by Kristin Franks
Lake Yellowstone Hotel & Cabins are located on the shore of Yellowstone Lake, offering families guestrooms and suites as well as frontier cabins, which are situated behind the hotel. The hotel features colonial-style rooms and suites varying in size to accommodate all. The frontier cabins are simple duplexes providing basic accommodations, and are also in an active area for lots of wildlife including bison. For on-site dining guests can head to the Yellowstone Hotel dining room, or the hotel’s deli. The Yellowstone Hotel & Cabins are open from mid-May through September.
Our Editor Loves
- On-site dining
- Lodging options at the hotel or frontier cabins
- Active area for wildlife and quiet location in Yellowstone National Park
My wife and I stayed in Sandpiper Lodge, a serviceable two-story building right behind the Marvelous Lake Yellowstone Hotel, for three nights during the busy season (mid/late Aug). Sandpiper offers quick access to all of the common-area amenities of the fancier, pricier, more historic Lake Yellowstone Hotel at a significantly lower price. The location, on the southeast curve of the figure-eight Grand Loop, is terrific, especially for first-time Yellowstone visitors like us -- it's close to the park's Big Three Sites: Old Faithful and Grand Prismatic Spring to the southwest, Grand Canyon of Yellowstone to the north.
The Lake Yellowstone Hotel features an open-air lobby with plenty of seating, a nightly live pianist (more Elton than Ludwig), and a lively bar (purchase: huckleberry margarita). Great service and excellent view, especially through the large, lake-facing lobby windows. There's a coffee shop with egg sandwiches to start your day, and a souvenir shop that isn't as corny or expensive as you'd think. Oh, and the Hotel is home to the best restaurant in the park -- that's a whole other review, but: fantastic steak & seafood.
As for the Sandpiper Lodge specifically, the rooms are small but well furnished, though ours oddly had a sink in the main part of the room, not the bathroom. Easy parking, even in Peak Season. The common area is nothing more than a couple chairs and soda and ice machines, but the Hotel lobby is a sixty-second walk away. And really, that's the point: Sandpiper gets you everything good about the Marvelous Lake Yellowstone Hotel...during waking hours. You'll sleep and shower and dress in small, not-exactly-new quarters. As long as you can tolerate that, every other aspect of Sandpiper is top-notch.
An excellent hotel.
We loved this charming, historic hotel on Yellowstone Lake. First, it is a great location for your drives through Hayden Valley to see the bison and hike around that area and also the Grand Canyon area. It is near great hikes: Elephant Back mountain, hikes around the Yellowstone lake, Mary's mountain on the border of Hayden Valley. Second, the building is charming. I sat for 2 hours in the lobby reading a biography of Teddy Roosevelt, sipping a great drink and enjoying the piano playing in the background. Very civilized. Third, the restaurant is pretty excellent for a national park. I had delicious lamb chops one night with an excellent creme brulee for dessert. There is a casual cafeteria-type restaurant in another building on property for nights you don't want a fanicer meal. Breakfast was also excellent in the main dining room and there is a little coffee shop on premises if you prefer a quick grab and go breakfast. We stayed in the annex rooms which were spacious and comfortable. One day Wooly Nelson (resident bison) was outside our front door so we went around the back. Nice gift shop too. I recommend this hotel for families, couples, anyone really. I liked moving around Yellowstone so we stayed here several nights and several nights at Old Faithful Inn before heading to the Grand Tetons. It's worth the money to stay here in the main hotel or annex. Enjoy your trip!