reviews for: listing #92518 - BigFork, Montana House rental

Sentinel Pine
  • bedrooms  17
  • pool  no
  • type  House
  • baths  9
  • hot tub  no
  • community 
  • sleeps  30
  • pets allowed  no
  • rates (USD) $13,125 - $21,000 /wk

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Guest Comment entered by owner

"Where dreams come true"

Review submitted: October 7, 2013   Date of arrival: July 12, 2012

Sentinel Pine
Where dreams come true

Our daughters have fond memories of their enchanted life growing up on Swan Lake, which included special times at Sentinel Pine. Swan Lake is as romantic and beautiful as it sounds, so when they both were planning their weddings (just 20 days apart) it was natural that they would want to stage their events on their beloved Swan Lake.

During the first wedding my five sisters and their families and my father stayed at Sentinel Pine, which provided a perfect setting for our first family reunion in four years, with lots of fun on-site with volleyball, baseball, tennis, croquet, swimming, diving, and kayaking along with long laughter-filled meals and lively cribbage games capped off by musical performances by family members at the Main Lodge. Unlike other resorts where previous reunions were held, our family had the place to themselves, so it truly felt like one big happy family.

Our second daughter’s wedding was held at Sentinel Pine on a perfect summer day – 70s and sunny – a typical August day on Swan Lake. Family and close friends were seated lakeside during the ceremony held against Nature’s stage - beneath towering pines, next to a sheet of emerald water that slid into rugged mountains topped by endless blue skies. Afterwards guests enjoyed a casual yet beautiful reception in the shade of scented pine trees. A tent served as a bar and sitting area and tables perched above the lakeshore as an outdoor dining room. Family and close friends stayed at Sentinel Pine, which extended the fun of the wedding into a fun-filled vacation week.

At the end of summer we had new family members and a boatload of new memories. All made in a place where dreams really do come true.

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

"...This was a fantastic location and facility"

Review submitted: October 7, 2013   Date of arrival: August 8, 2013

As a point of reference our family holds a family reunion every three years and recent excursions have included an Alberta lake property, a fishing lodge in the Ontario Muskoka area and Mayan Riviera. The property on Swan Lake was a huge hit and in comparison financially was a great deal and matched our family’s character to a tee.
Jim McGrath was excellent to deal with and answered any questions promptly, encouraging us to stop in prior to the actual booking of Aug 1-8 to check things out and plan the sleeping arrangements for our large family. This step was critical in helping us make the proper decisions as many guests arrival was staggered over two days.
We were all enthralled by the rustic nature of the property and enjoyed examining all the nuances of the wall decorations. We held an anniversary dinner in the main lodge and easily sat all 30 of us around the table, a bit tight but that is what family is all about.
During the day we would pretty much all be down at the boat dock using a ski boat we had rented privately or lounging around the water. My five year old daughter got up skiing on her first attempt and we all cheered like crazy as she skied by the boat dock.
During the evening we congregated at the lodge having fantastic family time, which is the key to the gatherings as the majority are scattered across Canada and even as far as Asia. There were cards games galore and Robert the caretaker was a magician at having fire wood there to burn and removed the garbage as if he was invisible.
All in all this was a fantastic location and facility and we would recommend it to anyone looking for quality private time as a family who don’t mind cooking your own meals and spending time outdoors.

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 

Beautiful lakeside comfort for every need and age

Review submitted: December 3, 2012   Date of arrival: August 5, 2012

Without a doubt one of the most enjoyable, unique and memorable places our extended family has ever stayed. There were enough activities to keep us all busy throughout the day, while there were also ample areas in which to relax in quiet. The town of Bigfork was easily accessible by car, yet not so close to impact our feeling of "getting away from it all".

It was the perfect balance of comfort and nature, and the daily activities could be molded to fit any age–from my 15-month-old daughter to my 86-year-old grandmother: Morning walks around the property; peaceful mid-morning kayak rides; lazy lunches on the dock; afternoon crafts on the lawn; delicious dinners in the lodge; post-dinner kickball games on the field; and lively card games into the wee hours.

The amazing on-site caretakers knew the property well, beautifully maintained everything inside and out, respected the privacy of all the guests, but were still readily available when we needed things. The owner was great in getting our trip planned, professional and trustworthy in all financial dealings, and flexible as to our large group's needs.

