Life of Riley Lodge
Yellowstone's Finest Luxury Waterfront Log Cabin
Q. How far is it to Yellowstone National Park?
A. Just 15 minutes from Yellowstone National Park's West Entrance! Really!
Q. Can we swim in the lake from the waterfront?
Q. Do you have a grill for us to use?
A. Yes, in fact we have two: one just outside the kitchen and another at the waterfront entertaining area. They are both gas grills and we provide the propane. Like your steak nicely seared? There is a searing plate on the waterfront grill. Beans with your dogs? No need to run between the kitchen and the waterfront because the waterfront grill has two gas range burners. It's pretty awesome.
Q. Speaking of fire, we can't wait to roast marshmallows with the family. Do we need to purchase firewood?
A. We provide all the firewood you need. However, you will need to provide your own fire starters and kindling to get the fire going. (You can pick that up at any of the local markets.) Heck, we even provide the marshmallow roasting sticks.
Q. How close is the nearest market?
A. There is a well stocked convenience store just a few minutes away and several full service markets 15 minutes away. Have special dietary needs or want to know where to pick up a good bottle of wine? Ask us and we will tell you where to get what you need.
Q. Do you have a hot tub?
A. No, and for good reason. Our local region has no professional pool/tub cleaning service which would leave our guests open to some pretty serious cooties. We think you'll agree that nothing ruins a vacation like a rash. Thankfully, there is a nice big lake right outside!
Q. Can we jet ski on Henry's Lake?
A. Absolutely! Just ask and we will direct you to a rental shop that will drop them off at the local boat ramp.
Q. We want to try our hand at fishing that amazing lake in the backyard. How can we make that happen?
A. So many ways! You can use the fishing poles we provide, you can rent gear locally or bring your own, or we can direct you to amazing guided fishing excursions-on Henry's or on one of the many world-renowned local rivers coveted by fly fisherman. Just remember to snag a permit before you get started. We can help you do that too.
Q. Do you have Wifi? We have resigned ourselves to the fact that Facebook and Instagram will break without seeing our vacation pictures in real time/our children may actually spontaneously combust without the internet/our business doesn't function without us.
A. We not only have WiFi, we have the fastest you can get in the region, not that slow Hughes satellite nonsense. It even works when you're down in one of those hammocks where you should be relaxing. To prevent the dreaded spontaneous combustion problem we also have a Playstation 4 in the Bunk Room and every TV in the lodge is a Samsung Smart TV which means you can access your Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, and other accounts on them (Because we know you stay up late at night binge watching your favorite shows on your vacation. Don't lie. ) We also have a desk in the Master Suite where you can sneak away to get some work done if your office literally cannot be trusted to function without you.
Q. Do we have to take our trash to the dump at the end of our stay like other local properties require?
A. Never. Never. Never. We just don't see how luxury = a car full of hot garbage.
Q. Will we need to start the laundry and strip the beds before we leave? The other properties we were considering say that we must.
A. No. How can you call it a vacation if you have to spend the last day of your trip doing laundry and making beds?
Q. Okay, so we don't have to do laundry before we checkout. Anything we do need to do though?
A. We keep it simple. You just need to pay it forward to the next guests and make sure all the kitchen stuff you used like the Instant Pot and dishes are put away clean and your last load of dishes is in the dishwasher, running. You'll need to remove all your food from the fridge and cabinets too and either take them with you or throw them away. Also, and this might sound crazy, but we also expect all the furniture to be where it was when you arrived and all the electronics to be set up exactly as you found it. Yeah, we're looking at you, Unnamed Previous Guests who inexplicably took every clock in the lodge and lined them up on the fireplace mantle, which creeped out our housekeeper. She felt existentially confronted. It still haunts her.
Q. Will any strangers enter the lodge during our stay?
A. We would never allow a stranger to enter the home during your stay unless there is an emergency or without your express permission. There may be days when our landscaper needs to access the sprinkler control box or a repair needs to be completed, but again we will always let you know.
Q. Will we have cell phone coverage at the lodge?
A. We have found that if your carriers are Verizon or AT&T you will have good coverage. Other carriers can be less reliable. We do have a land line with free local and domestic long distance calling for our guests at the lodge and some find it useful to have their calls forwarded to it in a pinch. And when you are in Yellowstone, no one has coverage except for a few select locations within the Park. As it turns out, bison prefer land lines and snail mail. We just don't get it. They don't know what they're missing.
Q. What safety precautions have you put in place to protect me and my family during our stay?
A. We take the safety and wellbeing of our guests very seriously. We have installed very sensitive fire alarms throughout the home, placed fire extinguishers on every floor, keep a high definition security camera system in place on the exterior of the lodge, and have placed exterior lighting to keep you safe. We also place important safety information in the lodge by the phone in case of an emergency.
