Motel Lake McDonald

Motel Lake McDonald

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Room & Suite (4)
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About

3.0
#1 of 1 small hotel in West Glacier
Location
4.5
Cleanliness
3.9
Service
3.9
Value
3.1
Located 10 miles inside Glacier National Park's west entrance on the Going-to-the-Sun Road, Motel Lake McDonald is nestled quaintly near the shores of the largest lake inside the park. Motel Lake McDonald consists of two, 1950s-style two-story buildings and it is tucked near the shores of picturesque Lake McDonald. Motel Lake McDonald sits about 300 yards from Lake McDonald Lodge with the 2nd level accessed via stairs only. All rooms have a private bathroom and there are no connecting rooms. All guestrooms are rustic, yet comfortable, featuring modest amenities and cozy accommodations resulting in a unique experience inside Glacier National Park. Located nearby are an ATM, gift shop, campstore, Jammer Joe's Grill and Pizzeria, Lucke's Lounge, and Russell's Fireside Dining Room. Red Bus Tours, boat cruises, evening ranger programs, and numerous other activities are available near this picturesque lakeside setting. This is a smoke-free facility.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free internet
Internet
Non-smoking hotel
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Quiet
Mid-range
3.0
3.0 of 5 bubbles287 reviews
Reviews summary
This summary was created by AI, based on recent reviews.
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Nestled near Lake McDonald, Motel Lake McDonald garners appreciation for its scenic surroundings and vintage charm, contributing to a relaxing atmosphere lauded by guests. The prime location is a highlight, providing easy access to dining, park amenities, and hiking trails. While the motel’s cleanliness receives consistent praise, some visitors indicate that the rooms, though tidy, are on the basic side with limited in-room amenities. Despite the friendly and accommodating staff, the value proposition is questioned due to the high rates and absence of features like air conditioning and in-room coffee.
Location
Convenient
Atmosphere
Charming
Rooms
Basic
Value
Expensive
Cleanliness
Clean
Service
Friendly
Amenities
Satisfactory

