The Sherman Lodge in Kalispell Montana: Relaxed Luxury in Flathead Valley

Kalispell Montana is not traditionally known for its lodging options. Until recently, most Kalispell visitors selected either the historic Kalispell Grand Hotel or a cookie-cutter chain hotel. Newly opened, The Sherman Lodge offers a fresher, more memorable, and convenient place to stay.

Opened June 1, 2020, The Sherman Lodge is intended to host fly fishing vacationers but makes a wonderful relaxed luxury Montana stay for any Flathead Valley visitor. It blends modern conveniences and luxury amenities into a restored historic building (love the original wooden floors!).

welcome note at The Sherman Lodge
Welcome note at The Sherman Lodge

Sister co-owners Cara and Christy set out to renovate the nearly 100-year-old Sherman Building and The Sherman Lodge hosted their first guests about half a year after the ground floor occupant True Water Fly Shop opened its doors. True Water, the first fly shop in Kalispell, is operated by Christy’s husband. Opened in November 2019, the shop offers guided fly fishing excursions in western Montana, and sells fly fishing gear onsite.

Thank you to The Sherman Lodge and Glacier Country Tourism for hosting me for two nights at this property.

Arrival at The Sherman Lodge

The Sherman Lodge provides electronic check-in and door codes with no staff interaction, a welcome feature during the current pandemic paradigm. Their after-booking communication is thoughtful, informative, and useful.

A sanitizer dispenser and disposable masks on the lobby entrance table set the tone that The Sherman Lodge is serious and concerned about cleanliness and safety. Guests will find plenty of free public parking available in front of the building and nearby.

The Sherman Lodge entryway
lobby entrance at The Sherman Lodge

An interior stairwell leads to the second and third levels but an elevator is available for guests requiring or desiring it.

The Sherman Lodge: Rooms

With only five distinct rooms, The Sherman Lodge has proven to be popular. Four spacious rooms on the second floor are ideal for one or two travelers. One loft apartment on the third floor can accommodate up to four persons.

Kootenai is the only room on the second floor with a king bed. Book it as soon as you can as it is in high demand with couples seeking a romantic getaway. Two other rooms on the second floor have two queen beds and all three rooms have oversized walk-in showers. The fourth room, called Middle Fork, features a queen bed plus a day bed, and the bathroom (with a soaking tub) is detached in the hallway.

South Fork room at The Sherman Lodge
The Sherman Lodge: South Fork room

The Sherman Loft apartment on the third floor provides a king bed and two twin beds along with its own kitchen and living area. It makes an ideal vacation rental for two couples, a family, or friends. The 1200 square feet offers a lot of room.

Amenities for The Sherman Lodge Guests

All rooms at The Sherman Lodge include plush robes and a free beer token for every guest. Redeem your wooden token across the street at Kalispell Brewing and buy a six-pack to drink later on the glorious rooftop sitting area. Each room also includes Keurig coffee maker, luxurious bathroom fixtures and amenities, brand new flat-screen TV, extra blankets and pillows (yes!), hand sanitizer dispenser, and state of the art A/C system (which I could not figure out and Cara graciously demoed for me).

McCool Travel note: And everything is SO clean at The Sherman Lodge. This was by far the cleanest hotel I stayed in on my recent three-week cross country road trip.

Common Spaces at The Sherman Lodge

Second-floor guests can use the community living room and gourmet kitchen (with gas range, spacious refrigerator, fully stocked appliances, and utensils). One couple cooked a gourmet breakfast and another shared a bottle of wine on a comfy couch. I appreciated the hot water kettle and selection of tea. In cooler weather, enjoy the fireplace.

community kitchen at The Sherman Lodge in Kalispell Montana
community kitchen at The Sherman Lodge

The rooftop patio is another comfortable public space outside the room. Another couple shared a six-pack from Kalispell Brewing across the street so it is not my original idea. These chairs are super cozy and the mild Montana evenings are perfect up here.

rooftop lounge The Sherman Lodge in Kalispell
rooftop sitting area at The Sherman Lodge

Things to Do in Western Montana

The Sherman Lodge FAQ page suggests hiking in nearby Lone Pine State Park and bicycling in Herron Park. Downtown Kalispell itself is definitely worthy of strolling, shopping, and exploring.

The western entrance of Glacier National Park is about a 45-minute drive from The Sherman Lodge. Plan to spend hours or years exploring this magnificent national treasure. On the way to Glacier, Josephine’s and Glacier Distilling Company in the town of Coram are highly recommended by a local friend.

The Sherman Lodge is about 2 1/4 hours from Missoula. Along the way, we enjoyed a wonderful few hours exploring the dirt roads, terrain, and bison sightings in the National Bison Range. The Finley Point area of Flathead Lake State Park is a fantastic picnic spot. Check out the colorful rocks along the shoreline. The drive through cherry orchards is nice especially when they are ripe (mid-July to mid-August).

The Windmill Vintage Bakery was highly recommended. The shop is only open on certain days and hours and offers addictive (I am told!) small-batch donuts. Located in Ravalli along US Highway 93.

Whitefish has many great restaurants (I have been advised) but I have not visited there yet. I was told that the best place to stay in Whitefish is Firebrand Hotel.

Places to Eat in Kalispell

The Sherman Lodge is less than one block from Main Street in Kalispell and at least a dozen places are super close. We tried, loved, and would revisit Kalispell Brewing Company, Sweet Peaks (the honey cinnamon ice cream was remarkable!), Montana Coffee Traders, and Moose’s Pizza.

Friends also recommend Pho Ly, Split Rock Cafe, Thai Palace.

Places to Eat in Columbia Falls Montana

Columbia Falls is about a 30-minute drive from The Sherman Lodge and on the way to Glacier National Park. Places we ate and drank in Columbia Falls and would return to include Uptown Hearth, Backslope Brewing, Three Forks Grille, and the My Thai To Go food truck. This food truck at the Columbia Falls Community Market makes amazing Thai food. A local friend recommended trying Gunsight next visit.

Have you visited Kalispell and Western Montana? Let me know your recommendations.

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