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“Great facility, poor value”

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Lone Mountain Ranch
Ranked #3 of 9 Hotels in Big Sky
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 22, 2013

This is a beautiful location, the cross-country trail network is outstanding, and it provides easy access to the slopes at Big Sky. I've been staying and skiing here for years, and it has always been one of our family's favorite winter destinations. Under the new owners, however, prices have gone way up, to the point that it no longer represents a reasonable value. Prices have roughly doubled over the last couple of years, to the point that they now want over $900/night for a family of four, a price that is simply not commensurate to the quality of the rooms (worn out mattresses, cheap sheets, scratchy towels, etc.). On top of the per person costs, they also now charge for a number of services that used to be included - for example, airport pickups, staff tips, and discount lift tickets at Big Sky, which are now available only if you pay a $100 surcharge to the ranch. The food has always been good, and in past years the staff was outstanding and one of the best reasons to stay there, although I understand a number of the long-time staff have left or been forced out. It's too bad that management is taking things in this direction - as a result, Lone Mountain Ranch is no longer the laid-back and undiscovered gem that it once was. I doubt we will be coming back.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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9  Thank EustaceHPlimsoll
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 September 2, 2013

In the West, a cowboy's word is his bond. At Lone Mountain the expectations we create by our marketing and past guest experiences are our bond with our guests, especially with former guests. We did not deliver in this case and we are very disappointed. We do wish we had known of these issues earlier so we could have corrected or resolved them. On point of clarification, for the last three years we have been slowing moving to an all-inclusive rate where transportation, ski passes, rentals, pour wine and draft beer is all included in rate. From that perspective, our rates have increased. We are still very sorry for your experience and if you would give us another chance we will make it right.

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142 - 148 of 208 reviews

Reviewed August 19, 2013

My wife and I brought our 3 children (11,9 & 7) and had an absolutely incredible time at LMR. The staff was great, the opportunity to try new things was fun, and the time together as a family made this a wonderful place to go for an active vacation.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Laurence H
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 September 2, 2013

This reviewer underscores the great advantage of an all-inclusive dude ranch vacation..."time together as a family". We take care of all the cleaning, cooking and planning which allows you to spend that time with the most important people in your life. P.S. Don't let your kids know about this or they'll never go with you.

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Reviewed August 16, 2013

My family of 6 just returned from a stay at Lone Mountain Guest Ranch, and I have to say that it is, hands down, one of the best family vacations we've had. Our 4 kids range in age from 10-18, and we all went together to participate in all the activities: horseback riding, fly-fishing, whitewater rafting, zip-lining, touring Yellowstone, hiking, etc.. This is a place where the parents can do everything WITH their kids if they choose, or where the younger kids can go and participate in the kids' programs if the parents need a break or the kids are too young. We never utilized the kids' program, but the kids I saw seemed to be having a great time.
The service and friendliness of the staff is unmatched, the food is great, the entertainment is fun and relaxing.
We have been to many, many destinations: Relais and Chateaux properties, Four Seasons resorts, and have been to Europe, the Caribbean, Hawaii, Mexico, and Costa Rica, many times. While those have all been great trips in their own ways, Lone Mountain Ranch provided a fantastic family memory-making trip that we will never forget.

Room Tip: We stayed at Ridgetop, which is a huge, lovely log home with its own hot tub. The rooms are huge an...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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Thank EDmom24
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 September 2, 2013

WOW! It is really fun when you hit not just a home run but a grand slam. This is why an all-inclusive dude ranch vacation is THE best family vacation around. Thanks for sharing your experiences. We look forward to doing it again.

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Reviewed August 4, 2013

We just came back from an 8-night stay at LMR. It was the Montana vacation that we have always dreamed of. I had researched and planned this trip 1 1/2 years in advance and it was well worth the wait. The views are just unbelievable, the staff so friendly, the ranch just beautiful. We stayed in the Bighorn cabin, and the creek runs under the front deck. With the cool temperatures in July and the sound of the creek running each night, sleep came easily. We did the Yellowstone tour which was fun, but I would have liked the opportunity to have stayed at each area a bit longer. We all would have liked to have watched the Elk and Bison for a longer period of time. My husband and I did the all day horseback ride into Yellowstone..what a view. Our first time fly-fishing and it was great! The girls caught the fish..not the boys. We would love to come back and experience this ranch during the Winter. Thanks to the staff for a wonderful vacation.

