2itchyfeet we have stayed at Chico Hot Springs several times over the last 20+ years and it just keeps getting better every time. I would reccomend a room in the Fishermans Lodge, it is a motel like building that allows you to park right outside your room, much easier to haul luggage. The fine dining restaurant is wonderful, they serve a pine nut crusted halibut that is awsome. Live music in the saloon every weekend, everything from rock, country and blues. The pool can be a bit crowded in the summer with families, but from Sept. till June it is magic! Enjoy a cup of coffee and the newspaper while watching the sun rise over the mountains. There is also plenty of activities besides the pool. River rafting, hiking, horseback rides, mountain biking, dog sled treks. No phones or tv in any of the rooms that we have stayed in. Chico is definetly more of a destination resort than the Maiden Basin (although we have never stayed at MBI we have just driven past) I hope this helps.
Hi if you are talking about the Yellowstone Basin Inn (5 miles north of Gardiner) we just stayed there and it was wonderful. Family run, it's like staying in a condo. Each room is individually named & decorated, all have private entrances, ours had two bedrooms upstairs and a sleeper sofa downstairs. There were two baths and a kitchen with a stove, microwave, coffee maker, and full refrigerator, all very clean and cooking utensils etc. provided. We did not get to use the big jacuzzi but it looked wonderful, there are also barbecues if you want to grill there and a nice continental breakfast is included. My kids loved the huge blueberry muffins in the morning! We definitely would go back, it was a great deal and the best place we stayed on our entire 12 day trip! :)
We have stayed at Chico at least once a year for the past 5 years. I do have to agree that each time has been better and better for us as well. We stay in the off season usually but have been there in the summer when the pool has been crowded. I think fall is my favorite time to stay. We have stayed in most of the cabins and found them all to be very nice. (the first visit we didn't have a lot of money and stayed in the rustic cabins. pretty rustic, but it still had a shower and heat.) The dining room is excellent, and you can't leave without having their signature flaming chocolate orange to top off the incredible meal. We want to try to get away without the kids, and stay in the Inn sometime soon. Looks very nice and quaint. I don't know anything about Maiden Basin Inn. I have driven past too, but the allure of the hot springs is just too great for me. Soaking is heaven.
We stayed at the Maiden Basin before the name change. We stayed for five nights then went to Idaho to see family for a few days and then came back for four more nights. The hot tub was great and the muffins were great. The only problem we had was with our room selection. We had requested a room overlooking the river for both stays. We got the river room for the first part of our stay but when we came back the owner had family in for a visit and they gave the river room to them and we ended up with a room at the back of the inn overlooking the propane tank. The room was still comfortable but we didn't appreciate the way we were treated. I would suggest if you decided to stay there to make sure the room selection was guanteed.
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Chico Hot Springs is a mess. The owners wanted to "retain the atmosphere" of it's (hopefully) better years, but all they have done is create a sort of shabby summer camp. The restaurant is supposed to be one of the best in Montana. God help Montana! The food is not far from inedible. If you're not too (at all) fussy, you may be satisfied. If you have travelled at all, or are in any way discerning, you will be immensely disappointed. Thank God it was full when we tried to book! We took instead a beautiful cabin on the Yellowstone River which was truly spectacular. We went to Chico one night for dinner and my wife and I were truly grateful that we had not been able to make a booking there! Simon Lucas