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“Wanna come back soon”
Review of Izaak Walton Inn

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Izaak Walton Inn
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Essex
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 31, 2014

My first visit to Glacier National Park. My friend and I decided we wanted to try something new. I travel with my dog and she is used to hotels. This is the first time the Inn has been able to have rooms that allow pets. They are in cabins about a mile down the road formerly called "the Halfway Inn". We did not know what to expect but the cabins have no landline phones nor is there any cell phone coverage. The only place there is any internet is the inn lobby and the day we arrived it was down as well. So electronic leash was off. The cabin was as rustic as we wanted and it happened we were the only guests. However my friend had asked if we could check in earlier than 300pm and they said yes but got there and they would not because the room was not clean. So we were stuck trying to find a place to get a snack while the room was being cleaned. We were able to get into the room at 130pm. We were very surprised. It had 2 queen beds with the great northern railway duvets on the beds. The beds were comfortable and the room was comfy and clean. It has a small microwave and refrigerator.The negative is that we could not summon the front desk for anything without driving down to the inn. They do not charge extra for the pet and I am glad they finally allowed pets because the inn itself does not allow them. Most places in glacier do not and makes it difficult to find something while there.. We were happy with the cabin and will be back again.

Room Tip: if u want to travel with your pet this is a good option
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  • Stayed: August 2014, traveled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank carolornurse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IzaakWaltonInn, General Manager at Izaak Walton Inn, responded to this reviewResponded September 18, 2014

Hello carolornurse,

I'm very glad we were able to accommodate your pet in our Mercantile rooms! I am a pet lover and enjoy traveling with my pup. The Mercantile rooms are our more basic rooms by the general store a mile to the west from the Inn here, and I'm glad they were what you were looking for. I hope you were able to get your pet out and walk a few near by trails! I look forward to seeing you and your four legged friend in the future.

Sincerely,
Julia Garvey
General Manager

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261 - 267 of 583 reviews

Reviewed August 30, 2014

I read previous reviews and want to say first, the WIFI issue is fixed!
Good Wifi coverage in the Lodge up to 3rd floor and on NEW dining porch and even into parking lot. There is no cell phone coverage but that is an issue beyond the hotel's control. Enjoy the freedom from your electronic leash.
Car rentals available at hotel, big plus for us train travelers. Hotel is right off the road that comprises the "Going to the Sun Road Loop." Take the day long tour or drive it yourself.
Food was outstanding, well prepared, served quickly with excellent presentation.
We originally reserved a caboose but somehow the reservation was lost and no cabooses were available. I called to firm up details about arriving on a late train and the snafu was discovered and corrected graciously. We were allowed to tour the newest renovation of a caboose but were assigned a larger cabin across the tracks. This arrangement worked beautifully for us and I cannot praise the staff enough for going out of their way to make us happy.
We were not an easy crowd to deal with, mom, grandma and two pre-schoolers arriving on a late night train and departing on same train a couple of days later. Everyone made certain everything worked well for us.
The kids loved the small simple playground next to the parking lot.
Both kids are train lovers and could not get enough of dining on the porch overlooking the tracks and watching the trains go by. Walking across the metal bridge above the tracks was a huge hit, especially when a train rumbled beneath! We were not disturbed by the noise but, be prepared, this is a train lover's paradise and there is train noise.
Loved the walking trails but they could be better marked, my only complaint. I would love to come back and check out the maze of cross-country ski trails too.
I can't wait to go back!

Room Tip: Best cabooses are on the Lodge side. Quietest are the cabins.
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  • Stayed: August 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank kenneytoms
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IzaakWaltonInn, General Manager at Izaak Walton Inn, responded to this reviewResponded September 18, 2014

Hi Kenneytoms,

Thank you for taking the time to leave us your feedback. Yes we have been able to increase our wifi coverage and it extends to the lobby and porch which is exciting. Unfortunately due the remote location we still have a wee bit sluggish speed, but I don't believe people come here for the wifi as you indicated. I'm very happy you enjoyed the food and your accommodations too. I'm glad you choose the train arrival and I hope you come and see us again next year!

Sincerely,
Julia Garvey

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Reviewed August 26, 2014

Updated as I was contacted by the Izaak Walton Inn after posting my original review...

