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Kandahar lodge
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Don't think that because nobody back East has ever heard of Whitefish and it's only accessible by Amtrak, that lodging here is less than excellent. It's not. It's very classy, but because of its lesser visibility and access it's a lot less expensive. Kandahar Lodge is the on slope facility and is shown in the first three photos here. But shuttles run back and forth from downtown to the lifts, and the further you get from the slopes the better the prices get. None of these are national chains. They're all locally owned and run, often by families that have owned and run them for generations. They've all been renovated and updated in the last decade. So while you may pay a bit more to get here, once you're here, you'll save that money back in cheaper lodging, restaurants and lift tickets. kandahar pool
room at Kandahar Lodge Kandahar Lodge, as you can see from the top photo, is a European style sprawling chalet. There's a restaurant, hot tub and fitness center. Rooms have refrigerators, microwaves and coffeemakers. Bathrooms have granite countertops and porcelain pedestal sinks. There's a free continental breakfast, ski storage, boot room and wireless internet. The lobby is large and comfy with a beautiful fireplace continually stoked by the staff. A short shuttle runs along the base of the mountain every five minutes to the lifts. There's a bar and grille off the lobby which is handy when you're coming in from skiing --- at least a cup of hot chocolate, and maybe something stronger. Be aware there's no elevator. If you come in early December or mid January you can take advantage of bargain prices. There are different kinds of rooms : one type has an upstairs sleeping loft, one has a kitchenette, one is a suite. The lodge itself does not run a shuttle from the Amtrak Station. You call 1-406-892-3390, which is Flathead Glacier Transportation, and sign up. The van will be waiting for you when the train pulls in.
Whitefish Lake is seven miles long and a mile wide and supports a thriving population of 20 pound Trout. On its shore is The Lodge at Whitefish Lake, which in the Summer is a center for fishing, boating, water skiing and other water sports. The Lodge is also a great place to stay while skiing. It offers a free shuttle to the mountain, and a town bus stops every 30 minutes all day. There's a fine restaurant and outdoor hot tub. Each room has a gas fireplace. The lobby fireplace is tended by the staff so there's always a cheery flame. The design echoes the big national park lodges, with heavy timbers, stone, leather, etc. Showers are large and walk in. Towels are oversized and fluffy. They'll pick you up and drop you off at the Amtrak Station. The Concierge in the lobby can arrange for everything from rental cars to snowshoe lessons. Forest room views are cheaper than lake view but you can see the ski resort from forest view windows. The lake is frozen over in Winter but with a good pair of binoculars you can watch them skiing on the mountain from your room. The lodge gift shop is outstanding, especially in its jewelry collection. Downtown is only a mile away, so if you stay late at one of the bars or restaurants you can easily walk back. Lodge at Whitefish Lake fireplace
grouse mtn lodge Grouse Mountain Lodgeis run by the Glacier Park Lodge Corporation even though it's in Whitefish. Built in 1983 and renovated in 2011, it's a beautiful lodge, modelled after the ones over in the park, and offers some of the best deals in town. You can reserve a standard double with two queen beds or one king for just $100 a night, or reserve a package that for $20 more will get you the room plus lift tickets. And these are nice rooms. There's a free Amtrak shuttle, free shuttle to downtown and to the ski resort, indoor pool, outdoor hot tub, fire pit, spacious lobby with beautiful fireplace, fitness center, bar, restaurant, sauna, wireless internet, refrigerators, coffee makers, hair dryers, ironing boards, flat screen TVs, down pillows and alarm clocks. You must sign up for the Amtrak shuttle when you make your reservation and we recommend calling a day ahead or while en route (on the train several hours before arrival) to confirm. Then the van will be waiting for you at the station. You sign up for the ski shuttle at checkin and the next morning you'll have a choice of 8:30, 9:30 or 10:30 departures. There are fancier rooms with sleeping lofts, suites or other amenities.

The Rocky Mountain Lodge is a member of the Best Western affiliation, but remember those are individually owned lodges which belong to the association for volume deals on marketing, supplies and insurance. If you are absolutely certain you're coming, you can obtain a $96.53 a night rate per room here, but you cannot cancel. That rate would include a room with either a king or two queens, nonsmoking, with full breakfast, 32 inch LCD TV, microwave, refrigerator, hairdryer,iron & ironing board, and free wifi. Noncancellable for $117, you could reserve a Suite with jetted tub and fireplace. Shuttles run to the ski slopes, downtown and Amtrak. There's a heated outdoor pool, fitness center and elevator. The reason the rates are so low is there's no onsite restaurant.

Rocky Mtn Lodge
Pine Mtn Lodge Pine Lodge removes a few more amenities to give you an even lower room rate : $72.50 a night if you can claim AAA or AARP or U.S. Military credentials. These rooms feature a king bed, coffeemaker, microwave, refrigerator, and 32" TV. But there's still an indoor/outdoor heated pool, a hot tub, and the SNOW Bus running to downtown and the ski slopes. For a higher price you can add a fireplace, jetted tub and queen beds. There is a free breakfast. It's not as extravagant as some of its higher priced rivals, and the coffee's not as good, but you can make coffee in your own room. They're renovating the breakfast room now, and say after they enlarge it, they'll have room to add more items.
The Downtowner Inn offers two huge advantages. It's only a block from the Amtrak Station, and it's right on Main Street in the heart of downtown. You're literally steps away from a whole street of restaurants of shops. So you only have to deal with a shuttle when going back and forth to the slopes. There's a hot tub, outdoor jacuzzi, bagel bar and restaurant. Rooms start at $80 a night. The rooms are basic, 1950ish and small. The continental breakfast is sparse but you can step around the corner and eat at several good restaurants and coffee shops. There's a sharp turn here as the main route enters the town, so expect some traffic noise as vehicles brake and then speed back up. Ifr your idea of a ski trip includes spending every evening at the local bars, this would be an ideal place because you don't have to worry about catching the shuttle back to your lodging. If you like to get up in the morning and hit the slopes as soon as the lifts open, eat early and go to bed, you'd be better off at one of the lodges further up the hill. downtown inn
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