How the country’s most expensive hotel attracts a diverse clientele

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You might think that a property that was recently billed as the most expensive hotel in the country would attract a very specific crowd, but The Ranch at Rock Creek is a master at shattering stereotypes and exceeding expectations. A functioning cattle ranch located on a 19th-century-farm outside Philipsburg, Montana, the 6,600-acre estate combines western authenticity with a unique brand of seamless luxury that launched it to international fame as the world’s first guest house to serve Forbes travel guide’s five star award in 2013, two worlds merged that may once have seemed incompatible. The ranch continues to attract guests from the A-lists of business and entertainment, eager to experience the hyper-personalized service and unpretentious abundance, so intimately woven into every subtle moment they could almost go unnoticed, but the jet-set audience is hardly the only brand of travelers here. With a guest list that includes such a marked selection of ages, backgrounds and interests, it’s hard to understand what could draw such diversity to a single remote destination without experiencing it for yourself, but here’s just a selection of some of The Ranch at Rock Creek’s signature flourishes and core values ​​that attract far more than anyone might otherwise expect.

Real value

While no stay at the Ranch at Rock Creek comes cheap, it is important to recognize that the upfront costs associated with a reservation here are potentially only cost and when the value of unsurpassed private experiences and enrichment, gourmet meals and next-level service are added, the all-encompassing model of this luxurious ranch makes it an almost inexplicable trade. While other farms, resorts and spas can cause lesser mark shock to room rates, extra costs for private excursions, dinner reservations and premium experiences can typically lead to sky-high box office surprises and beyond the bottom line price that can exceed what you will encounter at Ranch at Rock Creek , the quality and value of the experiences can hardly be compared. While plenty of ranch guests arrive from an age and class that are more comfortable with a travel agency style, today’s culture of knowledgeable, eventful travel also provides a healthy proportion of younger professionals who understand the real value of a stay here, adding extra vitality to the experience.

Custom experiences

In addition to the seriously individualized service that extends from touchdown to takeoff (whether you use the nearby private or public airports) and the sumptuous homes and grounds enhanced by scenic design and decor with an authentic sense of place, the fully customized itineraries, including world-class private, guided experiences is what really sets an escape to The Ranch at Rock Creek apart from comparable properties. With about 40 activities available, days are filled with everything from sporting clay, pistol shooting and archery to fat deck cycling, fly fishing and horseback riding, with some more specialized diversions like sapphire operations, border skills workshops and master science classes highlighting the offerings. While some of these can be found elsewhere, they are rarely offered as private experiences with industry experts tailoring adventures to abilities capable of providing extraordinary encounters for all skill and exposure levels. Of the many differences between generations, skill levels, and backgrounds, one is a constant desire for personal attention and consideration, and few can compete with The Ranch at Rock Creek in this regard.


While neither cattle farming nor luxury travel are traditionally eco-friendly industries, The Ranch at Rock Creek has been on a sustainability journey since its inception, slowing its own environmental footprint and contributing to eco-progress at every turn, and few values ​​speak so strongly to such an open demographic. of informed travelers as sustainability. Like several brands internationally, the ranch eliminated disposable plastic completely in 2019, but unlike most in hospitality, The Ranch at Rock Creek has moved toward a closed-loop sustainability system from the start and included kitchen, construction, activities and more. In collaboration with neighboring countries and farmers, the extraordinary culinary program with excellent breakfast and lunch offerings combined with regular tasting dinners, barbecues and festivities run by Executive Chef Josh Drage, who has been with the ranch since opening, currently sources 75% of the ingredients from nearby farms and 90-100% of its meat, summer products, cereals and dairy products from the western half of the state and extends this passion for local sourcing to its premium bar offerings, including both local microbreweries and spirits. Food waste is converted into compost used by both the ranch and its neighbors, spa products delivered in glass and biodegradable packaging are formulated based on ethically farmed ingredients, use of motor vehicles across the property is deliberately reduced, a complete LED and sunlight conversion is in progress and The Ranch at Rock Creek is constantly at the forefront of efforts to cleanse and preserve the region’s famous waters, including the independent Rock Creek itself. Even the property’s store, Mercantile, is focused on local handicrafts that carry the message of sustainability and social responsibility home after an unforgettable holiday to the world’s leading experience ranch.

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