We reserved one night in the GN441 luxury locomotive (it is normally a two night minimum, but it was nearly fully booked and we could only get one night) thinking we would utilize the accommodations by making dinner, and then enjoying a movie with the kids while watching the trains go by. If only it had gone that way.

First, let me say the accommodations, while very compact, are wonderful. The kids loved playing engineer, and the furnishings and finishes were very nice (although the cowhide rug is a little the worse for wear). There are lots of wonderful little touches that make the locomotive charming and welcoming. I should also mention that noise from the trains going by was NOT an issue for us in the locomotive, despite it being very close to the tracks. We heard nothing at night (we had the AC running, though - without that, it might be a different story). I wanted to be sure to mention how quiet the locomotive was because of the reviews from guests who stayed in the main building mentioning the train noise - it was not an issue for us in the GN441.

Unfortunately, though, the night we visited, there was a power outage in the area. Being unable to prepare dinner as we had planned, but thinking to make the best of it, we went to the on-site restaurant for dinner as the main lodge is powered by a backup generator (which, incidentally, sits RIGHT next to the locomotive...couldn't open the south-facing bedroom window or door due to the noise and fumes). The locomotive and, presumably, all the other rail cars are NOT powered by the generator.

After dinner, still no power, so we began having our kids get ready for bed - thus, showers were in order. Unfortunately we didn't realize that the hot water is apparently electric, not gas, so there was no hot water for showers. Once we realized there would be no showers, no fan, no open windows in the bedroom, and thus no SLEEP, I went into the inn and asked if they had a room there where we would at least be able to get warm showers and some sleep. The person working the front desk informed me he had just filled the last room. Unfortunate timing for us. Back to the locomotive, where the only thing we could do was sit outside to keep cool while trying to avoid the generator fumes. Thankfully the power came back on just before 10pm, so we were finally able to get the space cooled down and get some sleep.

In the morning I went to the front desk and asked to speak to the manager. The person I spoke with listened to my complaints and then asked what I wanted to have happen. I requested that they do a partial refund of my room rate, since we were forced to dine in their restaurant instead of being able to make dinner , and since the entire "luxury" aspect of the lodging is a moot point when you are carrying flashlight and there is no AC, no ability to cook, no TV, no hot water, etc. I know the power outage wasn't their fault, but it wasn't mine either. I didn't want them to completely comp the room, but I did think it would be reasonable to refund 25% or so, as that would at least cover the dinner we were forced to pay for (we had food in our cooler that we had intended to prepare but couldn't because of the power being out).

The manager informed me that she didn't have the ability to do refunds, but said she would speak to whoever could do this. It took about three weeks, but I was finally contacted by the IW Inn and they offered to refund a sizable portion of the stay due to the inconvenience. I greatly appreciated their following up - it took a little while, but they did follow through and the resolution they offered was more than fair.

If we visit the area again, I would consider staying at the Izaak Walton Inn - I'll just hope for better luck with the power! If we'd had electricity for our entire visit, I think we would have had a stellar time. The accommodations were excellent, and the location quite lovely (a bit of a drive from the west entrance to Glacier, but picturesque in its own right). Basically, we just had bad luck.

Room Tip: Highly recommend GN441 locomotive. Cozy, but well appointed and charming.
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  • Stayed: August 2014, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank GracieCNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IzaakWaltonInn, General Manager at Izaak Walton Inn, responded to this reviewResponded September 18, 2014

Hello GracieCNY,

I know how frustrating area power outages can be especially when you are trying to enjoy your vacation. I'm glad we had the opportunity to get a hold of you and rectify the issues you encountered. I hope to see you and your family again in the future!

