Images Courtesy of The Green O
With domestic travel at an all-time high US travelers are searching near and far to find the absolute best that our vast country has to offer. A recent trip took us to a place we had never had the pleasure of visiting and one that has always been on our bucket list, the incredulous beauty of Western Montana. A quick flight from SoCal to Salt Lake City and then on to our final stop, Missoula, Montana, we had arrived in one of the most jaw-dropping sections of this beautiful country. A short 30-minute drive from the Missoula airport with our heads on a swivel from taking in the views we arrived at our destination, The Green O.
This adult-only luxury retreat is the newest addition The Resort at Paws Up, a 37,000-acre playground of nature at its finest. With 100 miles of trails and 10 miles of the Blackfoot River (home to some of the best fly-fishing in the world), guests are treated to an absolute mind-blowing escape filled with action, adventure, wildlife viewing and a world-class culinary experience that is second to none. While The Resort at Paws Up has made a clearly defined name for itself as one of the best all-inclusive luxury resorts in the country a stay at The Green O is just that much more refined, for those looking to really get away from it all. With only 12 standalone luxury homes in their own private part of the resort, The Green O offers the idyllic romantic escape superbly set amongst the pines with only the sounds of nature to soothe the soul.
Picture yourself waking up to the swaying pines above your bed through your glass skylight, the first thought that crosses your mind is that you truly are sequestered in nature, albeit in the lap of luxury. You step out onto your deck with your coffee and pastries that have been left piping hot outside your door, after taking a deep breath you rest up against your railing and that’s when it finally sets in, your mind, body and soul are at full rest.
With robe and slippers as the morning’s attire, you find the perfect position, feet up next to the fireplace and the only thing that could possibly move you away from this level of comfort is knowing that you are moments away from an incredible culinary experience at The Green O’s private restaurant The Social Haus.
Located in the center of the resort The Social Haus truly is where all the magic begins. A meeting place for all things good, the resort’s staff of chefs, bartenders, concierges, and sommeliers take full pride in making sure the guest’s needs are well met beyond all expectations. Floor-to-ceiling windows act as a magnifying glass showcasing the beauty of the pine-laden forest before you with the Social Haus literally surrounded by giant trees as far as the eye can see. Family of deer and a whole list of forest critters are a common sight for the guest’s viewing pleasure, such a calming scene to fully put the mind at ease.
It all starts with the imaginative mindset of The Green O’s Executive Chef Brandon Cunningham, the culinary genius behind what keeps guests with a smile on their face each time they sit down for a meal. Cunningham, who hails from Portland, Oregon brings his artistic nature to his open concept kitchen and with his award-winning team of sous and pastry chefs under his helm, it is safe to say you will be pleasantly surprised with each plate that is presented before you. Breakfast at the Social Haus is one that never disappoints, start your day off with bursting flavors such as the ricotta beignets, (which are dusted in dried raspberry powder and then submerged in rainier cherry sauce), for a little more substance opt for the whipped omelet with foraged mushrooms and cheese that is perfectly paired with the smashed potatoes with a swipe of guajillo romesco, and lastly, a bowl of house yogurt with fresh berries and honeycomb is a medley of flavor profiles that absolutely cannot be missed. Dinner at the Social Haus is an experience all within itself, each night acting as a display of the team’s artful creativity that is showcased in their daily tasting menu. Ranging from 8to 11 small plates depending on the day and what ingredients were sustainably foraged Chef Cunningham and his team brings a playful presentation with every plate that is delivered to the table. One can easily tell how much passion and fervor goes into the mindfulness of each multi-course culinary journey, delicately complex yet bursting in flavor, each dish plays on the next all coming together to create a meal of a lifetime.
While it would be quite easy to see what Chef Cunningham is serving up each day at Social Haus a few other dining experiences will surely be calling your name during your time at The Green O. A mere 5-minute drive from the Social Haus and you arrive at Tank and Trough, a staple dining experience at The Resort at Paws Up. A side-by-side bar and restaurant, Tank and Trough offer a true casual fine dining experience with a flair. Pull up a chair on the patio at Trough and take in the Big Sky that Montana is so famous for, iconic blue skies painted with white wispy clouds as far as the eye can see. It would be a sin not to try the Rodeo Burger, a beef burger with bacon, onion rings all slathered in a huckleberry BBQ sauce with a view of the Montana mountains in the distance, it simply doesn’t get better than this.
Another must-do while on property is the Chuck Wagon Dude Ranch experience. A short 10-minute drive takes you to a location right next to the Blackfoot River where the staff has set up an authentic Chuck Wagon BBQ dinner that is truly one for the ages. Take a ride in a horse-drawn wagon, listen to live music, or just sit back and take in all that is before you, this truly is Montana in a nutshell. The team of chefs puts together a feast made for a king or a queen, BBQ salmon, chicken, tomahawk steaks, baby back ribs and all the fixings make for a meal you will never forget.
Although the dining program at The Green O is one that can draw guests in all by itself the entire property at The Resort at Paws up is most well-known for its unending list of world-class adventures that can be experienced during your stay. With 37,000 acres of unbridled Montana beauty before you, time is of the essence, strap on those cowboy boots, you are about to embark on a vacation of a lifetime. Each guest that stays at The Green O resort gets their very own Lexus hybrid vehicle which serves as your liaison to a world of adventure that starts at the property’s Wilderness Outpost. Choose from daily activities such as fly fishing on the Blackfoot River, white water rafting, ATV tours around the property, horseback riding, mountain bike tours, hey why not try your best shot at sporting clays at the resorts shooting range? One standout activity that cannot be missed during your time at The Green O is the Garnet Ghost town tour, an ideal combination of thrill-seeking adventure coupled with the intrigue of paying a visit to an actual ghost town. Jump in your Polaris off-road vehicle, strap on your helmet, goggles and dust scarf, it’s time for an adrenaline-pumping mountain tour! A 45-minute jaunt full speed ahead through twists and turns of the Montana wilderness and you arrive at the abandoned town of Garnet. Over a century ago this once-thriving gold-mining town served as a bustling community to over 1000 people yet after several fires ravaged the area its inhabitants were forced to leave. Today this well-preserved state-regulated ghost town is on full display for the guests of The Green O to be able to visualize a day in the life of families living back in that time period.
After a day of exhilarating adventure making your way through the property’s activity list what could be a better way to rest and relax than a visit to Spa Town? Set just minutes away from the resort’s Wilderness Outpost, Spa Town is a collection of luxury tents stitched together by an ambling boardwalk that serves as your oasis of wellness during your stay. Surrounded by wilderness, with only the sounds of nature before you, it is a matter of seconds before you achieve a full balance of mind, body, and soul. Choose from a variety of spa services ranging from couple’s massages, facials, pedicures all the way to purifying mineral mud wraps. For those who opt to burn just a few more calories (thank you again Chef Cunningham) the resort’s state-of-the-art gym facility awaits at Spa Town fully equipped for the ultimate strength training and cardiovascular workouts.
The Green O, a true adults-only luxury mountain escape where you can be away from it all yet somehow find yourself as active as you have ever wanted to be. Whether you are taking a time out soaking in your outdoor hot tub or blazing new trails on an ATV you will not have a worry in the world. The beautiful juxtaposition of nature meeting luxury is everything that The Green O stands for where guests can leave all the stresses of their daily lives and come to a place that is as close to heaven as it gets.