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“Nightmare in Gardiner, MT @ Riverside Cottages”
Review of Riverside Cottages

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Riverside Cottages
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Gardiner
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 8, 2011

This was my 2nd most HORRIBLE travel experience in 50+ years of traveling throughout the world. Upon checking in late around 8:30 p.m. at Riverside Cottages overlooking the Yellowstone River on Rt. 89 in Gardiner, Montana, we were greeted by the owner, Edie Cox, who informed us that he and his wife were from Texas. Rather than simply hand us the keys to our ‘cottage,’ he gave us a very thorough walking orientation tour of his property, entering our room and showing us how to use the Dish TV remote and informing us about all of the wildlife that frequent their property, etc….He was very proud of how well they were doing, informed us of how many potential customers they turn away each night, and were building more cabins. My first impression was that this guy was a bit over-bearing when all we wanted to do was get showered and go to bed, but thought, well, perhaps this was simply Texas hospitality in Montana. That is, until the nightmare began. My husband and I had spent a very long day in Yellowstone National Park photographing scenery and writing travel journals. We were sunburned and very tired. I was second to hop into the shower and was soaking wet when the water went cold. Yes, I was miffed, as any of you would have been, after paying $140 for the room. So after taking my cold shower, drying off, and trying to get warmed up whilst watching the shocking news of the Casey Anthony trial on TV, I got up to blow dry my hair and there was no dryer in the room. So, I reluctantly called the owner at 10:00 p.m., ask him how he justified charging $140 for a room that was unable to deliver two consecutive hot showers and requested a hair dryer per their ‘hospitality’ guest card. He immediately became defensive and shouted into the phone, “I haven’t had a complaint in 6 years! I don’t care who you are, nobody talks to me like that! Why didn’t you just call me and I would have come down to take care of the hot water! (I guess I was supposed to have hopped out of the shower soaking wet, find the number to call him, and meet him at the door naked) - I’ll refund your money and you can get out of here!!!” First, I didn’t appreciate being completely disregarded as though my complaint was invalid by his thoughtless reply, “nobody else has ever complained!” Frankly, I consider such an idiotic statement defensive and immature. Rather than simply apologizing, acting in a civil manner, and having his wife deliver a blow dryer, this guy goes off on me! Then the nightmare escalates by this large looming man coming down to our room without a blow dryer, insisting on entering our room to see if the water was hot, while I am standing there in a nighty with my husband already in bed half asleep!!! Upon entering the room, the owner insists on us packing up our things and getting out stating, “Do you have any idea how many times I could have rented this room tonight?!” Here I am, 5’1” tall, facing off with a very intimidating 6'4" man who is verbally assaulting me because he refused to believe his ‘cottage’ didn’t have enough hot water, and was apparently offended that I would dare raise a complaint! I was in no way rude, just succinct and to the point, so it’s not like I was cursing him out or using inappropriate language! My husband, who is older than me, wasn’t about to hop up out of bed in his underwear, face off with an irrational mad man, escalate the situation, and end up in the hospital, so there I was holding my own, a woman of nearly 60 years old, being bullied by the cocky Texan! He was so out of control that I honestly felt threatened as he was shouting at us to vacate the premises. Just then his wife, Laura Cox, enters our room with the blow dryer and goes back to the shower with her hubby and turns on the shower to test the temperature of the water as though neither of them believed me! This is now almost 30 minutes since I was in the shower, so I simply said, “the water heater may have recovered by now.” The hulk spun on his Texas spurs and again repeated he "didn’t care who we were and we had to leave immediately!" I refused to back down and told him we had no place to go out in the middle of nowhere when all the properties near Yellowstone, this time of the year, were booked solid. He didn’t care one iota and kept insisting on refunding our money while attempting to throw us out on our ears! I told him we were too tired to go anywhere, would NOT vacate the room, but I would call the local sheriff instead because we had not done anything wrong to merit being treated in such an abusive manner. Believe me, this nightmare is exactly depicted as it happened – or should I call it a night terror?!?! But alas, the never ending story continues….about 30 minutes later, around 10:45 p.m., when my hair is dried and I am ready to collapse into bed, the hulk came back down to our ‘cottage’ and informed us he had found us a room at the Gardiner Comfort Inn and he would transfer our funds. I repeated, with a very stern tone, that we were too tired to pack up our things and move and would remain in our room for the night. Just as I am about to call 911 for help, he walked off saying, “I hope you are able to sleep tonight!” Well, guess what, after such a shocking and downright abusive experience, I was UNable to sleep at all because I was so emotionally distraught wondering if he would again return! Our grand journey through the West from Arizona through Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana was greatly diminished by this travel terror that left me traumatized and feeling quite ill from lack of rest. So the moral of this story is: don’t dare step out of line at Riverside Cottages or open your mouth about anything whatsoever, or the owner may throw you over the rails into the Yellowstone River or feed you to the foraging bears they are so proud of, and you may never be heard from again….travelers BEWARE of the ‘Wild-life’ in Gardiner, Montana!

