Izaak Walton Inn

Address: 290 Izaak Walton Inn Rd, Essex, Montana, 59916, United States | Hotel
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This hotel, located on 290 Izaak Walton Inn Rd, Essex, is near Empire Builder.
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      TravelPod Member ReviewsIzaak Walton Inn Essex

      Reviewed by greg-mary-scott

      Nice Historic Railroad Hotel

      Reviewed May 27, 2014
      by (19 reviews) , United States Flag of United States

      I dislike writing reviews like this one because there are way too many variables.

      One Star: If you think that roughing it is a Holiday Inn then this is not the hotel for you. The rooms a small almost primitive compared to modern hotels. If you are a very light sleeper the train tracks are way too close for you.

      Two Stars: The reason I gave this hotel two stars can be attributed to the fact that this is the early part of the season. We had small problems with housekeeping and the menu in the Diner was obsolete as in they did not have everything that was on the menu and some of the menu items had changed.

      Three Stars: This is the score I would have liked to give this hotel and if I were to return in July once all the summer staff had had a chance to learn their jobs the hotel would probably earn three stars.

      Four Stars: If you want to experience what it was like to stay in a hotel nearly 100 years ago this is the place for you. About the only difference between then and now is the indoor plumbing. Izaak Walton Hotel is a perfect example of a historic hotel.

      Five Stars: If you want to experience a historic railroad hotel and are a rail fan, this is heaven on earth. The BNSF main line is almost outside the front door. The trains are close enough that you can enjoy them yet far enough away to not seriously disturb your sleep.

      This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.

      Reviewed by lilly_annew

      A Great Winter Retreat

      Reviewed Mar 20, 2013
      by (4 reviews) Leavenworth , United States Flag of United States

      Great skiing, good food, friendly staff. We drove to the inn since it was part of a longer trip to a number of national parks but, one of the appeals of this location is taking the train right to the inn and back. A great winter retreat. I definitely need to go by train some time.

      Izaak Walton Bridge
      Essex, United States

      This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.

      Reviewed by max1998

      Neat railroad stuff

      Reviewed Jun 25, 1944
      by (21 reviews) Mt.Prospect Illinois , United States Flag of United States

      We found this Inn when we drove around the southeast part of the Park. I like all the railroad stuff and would like to stay here one day.

      This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.

      Historical Traveler Reviews Izaak Walton Inn Essex

      Good value in a good location


      The rooms are clean and well furnished. Memorabilia throughout the hotel is well worth seeing. The views toward trackside are about as good as they get, if you like trains (which we do). The staff is friendly and helpful, without exception. We thought the restaurant food was good and an excellent value, which is good since there aren't any nearby alternatives. Negatives: creaky floors so you hear every footstep above you. Considering the beautiful setting, nice summer climate, and attentive staff, the place is highly recommended.

      Train buffs and Nature lovers paradise


      [I found no reviews of this place before we went, so I wanted to be sure to inform people of this GREAT place!]

      We stayed here June 12-14, 2005. We arrived via Amtrak's Empire Builder route. The Inn is just a few hundred feet from the tracks and the train stops here. Some one from the Inn is waiting w/ a van for arrivals to help carry your luggage, but it is w/in walking distance.

      The setting for this Inn is at the boundaries of Glacier Nat'l Park. (You can rent a car thru the Inn so you can navigate the Park and elsewhere.) It is AWESOME scenery w/ towering fur trees that smell like a Christmas Tree farm. The Rocky Mtns are in the backdrop; some still w/ snow on top--in June. There is the Flathead River nearby, too; it's just a GORGEOUS natural setting. Remember to bring the right clothing, though. This is the mtns, and it got to 40 at night and only 65 at midday in the middle of June! You need to be tolerant of trains, also. This is a main line and about 30 trains can go by each day/night. My husband loves trains and this is why we chose this place.

