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Triple Creek Ranch, Darby

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Montana, United States, North America: The main lodge at Triple Creek Ranch
5551 West Fork Road
Darby , Montana
Tel: 406 821 4600's insider take:

Yes, it's a guest ranch. Yes, there are serious cattle drives, 24,000 acres to explore by horseback, and fly-fishing on the trout-rich Bitterroot River. But Triple Creek Ranch's main objective is to coddle guests with outstanding food and wine. The heart of the operation, built at the foot of Trapper Peak 75 miles south of Missoula, is the kitchen and glass-encased cellar with 230 wines, many from the Pacific Northwest. A Relais & Chateaux property—the only one in Montana—it earns its culinary stripes with dishes that change daily. A sampling might include Copper River salmon with spring asparagus, or rack of lamb crusted in herbs and accompanied with black truffle mashed potatoes. (Forget about losing weight.) While the ranch is open all year, vintner weekends are a big draw in summer, with tastings and seminars from notable winemakers such as Cyril Chappellet of Napa's Pritchard Hill. The lodge has 18 log cabins, newly renovated in 2010 to embody the American western spirit of the ranch. Several western artists collaborated for the renovation to preserve the rustic decor (the lodge's dining room got an update as well). Log cabins range from studio-size to the massive El Capitan, with its separate dining and living rooms. And with a ratio of almost two staffers to every guest, the service is attentive and highly personal (they'll know your name). Rates include all meals and house wine and cocktails.

From the readers of Condé Nast Traveler:
Overall Score: 88.8
  • Activities: 90.0
  • Design: 90.3
  • Food: 87.5
  • Location: 90.3
  • Rooms: 84.4
  • Service: 90.3
At this newcomer looking onto the Bitterroot Mountains, rooms are spread across 23 log cabins that ooze rusticity via exposed log walls and slate bathrooms. "Our room had a view of the woods, very private and peaceful" with "a hot tub on the deck." The restaurant pairs cathedral ceilings with "superb, world-class" cuisine ranging from traditional French to Southwestern, and signature items like venison carpaccio with marinated plums. "There were fresh cookies every day when returning from activities" such as spotting mountain lions, moose, and eagles in the wilderness.

(30 rooms)
—2011 Gold List

Amenities: Pool, Skiing, Tennis, Water sports

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.