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“The best of Big Sky!”

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Rainbow Ranch Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Helena, Montana
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“The best of Big Sky!”
Reviewed 24 October 2011

My family (three boys 2, 4,5) husband and I stayed here for a weekend in the shoulder season (October) – it was terrific! I can’t wait to come back.

This is not a working Dude ranch rather a 5-star style lodge. Everything at this lodge is understated and extremely comfortable and in tip-top shape – there is not a hair out of place. The staff looks after every detail no matter where you look. The décor is stylish, very Montana, but not over the top “ranchy”. There is a lovely stone fireplace with big comfy, leather sofas near the bar area for relaxing, cocktails and breakfast. There is a huge porch overlooking the Gallatin River and a gigantic mountain. The outdoor gardens, trout pond, fire pit and grill area are all designed to perfection. Rainbow Ranch has the biggest tiled hot tub I’ve ever seen next to a gigantic stone fireplace – and it all over looks the lovely grounds, river and mountains. The staff is extremely professional and attends to every detail without being stuffy or overbearing – everyone was incredibly friendly, helpful and nice.

The rooms are equally understated and charming. Our room had 2 bedrooms with cool queen sized log beds. Soft sheets and real down pillows made for good sleeping. There was a stone fireplace at the foot of the bed with a pre-made wood fire, ready to go. We also had a very nice sized porch/deck with Adirondack-style chairs for relaxing. Thick towels, Mouton&Brown toiletries and nice water pressure rounded out the accommodations.

Best of all was the food. We ate dinner one night in the dining room and probably had the best fine dining meal we had all year. This could easily be the best place to eat in all of Montana. The entrees ranges from $30-38 to $47 for the specials. And it was worth it. I ordered Quail with farrow, and wilted greens. My husband had the Elk – cooked to perfection. The service was knowledgeable, friendly and really paced the meal well, especially since we had our young children with us. The home-made charcuterie platter for appetizer and home made desserts and ice creams were out of this world. The wine list was extremely well chosen and broad enough to satisfy a range of budgets. Continental breakfast was included with our room, and at first it seemed a bit modest but after sidling up to the bar, it was simply perfect. Everything was homemade: zucchini bread, almond croissants, plain croissants, pistachio filled éclairs, raisin scones, sun dried tomato and spinach quiche, quiche Lorraine, free-range hard boiled eggs, amazing from-the-oven granola, fresh yogurt and delicious fresh fruit salad. They offered 4 kinds of juices, delicious coffee and teas.

I would stay again here at any time – I really loved this place, as did my children. While its not a “kids” place, we felt very comfortable here as did they. There were about 2 other rooms with small kids when we were there. Rainbow Ranch is about 20 minutes from Big Sky ski resort and about 45 miles from the west entrance to Yellowstone. If you want to hike Ousel Falls and explore Big Sky or hike to Lava Lake, this is a great basecamp. If you want to stop by here en route to Yellowstone – Bozeman, it’s a terrific choice, too.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PattersonBoston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (71)
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English first
Seattle, Washington
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 October 2011

Planning a destination wedding initially seemed be an overwhelming task. The wedding planner at the Ranch, Mollie Eckman, was amazing. During the months before this destination wedding she responded to our calls and e-mails promptly and always with great recommendations and suggestions.
On the wedding day she was there throughout the entire event overseeing everything so that we could all enjoy our day. If anything did go wrong on our wedding day, we never new about it. Mollie is calm, efficient, personal, professional and very knowledgable.
We were most impressed how she watched over the bride and groom throughout the entire event, especially the private champange toast before the reception and organizing their lovely and timely arrival to the reception. As the parents of the bride, we wanted everything to be perfect for such an important day for our daughter and it was! Thank you Mollie! You did make it happen and we truly felt like we were the most important client you have ever had!
The barn was beautifully decorated, the food was amazing, and the accommodations at the ranch were fabulous. All our guests loved Rainbow and are already planning return trips.
Several of our guests worked off the list of activities Mollie provided of things to do in the area and all exceeded their expectations. That included fly fishing lessons, horseback riding, river rafting, hiking and other dining experiences.
It was a magical weekend for our families.

Room Tip: Riverside rooms all have lovely decks overlooking th Gallatin River, each with a fireplace. Pondsid...
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sharonmo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rainbowranchlodge, General Manager at Rainbow Ranch Lodge, responded to this review, 23 October 2011
Wow, where to begin! From the beginning phone calls to the last dance, it was a pleasure to plan such a special occasion with you. Having your friends and family at Rainbow Ranch was a treat. It was awesome to be a part of such a magical celebration. We can't wait to see you again!!!!
All our love,
Mollie and your Rainbow Ranch Family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Olympia, Washington
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 September 2011

