I’m a sucker for inns, and the 8,000 square foot Charley Montana Bed & Breakfast—built in 1907 by millionaire stockman Charles Krug in Glendive—is one of is one of my favorites. Not only is the three-story, 25-room mansion spacious and elegant, it’s light on the lace and frills. My 6’3’’ tall husband, whom I call Tom Sawyer, always knocks over tchotchkes and looks out-of-place sitting amid the swags and wallpaper found in many b&b’s, but he fits right in here.
From the instant you step through the front door and see the parlor’s ten-foot ceilings and hand-carved fireplace, you’re ready to unpack and relax. Innkeepers Sonja and Kevin Maxwell have preserved the home’s “regal cattle baron” decor, polishing the 9-foot tall quarter-sawn oak pocket doors and finishes to a honey-colored sheen. The home looks much as it did when Charles and Anna Krug’s five children roamed its wide hallways, and several pieces of original furniture can be found throughout.
Visitors are welcome to stretch out in more than 2,000 feet of public space and view hidden architectural treasures like the butler’s pantry or the antique bank vault door on the family’s wine cellar. Homemade breakfasts are served at 7:30 and 8:30 in a large formal dining room. Kevin works away in the kitchen as apron-clad Sonja darts back and forth filling coffee cups and bringing plates heaped with sourdough pancakes, sausage, and cantaloupe topped with chopped, fresh mint.
Enormous leaded glass windows flood the five guest rooms with natural light. Named after Krug family members, all have private baths, television, air conditioning, high-speed wireless and are extremely comfortable.
We stayed in the Annie suite, which is perfect for families. Dan and I had a queen-size bed, desk and sitting area with large t.v., In the large adjoining sitting room, the Maxwells pushed two large couches together to make a giant bed for the kids. Their half of the suite also had a writing desk, small fridge, armoire and lots of room for them to play.
The b&b is extremely family-friendly. My five-year-old loved the large aquarium in the first floor sitting room. There’s a room in the basement full of board games and toys, and the upstairs hallway is lined with bookshelves and has a Victorian conversation nook at one end. (Our kids loved curling up with a book and snuggling with the large stuffed animals in the carved mahogany nook.)
The Maxwells keep a supply of snacks (cookies, granola bars, bags of microwave popcorn, packages of gummy-fruit) and packets of hot apple cider and cocoa on the dining room buffet—perfect for mid-afternoon warm-ups if you’ve been hiking in Makoshika or out on a dinosaur dig.
The Inn is just steps away from the historic Bell Street Bridge and walking path, which spans the Yellowstone River, and is only a couple blocks from downtown shops and restaurants. (See my previous post Glendive: Good People in Badlands embed link: http://vimeo.com/24305749 ) As convenient as the location is, once you settle into a room, you’re not going to want to go anywhere.
NUTS & BOLTS:
Charley Montana Bed & Breakfast –103 North Douglas Street, Glendive, MT. (888) 395-3207. Open year-round. Prices range from $95 -$135 (single occupancy) per night. www.charley-montana.com