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.
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