Sincerely,
Julia Garvey

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Reviewed August 24, 2014

We've stayed at the Isaak Walton a couple of times -- it's a wonderfully romantic inn, in my opinion. And it's the perfect place if you love trains. Amtrak runs right out front and stops at the inn twice a day, and there are numerous trains that pass by at all hours. Strangely enough, even though this is the case, we were not kept awake by the rail traffic, even with the windows open. The inn is an authentic railroad hotel and has no air conditioning -- but even when the Montana days are hot, the nights get very cool. If you arrive and leave on the train, you can either rent a car at the Isaak Walton and tour Glacier National Park on your own -- or hop on one of the red 'jammer' tour vehicles that stops several times a day at the hotel, and see the park that way. The restaurant in the hotel has excellent food and drinks. This inn is like stepping back in time, everything paneled in real wood, everything beautifully restored. My husband and I try and make this a yearly getaway. It's one of our all-time favorite places.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Mary K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IzaakWaltonInn, General Manager at Izaak Walton Inn, responded to this reviewResponded September 18, 2014

Hello Mary K,

I am happy to see you have returned to the Inn and had another great stay with us! I agree the noise from the train generally does not get noticed too often., and i'm very happy you have chosen us as one of your all time favorite places! This unique rustic Inn is a real gem! Can't wait to see you next year!

Sincerely,
Julia Garvey

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Reviewed August 24, 2014

We decided to stay two nights here during our week in Glacier National Park due to the charming-appearing historical train cars on the website. The cars were all full for the nights we wanted, so we booked the honeymoon cabin instead.

When we first arrived at the Inn, we were told our cabins were over the train tracks, therefore a few minute walk on a gravel road over a bridge, or a 3-mile drive down a gravel road full of potholes if we wanted to get our bags in. We don't mind walking, I just didn't expect to be so far removed from the main Inn, and by a gravel road and train tracks at that. This little cabin would have been nicer if we planned to camp, but seeing as how we did not have our own food or supplies, we really wanted more of the lodge amenities.

The cabin was nice, small, but lined with cedar, somewhat designed how I'd like my own cabin in the woods someday. It was a little weird that there was a lofted space with nothing in it - I imagine in the other cabins this held bedding, but for some reason, our double bed was on the first floor, taking up space that could have been otherwise used. There was a cute kitchen and nice front porch. The bedroom was so small that the walls touched three sides of the bed which was not comfortable. The cabin seemed really remote and quiet until the trains came through at night - they were really loud and very disturbing.

The first night we were there, as mentioned in other reviews, the power was out for hours. After having dinner we returned to the lodge and stopped by the front desk to see what the situation was. The main Inn still had power as it had a generator. It's not their fault that the power went out, but it sucked that half of the guests had power while those paying more for the cabins and train cars didn't. We asked if any other rooms were available, and there was one - a tiny room that was over the kitchen, smelled like food, and was right next to the gas-guzzling generator. It was hot as hell and stank, so we decided we'd brave the power outage instead.

We walked back to our cabin in pitch black darkness (not really safe in bear country) and put out our headlights and a flashlight to see around the cabin. It wasn't so bad until we realized that the power also affected the water. So we had no power and no water (not even cold or hot), and there was no way to call the front desk, as there aren't phones in the cabins and there is no cell service either. As we stood there in our pajamas, we had to decide if we could make it the night or if we wanted to pack up our bags and drag them along the gravel road back to the Inn to see if the room was still available. We decided just to hunker down for the night and leave in the morning if things weren't fixed. For $260/night, this really sucked. The power and water came back on around 3am. The next night, it was cold, and our heater didn't work. After no one could figure out how to fix it, we were given a space heater.

Though the common areas are cute, there's no way I would stay here again. It's far away from any Glacier activities we had planned, and the power going out and walk over the gravel road just ruined me. We didn't even get to enjoy the common areas of the Inn due to the remote access of the cabins, which is the only reason we stayed here. I suppose I would recommend picking a nice large room in the lodge if you want to stay here. If you want a cabin, it'd be better if you were camping.

Room Tip: The cabins are remote and seem quiet yet get the really loud train noise all night long. Room 19 in...
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  • Stayed: August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank Kels2003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IzaakWaltonInn, General Manager at Izaak Walton Inn, responded to this reviewResponded September 7, 2014

Dear Kels2003,

Thank you for your review. Our cabins are located right across from the Inn/train tracks and generally preferred by guests for the privacy, view and proximity to our hiking trails. I am happy to see you liked the construction of the cabin, they are detailed really nicely. You are correct all of the other cabins do have sleeping quarters in the loft area. This cabin was built just a little bit smaller, therefore the loft space is too tight to have a sleeping area. Good catch! I am sorry to hear you were affected by the power outage, I know how frustrating that can be. If you would like to contact me personally please feel free to email me at julia@izzakwaltoninn.com.

