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“Classic comfort”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Grand Union Hotel

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Grand Union Hotel
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Fort Benton
Certificate of Excellence
Medicine Hat, Canada
Level Contributor
61 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“Classic comfort”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 21, 2012

This hotel and restaurant are incredible. You can tell that the restoration was a labour of love. We met one of the owners, Cheryl, who seems to be very "hands on". It is worth a trip to Fort Benton just to stay in this hotel. We had the largest suite- the Master Suite - and it was beautifully redone. The furniture is classic. It feels like you are in the living room of a turn of the century home but yet you have the comforts of a flat screen tv (very large) and the Internet (complimentary).

The bed was extremely comfortable. The bathroom is nice although the shower is a little small. There is a quaint claw foot tub which is also practical as it has a shower head and hose attached to it.

Our room had three long windows that looked out over the large deck at the front of the hotel. One of the windows was larger and had an entrance to the deck and the screen was loose. It would have been easy to go out on the deck. But it was old and there was no furniture on the deck so I asked if we were permitted to use the deck. I was advised that it wasn't a good idea as the railing was not very sturdy. This is my second "complaint" if you will. (The first one was that the shower was small). That room would be priceless with access to the deck and furniture on the deck. It could even be offered as an option to have private dining on the deck (for a fee of course). I think it is too beautiful a view to not use that spacious deck. Personally I love hotel rooms with decks and think it would add so much more value and prestige to that room to have deck access. While I did not step on to the deck I reached out and touched the floor and it seemed to be sturdy - if it is just an issue of the railings I would highly recommend the deck upgrade to be the next labour of love that the owners undertake !!

The menu at the restaurant was varied and interesting but not too "out there". The food was incredible and the prices were reasonable. The service at the restaurant was amazing and not just our server. I observed many other tables and servers. Everyone was professional and friendly. A table next to us was a little obnoxious - "city" people trying to show how learned they were. The young waitress was respectful and responded to their many "concerns". We got the feeling that the servers were very tight knit - a little later an older waitress spoke to them very politely and let them know that she was their server's mother. I admired that. She was not threatening or rude in any way - but i believe she let them know they couldn't push her daughter around, which was good. To be clear their waitress was nothing short of amazing. Too bad they didn't realize it.

Our waitress was also very skilled - in so many ways. I dislike servers who are trying to be cool all of the time. These servers were just good,honest people with fabulous people skills. Here's what I liked most about our waitress (and the general attitude of everyone employed there)- any time I asked a question and they couldn't answer it, the answer was, "I don't know but I will find out for you!". And sure enough, she did. Some of the big chain restaurants could learn a thing or two from this staff.

A few final comments - it would be nice if the hotel had some sort of recreation, like a pool and an exercise room. But maybe they don't want to attract young families or business people. I was just thinking of traveling with children and how kids always want a pool. I realize that is probably not possible but an exercise room should be. All they would need is a room in the basement, a treadmill, bike, elliptical and some weights (or not) and they would be set. As well, thinking about travelling with children, it would be nice if they had the option of larger suites, with a separate bedroom. Even the suite we had could have had the area with the bed in a separate room and then a sofa bed for kids But again, maybe this is not meant to attract young families.

As far as a romantic place, it is top notch. If you have ever stayed at the Palliser Hotel in Calgary, the room decor is similar, without the exorbitant prices.

I can say, without hesitation, that we will be back. This is a lovely gem in a quaint town.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank xxhermxx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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199 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (73)
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English first
Helena, Montana
Level Contributor
22 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 9, 2012

No complaints about the hotel, cleanliness, location; all great. We travel there for dinner 3 - 4 times a year, but it seems the quality of the food has dropped since the new Chef took over. Pretty bland, nothing edgy, but still the same price. Wine glasses have shrunk to the size you'll get at any Chinese restaurant and even the side of bread has gotten smaller. (We had to request it last time, didn't automatically appear.) Kinda sad, it's always been our "go to" place.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank B L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2012 via mobile

I first stayed at the Grand Union 7 years ago. I've been back every year since. As is the case with me, you should only go there if you have a genuine appreciation for fine dining. As a part time Montana resident, I can say it is the very best dining experience in the State. You should go there if you have an appreciation for History. It is located in the City dubbed "The Birthplace of Montana, and adjacent to Front Street, once known as the "bloodiest street in the west". And you should go there if you have an appreciation for the hard work, and pure passion of a Woman and her husband, who were bent on restoring and preserving a Montana Icon. It's a walk in the past, through the comfort of today, with unparalleled cuisine.
TMV

Stayed July 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Ted V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
utah
Level Contributor
115 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2012

The Grand Union is a demonstrably superior hotel in a very small but very historic town in Montana. Our room was large, beautifully appointed, and unusually comfortable.
This is a handsomely refurbished hotel dating to the 1880s.
We travel extensively in Montana, usually fishing (there's not much of that in Ft Benton), and this may be the finest accomodation available in the state short of an exclusive guest ranch.
The staff was helpful and accomodating.
Overall, you cannot do better and for history buffs, the city of Ft Benton is among the most historic locations in Montana. It relates to the opening of Monana, development of trading and
opening of the state, the Nez Perce War, and frontier commerce.
The historic sites are well developed and there are three museums in the city in addition to many varied sites.
Although on the higher range of rate schedules, the value is exceptional and the town is worthy of a minimum of two days of exploration.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank davide542
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
213 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2012

This hotel was built in 1882 but has been totally modernized. The rooms and beds are comfortable. Each room has its own bathroom. There is an elevator to help guests get their luggage upstairs. The decor looks like it's in keeping with the history of the hotel. The restaurant is fabulous and was the best meal we had during our trip (and was very reasonably priced). The history of Fort Benton is very interesting. There are numerous signs explaining the historical significance of the various buildings and people involved.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank DoubtingNag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montana
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 24, 2012

I have been staying at the Grand Union for both business and pleasure since it first opened in 1998. And because I'm a professional historian I've stayed at all of the other historic hotels in Montana (and many others throughout the West) since. By far the Grand Union is the grandest of Montana's historic hotels. There really is nothing else that even remotely compares in quality and elegance. I recently stayed at the Grand with a large group (as we then canoed a portion of the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument). The comments from the guests in my party of 20 were uniformly positive, even effusive. Indeed, year in and year out, similarly numbered groups (from all corners of the country) are awed by the magnificent and award-winning restoration of the hotel, the quality of the locally grown food always expertly prepared by the chef, the attention to detail, the cleanliness, and the helpfulness and energy of the always-friendly staff. This is one of Montana's true gems and I recommend it to anyone and everyone as an authentic "bucket list" experience. I can't think of anywhere else in the American West where one can sit within a few feet of the Missouri River while dining on bison or ribeye while sipping a local handcrafted beer or a glass of exquisite wine in a quiet, relaxed, yet elegant and truly historic setting. For anyone traveling along the trail of Lewis and Clark or between Glacier and Yellowstone Parks, the Grand Union hotel is an absolute must stay.

Room Tip: The hotel borders the Missouri river; try to get a riverside room. In the summer you also may be ab...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Boston1522
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whitefish, Montana
Level Contributor
107 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 20, 2012 via mobile

Probably as nice as a 19th century hotel with modern amenities can be while still maintaining the historic features. Very comfortable. Air conditioning somewhat noisy but effective. Breakfast included but quite limited.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank doddsfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Grand Union Hotel

Property: Grand Union Hotel
Address: 1 Grand Union Square, PO Box 1119, Fort Benton, MT 59442
Location: United States > Montana > Fort Benton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Fort Benton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Grand Union Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 26
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