USPL Reviews Provided by
Lake Yellowstone Hotel and Cottages
Ellen L from: Geneva, Illinois
Published Date: Oct, 12, 2023 Travel Date: Sep, 1, 2023 Rating: 3
Beautiful But Not a Good Value
The hotel is lovely and the setting spectacular! When the dining room isn't backed up [which happened too often], the food is good. But this hotel is a splurge, yet there was no housekeeping for five days, the promised ethernet connection didn't work, and IT never came as promised. I messaged the company from the property with our frustration [two weeks ago] and have never received even an acknowledgement. We know there are challenges to staying within the park, but this was a colossal disappointment. Update: Xanterra, the company that runs the hotel, did get back to me with a gracious solution.
- Value: 3
- Location: 5
- Service: 3
Trip Type: Couples
Published Date: Oct, 12, 2023 Travel Date: Sep, 1, 2023 Rating: 5
Loved it here!!!
We absolutely loved the Lake Yellowstone Hotel! We arrived a little bit earlier than check-in time, and they were nice enough to let us check in since our room was ready. We had a deluxe hotel room, and it was clean and comfortable. The bathroom was big with lots of counter space. We didn't have a Lakeview room, but just down the hall was a sitting area that overlooked the lake. We also loved to sit on the front porch and enjoy the gorgeous lake views with an adult beverage in the evening...a perfect ending after a day full of hiking and adventures. We had breakfast there each morning and it was very reasonably priced considering it was an all-you-can-eat buffet and included coffee and juice. I can't rave enough over the goat cheese quiche! I couldn't get enough!!! We also had a dinner reservation one evening and we were so pleased with the meal. It was delicious! All the staff was friendly... from the moment we checked in to the friendly waitresses and waiters. There was live piano music which added to the lovely atmosphere. The gift shop was nice, too, with a local artist on-site. I loved everything about this place and would definitely stay here again! The ONLY thing that I would say could have made things better... there was no room service and the bar area was understaffed. But, we were there during the off-season in late September and I understand that many workers were probably college students who were back in school. Other than that, LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this beautiful place!!! Highly recommend. Five stars!!!
rmc1341 from: Cary, North Carolina
Published Date: Oct, 9, 2023 Travel Date: Sep, 1, 2023 Rating: 3
Cabins are Basic
Stayed in cabins behind hotel which are pricey, but cheap compared to hotel. It was a basic cabin with two beds, no TV or internet The bathroom was small , but water pressure was fine and hot. Gets the job done
- Value: 3
- Location: 5
- Service: 3
beachbumwantabe from: arkansas
Trip Type: Couples
Published Date: Oct, 7, 2023 Travel Date: Sep, 1, 2023 Rating: 4
Expensive but convenient
Booked a year in advance. Spent 3 nights in the park at 3 different locations. It was ki da expensive but felt like the cost was worth it for the convenience of staying in the park. Did don't want to spend our time driving in and out of park. Able to get an early start in the morning without the crowds.
Published Date: Sep, 30, 2023 Travel Date: Sep, 1, 2023 Rating: 1
Horrifically mismanaged, dirty, and overpriced. You're not paying for luxury. You're paying for the location in YNP and, for some rooms, lake views. I get that. But at any price, I expect at least the level of service that I could get from a roadside motel, and the Lake Yellowstone Hotel fell well below that.
The hotel itself is old--though refurbished in 2014, so it has relatively modern fixtures--and has some charm to it. The lake is beautiful and the setting picturesque. I wouldn't mind staying here again but for the horrific service.
I feel for the staff. They were clearly under-resourced, overworked, and frustrated by the position that management put them in, having to deal with recurring guest complaints. With one notable exception, discussed below, they were generally sympathetic, responsive, and courteous. I cannot say the same for management, who bears ultimate responsibility for all these problems.
I thought part of the issue might be attributable to the fact that we visited at the end of the season, but earlier reviews on this site indicate that these are recurring problems throughout the tourist season. I'd stay away, no matter when you visit. Unfortunately, Xanterra--the private concessioner that runs the place--has an effective monopoly on food and drink in Yellowstone National Park. Once you're there, they have you trapped, and they know it.
Below is a non-exhaustive list of the issues experienced by my group, ranging from minor annoyances to downright rude and insulting behavior.
1. Late check in. Check in is at 4. One of our two rooms was not ready until after 5pm.
2. Dirty shower. I stayed in the Sandpiper Lodge. When I arrived, the shower was covered in visible pink mold. To their credit, when I raised this issue with the front desk staff, they sent someone to clean it that night, which mostly fixed the problem (though they also left dirty shoe prints on the bath mat).
3. No basic supplies. The hotel had no hand soap or bar soap by the sink. Their response? "we're out, but the body wash in the shower has the same chemicals, so you can use that." Because it was the last week of the season, they apparently had no plans to order any more soap--though other reviews indicate they had run out weeks before. They were, however, selling bottles of their "signature" branded hand soap in the gift shop--for $18 a pop. On our last night, someone placed a bottle of shampoo next to my sink. They had apparently tried to disguise it as hand soap by turning the bottle so the label was facing the wall. I would have been insulted by the attempted deception if it wasn't so farcically hilarious.
We later learned they were also out of Kleenex, which was a problem for one of my family members who had some sniffles.
4. No housekeeping service. We stayed for five nights so we needed multiple sets of fresh towels. It took four or five requests to the front desk, ultimately culminating in a complaint to the night manager, to get some fresh towels. (To her credit, we got a free breakfast from the night manager as an apology, which was appreciated. The hotel manager, Andrew, was not so helpful.)
5. Overcrowding and low supply at the bar. The lobby has a lovely lounge/bar area, but be prepared to wait 15-20 minutes to order a drink. There were only two bartenders working, and they were both quite good, but could not keep up with the number of patrons. If you do manage to place an order, have some backup options in mind, because chances are if you order from their wine and beer list they will be out of your first 1-2 choices.
6. Insufficient restaurant staff and unhelpful management. There are two restaurant options in the Lake Yellowstone area. One is the hotel restaurant, which is relatively good (though overpriced). The other is Wylie's Canteen in the nearby Lake Lodge (also Xanterra-run), which is a ski lodge-style cafeteria. If you want to eat in the hotel restaurant, you should book your reservations well in advance--probably at the time of booking the hotel.
Having been forewarned that the restaurant is hard to get into, we booked a 7:30 pm reservation for our last night--months in advance. We waited in line for over 20 minutes just to check in with the host for our reservation. The host said they were running 30 minutes behind and offered a buzzer. He was rude, dismissive, and defiant--without a hint of contrition or apology. The manager was similarly dismissive and unhelpful. I might as well have complained to one of the lodgepole pines next to the lake. And to add (literal) insult to injury, as I walked away from my conversation with the manager--now even more frustrated--another hotel staff member audibly whispered an insult that I will not repeat. When we were finally seated around 45 minutes after our reservation time--the host rudely said "see, that wasn't so hard."
I understand that, as the host so rudely put it, they cannot make more staff appear out of thin air. But when a hotel and restaurant are so utterly mismanaged, I expect more than "there's nothing I can do" as a response. And I certainly do not expect to be insulted or treated rudely. Staff should be trained not to make a bad situation even worse by antagonizing upset hotel guests who are hungry, tired, and 45 minutes past the time of their dinner reservation.
- Value: 2
- Location: 4
- Service: 1