Will definitely plan a future weeklong stay there for a future family reunion. A+ in every regard!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 3 / 6

 

Beautiful lakeside comfort for every need and age

Review submitted: December 3, 2012   Date of arrival: August 12, 2012

Without a doubt one of the most enjoyable, unique and memorable places our extended family has ever stayed. There were enough activities to keep us all busy throughout the day, while there were also ample areas in which to relax in quiet. The town of Bigfork was easily accessible by car, yet not so close to impact our feeling of "getting away from it all". <br>

It was the perfect balance of comfort and nature, and the daily activities could be molded to fit any age–from my 15-month-old daughter to my 86-year-old grandmother: Morning walks around the property; peaceful mid-morning kayak rides; lazy lunches on the dock; afternoon crafts on the lawn; delicious dinners in the lodge; post-dinner kickball games on the field; and lively card games into the wee hours. <br>

The amazing on-site caretakers knew the property well, beautifully maintained everything inside and out, respected the privacy of all the guests, but were still readily available when we needed things. The owner was great in getting our trip planned, professional and trustworthy in all financial dealings, and flexible as to our large group's needs. <br>

Will definitely plan a future weeklong stay there for a future family reunion. A+ in every regard!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 3 / 6

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

The most relaxing wonderful time

Review submitted: April 13, 2012   Date of arrival: August 13, 2011

Dear Jim,
We just received a beautiful album of our time spent at Sentinel Pine last summer with a group of our friends. It has prompted us to thank you for the most relaxing wonderful time we have had in many years. First, Sentinel Pine is like heaven on earth, the accommodations so very comfortable, the natural setting and the layout of the grounds afforded everyone privacy while at the same time a sense of community if we wanted it. The lodge brought us back to days of summer camp yet there was no summer camp I ever attended as elegant and rustic all at the same time! There was nothing we needed that you and Robert and Carol hadn’t anticipated. We stayed at Point House which by far is so luxurious.
The many trails encouraged us to keep up our exercise routine with daily walks and slow jogging. The fresh air and the adventurous surrounding made us feel healthy. With all sorts of activities right at the site you could spend the entire vacation right here. Sentinel Pine is a rare treasure that you’ll want to come back every summer.
If you are looking for the “Taste of Montana” Jim has a list of his favorite restaurants. We tried them all and pass his recommendations on to future guest.
These are a few of my wife’s favorite things: Morning coffee out on the patio, with view of lake and morning mist and mountains--like Heaven on earth, the nightly show of stars that you could reach out and touch, the deer roaming freely, playing ball at "The Fenway Ball Park", & just plain ole lounging around
Trips to Glacier National Park!
As a retired colonel in the Army, staying at Sentinel Pine with my wife and friends this past summer was one of the best rest and relaxation we have yet experienced. From the moment we landed in nearby Kalispell Airport, our vacation was beyond our expectations.

Thank you for sharing it with us.

Helpful votes: 3 / 6

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

You really have a little piece of heaven there...

Review submitted: December 29, 2011   Date of arrival: July 20, 2011

Jim, let me thank you again for the use of your place on Swan Lake. All 20 of us, from young to old, had a wonderful vacation. You really have a little piece of heaven there. Sentinel Pine is both beautiful and relaxing. If you recall it was a bit chilly in the mornings that week and so we began each day drinking our coffee in front of the fire in the main lodge as we planned the day’s events. Most of us came from the record breaking heat wave on the east coast so it was a wonderful way to start our day. Each day though it soon warmed up and we loved spending our afternoons hanging out on the dock and boating on the lake. Some of us went horseback riding, others drove up to Glacier, or did a bit of fly fishing and hiking while others simply curled up with a good book and took in the great vistas. Of course tubing down the river was a thrill we won’t soon forget. I also have to say I loved the kitchen in the lodge. With food from the nearby grocery stores you had everything else we needed to easily put together good meals for our gang. The accommodations were more than comfortable and having multiple homes gave every family the space they needed. The highlight of our week was the family baseball game on your ball field where “The Jacks” bested “The Joes” by 4 runs. Please give my best to Robert and Carol. They had the place in pristine condition when we arrived and took care of our every need. They couldn’t have been more hospitable. Thanks again – we truly love Sentinel Pine.

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Our experience at Sentinel Pine was wonderful

Review submitted: December 28, 2011   Date of arrival: August 23, 2011

Our experience at Sentinel Pine was absolutely wonderful. The property provided all the activities we wanted, such as tennis, basketball, baseball, volleyball, swimming, and just about anything anyone could have wanted including rest and relaxation. While the website sold us on the facility, the reality is Sentinel Pine was absolutely perfect for a group such as we were with varying tastes and requirements. The dining room was first class, yet casual and comfortable. We thought the views of the lake and mountains made our food tastier and our meals and conversations longer and more relaxing. The dock area was perfect for all our needs. Kayaking and canoeing on this smooth lake was a pleasure. The dock area was perfect for swimmers, sunbathers, and for those who us who preferred shade. As a night-time bonus, we all thought the dock was an ideal spot to view the beautiful Montana sky, complete with shooting stars and occasional orbiting satellites. Absolutely awesome!

