2010 USA Roadtrip Cody, WY to Chico Hot Springs, MT

We left Cody at 9 a.m. after getting gas for $3.099 per gallon for premium unleaded. We arrived at Chico Hot Springs at about 12:45 p.m. (210 miles). There was wet snow everywhere, but blue skies to the north. Route 120 had views of the beautiful Absaroka Mountains with a dusting of snow and a bit of fog.

Chico Hot Springs (Chico Hot Springs Resort and Day Spa, P.O. Box 29, Pray, MT 59065, tel. (406) 333-4933, web: http://www.chicohotsprings.com/, e-mail: chico@chicohotsprings.com) turned out to be a disappointment and actually worse than Thermopolis (click here to read about that hot springs). The following is what I wrote on the guest feedback form provided by the owners, the Art family, of Chico Hot Springs:

When we arrived at about 1 pm on 4/25 we weren’t welcomed. The receptionist (Marilyn?) asked what she could do for us. When we told her we had a reservation and gave her our name she said curtly “check in isn’t until 3”. She added that our room was ready and she could check us in. After the formalities she gave us instructions to room 339 and watched us start up the stairs with 1 overnight bag and 1 computer case each. She called after us “would you like some help?” We had no idea that we had to climb up to the gables and declined. When we finally got to #339 (with the help of a housekeeper named Darlene), we were appalled. That room would be unacceptable at a “resort” at any price. Darlene showed us various rooms. It was #103 that looks like the room pictured on your website (and in your brochure).  Darlene also showed us #110 and told us that the laundry room below makes #110 hot and noisy. We went back to the receptionist and asked to be moved to #103. She said that she could not but gave us #110 at the same price as #339. After we were installed we took a lovely walk up to the Mountaintop cottage and around the property for an hour. Then at about 4 pm we went to the pool. It is so basic and unappealing as to be a detraction rather than an amenity. Separate pools should be constructed for hotel guests too. We had a very nice dinner with a good server (an attentive young man). After dinner, when it was dark, we planned to try the pool again. We got ready to go but again it was full of families and children and we turned back without even going down the stairs. We went back to our room and watched a movie on our computer (uncomfortably) in bed (wishing that there were comfortable chairs in the room to sit on). All in all we think your inn has unrealized potential but that it is not worth the price now.

Audre Engleman & Dimitri Moursellas

We travel 365/24/7 and have been doing that since 1995. Check our blog: http://travelingloveaffair.blogspot.com/

This is what we paid and boy are we glad it wasn't anymore money:
Restaurant $59
Room $89 + tax $6.23
Breakfast $19.90
Total $174.13

Enough said. We were out of there Monday morning and on our way (one-half hour) to Gardiner.


  1. My son, a friend and I stayed at Chico Hot Springs nearly 20 years ago. At the time, I found it funky and filled with old stuff -- antiques and junque alike. The plumbing was a bir creaky, and the pools were tired even then. But I loved the location and the uniqueness. If they've done nothing/little in the way of upkeep or upgrade since then, I certainly can understand your disappointment.

  2. We stayed at Chico Hot Springs in October 2009. The room we had was beautiful and spacious, but we were not in the old inn part of the resort. My daughter, her husband and baby stayed in the inn and the room was awful. If you stay in the new sections its a nice place, but I agree the inn itself needs to be renovated, turned into a museum or torn down.