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Detailed Reviews
Susan wrote a review Jul 2022
Carbondale, Illinois42 contributions3 helpful votes
2.0 of 5 bubbles
I wasn’t expecting much. I had read some reviews before booking but we wanted to be in the park and accommodations are very difficult to get. The good things: The receptionist was extremely friendly. Checking in was a breeze. The room was fairly clean. I thought the shower could have been just discolored…I didn’t want to inspect too closely. The bathroom was our biggest disappointment. It was EXTREMELY SMALL. We aren’t big people, but my husband had to turn sideways to get inside it. There’s no way two people could be in there together. The sink was a very small ceramic hang off the wall type. The door opens into the bathroom but won’t open all the way because it hits the shower wall. Also, the room is so small, they had to notch out part of it by the door knob so it would clear the small sink. You can literally sit on the toilet, was your hands in the sink, and wash your feet in the very small shower at the same time. There is no air conditioning and we had mosquitoes in the room when we checked into the room. They did provide a box fan but it was pretty noisy. Also, the walls aren’t all that soundproof. No TV, which I knew, but also no clock or radio. For what we paid, I would have expected better accommodations. Also, the only restaurant is at the lodge. It’s pretty pricey. There was a pizza place but it was closed because the pizza oven broke. I won’t stay there again, but if you do, know what to expect.
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Date of stay: July 2022Trip type: Traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Pursuit Collection, Other at Motel Lake McDonald
Responded Jul 26, 2022
Hello, Thank you for taking the time to review your stay at Motel Lake McDonald. I am concerned to read that your experience with us was not optimal. We are committed to continuous improvement to deliver the best experience possible. I sincerely apologize for the issues you encountered. Please be confident that we have heard your concerns and will take action to improve our operations. Again, we sincerely appreciate your feedback and your business. We hope you enjoyed the time you spent in Glacier National Park! Kristen Powell Lodging Operations Pursuit Collection
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
rhy0lite wrote a review Aug 2022
1 contribution
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Best location imaginable for seeing the park and dirt cheap compared to other properties in the area, but your expectations need to be realistic - this place makes Motel 6 look like a Ritz Carlton. No TV, no AC (didn't need it, even midsummer), tiny bathrooms with no electrical outlets. That said, the place is spotless clean and the staff is outstanding. Manager Ross took great care of us, even after hours, when there was a problem with our room. Decent wi-fi, which you'll need if you want to make phone calls - the entire park is off the cell service grid. Staying at a property inside the park means you don't need a vehicle pass. I would definitely stay here again, but I'll bring an extension cord next time.
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: August 2022
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
2.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Pursuit Collection, Other at Motel Lake McDonald
Responded Aug 31, 2022
Thank you for taking the time to review your stay at Motel Lake McDonald. We are so happy to hear that you enjoyed your time with us and our location. I have passed along your kind words to our staff and they are very appreciative! We hope that you enjoyed every moment in Glacier National Park. Thank you for your business and we hope to see you again in the future! Carly M Management Motel Lake McDonald
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Sheryl G wrote a review Sep 2022
New Jersey8 contributions6 helpful votes
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Staying at Motel Lake McDonald as I type this review. Unfortunately this very sound-sensitive sleeper got placed in a room near heavily used outside stairs and between that and the overhead noise it is a challenge sleeping. Very thin walls. The room is shabby (not talking shabby chic here) to say the least. The cheap, cheap plastic shower curtain has clearly seen better days and the shower stall itself is tiny. Furniture is worn and tired. All of that might have been more palatable if we weren’t paying about $250/night with taxes and fees. Very, very poor value. Pluses are its close location within easy walking distance to Lake McDonald Lodge, including the shuttle stop there. Otherwise can’t think of another positive thing to say. If you have any other lodging alternative, take it and avoid the Motel Lake McDonald.
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Date of stay: September 2022
1.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
3.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
guackytri wrote a review Jul 2021
Chicago, Illinois15 contributions13 helpful votes
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Although I am not a snob about needign to stay in fancy hotels, and was aware of the fact that this would be basic accomodation, the overall experience was unacceptable. The rooms are tired and the fixtures and furniture are rickety and tired looking. The bathroom was dank and smelling of mold, and the fittings well past their useful operating life. Despite beign advertised as being available in the Office, there was no internet access of any kind, which in today's day and age is unacceptable at any price point and any location. Basic amenities like coffee (not until the Office opens at a too-late 8AM), ice machines, and refrigertor are not available. We booked here because of the location and the access to the Going to the Sun road, and of course if there are no alternatives then beggars can't be choosers, but I find myself unable to recommend the Motel to anyone if an alternative is available
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: July 2021
3.0 of 5 bubblesValue
2.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
3.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
SCoxygenman wrote a review Sep 2020
Columbia, South Carolina276 contributions133 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
This place was a big disappointment, unable to get a room at The McDonald Lodge we were booked to this McDonald Hotel and there is no comparison. The room prices at almost $200 a night for this place is highway robbery. Just to be clear your paying for location, that’s it. The rooms were run down with old furniture and bed, don’t have any kind of mini-fridge, microwave, coffee pot or anything. I wasn’t expecting 5 star accommodation by any means, but what really got us was the fowl smell of urine odor. After exploring the park all day then get back to your room and have to smell that all night was terrible. I think it was coming from a broken or exposed sewer nearby it stunk up the hallway in the upstairs room, our room and our family room. My family has joked and told everyone not to let me book hotel when we go on trip because of this disaster. We travel alot and this is one of the worst places we have ever stayed. Book the lodge, stay near Apgar facilities near park entrance or camp outside but don’t stay at this hotel. Sorry for leaving such a bad review for the hotels. I hate to do that but they should take responsibility and address their issues.
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Date of stay: September 2020Trip type: Traveled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
mlsweezey wrote a review Jun 2021
Sacramento, California3 contributions2 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
We stayed here for one night after a full day in the park and it worked well for us. The room is very simple, and unfortunately doesn’t have a coffee pot but the lobby has surprisingly good coffee starting at 8am, or you could bring your own pot to make it. There was room to set up a little kitchen area on the desk for us, and room next to the bed to sit and hang out and my little one could play. We had take out dinner from the grill at the lodge which is just right next door, and although the bathroom is tiny and awkward (think airplane bathroom with a shower) the water pressure was excellent and the water was hot so it was just fine. This isn’t a fancy place to stay, but if you don’t want to camp and don’t want to spend more than double to stay in the lodge this is a great option.
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: June 2021
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
3.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
kaushiksatyavolu wrote a review Jun 2021
Mountain View, California1 contribution1 helpful vote
1.0 of 5 bubbles
I was looking forward to my stay at the lake McDonald. My first surprise when I realized that Motel McDonald is different from Lake McDonald lodge. They are both next to one another but not the same. Motel McDonald is located behind the gift store at the lake McDonald. Entering the Motel itself there was a terrible stench that we weren't sure where it was coming from. The receptionist at the checkin counter was friendly and informative but I was told that there was no wifi at the reception and the wifi in the motel is unreliable and even the people who get it, have signal about 30% of times. This was in contrast to what was listed in the reservation description. For us wifi was important since my spouse needed a reliable connection to take some important meetings that day, at work. I decided not to stay and wanted to cancel the reservation, but then there wasn't even a pay phone at the motel (my phone had zero reception, obviously) and had to go to the Lake McDonald lodge to use their phone.

To be fair, I haven't even stepped into the room, so I don't think I can say anything about the rooms or their cleanliness or their service.
Overall, the stench in the area and the unreliable wifi were the major turn offs for us and we had to find a place outside the park (since rest of the park stays were already full or didn't have WiFi) disturbing all our plans for the day.
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: June 2021
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
3.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
1.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Lucky Quokka wrote a review Jul 2023
Perth, Australia48 contributions5 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
We stayed overnight in Lake MacDonald Lodge in an upstairs room with 2 Queen beds. The room was basic but clean, with a very small bathroom and not many facilities (like a tv for example). Nothing wrong with any of that as we knew all this beforehand. This is one of the cheapest places to stay inside the park, so is more affordable than many other places. Parking was first come first serve close to your room, but you won’t miss out completely. Check in really easy and no issues. Beds were ok too. We ate at Other Lake MacDonald facilities like the Lodge, which was fine.

