Give it a miss if you can
Glacier National Park is spectacular, so if there is no where else to stay then the rooms are adequate.
Our stay was very disappointing. We were booked into a Tipee at $300 per night but on arrival informed they hadn't been erected yet -they advised us that they had been unable to contact us in the UK advising so because they couldn't get an outside line!
We were offered a cabin or a room in the great bear lodge. The Cabin's were so small you couldn't even walk round the bed. OK if you're on your own I guess. We accepted the room (as opposed the shoe-box cabin). It was comfortable but overpriced at $250 per night.
The food the hotel has to offer is poor. Overpriced, cold, and the fast food restaurant was dirty with old stale smells. The only place worth eating is Park Cafe (next door) which is not part of the hotel resort.
The place appears to be run by students who over all don't have great customer relations (let's face it, they're here on holidays themselves) and can't identify with traveller needs. There wasn't a manager in sight and I'm not surprised because if I were him/her I'd be hiding out in the back room in shame.
All in all if you want a bed and don't mind paying inflated prices then this will do just don't be fooled by the impressive website.
Absolutely stay away
Unbelievable how bad this hotel operates. Past guests have said it all - no hot water, satellite TV did not work, no propane for outside grill, no linens for sofabed, no compensation for an absolute horrible experience.
Do not let any positive review fool you.
Stay away !!!
no towels-no soap
We stayed across the street in the "just under $200" rooms. The rooms have visible pipes running through them which was quite unattractive. I think this was a crummy motor court that they bought up and tried to refurbish. It did have a flat screen TV and nonworking internet service. There were no towels and when we requested some they did not bring enough for all the guests in the room. Nor did we have any hand soap altho we did get 2 bottles of conditioner and no shampoo, which makes me think the housekeeping staff is non-english speaking and didn't know what they were putting out. I'm sure there are better places to stay in the area for that kind of $.
But don't miss the Park Cafe- delicious food and the best pie ever!!!!
What A Dive.
I booked this hotel in advance through National Park Reservations (not affiliated with the National Park Service and whom I don't recommend using) and I am so glad it was only for one night.
Our room was dirty, noisy, and ready for demolition. They have bellman that are poised to sell you park services (horse back riding, tours etc.) at inflated prices immediately upon check in. I have stayed at cut rate truck stops for much, much less that were far more comfortable. If you check their web site you will find that the testimonial/feedback page is not up and running. Don't stay here!
Beware of Sales Pitch!
My husband and I stayed at the St. Marys Lodge and Resort during a recent visit to Glacier National Park. The lodge is conveniently located at the East entrance to the park. I specifically booked at the lodge because I wanted to stay in one of the tipii's that their web-site advertised and allowed me to book even though they weren't even put up yet. At $300 a night I had very high expectations and was a little peeved upon arrival and they blew it off like it was no big deal - "Sorry, the weather has been bad." Anyway, they "upgraded" us to a suite on the river side of the lodge (room #212). It was nice - again - it should have been for the price we were paying. While we were at the desk being "upgraded" we were invited to be their guest at dinner to hear a 90 minute presentation on all of the great things about the resort and were asked if there was anything in particular that we were interested in doing during our stay - fishing was high on my list. Dinner turned out to be a very high pressure evening (3 1/2 hours) of a sales pitch to buy into their time share program for $20K which was quickly dropped to $17K then $8K. Whether or not you can afford it is beside the point as we were basically stalked the rest of the time by the sales force which are a bunch of 20 year old kids with their brand new real estate licenses who are led by a 35 year old thrill seeker who has been lucky in the real estate market and happens to own the resort. Aside from all of this - which ruined my stay at the place - we found it to be the Walt Disney World of the park complete with huge tour buses, masses of people with cameras and binoculars hanging from their neck who couldn't hike a trail if their life depended upon it. I will not select this place again should we return to GNP but I do highly recommend having each and every meal at a place 1/4 mile up the road (89 North) called Johnsons.
Don't do it!
The only decent thing about this place is its (misleading) website. It appears swish on the net but believe me it isn't.
We booked a 3 night stay in a tippee at $300 per night. We arrived to be told that the tippees hadn't been erected due to bad weather. We asked why we hadn't been informed prior to arrival and were told the staff member couldn't get an outside line and didn't bother with email. Despite our request to see a manager no-one came instead our complaint was badly dealt with by an inexperienced 18-19 year old.
We were offered a hotel room or a cabin - a cabin so small you'd have to climb over the bed to get to the other side of the room. We opted for the hotel room which was adequate enough.
The restaurants, if you can call them that are dire: The so called 'fine' dining restaurant is over priced and serves cold food (sent mine back twice) and the on-site cafe is dirty and smelly (think stagnant pond).
