Fort Benton’s Grand Union Hotel

Yesterday I was at a noon meeting in Fort Benton at the beautifully restored Grand Union Hotel.

Fort Benton, snuggled on the Missouri River banks just off US Hwy 87, is about 36 miles from Great Falls. We had a pretty steady drizzle of rain the entire way and I was lamenting (OK, complaining) that I wouldn’t get any scenic photos from the overlook just before the turn to Fort Benton. Ironically, as we drove by the overlook parking area I noticed two vehicles and someone had their camera out!

After we got in to town, parked, and scurried in to the hotel, my disposition changed. The cozy and welcoming lobby of the Grand Union had me unpacking my camera.

Warm-toned colors, leather furniture and lots of rich wood hues are the first sights when you open the door to the lobby of the hotel. Combine those with fresh flowers from Fort Benton’s Riverview Greenhouses, tasetful decorations and a cheery greeting from the desk clerk and I can assure you that you will feel good about life!

We were having lunch at the meeting I was attending but since the hotel dining room isn’t regularly open for lunch I was thinking that lunch would be catered. Quite frankly, I have always had a good meal no matter where I have eaten in Fort Benton and at each restaurant I have my favorites…I’ll save those foodie ramblings for another time!

Today though, we were treated by Grand Union chef Scott Myers. The homemade tomato-basil soup was superb. My senses can still catch the aroma and taste. When I bit into the ultra-tender beef sandwich with roasted red pepper I quickly started analyzing it to figure out the yummy dressing. Our lunch offerings gave new meaning to soup and sandwich…very tasty. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that we capped off our lunch with a chocolate brownie. One more item of note that is so important to me, Chef Myers works with area producers to showcase locally grown and raised products. OK, enough about food!

Time for a room tour. There are 26 sleeping rooms at the Grand Union. This photo shows one of the suites that has a wonderful view of Fort Benton’s river levee. The almost floor-to-ceiling windows seem to frame this historic levee.

The hotel was built in 1882 and was restored and reopened in 1999 on the hotel’s 117th anniversary. It is Montana’s oldest operating hotel! Grand Union Hotel

There is also a semi-private dining room nestled in one corner of the public dining area, a beer/wine lounge, and in the summer you can sip and dine on the patio while the Missouri River ambles by.

Treat yourself to a stay at this historic hotel and take some time to experience all that Fort Benton has to offer.


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