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“Very nice place, dining options not that great (defintely not for vegetarians)”

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Lone Mountain Ranch
Ranked #2 of 9 Hotels in Big Sky
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 5, 2013

We visited during the week of 4th of July (2012), and the place was surprisingly empty. Only 19 guests total, out of their capacity of about 80. We were told this was quite unusual.

Accommodations: We had the Hilltop cabin. Very nice size and comfortable, though it is quite old (it is one of the original cabins). On the 5th night, we discovered there was a bat flying around inside the cabin at night. The next morning they were unable to get rid of the bat, so they moved us to the Columbine/Aspen cabin. Actually, we liked Columbine/Aspen better; it is brighter, nicer, bigger, and newer.

Kids program: LMR has a wonderful kids program. Plenty of activities, and a very enthusiastic and friendly staff. Our kids loved them. You should be aware that they do bring in local kids to participate in the kids program activities, so it is not just the guests’ kids.

Horseback riding: This was definitely a highlight of the week we spent here. They have a super-friendly staff. Beautiful trails. Great horses, well taken care of.

Activities: There are many activities to choose from, and overall it is quite well organized. You sign up for everything by the end of day 2, for the rest of the week. We tried fly-fishing (fun, and they do take care of everything for you). My wife did yoga (although on one of the three days, the instructor failed to show up… even though there were people signed up for the class). White water rafting is available through an outside company, and is a lot of fun as well. They also had an all-day guided trip to Yellowstone (Chris was our naturalist/guide; he was great and very informative). And we did a canoe trip, which was guided by Andrea, who was another wonderful and knowledgeable naturalist.

Dining: This is the weakest aspect of the ranch. The food itself is not bad, at least for dinner. They do make a very nice steak, and the BBQ is great (at least for meat-eaters!). However, the dining menu is very limited, and repetitive (the same 4 entrees every night, same 5 or 6 appetizers, and same 3-4 desserts). They do have one special appetizer and one special entree each night.

Breakfast is basic, but ok. Standard self-serve eggs, bacon, toast etc… like what you get at a standard hotel chain that has free breakfast. At breakfast, coffee comes from a dispenser where it may have been sitting for a couple of hours, so it often is not hot and not fresh. If you need to bring a lunch for a day trip, you have to make it yourself (they put out cold cuts and snacks at breakfast so you can assemble lunch sandwiches, but they do not prepare them for you).

Lunches were uneven. The first day was cold slider burgers that had obviously been sitting there for a while. Same thing on day 2. They usually had more cold cuts and bread, so you could make a sandwich. One day they had fried chicken.

Nothing is prepared to order for breakfast or lunch, so the burgers, eggs, whatever may have been sitting there for a while. A couple of times I noticed that all the water had boiled away from the soup, and once the same thing happened to the oatmeal.

Service in the dining room was uneven as well. Most days were fine, but a couple of times we had to wait over an hour for our food to come. Again, there were only 19 guests that week, so there’s really no excuse for that kind of service.

Also, contrary to some of the other reviews here, we did not find that they remembered us, or our drink preferences, from one day to the next. We ordered pretty much the same drinks every night, but the server never caught on. That seemed kind of strange, since there were so few guests that week.

But the worst part was the failure to accommodate vegetarians. Don’t go here if you have any special dietary needs. We were told that they can accommodate special dietary needs/restrictions, but that definitely did not happen. My wife is a vegetarian, and we told them in advance (three times), but there were no real options for her (other than just eating the starter salad and the veggie side dishes). We mentioned this a few times during our stay, to a few different people, but nothing changed for several days. By the fourth or fifth day, she was starting to feel quite trapped by the lack of food options; it’s not like you can just go to a restaurant or somewhere to get something to eat; you are stuck on the ranch. Finally, I guess I mentioned it to the right person (Caroline in the office), and on day 5 (out of our 7-day stay), some vegetarian options started to show up.

For lunches, there were no vegetarian options like tuna sandwiches or PB&J… just the same cold cuts each day (ham, turkey, roast beef). At one point I overheard them offering kids in the kids program some PB&J so I asked them to bring that out; they did, just for that one day, but the next day it was back to cold cuts.

On day 3 they had a barbecue and there were literally no vegetarian options (just beef, pork, and ribs). For 4th of July there was another barbecue (a pig roast). For that, they did bring out a few veggie burgers (this was after we had complained about the lack of vegetarian options 2 or 3 times).

Overall, it’s a great place to relax and enjoy the many activities the ranch has to offer. Our kids had a wonderful time as well. However, there is definitely room for improvement in the dining experience, by improving the service, offering more variety, and catering to those with special dietary restrictions.

Room Tip: Columbine/Aspen cabin is really nice.
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Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
3  Thank bentobox99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bob F, General Manager at Lone Mountain Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded April 22, 2013

What I appreciated in this review was their critique of the entire vacation, not just the areas they liked or disliked. I also appreciated their balanced approach. The final paragraph sums up their review very well and my reaction. We did have problems last summer in our dining and kitchen staff. I arrived in mid-July, 2012 and we now have a new head Chef and director of dining room operations. We understand that you can do everything right in all areas of your resort but if you don't give a positive experience in the dining roon, you will not succeed. We do want and will cater to all dietary requests and preferences. Our Chef, dining room manager and myself are giving our personal guarantee this summer to your culinary experience at Lone Mountain or your personal stay is free.