The place is run by students on summer break. They are not interested (they're on holiday themselves!) and have no clue about hotel management or basic interpersonal skills.
How this place ticks over is beyond me. A big fall is inevitable.
Ghastly, expensive experience exploiting the world's greatest park
Sadly, all of the recent reviews were posted after we booked this trip - or we would never have stayed in this money-scrounging, dreadful place. I think when we made the decision to stay here, the place was managed by an organization that manages other properties we've used - but alas, someone horrible must be in charge now.
I contacted the website of this property multiple times over the winter of 2007 to book a Pinnacle Cabin, to no avail - I never received a response. When we finally called, only the Sun Cabin was available. I checked TripAdvisor and read the description with care - it didn't offer luxury, but it offered privacy. At over $400/night, I assumed we were paying for a rustic, private woodland retreat - maybe not luxurious, but this area only has a two-month season so we cut them some slack on the pricing.
The cabin is built on a hill overlooking the hodgepodge junk pile of buildings and teepees that is the "resort" - and to get to it you have to go by all of the ramshackle staff housing, in the midst of which is plopped this cabin. One of the scenic views is a tiny, junky camper that someone seems to be living in.
The cabin could be nice - it has a decent kitchen and a glorious bed as well as a lovely deck that overlooks the mountains and the slum housing for the staff. But the owners haven't spent a penny on basics, like . . . rugs (nope, not a one) or even a hook or closet to hang a wet coat. No, there is not one place to hang something up. Dishes and glassware are mismatched, chipped and look like they were bought at a rummage sale. "Spartan" would be a kind description.
Worse, it was dirty. Clean on the surface, like a frat house on parent's weekend - but with dust, hair and dirt all over the floor and stairs (it was obvious that sweeping isn't part of what housekeeping does) , other people's bacon grease on the kitchen cupboard glass, and hairspray on the walls of the bathroom. Broken windows, broken and filthy mini-blinds. We decided to appreciate it anyway because we were stuck, and determined to enjoy Glacier.
Like other reviewers, we also thought "Lord of the Flies" at the time - the staff is a pack of wild teenagers with no skills in hospitality whatsoever, and telling the front desk staff that we'd been in the car for 13 hours didn't stop them from trying immediately to hard-sell us into a timeshare. Luckily, because they are young and ignorant, they are easily quelled with a good "not right now young lady" mom-like look.
I did my laundry there at the end of the stay in the dirty, ramshackle laundromat that backs up to the cafe kitchen (you can watch the cooks through the holes in the walls) - and mostly the laundromat was full of staff in uniform doing their own laundry, hogging chairs and machines, breakdancing in the middle of the floor so that customers couldn't get by, and speaking a variety of eastern european languages to each other. I thought they were rude, and I also felt sorry for them because it was clear that the resort charges them to do laundry, too, even though it's a very remote location.
It is abundantly clear that the owner's sole focus is to squeeze as much money out of this strip of land bumped up against paradise as possible. The dreadful teepees were being constructed bumper-to-bumper (they sell them as "luxury" but no one who works here knows what that is - and probably the first definition of luxury should be that your neighbor can't hear your conversation or hear you going to the bathroom - this is not the experience the dense-packed teepees promise). the timeshare hard sell and the limping, injured horses available for trail rides were equally disgusting.
I will say that the food in the cafe and restaurant was very good - the cafe has that groovy, adventurous white-guy-with-dreadlocks vibe, and the restaurant's Indian taco is highly recommended. It ain't cheap, though.
It's difficult to find the reservation desk because it's all a bunch of buildings thrown up higgldy piggdly - truck stop is right. To get to the hotel front desk, you have to navigate a dreadful gift shop full of tacky resin grizzly bears made in China.
One day I called the front desk to request no visit from housekeeping and the kid who answered the phone said "arrit" in true hip-hop style, but I wasn't surprised when housekeeping showed up anyway.
The worst was when my 85 year old blind father for whom I am the sole caretaker called the hotel because my cell couldn't get consistent reception - and no one bothered to get me the message. Good thing he didn't die or anything.
The thing that depressed me most about this place was its abominable disregard for the environment. While the Park Service hotels practice recycling and energy efficiency, this place is a hymn to fossil fuel use, water waste, and landfill crap. It's deeply depressing to see this when the only reason it exists is because the spectacular jewel of nature, Glacier National Park, is bumped up against it.
We would have complained - but as previous reviewers point out, everyone is 12 years old who works here, and no one cares about the customer's experience. We thought about complaining at checkout, but the woman who checked us out at 6 am was obviously HIGH. She couldn't process simple statements like "we'd like to check out of the Sun Cabin" and she never made eye contact with us, strung a bunch of incoherent thoughts together (e.g. "I thought you'd be extending your stay." When we'd said nothing other than that we were checking out - and she stopped talking with us halfway through the transaction and started across the room for a full 3 minutes at someone else. When she spoke (which was very little), she spoke slowly and deliberately so that she could put all of the words together. The only explanation for her behavior was that she was stoned or high.