Q. We are traveling with infants and toddlers. Are they welcome at the lodge?
A. Yes! To make traveling with your little ones as stress free as possible we provide a pack 'n play with a mattress and a set of spare mattress protectors and sheets along with baby gates and a high chair. We will even share our time tested tips on the best places to put the baby gates for ease. Our kitchen is stocked with plates, cups, and silverware appropriate for toddlers too! We even leave out spare sheets and protectors for the beds in case of an accident. The best rooms tend to be the Master Suite and the Madison Suite as they have a layout most conducive to shacking up with a baby or toddler. We do not "baby-proof" the Lodge so you may have to use your good judgement and put some things out of reach as necessary. (Those baby-proofing devices are like a Rubic's Cube!) However, you can see from our reviews that our guests with little ones have really enjoyed their stay.
Q. Do you have a washer and dryer for us to use?
A. Although we know you are probably like us and would like to pretend laundry doesn't exist during your vacation, we realize it sometimes just cannot be avoided. To make the job quick, we have not just one, but two sets of washers and dryers and we provide Tide Free & Gentle Laundry Pods so that even the most sensitive skin won't be affected.
Q. Do we need to pack toiletries? What about hair dryers?
A. Although we are not a hotel, we sure do appreciate the convenience of one and we know our guests do too. For this reason, each bathroom has a hair dryer and our Essentials Mini Bar contains all manner of personal necessities in case you forgot to pack something.
Q. Do we need to bring things like toilet paper, paper towels, or dishwashing soap? What about linens like towels and sheets? Are they provided?
A. We provide everything you need! The bathrooms are all stocked with toilet paper, facial tissue, hand soap, bath towels, hand towels, and wash cloths. The kitchen is stocked with paper towels, dish towels, dishwasher detergent, dish soap, and sponges. The beds are all made up just like you see in our pictures and the sheets are all soft cotton Ralph Lauren Brand. We even provide beach towels and outdoor blankets. Don't worry, we've got this!
Q. Our family loves to cook big meals when we are together. Will we have everything we need in the kitchen to prepare food?
A. We have this in common! We are avid home cooks and we leave the kitchen fully stocked for even the most advanced chef. From a KitchenAid mixer, Ninja blender and food processor, to a large electric griddle to an oversize programmable slow-cooker, we've got you covered. We also leave a good stash of herbs and spices, so be sure to have a look before you purchase any at the market. Not only that, but you will also find serving platters and bowls so you can lay out quite the spread! We also provide a backup refrigerator and freezer for those who bring enough food to throw a feast fit for a king. I mean, if you want to go around pretending to be a king, who are we to judge?
Q. With all due respect to your fabulous kitchen, what if we want to eat out? Are there any good restaurants you can recommend?
A. Don't worry, our kitchen won't be (too) offended if you choose to abandon it for an evening or two. And we can recommend some good local restaurants. Just don't mention it around our kitchen. It can get a little jealous.
Q. We can't function without coffee. I mean, we might actually hurt someone if we don't have it. Do you have a coffee brewer at the lodge?
A. For the protection of your family, friends, and our community we take this whole coffee thing pretty seriously. We have a drip coffee maker and a Keurig. Are you certified coffee snobs like us and NEED fresh beans ground to the perfect size to be happy? Well, there is a KitchenAid Burr grinder too. We also supply coffee filters. Because nothing should get in the way of coffee. Nothing.
Q. After coffee, good wine has got to be our second favorite thing. Do you have bottle openers and wine glasses?
A. Wow! We do have a lot in common! You're really going to love our place. We supply you with an under-the-counter wine refrigerator, bottle openers, and red, white, and champagne glasses. Wine just tastes better in good, properly shaped wine glasses, don't you agree?
Q. Can we have a wedding or a large family reunion on your property?
A. We can see why you might want to because that view #amiright, but no. Our permit to rent does not allow us to have more that 13 guests on the property at any time.
Q. Our group will be driving to the property in multiple cars. Is there enough off street parking?
A. Definitely. We have a very large driveway that is able to park several vehicles easily.
Q. Our group is larger than 13 guests. Can we just bring sleeping bags or use the couches? What if the 14th guest is an infant? What if the extra people are in an RV or a tent? Other properties don't think it's a big deal...
A. No, and here is where we get serious. We are only permitted to rent to 13 people, including infants (is it weird that we consider them people too?). We never ever allow our permit to be violated for two excellent reasons: 1) The permit is conditional on our septic system. Overburdening a septic system results in tragically disgusting and expensive consequences. 2) We are a luxury property and we care very deeply about our home. We do not want excessive wear and tear on our beautiful furnishings. So please don't put us in a position to enforce our permit. We will know. It won't be fun for either of us. We repeat: tragically disgusting and expensive. If you have more than 13 guests, let's talk about it. We have ways we can help you still accomplish staying at our place without sleeping everyone under our roof. Also, no tents.
Q. Can we bring our RV? Do you have hookups?
A. This is a question you will need to chat with us about directly since it depends on a lot of factors and requires permission. The short, and not very helpful, answer is some kinds of RVs can be parked on our driveway however we do not have hookups. Also, we can still only accommodate 13 guests on the property, even if you decide to sleep guests in the RV.
