I arrived at the Belton around 6:15 p.m. on a Saturday. It did not start out well as they were having a wedding reception and it was crowded. So much so there was no parking. I drove down the hill and there was none at the restaurant so I went across the street and though it is a large area, there was no parking available there either. I wanted to pull in so I could at least unload but there is no zone for that. They have a red bus zone but no unloading zone. I had to drive around for a while but when nothing came available I decided to leave and go back down the road to get gas and stop at the Glacier Heli tours. When I got back, one spot had come open down the hill for restaurant parking so I took it. The walk to the Chalet is uphill which is fine for those able to do it, but if you can’t, it would be something to consider. The staff is pleasant and accommodating. The rooms are wonderful with a nice bath providing a hot shower and great smelling amenities. The bed is very comfortable. They have a nice oscillating fan in the room and with the windows open, it provided a wonderful temperature in the room for middle of September.
There was a bit of a noise issue with the restaurant staff dumping trash around 10:00 pm in the dumpster outside the window but it quieted down by 10:30 pm. I was asleep soon after. As for the train, I was so tired I never heard it until I awoke (not from the train) around 3:30 am. I thought, wow, the train must not be running tonight but then it came by in about 10 minutes. It does run frequently per hour and it is sort of loud but I was quite excited about getting to Glacier that it really did not bother me. Of course being a older structure there is no elevator, but if you really need one and want to stay here, just make your reservations far enough in advance to get on the first floor. I would be more concerned with parking if I were handicapped. Literally, ALL parking spots had been taken and since there are more rooms than parking up top it means someone has to park down the hill. Even though this is just outside the park entrance, there is no TV but if you have come to see the National Park do you really need one?
The Belton Chalet restaurant is just down the hill but the park entrance is also practically across the street – maybe a tenth of a mile down. As soon as you enter under the tunnel there is a visitor center and another gas station (yes, just inside!) and a restaurant and two or three shops. My point being you could walk here to eat if you needed plus, breakfast is not served at the chalet (coffee and tea are) and I don’t think the restaurant at the chalet was open for breakfast. Also, Apgar Village is only maybe 3 miles from the tunnel entrance inside the park and it has accommodations, shopping and a another restaurant. Be aware that the shops and gas and restaurant just past the entrance all close the end of the third week of September or they did when I was there. Apgar Village stayed open till the end of September. The gas station outside the park entrance which was right next to the Chalet restaurant was still open but I did not ask for how much longer. BTW, gas was running around $3.80 a gallon and it was $3.15 where I live in the south.
All in all, this Chalet is a beautiful and wonderful piece of history and I recommend staying here at least one night.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We are a 1910 National Historic Landmark hotel built by James J. and Louis Hill of the Great Northern Railway. After being closed for fifty years, the property underwent a three-year restoration completed in 1999 and is now a National Historic Landmark. The Belton Chalet was the first chalet built for Glacier Park and the park’s first winter headquarters. Belton Chalet, family owned, once again welcomes guest from across the world. Thank you for being our guest and a part of our history. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Belton Chalet West Glacier, Montana
- Belton Chalet Hotel West Glacier