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“Serendipity”

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Laughing Horse Lodge
Ranked #1 of 1 Swan Lake B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Idleyld Park
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Serendipity”
Reviewed July 13, 2012

We'd planned to stay in Bigfork, but when we got there, we discovered the place is a Tourist Trap, with one shop after another and crowds of people. That's not our idea of vacation in a gorgeous place like Montana. We made a u-turn and headed out, not knowing if or where we might find a dog-friendly place to stay, late in the day and where towns are small and far between. Then there was a Vacancy sign. A smiling woman was watering plants and cooling the swallow nests in the eaves. She told us #7 was open, go take a look. When we walked to the back, we entered the perfect place to stay. A shady courtyard full of flowers, log building with long veranda, tables already set with white tablecloths and stemmed glasses. Casual, relaxed, and elegant at the same time.

When we told Kathleen we'd stay, we discovered a rare laid-back trust: she didn't ask for credit card, name and adress, license plate. She just said, "Okay, it's yours," asked if we'd like to join them for dinner, and told us more about the swallows.

When we brought our dog to the back, he met 2 of the resident dogs, both friendly and well-behaved. The entire back area is fenced and gated, so our dog could be off-leash and relax along with us. There was even a basket of dog toys on the veranda, which he very much appreciated. We sat in the courtyard reading and enjoying the uniqueness and peacefulness of Laughing Horse Lodge--after wandering around taking pictures of flowers, raised vegetable beds, old travel posters, and quirky artistic touches in the garden. When it was time for dinner, our table was three steps away from the chairs where we'd been reading, which were three more steps away from our room.

Dinner was delicious, as all the reviews say, but also beautiful. We had to take pictures of our dinner salads because they were so artistically presented.

Just down the road a mile or so is a turnoff to a Watchable Wildlife location -- a viewing platform situated at the edge of a large grassy meadow. We visited it after dinner and in addition to watching deer, swallows, yellow-headed and red-winged blackbirds, Montana gifted us with a spectacular, long-lasting sunset. Between our unexpected discovery of Laughing Horse Lodge and the dramatic sunset, the entire experience was of serendipitous magic.

The room was very comfortable, although a way to get more air into the room without losing one's privacy would be welcome. Breakfast al fresca the next morning was delicious. As we were leaving, Kathleen asked if we were interested in hiking (how did she know?) and suggested the hike to Holland Lake Falls, 45 miles south. Sure enough, it was fabulous. The falls were great but the view from them was even better.

Laughing Horse Lodge was the highlight of our trip. We'd love to return.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Dianne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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158 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
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English first
Atlanta
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2012

My wife and I spent 3 nights at Laughing Horse Lodge in July 2012. We were visiting Glacier National Park but did not mind staying about an hour's drive away for a part of our stay. We stayed in West Glacier for the other half of our vacation. We are really glad that we stayed there at Laughing Horse.

This is a small place with about 7 rooms in a log structure. The rooms are in an L shape with a porch around a very prettily landscaped courtyard that is nice for sitting, reading, and visiting. One side of the courtyard is the main building that has the office and dining area. The rooms are small but very cozy and welcoming. There is no TV, phone, wireless, or cell service which was just fine for us. We did not miss any of them with the exception of the cell service. We later found, however, that we could not get cell service in West Glacier either at our much pricier hotel, so we were no worse off staying at Swan Lake for that amenity.

We actually found that the drive to Glacier and back was a benefit because it gave us the chance to visit Big Fork, a nice small town, which has a marvelous art gallery and because the drive back in the evening was beautiful with the sun setting on the mountains and fields.

Kathleen is the owner. She had been written up, in a glowing article, in the most recent edition of Montana magazine for her gourmet meals at night in the restaurant portion of the lodge. We actually did not eat in the restaurant at night because of our schedule. Breakfast, however, is included in the price of the room, and we ate at the lodge on all 3 mornings. These meals were excellent. We had crepes and omelets (w/ salmon). The Sunday menu had 3 choices, but the weekday breakfasts are a surprise with no choice. We loved the surprises - we would have had a hard time in ordering anything that we liked much more.

Kathleen is very nice and visited with us during breakfast all three mornings. She also has two really sweet golden retrievers that wander around and are available to pet, as well as a well-behaved parakeet. The lodge also welcomes pets.

Kathleen travels during the winter and uses that experience to develop new meals to serve in the restaurant. She has excellent ideas for activities during the day and tailors them to your interests. Swan Lake is beautiful. Although the lodge is not on the lake, it is across the street and no more that 150 yards from it. Kathleen has kayaks. We did a nature hike 8 miles south that was really pleasant.

