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Chico Hot Springs Resort & Day Spa, Pray 

1 Old Chico Road
Pray , Montana
Tel: 800 468 9232 (toll-free)
Tel: 406 333 4933
view web site ›'s insider take:

Since the days of the Montana gold rush, people have come to Chico's springs seeking the simple pleasure of relaxing belly-up in hot water. Opened in 1900, Chico's historic Main Lodge maintains the hotel's past in design and spirit (literally—late hotel proprietor Perci Knowles is said to haunt the halls). A blazing fireplace, antique saloon pianos, and a stuffed moose head in the lobby welcome guests upon arrival. Those looking for an authentic setting and who don't mind sharing a hall bathroom should book the Main Lodge (for a complimentary haunting, Perci's room is 346). Rooms have an at-grandmother's-house vibe—if grandma were a rancher—with sparse wood furnishings, floral textiles, wall-mounted ceramic plates, and vintage shots of the springs. For more contemporary country accommodations minus the kitsch, opt for a room in the Warren Wing or the three lodges (there are also 19 cabins spread around the property). Whatever the location, all rooms are TV- and phone-free, though an Internet connection is available in select hot spots. Not to be missed is the rustic low-lit restaurant serving escargot and meaty favorites like New York strip and Duck Grand Marnier, and the famous orange flambé for dessert. The extensive wine list includes well-priced Argentinean, Italian, and Napa wines, plus an expertly selected reserve wine list. After dinner, waddle down to the hot springs for a swim or saloon-side soak in one of the two naturally heated pools (choose between the hot one or the really hot one).—Isabel Sterne

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