If you’re a world traveler who likes to feel at home, here’s good news: On five continents, in 45 nations, in more than 100 cities and villages around the globe, you can spend the night in Montana.
It may be the Hotel Montana, the Montana Hotel, the Montana Hostel, the Montana Motel, the Montana Vista Hotel, the Montana Guest House, the Villa Montana Beach Resort, the Montana Lodge or – if you’re in Indonesia – the “Montana Boutique Resort and WaterBoom.”
Only a couple of them are co-opting our state’s name, of course. Most are likely doing what we did – latching onto the Spanish word for “mountain.”
Still, you can be strolling down the Rue la Fayette in Paris, driving down Cyanika Road in Rwanda, taking in a concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London, visiting the Beshtak Palace in Cairo, birdwatching in northern Argentina, sailing past the northwest tip of Puerto Rico, hiking the Lycian Way in Turkey or skiing in the Austrian, Swiss, Italian or French Alps and find, nearby, lodging with “Montana” in the name.
If you’re in the United States, however, near as we can tell, you’ll have to be in Montana to spend the night in a motel named the same as the state – and those choices will be few and far between.
If you’re wondering which of these 100-plus hotels would be most interesting to visit, we can probably save you some time.
The remote Montana Magica Lodge in the South American nation of Chile looks like it would fit the bill.
The lodge is, after all, inside a man-made volcano that erupts (with water, not lava) and turns the rocky outside of the cone-shaped lodge, which is covered with moss and vines native to the rainforest, into a circular waterfall.
Montana Magica Lodge is located in the Huilo-Huilo Biological Reserve, a private, for-profit nature preserve dedicated to ecotourism.
Google the lodge, take a look at the images, and we think you’ll agree: If you could only visit one “Montana” hotel, this would likely be it, because you’re not likely to find anything – by any name – like it anywhere else in the world.
If you can visit two, there’s a myriad of possibilities for a runner-up choice. Among them:
• The Montana Pine Resort Hotel and Spa in Oludeniz, Turkey. On the Aegean Sea, Oludeniz is renowned for its beaches, although the resort itself is located 400 meters above sea level in “a sea of Mediterranean pine trees,” and in the shadow of Mount Babadag. Mount Babadag is famed for its paragliding opportunities, and the resort owns its own yacht and offers guests the “Montana Boat Cruise” on Fethiye Bay.
• A-Montana Resort in the Sarangani Province of the Philippines. The rooms are on stilts, built above water, and it was originally a private getaway for friends and family of a businessman from the city of General Santos.
• The Montana Art Deco Hotel in Lucerne, Switzerland. Overlooking Lake Lucerne, this four-star “palace hotel” opened in 1910 – just in time for a little downturn in the tourism industry known as World War I – but has persevered. For 18 years, from the 1970s to the 1990s, it closed each winter so that it could be returned to its art deco roots.
• The Montana Hut in Koh Kood, Thailand. The five river-view bungalows and wooden house with three sea-view rooms on Khlong Hin Beach is remote – its island home is reachable only by boat – and the little resort’s website cautions that “a small dirt road connects Montana Hut to the main road. At night this road is only for experienced drivers, though, it’s dark and can be bumpy.”
• The Luma Casa de Montana in Villa La Angostura, Argentina. In the foothills of the Patagonian Andes, on Nahuel Huapi Lake and in Nahuel Huapi National Park – twice the size of Glacier National Park – this hotel looks like a quiet, scenic place to spoil yourself. Leave the kids at home, though. No one under 16 is allowed.
Of course, here in Montana we once had a Montana Hotel that might have held its own with most of the rest of the world’s offerings, from the sprawling Spa Hotel Montana in Karpenisi, Greece, to the palm-tree-lined Hotel Fazenda Village Montana in Brazil.
Half of the Montana Hotel building in Anaconda – the bottom two stories – still stands, but decades have passed since it welcomed a guest. Copper king Marcus Daly built the four-story, castle-like structure in downtown Anaconda, and it opened its doors four months before Montana was admitted to the union in 1889.
A long-ago owner lopped off not just the hotel’s turrets, but the entire top two stories, and auctioned off most of the interior’s legacy components. While there are occasional rumblings about restoring the Montana Hotel to its glory, it would take a Herculean effort – not to mention a lot of cash – to do so.
What we have now in the state of Montana are a couple of bed-and-breakfasts, and two small motels in Baker and Forsyth, with “Montana” in their name.
Romania, South Korea and Costa Rica all have as many “Montana” hotels, and eight more nations have more than that, led by Italy and Austria.
You can’t see the world without leaving Montana, but it turns out you can see a lot of it and stay in Montana – so long as you bunk in lodging bearing our state’s name.
They're not everywhere – some massive land masses known as China and Canada, for instance, have none we could find – but in places as varied as Andorra and Aruba, Sri Lanka and Serbia, Poland and Puerto Rico, there's a hotel with our name on it.