Swan Lake is beautiful and is close to the Bob Marshall Wilderness area. We really enjoyed staying at the lodge and would gladly stay there again for its atmosphere and its value. If you are looking for a very nice place to stay, is a good value with really good food, and is somewhat rustic but very nice in both its accommodations and its atmosphere, this is a good place for you.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank mollyatlanta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woodstock, Georgia, United States
2 reviews
Reviewed July 3, 2012

First time atLaughing Horse and what a treat. Everything was great,food,bed,wine,kathleen and staff,pups,atmosphere and weather which they no control over but had a great time meeting new friends and sharing the talent God gave me to play their piano which was IN TUNE! Also enjoyed jamming with the very pretty and also talented Amelia who plays violin along with serving dinner.
Look forward to a second honeymoon again at the Horse.
Good luck you guys and hope you are enjoying the cds.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Bob G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Myrtle Beach
Level Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed June 27, 2012

Hands down, this spot was my favorite that my husband and I stayed at during our trek across western Montana. If you're looking for a wide screen TV and electronic wonderland, this is not the spot for you (frankly, Montana isn't the spot for you). But, if you're on the hunt for fantastic food, relaxation, and a hostess who is friendly and hilarious - this is your spot.

The rooms are reasonably sized, but it's not the room that makes me want to return to the Laughing Horse - it's everything else. The courtyard is gorgeous, the location is superb, and I cannot say enough positive things about Kathleen (owner).

Case in point? As my husband and I were into a relatively competitive game of Scrabble in the main house, Kathleen, one of her employees, and the dogs waltzed in draped in mud. Head to toe.

"What have you been up to?" I asked.

"I have breakfast!" she exclaimed, hoisting up a rather large bag filled with brown lumps. "Morel mushrooms!"

Let me explain, I have never been a fan of mushrooms. In fact, I'd never eaten one I liked.

"Trust me," she said.

I trusted.

The next morning, we were presented with the most delicious omelet I've ever had in my life. Fresh morel mushrooms, brie, and other hidden flavors....oh my. Paired with huge fresh strawberries, the thickest (yummiest) bacon, and homemade hash browns....ahhhhh. My mouth is watering now.

On top of being an incredible chef, she's absolutely hilarious - and very knowledgeable about the area.

The Laughing Horse Lodge will not be the fanciest place you'll stay on your trip, but it will be the most memorable - and it will be a place you'll return to again and again.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Stephanie N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Havre, Montana
Level Contributor
1 review
Reviewed June 27, 2012

We took advantage of the spring package at Laughing Horse Lodge to begin our anniversary getaway. What a great decision that was! Kathleen and her staff (and her dogs) provided the perfect getaway for us. The rooms are ample and clean. The grounds are a relaxing garden hideaway. The atmosphere is welcoming, as if you are visiting relatives that you like. Breakfast was fantastic both days, and the dinners were beyond belief. We even took pictures. Fresh morel mushrooms from just up the Forest Service road were a special treat we had not had, before. As we continued on our travels, nothing came close to the quality of the meals prepared for us at Laughing Horse Lodge. Thank you, Kathleen, for a memory of a lifetime.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Neil_and_Suzy_W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spokane, Washington, United States
1 review
Reviewed June 24, 2012

We had the good fortune to spend the weekend at the Laughing Horse Lodge. Wow...it was simply wonderful! The grounds/gardens were in bloom and in full color. Our room was well appointed, and spotless. The Laughing Horse atmosphere was relaxed, elegant, casual, chic, peaceful, warm, homey, 5-star, everything we wanted for a weekend get-a-way. They are dog friendly and we felt comfortable having our dog with us. The meals...oh my, the meals! The food was beyond, far beyond, what we expected. The offerings were delicious. Kathleen and her staff were first rate, friendly and accommodating. We will visit again!

Room Tip: All rooms same great accomodations!
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Don N Deb M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheney, Washington
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed June 17, 2012

My husband and I just returned from Laughing Horse Lodge having taken advantage of their spring getaway package. As their website promises, the food was wonderful, and the company charming. The accommodations are very restful, relaxing, and extremely clean and the gardens a perfect place to relax and read a book. Kathleen and her staff are so friendly they they feel like family in no time. All of the food served was outstanding and of the highest quality. Kathleen's mom was a delight to talk with. This is a perfect location for those wanting to explore Glacier National Park and the town surrounding it. I would highly recommend Laughing Horse Lodge to anyone as it was reasonable price wise and more than worth what we spent!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SandyJo12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Laughing Horse Lodge

Property: Laughing Horse Lodge
Address: 22360 Mt Highway 83, Milemarker 71.5, Swan Lake, MT 59911-7822
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Montana > Swan Lake
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Swan Lake
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
European-style road house featuring gourmet dining and comfortable, quiet rooms - no TVs, Phones, or Alarm clocks in rooms, no cell service on property. Non-smoking dogs welcome. Complimentary WiFi. Near Glacier National Park and Bob Marshall Wilderness. Perfect for weekend getaways, intimate weddings, family reunions and retreats. Open May through October. Dining room known for presenting mostly organic, always fresh and totally delicious meals - gluten and dairy free, as well as vegan meals available. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Laughing Horse Hotel Swan Lake
Laughing Horse Lodge Swan Lake, Montana

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