Room Tip: Try to get a room @ Mammouth Hot Springs or Roosevelt Lodge and AVOID Gardiner, Montana!
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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43  Thank WorldSprinter18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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244 - 250 of 274 reviews

Reviewed January 3, 2011

We arrived in Gardiner at 11:00 PM, but our host, Eddie, was waiting to show us our parking spot, help us with luggage, and acquaint us with "our" home and property. We entered the family cottage through a covered patio, complete with table, chairs, and a grill. Inside, the cottage was newly painted and sparkling clean. We had ample room to prepare and eat meals, store food and belongings, and room for our two-year-old grandson to scatter his toys. We found enough electrical outlets to charge DVD's, cameras, phones and i pods and to plug in hair dryers and curling irons. My husband and I had a bedroom and our daughter and grandson were quite comfortable on the living room sofa bed. Best of all, our knowledgable hosts told us the best places for adventures, activities, and finding wildlife. They even loaned us beach towels for a dip in the Boiling River. This is the perfect place for exploring YNP. We did not want to leave.

Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
2  Thank curysue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2010

We stayed here over the labor day long weekend 2010. We had a very pleasant stay at the Riverside cottage. We flew to Bozeman by a late flight and reached Gardiner around 1 am in the night. Even at that time the owner Eddie welcomed us with a smile on his face. After that he showed us the cottage and told us about some of the recent wildlife sightings around the cottage.
The cottage we stayed in was pretty big with 2 queen beds. It also had a small but well equipped with dishes, utensils, refrigerator, gas stove, etc.
The bedroom had an A.C. as well as heater.
Gardiner is a nice town with a grocery store and a few restaurants and is located right near the North Entrance of the Yellowstone National park so is ideal for exploring the park.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank suyog82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2010

The efficiency was the perfect size for two people. We were very comfortable and in walking distance of everything in town. Eddie, the owner, was totally awesome with his great knowledge of the town and Yellowstone! I even lost an ear ring and they are sending it to me! Great place!
Buster and Mona

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank crossPlains
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2010

These cabins were perfect for our vacation to Yellowstone. They were clean and basic, just what we wanted. Satellite TV was a big bonus. They are much nicer than the cabins we stayed at in Yellowstone. Owners were helpful and kind. We go back again.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled with friends
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1  Thank soho204
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2009

Didn't look like the pictures that were on their internet site. There was a main road, a sidewalk, and one set of cottages....a gravel parking area and the other set of cottages, and then a steep drop-off down to the river. You were mostly looking across the river into neighbor's junky backyards. However, at one spot, you could see the Roosevelt Arch. The room smelled musty. There was no hairdryer. At 3 p.m., we had not received room service, but after requesting, did get clean towels. The staff was the nicest thing about the place. By the way, Lucy the Duck is in a pen with a dirty pool. We saw no wildlife, there was a salt-lick over the bank. The hot tub and gazebo looked nice, but there were too many other guests sharing it, so we didn't go. If we visit Gardiner again, I would probably upgrade to a chain motel.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank Radioactive52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2009

We stayed in one of the "efficiencies", which are basic motel style rooms. There was an adjoining door between our room and the adjacent one, and we were particularly unlucky one night with a rowdy neighbour. The wireless internet barely worked for the four days that we were there. We only wanted a place to sleep in the park so weren't fussy, the coffee was good and the shower worked, and there was a fridge and microwave, but the air conditioning was a rattling window box which actually filled up the entire window making the room extremely dark, dingy and noisy. The external facilities such as the hot tub and riverside access were a pleasure.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Betjeman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Riverside Cottages

Address: 521 Scott Street West, Highway 89 & 2nd Street, Gardiner, MT 59030
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Montana > Gardiner
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Gardiner
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are located at the North Entrance to Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner Montana. We have efficiencies, cottages, studios and one and two bedroom suites that offer something for everyone. Our cottages and suites have full kitchens. Our efficiencies are smaller like traditional motel rooms. ... more   less 

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