Q. We like to employ a parenting tactic called "Getting-the-Kids-Good-and-Worn-Out-So-They-Fall-Into-Bed-Early" so we can enjoy a nice evening of adult conversation and beverages. Do you have the necessary equipment for this?
A. Why yes, we do! We stock the Gear Room with tons of outdoor games. These games, when combined with our extensive lawn, generally produce the desired outcome. If that isn't enough, the basketball court or the lake can be relied upon to do the trick. And once you have gotten those little people good and tired, you will be pleased to find that our multi-floor home keeps the sounds of your adult entertainments contained and away from the Bunk Room, hence not tempting them with the dreaded kid counter-strategy, "They're-Having-Fun-Without-Me-So-I-Better-Get-Up-and-See-Over-And-Over-Again." To ensure success, we have also stocked a wealth of indoor games and puzzles as well in case the weather doesn't cooperate.
Q. Is the Lodge able to accommodate wheelchairs?
A. Unfortunately not. Our home was built by optimistic people who expected their knees to never give out.
Q. We would like to bring our family pet. Is that okay?
A. Although we know it may be difficult to leave your non-human family members behind, we do not allow pets of any kind on the property. Sending us adorable pictures and videos of your perfectly behaved exception to the rule will do you no good. We won't cave and it's an expensive rule to break. Bringing back a baby bison in your trunk also counts! Don't do it!
Q. Any other unreasonable things you won't let us do besides sneaking baby bison home from the Park and keeping them in the Bunk Room?
A. Now that you mention it, there are a few things. Namely, shooting off guns, setting off fireworks, making a fire in a wind storm, causing a ruckus while our neighbors are sleeping peacefully, driving stuff on our lawn, setting up a campground, giving away or selling your reservations to other people without asking us first (hey, we don't allow perfect strangers in the lodge while you're staying there so don't do it to us either!), setting up reservations for someone else under your name, taking our stuff home with you, breaking into our locked supply cabinets, treating our home as if it were a hotel room inhabited by an '80's hair band, carving your initials or hearts with arrows into any of the wood surfaces, flushing weird stuff (for example: anything other than toilet paper) down our toilets, leaving the doors open or taking off the window screens to better experience the full glory of insect and rodent nature, scorching things while cooking and setting off all the fire alarms, bringing your RV without our prior authorization, and parking outside of our private driveway to name a few. I know, super unreasonable of us to ask these things of you. But notice, we didn't say you couldn't dress like an '80's hair band....
Q. Anything that will get us thrown out on our fannies to be eaten by wild animals?
A. As much as we hate to talk about it, and we super hope you don't put us in a position to do it, there is. Namely, bringing a pet, bringing more than 13 guests, firing guns or fireworks, doing anything illegal such as setting fires during a burn ban, tampering with our security system, giving your reservation away without our prior approval, or being a nuisance to our lovely neighbors or law enforcement. Those violations (and others if you get creatively devious) will get you immediately chucked out and we get to keep your full rent plus your damage deposit. The worst part of all of it is you will be stranded in a location that will be very challenging to find last minute alternate accommodations so you just might be stuck outside doing some not-so-glamorous camping. Upside: you'll get to see the bears and wolves you came to enjoy in Yellowstone. Downside: they will get to enjoy you too! #humansaredelicious
Q. Which airport should I fly in and out of to get to the lodge?
A. We recommend flying into Yellowstone Regional Airport or Bozeman International Airport. You can fly into Idaho Falls too, but expect an hour and a half of potato farm viewing on your drive into town. If that's your thing and you think potato farms are way cooler than jaw-dropping mountains or sweeping Big Sky vistas and adorable prancing antelope, then knock yourself out. Again, we're not here to judge. Nope. Not. At. All. #totallyjudging
Q. How will we get into the Lodge? Will we need to pick up a key?
A. We thought you were paying attention! What do you take us for? We are a luxury property. So of course for your convenience the Lodge has been equipped with a hotel style electronic lock. We will give you a unique code before your stay that will be good for the duration of your visit. Let's summarize: No bed making, no laundry on your last day, no car full of hot garbage, and certainly no scavenger hunting for a key in a strange town or trying to remember where you put the dang thing.
Q. What are the drive times to other local attractions?
A. Jackson, WY- 2 hrs, 16 min
Big Sky, MT- 1hs, 18 min
Cody, WY- 3 hrs, 28 min
Historic Virginia City and Nevada City- 1 hr, 16 min
Mesa Falls, ID- 35 min
Harriman State Park- 43 min
Quake Lake, MT- 20 min
Bozeman Museum of the Rockies: 2 hrs
Horseback Riding- 12 min
Ziplining Adventure- 15 min
Rafting- 2 hrs
Rodeo- 12 min
St. Anthony Sand Dunes- 1 hr, 10 min
ATVing- 10 min
Jet Skiing, Tubing, Kayaking- 0 min
Fly Fishing, drift boat fishing- 0 min
Yellowstone Grizzly and Wolf Experience- 15 min
Yellowstone IMAX Theater- 15 min
Nearest grocery stores- 15 min
Nearest restaurants- 15 min