Glacier National Park is stunning and a dream location for many travelers. Because of its massive size, most tourists switch locations if they want to see all sections of the park.
The Many Glacier Hotel is the classiest lodging option within Glacier National Park. With upscale dining onsite at Ptarmigan’s Dining Room and gorgeous views of Grinnell Peak and Swiftcurrent Lake, this Swiss-style chalet was built in 1915 and is located near the most beautiful site GNP has to offer, Grinnell Lake.
I’m Cheryl and have stayed in 6 of the Glacier National Park Lodges including Glacier Park Lodge, Prince of Wales Hotel, Lake McDonald Lodge, Swiftcurrent Motor Inn and Cabins, Belton Chalet, and of course the Many Glacier Hotel.
I teach special education and travel with my family whenever I get a chance. My husband, Matt, writes travel itineraries and audio guides to help people plan their trip to the West.
If a trip to Glacier National Park is in your future (and I sure hope it is), read on to see if the this Glacier Park Lodge is right for you.
At a Glance
|Larger, charming rooms with shared balconies||Expensive|
|The best lobby of Glacier lodges (in Matt’s opinion- I like the East Glacier Lodge)||Rooms are in high demand|
|Located in the most scenic part of the Glacier National Park||Accessing the parking lot includes climbing|
|Delicious fine dining on site||Poor Wi-Fi|
|Walking distance to Glacier Boat Tours||No TV, AC, microwave or fridge|
|Huge lodge with a lot of room options|
|Free tours of the hotel|
|Pick-up location for Red Bus Tours|
|My #1 choice of lodging in Glacier National Park|
Glacier National Park is really big. In fact, we stayed in all 4 sections of the park on our last trip, just so we could make the most of our time. Many Glacier is the most beautiful and our favorite followed by the Lake McDonald/Apgar Village area, Waterton Peace Park (Canada), and lastly Two Medicine.
All areas include towering mountains, crystal clear lakes, wildlife, and wildflowers covering the hillside but the Many Glacier is my favorite for a few reasons.
First, it’s one of the largest areas in the park but you can access everything from one parking lot. There are several hikes, ranger programs, places to eat, and shops.
Second, it’s home to Grinnell Glacier, which in my humble opinion is the most beautiful place on our planet! It’s a strenuous hike but you can cut some of that by taking a Glacier Park Boat Tour. If you really aren’t into hiking, the boat tour will get you within 1 mile of Grinnell Lake which is also very stunning.
Third, the Many Glacier Hotel actually adds to the beauty of the area. The hotel looks like it belongs to the landscape with its overhanging eaves and flower baskets in its windows. It’s nice to hike all day and then enjoy a nice meal and views in the evening.
Honestly, if you only have one day to spend in Glacier National Park, Many Glacier is the place you should go.
Although the rooms are smaller than chain hotels, these are the nicest (and largest) of the standard rooms available for in park lodging at Glacier National Park.
Built in 1914 for the super-rich by the Northern Railway, this 4 story lodge is beautiful both inside and out. The rooms are old but in a charming way.
Hung on the walls are photos of the first years of the Many Glacier Hotel which really added to the charm of our wood bed, desk, and night stand.
From our window, we had a view of the front grounds (called park view if looking online) of the hotel but lake views are available as well. From the hall, we could access a shared balcony that offered some very impressive views of Swiftcurrent Lake.
The bathroom was small and simple but smartly laid out with the sink being in the bedroom instead of the bathroom. The included shampoos and soaps smelled nice and the towels were soft. Plus, perfect water pressure (hey- this is a big deal).
Our room was clean and our bed was comfortable. We paid over $300 for our one night in a standard room and we were grateful we got it. This was by far our most difficult lodging to obtain in Glacier National Park. The room isn’t worth the money but the lobby and location are.
One last thing to know is that TVs are never in national park lodges (at least to my knowledge). I guess the National Park Service wants us to get out and enjoy nature and mingle with other travelers. I’m grateful for the mild suggestion to get out more.
The Many Glacier Hotel has several amenities including being a stopping point for the Red Bus Tours that transport guests to various locations throughout Glacier National Park including driving over the breathtaking (and scary) Going to the Sun Road.
Guests can also walk behind the hotel to catch a Glacier Park Boat Tour that will shuttle them across nearby lakes.
Guests can even access horseback rides from the Many Glacier Corral right from the parking lot.
Ptarmigan Dining Room is the onsite fine dining restaurant and one of my favorite dining experiences in the park, beside the Charlie Russell Dining Room at Lake McDonald Lodge.
Breakfast is served both buffet and a la carte style and will cost around $20 for the buffet. We loved our view of Swiftcurrent Lake. The food was delicious but pretty traditional: French toast, bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy, yogurt bar, pastries, and eggs. The highlight was the variety of fresh fruit.
Dinner costs $30 and up, not including alcohol. Some of their specials include duck, bison chili, and bison short ribs.
Ptarmigan Dining Room is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner but is closed between each meal. No reservations are accepted. Pro tip- get in line right when they open for each meal to get a table with a view.
Matt and I chose to eat dinner at the super informal Swiss Lounge which offers a similar menu to Ptarmigan Dining Room lunch menu (with similar prices as well). The line was much shorter but there was no view. Matt loved his bison burger and I’d order their carrot cake again.
One other option for food is Heidi’s Snack Shop. Mostly coffee, slices of pizza, breakfast burritos, and snacks but it’s nice to have a quick and affordable option.
Grizzly Tracks Trader Gift Shop offers typical gift shop merchandise including souvenir t-shirts, keychains, glasses, etc. One thing unique to Glacier National Park gift shops is that they all sell every sort of huckleberry-flavored food you can imagine.
