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“Magical Christmas Week at the Rainbow Ranch in Big Sky” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Rainbow Ranch Lodge

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Rainbow Ranch Lodge
Level Contributor
35 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Magical Christmas Week at the Rainbow Ranch in Big Sky”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 January 2012

The Rainbow Ranch is a perfect destination for vacations to Big Sky or Yellowstone. We have been coming to Big Sky Montana for the past 20 years - since we both teenagers - and this vacation was the best we have ever enjoyed. We have a condo in the Meadow in Big Sky, but had too many family members for the holidays to stay there this year. We were so pleased we were the ones "pushed out" to other accommodations. Our children couldn't wait to return to the Rainbow each evening to hot tub and play in their room. I couldn't wait to return to a cleaned room, fresh cookies and peaceful surroundings. Our family (5, 7, 16, 35 and 41) agreed this Christmas was the BEST one we had ever had in Big Sky!

Every morning, we looked forward to an excellent breakfast of warm waffles, muffins, scones, quiche, coffee and fresh fruit. For me, it was wonderful to have breakfast made every morning for my family. For the children, it was a treat to have waffles everyday! My husband loved having fresh coffee every morning.

I made a daily goal of enjoying the hot tub at the Rainbow Ranch. Make sure it is in your daily routine, too. The hot tub is huge, hot and perfect way to end your wintry day. I would rest at the end overlooking the little waterfall and stream which had partially iced over making sculptures of ice over the water. We lit a fire in the fireplace and sipped wine (in plastic cups of course) while looking up the stars. I will dream of these moments for the rest of the year.

One day, we spent the afternoon in the lodge building our sons' new lego sets from Christmas. We felt at home in the lodge, as if the living room was our living room. We ordered lunch from the Corral and just played next to the fireplace, enjoying the views of the snow-covered trees from the windows.

We spent many of our days exploring the runs at Big Sky or Moonlight Basin. We had plenty of new powder and blue sky days. We live in a ski town (Park City Utah) and were grateful for the snow in Big Sky. The views from the two resorts are unbelievable. There are runs for our 5-year-old skier and my double-black diamond expert skiing husband. There are also long groomers for me to race down. Our teenager couldn't get enough of the terrain parks.

My daughter and I also snowshoed the trails behind the Rainbow Ranch and climbed the 3 miles to top to take in views of the quiet snow-covered forest. The hike was good exercise and the views and solitude were worth it.

Our family enjoyed a horse drawn sleigh ride at the 320 Ranch one evening. The staff at the 320 make for the ideal western campfire experience. The "lodge" was warmly lit with a fire and my sons and I played chess by the fireplace while the Christmas tree tinkled in the corner with presents. It felt like our cabin in the woods...because the staff make sure you feel at home. I recommend you go to the 320 in the summer or the winter for a true dude-ranch experience.

One day we hired a snowcoach to go into Yellowstone. Our family had a private Yellowstone Snowcoach on tracks so we could "dive" into 5' snow drifts and drive along the Firehole river to see the wildlife. The driver stayed late in the park so we could watch a huge herd bison coming out of the mist with snow covered faces. I will write a separate review of the snowcoach company - I have the highest recommendations. Please look for the Yellowstone Snowcoach if you want to tour Yellowstone in the winter. Ask for Jay to drive you.

We also x-country skied at Lone Mountain. Picture a postcard image of a cabin in the evergreen forest housed by some of the friendliest staff. They were happy to help us set up our children for x-country skiing for the first time. The kids were not sure they would enjoy quietly skiing through the woods after racing down the slopes at Big Sky. However, we all loved skiing to the Tree Farm Trail and learned how to go down the "hills" on the skinny skis. We spent hours on the trails in the forest. I can't wait to return.

Don't wait to book your stay at the Rainbow Ranch! If you are looking for the ideal mountain getaway for yourself or your family, you have found it at the Rainbow and Big Sky!

Room Tip: We stayed in the Grizzly Room which was perfect for our family of 5. We had plenty of room to store...
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Bigskylady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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276 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (65)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 January 2012

From the moment I called to inquire about a reservation through checkout this was one of the most amazing travel experiences I have had in 30 years of globetrotting. The lodge is lovely, beautifully maintained and peaceful. The landscape was a winter wonderland, and I cannot wait to see it in summer too! The Ermine suite is rustic elegance, warm and inviting and wonderfully appointed. I recommend it highly, all of the rooms are lovely, but the Ermine is something special. On top of the accommodations, Mollie and the entire team were superb hosts, almost one step ahead of you in anticipating your vacation wishes. They were very helpful in arranging fabulous experiences--we went on snowmobile and dogsled adventures and our lovely hosts made our reservations and provided us with all the details.