      We didn't stay in the actual Inn, but chose a Caboose Cabin across the tracks from the main lodge. There are only 4 of these cabins, and there is a 3 night minimum stay required. You have to want to "be away from it all" as the rooms have no phone, tv, or radio. [There is also no cell phone reception! But payphones are in the lodge.] They have 2 full size beds (the loft bed is better suited for children as there isn't much space in the top of the caboose to move), the bathroom, a kitchenette, a small sitting area, and a deck. You can even pre-arrange for some basic groceries to be brought to your caboose upon your arrival. We did this for some breakfasts and sodas and a few snacks. There is a wonderful restaurant in the lodge, but there is no grocery store w/in walking distance, so do plan to eat at the restaurant a lot, unless you've gotten a rental car.

      The lodge has a gift shop, a huge fireplace w/ newspaper and magazines to read, and downstairs is the bar and gameroom. For being in a small town (population 30!) the prices weren't bad--you could get a beer for $3! There is a jukebox in the bar, but it only plays Big Band music. Just off the bar is the gameroom--a pool table and a ping pong table--and it also has a jukebox which has more current music and a good portion of country music.

      The entire place was just SO RELAXING and the staff were very friendly and helpful--get a rental car, mail a postcard, tell the best hiking spots of their trails. There were deer, ground squirrels, and plenty of humming birds--a fun bird to watch at the feeders!

      We had the Green Caboose--it has a great view from the deck. There is a Honeymoon Caboose (orange, I believe) and it is the only 1 w/ a fireplace and gets booked the quickest. I don't know anything about the actual Inn rooms, except that they have no phones, tv, etc, either. I heard no complaints from their patrons that we met while sitting on the porch or snapping train photos as they swept by.

      All in all, this is a WONDERFUL place if you want to RELAX and enjoy nature!

      Staying in a caboose


      We spent three nights at the Izaak Walton in mid-February in the "green" caboose and had a nice time. The price was a little steep for the quality of the accomodations ($675 for 3 nights) but the unique nature of staying in a caboose made up for it (for us at least). Our caboose had a kitchen/dining area in one half, a loft area with double mattress in the cupola, a lavatory with shower under the loft bed, and double bed in the back half. The kitchen was stocked with dishes, glasses, pots, pans, small refrigerator, small gas stove, etc. - what we needed to prepare and serve all of our meals. Some general comments: The loft bed would probably be a great place for kids to hang out and sleep but the ceiling is a little low to be a comfortable bed for adults, though we spent afternoons reading up there. Nice view, cozy space. The lavatory and shower are very small. There is a gas furnace to keep the caboose warm but it was pretty noisy and worked better at keeping the kitchen area warm than "bedroom". It is about a quarter mile walk to the Inn and some folks may find it strenuous/difficult in the snow. You cannot drive to the cabooses in the winter but the Inn will shuttle you back and forth when you arrive and depart. Maybe other times too - we didn't check. The cross country ski trails go right by the cabooses so for skiing or snowshoeing a caboose is more convenient than the Inn. Bring what you'll need - Essex is pretty remote. Overall our caboose was showing it age but was comfortable and unique. We will stay there again.

      3rd visit in 2 mths


      One might suggest that three visits to the Inn in less than three months is a bit much. It isn't. The quiet. The serenty. The food. The staff. The mountains. Did I say the quiet?

      The Izaak Walton Inn is an unusual, unique and delightful experience, especially if you arrive by Amtrak. They mean it when they say the train stops at the Inn's door.

      One of the best bits is that every morning at 8:45 the Amtrak goes by traveling east. The Inn's staff are all on the veranda waving at the passing train. They sure don't do that at the Holiday Inn.

      A Most Amazing Place


      This beautifully restored building and its unique railroad surroundings make this inn one of the most wonderful my family and I have ever stayed in. The rooms were nicely decorated and spotless. The mountain environment is wonderful. Its location makes it easy to access Glacier Park from the east or west and the nearby scenery is in itself fabulous. The food in its dining room restaurant was excellent while the cozy surroundings were very personal. I look foreward to experiencing its charms in the winter since there are fewer summer destinations that I could hope to return to with such pleasure. With its own train whistle stop, arrival via rail is a great experience. Provision of a rental vehicle on site is a great convenience. The staff was very helpful and accomodating.

