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“Beautiful and welcoming...”
Review of Bar W Guest Ranch

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Bar W Guest Ranch
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 26, 2014

Definitely add the Bar W Ranch to your bucket list. Conveniently located a couple of minutes from the quaint town of Whitefish, Montana, the Bar W is an oasis of visual pleasures. The grounds are immaculately groomed with great views no matter where you look. A huge plus for guests is the indoor heated riding arena, where activities can be moved to if the weather gets rainy.

Trail riders get to see some spectacular mountain vistas and unspoiled scenery. The staff is very professional and accommodating, almost perceiving your needs before you ask. The lodge is the focal point for meals and is nothing short of beautifully appointed, warm and welcoming. The food is to die for, Chef Richard and his staff prepare awesome meals with fresh everything- no shortcuts on the food. The desserts and pastries are guilt-free. Fresh coffee and drinks are always available. You'll show up every meal just to see what they've come up with. Meals outdoors are equally excellent.

Even the individual sack lunches they sent out for the longer trail rides had the lettuce in a separate plastic baggie so your sandwich wouldn't get soggy. It's attention to the details like that, that make a difference.

A fantastic place for families, couples and singles to reconnect with nature, horses, and a slower pace where you can appreciate beautiful surroundings and natural beauty. The Leishman Family, and all the staff and wranglers go out of their way to make sure each guest enjoys their vacation to the fullest.

Room Tip: No matter where you are staying, you have an awesome view of the natural surroundings.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled solo
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2  Thank HorseFlicks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BarWGuestRanch, Marketing Coordinator at Bar W Guest Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded June 29, 2014

The Bar W staff works hard year round to provide outstanding vacations for all guests. We do our best to accommodate each guest individually to the best of our abilities. Thanks you for the kind words about our team, the ranch, and our amenities.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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113 - 119 of 229 reviews

Reviewed June 22, 2014

Stayed at Bar W for four days with our two young teen daughters and we all had a wonderful time. Our accommodations in the lodge were clean, comfortable, and spacious. We are all novice riders, but staff made sure to give us horses that were a fit with our abilities. We enjoyed daily 1-3 hour trail rides. Our kids particularly liked special activities, including roping, cow sorting, rodeo, square dancing, skeet shooting, archery, and cowboy singalong. Food was excellent. Staff are very professional and guest-oriented. It was very relaxing to have everything planned and taken care of for us. We were also able to all do a little bit of our own thing while still spending time together as a family.

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
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Thank hengelhardt1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BarWGuestRanch, Marketing Coordinator at Bar W Guest Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded June 29, 2014

Thank you for visiting the Bar W and sharing your vacation with us! It was a wonderful week and we hope to see your family again soon.

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Reviewed May 26, 2014

Wonderful experience from beginning to end. I attended the "cowgirl up" week. The entire staff was amazing, food was to die for, and the experience was a great one. Very comfortable and homey atmosphere. Great trail rides and views, lots of fun around the ranch itself. The spa afternoon was amazing and there are great shops in Whitefish.Staff were always available should you need anything, and you feel more like family than a guest. If you're not super comfortable on a horse just make it clear to the staff and they will help any way they can. One tiny criticism is that I wish I would have had a more concrete itinerary so I knew what to expect each day of my stay instead of finding out the morning of. All staff are easygoing and fun and you will never want to leave! Thanks for a great experience and I hope to return!!

Room Tip: I stayed in Solitude and it was roomy and comfortable. Couldn't hear any noise from the main liv...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank D H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dave L, Owner at Bar W Guest Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded May 28, 2014

We loved having you stay at our ranch! Cowgirl Up is always a wonderful week. Thank you for your kind words and for your helpful tips. We are always sad to see friends leave at the end of the week but we hope you stop by the ranch again in the future.

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Reviewed May 16, 2014

I was there last week for a 2 hour trail ride. I had a great time. After signing all the legal stuff, I was taken out to the horses. They picked a horse named Tiny for me and he was great. Anna was my guide and she was awesome!! Since I hadn't really had any experience riding, she showed me how to guide the horse and let me practice a little in the corral until I was comfortable enough to go out onto the trail. It was just her and I out there which was great. She helped me out any time I started to feel a little uncomfortable and was great company. We chit chatted a lot while we were out there and she made it so much fun for me. I would highly recommend going there for a ride. I definitely think I would spend some more time there on my next trip to Montana.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled solo
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Thank Meredith H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dave L, Owner at Bar W Guest Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded May 19, 2014

Meredith,

It was a pleasure having you at the ranch for a trail ride. We would love to have you visit us again and spend more time at the ranch. I will be sure to share your compliments with Anna, she will be pleased to know you enjoyed your ride. Thank you again for visiting the Bar W, can't wait to have you out for another ride!

