Jeff's birthday dessert - Lemon Cheesecake

For Jeff’s birthday, I decided to treat him to a weekend away.  His likes?  Hot springs, anything old, vintage, “funky”, cozy, comfy, “used”, warm, delicious, lively, antique.  Needless to say, the combination of all those preferences is pretty hard to live up to.  My conclusion:  find a “lodgey”-type place with good food, live music, and hot springs.

I chose Jackson Hot Springs in Jackson, Montana.  By the way, according to a local it isn’t even a designated town.

Jackson Hot Springs Lodge, Jackson Montana

I was pretty confident in my choice, until someone close to us actually said, “Jackson Hot Springs?  Isn’t that pretty shady?”  So, I panicked.  I went back and read the reviews I never chose to read before.  The reviews on Trip Advisor were very mixed.  Half of them gave 5 stars with great things to say from people with open minds and half of them were absolutely horrible.  If a person only read the poor reviews, they would never visit.  Take a look at the commonalities between most of the poor reviewers, however.  They come from an age group that has a build-up of expectations, biases, and judgments.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  But in this case, an open mind will definitely pay off.

I highly advise you to regard the following ratings instead of the negative ones found on Trip Advisor.  In the words of my boyfriend, I have very “discerning taste”.  (Thanks, baby, that was sweet!).

Food:  A

Shrimp Etouffee was delicious, perfectly done, and nice and spicy.  8 oz. Prime Rib came out closer to 11 oz.  and was incredibly tasty.  Our chosen hors d’oeuvre was beignets stuffed with shrimp and cream and, well, you can just imagine.

Food Presentation:  B

Salads in wooden bowls with small piles of shredded cheddar cheese on the side.  You know, diner-style.  Nothing fancy.  Jeff said “well, at least they’re trying!”  Plus, the steak came out on one of those old school metal warming plates that nestles atop a wooden one.  Giant Steak knife like at a steakhouse.  The baked potato sat lonely on it’s own small round white plate.

Lodging:  D

Don’t expect much.  I chose the middle-of-the-road option, which was $72.00 for a very basic room adorned with a 70’s mustard yellow tub exactly like the one my grandma used to have in her “posh” double-wide in Lakeside, Montana.  The room delighted us with it’s wood paneling, and brown commercial carpeting.  No TV, no radio, no coffee maker.  Everything was clean, which was the most important thing.

Bed:  B

The bed was surprisingly comfortable, albeit small for 2 people.  It was a full/double.  Jeff hogs the bed in our queen, so this was even worse!

Pool:  A

Day 1, 98F.  Day 2, 103F.  WOW!  Such a difference.  The temperature outside was anywhere between 15F and 20F.  This pool is huge!  I’d say 40 ft. x 20 ft. easy.  It NEVER feels crowded.  It goes from a large section that is 2 ft. deep all the way to 7 ft. deep on the opposite end.  There is a large sundeck that surrounds the entire thing, with lounge chairs that are just screaming for summertime relaxers.

Jackson Hot Springs pool

Lodge:  B

Just an average vaulted-ceiling log lodge built in the 70’s.  The drinks weren’t as cheap as the reviews stated, but they must have been Californians.  To me, a $6 red bull/vodka is still pretty pricey.

lodge interior

Lodge Staff:  B

Overall, very nice.  Very nice to us.  They did get kind of snotty behind the back of a drunk female snowmobiler, but rightfully so, as she was ANNOYING and obnoxious.

In a nutshell?  Go.  Don’t wait.  Don’t worry, don’t overreact.  Don’t listen to those silly judgmental people and just go.  You’ll be glad you did!