Sincerely,
Julia Garvey
General Manager

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Reviewed August 21, 2014

We stayed here recently and found the grounds and rooms clean and well kept. The place is historic and housed rail workers... thus, the train decor throughout. There's a walking bridge that goes over the track where you can stand and watch trains pass below. There's also some cabooses/cabins and an engine car where you can spend the night, if available. We stayed in the inn. The cost is a bit spendy but in line with rates around Glacier during peak season. A few "honest" points - we stayed up quite late and noticed that when the dining room and bar areas close - the music turns up (as, they are finishing up for the evening)... you could say this is customary - however, in an inn of this type - it's a bit disconcerting as guests are paying to enjoy the property (not necessarily desiring to hear this type of music)... the bar music was cranked (at which point the night manager went down and immediately the music was cut... a good sign that they wanted to keep things in ck.) Also noted was that the bar was within earshot of the lobby. If you travel with kids this was something less than desirable. For the most part we give this place a good review - possibly, a bit of brush up on the professionalism and training of the seasonal help would go a long way - while we had help for items needed... there appeared to be a bit of "lack of care" at the front desk by one or so... it appeared that management was off-site and letting the seasonal help sort of run things. With this said, we were not disappointed in the stay at all... it's a neat place with a lot of character - we would definitely recommend!

  • Stayed: August 2014, traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank FollowOnesNose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IzaakWaltonInn, General Manager at Izaak Walton Inn, responded to this reviewResponded September 7, 2014

Hi FollowOnesNose,

Thank you for leaving us your feedback about your stay here at the Izaak. The set up of the Inn and basement are original to the property, and have not been altered, which is why I can see why you may find it would not be the set up if built now a days. I'm happy you enjoyed the grounds and found the price comparable to the other Lodges in the Glacier area. Thanks again for the review!

Sincerely,
Julia Garvey
General Manager

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Reviewed August 17, 2014

We booked a caboose but got one that looked nothing like the ones on the website. It was essentially a 70s vintage mobile home, overlooking very noisy US2, with tiny windows, that was very hot inside (it was called the "River View" or "Park View" Caboose. "Road View" or "No View" would have been more accurate). We fortunately got moved to a new cabin that was fine (although more $100 expensive than comparable lodging we got inside the Teton Park earlier in the trip). Dinner was OK -- a bit overpriced given the quality. The train-related memorabilia were interesting. It would be nice to have better wifi that was not just in the basement bar -- I was barely able to get my email to sync after 15 mins, let alone get on the web.

Room Tip: Avoid the non-luxury cabooses or cabin. "Luxury" apparently means clean.
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  • Stayed: August 2014, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank DartProf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IzaakWaltonInn, General Manager at Izaak Walton Inn, responded to this reviewResponded September 7, 2014

Hello DartProf,

I see you stayed in our Riverview caboose which is located down the road from our Inn here. I am very sorry to read you did not enjoy it. We do have five standard caboose for rent that will be transforming into Luxury Railcars this fall. Currently we have four Luxury Railcars onsite which do have the works. I am glad we were able to move you into a cabin for the remainder of your stay, although I know we did not meet your expectations which is disappointing. I hope you will give us another shot in the future to change your mind.

Sincerely,
Julia Garvey
General Manager

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Additional Information about Izaak Walton Inn

Address: 290 Izaak Walton Inn Rd, Essex, MT 59916-9708
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Montana > Essex
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Essex
Price Range: $115 - $170 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Izaak Walton Inn 3.5*
Number of rooms: 47
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to the Izaak Walton Inn & Resort, a family-owned retreat bordering Glacier National Park, in Essex, Montana. Specializing in outdoor adventure and serious relaxation, the Inn hosts activities year round fitting any age, interest and experience level including cross country skiing and guided back country tours, hiking, horse back riding, white water rafting to slow float and larger boat excursions. No matter what time of year you choose to visit, what pace you'll set your journey to, enjoy the nature, the history, and the hospitality found at the Izaak Walton Inn. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Izaak Walton Hotel Essex
Izaak Walton Essex

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