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“A very nice trip--some improvements could be made”

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The Resort at Paws Up
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Greenough
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 20, 2013

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.

Room Tip: If you are traveling with kids, grill the reservation specialist about the home layout to make sure...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank michfromdc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stephen B, CEO at The Resort at Paws Up, responded to this reviewResponded August 27, 2013

Thank you for writing this very comprehensive review of your stay ay Paws Up over 4th July Weekend. As you have mentioned, this is one of the most fun times of the year and understandably is a busy time with many families choosing to return every year to enjoy the festivities. As this was my first season at Paws Up, I was full of anticipation and a great time was had by all.

With that said, there were evidently some areas of concern and I assure you that the entire team and I have taken your comments on board and will do everything we can to improve on the experience in future seasons. Your comments are helpful in directing us towards the priorities and while all staff undergo an extensive orientation, we evidently need to beef it up somewhat to ensure accurate information is relayed to guests.

I do hope that you will choose to return again, either for more Independence Day fun or at another time. Paws Up is a special place at any time and we look forward to welcoming you back in the future!

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284 - 290 of 485 reviews

Reviewed August 19, 2013

We have delayed too long in letting you know how much we enjoyed our family stay at River Camp in late July. A short version would be: "Just delightful. Rustic, perfectly appointed and heavenly located." Our 4 families (8 adults and 6 children are still talking about the special time we had celebrating "Grandma and Grandpa's" 50th wedding anniversary. We planned for 2 years so everyone could be there. We had an activity planned in advance for each day with plenty of "downtime" for each family. We asked question after question in the planning stage and could not have asked for a more patient and quick responding staff. Thank you Rhianna, Stephanie and Jessica!

When we arrived we had some concern that the brochure and online pictures as well as the images we had created in our minds would not be met in reality. Well, as our children said, "Everything we imagined came true". From the moment we walked into River Camp we were treated with great care and friendliness as we became a part of the river and our camp sites and absorbed the beauty of the area - yes, including the eagles who resided in the treetops above us! What did we most enjoy? Well, it depends on the family member asked - from archery to watching the kids play in the river; rafting down the river, canoeing, trail rides, pony rides, the chuckwagon ride and dinner, the nature hike, the lake house! Since we had 3, 4, 5, 8, 9 and 10 year old grandchildren we were selective in our choices, of course. ATV riding was made available for the older ones and we understand they had a great time as well. Oh, can't forget the evenings around the campfire overlooking that spectacular view of the river, forests and mountains - s'mores of course! Wonderful time! We just could have sat there - including the kids - for hours. And, the amenities - from hair dryers, to laundry facilities complete with detergent! The food - the chefs - wow! What a treat! Each day was different, the many courses of food were delicious, impeccably prepared and served - worthy of a 5 star whether it was the unforgettably special dining pavilion overlooking the water or the Trough with our own out of door pavilion for a relaxing lunch. We'll admit the "laid back" pace was a bit slow for the little ones, but the adults loved the ambience. What a treat! Then there were the tents. We had 4 (3 with two "rooms" and 1 single) and we fell in love with them. Yes, they were right on the water. Yes, they were delightfully equipped with air conditioning units and heaters, fresh towels and toiletries. The big beds were so snuggly on those cold mornings that it was a temptation to sleep in. However, knowing that the bathroom floor was heated and a wonderful shower awaited us, we kept moving on schedule. Am I saving the best til last? Well, we think that the week was made special because of the staff. Every detail was handled with grace and a sincere attempt to make our desires met. Bless the camp butlers! We had heard there could be transportation delays but we did not experience this at all. The drivers and the guides were just a delight and added to the activities we enjoyed. In fact, we understand that the staff/guest ratio is nearly 1:1. And we felt it. We often had two guides that stayed with us and waited for us and easily became a part of our families for that moment in time. Can't forget the delightful man who demonstrated fly fishing for us. And the nice folks who did the chuckwagon event for us (even though we did think that the evening could be improved a bit). I guess we were thinking it might be a bit more like a trail ride to a far away spot instead of a short ride from our cars to the site. The food was a bit on the "3" rating. Part of it might have been the early time. Maybe it needed to be more like 7:30 instead of 5:30 with a campfire (of course, we had THAT when we got back to River Camp). A last word would be that we felt like the persons who created Paws Up had thought of everything - and we mean everything - to make a once in a lifetime experience a memory that will happily last forever. We can honestly say Paws Up is a "last best place".

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Nancy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stephen B, CEO at The Resort at Paws Up, responded to this reviewResponded August 27, 2013

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this review. We are so pleased that you enjoyed your adventures at Paws Up and it is always gratifying to hear that the staff added to your experience as they all take enormous pride in their jobs and genuinely enjoy sharing this piece of Montana with our guests.

Thanks for also pointing out how we can improve the Chuck Wagon dinner. We have taken your comments to heart and already made some changes which we believe will make it even better.

We hope to be able to welcome you back to Paws Up in the future!

