Montana is a proudly historic state with much to exhibit by way of national heritage. You’ll find historic blocks, districts, and buildings dating back to the earlier days of the state’s development. This could’ve come by way of the railroad, the mining industry, homesteading, or agriculture.
The historic hotels in Montana still display the period décor and architecture, with many of these establishments dating back to the 1800s.
Many of these historic locations have undergone various refurbishments, and some have had complete facelifts and transformed into modern boutique hotels. Let’s have a closer look at some of the historic hotels in Montana.
Top Historic Montana Hotels
- Murray Hotel
- Hotel Arvon
- Historic Madison
- Izaak Walton Inn
- Miner’s Boutique Hotel
- Pollard Hotel
- Fairweather Inn
- Many Glacier Hotel
- Grand Union Hotel
- Andrus Hotel
Montana’s southwestern Livingston is home to the very historic Murray Hotel. The uniqueness of the hotel doesn’t end with the fact that it somehow manages to be in the town center and the mountains simultaneously.
The Murray Hotel dates back to 1904 and it is as authentic and original as it gets when it comes to Western hotels in Western towns. That said, don’t expect anything other than the latest modern amenities on the interior of this original building, with décor that is a tasteful nod in the direction of the building’s legacy.
The hotel first opened its doors in 1904 and the four floors and 30 rooms have seen their fair share of history and Hollywood come and go, including Buffalo Bill and Calamity Jane. Today though the hotel remains popular with visitors and the bar is a renowned local gathering place with some real character.
Guests can enjoy easily-accessible activities nearby like rock climbing, hunting, hiking, and biking. Bozeman’s Yellowstone International Airport is just over a half-hour away from this legendary 3-star hotel in the center of Livingston.
Located in the historic and centrally-located Great Falls, the equally historic Hotel Arvon can be found right in the city center. The residence is just a 2-minute walk from Great Falls Convention Center and is perfectly offset by an onsite art gallery and an in-house pub.
The Hotel Arvon’s services first opened to the public in 1890 through the efforts of a ‘Celtic Pioneer’ who had helped establish a business community known as the Arvon Block, which would come to house the hotel.
After major refurbishments between 2010 and 2015, the establishment re-opened to the public with the accompanying onsite art gallery, Irish Pub, and restaurant by way of the Celtic Cowboy and its Irish cuisine and brunch.
The hotel has nothing less than all the mod cons despite its historic pedigree, with features like a restaurant with a bar and lounge, and a 24-hour gym. Guests can also take advantage of the conference rooms, free Wi-Fi, and a free airport shuttle.
The Madison is the only remaining hotel that dates back to the early days of tourism in Yellowstone National Park. Here you can witness firsthand the rich time period reflected back from elements of the hotel today, which itself dates back to 1912.
The fact that Yellowstone National Park’s West Entrance is literally a 15-minute walk from the hotel has always impacted business positively, and free shuttle and parking are part of the package these days. Various types of rooms are offered at the accommodation, which has seen its own share of modifications over the years.
The Historic Madison Hotel Motel is located within the natural beauty of Yellowstone National Park, and it is also 5 minute walk from the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center.
Located in Montana’s Essex off Highway 2, the Izaak Walton Inn is set in the mountains. Despite its remote location, it sits trackside to a train station, offering both an insight into railroad history along with an abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities.
Dating back to 1939, the Izaak Walton Inn borders the southern shoulder of Glacier National Park and is situated along the former Great Northern Railway route. The accommodation at the inn comes by way of the National Historic Landmark-recognized lodge and six converted cabooses. All rooms come with access to a sauna, a garden, a playground, and ski and hiking trails.
Aside from the close proximity to Glacier Park, this historic Essex hotel puts you within half a mile of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. Ski-in/ski-out access is available along with a spa hot tub.
Guests will also find laundry facilities, a lobby fireplace, and a bar. Additional features and amenities at the hotel include an onsite restaurant, and access to various available onsite activities including horseback riding, snowshoeing, and skiing.
History buffs and romantics alike who find themselves in Butte’s central regions may appreciate the Miner’s Boutique Hotel. This is a century-old establishment in the historic district of Uptown Butte, which has been converted into a contemporary, charming place to stay.
The old building underwent renovations in 2016 which transformed it into the boutique hotel visitors can experience today. The Hotel is within easy walking distance of some great restaurants, breweries, and decent shopping options, and a free roundtrip airport shuttle is provided.
In the heart of Red Lodge is the town’s first-ever brick building dating back to 1893. Built between what was the train passenger depot and the booming town, this was an impressive establishment at the time.
The building in its original form was bought and refurbished in 1902, renamed as the Pollard, and given an additional twenty-five guest rooms on top of the existing 35.
Today there are further insights into the history of the area to be found within a 5-minute walk of the residence. These come by way of the Carbon County Historical Society & Museum and the Carbon County Art Guild & Depot Gallery.
The hotel features a restaurant with a bar and lounge, a 24-hour gym, and a sauna. Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities nearby, such as the Lake Fork Trail.
Virginia City is a fairly quiet, nicely-maintained little city that comes to life a bit more in summer. It’s a historic former mining region famous for ghost towns.
If you’d really like to get a taste of the local history which is plentiful you could spend a night or two at the Fairweather Inn, which dates back to the early 1880s. It also serves as a getaway or a stop-off spot for passing travelers and tourists.
The residence features an on-site restaurant and coffee shop, as well as some nice period decor. As it’s a historic hotel, the inn is open only from mid-May to mid-September. Book early, as the 8 or so en-suite rooms all go quickly, despite rumors of ghosts!
Many Glacier Hotel first opened to the public in 1915 on the shores of Swiftcurrent Lake. In many ways, the building despite any necessary renovations, remains largely unchanged since that time.
This kind of timelessness can be seen and felt in Glacier National Park on the shores of this secluded and rustic hotel. With over 200 guest rooms decorated modestly in an old-world style, the Glacier Hotel is a unique lodging experience in the park.
The hotel is a National Historic Landmark and seems to generate the same kind of interest and admiration as when it first opened. Guests can utilize free parking and an area shuttle for a fee.
Often cited as the state’s oldest hotel the Grand Union has a history that dates back to 1882. Fort Benton was less than 40 years old at that point and Montana was yet to become a state.
Fort Benton was at the height of its prosperous times during the Upper Missouri River steamboat era. As it turned out the hotel suffered its share of hardships for close to a century.
This stemmed initially from the closing of the saloon during prohibition, but there was a subsequent abandonment sometime in the 1980s due to financing issues. The current local owners have had the building restored to the red-brick beauty of its original design and splendor.
The Andrus Hotel is a designated historic hotel in Dillon, which itself has been given various accolades including a feature on “America’s Prettiest Towns” by Forbes Magazine.
Certainly, the Andrus Hotel has been adding to the charm and available luxurious respite in Dillon for over a century since first opening to the public in 1917. The Andrus, these days, is a luxury boutique hotel complete with a rooftop terrace, and the hotel accommodation features a fully-equipped kitchen and fine linen.
The amenities are well thought-out as is the service. Throughout the hotel, you’ll find art collections featuring vintage pieces from the original property. The central location is in Dillon’s Downtown Old Town neighborhood and serves as a great base for exploration of the area.
The Bottom Line
Whether you have a direct interest in the history and heritage of Montana or you just have a sense of the romantic and like something with a bit of character, you won’t have to look too far to find some great historic hotels in Montana.
The deep sense of heritage and history running through the state ensures that what is worth preserving often gets restored and given new life in a more modern context, while others work best left as they were intended to inspire generations to come.