When settlers first ventured into Montana back in the 1800s, they were drawn by precious metals, the abundant wildlife and wide-open landscapes. Of course, many of those same attributes still attract outsiders to the West to this day; the good thing now is that those natural wonders can be accentuated with a few high-end hospitality treats such as top-shelf accommodations and world-class service. The place blazing the widest trail in Montana’s luxury-stay category is The Ranch at Rock Creek, the first property in the Treasure State to earn a Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star distinction.
Even before Adam Shoen became the general manager of the 6,600-acre gem in 2013, he was helping The Ranch build on its foundation as a retreat for adventure-seeking travelers in its activities division. Though his days of guiding guests along hiking paths and horseback-riding trails have dwindled a bit, he hasn’t forgotten about all it takes to keep smiles on people’s faces. If anything, the role of general manager is even more concerned with the task. Luckily, we were able to pull Shoen away from his duties for a minute to get his thoughts on awards, amenities and Montana’s awesomeness.
We’re so thrilled to be awarded the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star rating. It really is an endorsement that represents the highest quality in service, facility and experience. We’re honored and proud to be included in the small list of properties around the world that have this distinction. The Ranch at Rock Creek truly represents Montana’s finest and most luxurious property, yet [it] never compromises its authenticity.
What are some of the characteristics you feel are necessary in a hotel and its staff to earn a Five-Star distinction?
A sense of detail to the finest point, from the décor to the service. It’s important to nurture a deep sense of genuine caring throughout the staff. The Ranch has a deeply committed staff that strives to deliver world-class service.
Though we know your hotel attracts adventure travelers, we’re sure you get your share of folks who just want to relax, too. How would you define the average Ranch at Rock Creek visitor?
We do see a wide range of guests, but they all share a common thread — everyone who visits The Ranch at Rock Creek expects an incomparable experience. This is precisely what we provide. From the gorgeous setting to the thoughtful service, we can confidently say our guests’ unrivaled experience is at the forefront of our efforts.
One thing that makes a trip to The Ranch so special, is that despite being rural, and in the midst of some of the most wide-open spaces in the world, there is no sacrifice of creature comforts and amenities available to our guests. The Dining Room is incredibly comfortable, with a glowing fire. It feels warm and inviting. This, coupled with our inspired cuisine and thoughtful wine pairings, provides our guests with an opportunity to experience true rustic elegance. Besides our dining room, we also spend evenings on our flagstone. Dining under the enormous Montana sky is not to be missed.
The Granite Spa is the perfect complement to The Ranch at Rock Creek. Our extensive list of signature treatments help give guests a wide range of options.
A lot of people don’t know much about the state of Montana. For those who’ve never visited, what are they missing?
The west, and Montana specifically, has such a rich and colorful history. [There’s] wildlife, open spaces, clean air and water everywhere. You can feel the relaxation begin to seep in with every inhale and exhale. It’s so wonderful to watch our guests unwind. In the first 24 hours people arrive, you can see their worries dissolve. Because we are completely inclusive, we only ask our visitors to enjoy themselves, and not to consider anything other than their next memorable experience.
Photos Courtesy of The Ranch at Rock Creek