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Reviewed August 16, 2013 via mobile

Restful, family-friendly and a uniquely beautiful setting... We were in a Meadow Home and never felt like we were "glamping" but certainly felt indulged with delicious food... loved the room service, outdoor hot tub and cozy home. Huckleberry lemonade- delicious! We had a rental car and loved the freedom of exploring the sunset trails and Garnet ghost town. We don't like to be too scheduled on vacation and would have liked to be able to spontaneously add activities into our itinerary but things were booked up... So plan accordingly. It would have been nice to have a more concise guide to the property: amenities, activities and dining options to reference during our stay instead of having to ask the staff about everything (meal policies, housekeeping amenities, activities, childrens' camp, bike rentals, etc). We visited during peak occupancy and the strain on the staff was apparent- I believe the staff:guest ratio should be higher for the fees and charges... We had a nice time but would have likely preferred three nights to four as the meal options became redundant and the service was strained. The grounds are beautiful and serene. Overall, the food was the best part! The service, amenities and accommodations are quite good but do not justify the prices... Specifically: linens are not 100% cotton, our mattress sagged, many light bulbs in the cabin were out, housekeeping is understaffed and the seasonal help is clearly "winging it"- A fun and memorable trip overall but we don't plan to return to the resort based on these observations and the "value" factor. I highly recommend traveling during lower occupancy intervals....

  • Stayed: August 2013
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Thank lovetheluxe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stephen B, CEO at The Resort at Paws Up, responded to this reviewResponded August 18, 2013

Thank you for this review of your recent stay at Paws Up. I am pleased that we helped create some special memories for you and your family and that you especially enjoyed the food and relaxing environment. We are certainly blessed with some spectacular scenery here!

I am sorry that there were some aspects of your stay that did not live up to your expectations or the quality that we are usually successful in providing. Your feedback is helpful and I certainly appreciate your candor. We continue to learn and adapt based on our guests' feedback and I hope that you may reconsider your decision, and return here in the future for more fun, adventure and family memories.

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Reviewed July 24, 2013

This was the best family vacation we've ever taken, both for the adults and kids. The accommodations at Moonlight camp were incredible and so was the staff! Shannon and Danny were so attentive to our needs even though we were a huge family, and also so knowledgeable about all the activities at the resort. They made all of us feel welcome and were so amazing with the kids!

The food was spectacular at Moonlight Camp, the Trough and Pomp. They have great chefs and every dish we had on this trip was amazing!

The activities were so cool and we got to do things we had never done like archery, cattle driving, clay shooting and even throwing a hatchet! What an adventure! Definitely unforgettable! Would love to return one day!

Room Tip: The tents at Moonlight camp were amazing, very comfortable and are great for the adventurer. The cab...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Monica M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stephen B, CEO at The Resort at Paws Up, responded to this reviewResponded August 1, 2013

Many, many thanks for taking the time to write this review. To know that we helped create the best family vacation you have ever taken is praise indeed!

We are so pleased that you all had such a great time and we, too, hope that you will return again at some point to continue the special adventure. Paws Up!

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Reviewed July 22, 2013

Our family had a great time at Paws Up. The facilities are great, the food is great, and the activities were great, but the reason we would come back is the Staff. As other reviewers noted, they are young, some are inexperienced in service, but they all had great attitudes. We loved being immersed in their enthusiasm and knowledge. Our Butlers, David, Lukas, and Clive were outstanding yet so different in how they set up and interacted with us. Our Chefs, especially Corey, were so accommodating. Corey's grill baked Huckleberry muffins are enough to come back for on their own. Our guides were awesome! Riley, Sara, Hannah, Cavin, Eric, Nicki, Eve, Blake, Ryan, too many to name, but we loved just being around them and hearing about THEIR next adventures. Truly a wonderful group of kids! I think you get back what you put in at Paws Up. I can't say enough good about it. Thank you Paws Up!

Room Tip: We loved River Camp! Highly recommend.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank David_P50195
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stephen B, CEO at The Resort at Paws Up, responded to this reviewResponded August 1, 2013

Everyone here truly appreciates your taking the time to write this review. Thank you for naming so many of the staff who contributed to your enjoyment of the resort, all of whom take great pride in providing the levels of service that you experienced.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Paws Up for more great adventures and memories in the future.

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Reviewed July 20, 2013

This was such an interesting experience that we highly recommend it to both die-hard campers/outdoorsmen and those who are afraid to touch a tree trunk for fear it may ruin their manicure. You just have to manage your expectations appropriately. It's hard to adequately describe, but this must be the closest you can get to "being out" in nature while still having all the creature comforts of a 5 star hotel. Because this is an attempt to mix both of these worlds, don't expect purity in either. It's just a unique experience in its own class. We stayed in one of the tents at River Camp, which sits right on the banks of the Blackfoot river. It's a LARGE canvas tent on a platform complete with a wonderful bed, dressers, and several high tech portable heating/ cooling units that are adjustable to the possible 50 degree temperature swings from daytime to night-time. The attached spacious bathroom has more "luxury" features than we have seen in 5-star resorts and hotels anywhere in the world - multiple shower heads, towel warmers, heated floors, etc. We thought some of it were a bit over the top for a camping experience, but when getting up at 4am to go to the bathroom and realizing the temperature had dropped to 40 degrees...that nicely heated stone bathroom floor made us look up and thank the heavens for Paws Up's foresight! From our front porch, we can literally walk out a few steps and wade into the Blackfoot River for a quick swim. We fell asleep to the sounds of the river and woke up to either the bugling of nearby elks or the squawking of the resident eagle (there was a nest nearby to our tent). We're still not sure how this was accomplished, but there were surprisingly very few bugs inside the tent despite the tents being a pretty "open system". All meals are included (breakfast and dinner cooked and served right in the camps, and lunch available at the main restaurant or built into long activities that run from morning through afternoon), and there is an end-less supply of materials for making s'mores at the campfire at all hours of the day/night. In every camp there is a dining pavilion that is stocked with several varieties of protein bars, beef jerky packs, and bottled drinks for you to take any time of day.