My wife and I had dinner at Rainbow Ranch on 9.14.11, (we were staying in Big Sky.). It is one of the best restaurants ever, rivaling Napa Valley, Maui, Chicago, and any other place we have dined. Patrick was terrific. Right from the start we could tell that he was a man who loved what he was doing, from describing the food to tips on fishing, and took pride in being part of this amazing place. The rib-eye and the scallops were great, but you must try the brioche, house made duck prosciutto, foie gras, lobster, quail egg covered with a bearnaise sauce appetizer. (I know, it's a contradiction of terms.) So good, I wanted to roll in it ! Better than drugs! Lori was kind enough to show us the wine cellar, ( and didn't mind me pulling out all my favorites,) while telling us about the history of the place and the fire that took so many brave bottles of delicious wine. She is another wonderful example of why we loved dining here, she is kind, friendly and loves wine, and talking to us about it. From start to finish, Janet and I had a blast. From sharing appetizers with Ken and Mary Kay from Dallas, (the folks seated next to us,) to enjoying the people noise that reminded me of a good dinner party at our home, we didn't want to leave. Rainbow Ranch is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and it is OZ over the rainbow. Be prepared to be amazed. Thanks Patrick and Lori. We will be back. Jack and Janet Singler.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jack S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rainbowranchlodge, General Manager at Rainbow Ranch Lodge, responded to this review, 25 October 2011
Dear Guest,
Thank you for your kind words, we are happy that you enjoyed your time at Rainbow Ranch! We look forward to your return and will make sure you have our best table!
Cheers!
Mollie
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 September 2011

Stayed for one night in a riverside room. Great room, fabulous dinner, very relaxing. A little nearer the highway than I'd expected.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rachael080
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rainbowranchlodge, General Manager at Rainbow Ranch Lodge, responded to this review, 25 October 2011
Dear Guest,
Thank you for your review. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay. We hope that you will come back and visit soon, perhaps to take advantage of the incredible skiing, our cozy fireplace and award winning wine list.
Cheers!
Mollie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 September 2011

Where do I start.....I recently was married here at this beautiful property on July 23 and had the entire hotel and 2 of it's great cabins (Bobcat and Golden Eagle) booked for families and friends. They were all blown away by the beauty and amazing staff at this property! I can not express my gratitude enough to ALL members of the staff...front and back of house, they couldn't have made me and my family and friends feel more at home. All the rooms are beautifully located either on the pond or along the riverfront. All were clean and had all the amenities. If there was something they did not have, the front desk would make sure they could full fill that need. The luxury pondside suites are gorgeous and well worth the money. Although the lodge is located off HWY 191 (as it sits in the valley) you still feel like you are swept away at your own private home, as the large lawn heads down to the river. Molly- who was my contact for the wedding planning was patient and extremely helpful and Steve, who helped with food and wine parings was amazing. Highly, highly recommend this stay. We can not wait to come back and celebrate our anniversary!

Room Tip: If you are noise sensitive, I would recommend booking the Riverside rooms or the Luxury Pondside roo...
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank iheartmt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rainbowranchlodge, General Manager at Rainbow Ranch Lodge, responded to this review, 25 October 2011
We hope you are enjoying married life! You are a beautiful bride inside and out and it was an honor to plan your special day with you. We wish you all the best and look forward to your return visit! Please let me know the dates and we will put the champagne in ice!
All our love,
Mollie and your Rainbow Ranch Family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rainbow Ranch Lodge

Property: Rainbow Ranch Lodge
Address: 42950 Gallatin Road, Gallatin Gateway, Big Sky, MT 59730
Region: United States > Montana > Big Sky > Gallatin Gateway
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Gallatin Gateway
Price range (per night): RM810 - RM1,578
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Rainbow Ranch Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rainbow Ranch Lodge is an intimate twenty-one room hotel and gourmet restaurant located on the banks of the Gallatin River in Big Sky, Montana. Whether riverside or pondside, accommodations at Rainbow Ranch Lodge provide a sanctuary for post-adventure relaxing or a romantic getaway for two. Located in a sweeping valley in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the Rainbow Ranch Lodge's location is ideal for both summer and winter activities. Our proximity to Yellowstone National Park affords our guests endless opportunities for outdoor adventure and exploration, including world-class fly fishing, horseback riding, hiking, whitewater rafting, and kayaking. Whether you choose an experienced local guide service or venture out on your own, the breathtakingly rugged, natural beauty of southwest Montana will restore and rejuvenate your senses. One of the top 10 winter destinations in North America, the Big Sky area offers a variety of winters activities including downhill skiing at Big Sky Resort, Moonlight Basin and Lone Mountain Ranch, as well as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, dog sledding, and winter fly fishing. If your winter preferences lean more towards comfort and warmth, the Rainbow Ranch Lodge's spa services and luxurious guest rooms provide the perfect alternative to a day spent outdoors. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rainbow Ranch Hotel Gallatin Gateway
Rainbow Hotel Gallatin Gateway
Rainbow Ranch Montana

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