      A rainy day in the park


      Although we visited Glacier in August, we encountered a beautiful rain storm that blew shrouds of clouds in and around the mountains. The green got cleaner and it was lovely. Due to being a bit "housebound" we enjoyed the amenities of the lodge...bar, restaurant, ping pong, library, pool table and with those activities met new friends who were also keeping dry.

      It was not my first trip to Essex (the first was a honeymoon several years ago!), and hopefully not my last. I was most recently there in the winter and wholeheartedly recommend a trip by train for cross-country skiing, big fires and a quieter pace.

      Would definitely return here!


      A charming place to visit and relax! Rooms are comfortable but not fussy. It was nice having no telephone, television or computer hookups. A real getaway. Staff was accommodating and friendly, food was very good. Swinging on either porch and watching the hummingbirds was a real treat! The trains going by at odd hours wasn't disturbing at all but so interesting - especially watching the "helper" engines with the freight trains. Recommend this place strongly.

      A Great Time at the Inn


      Our family took Amtrak to and from the inn. We had a great time. Being a railfan, I really enjoyed watching all of the railroad action, literally, at the front door. Our room was very nice and the staff and the food were excellent. Our eight year old daughter didn't miss the lack of a television at all, since there were so many other activities available. I would definitely stay at the lodge again and highly recommend it to others.

      A great hideway... Outstanding atmosphere


      The Inn is an warm welcoming lodge with no clocks, no radios and big comfortable overstuffed chairs by a roaring fire. The lodge is roomy with plenty of things to do. It is kid-friendly. I took my 6-year old son for a four-day cross-country ski trip and he had a blast! The staff is friendly, compenent and quick.

      We rode the Empire Builder train from Seattle which dropped us off in front of the lodge. Very cool.

      Great Time


      It was a great time, rode AmTrak out and back. Staff of the hotel was great. Stayed in the B&N caboose. Great place for train and nature nuts. Rented a car and drove to the park and Whitefish, another great place for train nuts. Great resturant in hotel Would go back in a heartbeat

      TripAdvisor Reviews Izaak Walton Inn Essex

      4.00 of 5 stars Excellent

      Travel Blogs from Essex

      Bump In The Road

      A travel blog entry by buelltravels on Jun 20, 2014

      1 photo

      ... were 3-4 times higher than a normal store. In Washington state we paid $ 1.25 on sale for Chunky Soup by Campbell's. Here in this store for the same soup it was $ 4.99 just for one can. we decided to eat the food we have in the car and forget get something fresh out of the store. We had a nice talk with a lady that lived in Browning, MT. And work in Glacier National Park. she told us she only works there two months a year. It is closed the rest ...

      Two days of beautiful scenery

      A travel blog entry by bena.maryellen on Sep 07, 2013

      56 photos

      ... and to see the beautiful lake, then headed on toward West Glacier. At Avalanche Creek campground, we stopped and walked the Trail of the Cedars, a beautiful, peaceful walk through cedars and other types of large trees. It was very quiet, peaceful and lush. We walked most of the trail on a wooden deck.
      We made one more stop at Apgar Village, then headed here to Kalispell for the night. Tomorrow we head to ...

      Going to the Sun Highway... breathtaking

      A travel blog entry by frguido on Aug 14, 2013

      20 photos

      ... to take pictures and admire the view…

      … And the views were awesome… fantastic… breathtaking. Lush forest carpets the mountainsides, interspersed with narrow waterfalls issuing from the rocks, snow and, of course, glaciers in the distance. The road winds up through Logan Pass, over the top and down the other side. By the time we passed the top, I had an overwhelming need to stop and relieve myself (Lacey, too). It had nothing to ...

      The fun never ends!

      A travel blog entry by beth.terpstra on Aug 16, 2012

      92 photos

      ... saw them, right?! :)

      FYI…We met a family from Lombard, the Fitzgerald’s, at the Jr. Ranger program/hike in Many Glacier yesterday, and again today we ran into them on the Hidden Lake hike! If that’s not kind of strange, then here’s the interesting part, their son married one of the Straz’s daughters. They live four houses down the street from us and are good friends with our piano teacher.


      Traveler Photos Izaak Walton Inn Essex

      Izaak Walton Bridge
      Essex, United States