Taking an upstairs room was a mixed experience. It’s good in that cars are not stopped very close to your room as they are downstairs but upstairs you here people walking past your room to get to theirs. The room was hot so we had to open the windows ( as did many others) so you hear them talking etc as they pass by. Trouble is that it can be annoying when they are doing this late (eg. after 10pm) and you want to sleep for an early morning hike to Avalanche Lake (which is one of the popular and close things to do). Even with the windows closed you can still hear what’s going on.

So overall an Ok stay but a lovely location. You can’t see the lake from the rooms but it’s a short walk away and worth doing at sunset.

If you are planning on hiking Avalanche Creek then get there early (8:30) as the cark park fills up very quickly in the peak summer period our stay was in. Parking doesn’t turnover that quickly either as the hike is long.
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Date of stay: July 2023Trip type: Traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Pursuit Collection, Other at Motel Lake McDonald
Responded Aug 11, 2023
Hello Simon, Thank you for choosing Motel Lake McDonald for your recent visit. Your feedback is very important to us and we appreciate the time you took to respond to our online survey. We are grateful for your constructive comments which will help us improve and maintain our standards. Motel Lake McDonald has a sincere desire to offer a quality experience to all of our guests. Comments like yours assist us in understanding our strengths and weaknesses. Thank you for taking the time to write, your business is important to us and we do appreciate your input. Sincerely, Kip T. West Glacier Asst. Manager
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Wanderer824783 wrote a review Sep 2021
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
This is the worst property I have ever stayed in. The room was completely non-functional. The sink in the bathroom was so small it was unusable. It was impossible to wash your face or fill up a water bottle. There was no outlet in the bathroom. There was only one working outlet in the entire room. If you tried to use a hair dryer, it shut off. If your on the first floor you can hear everything going on over head. Any time someone closed their door, the whole front wall shook.
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: September 2021
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
1.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
1.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
1.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Regina R wrote a review Jul 2021
11 contributions1 helpful vote
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Lodging is extremely limited and way overpriced in the park itself, but a lot easier if you are there. So we bit the bullet and paid. Our room was recently renovated so it was super nice and thankfully had a fan, which apparently other rooms did not. Windows are permanently closed so big help. No WiFi, can get it a little inside the Lake McDonald Lodge lobby. Food options are awful and overpriced , bring your own before coming in park. Easy to walk to small store and the lake itself. Take the evening boat ride.
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: July 2021
2.0 of 5 bubblesValue
3.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
3.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Charlene B asked a question Aug 2023
LaGrange, Georgia2 contributions
Is soap, shampoo and lotion provided?
Answer from Nancy S
Dennis, Massachusetts9 contributions5 helpful votes
Yes, in the shower there was a dispenser and if I remember correctly they have small soap at the sink.
Answer from saskgal79
Alberta, Canada66 contributions36 helpful votes
We stayed in the room next to the front desk Sept 19. Wifi didn't work.
Jeff H asked a question Apr 2017
Denver, Colorado, United States42 contributions24 helpful votes
do you have any rooms available this summer?
Answer from petey308
Hastings, Nebraska117 contributions11 helpful votes
Save your money, no access to water, surrounded by personal cabins. Very old, no sprinkler system and no batteries in smoke detectors.. Try to get a hotel outside of park. Several to the West of West Glacier entrance and about 10-15 miles to the west on the highway. A little grocery store to the west of the entrance, food inside park outrageous!! The rooms are dives with no tv or refrigerator.
mamamoki asked a question Sep 2016
Monticello, Utah1 contribution
what the elevation
Answer from Carolyn41353
Rockville, Maryland96 contributions39 helpful votes
I do not know the exact elevation, but it is on a lake and therefore relatively low.
loghouseJD wrote a tip Jul 2023
Reykjavik, Iceland126 contributions36 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
"Be aware of the difficulty getting through the park & to the hotels due to the contractor destroyed single 9 mile West Side access road."
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Linda D wrote a tip Jul 2022
Cape Coral, Florida89 contributions49 helpful votes
2.0 of 5 bubbles
"If there is a bench under your front window move it or strangers will be sitting in front of your room window."
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littlejoefromkokomo wrote a tip Jun 2022
California4 contributions2 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
"just stay away from here!"
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cookpias wrote a tip Sep 2020
Los Angeles, California1,671 contribution512 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
"Upstairs will be a BIT quieter"
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Heather H wrote a tip Jul 2020
9 contributions2 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"Use your reservation to get by if the roads are closed"
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LOCATION
United StatesMontanaWest Glacier
NUMBER OF ROOMS
28
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MOTEL LAKE MCDONALD

Frequently Asked Questions about Motel Lake McDonald
Which popular attractions are close to Motel Lake McDonald?
Nearby attractions include Avalanche Lake (4.8 miles), McDonald Creek (3.0 miles), and Sacred Dancing Cascade (1.8 miles).
Is parking available at Motel Lake McDonald?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
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