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155 - 161 of 208 reviews

Reviewed March 14, 2013

this review is for the skiing only. Ditto to all of the other positive reviews out there, but will add that the views and scenery is spectacular. I went up mountain toward the end of the day when the soft, afternoon light was hitting Yellow Mountain. Very beautiful up there, but not for novice skiers. Highly recommend LM skiing!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank makalu55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bob F, General Manager at Lone Mountain Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded March 17, 2013

We are thrilled you enjoyed your skiing at Lone Mountain and appreciate your recommendation. The strength of our trail system is not only its length (over 90 k) but the diversity of our terrain. With over 1,500 ft of vertical change we can offer beginner to intermediate skiing on our lower section and great intermediate to advanced Classic or Skating on the mountain segment. The entire system offers alternating exposures of secluded tree lined stretches to wide open vistas of the Spanish Peaks to jaw-dropping views of Lone Mountain.

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Reviewed March 7, 2013

We've visited LMR every year for 10 years, but our visit this year was a big disappointment. The skiing was fabulous. The trails are well maintained and the Nordic staff is quite helpful. One cabin was clean and nice. But the food, oh the food, was just not what it used to be or what they portray it to be. Breakfast varied between two buffet offerings, both featuring dried out scrambled eggs and soggy potatoes. The lunch menu was IDENTICAL ever day of the week. Some items on the lunch soup, salad, dessert bar changed, but not many. And while the dinner food quality was good, we are pescatarian (vegetarian plus fish/seafood) and had communicated that ahead of time, as always. In previous years, we have never had a problem with good dinner options, but this year the exact same vegetarian entree was on the menu the entire week and three nights, they ran out of the fish entree. When I read on their website that they accommodate dietary restrictions with personal attention, I want to make potential guests aware that is not true.

Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
6  Thank Vera M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bob F, General Manager at Lone Mountain Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded March 14, 2013

The success of any hospitality business depends upon cultivating and then retaining their current guests. This review was not only a disappointment to our guest but also to our entire staff. This is not our standard of guest care or service. As you can see from other reviews, this is not our pattern. But in this case we blew it in the kitchen and dining room. We have changed the way we handle "special dietary" requests and the way the dining room staff presents alternatives to the breakfast and lunch buffets. If we had known of the situation before the guest had checked out, we would have pursued a resolution to this situation. In this case we will reach out to them by mail.

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Reviewed February 15, 2013

Staying at Lone Mtn. Ranch was fabulous. The staff, guides, and instructors took care of everything from ski lessons to Yellowstone excursions. The food was fabulous. We especially enjoyed the sleigh ride and dinner, complete with entertainment.
Beautiful, snow covered hillsides are in every direction, making cross-country skiing and snow shoeing the best I've seen. Our private cabin was warm, quiet and comfortable.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank JaKo106
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2013

We've visited Lone Mountain ranch four winters straight and have reserved a week next year as well. We feel so lucky to have found it. This is a magical, peaceful place with wonderful service, kind people, and cozy cabins. It's not luxurious in the way a typical resort would be, since it's really a place to get away from all of that. On the other hand, the food is truly outstanding! We live in a large city, and the chef could go head-to-head with any of our top restaurants any day. Even better, it's all included. For someone who enjoys cross-country skiing right outside the cabin door, easy access to Blue Sky and Yellowstone, and a wonderful place to relax in front of a fire, this is the perfect getaway.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Sarah S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2013

The cabins were warm and luxurious. The meals were fit for a foodie. And I learned to cross-country ski! A wonderful teacher - Martha - gave us a semi-private lesson and then we were able to ski around the property getting some exercise - and then lunch was so good... I had to ski some more, haha. We did the sleigh ride dinner which was amazing - the food, the entertainment and the stars showing brilliantly through the dark forest were unforgettable. They are willing to set you up with anything you want to do - back country snowshoeing, skiing, tours of Yellowstone and our guide (Andrea) was so knowledgeable and fun. I really hope to go back here again.

Room Tip: If you can get the 2 bedroom cabin its the best - separated from other cabins, has a cool fireplace...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank 7abitha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2013 via mobile

The sleigh ride dinner is a must do at Big Sky. Larry and Curly took us through snowy woods under a full moon to a beautiful candle lit cabin. The food was amazing and, by far, the best meal we had during our stay. Very romantic and a very special night. I would highly recommend it!

  • Stayed: January 2013
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1  Thank JLS10905
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lone Mountain Ranch

Address: 750 Lone Mountain Ranch Road, Big Sky, MT 59716
Location: United States > Montana > Big Sky
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 9 Hotels in Big Sky
Price Range: $226 - $299 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Lone Mountain Ranch 3.5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Lone Mountain Ranch (LMR), situated on 148 acres in beautiful Big Sky, Montana, was first homesteaded in 1915 and has long been recognized as one of the premier guest ranch resorts in the country. The property consists of 30 rooms located within 24 unique cabins as well as a restaurant and saloon, pavilion, retail shop, equestrian facilities, and meeting spaces. Listed on the National Registry of the Historic Places, a member of the Dude Rancher's Association, an Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Lodge, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World, and once voted the #1 Nordic ski area in North America, LMR offers authentic accommodations, genuine Montana cuisine, exceptional service, and a stunning array of outdoor activities. Combine these attributes with close proximity to Yellowstone National Park, Big Sky Resort, as well as Bozeman Airport, and we believe the LMR guest experience is unlike any other in the American West. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lone Mountain Guest Ranch Hotel Big Sky
Lone Mountain Ranch Big Sky, Montana

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