The employees running the information desk were helpful and friendly. I recommend stopping by and telling them your plans. They may have some insight to make your trip even better.
Bellhops are available to help with luggage which is a big help. The elevator only accesses the 4th floor and taking your luggage up and down several flights of stairs can be cumbersome. Plus, the parking lot of the Many Glacier Hotel also requires a bit of climbing.
Like all the lodges in Glacier National Park, the Many Glacier Hotel does not have air conditioning. This usually isn’t a problem because the climate is generally on the cooler side. However, I was uncomfortably warm in August.
The Wi-Fi is spotty. It didn’t work in our room at all and was hit-and-miss in the lobby. Online, “Hi-Speed Internet” is advertised but none of the lodges we stayed in while visiting Glacier National Park had good Wi-Fi connection or cell service.
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The lobby of the Many Glacier Lodge is Matt’s favorite of all the lodges. The view of Grinnell Peak paired with Swiftcurrent Lake is the prettiest I’ve ever seen in a hotel lobby. Period. I’m partial to the lobby at the Glacier Park Lodge because of the the giant Douglas Fir beams but I love the lobby at Many Glacier.
The warm ambiance created by the chandelier light at night is something to appreciate and the wood railing surrounding the rooms on the upper floors also add to the overall beauty.
The lobby is the place to mingle. There are several leather couches, chairs, and tables scattered throughout as well as a fireplace and a grand piano. There is no professional musician on staff but it’s fun to see the talents of the guests staying there.
The view from the lobby is the 2nd best reason to stay here (besides its location). I love the extra time I got to view the beauties of Glacier first thing in the morning and before I went to bed at night. The large windows in the lobby accommodate great views as well as the outdoor seating on the balcony.
- Pro tip- you don’t need to be a guest of the Many Glacier Hotel to enjoy the lobby, balcony or restaurants.
Know Before You Go
The Many Glacier Hotel is open from late May-September. Glacier gets so much snow that accessing most of the park is difficult until things thaw out or roads get plowed.
There are 214 rooms and none of them accommodate more than 4 people. None of them have a private balcony but several offer a shared balcony.
|Standard Rooms– double bed or 2 twins, or 1 double bed and 1 twin, |
or 1 double bed with 2 twins. Park view or lake view availability with the option of a shared balcony.
|Deluxe Rooms– recently refurbished with new carpet, paint, electrical, and plumbing. Park view or lake view availablity with the option of a shared balcony.||$619-$639|
Because of the short travel season, and the growing number of tourists (3 million in 2021!) accommodations can be hard to come by. Guests are able to book lodging 13 months in advance and it’s highly recommended you book as soon as you know your travel dates.
That being said, we got our accommodations to the East Glacier, Many Glacier, Lake McDonald, Belton Chalet, the Swift Current Motor Inn, and the Prince of Wales Hotel between 1-5 months before our trip.
In most cases, reservations are fully refundable if cancelations are made within the contracted time. It isn’t uncommon for rooms to become available on short notice. However, it does require vigilance of checking availability every morning and throughout the day for openings.
Should you Stay Here?
If cost and availability aren’t an issue…….. absolutely YES!!! The Many Glacier Hotel is one of the most stunning hotels I’ve stayed in and its proximity to Grinnell Glacier, Grinnell Lake, and Avalanche Lake make it especially appealing.
The Ptarmigan Dining Room is a top-notch restaurant and the lobby is 2nd to none!
I’ve never regretted staying at a national park lodge. The proximity to the parks and charming architecture are well worth the extra cost. I don’t mind going without A/C, TV, or even having spotty Wi-Fi if it enables me more time to take in the beauties of the surrounding area.
Glacier National Park is beautiful everywhere but the Many Glacier area is the most stunning.
|Two Medicine||1 hour 20 minute drive|
|West Glacier (Lake McDonald and Apgar)||1 hour 40 minute drive|
|St Mary’s Village (Wi-Fi)||30 minutes|
|Whitefish (biggest city near West Glacier)||40 minutes|
If I only had one day to stay in Glacier National Park, Many Glacier is where I’d spend my time.
Alternative Lodging in Many Glacier
If you are looking for accommodations that are more budget-friendly but still really close to the beauty of Many Glacier, the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn and Cabins are a great choice. It’s not fancy but you are close to nature and have great access to trailheads and everything else at Many Glacier. Prices start at $142 a night.
St. Mary’s Village is the most centrally located and may be a good option for you as well. The hotels are not run by the concessionaires of the NPS and you may find more amenities and cheaper rates. Plus, St. Mary’s is our go-to spot when we need cell service.
It’s about a 30-minute drive from Many Glacier.
The city of Whitefish is on the west side of the park and is populated with the most hotels, restaurants, and other activities.
There are many hotels, VRBOs, and Airbnb’s in the outlying areas. We recommend using booking.com to find the best deals for lodging in the areas that are outside of the park.
Is there anything else I should know?
Yes! Planning a trip to a national park can take days. It can be overwhelming and stressful. Let us lighten the load. Check out our must-have Travel Itinerary to Glacier National Park
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More Resources You Might Enjoy
- Glacier National Park Itinerary
- Glacier Trip Planner Page
- Glacier Park Boat Tours: An expert’s advice and helpful tips
- Can I swim in Glacier National Park?
- Do I need bear spray in Glacier?
- Glacier’s Lake McDonald Lodge: my complete review and tips
- Glacier’s Belton Chalet: should you stay here?
- Glacier Park Lodge: should you stay here?
- Glacier’s Swiftcurrent Motor Inn: should you stay here?
- Prince of Wales Hotel in Waterton Lakes: my honest review
- How to to do the Grinnell Glacier Hike & Many Glacier Boat Tour
- 9 great places to eat in Glacier National Park
- Glacier National Park Official Website