I love to travel and have stayed in some remarkable resorts, but the Rainbow Ranch has raised the bar on customer service and I cannot wait to return to Montana for R & R at the RR!

Room Tip: All rooms face the river or pond and the mountains...so no losers here. However, the Ermine suite i...
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MJB312
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Billings, Montana
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 December 2011

My husband and I looked at a few diff places in Big Sky and once we walked into the Rainbow Ranch it was an instant love for the place and what comes along with it:) And the beauty of the location, lodge,dinning,and staff:) Mollie for one is who I would look at as ROYALTY!!! She came with this great package as a wedding planner and helped us create a wonderfull setting and stress free and added touches and would had never guessed that any wedding planner could make u feel so special and she till this day has done that for us and we will keep comming back many times during the year and forever:) The Chef is to die for really amazing and nothing you will ever had dreamed of eating in your life:) The Pastry Chef is awesome and her creations will floor you as well:) The Bartender and Bartenders are the best at creating diff drinks and to perfection!!! And the bar is so relaxing! As well as the Waiters the most personable you will ever meet and take care of you while you sit in a dinning room filled with an amazing view and warmth:) As well as being greeted and checkout the front desk are always friendly and helpful:) and u will look forward to breakfast in the mornings before you leave because no one has this kind of selection:) The rooms are amazing the thought that went into them makes you not want to leave the rooms and the fireplace inside and out is so charming along with the suttle music as you walk into the room with fresh cookies in a simole clear jar:) If u are to get married here and need a great photographer "LARRY STANLEY" would be the one to have do the pictures you will always wanna look at over and over again:) trust me!!! And Darius married us and he put such a great speech and thought into our wedding I would had never wanted anyone else:) Anyhow if you want a place that you will never wanna forget choose the Rainbow Ranch no matter if you dont live in Montana or close to here it would be worth the stay and a spot for a future wedding:) Thank you Rainbow Ranch for making this a place we look forward to:)

Room Tip: I would choose the bootom rooms by the pond:) I love the spacious room they have and the beds are am...
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank gina b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Del Mar, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 November 2011

My husband and I spent a weekend in this wonderful lodge surounded by gorgeous scenery and absolutely loved it. The personnel are the friendliest and best informed of anywhere we've stayed. The setting amidst snow-covered meadows and mountains was exquisite. Each night, when we returned to our room, a fire had been laid and was only a match-strike away. Both dinner and breakfast were delicious and well-prepared with fresh ingredients. We'll be back for sure!

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Lindadelmar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new jersey
Level Contributor
92 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 November 2011

we chose the Rainbow Ranch Lodge b/c it is halfway between Bozeman and Yellowstone. it was a wonderful place to stay, despite being on the main road. our room, and i think all the rooms??) faced away from the road towards the Gallatin River. the Room was more than spacious with tons of closet space, as was the bathroom with 2 sinks and a lovely large shower. room also had a fireplace which was a nice romantic touch, tho it did tend to smoke a little into the room initially until we opened a window to get a draft going. another nice touch is daily homebaked cookies - if only they were calorie free!
the main building is also nice with a well stocked bar and a fantastic, if pricey, restaurant. had it been open every night, we'd have probably eaten there every night as the food was delicious!
the staff were extremely friendly and very helpful, even to the point of supplying me with Vit C 2 mornings as i had a mild flu! they were also very helpful and prompt in attending to other requests - more kindling, new soaps etc.
our only suggestion is that service needs a tiny bit of tweaking here and there: housekeeping forgot to replenish soaps and the bathmat on more than one occasion, kindling was not replenished, a blanket was left on the floor despite the bed being remade.
we also think there should be a note that the water above the mini fridge is filtered (we only found out 3-4 days into our trip), a light should be installed above that fridge as you can't see to make the coffee, and honey and creamer should be supplied to go with the coffee and tea.
having said all that, none of that would be an excuse not to go; this is really a very lovely hotel in a MOST beautiful part of our country and we would definitely return if we ever find ourselves back in the Big Sky area again
TIP: sign up for massages in the spa cabin and ask for Barb Van Erp of Alpine Massage of Big Sky and/or Liz Allen of Focus Massage in Bozeman. both women were most friendly and gave EXCELLENT massages!

Room Tip: make sure to get one with a fireplace!
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank peripateticprincess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 (Based on Average Rates): €€
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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