Please don't stay here. The Park Service has hotels that are historic - and while they're not luxurious, they won't treat you or their staff dishonestly, and they're kind to the environment.
I've written a lot of reviews and I travel alot. Some places don't get some things right, but this place is just rotten and greedy at its core. It has really bad mojo as it sucks everything it can out of the environment, its staff and visitors to spectacular Glacier National Park - I can only hope karma will get this owner in the end.
Don't stay in the east wing
I like to give a personal review after staying at a hotel. I'd like to say that the St. Mary Lodge was very nice overall. We had a great time. The two things I didn't like was having to go to the restaurant for ice and our room in the east wing. Our room was probably the worst room we've stayed in since we were married 37 years ago. The carpet had a huge (2' diameter) stain on it. The shower had a large space where no one had put any trim or caulk on the floor on the outside. There was a very strange squeaking noise on our back wall. We were at first convinced it was an animal. After checking into it ourselves, I think it may have been the hot water heater for the whole east unit which was right behind our room. Fortunately I had earplugs or I wouldn't have gotten any sleep. The worst problem was the mosquitos. They were so bad in our room that we were constantly swatting them. I asked other people in other areas of the hotel and they had no problem. When I was checking out the noise behind the unit, I found a lot of standing water. Someone should have sprayed for the mosquitos. We weren't the only one that had a problem because we noticed dead mosquitos all over the walls. The price of $149 was too much to pay for all the problems. I'm not sure if our tax money is what helps to support national parks and hotels or not, but that room was a disgrace. I would never recommend anyone to stay in the east wing.
Bad accommodations, shabby treatment
I'm sure this is the most expensive hotel in or around St. Mary, Montana. It actually looks quite nice. We stayed only one night. The shower in our room didn't work properly. The dial simply would not mix the scalding hot and ice cold water. We asked for maintenance help twice. Once they came, the other time they didn't. But the problem was not fixed. We washed with sponge baths from the bathroom sink. When I talked to the manager in the morning, he said that he had heard about my "problems adjusting the shower," had sent a bellman while we were out at breakfast, and that the shower worked fine. I then asked the manager if he would send a bellman or someone with me to show me how to make the shower work properly, he refused and said, "I'm not going to bend on this one." So, no fix, no help, no adjustment on the bill, no nothing. As I turned to walk away from the manager, I said, "Unbelievable." He said, loud enough so that I could hear, "Yes, it is." As I said in my title, "Bad accommodations, shabby treatment."
May be the worst customer service I've ever experienced
I recently stayed at St. Mary's Lodge on the east side of Glacier. The trip itself was fantastic but my experience with the staff at St. Mary's prior to, during and after my trip was extremely disappointing.
The problems started when I found out not through the staff at St. Mary's but through friends that the tepee we had booked was not going to be ready when we arrived. I immediately called the hotel and spoke to the Font Desk Manager. He told me there was a chance the tepee would be ready, but he might need to move us to a room at the lodge. I have many issues with the Front Desk Manager (specifics to follow), but telling me there was a chance the tepee would be ready was a blatant lie. I know this to be true because we walked through a tepee when we arrived and the plumbing and electrical in the bathroom wasn't even complete. So telling me there was chance the tepee would be ready was definitely far from the truth.
This felt like a bait and switch scenario. I understand the weather slowed construction of the tepees, but the hotel should have given us sufficient notice of the issue. This would have given us time to try and find alternate lodging if we desired. The concept of under promising and over delivering shouldn't be new to anyone in a customer service position, but it's apparently a concept the staff at St. Mary's needs to learn.
OK, so now my issues with the Front Desk Manager. First, he did not listen to my concerns when I called to find out if the tepees were going to be ready. He talked over me, interrupted frequently and argued with me even when I wasn't arguing with him. He also had the audacity to tell me I was being difficult. In addition to switching our room, he told me we would be given breakfast vouchers for our troubles. The vouchers weren't for the 2 days of our stay but only for 1 day. And we were told the vouchers would be waiting at the front desk when we checked in. Not only were they not there, but we had to call the Front Desk Manager to remind him of the vouchers. Given the fact that we had now checked in to our room, you would think the Front Desk Manager would want to know if we were happy with our accommodations. Of course he never asked.
The Front Desk Manager also had the nerve to tell me that I would thank him for my experience at St. Mary's at the end of my trip because I would see how happy my stay was. This is far from the case. I was so frustrated (and still am) with my experience, that I called the General Manager twice and asked him to return my call. Big surprise, but he never called me back. Bottom line -- don't stay at this hotel especially given the price.