We had been drooling over this place since seeing it in a travel magazine years ago. Our children were finally old enough to make it worthwhile and we ventured out over the popular 4th of July week. We split our stay between the River Camp and one of the homes, having had a hard time determining which option was best for our family (and they all looked great!). Given the uncharacteristic heat wave Montana was experiencing that week, we were very grateful that at least part of our trip was in air conditioned bliss! The Timber Home was well-apportioned, lovely decor and well-maintained; nice amenities. Love the master bathroom. The main drawback -- we did not know that the house has only an iron spiral staircase leading to the loft (with the 2 double beds where we located the kids). Yikes! I was even nervous using it -- I can't tell you the worry and fuss about letting my kids sleep up there and worrying about how they would navigate that staircase at night while finding the bathroom (which is only on the first floor). When we spoke with a returning family and told them where we were staying, they commented "oh man, guess nobody warned you about the staircase". Indeed. I think guests with younger children need to be made aware when booking. Everything else about the home was lovely--and we liked having our assigned golf cart (I will say, the gas powered carts sputter and stall all the time and are nowhere near the flawless operation of the battery powered versions). We loved the food at the fancier restaurant, Pomp. Quite yummy. Lunch at Trough was very good but very very slow, each and every day. I never understood why salads and simple burgers, etc. took over an hour--even when the restaurant was not crowded. River Camp was the site for the second part of our week. Location-amazing and tent was beautiful -- but for the daytime heat! The 2 bedroom tent was equipped with a portable air conditioner (about the size of a larger paper shredder) but it barely took the edge off and the tent was about 88 degrees even when we went to bed (thankfully it cooled off overnight). The second bedroom (with the double beds) could have benefitted from a fan (it only had a portable oscillating heater). River Camp is fabulous for families--the ability to wade in the "beach like" river bank at this camp is great for the kids. My one wish was that when we were at River Camp we planned less activities to give more opportunities to commune with the other kids/families at the River, in the "game room" and at the fire pit. The food at River Camp was tasty -- although nothing extraordinary and breakfast (cooked to order pancakes, bacon, etc.) took exceedingly long (1.5 hours since we ordered after a party of 8 folks). I will say we thought our main "butler" at the camp was a bit lacking in personality. We felt like he was kind of annoyed at all times. The 4th of July activities were spectacular and the highlight of the week. I was amazed at the amount of "return" families at the property that week. Our favorite activities were the cattle drive and ATV rides. We liked the Blackfoot River float but thought it was a bit too calm for us (and we aren't adventurous). My kids really liked the counselors at the Kid's Camp -- some of the best service and likeable staff members. Spa was just ok. I understand it is not intended to be a traditional spa experience. But the set up seemed a bit junky. I did not like that when booking my massage, nobody asked if I preferred a male or female therapist (in my experience, if you aren't asked, they are all female). Wrong! I should have thought to ask, as I don't enjoy massages from male therapists. But made the best of it-make sure you ask if this is an issue. It was fine as an alternative activity, but I wasn't wowed by the spa experience. Our main criticism (which is not intended to overshadow the beauty and fabulousness of this place -- but is stated due to the extreme expense of this vacation experience) we were a bit underwhelmed with the level of knowledge of many of the staff. For example, we couldn't get a straight answer from ANYONE on how the transfer from a house to River Camp would be orchestrated (time, transportation, logistics, etc.) and at the last minute we were informed that our bags had to be stored at the "hospitality suite" which was back up at the main reception area on the property. I'm sure we weren't the first guests to split the week between two accommodations (they promote this on the website) so not sure why this was so complicated. When we arrived we asked two different concierge folks what the planned activities would be for the 4th of July (rough start times, etc.). No clue. Everyone kept saying "yeah, we'll have to look into that and get back to you". Really? Don't you do this every year? A one page "print out" was finally circulated the day before, but it was much later than the staff surmised it would be and we could have filled it with other activities that had since booked up had we known. Other staff were just as clueless about basic things, such as dinner reservations (why is this hard?). Check in was also difficult, as we had discussed and confirmed that we would be in the house first, followed by the tent. When we checked in the desk attendant said it was the opposite. I insisted that this was wrong. He said that unfortunately, he could do nothing about it. He was persistent and slightly rude about this and then I demanded to speak with our concierge (who had set this up with me after multiple telephone conversations) and within 10 seconds she said "no, that's wrong" to desk attendant and showed him the document that contradicted him. He admitted his mistake but didn't apologize for challenging me on it (and it was a bit of a bad first impression given the fact that the concierge contacts you well in advance of arrival to work out the details of many things). I understand that the staff changes seasonally, but I would think most could learn these things about the property in a simple hour orientation. It did detract from the level of service, which would be our chief complaint, particularly given the cost of the Paws Up experience. This was probably the only thing that kept us from immediately re-booking a return trip.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Resort at Paws Up is Montana's premier luxury ranch resort situated on a sprawling 37,000-acre working cattle ranch in central, western Montana. What differentiates us from other Montana resorts is our commitment to give you the most intimate, unfiltered connection with the natural beauty of Montana, while providing the most luxurious comfort possible. We are a Montana ranch resort offering first-class, personalized service, luxury accommodations (28 private vacation homes and 36 luxury camping tents), wilderness adventures and a myriad of amenities. The Resort at Paws Up is where families and couples make lasting memories. We call it The Last Best Place. You'll just call it unforgettable. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Resort At Paws Up Hotel Greenough
- Hotel At Paws Up
- At Paws Up Hotel
- The Resort At Paws Up Montana/Greenough