Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Me & Montana: Love at First Sight

Montana's long been on my wish list of spots to visit. After a recent visit to The Resort at Paws Up, it's now on my list of places to return to time and time again. To say I loved The Resort at Paws Up is putting it mildly. Located about 40 minutes from Missoula, MT, this four-year old property is one of the most unique resorts I've ever visited. There's a huge WOW factor when you walk into your gorgeous three-bedroom Estate Home-- each with two floors, fireplace, huge deck w/hot tub, and stunning views of the Great Outdoors....and the aptly named "Big Sky". I enjoyed these views from nearly every room in the house, including my master bath (outfitted with heated floors, double-head rain shower & huge jacuzzi tub).

Built on a 37,000-acre former working cattle ranch, The Resort at Paws Up is the perfect spot for families as well as adults looking to indulge their inner-kid. Anyone who ever spent time at summer camp (as I did!) will adore this grown-ups version, albeit with a full bar and much more fun activities than we had growing up (ie, ATV rides, horseback lessons, fly-fishing, river rafting & spa treatments in heated tents!). Speaking of tents, if you're truly looking for the luxury camping experience, opt to stay at Tent City or River Camp...a small complex each of 6 tents (the latter front the Blackfoot River and has two 2-bedroom tents!).

It's not just the accommodations & activities that make The Resort at Paws Up so special. The owner's own love for animals results in a very pet-friendly environment (dogs are welcome, and they even have a dedicated weekend in April called Wine & Bitch Festival for those who, well, love wine & dogs...).

The Resort's dedication to amazing food and wine is apparent in the extensive wine list as well as the phenomenal meals we had at Pomp, the main dining room (formerly the cowboys' cafeteria). Also loved the hearty breakfasts at Trough, the casual dining spot adjacent to Tank, the cozy, fireplace-heated bar/lounge where I highly recommend the signature "gingeritas".

Rates vary throughout the year, with best values available October & after Jan 5 through May. (NOTE: These are terrific time periods to plan a group/high end incentive program!). There is also still an opportunity to book a fabulous XMAS vacation (5-night minimum) at Paws Up, inclusive of sleigh rides, Santa visits, Xmas-trees & all sorts of special family-focused activities. It's a great option for extended families, especially those who relish the idea of a traditional, snowy holiday vacation!

Should you prefer a spring time visit, consider joining us for the First Annual Elite Travel Gals' Getaway to Paws Up April 14-17 or 14-2, 2010 (both a 3nt and 7nt package available). Our discounted Virtuoso rates start at under $300/night (based on 4 ppl in a home) inclusive of all taxes and meals, plus a $150 activity credit (for those who book by year's end)! I'll be there for sure, with atleast one of my dogs in tow...hope you'll join us!

For more information on vacation options at The Resort at Paws Up or the Elite Travel Gals' Getaway, contact elitetravelgal@gmail.com or phone 310 979 9036.

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