Of course the area outside of the property was very interesting and lots of fun too. We visited Bigfork, Whitefish, Kalispell, and, of course, the spectacular Glacier National Park We were delighted with your recommended dining guide and points of interest. Your spending so much time with us before the trip (hours) planning our activities took all the guesswork out of exploration and made it easy to personalize our daily itineraries.

The property caretakers Robert and Carol were friendly, helpful, and available for any questions or assistance.

Regarding the cost of our trip: we all agreed that the cost for staying at Sentinel Pine was well worth its price and is an experience we would repeat without hesitation as it totally exceeded our already high expectations. Thanks for the opportunity to share such a beautiful place in the world with us.

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

We had the best vacation experience possible

Review submitted: December 28, 2011   Date of arrival: August 13, 2011

My family and friends rented The Sentinel Pine in August 2011 and we had the best vacation experience possible. Simply stated, this is a very beautiful and incredible property. The location was easy to get to being directly on Swan Lake and just 15 minutes from downtown Bigfork. The grounds at Sentinal Pine were awesome because there was something for everyone to do. Myself and my 7 year old stepson took advantage of many of the amenities available including the tennis courts, baseball equipment, fishing, kayaking, swimming and boating, and our favorite, diving off the 6 foot diving board into beautiful Swan Lake. On the property there are plenty of open areas to peacefully relax, play some Frisbee, or have a game of croquet. The accommodations were great as they were typical Montana and blended in perfectly with the property. I had a beautiful view of the rolling lawn and the water just outside my bedroom window in the Sentinel House. The Main Lodge was awesome as well. It is tastefully decorated and is a great gathering place for meals, chatting on the large front porch, or for some evening cocktails. The owner, Jim, had left a great informational package for all the guests with suggestions on the surrounding areas activities as well as his personal reviews of many local restaurants. I took his recommendations and visited some local establishments and I was never disappointed. Someday I hope to return to the Sentinel Pine for another visit. I would give this my absolute highest recommendation--what a great time we all had!

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Our group of 7 couples had a wonderful time...

Review submitted: December 28, 2011   Date of arrival: August 3, 2011

Our group of 7 couples had a wonderful time at Sentinel Pine Estates in August 2011 and wished we could've stayed longer. We loved the setting, the deer roaming around, the dock, the kayaks, the canoe...everything was lovely. The location is perfect; close enough to Bigfork (a couple people rode their bikes into town) but with a feeling of seclusion. The large kitchen and pantry were great for our group and we had most of our meals there. We all enjoyed the piano and the porch, especially in the evening. Robert graciously gave us a boat ride and helped with parking the RVs and getting supplies to the houses. We also appreciated the history and photos in the lodge and the Point House. Your home, the Point House, is very comfortable and we spent lots of time on the terrace watching the skiers and boaters.

I highly recommend Sentinel Pine Estates for families and groups of good friends. There is enough space for privacy, yet you are all together.

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

It was an exceptional vacation experience

Review submitted: December 28, 2011   Date of arrival: July 12, 2011

I rented The Sentinel Pine this summer with several friends as a group of 16. It was an exceptional vacation experience, wonderful in so many ways, and I would give it a “10” on a 1-to-10 scale for sure, and recommend it to anyone! The houses and cabins were everything featured in the website—and more, by a lot. The beds were new and immensely comfortable. We swam just about every day—cold but invigorating and fun! The dining room and cocktail area were stunning with their views, and the kitchen could have easily handled a group much larger than ours. The caretaker Robert and his wife Carol were there to help in every way, always with a big Montana smile. Financially, an incredible deal when we look at everything we got. This is a one-of-a-kind place in an amazing location. My only regret is that my wife of 45 years, who passed away a year ago, couldn’t enjoy this incredible place with me.

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

There is simply no place like the Sentinel Pine

Review submitted: December 28, 2011   Date of arrival: July 24, 2010

I wanted to let you know what an incredible time our wedding party of 25 guests had at the Sentinel Pine in early August, it exceeded even our already very high expectations. There is no place like NW Montana, no place like Swan Lake and there is simply no place like the Sentinel Pine on Swan Lake. We felt so very special to be able to stay there. We had guests in virtually every bed and there were arguments in the evening trying to decide who had the best accommodations as they were all terrific. Special thanks to Robert and Carol who had the place looking great when we arrived and who were there to answer all our questions and provide assistance. The kids and adults loved hanging out on the dock and we were all shocked when my young nephews figured out that a simple, well-placed night crawler over the side would raise a number of fairly large trout. We would recommend the Sentinel Pine to anyone, and I must say that it was an outstanding value, well worth every penny for sure. We look forward to a return stay in future summers, and wish you the best.

Helpful votes: 0 / 0

 

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