I feel a bit guilty only giving Dunraven Lodge an "average" rating because the room itself was good. It was a decent size, bright and cleam. Some of the rustic furnishings were quite stylish. The bathroom was clean and functional and the beds were a good size and comfortable (I like a firm bed).
What really let Dunraven down for me was the rest of the Canyon Lodge complex. The main area, where the dining room and other facilities are located, was a construction site and, although I accept construction is necessary, there did not seem to be sufficient care in ensuring the impact on guests was anticipated. This included giving us a map showing a walkway from the Lodge to the main area which led directly into the restricted construction area. This was after I specifically enquired about whether there was a walkway or whether we should walk on the roads. This becomes more significant when you realise that there is minimal lighting at night and finding the paths is quite hard anyway.
Once the daytime facilities had closed (eg. shops, visitor centre etc) I found the main complex area to be dismal and depressing. The dining room and adjacent bar) are not attractive (a bit reminiscent of an old people's home). Many people have bemoaned the catering provided by Xanterra and I now agree with them.
They obviously have difficulty coping with the number of guests wanting to dine. At busy times guests are given pagers to alert them when a table is ready. Unfortunately, this leads to hordes of guest swilling around hungrily, snarling at those who are lucky enough to be called. A tip to avoid this is that we were advised you cannot "miss" your slot - if we did not respond to the pager we would be seated at the next available table when we arrived. We realised then that we could get a pager on the way back from a day out, go back to the room to shower and change, then walk back to the Dining Room to be seated without delay. We did this both nights and the staff seemed quite relieved that it lessened the waiting crowd.
I agree with a previous reviewer who said that there seemed to be rather arbitrary decisions on closing facilities (such as the cafeteria and the diner) which would have been welcomed by those staying on-site.
Having said all that, the location cannot be beaten and our time at Yellowstone was magical. On our way back from the dining hall one night we heard wolves howling in the distance - it genuinely sent a shiver up my spine and was an unmissable experience. The Canyon Lodge area could be fantastic but I think Xanterra has had a captive audience for too long and it falls far short of its potential.
- Also Known As:
- Dunraven Hotel Yellowstone National Park
- Dunraven Motel Yellowstone National Park