“I wanted so much to return from my trip to give Montage a glowing review. But my first impression, visually speaking, was disappointment. The lobby, while nice and new, was non-descript and a felt a bit “corporate”. But the warm reception won us over—our kids got to pick a stuffed animal and received fizzy lemonade, and we were promptly whisked to our room, which was appreciated after a long flight. Our suite was spacious and very comfortable with two full baths and fireplaces, a couch-bed was made up for the kids and kid slippers/robe.
The hiccups started the next am. We were advised to fill out a ski-equipment rental form before our stay and we did this to get a head start the next morning so we could get the kids to ski school on time. We even arrived early, but it took over hour to get organized because nothing had been prepared in advance. It was especially stressful because the hotel shuttle only runs every 45 minutes.
The resident puppy, Monty, was a hit with the kids as were the S’mores every day 4-5 pm at the fire pit. The on-site tavern was a winner, too, with a mini bowling alley, Wii and arcade games and good casual food—anyone with kids made it down there. The restaurant options are limited: you can get muffins and the like at the café or make a reservation at the one restaurant, but we opted to eat in our room each morning, an expensive but tasty and quick option. The spa is gorgeous and yoga/Pilates classes are offered.
We found the layout of the hotel odd and bit inconvenient. For example, to get to the indoor pool, you have to go through the spa or gym. The outdoor pool is on another floor and a bit of walk to get to and from in the cold weather. The mezzanine (the hub of the hotel) is airy and spacious but impersonal. A big turn off for me at Montage was charging $15 a day for Wifi service. When you are paying the high Montage room rates, that service should be included. The front-desk seemed to personally agree but “that is the hotel policy.” They did offer to credit us for one day of WiFi, which was appreciated.
My biggest disappointment—and judging from the comments of most of the guests staying there that weekend, theirs too—was the shuttle service. The one 8-person van running on a 45-minute basis when you have a packed hotel with children doesn’t cut it. How they didn’t anticipate this or fix it after first day is beyond me. While there were many service managers doing everything they could to make everyone happy—the service at the hotel otherwise is stellar—they couldn’t get this right. It created for a stressful situation. The children’s ski school ends at 3:45. By the time you pick them up and get your equipment, the van is already gone at 4 pm (or if you rush and make it like we did, there isn’t enough room. Then you have to wait until 4:45 with kids who are cold and worried they will miss the S’mores and Monty who makes his round between 4:30-5. Only one day did they bring extra vans after numerous guest complaints. It was really hard to watch the Westin, St. Regis and Waldorf vans whisk by every 10 minutes while we stood out there in the cold.
In sum, the van service created for a stressful and critical part of our vacation, and was not worth the rates we paid. While the suite accommodations were luxurious and service otherwise exceptional at the Montage, we would go to the Stein Erikson, St. Regis or even the Waldorf Astoria (for the cozy lobby alone) next time, or do a condo at the ski base during peak holiday periods.”