Scott, Dana, Caleb and Katie from Chesapeake, VA.

Room Tip: Book it early!! Look at the website and review over the cabins..see what would work best for you. I...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank DanaK106
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 August 11, 2013

Having the opportunity to fulfill families western vacation dreams is what gets us up in the morning, puts a smile on our face and a spring in our step. Their conclusion is "right on", it's our entire staff that makes a vacation. Now start dreaming of a white Christmas in Montana.

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Reviewed July 29, 2013

Lone Mountain Ranch in Big Sky, Montana is one of the most beautiful places we have every visited! The property, staff, food, horses, fly fishing, all the activities far exceeded our expectations!!! The staff and guides are so knowledgeable. Everyone involved goes out of their way to make your stay an experience of a lifetime!

Thank you, thank you, Lone Mountain Ranch...we can't wait to come back!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Lisa G
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 August 11, 2013

Managing our guests expectations before they come and then exceeding them when they arrive is our full time job. Thanks Lisa for giving us the opportunity of serving and hosting your family. We look forward to your next visit when you will not just be our guest but part of our family with a Big # 2 on your name tag.

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Reviewed July 16, 2013

This is the 5th dude ranch we have enjoyed. We love 4 star dude ranches that cater to those who love the beauty of the mountains, great food, decor, comfort and attentive service. Lone Mountain has a gorgeous property in Big Sky Montana, near the cute town of Bozeman. The people who work there are educated and dedicated environmentalists. Andrea, the guide who takes people to Yellowstone as well as birdwatching hikes, is a PhD candidate in environmental science. The hours spent listening to her passion re: this area were a treasure. I learned so much from her! Same with the hike to Ouzel Falls with Kaitlin, and the kayak and canoe day with ... oh, I forgot his name.... but he's from the National Forest department and now works as a guide at Lone Mountain. I had a great massage from his wife after a horseback ride. Everyone was helpful. The pastry chef is fabulous, the food is very good. We love all the ranches we've visited. They all have different strengths. They are all 4 star equivalent.

Thank lvtrvlchicago
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 August 11, 2013

This Chicago reviewer learned a valuable lesson in her five visits to dude ranches..."They all have different strengths". She enumerated many of ours. Thank you and we look forward to your 6th visit, no matter where you go. By the way, the name she forgot was Chris. He is also a master furniture and wood maker. Most of our full time staff are well educated and love to share their home at Lone Mountain with our guests.

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Reviewed July 1, 2013

Get ready to create your personal dream vacation. The five of us were blown away by the beauty of the LMR. Our Douglas Fir cabin was gorgeous and immaculate, with incredible views. We had avid horseback riders in the group, who were able to go on advance rides, and new comers who were learning. Everyone enjoyed their horses (loved Tiger and Socks), especially our 15 year old horse crazy daughter. Hikes with Denise were amazing - so much to learn and see. Breakfast and lunch buffet style suited everyone's taste - the salads and fruit were so fresh. Dinner was great - with some consistent menu choices and then 4-5 specials every night to try. Don't miss the desserts - especially the choc chip scones in the morning.
We had trouble fitting everything in - so give some thought in advance to what you want to do most. All 5 people caught a fish fly fishing, though most of us were novices. We saw moose, elk, bear, coyote - and the bird watching hike probably netted us 15-20 types. And leave time for some of the unusual activities at the ranch - the high ropes course is very challenging and fun, archery was great, Tiny taught us how to rope, and if you have a car, make sure you do the oezul (sp?) falls hike - it's well maintained and beautiful.
Finally - if you want to be spoiled by wonderful service and some great friendly people - this is the place. Every part of the ranch - from horseback riding, hiking, kids club, dining area - they are focused on making sure you have a great time. This is hospitality at its best. The maint. people even helped us when we got a flat tire. I can honestly say this exceeded my expectations - a trip that can be tailored to your passions in an amazing backdrop of mountains.

Room Tip: If your group is big enough and in good shape - do the douglas fir cabin. It's gorgeous. But it...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank vball19
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 July 6, 2013

One portion of our mission statement says "we want to fulfill your western vacation dreams". I'm very happy we did just that with this family. We thank you for your kind review. Our staff deserves all the credit for these positive comments.

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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 #3 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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