The early National Park Lodges are magnificent – with high-beamed ceilings and awesome wood trim. Including large “chunks” of wood on the stairwells and fireplace mantels. Even though the Lake McDonald Lodge was to look like a Swiss Chalet, Native American welcome messages are etched in the floor and the lanterns too, have Native American designs. Since I haven’t hung out in a Swiss Chalet, I’m not sure if they have moose and elk heads mounted on the walls … but who knows.

If you get the opportunity to stay at a National Park Lodge, I strongly recommend it. Although I haven’t stayed at this one, Ken and I did stay at a few others including Old Faithful Inn.

Here are some pointers.

1. They might have been luxury hotels in the early 1900s, but that doesn’t include air conditioning, WiFi, or other television – so be prepared. (They can get hot in mid summer.)

2. Luxury also does not always include a bathroom in each room, though many do have them. I remember one stay at Old Faithful where we had to walk down a very public hallway to the bathroom.

3. Luxury also doesn’t include sound proof walls. We stayed at a lodge in Yosemite that we very much enjoyed, but we could hear every word our neighbors said through paper-thin walls.

4. Food at the lodges is often excellent.

5. Some of the websites say you have to make reservations at least a year ahead of time. We never reserved that far ahead, although several times we did make reservations. However, both times we stayed at Old Faithful we decided on a whim to see if they had a vacant room and both times we got in – once with the kids and once there without the kids.

6. Staying at the lodges is extremely fun and worth it (the prices can be luxury – though not totally over-the-top).

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