bath providing a hot shower and great smelling amenities. The bed is very comfortable. They have a nice oscillating fan in the room and with the windows open, it provided a wonderful temperature in the room for middle of September.

There was a bit of a noise issue with the restaurant staff dumping trash around 10:00 pm in the dumpster outside the window but it quieted down by 10:30 pm. I was asleep soon after. As for the train, I was so tired I never heard it until I awoke (not from the train) around 3:30 am. I thought, wow, the train must not be running tonight but then it came by in about 10 minutes. It does run frequently per hour and it is sort of loud but I was quite excited about getting to Glacier that it really did not bother me. Of course being a older structure there is no elevator, but if you really need one and want to stay here, just make your reservations far enough in advance to get on the first floor. I would be more concerned with parking if I were handicapped. Literally, ALL parking spots had been taken and since there are more rooms than parking up top it means someone has to park down the hill. Even though this is just outside the park entrance, there is no TV but if you have come to see the National Park do you really need one?

The Belton Chalet restaurant is just down the hill but the park entrance is also practically across the street – maybe a tenth of a mile down. As soon as you enter under the tunnel there is a visitor center and another gas station (yes, just inside!) and a restaurant and two or three shops. My point being you could walk here to eat if you needed plus, breakfast is not served at the chalet (coffee and tea are) and I don’t think the restaurant at the chalet was open for breakfast. Also, Apgar Village is only maybe 3 miles from the tunnel entrance inside the park and it has accommodations, shopping and a another restaurant. Be aware that the shops and gas and restaurant just past the entrance all close the end of the third week of September or they did when I was there. Apgar Village stayed open till the end of September. The gas station outside the park entrance which was right next to the Chalet restaurant was still open but I did not ask for how much longer. BTW, gas was running around $3.80 a gallon and it was $3.15 where I live in the south.

All in all, this Chalet is a beautiful and wonderful piece of history and I recommend staying here at least one night.

Room Tip: corner rooms are large and have wonderful air flow
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hull
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2013

An old railway hotel, refurbished and therefore unusual. It was clean and comfortable and sufficiently remote to get a feel of it's origins. Near to the park entrance. But no food, although there are a couple of local places within walking distance. The rooms were basic and noisy, and oddly there was a glass panel above the bathroom door. It's interesting to be near the railway line if you like trains.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2013

I stayed at this hotel during a short vacation to Glacier National Park in August. Proximity to the park was very important to me as I wasn't able to drive on this trip, however, the other lodging within the park were unaffordable for me, plus the reviews for Belton were great, so I booked with them.

The room was very basic. No TV or telephone. No mobile phone reception either, but this applies to most of the region. I've heard that Verizon has the best signal strength there, but I use T-mobile, and after leaving the Kalispell airport, I have had no signal for the entire 3 days I was there. Imagine a room set in the 1800s, then add lights, electric fan and plumbing. That sums up the room. It wasn't as clean and comfortable as I would like but this is definitely not a luxury property like MacDonald Lodge, but you would choose this place for the quaintness and the view. Do note that even with the cool late summer climate, the room gets hot and stuffy and I had a sleepless first night before leaving the windows open subsequently, which isn't a great idea considering I'm on the ground floor.

Many reviewers complained about train noise, but I had the room facing the parking lot, so perhaps it wasn't that loud for me. When I did hear the trains passing, it wasn't as frequent and as loud as what they all said. In fact it was a nice chugging, occasional choo-choo sound. I am extremely sensitive to noise and really don't think it's as much an issue as noisy guests going loading/unloading their cars in the parking lot in the wee hours.

The decor in the lobby and common restrooms are beautiful and country-style. Very welcoming, and the staff at the hotel were just so friendly and nice. I would say the super nice people at the hotel was what I love and remember most about this place. There are chairs on the deck facing the mountains, and at dusk, you could sit there while you check your e-mail or upload the photos you took during the day, and at the same time admire the sunset. Yes, the wireless internet is reliable and available through most of the property, so you probably don't need that phone signal afterall.

I managed to get a taxi service to this hotel, and really fortunately there was a complimentary ride to and from Apgar transit center every morning and evening, if you choose not to drive and to utilize the park shuttle. Still that was dependent on staff availability, so ultimately you'll be better off with a car here. You can even get a ride to the Amtrak station, which was what I did, but this hotel is just across from the West Glacier Amtrak station. My train leaving the Glacier was delayed by about 2 hours, but the hotel is nice about letting you sit in the common areas until the train was about to arrive.

The restaurant on the property is consistent with the theme at the Belton, right down to the waitor's uniform. Food is generally of good quality, but being asian myself, the ramen resembled and tasted nothing of its sort, even though they do use quality ingredients. The meat entrees look and smell amazing though. I tried the pork chop which was good. Cons: they only open at dinnertime, and it's always a long wait.

I just have one suggestion for this property - that although it is great that we can deposit our keys at the front desk which is constantly staffed throughout the day, I would feel more comfortable if the keys were not placed in plain view.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Chicago, IL
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2013

We stayed in September and were enchanted with the beautiful property and historically renovated room. Friendly staff, comfortable and cozy lobby and the fine dining restaurant (open for dinner only) was really some of the best food we had on our entire trip.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Olympia, Washington
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2013

Very nice setting and great location. Staff is friendly and helpful.
But--it is a historical restoration and history is not always comfortable.
No air conditioning, no overhead fans, transoms were not part of the restoration - meaning on a warm summer day - it's hot!. We were provided a dinky little fan that did not help much. Ceiling fans and restoring the transoms so they opened would have made a big difference. Most hotel guests sat out on the ample porch and deck until the sun went down waiting for rooms to cool off.

Our room was on the ground floor on the back side and opening the windows at the bottom meant no privacy as the parking lot and the red bus stop were right outside the window. Opening windows from the top provided some ventilation but the window coverings that provided some degree of privacy had to be pulled up all the way thus ventilation meant no privacy.

On the backside of the hotel we were not disturbed by the train but early morning bus departures were quite noisy. So we had to choose between ventilation and noise or a stifling room and have some privacy. Bed was comfortable but small for an alleged 'queen'. Bathroom was roomy and all worked well. Breakfast is not included in the high rates charged by the hotel. Coffee and ice are available for free and you can buy overpriced pastries in the lobby.

Restaurant at the hotel is very good -excellent food - but again very high priced. And oddly enough although they encouraged to sit on the deck to enjoy the cooling breeze, they had not bothered to put out wasp traps/attractors to draw them away from the food. We were mobbed by wasps who wanted our food. After being stung, we retreated to the stuffy dining room to finish our dinner. We're not wimps, we like being outdoors -- in late summer traps are needed to keep the yellow jackets from ruining outside activities involving food.

Other restaurants in the area are more reasonably priced.

Room Tip: rooms in back tend to be quieter - avoid travel during warm months.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
San Diego
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2013

We stayed on September 30 and were impressed as we viewed the historic hotel and were excited about staying there. The entry lobby is decorated nicely and had a fire which was welcome because of the damp. However, the room was small and had a double bed, a small desk, a metal chair (ice cream store style), and a tree stump chair(very low to the ground). I did not find it charming but rather somewhat spartan. I brought in a chair from the balcony to sit on. All the needs are ticked off (hot water, working plumbing, warm wool blankets, wifi) but it just was not a pleasant room. I did not find the noise from the trains bothersome and there are many that pass through the night. I guess we slept well because of the hiking. It would be nice if they offered hot beverages in the lobby at all times rather than coffee at 7 AM. We were leaving early and missed it (no big loss) but it would be hospitable.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Montana > West Glacier
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 7 Hotels in West Glacier
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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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