At the time of year that we were there, the staff were made up mostly of college students or recent grads who just started their summer jobs. We found it super refreshing that the staff were not stuffy professionals in the service industry, and instead were an interesting mix of young folks with all sorts of backgrounds and dreams and stories to share. Of course, the downside to their inexperience is that they're clearly still trying to learn the ropes and the service is not as polished, but they all had excellent attitudes and do try their best to get you just about anything you need. We'll take this over snooty staff any day. They were also impressively patient and enthusiastic with the kids in the camps - showing them how to fish, roast s'mores, split logs with a kid size axe, etc. It was obvious that our camp butlers were excellent camp counselors as well for the kids and kept them entertained while mom and dad were having a glass of wine by the campfire. Although we did not have kids with us, groups that were there with kids just seemed to have an equally great time because kids of all ages had something to do. This is really a wonderful place for families, and if you'd rather have more couple's time, go before the fourth of July week starts when kids truly "invade" the camps.

Probably the downside for us were the activities. There were a lot to choose from for sure, but you are charged for each of these activities so we ended up feeling nickeled and dimed. We enjoyed all the activities, but felt the quality was not quite worth the prices charged as compared to similar activities we've had in other parts of Montana. They seemed a bit watered down, but frankly, if you're going with kids they're going to like all the activities because they're all geared toward being very family friendly. The ATV ride was by far our favorite activity, and in speaking with many other guests, that seemed to be everyone's favorite.

Despite our disappointment with the activities, we don't hesitate to give Paws Up a full 5 rating because those glamping tents were AWESOME! We DO plan to return, and we would be very content with just staying in our camps and lounging by the river all day long soaking up the sounds and sights around us.

Room Tip: River Camp is hands down the best camp for either couples or families (Bitterroot tent seemed to hav...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank BBoopL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stephen B, CEO at The Resort at Paws Up, responded to this reviewResponded July 26, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write this very comprehensive review. I am delighted that you had such a successful vacation and enjoyed the "glamping" concept which you so accurately describe a "a unique experience in its own class"

You have touched on so many of the points that make the experience special and we are proud to continue to grow our offerings each year and continuously improve upon the success of the glamping model (as well as the experiences for guests staying in more traditional timber homes)

Thanks for your thoughtful comments about our activities also; we endeavor to offer a wide range of activities that will appeal to the broad audience that comes here, always placing safety at the very forefront of priorities. Some guests want more of an adrenylin rush than others and we are continually trying to reinvent and enhance the activity menu to be as appealing as we can to as many guests as possible.

I'm so pleased that you plan to return. Look forward to new and even more improved experiences when you do, as we have set the bar very high now!

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Reviewed July 17, 2013

“This upscale dude ranch with great views of the surrounding Bob Marshall Wilderness & Mission Mountain Range is the most unique experience my family & I have had in the US. We'd stayed in 'luxury tents' in Africa & recently in India but most likely this type of experience is unique to Paws Up here in our own country. With kids ranging in ages from 11 to 17 (and four of them!) it is not easy to find places to visit where all of us have a great time and can go off in pairs here or there for certain activities. Year-round there is so much to do: horseback riding, hiking, snowmobiling, dog sledding... and there are all kinds of planned events for children to mingle and play with other kids throughout your stay. One day I took our teenagers whitewater rafting with another family while my wife enjoyed a day at the Spa Town – meanwhile our 11 year old twins joined the "Kids Corps of Discovery" day camp and explored a Ghost Town. Some of the late afternoons we'd all gather by a fire with a nice snack to play a board game or read; a great way for us all to recoup from the day's activities. I'd say the reason I know we'll return and so highly recommend it to other families is as simple as family bonding."

Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
2  Thank Consigliera-S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stephen B, CEO at The Resort at Paws Up, responded to this reviewResponded July 26, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write this review of your visit to Paws Up.

Family bonding, reunions and get-togethers are some of the most popular reasons for coming to the resort, as we are a perfect venue for multi-generational families to spend time together. I am so pleased that you enjoyed the many facets of our property and hope that we can welcome you back again for some more fun and adventures very soon!

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Additional Information about The Resort at Paws Up

Address: 40060 Paws Up Rd, Greenough, MT 59823-9212
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Montana > Greenough
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Greenough
Price Range: $1,272 - $3,557 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Resort at Paws Up 5*
Number of rooms: 64
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

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