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Reviewed March 2, 2014

Bar W guest Ranch is only after your money. These people are not horse people and just about killed my horse by putting him in with a known bad horse. I had over $2000 in vet bills in an attempt to save my horse. Bar W would not accept any responsibility or help pay my bills.
They did not offer to help me with my injured horse.
They had promised me a stall and I even offered to pay ahead of time to reserve this stall. When I arrived after a 3 day drive they told me no stalls were available because one of their wranglers had brought several horses. So they put him in a pasture with two other horse. next morning when I returned my horse was all bitten up and had a broken fetlock. Like I said they said it wasn't their responsibility because I signed their forms. They offered no help with my horse as I tried to treat him on site and find a vet available.
There are plenty of legit Dude ranches in Montana. This is not one of them.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled on business
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4  Thank joninvent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dave L, Owner at Bar W Guest Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded April 20, 2014

We are sorry Jeff’s horse was injured; we don’t like to see any animal hurting. The Bar W staff “then and now” live and love this work, are extremely horse oriented and take excellent care of the horses on the ranch both our own and any boarded here. As a point of housekeeping this did not happen in 2013 as the review states it happened in 2010 and he never “stayed at the ranch on business” as the review states, he only boarded his horse for one night.

As usual, a new horse changes the social order of the herd and this was no exception when Jeff’s horse was placed in a 5 acre pasture with 4 other horses which had been in there for months with no incidences. In his letter to the ranch, he stated that “when he drove done the road (leaving) everything looked fine - all the horses were grazing.”

All establishments have boarding agreements. These agreements spell out the owner’s and the establishment’s responsibilities. Like most agreements ours states that any veterinary bills for injury or illness are the responsibility of the owner. Additionally it states “the Owner has inspected this stable’s premises and/or has otherwise satisfied himself with the condition of the premises and that the facilities will provide an adequate and reasonable level of safety for Owner’s horse(s).”

We have absolutely no way of knowing what happened in the pasture that night and neither does Jeff or if it happened during the three days it took to trailer the horse to Montana. I investigated this personally and truly believe that the ranch operated appropriately including refunding Jeff the two nights of boarding that he did not use – a total of $30.

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Reviewed November 29, 2013

We could describe our stay at the Bar W Guest Ranch in one word.... AWESOME!!

This was our second time at the Cattle Drive. Our first holiday in 2010 was a tough one to beat!

However I think Fall Cattle Drive 2013 did beat it. We had fallen in love with the ranch the first time, so much so that we returned to get married there. The staff could not have done more in helping us arrange the ceremony and putting us in touch with the right people. Our wedding was lovely and made very special due to the beautiful scenery and fabulous weather.

The Cattle Drive week was also immense. The ranch, horses, food, great staff and other guests were all amazing.

I cannot praise this Guest Ranch enough and I know we will return in the future.

Thanks to all at Bar W!!! Great job!!

Julie and Paul

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Julie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2013

The ranch operation

The ranch itself is a class operation. The rooms are clean and well maintained. The horseback riding part of the week is carefully calibrated to your abilities and interests. In all, the ranch meets and exceeds any reasonable expectations for this kind of experience. The riding is not challenging, and the trails don't give you any real chance to see more than a lot of trees.
There is an all-day trail ride close to the Canadian border and that does give you a chance to see more than the tail of the horse in front of you. The wranglers are accommodating and will go the extra mile to see that you and your horse are well matched.

Not so, for the photography part. The instructor flies in from New York...he has been here several times in the past. He has scouted a few locations for the group, mostly involving cowboy interactions with horses and cows, together with some local model shoots and a visit to a game farm. Give him a 6 on a scale of 10.

He has his own cameras and spends most of his time on them. He sticks around and is always willing to help but if you don't know how to ask the right questions, you are lost. Intermediate photographers mostly know enough to manage, but if you are starting up or trying out a new camera, you will flounder until someone notices. Every other photo expedition I have taken featured its leaders sometimes carrying their own cameras, sometimes not, but always circulating and showing interest in concentrating on you and helping you improve your own images. Not here.

So, if you come for this opportunity, you will see gorgeous country, enjoy Montana hospitality at its best...and you might come home with some nice pictures. Or maybe just snapshots for family and friends.

Room Tip: The Aspen suite is comfortable and has a terrific view of the ranch. The suite part involves a smal...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Frank P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bar W Guest Ranch

Address: 2875 Highway 93 West, Whitefish, MT 59937
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Montana > Whitefish
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 16 Specialty Lodging in Whitefish
Price Range: $133 - $152 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Bar W Guest Ranch 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our meadow cabin was designed by the Amish here in Montana. The cabin with two suites, over looks the South pasture and surrounding forest full of wildlife, our outdoor arena with lots of activities and our herd of horses. These are beautiful suits that together could sleep up to 16 utilizing the common areas! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bar w Guest Ranch Hotel Whitefish
Bar W Guest Ranch Whitefish, Montana

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