Are you the type of traveler that leans toward luxury vacations but values unspoiled wilderness and the idea of ‘getting back to nature’? Would you be thrilled by the concept of mixing the two, for a holiday that includes being pampered with upscale accommodations and gourmet meals while simultaneously enjoying the great outdoors amid a rustic experience? Then perhaps this destination is as perfect for you as it is for us – The Resort at Paws Up in Greenough, Montana – a luxury Dude Ranch set on 37,000-acres of a working homestead that includes a few hundred Black Angus cattle and 300 resident elk.
When it comes to blending extravagance with a frontier cowboy experience, this place is undoubtedly among the best, offering an eclectic mix of opulent private homes and sophisticated camping in the midst of Big Sky country and all of the magnificence of nature. The setting is perfect with a grocery list of onsite activities including fly-fishing, clay shooting, guided ATV tours, and whitewater rafting, as well as the type of dude ranch recreation that guests would automatically expect, such as cattle drives and trail riding. The fact is, there’s so much to do that unless you spend a full week, or perhaps longer, there is no way you will be able to experience it all.
Accommodations include individual private homes, decked out in features and frills, each with its own unique appearance and personality, not to mention a LOT of privacy. There is a massive expanse of space between the homes, each of which has its own unique location and panoramic views. Lofts and vaulted ceilings, flat screen TVs, laundry facilities, rain showers and jetted spa tubs with heated bathroom floors, top shelf linens and comforters, and wireless Internet are just ‘a few’ of the appointments found in each house. And let’s not forget the balconies or porches that offer up stunning views.
Lofts and vaulted ceilings, flat screen TVs, laundry facilities, rain showers and jetted spa tubs with heated bathroom floors, top shelf linens and comforters, and wireless Internet are just ‘a few’ of the appointments found in each house. And let’s not forget the balconies or porches that offer up stunning views.
As for the upscale camping accommodations, commonly known as ‘glamping’, they are like staying in the perfect mix of Wild West meets Westin Hotel. Depending on the number of travelers in your party, tents include one or two-bedroom suites with slate showers, flat screen TVs, wireless Internet, dining pavilions and outdoor fire pits that are perfect for a night of roasting marshmallows while telling tall tales under the star-studded sky. And as hard as this may be to believe, tents even offer air conditioning and a comfortable bathroom.
But if you can’t decide between accommodations, Paws Up provides the best of both worlds where a luxury home features a glamping experience in the backyard. Great for when the adults want some privacy and the kids want a campout.
Luxury home rates fluctuate between $500 and $1350 per person per night based on season and 2 or 4 person occupancy. Camping rates fluctuate between $500 to $1200 per person per night based on time of year and 2 or 4 person occupancy.
While that sounds high, Paws Up is an ‘almost’ all-inclusive resort such that rates include breakfast, lunch, and dinner per day as well as beverages with meals (soft drinks, water, beer/wine). Rates also include round-trip transportation service from/to Missoula International Airport; all on-property transportation, high-speed WIFI internet access; and a wide selection of recreational activities. Spa services are a-la-carte and some excursions are extra.
From the gourmet chefs to nightly s’mores, from the friendly staff to amazing shopping (be sure to check out the cowboy boots) this is a resort that has it ALL… and then some, including the kind of wildlife sightings that will make you grab your camera and text the photos to everyone you know back home. As a matter of fact, your camera will get a workout no matter which way you turn. This is the kind of getaway that will make you feel Daniel Boone… if he had known the comforts and amenities of a 5-star hotel.
PROS: Beautiful location with stunning scenery. Not your average run-of-the-mill vacation. Accommodations are first class, service is first-rate, and accommodations are extremely private. Your vacation can be as active or relaxing as you want it to be. Relatively close to the airport at a 45-minute drive.
CONS: No doubt about it, it’s EXPENSIVE. It’s also important to note that gratuities are not included in the rate and are an additional 20%, which adds up very quickly and might come as a bit of a shock if you’re not forewarned and prepared.
Bottom Line: This resort scores high with most visitors. As a matter of fact, negative feedback is rare. The staff knows how to pamper guests and show them a good time, often times causing them to become repeat customers. You can’t sugarcoat the price – it’s steep, no doubt about it. But in the end, it’s worth it because this is a unique type of holiday and one you’ll remember for a lifetime.